In Focus: Breakthrough with Your Photo Business with Chase Jarvis
You would've thought we practices that, that was perfect, I like it. Hi guys, I'm Chase, welcome to Creative Live. We're so grateful for all of you tuning in from all over the world and actually we've got the world here in this room. Sweden, people came from Sweden, from China, from north Seattle. (laughter) But honestly, like LA, it was really great to connect with you for the five minutes before this thing started. It's my goal, I think I have had the good fortunate of speaking on stages all over the world and for the first arch of my career it was very much about me and my work, trying to carve our way in this world, as we all are as independent artists. And that's whether you're a full-timer at a company and this is your side hustle or where you've quit, you've pushed all your chips in and you're trying to make a go of it. We've all been there and that's part of the thing that I love about A, creative live but B, just like this room. The people to your left and to your...
right are having the same challenges, the same struggles that you are. And more than anything we're all in this together. And as I've had the good fortune of speaking all over the world and speaking to so many crowds what I always realize is what I found from surveying people and what I felt in my gut is the most valuable part were answering your questions. 'Cause I can get up and talk about a bunch of stuff and then I end up talking to a very narrow swath, if you're an active sport photographer are we talking about making money, are we talking about X or Y? But if I flip that script and I have a conversation with folks in the crowd, I really figured out that there's only like 100 problems. In the relative scope of the universe is not that many problems and if we could get through a bunch of them on stage here and a little bit later in our broadcast I'll come out and hopefully meet some of you guys. And my goal, it's almost like photo therapy. Like Dr. Chase, Dr. Phil style. And I want to do that, I experimented with this format. I had the good fortune of doing a lot of speaking with Richard Branson and down in Jamaica we had four entrepreneurs on stage and Richard and I basically sort of broke down what their biggest problems were and we were able to make some breakthroughs in just five, 10 minutes and then I figured maybe we could do that format here. So we don't have so much standing on stage talking and listening. And that requires you guys to be aware because I might at any second call on you. And so the goal, also I'm a huge fan of Tony Robbins. I think what Tony does so well, aside from coaching the world's top athletes, the world's top CEOs and so many of the presidents and world leaders, is he trains us about how to use our body and that biochemistry is happening right now and you're gonna wire some of the things that I say into your brain. And if you're having a good feeling, if you're sitting up in your chair and you're connecting with other people and you have a couple of cocktails in you or a couple of beers you're probably gonna feel a little bit better, you're gonna be more attuned. So think about that as you're sitting here. Am I bringing my extra five millimeters? And I sitting up straight? Am I connecting with other people? And so that would be my wish, my goals for this particular session. So we've got 60 minutes, I'm four and a half minute into my 60 minutes so I don't want to burn anymore time. That being said, we've got four wonderful volunteers and what I would like to kick off the session is just go down and introduce yourself, give us like 30 seconds, 60 seconds on who you are and what your focus is and then I'll come back and we'll sort of take turns unpacking some of your biggest challenges. And then you guys will learn from this and I'll try and help some other folks out in the crowd. So tada go for it.
I'm Kilen Murphy, I really appreciate the opportunity being on this stage and having Chase help us out today. This is just a great platform through and through. I'm from Portland, Oregon, I'm a wedding photographer, definitely a passion of mine. I mean, I love people, I love just working with couples, just the whole interaction, of course the whole business side of it as well and I quickly realized when I got into photography it was really this perfect outlet of everything that I loved. You have the connection with people, you have the creative aspect of it, and the business all kind of wrapped into one. And ever since I started I really haven't been able to put it down since. And so just doing everything I can to kind of self teach myself like Chase did and just try to make the most of it and see where I can go.
Kilen, K-I-L-E-N, right?
K-I-L-E-N, yeah. It's a little different.
Let's give a shoutout to Kilen. (applause) You guys, it takes a lot of courage to be up here. It's not just a room of 150 people, there's thousands of people on the other end of these cameras so this is soul baring and this is a warm up for you you're like, "Do I have the courage to do this?" Introspection right now is happening. You, good sir, please say who you are--
My name is Troy Martin, born and raised in Portland, Oregon and my background is tattooing. So I came from a different artist background, but I've picked up the camera and I really love it. And I love landscape and portraits and things like that so I'm trying to find a good market for it.
Got it, we're gonna be able to help you, perfect. Please.
