Free Your Knowledge

why I share what I know and why you should too

1. The golden rule

The first and foremost reason for why I share what I know and why you should too is the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When someone asks you know how you achieved that effect in your photos, share what you know in the same way that you hope others may share what they know when you ask for help. Be the change you wish to see.

2. A Mark of True Confidence

Secondly is a less sensible reason but a personal favorite nonetheless: sharing what you know is a mark of confidence. You share what you know about photography because you are truly confident in your abilities as a photographer. Even if your competition has access to the same information as you, you can still outperform your competition because of your ability to synthesize information more efficiently and effectively and therefore produce a better final photo.

3. Information does not equal ability

The important realization out of this perhaps overly self-centered and egotistical perspective is that information is not the equivalent to ability. What you share is the information on how to compose a shot, to take a photo, and to post-edit that photo properly. What you can never share is your ability to compose a shot, to take a photo, and to post-edit that photo properly. So don't worry; you're not giving away, and never will be able to give away, what makes your photography special and what makes you unique as a photographer.

4. For the greater good

The list of reasons for why we should all try to share what we know is rather long. Perhaps it's to inspire a more educated and civilized society. Perhaps it's to help others while helping ourselves. Perhaps it's just to be nice. But ultimately, what good is all that information locked up in your head anyway? Why not share it with someone who could really use it and would really appreciate it? Sharing what you know only takes a bit of your time but it could make a life long impression and difference for someone else.

Someone once said to me in response to the promotion of free knowledge, "Lunch isn't free. I have to work for it. I had to work to acquire this knowledge. And therefore I'm deciding to keep my knowledge to myself." But in my opinion, knowledge does not equal lunch. Teaching people how to make lunch for free does not equal giving them a free lunch. Yet in the long run, it does help ensure that we all get to have lunch, perhaps even together.