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The Bigger Picture: Why We Do What We Do Part 2


The Bigger Picture: Why We Do What We Do


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The Bigger Picture: Why We Do What We Do Part 2

So in the previous segment I talked about you know, the celebrity work that I do for a living and then we got into uh personal work my kids and my family and then I told some stories about john schneider and him opening up and then passing and my brother this year which has obviously been a incredibly painful year but it's also been a great year on many friends but one of my audience members tell me your name again holly asked a great question which is a good segment segway into this next segment but yes basically county know how to balance and went to do these humanitarian projects and so I want to get into a little bit of that um and the first I want to share ah job I did this year so after the john schneider story came out you know told you went a little viral and really get out there on the internet and I got a call on email from my friend jeff and actually it wasn't a friend of the tommies a friend now but he works in an ad agency in nashville he said, hey man we've got a job for ...

a hospital and we would love for you teo teo shoot a force and so I came in and when I met with him he said the reason we're looking at you as we saw your john schneider post and we realize seeing those images that you have the ability to connect with your subjects for for john schneider to feel that vulnerable in front of you and to cry and to experience that moment with you shows us that you know how to be in the moment and to connect. And so anyway he thought we have a very hey so we have a very kind of ah trick issue where we want to go into a hospital and work with real patients who are going through a variety of of issues and sickness and disease. And we would love for you to be together does this job. And then he told me the message of the campaign eyes ah nothing shall be impossible which is like man that's crazy that did this story is crazy I'm multi well friends because the hospital that he wanted me to do the shoot for was the hospital I was born in macau crazies like so so cool so the name the hospitals change but it's the same building it's the same hospital, so same hospital the theme of the campaign is nothing shall be impossible. So earlier when I was talking to you about my dad when I was little, I would literally tell them I can't do this I can't do anything I'm done, I'm slow, I can't focus and so my dad taught me this first you can do anything and all things through christ who strengthens me basically the same message nothing shall be impossible and I was like dude this is really weird same hospital I just lost my brother my brother was also born at the hospital says all really this swirl of amazing meaning and add on that they heard me because of john shatter story so another one of these crazy these crazy things so connecting with your subjects so I go in keep in mind it's a big crew it's like our director a few are directors I had one assistant king alight with me but we're going to reel hospital to shoot real people dealing with riel uh real issues and so I'm just going to go through a portfolio of this work that keep in mind this is six full days of shooting so far um and so would walk into a hospital room and uh and obviously tell the subjects while we were there and what we're doing and we have to get their permission first but in them in the the chaos of her I forget what it happened I feel like there was the other was a car accident she had just been in a car accident there's a cop in here getting a report but they all still gave us permission to be in the room and fun like sitting there in the corner with my camera documenting this real life moment which is pretty uh and I talked to her and we became friends and, you know, just again connecting with your subject, so she has to be able to trust me to really just be yourself, um, and be in the moment, um, not played with her kids, you know? It was shia shia, I think, more than one child in there anyway, but it's really powerful to be in these moments, this little girl had just been in a pretty bad accident as well, and I was with her mom and dead their friends up said the room, but just amazing toe a whole different type of photography from going toe celebrity shoots to being in real life in a hospital and and if you and if you're wondering out their gear wise, like, I think I took my eighty five one point two, I don't usually I love shooting at one point, too, because I have really shaky, unstable hands and one f one point to you really have to nail that that sharpness, because, you know, if you barely move that I will get a focus, so, like, you have to nail it, but I wanted to consistent look to the campaign, so I spent a lot of time really focusing on very shell of dips filled, and so this was a shot of sort of grown of course, same thing I've got to know her mom and I tried to make myself feel like family. I have kids have a sixteen year old and, you know, my son was in a bike x and a few weeks ago, and you try to relate to the people you're working with. And so this hold this whole time was about that in fact, one of the first thing that I told the art director they were like, are you comfortable with this, or you like, what's it going to be your approach? How do you do this? I was like, well, this is really easy said, oh, you got to his love people, you know, you just got to treat them like you want to be treated and, you know, just just let him that that's, how we need to do, I'm not worried about it, um, and that's what we did, and it worked, there were some shots that we had to stage because it's impossible to get all I mean, we're talking thousands of images, there were some things, you know we had to, but there's always patients waiting in a hospital, but for this shot, this is actually one of my art directors, jeremy, and had all the other all the other or directors walk around as if the hospital was bustling because we have been had we had to get the shot when the levee wasn't filled with people so we had to kind of recreate it but obviously uh semi shutter speed on a probably a fifteenth of a second and just allowed the other people to walk around behind them and you kind of create that look of a busy alice but also this shot was was plant planned way wanted to show the advancement in technology is of this hospital so this is ahh I don't know the official word I'm so bad at this stuff but basically they scan their their brain in this massive uh super expensive machine that was one of patients take out a couple of doctors and you got some shots of them talking as a very cloudy overcast day but I was trying to make it a little more inspiring and warm so we had a strobe you know, set back here uh b one lights feelings curious pro photo be ones and we're letting them from behind a kind of create that look of there is some sun coming through um so you have tio no lighting to kind of make this stuff work same thing here this one actually cannot really, really uh successful in terms of taking this sunlight but that's actually a strobe I've got outside the window the trigger's firing with the warm gel on to make it look like sunlight, so and no lights on the front besides the ambient in the kitchen. But this is a nurse working with one of her patients, and I just had them talk and hang out, and this was they are real life working together, but we had that kind of set up the shot, but, you know, we achieved that the sunlight effect here, and then I love this shot it's hard, even when you're staging, you're trying to get a moment can be really hard and look stage, but this one, this one we nailed and then they do love each other, and you can see it in that shot like he she's helped him through through his journey, and that very much shows up ah, and this photo and sells really, really pleased with this image. Once again, at one point to you is something you see, something you're really out of focus in the foreground and just ah, one of their top surgeons are preparing for surgery, and this is a guy that had a heart heart surgery for gilda was, but nothing shall be impossible or no hold he is, but obviously he's older and working out, getting back in shape after surgery like super inspiring, right to see to see this kind of imagery and so I would I would drift into black and white some for the images to just show the power of these patients and this is mae just talking with the subject this is this was not a stage around that this is a real patient that I just walked in and talk to and you know hey was wearing bright red sox and so I think we were laughing as bright red sox that literally had some smiley faces on his socks so how can you not laugh at that? So this is us me talking and cheating talking shooting um this is outside that they bring a bus in and feed their subjects this is just me capturing the line and ministry emotion that's kind of with the hospitals doing about out on the field um you know, to pay dr praying with his with the subject before surgery this is a really interesting shot because I had to, like stand still I can't touch that cause though, you