Behind The Lens – A CreativeLive Employee Hits The Road To See All 50 States

Doesn’t everyone want to trade in their comfortable, California lifestyle to live in a rolling box with a bed? No? Just me? Well, that’s odd.

My name is Matt. If you’ve had the chance to come to a live course broadcast at CreativeLive, you may know me as the manager of broadcast operations, staff photographer, special production project lover, and unofficial “special snowflake”. You may have  seen me wandering around with lavalier mics in-hand, flying our jib camera around the studio, or taking portraits and behind the scenes photos of our instructors.

Well, all my titles except “special snowflake” are about to change. Come September 1st of 2017, my girlfriend and I are packing up the remainder of our belongings into our campervan, Vanna White, and setting out to see all 50 states.

CreativeLive lessons on the road

With over 5 years at CreativeLive, I can honestly say that in addition to it being an incredible place to work ( Seriously, bookmark our available jobs page, set a weekly reminder and apply) the largest benefit has bee has been getting to watch, take part in, and help create so many CreativeLive classes. Free education. Free inspiration. Constantly soaking in and lapping up an incredible volume of top notch education  and now I’m finally putting it all to good use. CreativeLive has helped me shape my personal dreams and goals, which include and revolve around traveling the entirety of the US and making money from documenting my adventures. Here are a few examples of the courses that have helped me prepare for setting sail.

  • Make Your Dream Trip a Reality with Chris Guillebeau and Stephanie Zito
    • I’ve been a credit card points collector for years, but loved the refresher in the workshop on how to best earn points based on how we’ll be spending (fuel and restaurants) and using points domestically. We’re planning on using credit card points for two primary purposes; flights and hotels. Flights for when we need to go farther than Vanna will take us (like to the many weddings we’ve been invited to.). And hotels for when we need a hot shower and delivery pizza. We are going to start with using the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom cards to collect the most points.

  • Sony A7 mark ii Fast Start with John Greengo
    • I recently switched from shooting Canon to a Sony a7Rii and as many things as I love about the camera, understanding the layout and functions within menu system is not one of them. The menu can feel so cumbersome that sometimes I wonder if the engineers who built the menu system had ever used a camera. Luckily, John Greengo took me through every single buried menu option and thoroughly explained how and why to use each and every function available. Like Lock-On AF. Game. Changer. I’m going to be capturing a lot of moments, and the last thing I want to worry about is how to use my gear.
  • Creative Photography Challenge 2017 with Lindsay Adler
    • I’ve had a lot to think about, plan, and stress over since deciding to leave my job to live the life of a millennial nomad. The CPC challenge has been a bit of a stress reliever for me. It gives me an opportunity to step away from my thought patterns and focus on something outside of my immediate view. (I also taught a few episodes from the first season, so watching the new season is a nice trip down memory lane. )
  • Create a Marketing Plan and Grow Your Stand Out Business with Tara Gentile
    • Tara is without a doubt one of my favorite CreativeLive instructors and this class could not have come at a better time. We started a blog to share our upcoming adventures and this class, as well as many of Tara’s other classes have given us such a good start on how to find our audience, speak to the people who want to listen, and then create a plan around giving them what they want. The bonus materials alone are worth the purchase.
  • Building Your Photography Business for Under $3000 with Kathy Holcombe
    • This is the first workshop on my list to dive back into once I get out of trip planning mode and back into freelance photography mode. Handily, I take the CreativeLive iPhone app everywhere I go so I can jump back in when inspiration strikes. Kathy and her family are doing exactly what I want to be doing in life – living on the road and taking photos of their adventures. When I met Kathy and Peter I asked if they’d consider adopting me and taking me along. They didn’t say yes, but they didn’t say no. Kathy, if you’re reading this, my request still stands.

As a company, CreativeLive talks about, teaches and promotes ideas like taking sabbaticals, the importance of designing your own life, and leaning into your side hustle and I love being part of a culture that practices what they preach. I’m pretty sure our COO actually said these words to me “We just want you to be happy. Happy people do good work.” <<<Good leadership!

Want to follow along as I point my camera, rack up 10,000 hours and all the challenges we encounter along the way? Please join me on the journey.

CreativeLive lessons on the road

Matt McMonagle FOLLOW >

Matt McMonagle is an outdoor lifestyle photographer, a lover of living on the road and CreativeLive’s special snowflake.