Sometimes, I wish I had a posse — a group of skilled photo folks to help me with my shoots. All of us who work alone know how difficult it can be to do something complex, particularly on location. Some shoots require an extra set or two of hands, another set of eyes, and a sounding board for ideas.That’s why the credits at the end of films are so long. I know, we aren’t making films and our technology is not as complex. But, having learned my trade producing and directing TV shows and movies, I can tell you how much I miss both the collaboration and the direct, physical help the crews provided.
Few of us — in this economy — have the ability to “crew up” for our ordinary shoots.
I’ve been thinking, a lot, about a possible solution — and I think it comes from the concept of “Pay it Forward”. Many of us know the basic idea from the movie — we do someone a good deed, they in turn do it for another, and the good deed gets paid forward making life easier for countless people.
Interestingly, the concept can be seen in a letter Benjamin Franklin sent to a friend, Benjamin Webb on April 22, 1784.
I RECEIVED yours of the 15th instant and the memorial it inclosed. (sic) The account they give of your situation grieves me. I send you herewith a bill for ten louis d’ors. I do not pretend to give such a sum; I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your country with a good character, you cannot fail of getting into some business that will in time enable you to pay all your debts. In that case, when you meet with another honest man in similar distress you must pay me by lending this sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation when he shall meet with such another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands before it meets with a knave that will stop its progress. (Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin p. 241)
So what does this have to do with us?
If there is enough support from those of you who read this site, I’m thinking about putting up a section where we can ask for or offer help — on a pay it forward basis. Let others know what we need or what we can do for them.
I actually think the benefits of working with others transcend just getting jobs done more easily. I see this as a chance to meet new people, expose myself to new challenges, and learn new things.
What do you think? Is this a “pie in the sky” idea? Or, can it work? Would you be interested in participating? Do you have ideas on how to structure it? Post a comment. Let me know. If there is enough support, I’ll give it a trial run.
(Copyright: PrairieFire Productions/Stephen J. Herzberg — 2010)