Hi, I'm Sarit Krupka. Ever since I took my father's Pentax all manual camera I figured out this is what I want to do. But then I didn't. I came to Washington a year ago from Israel and I left a wonderful successful career in trade exhibition design. And I'm trying to figure out the past year how to become a photographer, how to take my passion into business. And I've gone through lots of fields of photography and I love most of them. (laughter)
I'm Alec Cutter, born in Seattle, Washington and I do videography and film making and video editing. I got into it because I felt that for me personally it was the most powerful form of expression that we have and I wanted to do good with it. So that will tie into my problem.
Round of applause for you guys being on stage. (applause) I have a strange ask, I'm gonna ask that you all stand up just for a second. You guys shake it out, we're only five minutes in, but if this stuff's gonna seep into you stand up for a second, introduce yourself to the person on the left and person on the right. Hurry up. (talking over each other) Feel free, feel free to ask follow up questions. I'm not just talking at you, we're gonna have a conversation, okay? Alright that'll do it. That's good, that's good. That's good. A little bit too much meeting. Great, alright sit down you guys. That was more awesome than I thought it was gonna be. Thank you guys, awesome. Alright so Kilen, I asked these guys back stage what do you think, sometimes you don't actually understand what your problem is so you think you have one problem and you really have another. But we're just gonna go right into it so Kilen what do you feel like your biggest challenge is as a photographer.
So I think currently for me as far as for wedding photography is obviously a ton of different styles that you could gravitate towards. And I think beginning and starting out you're learning all these things and trying all these different things, but at the same time you're trying to find this cohesive style but at the same time you want to push the envelope a little bit. A lot of what (mumbles) Wong said yesterday which resonated with me was your pushing your work where it's different, but it's still acceptable. That was the one big thing that resonated with me yesterday as far as just being a wedding photographer but still trying to get that cohesive style where it's like, "Hey this is Kilen, this is his work."
Got it, how do you represent your work?
What do you mean by represent?
Like how do you represent your work? How do people find you, how do, do you walk around with a portfolio, do you sit on the street corner, do you have a website? How do you represent your work or how does your work represent you?
That's a good question.
I'm a professional. (laughter)
So really right now I guess what you'd expect, website, Instagram, Facebook, making sure I'm on all the social platforms. I'm probably most active on Instagram just 'cause I think where things are trending or where the most volume is, but that could be a bad thing.
So what do you put on Instagram?
So it'll be a daily post every day whether it's an engagement shoot or a picture that I have from a wedding. So keeping that consistent as far as whether it's weddings or engagements.
Got it. So is your, you feel like, and I'm gonna play this back to you for second, you feel like your biggest problem is locking in around a personal style? Or do you feel like your biggest problem is how your representing yourself? Your biggest problem is the business side, you want more clients? Frame the problem for me.
I think it's the style, style for sure.
Got it. So here's what you need to know about style. First of all you have to be consistent. And the way you're consistent is at first be wildly inconsistent. So it seems, it's obviously there's contradiction there. But you have two jobs, and this is not just for you, Kilen, this is for everybody. You have two jobs; the first job is to find out what you're supposed to be doing. And the way you find out what you're supposed to be doing is you do a lot of different stuff. And whether that's a bunch of different, you know your passion about photography, go a little bit deeper. Shoot weddings a ton, shoot portraits a ton, shoot some commercial work. Figure out, and you don't need to get hired to do this stuff, you can do this on your own. Self-assigned work. You're only gonna get hired for the stuff that's in your portfolio, you will not get hired-- This is very tweet-able. You will not get hired for things that are not in your portfolio. You can say it a thousand times, you can wish it was different, and then it follow naturally that if I haven't ever shot automotive before how am I gonna get hired to shoot automotive? Very simple question. The answer to that is you have to self-fund these shoots. So my question to you is are you self-funding the kind of work that you want to get paid to shoot? Are you going out there with a model, might not even be a wedding, might not even be the ideal couple, they might not even be getting married, they might be models, are you paying each of them bucks or some other compensation or they're friends of yours and you need to develop a portfolio? Are you doing that?
That's a lot of how I started. I definitely knew from the get go wedding was my thing so over the summer I grabbed specific couples I knew that were together for years or I knew had just a good relationship and I would say, "Hey, I'm trying to do this, "would you be down to go out for a shoot?" They were always down and that's what kind of helped build up a portfolio 'cause at the end of the day, like you said, you shoot what you show.
