What Does a Photograph Do to a Person?


Turning Personal Projects Into a Career


Lesson Info

What Does a Photograph Do to a Person?

What is a photograph do tow a person? I could tell you from my own point of view despite a strong with somebody else tells you so I won't involve others and bring somebody else on shortly till how they felt I've been going around country shooting different families, different families, their children, so I want to bring a mother on from future presidents and have her tell a story very shortly. So hold on for that. Will you show your project without giving it away on social media? It helps your project as well. You involve others sure you helps build an audience. As I've traveled around the country, I've been tweeting about where they're going, and at first I was calling it the future project. So somebody who follow me on twitter may have seen me saying here I am in virginia now, showing the future project I mean south carolina shooting the future project, I'm in idaho shooting the future project and some people like say, what is the future projects? I don't want to give it away yet now...

I feel I can do that, so use social media as you do your project to share with the world, put it out there and involve them in some cases I used twitter to find out where to go what's in this state, what special place in this place and thank you for a guy who on twitter whose fault me and giving me tips and advice on places to go, even though he didn't know what I was shooting, even the less how's he on crave life. I had my students make a poster like this one, and we made this poster in this class live on creative life, and this time we're now asking you to help us make the next poster for the next child to hold. So after disposals made, I took my class, my class here out in seattle, and we shot a picture of a child holding that sigh I make her toward me to dream big, so I'm now going to bring in the mother. This is my class from last time hi guys in tree of life from the last season less session we did, they helped me, they helped assist me in doing this, and then together we made this image that is one of my favorite shots in the book, so I didn't picture and then I left, but the experience of shooting a child does something. I'm there maybe fifteen minutes, then I leave and on of the next place, but what does it do to that family? That child I feel now to hear from a mother and have a talk about how her daughter felt after the shoot so trudy, can you come and join us? How you doing? Wonderful, very good you don't have a ceo so I love this picture of your daughter and thank you for for being a part of my project uh and sharing and then your daughter share how she feels when I left what happened? Ah, well, she wasn't quite sure what this was about when they originally started, but she was thrilled and excited at the idea of just being photographed uh I sold her on the idea because I told her how big and famous you were and for big for sure and so she was excited and you had her right down her message in this message that she wrote down it was about bullying and it's something that a lot of kids her age deal with and it hearts as a mom to see your kid being picked on I have and she's just had that with her that kind of target I say on her back and it started in kindergarten believe it or not uh so she's always had that on her on I've seen that pain in her she comes home and she tells me of experiences that other kids well d'oh s so she wrote that message that she wanted to if she were president thank you if she were president she would stop bullying and that everyone would matter on their silly things like what you wear how you sound would it matter that people would see who for you who you are uh and you read that message at the time of doing this portrait um and you you gave her words of encouragement you you listen to her and she I saw her take that in um and as much as I could do that as her mother she needed she needs it from other places as well um and I just saw this light start to come off in her that she could make a change and she's passed so many times since that day for updates on the project and I'm so grateful that you do he sends out updates to the families in this project to let us know what's happening and what's the what's the next big thing you're doing and to is the progress of it because as soon as it was over and even before the first update she was like, well, what's next what's happening now uh she's just so excited about it and uh I'm excited about it because it means so much more than this book it it affects an individual and that's powerful it really does it really does the power of a photograph can do so much the parallel forward can change lives, change your daughter's life and other children who are having the same issue of being bullying around the country. And I'm just thankful for you your daughter for being a part of a project. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Um, it's. Probably time for questions as well. Even asking trudy trudy it. Well, first of all, I just want to give trudy a shout out because you know her and love her as the c l trudy, from the chat rooms and from behind the scenes here at great alive. And it was such an amazing thing to see you and your daughter be part of this back then. But teo, here, how it has impacted hes lin's life is is truly just incredible. So thank you for sharing. So first, I want o turn it over to our studio audience to see if you have any questions on this whole last segment or in particular for trudy. People are are tearing up way here, tearing up with you. Thank you for sharing your emotion and your story with us. Similar to, you know, talking about the inspiration that your daughter was able to receive from from matthew adrian, far chimes in other photographers that inspire you for your personal projects. Matthew, when you think about projects like future presidents, one of the photographers that you watch, jeremy, jeremy, jeremy richard avedon it's not just people who are here now, but I'll go back and look after targets who I admire baby spy who's here today