We had a professional photographer on campus this week to take some pictures for our admissions publications.  One of our staff said that they would like to consult with him about what camera to buy.

“I get asked that kind of question all the time, especially around Christmastime,” he said.  “But I tell people that unless you want a camera that costs over $3,000, I don’t know anything more about them than you do.  You can use your iPhone!”

At first it seemed odd that a professional wouldn’t know anything about something in his field, until you realize that “his field” has nothing to do with amateur picture taking and YouTube quality videos.  He operates out of an entirely different realm, and is an expert in that sphere, but our world of photography and his don’t intersect, let alone overlap.

Think about how you define your circle of knowledge.  Have you defined an expertise in a very narrow band or are you a generalist in a broad category?  Do you specialize in an area that some may find limiting, but in which you are able to be at the top of your field?  Would you rather be sought after by a few in a niche or by many in a mass market?

Different lenses yield different shots.  Knowing more about a very little may be the angle that captures it for you.

— beth triplett

Quote from Dan McClanahan

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