Shoot what you show, show what you shoot. So it sounds to me like, so I went to your website and I discovered something there. What I discovered is it was very hard for me to find your work. The big opening pages of your site where it was about and it was you and a couple and then it was like how I work, it was you and a couple. And basically an entire front page of your website was not your work, it was pictures of you posing with your friends who are the models, or maybe they're a couple. I want-- We all have to have great work, that's literally how you get hired. That's how you get the first call. It's the get in the door fee to have great work. And if you're not able to put your work first first, you're gonna really struggle. If you're gonna try and lead with a lifestyle brand before you actually have the skills as a photographer you're gonna struggle. And I'm not saying this is your challenge, but I can tell there's something going on in there where what is not on your website is your favorite picture. When I land there it's not going like boom. It's a picture of you standing there with a couple. And, again, I'm just trying to get you hired. If I'm a person who's hiring a wedding photographer and I land on your site what I want to see is gorgeous picture, gorgeous picture, gorgeous picture, gorgeous-- "Honey you've got to come look at this!" Gorgeous picture. "This is the guy I want to shoot our wedding!" Gorgeous picture. And then there's a story about you and how you helped your couples connect and how you get the best photographs because you do X, Y, and Z, not the other way around. And when you, you can put-- I don't know why I did this, but I started using this analogy around golf. I don't love golf, but maybe it's 'cause there's PGA golfers, and that's the Professional Golfer's Association. And the ability that separates them from number to number one, he's shaking his head, he knows, it's so tiny, it's so tiny. Yet how many professional golfers can you name? Five, maybe? On a good day. And it's because those five, their in the club, and then it's all about differentiating, whether that's through your ability, of course that's the best way, but also all the other things you do. It's a total package. And the same is true here. You have to be able to stand out on the basis of your work. And what I-- This is also, this is the therapy part. I don't know if this is true or not. He's like, "Oh shit," he's sweating bullets now. I think you're not confident in your work--
I was gonna ask you something.
So I do have a landing page, I don't know if you saw that, that actually showcases my work top and bottom.
Is there a bunch of, behind a bunch of words? Was there some words on there?
So I have three photos on top, three photos on bottom that kind of punches the viewer to start like, "Hey this is my work, this is my style." And then once they go into the actual main site that's when it shows kina more the main style, "Like hey this is who I am, this is who I wanna be."
Big picture, big picture, big picture. Tell me a story, big gorgeous picture. Show me the work. Because that's what-- Especially, until you have a reputation, like Casey Neistat doesn't actually have to show you his work because you're so familiar with him the people that want to hire him know his work and they'll scavage all over the internet to find it. But until you have that level of brand, and maybe you do and I'm just unfamiliar, but unless you have that, lead with the work and then A how is your work gonna differentiate? And I can tell you how it's gonna differentiate 'cause it's gonna be more about you. What's in here. I don't really want to see pictures of you with your clients. I want to see epic photographs and then I want to hear something about what you do different, not just better, different, how do you stand out? The golfer analogy, right? Everyone's great, what do you do different? And look at Ben von Wong who had the stage last night, and if you're not familiar with his work go to von Wong or follow him @vonwong. He's done a great job of differentiating himself in a busy commercial world. Shooting people hanging off the sides of buildings and a bunch of really colorful different campaigns. So I don't know if it's subconscious for you, but I want you to feel really confident with your work, I want you to lead with your biggest, best, bold images. When I finally found images, there's that one with the woman standing by the window with soft light coming in, it was black and white, she was looking up, gorgeous, take over the screen with that thing. I think you're very talented, I want you to change that stuff. You didn't ask me for this, but I'm telling you.
This is where you grow right here.
Round of applause for this guy for a second. (applause) 'Cause the work is there, the work is there. The work is there it's just buried. And I think it's buried because you look around on the internet and you're like everyone's personality driven, there's vlogs and this and that and it's like you're trying to lead with your personality which at this point in time is not as differentiated as you need it to be. You need your work to stand forward and then you're right there behind it. You think we're gonna go there, but we're gonna go there. Alright so, tell me what you think, say your name and again Israel just moved to Seattle. We say Seattle instead of Washington 'cause Washington is the other side, we'll go with Seattle. And you've been here for a little bit and you've got a background as an--
A trade exhibition designer, project manager.
What do you think your biggest challenge is? Or how can I help you unlock?
So my passion for photography has been for so many years I've actually went through so many fields. And my passion and my heart is travel photography, landscape, and I'm a people's person. And I'm trying to figure out what do I do? How do I take my passion and make it into a business and hopefully still enjoy it? What niche is there for me?
I can't answer that for you.
And I think this is a really important thing, the answers by and large are not out there. When I'm feeling what he's thinking and I'm saying, "I think you want to put your work forward and I "think you're uncomfortable about it." And I'm hearing you, I can't actually tell you 'cause the answers aren't out here, the answers on here. But what I'm listening to in your voice is that there's a lot of things, you're really open to whatever you just want to make money with a camera and not as an exhibition designer. You can go landscape, you can go travel, would you be willing to do anything?
