Fear and Manipulation

Parents do it to their children.  Spouses do it to one another with ultimatums. Rulers rule by scaring their constituents.  But guess what?  It doesn’t work.

Children rebel.  Spouses start to despise one another for killing each other’s dreams. And rulers get overthrown.

Two years ago my daughter graduated from college.  I saw her wince every time an “adult” asked her the usual questions:  What are you going to do now?  Did you get a job?  Are you going to grad school?  Pity the kids graduating in today’s economy if they were brought up based on fear.  Pre-conditioning young minds to follow the same unhappy path that we may have taken – for the sake of making a lot of money.

Thankfully, people are starting to question the notion of what constitutes success.  College grads have tens of thousands of dollars in loans that they can’t pay back and on top of that their parents are 50 plus and out of jobs because they are too costly to employ.

What a pity – not utilizing the potential workforce.  What a pity squashing innovation from the start.  What a pity not to recognize opportunities – just because they are “different”.  What a pity to live a life based on fear.

Maybe it’s time we all should start thinking about things differently.

Maybe it’s time to change what we value.

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A Time of Opportunity

You can look in the rear view mirror and lament the past or you can get excited about the future. With all the gloom and doom in the photography business in this poor economic climate, I remain optimistic and see it as a time of opportunity.  It’s tough to be an optimist in times like this but if you look back through history you’ll see that many businesses got their starts in bad economic times.

There’s nothing new about video but with increased bandwidth and the proliferation of mobile devices video is “hot” right now.  In some markets like the corporate and institutional sectors, I’m seeing more of a demand for video.  I’m hearing from traditional print graphic designers who are asking me if I shoot video because their clients are requesting it. Their clients want to add a video presence to their online communications that can be distributed internally and externally. And can also be spread virally through social media networking.

Editorial markets have expanded into video.  Just about every magazine has an online presence and nowadays it’s not just a regurgitation of their print edition but a lot more.  Take a look at NY Magazine or Zagats.com.

The travel market is ripe for video. When I’m researching a destination I like to get as much information as possible so if I can watch a 2 minute video – it usually hooks me further into that website to explore more and link to other sites where I can  facilitate my travel plans.  Many times videos made for online travel sites are repurposed and used at trade shows. Check out what Intercontinental offers as destination pieces about places where they have properties.

Of course there are hundreds of instructional videos and pod casts, and on the retail end there’s weddings and family biographies.

Even if you don’t shoot video or want to offer video to your clients, you may want to consider using it to promote your own business.  A short web video about your business or your creative approach with some behind the scenes footage of you working provides added insight and information to potential clients.

These are just some of the areas I see opportunities in.  I love to hear from other optimists where they think the opportunities are.

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