If you’re a photographer, you understand that we are often alone. We work as soloists. Even if one is part of a team, our eyes and our brains create the images in front of us, and it is not usually a group effort. To take an image is to bring every second of life experience good or bad with me. That’s what makes a photographer (or any creative) unique. That’s what allows us to make the small changes in the world we seek to make with our art. Even when Ben and I shoot together, it’s still not the same as having a huge team, collaborating, each working on a separate part that will eventually come together. I don’t really have coworkers.
Then there’s the business side. I run my business from behind a laptop or desktop in the corner of my living room. I sit in front of my glass desk, answer emails, sip my three-times-reheated coffee to the sound of baby coos and toddler song lyrics and audiobooks. My conversations either happen in my own head or through text messaging (or with my husband right now since he’s working from home). Ben helps me when he can when he has time. And, trust me, he does a lot of work for my business. Maybe one day we’ll truly be partners in this business.
Then the phone rings or I get an email from PhotoVision. This is my team. These are the people who are consistently working for my work, working for and with me. I feel like we collaborate. Sometimes I forget that they do work for other people. I say this, not because they aren’t busy. Trust me, they are so busy. I say this because they are dedicated to me. They are dedicated to each and every one of their photographers. They make me feel like they are on my team and my team alone. PhotoVision scans my work, talks me through my mistakes, helps me understand what to do to get my work to look the way I want it to. These people don’t just do work and send it to me. They are the kind of people who know their clients, their photographers.
Today we talked about a print order. They called me, had a discussion about the brightness, asked me questions, gave advice. That’s a team. That’s why as a film shooter, I might often work alone, but I am not lonely.