Learning a new skill requires time, patience, and a genuine interest to do it well. This can go for languages, sports, art, cooking, etc. This goes the same for any kind of skill required for communications, whether it’s, writing, drawing, photography, videography, etc. In this day and age, you can do just about any of this on a phone, tablet, or laptop. Yet, just because the tools are readily available to us doesn’t mean we are skilled at using them. I like to write, but that doesn’t mean I can be a poet or novelist without some hard work, training and lots of practice.
A perfect example of this is from a recent article form WIRED magazine “Here’s What It Looks Like When You Replace Photographers With iPhone-Wielding Reporters” highlighting the issue that with cutbacks in new media, journalists are expected to do more than just write. While I don’t believe communications today is all about writing, I believe that people are professionals at what they do – whether that’s writing a story or photographing an street scene. This takes skill, training and, if you’re very good, some talent. Compare the images above taken following the Stanley Cup (i.e. hockey) win by the Chicago Blackhawks. The iPhone-wielding reporter who took the left photo had the right tool at the right time, but instead of taking an interesting photo, what we get is a small, poorly composed photo of one player lugging the cup around. On the other hand, the one on the right was a dynamic shot by a pro-photographer that captured the excitement of the win as players and fans celebrated together.
Yes, a quick snap by an iPhone might capture the moment, but just because you have the tool doesn’t mean it does the job. Beautiful and engaging photos are possible with a phone or camera – what really matters is understanding how and what makes a photo great, which takes training, practice and even the talent or “eye” for it.