Saturday, September 20, 2008

Learning from Chase.

Back in 2007, Chase Jarvis gave a keynote address for the Photoshelter Town Hall describing some of the reasoning why he shoots what he does and some ideals that up and coming pros should strive for. I know the video is somewhat dated, Internet time-wise, but I still go back to this on occasion and review it.

Things I took away from this:

  • I think one of the most interesting facts that I took away from this is that he often does entire shoots just for himself to keep building on his portfolio.
  • Shoot things that you've never seen before. Chase watches the marketplace for the patterns being developed and then tries to step outside the pattern. Whether it's using props in ways you normally wouldn't see in marketing (like aiming a gun to someone's head) or finding a different angle to shoot from, it's something that differentiates you from everyone else.
  • It takes lots of hard work to be successful at this. I couldn't shoot to the degree that Chase does (20 hour days), but I can certainly do more than what I'm doing now.
  • You have to have passion for what you're shooting. If you don't, it's going to be difficult to be your best creatively. Make your own style. You need to carve out time to shoot those photos you have a passion for.
  • One of the best and fastest ways to get a subject to do what you want is to show them exactly how it's done by doing it yourself. You can see Chase doing this in the Ninja clip.
  • Smoke machines add a weird, almost mystical, dimension to photos, especially when they're used in conjunction with a strong back light. I need to get a smoke machine and play with that idea some.
  • You need to be a part of the community. Networking. Collaborating. Photos don't get made by one person.
  • Nothing can replace the power of word-of-mouth when trying to get business.
It's an interesting video no matter what. I encourage you to check it out, if only to watch the video clips within it. Or, just check out his youtube channel. I believe he has the individual ones posted there.

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