Pursuing a career doing something you love can be a terrifying thing, and so we often look to the people who have “made it” in our field as sources of inspiration. We see the work of a Heisler, Hobby or Arias, and it helps us to push through when times get tough, as they inevitably do in any pursuit.
And if, once in a while, we get the chance to hear these successful people to talk about how exactly they made it, and what it takes to be a successful photographer (or anything really), then we’ve gotten really lucky. In the video above we get exactly that, from eight of the world’s best known and most successful photographers. Read more…
A while back, Atlanta-based editorial and commercial photographer Zack Arias decided to start a Q&A blog that would, in his words, “add signal to an industry filled with far too much noise.” On this Tumblr he’s answered 1,000+ questions ranging from the relevant to the rude about the art and business of photography.
Photographer Zack Arias created this video titled Signal vs. Noise to help his fellow photogs refocus their lives and careers. His advice: “Look for the signal in your life, and not the noise.” Arias writes,
As 2012 was coming to an end [...] I felt as though my brain was full. There wasn’t any more room in it. I can’t take any more information. My head was filled with noise and trying to find anything of any substance was difficult. I would do my best to remember what I was going to the store to buy, but when I walked in the door I couldn’t remember. I’d sit in meetings with my studio manager where she would ask about the direction for the new year and I’d draw a blank. “I don’t know.” My mind was filled with thoughts but I couldn’t string them together in a coherent way to save my life.
Each year I take the month of December off from social media. I like to disappear, go work on stuff, and come back feeling fresh. Nearing the end of 2012 I knew I needed to leave all of that behind sooner than December and most likely stay off of it until the spring. My mind was stuck on static and the volume was set to eleven.
Arias has developed a number of strategies for strengthening signal and killing noise. Head on over to Scott Kelby’s blog for the whole shebang.
The idea that the camera doesn’t make the photographer is, most will agree, a sufficiently dead and overly beaten horse of a subject. It’s nice, however, to actually see the concept in action and taken to an extreme. Of course you could give an enthusiast a several thousand dollar camera and see what effect it has, but the people over at DigitalRev take the opposite approach: they give a crappy camera to a pro photographer. Read more…
Photographer Zack Arias has an interesting piece on why he doesn’t think photographers should feel threatened by others who offer their services for absurdly low prices:
Think of the brides out there who don’t have a budget but want some photos of their weddings. Maybe there are young couples getting married who don’t have the parents to pay for a big event or they don’t want to start their young family in debt but they would like someone to come take some pictures. Are you saying that if they can’t afford a $3,000+ photographer then they don’t deserve photos? Are you saying that if they can’t afford a Mercedes then they shouldn’t be allowed to drive? Shame on you. Not everyone can afford pro level prices. That doesn’t mean they can’t have some level of photographic services available to them.
[...] I’ve laid this all out to make the point that cheap photography has its place. It has its place for clients who can’t afford much and it has its place for photographers trying to build something from nothing. It’s part of becoming a full time working photographer in an age when so many want to become a photographer.
Here begins the process of lining up your children and, ummmm, figuring out which ones you love more than the others. This begins the painful process. It’s painful to not only choose but if you are a true creative this is the part where your self doubt, anxiety, and loathing start to show up. You come back to your BIG edit and it all sucks.
The images that you want to shoot are not in this folder. They are still out in the world waiting for you to capture them. As you start to go through 1,000+ of your “best” images they all begin to suck. You want to trash them all and just go shoot a new book. Well sorry Charlie, you can’t do that. You can’t go shoot a new book. Those elusive images are just that… elusive. You have to harden yourself during this process and realize that you are building a body of work with what you have to work with. If you ever say “I’ll just do this when my work is ready” then you will never do it. That kept me from this process for a long time. Kick the demons out of your head and get to work.
Arias recommends that you should go through this process at least twice a year, as it will show you holes in your body of work that you can then go out and fill.
Transform is a short film by photographer Zack Arias that offers encouragement to photographers who are going through a slump and hard times. It’s an incredibly powerful piece that everyone interested in photography — pros and enthusiasts alike — should see at least once, though you might find yourself coming back to it again and again in the future.
Earlier today, photographer Chase Jarvis announced his partnership with creativeLIVE, a free, live online class site. Each class presentations is filmed live, to an in-person audience in Seattle, and streamed on the creativeLIVE website.
“The goal here is to help democratize creativity,” Jarvis wrote on his blog.
Jarvis said that he had been working on the site for the past year, in order to create a live, interactive classroom. As an innovative model, Jarvis is offering the actual live, streaming footage for free, but the recorded versions of past classes must be purchased. The revenue goes towards supporting the site and the instructors.
The growing list of instructors boasts some pretty big names: Vincent Laforet tweeted that he will be leading a live three-day HDSLR workshop at the end of the month, and Zack Arias said he will be leading a studio class.