I’m often asked: where I get my inspiration from, how to stand out? AND why I’m sharing less BTS videos of my photo shoots? Well….glad you asked. Because in today’s episode of #cjRAW, I answer those questions specifically….but wanted to do something a little bit different. A little stripped down. Straight talk. Heart to heart — just you and me. In fact, in this episode, I reveal the dirtiest secret in photography.
Truth is: the most game-changing ideas come from influences outside our industry. But don’t fret. There isn’t something “wrong” with photography. This is true in EVERY industry.
Just think about it for a second. In photography, we spend a lot of time talking about photography, right? Shop talk, gear talk, lighting talk, client talk and then there’s the talk about all those “other” photographers. That’s all well and …er…good, but it’s circular conversation. Very rarely – if ever – do new ideas form amidst it. If you want to… CHANGE THE GAME. If you want to… BE DIFFERENT. If you want to… STAND OUT, you must go beyond this circle.
The best things in photography come from outside the industry.
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OGs who’ve been following me for years will know I spent the last 10 years sharing an inside view into commercial photography. When I started, the term “behind-the-scenes” didn’t even exist in the photography world. Video wasn’t even a thing! So how in a landscape of no one else sharing the information did I form the idea to tell stories about telling the stories as a photographer? I was inspired to do that from studying Andy Warhol’s work which looked self-reflexively and made art about the art world. That’s just one example. In the video, I go deeper.
Today, videos sharing tips on lighting, gear, and a behind the scenes look is common place and I’m less motivated to rehash what you can get in so many places. Instead, what I’m really inspired to share with you is the is the stuff no one is talking about, like the mental process, evolving your craft, or the daily habits that develop you not only as an artist, but as a person. What I’ve learned over the years, is that this is really the stuff that will help you form your style, lean into your strengths, and be the differentiator to standing out.
This is one of the core reasons why I started #cjLIVE 5 years ago, and hosted people like Macklemore, and Adrian Grenier, and Tim Ferriss and Brené Brown…to an audience largely comprised of photographers. And why now — more then ever– I have doubled down on this concept with the latest #cjLIVE series, #30DaysOfGenius. My hope is to expose you to things beyond photography. We’ve got expert designers, authors, self-made billionaires, adventurers, and more — they come from so many walks of life. Each person is a thought leader in their space and beyond. And I think that listening to them will help you get better at your craft…and making a living or a life doing what you love.
THIS really is the biggest secret to my success in photography…paying attention to people OUTSIDE that industry.
Why it’s a dirty secret [0:47] How I’ve been influenced [1:39] The why behind: 30 Days of Genius [2:05] Some examples of external influence making ideas great [2:49] Will I continue my usual photography videos? [7:53]
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