know, like everything so clean and sterile that I literally can't touch anything sounds like locked in a corner like shooting up with the doctor with my I think my eighty five one point two and so but they specifically wanted a shot of the the doctor's glasses and has is a real surgery he was doing that I was witnessing and get the stand in foreign shoot talk to this lady for a little bit, but then I she knew was going to be shooting but then I went back and this is a real moment I don't know what she had just read on her phone, but they look like a piece of surprising news and this is my assistant um and I love what lasers khun do into lynne's into cameras I've heard the gin friar censor I don't know I've ever had I use laser pens all the time I've never front of since were thankfully, but anyway, this is us showing there they're scanning machine in action and now his face is plastered like on a thirty foot bill ward you know downtown so my system is ah, got some good love down them so all these images and national are everywhere. If you're in national watching than you've probably seen these images, I love the shot because this, uh, she's uh just working with a patient praying over her and this this is a very genuine moment not staged and I just love you know, this comes back to what I was saying earlier about how like you have to be in the moment you have to watch your framing, you have to watch your exposure, you have to watch for the lights coming from, like, there's so many things do you have to nail in the moment focus of a missed the focus on the shot, the shots ruined. It doesn't work. Um, so lots lots of thinking and all these little moments this is kind of a stage that we all went into the to the chapel with this priest, and we just had him talk to the nurses and, uh, chat with him. But I love once again. It's capturing composition is capturing light, but it's trying to tell the story this is a guy that comes in and talks to the nurse out of focus, but capturing another one in the background to kind of tell the full circle story. This is that main surgeon again before before surgeries here, capturing this really intense moment of him having to do his thing. So the last shot from this shoot a cz they wanted, like this really great shot of a man in a hallway like, you know, just reaching up this is going to be there there money shot, if you will, but even though a slightly stage, we put him out all he was a picture, actually homeless patient, but had been in for a heart surgery, and so I kind of tell him what we're doing it, and he just went into full on real mood. Nothing was staged about his emotional reaction forget what all he was saying he was just I'm so thankful I'm so excited like everything's going so like he was just just natural emotion poured out of him and it was just amazing to be in that moment is like, whoa, this just went from like set up shot too pure reality, so and I love that it was so, so honored to be a part of that moment the trick, the tricky thing about this shot is because they're using it in so many ah different places wide billboards, tall billboards, full spread magazine, a less stuff actually had to go in and photo shop and create several versions the shot where we had mohr doors and mohr roof and and so that's where it comes in handy to know, tow watch all these creative life classes and know your photos upside to go in and we didn't change the shot the shot stayed that real emotion was so we didn't change anything about the people, but I had to build more of the doors in the hallways and all that stuff take a long time, actually, but it was worth it and now there's a big bus and national like a full ground, the whole bus is this image and super cool to see my photo dropping on the road, you know, um and so yeah, this of the st thomas you and I just got a text actually last night from the art director jeff and I came here the exact words with basically he's like jimmer we've never seen anything like this the reaction to this campaign and the commercials forgot sale that port to they're using this is a fool like this a tv commercial that showing regionally in the south and it's all photos that's all these stills that you've just seen he's like we're getting calls from people crying or getting calls from from people asking the whole hospital to be praying for them like this doesn't happen in the health industry and so it's a little bit controversial because if you're not you know you're not ah christian or don't believe in the power of prayer than you know some people might be offended but you know they it's a risk that they wanted to take and it's paid off and that's their beliefs and you know it's it's been amazing toe to see the response into it and so I was really honored to have been a part of this to be chosen because like I said it's the hospital I was born in and so it's like full circle shoot for me and ah, just crazy honored to be involved um so back to the humanitarian work for me it all started in africa um you know these days there's a lot of people to go on humanitarian trips to africa or to any third world country and it's it's ah it's a it's a touchy subject and I'll explain why in a minute but I'm going to tell you all the story my first trip um so I went to africa and two thousand five this is a month after I made the decision to pursue photography like I was a designer like I'm gonna quit my design company this is march thirty first I quit my design company started said april first he doesn't five I'm gonna be if tarver like that's it that's what I'm doing so this trip the africa was may two thousand five literally thirty days later I had some friends going to africa that one I'm runs a non profit and then some of some of the other bodies were going and uh oh yeah of course I want to go learn about what's going on and shoot and learn learn how to use my camera literally take my menu with me because I don't know how at that point I don't have anything worked under no shutter speeds of stops any of that stuff um but we all went not knowing really what we're doing um and ah and my job was really just a document whatever I saw so shooting landscape shooting people shooting you know it's a typical first time photographer to africa um but there were some moments that really hit me about whoa this is this is an amazing tool an amazing way to tell stories and I love this image I've always love this image and I'll tell you why um I was sitting in the back of a fifteen passenger bus like a van basically and it was full of all kinds of heads or in front of me about we put up this gate and we the security guard stopped us and like laser tunnel vision I saw through all the heads in the van through the windshield that there was a gate with the lock over the word hope andi if you've ever been to these places, you know that if anything that people have hope and if for doing a really play on words here they have a lock on hope like that's the one thing they really have and I saw all the way through the legacy of the heads in the van in the windshield and I took one shot like a really quick like click and the minute later we took off and I looked at my view friends like whoa that that is that you know, I got the shot um has pretty much fairly lucky because again I don't know camera super well at that point um we have this image is always meant a lot to me because the whole story surrounding it but both this image and the hope image were shot with my seventy two two hundred so it's a nice long lens where you can really zoom and I'm sure several fits harbors are wondering what lindsay's do you take the africa and I love taking my seventeen, two hundred because it allows you to to somehow if the cameras in people's face it's intimidating as it would be for us, you know it's just intimidating thing so I like to be keep a little distance so we did church and we participated in church or is this lady was singing and I have my city two hundred I was able to document document the church service I've always loved this image again. Is this being in africa shooting anything and everything documenting people dark ending children playing with children, making them laugh chanda testa lola document that the slum's that's what they call him the change that word it's not a it's, not a good word. Woman singing we went to a hospital and ah, document that just, you know, like it. Like I said kind of document everything. This is one of my favorite shots. We want a safari did your typical there's so many first time things that everybody doesn't after you get going for and shoot the trees the lone tree um more kids this is my first time using a flash can kind of tell I don't know what I was doing but I still kind of like that shot um and more kid so all that to say that like this is my first time to africa, but I really fell in love with the process of telling stories of being being in a place and being able to use it was so much more fulfilling then even is the designer the celebrity work had done like you know, we always just creating creating try to pay our bills make her living but being in africa like whoa, this is way uh more meaningful and more fulfilling fulfilling is definite the best word um and that has led into what I'm about the get into but it's