like like jeremy's work is so amazing abdomens work with the american west, as is this a slow photographers why I've going to look at and research and see how they handled a situation? Ah project sometimes it's just reading a book, light reading annie's book any liebovitz at work? This is a great book to see how she works and how some ideas work it's my deals, don't you think? There's, a big photographer who has an idea and whatever they do is gonna work? No, it doesn't like when you're out there showing your personal project, you feel like you're on your own, and if something doesn't work, you feel like you're the only person was going through that thing, it's part of the process, big talkers like richard avedon, you know, when the big star players of all time I was reading his book and hearing him show and talk about his ups and downs and shooting projects and how some work and some don't and then I felt oh wow at the same thing happened with joy, forty four how didn't work but lead to future presidents and inspiring people it's the process it's the process, yeah you know, in some of the people online are asking, you know, the next step for trudy and and her family, where do you hope this will take your daughter and her development? And and what will this mean to her long term? Well, already, I feel like the start of this school year did start off rocky for her, and that was about the time that we met matthew jordan smith was the beginning of this school year. Um, and she has come a long way in that time. And, like I said earlier, she's always asking about this project in where it's at and what's happening, and she talks about doing things like being the president or her class, took a field trip to the capitol building about a month ago, and now she talks about volunteering there because they talked about how they have programs for interns at her age, when she can currently do that this summer, and so she's trying to figure out howto actually do those things and be participating in those uh and so I I see her seen value in herself because it's got her to think long term and way into the future and realizing that today might be hard but there's a whole future ahead of her absolutely absolutely it's an interesting question from indeed, john trudy wondering if hazel unshared the photo with her classmates and so did it help we have not shared it yet with her school I've been trying to figure out how to do that and what is the approach on that on and letting her own that part of the experience? I like the idea that now though because that's like a good idea maybe at this point I should share the pitches with each parent to share with their classmates now e ideas are I don't how are everywhere so also on your journey of doing your personal projects things happen when you put something out there in the universe universe helps you with jeremy had no idea the u n would pick up his project it would lead to this amazing stuff happening that happens all the time with every project, so the last one came to seattle was to shoot crave live and photograph twenties daughter I had no idea that on that trip it would change my life some on the plane on my way to seattle I'm on the plane on my way to seattle and I'm sitting down I'm looking through something just from project there's a seat beside this empty and there's a guy on the other end and and take a break put it down and he says to me before we have speakers said a word to each other he says to me oh are you a photographer I'm like yes he's like oh I'm gonna vacation I'm going to alaska qingming tips on photography something about no tips on photography and talked about my sony camera I'm showing him the lenses that I show my project, he says he says I'm a teacher missions are he's a principal at a high school so actually my project with him and get his advice well, what do you think would do you think would resonate with students and parents? He looks at the project is like this is great he's getting his his insides like this is a really great project he's like I love the shows to a friend of my I'm like well, I don't want you to see it yet you know, he's a swell I've got a very powerful friend and he would really I know he love this project so I'm still being very resisted this as well my friend is president jimmy carter so I'm like okay, wonderful so I come here I do the show get back to l a and I send a package about the project I write a long letter to president jimmy carter and send it off a month later I get a hand written note from president jimmy carter to go into my book with president jimmy carter given advice to future presidents that doesn't happen that's the universe coming together to help you so in this book for the first time I have an american president giving advice to future presidents that will last forever and now because of that this book is now history I never knew that would happen then I get back and a father calls me and wants me to meet his daughter so I got to meet this father and it's overwhelming what can happen I mean this father he's talking about his daughter and how he loves my photography and he has no idea I'm doing this project at all so I mean his daughter I had no idea who she was then I find out she's on the biggest show one disney zendaya coleman so I mean zendaya and you know she's full of life she's full of energy out aside she's the person to write the introduction for my book the ford for the book so she's written a forward for the book zendaya coleman so I now have president jimmy carter I now have zendaya coleman in this book as well and if you are a fan of dancing with the stars you've now seen that's india is now on the show and leading everything and it's so funny because before before I met her I had no idea who she wass and now the whole world knows who's in day it is and how talented she is and these things are the universe helping you to bring your products toe life the same with jeremy saying with me I'm sure something's happened with of photographers with their projects and the same thing can happen to you if you follow your dreams put your products out there can have ah lasting