A couple of years ago, I found myself in a position where I had learn a lot of new skills very fast. It started when I produced a series of 10 webinars on copyright and licensing for creators and users of visual content, wrote 3 chapters for the ASMP Guide to New Markets for Photographers and then produced a full day of programming on the stock photography industry for a conference in London. At the same time, my partner and I were learning Adobe After Effects and developing a new approach to motion imagery.
These activities pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to try new things, meet new people and think in new ways. I had to solve different kinds of problems, talk to different kinds of people and navigate different types of relationships.
Stepping outside my usual boundaries has helped me understand the importance of shaking things up every once in awhile. It is far too easy to keep doing the same old, same old. We are so good at convincing ourselves to dig a rut and stay in it, even when it no longer fits.
Taking on these projects – projects that at first glance seem so different from creating still photographs – showed me that most of us define ourselves far too narrowly. I learned that my expertise is far more adaptable than I’d realized and discovered, as Chris Gillebeau so eloquently puts it, that if you’re good at something chances are you’re good at something else.