a take that home with me and I went back into my world of commercial photography and shitting bands and cheating for record labels on all that stuff but that tripped african never left me and in fact on that trip I heard somebody say that if you go to africa with the hard heart will come back with a soft heart. If you go with a soft heart, you'll come back with a broken heart and if you go with the broken heart, you won't come back, you're done, you're going to stay there and so that's saying really stayed with me because it's true even though I've never moved to africa like these stories and this type of work never leaves you you know just say just stays with you fast forward a few years and, uh I'm sorry not a few years forget how long has been but when the earthquake struck haiti um I was at home on my couch watching cnn watching the news is a lot of you probably were two of the time and water vinson interesting thing for me I like to just kind of sit back, process them for a while and just basically listen, uh left times we got on twitter we start you know, what do they call it selective ism if we just tweet something or texted damnation and nuts that not to say that that that stuff doesn't work, but I wanted to do something a little more meaningful and so I was sitting back listening and kind of processing like, what can I do like that's more than tweeting about this? And so I just hit me like at the time, I think this was gosh two thousand eleven I think when the earthquake struck in january, but I realized that a lot of those people in haiti probably didn't have social media at the time they almost up to now, but at the time twitter was still fairly kind of uh the newest thing anyway, the point was what if these people get tweet would have take it posted social media what would be what would they be saying right now amongst the aftershocks amongst the dead bodies everywhere? What would their voice being and there were only a few people tweeting from haiti and in fact I ended up using twitter to kind of like basically find my way to get there and I actually met the guy that effort was the first person to tweet about the earthquake in fact, he gained thousands of followers that first day because the news was all contacting him. Cassie was literally the first person of post tweet there was an earthquake in haiti um and to this davis two really good friends anyway, somehow we get introduced I ended up flying down on a military plane to haiti this just days after the earthquake, so there's still aftershocks? I mean it was like chaos I felt like I was in a video game or in a movie like no planes were going to the airport like airport shut down it was really, really crazy to get in there, but but three twitter and through just the idea basically got got to haiti and I told my friend predict what I was doing and he is actually a photographer too, which is really cool he watches creative level time um so frederick and I hooked up, and I was just ready to sleep in the grass operated t stay anywhere to be a part of this project, because there's really passionate about the idea, and I wanted us to see it through. But frederick, actually, his house was built on a rock, the architect, his uncle was an architect, they built the house in iraq that has rocked his house wasn't touched, so I stayed with frederick in any way told fredrick about hatch, when you talk to be, we'll find out what their what they had to say right now, and so critical of the again. So we walked around haiti for ten days on feed, driving around and keep in mind, there are a lot of photo journalists there just doing that to the goal photojournalism thing, just talking and shooting from afar, and I remember there was one scene, whether is like either someone a dead body or something really tragic in there, like twelve photographers around documenting, but no one actually helping, and, uh, and I didn't want to be that I didn't want to be that not there's anything wrong with photojournalism, but my mom, my mom, was a different personal take on I wanted to interview and talk to the people, so we walked around and it was really cool cause we got to sit down and, uh, frederick spoke the, you know, spoke the language, and so we would talk them and every of them tell him while we were there and tell them we just want to hear your voice like, what do you have to say? What would you tell the whole world right now in this moment? And so it was just beautiful because people were self help so respected, and they reacted so so strongly to it. And so this was a positive some of these I might forget because the it's all on, uh, french creole. But this is this is a radio deejay. Ah, very famous deejay in town. This lady, you know, all this people would basically lost everything. And so you can imagine your house is destroyed and you've just lost your family just last year here, own children, you've lost everything. You've lost your job because you're work building has been destroyed. And this lady ah, said, god, please show me the path of hope and, uh so we get kept walking around, by the way, frederick, my assistant, he was translator ball so my photos so he had one pro photo strove on ah mon upon, so he was my walking light, stan because I wanted tea equally expose the dark skin of the haitians with the backgrounds to get like you know good exposures and make him, um don't make photos look better um I forget the exact translation, but this lady basically said I can't wait to get better so that I can help the others like she was already looking beyond her own loss of her leg and was already anxious to help everybody else just so so moved by her and her smile I mean, she thinks she lost it like two days before this photo so and keep him onto like during the shoot there's still aftershocks I mean it's like it's like apocalyptic like they had the light the streets with fire so we're walking there is like burning fires there's still people walking the streets looking for their dead loved ones like people just enraging fits, crying, screaming um it was insane like I've never truly felt like of them some kind of weird movie slash video game because it did nothing made any sense we were kind of just in a day is trying to get this project done, but it felt really important like there's no better feeling than walking around in passion and purpose and knowing the year you're doing something good that the people enjoy and respect and their ultimate you're trying to you're trying to help um I love this one's response uh because you see you see the humanity and in these photos and she just said um she said oh, the things I've seen I basically you would not believe what I have seen the last few days and that was her statement she just she was dumbfounded it and what she had had witnessed over the past few days ah this man said the earth may shake but ah the haiti remains in my heart and uh there is a sense there is a point we drove around the corner and then you get in downtown port au prince and it was just like, you know, bomb went off in the whole city I've never seen anything like it but this is this is downtown port au prince ah this lady said god, please protect your children um something that's again not exact translation but um please predict your children there's so many children already being trafficked and this horrible things were happening during the midst of all this ah, the the tent cities you know, sounds like tents nice tent is really just sheets on sticks um and there were thousands and thousands of these people living in these tent cities. This guy was really inspired by this we we met this guy and he had been looking for six days for his sister they couldn't find her on dso he was walking with his friends they've given up on the seventh day there were like walking to lunch and they they saw someone throwing a body in the trash can like literally just dumping somebody in a trash camp and they ran and stopped and they said she's not trash that's my sister and they literally he carried her all the way back to his house and she is buried here right behind where he's sitting um he buried her in her front yard and he held up a sign and baseless and why her and not me like super devastated and so um but then is to show you how powerful this wass he was so moved by the project that he ended up being another sister mine for the rest of the project he was so moved about what we're doing that he joined us so again talking about why we do what we do the power of photography that was it hes a graphic designer just a great guy and he ended up joining us be a he had found his sister and buried her here in his front yard just immensely immensely moving this guy said my choc leg is not the problem the lack of government is the problem once again their their concerns and they're there fears were so much greater than themselves which I found that really inspiring like the american mentality at least I feel like it's so like help me and my issues it's all about me whereas there like no it's it's a bigger picture that we have to fix here um uh I think he said basically god help us when it rains like they're really really fearful of the rain and storms coming because of all the mudslides and all the trash and just this is just this is a crazy