impression and the book my book now is I've been out there yet I'm still shooting the ball look imagine when it comes out and trees daughter hazel in is there signing books he's been bullied since kindergarten? They'll now look up to her the power of a photograph, the power of a photograph what's your personal project what do you have to share the world to say how you feel that's bigger than you? How do you feel it was important to you? What do you love share that with the world put it out there we're all waiting to be inspired by you we're all waiting to be inspired by you. So we talked earlier about howto find it's a project now and I believe you should first invest in you. But now they're ways that the whole world can help you with your projects like kickstarter now go through all the other versions of of crowd funding that are out there later on, but kick star is the biggest one, so I have a project called future presidents on kickstarter that I'm using to hopefully fund finishing this book, printing it and getting it out to the world so I'm going to kick starter you can see that what she wrote on the break the video, but you can see how you can use products like kickstarter and change the world and fun your projects and get them out there let's take questions for a second yeah, they really are flooding in from the internet and just so empowering the comments that we're seeing streaming online attorney questions in our studio audience okay, wait a question come in from from rogue lamb you're clearly a uh you've got a lot of ideas you an idea person and you like seeing coming through different asian? Um, I know that I would be worried about people maybe stealing my ideas and then that was rogue lambs question do you copyright your ideas? You write about some of your trademark? I hate to sharing with someone and have that person take over this idea. So that's the number one fear anybody has also I steal my project so that first team because you do that's for you too make sure you can finish the project, you can do the project, then I do share it now can sum I steal your project? Yes, can they do it like, you know, the fear element keeps you holding on the stuff and I've done that for a long time until I learned it's fine to put it out there and not worry, nobody wants the copy, they want the original. When you're shooting, what comes from your heart that can't be copied? Yes, they do a version like that, possibly they can't do it the way you do it, and when you do it, then the universe helps you, who can get a president who can get zendaya, who can get the stories that you can get when you put your heart and soul to a project, people feel that they know what they're maybe shoot the same idea, they can't do the way you do because you had the project. So forget about the fear, make sure you first have a body of work first, and then put it out there. I've done thirty two states ness I feel good about bringing out there, and at first I was calling it the future project, even as I was shooting it tweet the future project without without giving it away, and even now I haven't given way the full title yet. I do that later on, but without for the world right now, until it's released is future presidents like the question and your teasing us about the bigger project with china and that project, my goodness, you I've been wondering now for like, two years what this project is it sounds like I'm going to have to wait even longer but building upon the push the conversation that you just had a couple folks were asking about using social media with regard to your personal projects for a photo assistant says how important is social media to get others involved and then I'm outside the box if you don't have the network contacts like you have been talking about earlier how do you feel about online social media or avenues like craig's list what do you not about reaching out number one on that question thank you a photo assistant thank you very much I believe he's in l a thank you l a so I think now we have we have a two we didn't have before social media that's changing the world in video toe to share how we feel I'm final fusing those sources craigslist twitter, facebook, instagram anyway you can use to get your punching out there use it because it didn't exist before this new territory it's it's our our fingerprint al that can leave off the world use these new tools I'm sure in five years we have more stuff that we can't even think about right now and maybe you have the idea that next to thing put it out there we're all waiting for it thank you a photo assistant on a similar question came in how far into the future are you thinking with your personal projects you know if something's not working you know you already have another an idea in your head and using some of those too combined together are you thinking I love that question because I'm always thinking ahead the media everything that we see today is focused on right now how we feel right now I'm always going to think about what's the future about how well pictures I just came back from china and I'm walking around the great wall and seeing this amazing no structure has been has lasted for thousands of years and I'm like wow, how my picture is having impact one hundred years from now hopefully five hundred years from now will they be around to make an impression and changed his life? Possibly I don't know but I'm always thinking about the future and even with this project when I first started future presidents I think about the future not just today but twenty years from now fifty years from now maybe hes elin's children seen this book of her inside hey, I want to be the president we don't know but we can plant the seed today and make a difference thank for that question thank you for that we have a question from jared in the audience oh, thank here is question thank you hear it thank you s o my question is is that you've well to preface it you've talked a lot about having your fingerprint on a project and you've also described putting together a team because you can't necessarily do it all yourself what advice would you give to