No, no, no.
See, but she listed like five things at first, it sounded like everything. So here we go, we're peeling back the onion.
Wow, so what's most enjoyable for me is to travel and take pictures. Of landscapes and of people. So there you go, that's my passion. So my dream, from many years ago, yes it takes me time.
But it takes everybody time and this is what I love. I'm not even actually saying anything, you're just unpeeling it yourself, this is beautiful. Your dream.
My dream from a very long time ago was to be a National Geographic photographer.
Do you think she can do that? (applause) Go ahead.
But then again, there are other things like family that's at home so I don't know if I can go for three months to Antarctica and film there, even though wow that's a big dream. So it's little bits here and there and yeah.
Here's a couple, this is beautiful. The fact that you are willing to say, "I like all this stuff, here's what I actually want "to be, I want to be a National Geographic photographer." Let me ask this though, why?
Why do you want to do this? What is your why? You guys familiar with Simon Sinek's talk around start with why. What do you expect to accomplish? Is it internal, is it external, why do you want to be a National Geographic photographer?
I like to uncover part of the world that others might not have seen.
A little adventure in there. You moved from Israel to Seattle, that's pretty good adventure.
I'm all about adventures. My passions are all adventures, I'm out there anywhere. Tell me, "Do you want to go here? Do you want to go there?" I'm not even gonna ask what or where or why, I'll be there, I promise.
Tell me about your family 'cause you mentioned that, and I mentioned Von Wong earlier. We were sitting around, we filmed something after his talk and it was about be careful with what you wish for because when you get it you better have been thoughtful. Because you mind end up painting yourself in this box and you're like, "Oh shit." Here I am a travel photographer for National Geographic and I'm in Antarctica for three months and the other things that I really care deeply about are my family and they're back in Seattle. So tell me a little bit about your family and I'll try and help you figure out how you can be a National Geographic photographer, still see your family, and still go over the world. It's doable. We laugh but this is the level of specificity that it requires. If you say you want to be a wedding photographer, you don't know how, you don't know where, you don't know what, you don't have much to charge, it's very unlikely that you're gonna go there. I do a little Instagram story with Mitch who cuts my hair, bless you Mitch, I love you bud. Every single time I get my haircut I'm like Instagram, "Hey Mitch, you ever cut hair without a plan." And he's like, "No man, I've always got a plan, "I always know what I'm gonna do when I sit down "to cut your hair." And I'm like, "Getting haircuts is like life, "if you don't know where you're going it's very hard "to get there." So I want to hone in on, how important is your family? Obviously you can't say they're not important at all.
It's only between me and you, right?
Just me and you.
My family is of course very important. I have three children, but then again they're all for my passions and so is my husband so my previous work I traveled a lot all over the world to supervise the building of these exhibitions--
So travels, you've been traveling.
I've been traveling and I've been away from home. Not three months though, so there's the thing.
I don't think you need to be gone for three months and I don't think you need to go straight from zero to National Geographic.
Exactly, yeah I don't think so.
We're gonna take some baby steps. We know what you want to do, you want to photograph, sounds like indigenous people and beautiful landscapes and places that are remote and you want to uncover those places and help people see things they've never seen before. I want you to write that down because that's the thing that you actually want. When someone asks you what you want you need to be able to understand, visualize, and articulate the things you actually want and that's what you want. So that's step one. Step two is figuring out how to make that work. It sounds like your family is very willing to support you in being gone for a little bit, so at first what can you do tomorrow to document a travel, document a trip and share it with a local blog? What can you do to create some sort of story at a level that you know that you can operate at? Have you communicated and participated in the photography community? Does everyone in your world know that you want to be a travel photographer?
I believe so. I believe they all know I want to go after my passion, they all know I like travel, so if you put them together, I guess yeah.
Do some people who might be wiling to hire you know that? That's in a gray area, maybe.