moment we had people yelling at us uh you're going to get rob you're goingto we heard shooting in the distance like it was just really, really a dangerous moment um being amongst like is there where he's standing you get smell the bodies under the rebel I mean, all of it was culture shock, to say the least um as I was shooting this portrait someone ran out to me is like, what do you doing like that kid has nothing to say he's just a kid they stopped talking to the children and frederik my my system his he said, ah, basically going of course kids have a lot to say fredericks amazing, but this kid said I hope this never happens again way too many people done just speaking what every kid would let's say just complete devastation so the next photo is ah, one of my favorite stories are one of my favorite photos and stories that I've ever been a part of um I've shot weddings before and I know there's tons of wedding for harbors the watch, creative love, but I don't know that I could ever shoot a wedding in because I'll never be able to top this wedding photo. Um, so we heard there was a wedding going on going show it. We heard there was a wedding going on, and that was just crazy, like you can't imagine how the with the earth literally shaking and the screaming and the the smells and the sounds and the all of it, like you would get married or not, who would stay with their wedding plans and get married? And so we drove around frantically like trying to find this wedding. We just wanted to see it like, what is this about? So we finally drove up and you picture this big white and his tiny wedding there probably twenty people there, and they're all leaving there, literally walking away from the wedding and just end in well, we drove up, we got on, we started talking to him and telling him what we're doing, okay? We're here capturing voices and just want to hear what you have to say to the world, and if you look behind them, that was their church they were supposed to get married in, but was completely a destroyed in the earthquake and and there's. Just a basic a little patch of grass outside of the of the church and that's where they their ceremony, it happened. And as a part of the process, I would I would use find rubble or trash or anything that was around me. And I take down a bunch of our supplies like paint markers and all kinds of cool little art supplies. And so with their wedding, I was in disbelief because there was nothing. There were no tables. There were no chairs, there were no there, there was nothing. I mean, they just literally got married in a little pets progress. But I did see one single paper plate, literally one plate next time on the ground. And so I grabbed this paper, is paper plate and handed it to him. And I said, so what? You have to tell the world like this is it this is the moment where you have to save the world and without even hesitating, uh, they like, talk to each other for a minute and wrote it on the paper plate. And then I went and took their portrait, and it was like black at this point. I mean, it was pitch black in the night couldn't see anything, but I had my stroke and we fired the strobe lit him and so I have to take the after it took the picture said so what does it say would you would you tell the world that he wrote love conquers all I was like, ok, I'm done you guys when you win forever I can never take another wedding photo again because they say that in the middle of this apocalyptic insanity was was just the craziest I think I could ever imagine um so afterwards you know it my stupid you know uh american and tell them like what are they going to do now that they're going to celebrate or have a big party or honeymoon like eun is what they're going to do and and so he told him this we're just going you know back to our tent which was again sheet on sticks among thousands so we drove them um I'm back and I'm thing at least they cannot get a hotel or but know that we lily drove them to just this field where there's tens of thousands of people living henn watch you know we wish them well as they walked off into the into the dark distance and we later did print this photo for them and my friend frederick went back and delivered their wedding photo tomb which is awesome but yeah I mean this this photo will forever have meaning to him and again or again it reminds me while we do what we do you know in fact, I don't have any tattoos, but I think when I get my first tattoo, I'm going to take those exact words in that exact translation and ted to somewhere because that story will always stick with me in those words love conquers all we'll always stick with me and in that story is just it's just amazing. Um, so I don't have slides for the rest of story, but basically I knew that if only almond blogged these photos that you know in our culture it would just wish by right all blocked votes that might get a day of attention um until instead of just posting one all of them once I decided to release one image a day for ah, seventy days because we had shot about seventy portrait's so wanted a lengthen the exposure because this is really important to me and really so your passion about it. So I released one image today for seventy days, and during that time I would tweet and give friend the you know the word spread and people are talking about these images and portrait's and so eventually got a call from the u n in new york and they were having this huge meeting with our government, the haitian government french like all these government leaders were coming together for this monumental meeting to pledge money to rebuilding haiti um and so they built literally a hallway of these voices like these portrait's hallway that all our government leaders had to walk through and so that day I don't know how much time they spent reading there walking through but that day the the those government leaders together pledged ten billion dollars for the b to rebuild haiti over the course of time and so I don't know, you know, I don't know how much that directly affected them, but to think that my little seed of an idea sitting on my couch at home watching cnn made it all the way to the halls of the u n and our government is true testament that you can do anything you want to dio had nothing to do with my platform or my twitter following it just had had everything to do with like pursuing the passion project given in a slow life span of leaking it out there on the internet, letting people discover it being patient and then after the u n it landed on the front page of cnn dot com it was like a leading headline story the voice of haiti project and so you never know what these little whispers khun lead into and so every time I hear those whispers I just pursue them with with everything I've got it's a fast forty year later I was actually speaking in atlanta with another group of people and when this figure spoke about a project she had done in rwanda and I was really moved by basically people in rwanda or for giving each other from murder like the ninety four genocide it's kind of what's happening right now sadly but basically one tribe decided to kill the other tribe hundreds of thousands of people think of like nine hundred thousand people were killed during the ninety four genocide yet here they are all these years later for giving each other it's crazy so I wanted to do what I didn't haiti but with those people and so we collaborated and we discuss it in person a few months later we're on our way to rwanda um and so here I am photographing the person that had forgiven the other person who had killed their family which is insane it's it's crazy uh this woman I married this man and I had forgiven him for all the people that he had killed during the genocide on now they have a family together it's super rare for opposing tribes to marry to the state because of what happened but she'd forgiven him and they wrote on the leaf we're all rwandan like can you imagine like taking a picture with the person that killed your family like it's on it's unfathomable so these guys same thing ah this man had killed his family and ah they wrote on the stick of brothers and forgiveness and now they're friends and you know, I love this story because these two guys were known for being best friends as children they were inseparable but hey got caught up in the wrong tribe and they were actually seeking trying to kill him but they couldn't find him so instead they burned down his farm, stole all his possessions, basically ruined everything that could and over time he found out that he was involved his best friend and said that we did you really do this did you really burn down my farm and still everything and through the reconciliation reconciliation program he finally admitted it and what did his best friend do you forgive him? And so so now he is helping rebuild the farm that he burned down and I said so what do you have to tell the world? And they wrote on the tree still best friends it's crazy um and crazy in the best way possible super inspiring um this man I keep saying this ban because their names are really hard to pronounce and I'm super forgetful, but this man his father killed his family, children, siblings, the whole deal and all right where they're standing in that water uh obviously