The Importance of Importance

Two quotes really stuck with me this week and I realized that they’re connected.

Kevin Mullins, on the Fujicast podcast, said ‘You don’t need to make good images, you just need to make important ones’.

I don’t know if I agree 100% but I like the concept. Part of his point is that technical accuracy, sharpness, resolution - only go so far. It’s much more worthwhile to make an image that is important, that serves a purpose of some kind. Whether that’s a family moment or a wedding or a portrait for a client. I guess that importance could even be just to yourself and your own learning process. But I’d take an important image over a beautiful one, and especially over a technically amazing image, any day.

The other point came from Jordan Raynor in The Call To Mastery podcast, referencing the Eisenhower matrix that a friend pointed out is also referenced by Stephen Covey in 7 Habits. His point was that we tend to give priority to urgent work over important work. That we should be prioritizing non-urgent but important work above urgent but unimportant activities. For example, if we’re getting swamped in admin tasks. Prioritize finding a solution (automation, hiring an assistant) ahead of doing more of the admin.

Some of the most important stuff, like prayer/meditation, rest and long-term project, will never get done if we keep finding something more urgent. The ‘urgent’ often isn’t.

It doesn’t mean we don’t do unimportant stuff. Sometimes it’s good to sit back and watch Queen’s Gambit or Mandelorian.

I think it relates to short-termism too. That we tend to prioritize the short-term - a pretty picture, catching up on news headlines, posting to social media - above the longer-term stuff that is what we really want to achieve.

Sometimes I think we simply need to remind ourself about what matters most, and make sure it’s at the top of the list.


Headshot, portrait, street and documentary photographer in NYC and Jersey City

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