people with limited resource is when they're trying to assemble a team because we all know the time is a premium and aa lot of people can't necessarily afford toe contribute to your project the way that you know you might be able to yourself well, isn't that to be like a financial contribution? It could be just the help having your friends help you even in the idea stage of your projects once you've done those first ten pictures showing your friends family that team your images and getting input helping them you helping you do research all those things that wage they can help you beyond just financial support those ideas sometimes worth more than anything can give you you know financially so reach out share your projects with your your friends, your family, your team and help bring them involved in your project made them feel like they're part of it okay, thank you, thank you, thank you very much. I'll answer your question in that way, but it should just be really you reaching out and thinking beyond just a financial reward in helping your project to life even when you have limit resource is the ideas that friendship base can help you what about when it's like for production quality? Let's say you've got you know you've got the resource is too get the content that you need but you need, you know, more feet on the ground, that sort of thing. How do you find the right people? And in the right scenario means the prize is gonna happen today with social media be surprised, put it out there, ask for help people love giving advice if they can help you, not everyone but the people are out there that can help you bring things to life, even with production say, for example, on my first project cp dreams, I reached out to people and ask for favors. I ask for favors for, for studios, for hair and makeup, for wardrobe, and because of that, I gave them credit in my book, and I got a lot of favors given to me for help with production, with shooting, with flights, even even right now, okay, so I'm going around the country, shooting people outside so I can't afford to bring like, all whole crew with me and set up and shoot, and I didn't have the light that I want to use to take on location, I have studio lights, they'll have location lights to take, so I wrote a letter to pro photo asking them, can I borrow a line wait, this is my project I talk about my project was all about and sit in having no idea if they give me a light to use or not, and they said yes and they borrow a light for this project, so my my life that I'm using and dragging all of the country is a loner from pro photo, a very expensive rental of a loner, but let me use it five project and thank you pro photo for let me use your year to make this come to life. Without that, I couldn't I couldn't do it, I can afford to buy it so that we don't have it and use it my project when I'm doing a sit back and then in exchange I give him credit my book, I talk about them all the time. I love the light's number one um, I'm using all sony gear using all their glass, all the cameras, all these things help you in getting your products out there. Great, perfect, thank you, thank you. So put it out there and ask for help asking for help don't be scared, it doesn't always work, so getting my product also I feel about this and I'm glad you asked that question because I rolled fifty letters two different corporations asking for help as well I got fifty knows it's part of process you put it out there put it out there put out there I wrote fifty letters two fifty ceos of companies so you're all knows but I don't mind the no so I know I'm going to get the yes sooner or later that's how it happens I understand that you have some more slides to get through so you want to do that that would be awesome sounds good sounds good so when you want something all the universe conspires to help you bring to life again from my favorite book the alchemist the universe helps you break the life I could never have gone out in getting the president to be a part of my project was india it happened on its own and even he moves india mostly don't know where she is when I first did her head her right my forward and then three weeks ago she isn't going on then I think the stars now the entire country knows what she is if you don't know she is there she is today a coleman who's now on dancing with the stars leading the way showing the world she had a she had a between our three score past this past monday so tune in next month and she actually will do next week but this little girl is changing debts and change how people feel she's the youngest person ever to appear on the show he writes a letter for my book and then I get invited to a dinner with the president I mean, I didn't finish doing the book, kid, but these things happen who knows is gonna happen when the book's finished and out there I have a dream of hopefully be invited not just me, but every child in my book to the white house I've had a drink in the very beginning and I visualize it and hopefully that will come true. I would love for everybody in this book to be invited the white house I see that conviction that you never know, you put it out there because you never know what can happen, be invited to have a dinner I mean, you never know could happen. You never know the power of a photograph. So now it's time for you to get to work, bring your post the life course if we go to break anyway in like, two minutes let's take another question if we can do have time for are there any other questions in this studio audience right now? There's been a project that I've just been thinking about for about ten years now and it's been in my brain every day and I just haven't had kind of the path to get it started and this really has been exactly what I needed. I'm going to go home and tomorrow I'm going to get started on this project so I just I say thank you thank you, thank you what's your project what? You had to shoot it with the world it's time to get the work it's time to get to work, matthew before when we go to break we are going to be making I believe the posters that were hodges is in your photo shoot later. Eso if