this super tough to talk about but basically stone them enforce them to drill and in the water where they're standing the water was higher at that time and so for years he had feared meeting this man because of what his father had done on did not want to talk to him just was trying to boarding but eventually they met and this man for gave him for what his father had done and so ah anyway through the reconciliation program is time past uh forgive each other and I said so what do you have toe to say? And they wrote on this huge rock like they get barely lifted a super heavy but they wrote on this rock forgiveness releases fear we just that was just amazing this was actually the first portrait taken the siri's and this one really blew on mine because I was new to the project new to the idea and this is our first one but we walked um to the scene of the crime this man had killed his family um with swords, machetes, it's terrible, but we go back to the scene of the crime where it all happened and they're now working together and their friends obviously, um and I said so what you have to tell the world? And they wrote love is the weapon that kills evil like dang good grief people killing me on dh so it was just so moved by that and I mean, if that message doesn't and spurred on there, what does and I've got one more project that I'm currently working on the heaven don't have slides for, but, um, just continuing these humanitarian projects, but we went to uganda last year. I've got a friend and art therapy program where they teach former child soldiers art as a way to express themselves and to learn and to heal in case you are from the l a it's like one of the worst warlords in the world as stealing children, enforcing himto fight wars and basically kill people. It's it's awful um, but allies kids eventually escape and, uh, my friends going and counsel them and do our therapy it's really amazing! So I went over there with him and we took a big, fat I wake hong tablet monitor the twenty four inches steve, you can imagine this massive bucks that we have out in the bush in the middle of nowhere, we're having to find power from like the one source of power in the town. It was crazy, but I would sit down with ease former child soldiers at twelve years old and I would teach him photo shop I would teach in the same things we're learning, you know, in creative live and say, here's, your brush, here's, how you make your brush, bigger hairs and of course, that a translator and here's, how you do this and it was amazing how fast they learned like they were learning photo shop is fast as I could speak it um and then I would screen record my screen and they would just sit there for an hour to draw their story. You just paint and I would show them how to make a new layer to tell the next version of story new layer so I have to this day he's photoshopped documents of these lives, these children and his brutal because we would have them tell them what we call the pains of their past and dreamed of their future so they would draw the pains of their past and then draw the dreams of the future, which is amazing. But, you know, one point this girl came to me and she said, oh, I forgot I forget something and so she goes back and draws for a few minutes. I'm like, well, what is that? She said, and they again, this is really brutal stuff. I'm only able to talk about it without crying because I've already emotionally kind of been through it, but she was like that's when she said at this point they had killed my sister right in front of minimum other so my mother starts weeping and they ran over and basically cut her head off right in front of me, and she said, I just needed to draw that I needed to get that out, and she literally drew the whole scene of losing her sister and seeing her mother die right in front of her, and they were all just, like, freaking out at this point, and every story was like that every story was I had to carry him on my dead brother. I'm back for three weeks, you know what, while hiking through the mountains, the most horrific, like you've seen hollywood movies, but hollywood has never portrayed the horrific crimes that I heard from children on this trip. Um, and so we're still in the process of ah, figure work with the life span of what, this this project is going to look like, that so intense and it's, so, uh, but basically, I shot portrait's, we didn't video interviews, we had them draw their stories, and we're kind of building a big multimedia piece out of all this media together to tell their story and hopefully help the organization, but it's, just amazing once again, while we do what we do like that story is, is going back to my kids like that's, the stories I want my kids to know that dad was a part of it's, not the the taylor swift of that, whatever it's like this is the this is the stuff that that it's all about. So thank you all for hanging in there with me. By the way, I know if anyone is at home watching this stuff is all not easy to talk about, you know it. So I'm like debbie downer appear, um, so if you're still hanging in watching this hard stuff, I appreciate you all hanging in there, but so few years ago, two thousand eight, um, I feel things sworn around that led to an idea, uh, basically, there was ah, organization was talking about christmas is like, why don't we get chris was the holidays? Why do we buy all this useless stuff for each other? Right? Like what we buy each other? I don't know sucks and plastic toys and just gifts just dig just to do that because it's tradition, we buy each other stuff like they were like, what is the true point of christmas? And what if we did things made things with their hands or spent more time with each other or focus more relational lee instead of buying just crap and wrapping them up and giving him, and I know that that just get my brain swirling. And then ah and so I thought what if I did a photo shoot in nashville using my gifts like that's what I do have a camera so I could help people with my camera so what if we set up an event where photographers did big photo shoots and just gave it away to people in need and well, I don't promote free photography you know, with harvard's we need to make a living we need to charge for her services but there's a lot of people in the world that will never ever have access or the ability to even have a photo shoot on the radar like they don't have iphones like there is no access to photography you know? So but what if we went found those people did their hair makeup, made them look and feel amazing, do the whole deal flatter them, fed them, clothe them all that stuff and we just gave it away like, how cool would that be? And so I told the ah, the idea to a few photographers in town in nashville I think have some slides of this first event um oh yeah we caught a help portrait um this is our first event there's about eight photographers than about sixty subjects that right ten families were so um and that was it gymnasium played with the kids, play basketball and did just free photo shoots, lighting make up the whole deal. Um, after the shoot, I'll show you a few more photos of this first day after the shoot. Uh, actually, here's, my friend david being shooting a family that's me shooting a family and aaliyah. So we print the pictures on the spot. It's a big detail. So we print the pictures ah, shoot tethered unit our laptops using all the fancy equipment she tethered and put him out. Give them away as gifts that's their christmas present. Um, here's the group photo. The end of the day, there's one more, one more shot. So the end of the day, we made a little video. We put the video on facebook. And when I put the video on facebook eight people cominin like just a few people. But it was those eight comments again, one of those crazy photography moments is those eight comments, like sparked the idea in my head, I was like, well, if there is a people who said, I want to do this, if you're going to do this again, let me know. I want to be involved. And it was in those a common set of that man, if those a people want to be involved but there's a lot more people that would want to do this. And so that was january of two dozen eight or two thousand nine, and so I had to wait another nine months before the next christmas to really kind of promote the idea and get it out there. And so I did just that at august, september two dozen nine I put the word out on my block, and then my friend scott kelby he's like, hey, we left you to do a guest blogged, and and I said, well, can I talk about this idea to give photo shoots away to people in the end? He's? Like, sure. So he he gave me his platform, his blawg and here's, the screen shot of the block post. Um, it's guest blogged when, say, featuring jeremy cowart and, uh um basically, this post goes on and post the video may explaining this idea. What if we gave photo shoots away all over the world? People in the and it's, one of those like really vulnerable moments where you don't know, there are ten, people going to do this are, you know, one hundred people going to do this, like, does anybody? Is anybody even connecting with the idea of doing this and so fast forward tio three, three or four months to december of that year, our first event, I'm just