By Dave Nolan, Class of 1984
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that saying. There’s a problem with this adage because it fosters a very undesirable attitude: The “just getting by” syndrome.
Here, we find those who are just interested in not being highlighted. These people key on the minimum acceptable performance then seek to achieve it. They’re concerned with the minimum acceptable performance for their job. They accomplish the minimum number of documentation missions or ship out a package that meets the minimum acceptable standards. Their job planning is geared to doing the minimum amount required to accomplish the “job.”
The result is a group of minimally trained photojournalists who perform at the minimum acceptable level.
The bottom line is: all the requirements in the tons of regulations and operating instructions we have to live by, all the time in class we spent at either Syracuse or RIT, only establish the minimum acceptable level of proficiency. It’s up to each of us to set higher standards and actively work to achieve them. It’s a matter of self discipline and pride.
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The point is: We’re paid to think! The minimums aren’t to be taken as standards, so don’t apply them as standards! Many factors influence each circumstance and we must constantly assess every situation.
If being a photojournalist meant only following an exact set of guidelines as established buy regulations, then we could leave our cherished jobs to photo-bots. The endless variables in each photographic situation require us to use good judgment and our own built-in instinct for makes a great image. –DN–