you could we have a number of your ideas out there coming in and we're going to see them evaluate them. So please, if you have any more ideas, you could go to the facebook page for future presidents a book and again we are looking for what you would put on one of these posters and you might see yours in action. I'm certainly a lunch thank you all thank you all and keep the questions coming in thanks for being apart because now you are a part of this project as well. It really is a need to see the different ideas that are coming in for the boards that were going to use in just a couple minutes. We're gonna have drew temple from sony come on and he's going to talk to us about some of the sony cameras that you use absence on the sony cameras that are available and he's going to tell us about the the any x six which we've got a couple of it was to give away today that's very exciting you've already teased us you already told us what's coming up when we do get back from lunch any other big exciting reveals that actually is yes, there is. I'll be doing some more revealing uh, after the lunch break, so stay tuned. You won't want to miss that because today I'm goingto surprised. Yeah, you know, you were talking earlier about being tested and there was a question that came up in our first segment I think you answered it really well here on the second one making ten images before you tell anybody about it. How do you how do you know if the project is right? How do you know if I've got all these ideas? Which one is going to be right for me and that making ten images before you tell anybody I think that'll help. We did, does it helps you. It helps you inside if you can pull it off, tell your story and have a consistent theme that tin images is for you to really focus in and work out the kinks before you shit with the world. Thanks for that. Yeah on we do have one quick quote that came in from the internet photography love says he is so moving this presentation really touched me. Now I have to go out and make a personal project, and people are also saying they're encouraged to just start or revisit things that they have kind of let go. And we have been seeing that matthew is a consistent theme again over these three days, the three days of the shoot what you love, syria is here on create a blithe, sponsored by sony first day was mira co who brought to life all of these creative challenges and barriers that come about, especially not just in our professional work, but hostile. When our personal work, sweet talk about barriers that we have, and then ways tio break those down to chip away at them. She gave us a number of actionable items and tools and listen things that we can go back and address. If you miss that there were a number of incredible takeaways from mira similarly, yesterday day two in the morning we had christina mittermeier, who is a conservation in nature photographer she has been photographing she's, a marine biologist, has been doing work for over twenty years has founded the aisle cpi in a number of organizations ls and she truly not only inspired people, all of you out there, but also gave you exact ways to both plan, but also to reach out to non profits. And how to shoot that photo essay a cz you are thinking about one of those twelve shots that you need when you are putting together a story which will then help create impact in that personal project we had yesterday afternoon john gringo, who taught his a ninety nine fast start class those of you who have purchased the the camera or even considering purchasing the camera an incredible investment in terms of finding out how to use that camera immediately once you have bought that and matthew, mira and christina rave about that camera and we will continue to hear and see matthew use it and then finally today we have matthew who is again taking us through his success is his challenges with personal projects, the ups and the downs he's keeping it real that's for sure and we are going tio now he's laid out how to go about conceptualizing and planning and we're also going to talk about had a finance as well later with some really great experts and tips on yes and speaking of finance I think I will show is going to hold back for a second. All right? Now is the time it's not a put time put it out there so some of you may know that I have a web store that I've sold videos on for the last couple years now lighting videos for talking videos and they self like fifteen, ninety five, and they've been selling for two years now. But today, for the first time, I want to give them away for free. Absolutely. So if you invest in my project through kickstarter, if you make a pledge of fifty dollars, I'm giving away all four of the lighting videos for free. Wow, if you invest one hundred fifty dollars or more, I'm giving all ten away for free. Wow, so by getting them for free, plus, supporting absolutely pushing was sporting a great project, and I need your support to bring to life. How did people find you on kickstarter than future presidents? President that's it. One kick start, and we'll show the video during lunch break. So, not only is matthew teaching us how to go about doing our own projects, but we are in the middle, actually of his project, and I mean, that is what is so exciting about creative live.

Class Description

"You build your business shooting for other people. You build your career shooting for yourself." From creating and choosing projects to organizing details and financing, this course will teach you how to effectively manage personal projects to grow your photography business. This inspirational workshop is designed to help you practice your craft and elevate your photography business. During this comprehensive course, Matthew will offer step-by-step instruction on how to launch and execute personal photography projects. Matthew’s workshop is part of a 3-day event sponsored by Sony called “Shoot What You Love", a 3-day inspirational event sponsored on April 22-24 with fashion photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, family photographer Me Ra Koh, and conservation photographer Cristina Mittermeier.