put the word out there had no clue what we're doing in terms of organizational standpoint, operational that but we had you guys watching and here I mean, the tarver's all over the world in over forty countries responded and did events for people in their communities. Uh, it was the most crazy, crazy day I remember for, like, three weeks straight uh, I was tweeting on stop because I was so blown away even I didn't have a clue on how much this would really means of people because we take it so for granted, right? If you're watching like we're all for stars, we all have our cameras, we she iphone stuff every day is the photos don't really mean that much anymore, or that it doesn't really a special process, but it really is a special ah experience for those who never get to do it like you think how much we love taking a quick selfie or a lover family photos when those people can't do that around the world, and so to take that experience and to do their hair makeup, eyes to do makeovers, I mean, I have heard probably thousands of stories of grown women fifty, sixty seven years old who've never had there face touched by hair makeup artist so imagine going your whole life and never seeing yourself made up I mean, these air women who've been in prison I mean, they're just taught their whole lives that you're nothing, you have no value your trash and we hear all that stuff, but then for someone to come in and say you're amazing, we're going to do your hair make up, we're going to feed you, give you clothes that we're just going to make you feel like a rock star we've had women say I feel like beyonce today like it's all about going to the opposite extreme of what they normally feel and so that's what helped portrait is it's like this full day of just over giving over loving on blowing people away with with photography and say, actually, a few slides over the years we did an event, we did an event and the work after the hurricane of years ago in new jersey and these are some of the women you know, they had all lost their houses and they lost a lot. So to dio an event in the middle of all that was an amazing break from their day an amazing break toe to get away from it all is another foot of a grandmother and her daughter they've never had their picture taken together before so pretty run I love seeing this vote is like this this is an india of all places cnn's is an old woman looking at her photos for the first time these people have never held a photo gets insane you know, to see this this is the reaction of a woman seeing her family photo for the first time she's literally clapping and freaking out you know? And then you go to this photo pretty much says it all total celebration you know, it is rejoicing seeing these photos it tze like we were we work all year around on the help portrait or you know, from an operational standpoint and it's hard I mean, we don't have you know we're not we don't we're not making money we're doing this all is an active just tryingto give and make this happen for view when it gets really hard but then when we do these events and we see this oh yeah this is this is why we do this it makes it all worth it like every event experience I'm like, I can't ever stop doing this like this is so cooler than anything else I dio um so this you know, just more reactions here people sing their images so this is what helped forge it looks like a grand scale I mean it's a big production, so if you're a creative, forgetful artistic photographer maybe don't planet event, maybe participate in an event because it does get lots of logistics involved with all the printers and the laptops and the the food and you know, so if you're a photographer, maybe get one of your more organized friends. It's, not a photographer and yell can collaborate it's a great way, you know, so many builders say, well, I'm not a photographer. How can I participate and it's a great way to do it, to come in organizing event and be the one who has their head on their shoulders and let the photographers make the pretty pictures. By the way, I'm the guy that's, forgivable and spacing and artistic, and I'm a mess when it comes tio remembering things. Yeah, this is what the events like like here's, this girl was actually, I think, like and miss america is something so it's cool, we've had celebrities come and just be involved in hair make up and be the photographers, you know, like kind of stuff. There's a man looking at his photo for the first time, one of things we love to do is to have people draw on their photos, just leave a little mess is almost like the voices of haiti project, they said, were the new family, which is awesome, tio I don't know even what that means. Maybe there was a divorce. Maybe there was. I don't know what happened, but they have a small on their faces and saying this is the beginning of any chapter and that's what so many people say about their photos is like this marks my the new meat like this is the new me, um, I love this she wrote on her photo miss fabulous like that. Amazing. Uh, that was in los angeles. Here's me with us with trying to make subject small. But I love giving my camera to the subjects and letting them photograph each other because talk about the power of photography and not only let them be and the pictures and take their picture, but give them the camera, let them shoot and look through the viewfinder because this is just his cool is to be behind the cameras. That is, to see your pictures taken in to be in front of it. Um, more group photos. People holding their prints for the first time. I mean, we have thousands and thousands and thousands of these photos all over the world is a lady getting hair makeup done for the first time can you ladies imagine that being your age and for the first time, someone doing your hair makeup? Uh we let the subject's pick pick their favorite photos you know, on the on the screen is in light room she's looking at our photos and picking the best ones um here's what the group we always do help orchard group photos this is in los angeles I'm in the middle there um but again we have thousands of these group photos too. So um, it's just amazing to see the community. This is the new jersey with the group of photographers there and I mean, I love to hear the stories of like one of those special things about it is photography is so competitive no matter what level you're at, you're probably competing with your local if you're shooting senior head shots, you get your local competition of your shooting weddings, you get your competition if you're shooting commercial like me, I've got my competitors but with help portrait it's we say it's crossing cultural boundaries because you're going to places you would normally go or vice versa but also you're crossing competitive bound er's there's nothing cooler from me than shooting alongside my commercial competitors. You know, there's guys in nashville that we're all competing for the same job, but to be shooting alongside that side them on a a project like this and to be serving our community gether it basically erases those competitive lines like you can't argue you can't have any attention the next day because you just did something bigger than both of you the day before and that's what I love I've heard countless stories of you know, help torture was great but me and my friend knew we weren't getting along that brought us together or I met my best friend now but we region that through hell portrait you know hear the stories all the time so it's a great way to get to know you know there's meet ups all the time now there's instagram meet ups there's all kinds of meat of hope for drew it is kind of the coolest meet up because you're serving together you're changing your community together um and we love that so there's a few more I love this next one because it is in pakistan this kid said my name a sane on pakistani and this is my I'm a message to the world is that we are not terrorists we're not all terrorists please stop treating us like them. Um man, what a powerful, powerful moving statement of love that, um so I didn't take this photo and I always forget that my friend who did twitter friend but uh this is a man and his father the sun on the left the following we hadn't seen each other in thirty years and they came together I guess somehow they they reunited for help portrait event, and this is their first portrait ever together. The father had been an alcoholic, so they were separated for all kinds of reasons. But this is their first portrait together and first time seeing each other in thirty years, and that that to me like sums it up, sums up help fortune like it's just so so moving. But the next picture once again where my favorite photos I've ever been a part of and was taken here in this building in creative life. So two thousand seven, two thousand nine to two thousand eleven I was here a creative live, we did an event, and there was a woman standing in the corner of the room by herself with four kids, and I noticed she wasn't talking to anybody because she was just being dead silent and just didn't look didn't look very happy, and so she had her kids, and so I spent some time talking to her and getting nowhere. And she said, well, my husband died a few weeks ago is part of