The “just” Word

I’m beginning to hate the “just” word. “Why does it take so long-it’s “just” a picture?” “We “just” need a 3 minute video for You Tube – my kid does them all the time”.

Technology has changed our lives and certainly my profession in many many ways – both good and not so good. It has enabled me to produce and shoot documentaries and get them seen globally, when 5 years ago that wasn’t possible.

Technology has also made the greater public think that creating content is “just” so easy – a kid can do it. Of course that is true because kids do it all the time – look at You Tube and dozens of other video hosts. While every now and then quality and skill doesn’t matter if the message or story is so strong that inferior quality hasn’t compromised them, most times the message doesn’t come out because of the poor quality.

But when a client doesn’t even think about the skill set a professional brings to a project because it is “just” so easy, even a kid can do it – it not only demeans the process – it can actually do a great disservice to their brand. Most times, they realize this but it’s too late.

I have started giving workshops to still photographers who are interested in adding video to their skill set. The ones who will benefit are the ones who realize that it’s not “just” buying another tool. But like anything else – they must cultivate and learn their craft because everything isn’t always “just” that easy.

I wish it was “just” that easy. I wish that I could take back the angst that “video issues” have presented to me over the last 10 years. I wish there was a switch that I could flip that could make me something I want to be without putting in the effort – but there isn’t. But when I hear that “just” word – I take a deep breath and tell myself – they “just” don’t get it.


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