Ahh, the iPhone.
Like the digital camera before it…like the point-and-shoot before that…like the SLR before that…the iPhone is forcing pro photographers to adapt.
Why is this a very good thing--like, maybe the best? Let's explore.
First, let's zoom out a bit and look at two palpable signs of how the industry as a whole is pushing back on new technology like iPhones (and age-old problems like when togs get to eat at a wedding...).
1. Grumbly blogs about "Things Photographers Hate"
One sure sign of resisting adaptability and growth that I see a lot on photography blogs is the ubiquitous "10 Reasons Photographers Hate XYZ" list. These lists are entertaining for sure, and all of us are, of course, shaking our heads vigorously while reading them.
I recently read one with a title akin to "Top 10 Things That Photographers Can't Stand". It's a great example.
#3 on the list goes along the lines of: "People using iPhones at weddings or a portrait shoot".
Yeah, I hated that too.
Until one day I didn't. I sat back for a moment, threw off my old hamster-wheel thought processes, and re-analyzed the whole scenario.
To illustrate the epiphany I had in that moment, I wrote "A Tale of Two Weddings" for Seacoast Weddings Magazine. It shines a light on the harmony that can come from two perspectives of the modern wedding: one shot on an iPhone, the other shot by a pro.
2. Righteous complaints about what the pro photographer "deserves"
Just the other day, another well-written photography blog landed in my inbox. It's essentially another "Top 10" type recap of the (decades-old) perennial complaints that photographers have.
Tip #1 was along the lines of "Caterer, PLEASE feed us when the bride and groom eat!"
I have another viewpoint on this issue (and I mentioned it in the comments section on that blog, too…). About five years ago, I had a complete 180 epiphany moment about this issue. I started simply bringing my own food to weddings.
In literally five minutes, I changed my whole 15+ year struggle with this one timing/scheduling issue. Why oh why are photographers still waiting around for the caterers to feed them (and, more importantly, complaining about it)? It's the definition of Old-School Madness.
But as entertaining--and perhaps even true--as these articles are, they do something unfortunate.
They allow photographers to form a false sense of security and righteousness, despite the reality they are facing. Articles like this allow them to dig their heels into their old habits, hole up in their bear caves, and justify preparing for an un-winnable war.
This habit of entrenchment stifles the "pivot and adapt" capability that successful people cultivate.
This old attitude doesn't allow a business the possibility to cross over that next threshold into the room full of ideal, high-paying clients waiting there.
Are you seeing a pattern here? A pattern of habits and complaints?
iPhones are the new reality.
Taking control of your own schedule, hunger, and comfort at a wedding or event is the new reality.
New ways of navigating a website are the new reality.
In their book The Art of Possibility, Benjamin and Rosalind Zander call this "The Way Things Are".
Instead of struggling against reality (and complaining)--which strengthens your old, bad habits--lean into reality instead.
Don't concentrate on how things "should be". Instead, be open, like a vessel, to a new framework of possibility.
Even better, create an entirely new storyline. One where you grab hold of all these new realities and spin them into a positive. Unless and until you can embrace and thrive within the new realities around you, you will find yourself in a tailspin.
I've only scratched the surface of how iPhones are a new kind of camera and present a new (and exciting!) reality. Don’t be like Kodak and die a slow death while bemoaning the new technology. Don’t be left behind by the iPhone craze. iPhones are here to stay. (In fact, Bon Appetit just did an entire issue with an iPhone.)
And this is very excellent and exciting news to the photographers smart and brave enough to pivot and try something different.
It doesn't mean you need to grab hold of every new and shiny object du jour…but once something has permeated an entire culture for the better, you want to be there first, not last (or never).
Ready to test out these new and exciting waters? Start with your own airtight positioning.
Or go even further and set up a 30-minute free consultation with us. Could be a game-changer.
P.S. For the record, I have great respect for both the writers of those "Top 10" articles I reference above--in fact, I subscribe to one of them. I just see it from a slightly different angle.