the, uh, israel conflict and she's the then a few days later, someone tried to kill my son, it was almost run over with a car, and she said, I've had enough, I had to get over there. And somehow she get to seattle, I forget what that story was that she got to seattle super depressed here didn't know anybody what she said she wasn't cooking or cleaning doing anything because she's been so down and out about her life situation no husband anymore, and so I said, what can we do today? And she said, well, she said, I brought a portrait of my husband, and I would love for you to take a picture of me and my kids, and is there any way that combine them so well? Let's, take a look, and so we did a photo of her and her kids, and we were able to photos up her husband and and we created their first ever family portrait, she said, while my husband was a lot of we've never taken a picture together, we didn't have cameras, and so after the fact, you know, and here, creative, levin said, oh, we made their first family picture. Um, and as you can imagine, that changed the course of her days. She was so, um, happy, and we take a bunch of pictures after that, just goofing off and once again, that's. What helped portrait's about right, like reminds us all while we do what we d'oh a lot of times it's hard to get photographers or people to participate because I think there's so many causes these days like it's everywhere and it gets overwhelming but if you're watching a highly highly encourage you to do this not as a sales promotion like I don't benefit at all if people participate this is really for you and your community to do something bigger with your camera to do some more important so this december december six is our event this will be our six year doing it so we'd love for you all to participate and it's really simple you just you can connect with a non profit in town um and you say hey, we want to give you photos and um you just set up in event and you bring printers and laptops and your cameras and you do photo shoots and you could bring your hair makeup artists if you want your friends or connect with the local salon or however you want to do it but just make his awesome as you can it can be a small event it can be a large event in fact some of the some of the smaller events actually some of the most meaningful because you're really able to connect one on one like two photographers cheating twenty people sometimes as they're amazing events but we've had amazing events where it's one hundred photographers in one thousand subjects we've had those events too so it doesn't matter how big or how small the goal is to just try it out and see see what? How goes for, um get a couple quotes from photographers whenever I'm down on myself, I'm going to pull out this picture and remind myself how lucky I am this is from the subject, he said. You captured me in a way that I don't ever see myself persons that I never knew that a stranger could be so caring as to take the time to give me my first ever picture with my kids and ask nothing in return, it's cass said today was one of the best days I've had as a photographer and a human being um yeah, it is pretty powerful and it's something you'll never forget so you gonna feature I one of them? Holly encourage I want to wrap up with one last story and you'll see my fancy slot where it says wrap up the meeting um well until one last story this this kind of ah raps all this up in a nice little bow, but basically I had a meeting a couple years ago with a big ad agency this is back to the commercial world and my agent send me to this ad agency thiss actually has clients like gatorade nike biggest ad agency in the world they have like eighty offices around the world is huge and she was sending me into meeting with the top our director in this agency and I've already met with us they didn't see a few times I never gave any time of day because they see hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of star wars all the time the best in the world um and it's really, really hard to get hard, right? So she sends me again to the same see the end of friday like five o'clock little literally they're closing shop and some saying, you know, this guy and I have to wait on him for a while finally he walks in the office and we sit down and I start showing in my portfolio and I'll flip through a few more back to the beginning kind of slides of, you know, the celebrities of shot and I can tell, you know, he's like here lighting size he retouching in a nice image is, um but keeping my hey sees the best in the world on a daily basis and so I'm not welling him at this at this time um uh she's showing some random slides and so s o the end of my like celebrity portfolio, you know, he's like nice stuff and I could feel that we're about to shake hands all right man have a good day we'll see you later um I was like can I can I stop? You can actually a few more things just some other stuff I do and he like hesitating like uh sure why not? So um so we sit down and then I go back through and I tell him about my family and my children um showing some of the projects they've done showed him some poor ids and then I showed him I told him the short version the africa story I told you um should in the same slides and then I told him about voices of haiti and what I've been in haiti and then I told him the same story told you all the whole thing uh it's about a thirty minute longer meeting and then I told him about how portrait now started this idea and had blown up and gone global and um I told him about the trampling project with my kids that told him about all kinds of stuff told him I'm starting an iphone app um by the end of me sharing basically my heart and my passions all the rwanda, all the humanitarian stuff he was basically dumbfounded hey said he said cannot a beer back and he said walked out the room and went brought everybody that was still there the office that day and he brings them back and he said, this is jeremy cowart he is an idea guy uh things like in our drug things so much bigger than any other photographers we work with and I want to work with him and so I was just stunned in that moment because here was that the highest of the the advertising world the biggest art director and was not impressed with my read me was not impressed with my normal portfolio uh but when I showed him who I wass uh he was blown away and that that meeting forever changed the way I see my brand I hate that word but see my my portfolio my brand ma who I am like why I do what I dio because I think if you go on the internet we look at all our web sites all the other photography web sites it's kind of the same thing really it's like here's my best image of my best retouching my best wedding moment my best whatever most about pages on web site to like I grew up here and this is what I do bubble watch israel shore and there's a basic contact page but it's rare on photography web sites do you really see a person you know and so with my website now have changed it actually to a blogger format and basically my website the previous poor phyllis I realize those essentially catering to two percent of the people the view it and this probably goes for the same probably is the same for a lot of you watching where two percent of your visitors are actually your clients who are looking to hire you maybe less maybe one percent of my website traffic are directors out there looking to hire me for a job, but I've always catered my website to that one percent right like here's the best in my portfolio here is the biggest celebrities all that stuff, but meanwhile the rest of the ninety eight percent of my traffic and probably yours too is the general public is the people on twitter and social media and friends and family it's the rest of the world and I just realized that like man, I need to I want to show who I am and the poor poll is important it's good to be there, but I want to show everything of me and it's a little more vernon vulnerable and but I just see it paid off immensely, even in the short time that I've had it launched, and so I highly encourage all watching to think about all of that meeting I just experienced and how it's really not about just your images anymore it's about your who you are, what you're portraying, what your passion about so you can figure out a way to convey that on social media, your bios, your websites, all that stuff I think if we can all basic connected goes back the john schneider storting show really life what you're passionate about and makes that with your talent you know your retouching in your oh you're lighting all that stuff we talked about here on creative love but but if you could make so that with your personality your talent like I think there's a lot more value in that you know and so that's the biggest lesson I've been learning lately and so try to just put all of that out there and so far I've seen nothing but benefits so that's my my last word as we leave but think about your story and who you are and how to get it out there so well I just like to say for myself personally that just what you just said I just had a huge impact on me and yeah I don't think I'll ever look at putting myself out there the same again so I appreciate that very much of course mammal passion