So I’ve been thinking, which usually means that I have been thinking odd thoughts. I’ve been thinking about the role collaborators have played in my career and how I have greatly benefited from them. Over the last 25 plus years I have collaborated on major projects with John Shaw, Wayne Lynch, Bill Fortney, Bruce Morrison, Rod Barbee, Jeff Wendorff, Scott Rouse, Scott Graber and Brenda Berry. Everyone of these people has greatly enhanced the project I was working on and has greatly furthered my career. A good collaborator encourages, cajoles, critiques, questions and, if needed, berates to get the absolute best out of you. And in my case, they also keep me in chocolate, running shoes and crosswords. Of course occasionally, they also give me a heart attack but, really, its a small price to pay for a great project.
So you are thinking, what has this got to do with me? Remember, a collaborator is just a fancy name for a photo buddy. Not just a friend but someone who thinks the way you do and appreciates the things you do. The difference between a collaborator and a photo buddy is that there is a common purpose involved, in other words, a project. And the difference between having a project or a purpose to your photography and just going out and shooting random images is the difference between fine chocolate and a rich mud.
So go out and either find a photo buddy or acknowledge your photo buddy and then think of something you both can work on. A calendar? A book of seasons? Working portraits? Colors of your area? Hidden places? A photographer’s guide? It doesn’t matter what you choose, just choose something. As soon as you do you will realize the benefits of working closely with another photographer and then you will soon also realize the joys of working together. Oh, and your photography will great improve.
So, tell me, why are you photographing all by yourself?