What happens when a creative partner gets hounded by a label after the partner gets noticed by the people? What does it mean for agencies and companies alike in marketing and creative campaigns?

I have been a photographer and an artist (Chinese brush painting) since my teens in the 1970s, and very much a writer and poet as well. I am proud of my creative heritage even if I do not necessarily always develop it to the fullest. But… I am catching up.

I may be labeled terribly paranoid, but I do not like vultures eyeing me from a distance. That is why you do not see “stock” anything on my websites or elsewhere. The vultures and hounds of some representatives of the creative industry are not always the most pleasant folks to deal with. In fact, from the lawsuits, they are downright unpleasant or worse. You can go online and easily find instances of extreme lawsuits against individuals and entities, sometimes asking for the impossible. The trauma individuals faced are nothing short of frightening, and there is no reason any person should have to go through that, whether briefly or protracted.

Therefore, I started recapturing my photographic skills in the recent years, acquiring my own creative images for editorial and creative use, and no longer use “stock” materials. I just feel safer to use my own, with ZERO encumbrances. It sure takes up more time, and some might argue it takes up more time and effort than needed. But hey, it is my time and life, and I am happy to refine and hone my skills and talents at the same time I get creative materials I can confidently use.

My small team are young professionals who are also diligent and creative. And I have been encouraging them to explore the full spectrum of photographic possibilities for client campaigns and products, using the photographic equipment we already have. Mind you, these aren’t just smartphones, but decent professional quality equipment. My associates have been shooting creative images since and they are really usable.

If you have music, art, and words in your bones, nurture them today. Even if it is just a simple music loop, some catchy phrases or prose, a simple brush or calligraphic piece, or even a smartphone photographic image, it would be so much more useful to you, your creative or marketing campaign.

Plus, you get to nurture and refine your innate talents that will be useful in your role, future roles, and your own gratification. Who knows, there is a book author, pop musician, or wedding photographer in your veins down the road.