all right well let's ask some questions and if you guys have any questions you're more than welcome to ask them as well. All right so haines video asked an interesting question what was your defining moment when you knew you were a good shooter? Wow two given um was it that hope picture yeah it's probably my first trip when because because I had studied graphic design a new basically understood composition and color and symmetry and all that stuff and so I had composition of my head but two to translate that into view founder and the camera was a really cool like I guess yeah on the africa trip there a lot of pictures of like, I'm not so bad at this, you know, whereas when I studied college photography in college and made a d and I went left, that thing on the terrible photographer yeah, I think that trip was when wasn't the like, oh, look, I'm amazing because like, I should probably keep shooting, you know? Well, you know, photography class here, we're running on the technical right? So when you get out and you're actually in africa shooting human beings, you're run by the passion so told that makes you successful absolutely I love him, okay, let's, ask a couple more questions. Well, alison said, I'm going to haiti in february to work on a school and teach some art, any suggestions for how to approach them respectfully to take their pictures and how to help them? Yeah, actually analogy I forgot to talk about, but one of my favorite things people friend man told me is like, imagine pulling up in america imagine driving up into somebody's backyard, you jump out of the camera and you just start shooting their kids like how violated would you feel if somebody did that to you? Just pulled up in your house and up in your grill and start, you know, pointed camera everything but that's essentially what we do a lot of farmers doing the go overseas his jump out of the van and start taking pictures of everything and it's really a disrespectful and rude and so I love the way my friends esther havens and also man do it, they actually spend if they got a long trip that's been the first few days of that, a camera just walk around getting to know the culture and the people, and they get to know them relational lee, and then eventually the camera comes out it's like you've got to show respect, you've got to let people know why we're there again if I pulled up in the seventies backyard in america, the ham jeremy, I'm of starving this is why I'm in your backyard and this is the photo I'd like to get. Is that ok with you? And so the same principle should apply when you're overseas, like you have to communicate with people and and and verbalize all that stuff and sometimes it's impossible because I have taken photos like from a car, we're going forty miles an hour and I'll try fashion or speed and try to grab it a portrait just this challenge and you can't stop old caravan of cars toe go back and get it sign a release or can have permission to use his photo and I don't never sell those photos but I do like to just document the culture and should stuff like that from I guess more of a photojournalism perspective I just want to add to that and say I know from traveling around the world myself people know they can fill your intentions you know they know what what is motivating you to be there and that I think is the most important thing because if your intention is just to make your portfolio better that just comes out of you you know? So I think that's really important absolutely respect that's the key word yeah, absolutely okay. All right. So this is an interesting question from maya jeremy you mentioned when you have big shooting like it the stink concert you were so excited that you're shaking my question is how do you calm yourself? What do you say to yourself in that moment does it and does it work any advice how to keep calm and stop shaking how to beat the excitement I want to say thank you for fantastic masterclass readings from serbia awesome um in that moment there wasn't a stopping my nervousness there where there was no not geeking out, you know um but at the end of the day like celebrities or people to like, we're all the same you know? You just have to remind yourself of that that like they're just they're human like I am they're going to the bathroom after these photos just like you know like whatever whatever it is like their normal but yeah, I mean something like encouraged that excitement to like just let it stay it's cool moment that you're shooting somebody that you admire and uh there's nothing wrong with us on the sting moment I was getting I was getting fan boy I didn't care just embrace that, you know, I've seen people be that way around you actually go ok ash cash has asked has has fear of failure ever hindered your desire to do your work absolutely fear failure is always a thing you know I have a massive massive idea that I've been afraid of for two years now that I plan on pursuing next year but yeah terrified of it s o so you have fear of failures but the maura step into those those projects like each of these of fear with like go to haiti not only a fear of well if phil but is it safe? Is it? I've got a family, you know, but there's always that failure but with each thing I do like hell portrait lunch and that was total fear will anybody care well anybody do this it blew up in each time you step into those you getting more confidence it's like exercising and muscle is the same thing and and I was terrified when I first started the dog but like my images suck I saw it like everything sucks like I'm not going to be any good this and but you just have to go one step after the other just have to keep going and and your confidence will go along with that vehicle any questions from the studio with some of your intense portrait's that you've done and hearing the stories in haiti and your reconciliation photos in such ah that's a lot to take in even and we're just hearing the little snippets but you lived it you walk the streets how do you after that um gather yourself back up even just to go back into your normal normal day what do you do to help um keep your yeah that's a good question I think everybody handles those situations differently from me it helps that I'm shooting because it helps me um I guess channel those feelings because I'm thinking about shutter speeds and lighting and technical stuff too achieved the shots on a usually have help with a translation and because I don't speak the local languages so I'm in photography mode and I'm on a mission because they know that in the end the project's going to help them uh, help tell the story and help hopefully help bring more actual help. You know more whether it's fundraising or whatever on dso yeah, I just have t o get aside, step, step away from that and maybe that's I don't know, maybe that's part of being a guy, I don't I'm just able I'm able to set up a separate myself emotionally, but obviously it's all make crying appeared today. I do get very emotional about stuff, but it's usually way later when I'm talking about and it hits me in the moment, you know, um the others things were so intense that working with child soldiers, I mean, that was it's on a scale that I can't even comprehend, you said don't even knew how to process, but your approach is different, but I just tried toe try to do my best to make it through. Uh, kelly meister had asked, you ever feel like you're going through a routine with the commotion shoots like, how do you break out of that? And I just want to add to that and say how when you get back into the commercial world, when you come back from journeys like this, how do you care? How do you make yourself there to be able to make the money, to pay the bills, to feed your family? Well, because they go saying early, like the commercial stuff allows me to do it all goes together like, you know, I have toe have toe provide for my family, I have to make money. So, um, you know, like I said, it's, like the commercial platform allows me, gives me a platform to do this other stuff. So, yeah, but I do. I mean, I do certainly get in lazy habits of doing the same lighting or doing the same thing on commercial shoots. But that's, why I go and do creative shoots like I showed earlier at the beginning of this broadcast, to reawaken my creativity into experiment, trust on the news? Yeah, okay, well, I just wanna say, gives the messages before we take off from this segment. So the photography tool kit there's, a free photography toolkit that you provided, and that is when you join jeremy's mailing lists and that's. Jeremy cowart, dot com slash free.

Class Description

It's easy to get caught up in the gear, the shutter speeds, the f-stops, the lighting, and the post-production. But sometimes, we need to be reminded of why we take and create images in the first place. Join celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart as he sits down and tells stories from the field.

In The Bigger Picture: Why We Do What Do, Jeremy will talk about the emotions and meaning behind photography through stories from commercial shoots, personal projects, humanitarian projects and family portraits. You’ll be reminded of why you love the craft as you listen to Jeremy’s captivating emotional journey through photography.