So I've also talked at length about in order to get hired, in order to have someone else have the confidence and be willing to hire you, write a check to send you to some other place you have to be so certain. Even if you're uncertain in here you have to be so convincing to the person because they're actually making a decision that impacts their job. If they make a bet on-- And this is the reality, this is not sugar coated. If they are sending you to Antarctica for a week, let's take the Antarctica thing out, that's a big deal. So if you're gonna go to Pocatello, Idaho for three days to shoot the rodeo, which is, I've seen National Geographic stories just like that, then like-- I lost my train of thought, but you understand? You have to actually convince the person who's sitting across from you, they're gonna make a bet. It's gonna be $2500 in expenses and it's gonna be a $5000, 1500 a day for three days, $4500, so it's gonna be a $10,000 deal. And if they spend $10,000 on a photographer they don't really know that much and you come back and you don't deliver, what happens to them? They get in trouble. So they're making bets on you. And if you have resisted putting yourselves in the position, this goes for everybody, if you have resisted putting yourself in a position that people were hiring you and thinking about what's really on the line, 'cause their ass is on the line. So what can you do to find out the things that are blockers for them, take it out of the way. "I've never shot rodeos, I grew up on a farm." I mean don't like, you have to have actually grown up on a farm. But whatever it is that can help get you that assignment. And here's the body of work, of course, my horse collection. I grew up on a farm, I lived in Montana, I know all the people at the rodeo and again your work is the get in the door thing. That's how you even got to sit down with this person. And do they know who you are? Do you follow them in Instagram? Do they follow you on Instagram? Have you shared your work with them? Do you send them mailers? This is good.
Well, yeah. What I have done, though, I have put up my first website as a photographer a few months ago and I said, "That's gonna ignite my business maybe." So I got the past two days wonderful critiques of my portfolio and I understand I need to switch around everything. I have stories to tell. I have stories to tell from India, I had actually an exhibition in Israel with my photos from India. And I have more stories to tell from different parts of the world and I should actually put it in series and stories and not like landscape, nature, studio. Have it reorganized. And then maybe go out with it.
I'm useless up here. (laughter) But sometimes that's the dialogue that actually gets you to unlock that. The fact that you're able to be so-- I also went to your website, it's beautiful, congratulations. I think you should not worry about the studio stuff. Big problem that I see from the folks on the stage and quite a bit in the photography community is you try and be everything to anybody 'cause you just want to make 500 bucks with a camera. I get it, I get it. Every single person in this audience has been there, if you've ever wanted to make a dollar with a camera, you're willing to like, "Sure, road kill, I'll photograph it." Whatever it is. And I would like you to resist that. I want you to, you have to realize that when you say yes to something you say no to a bunch of other stuff. But there isn't a photographer, especially early on in their career, who gets hired to shoot male nudes and drag racing. Those are weird, I get it. But they're weird on purpose. It's like there is someone who specializes in drag racing and the person who's hiring people, they don't just say, "Grab someone, they have a photograph "of a car, I'm gonna hire that person, "I'm gonna give them $5,000." Why? Cause they don't want to make a bet, 'cause they don't want to get in trouble. They go drag racing photographer, send. And then your name should come up. And so even just, I was listening to you talk about you want to lead with your India travels, I didn't even know you traveled to India.
Six times! We want you to be the India photographer for National Geographic. And you're laughing, this is the closest shot, the nearest thing. The distance between where you are right now and where you want to be. National Geographic photographer, I don't need to go anywhere for three months, I need to go somewhere for three days is right there. You need to be defacto, the person who is the India expert and you can do that, its' this close. If you repositioned your entire point of view around, A, travel and B, India in particular, your obsession with the people, with the culture, and that you know that different and better than 99% of the people out there, you're that much closer to winning. Round of applause? (applause) (mumbles), you two. Rock paper scissors. Sorry, this is horrible, this is horrible. It's gonna be one two three.
Paper covers rock.
So would you rather him go or you go?
I don't care I'll get it over with.
Get it over with, alright.
I think her and I are basically in the same boat, we want to do the same thing. So I'm really trying to find that market for landscape, wild life and with such an overwhelming market, everybody wants to do it but it is so hard to get into.
But here's the thing, it's super hard. (laughter)
Here's the thing, when something is super hard, you know what that does? It keeps almost everybody else out. 'Cause right now there's someone on the other side of the country or the world who's saying, "I really want to be a landscape photographer, "but you know what? Its' so hard." Let that fuel you.
Good. And so that's step one. When shit gets hard, this is why you photograph something you care about. If you are chasing random market opportunities, you are not going to succeed. Or you will succeed temporarily. Because when shit gets hard, can I say shit? It's more of a gray area. When stuff gets hard, and it will, you have to have the fortitude to push through it. And that's why you should be photographing something you care deeply about, what is your why? Most people start with how and what. What do I do? I take pictures. How? With my Nikon D5. I don't care what tool you use, a plumber is not saying, "I got the most cool plumber wrench ever," He's like, "I fixed this, I built this skyscraper, "I did a thing." And at the core of what you need to think about is your why, why are you doing that? 'Cause when stuff gets hard, and it will, you need to have a really good answer. And when other people who don't have a good answer come up against that what do they do? They bounce. And then you don't celebrate their lack of success, you celebrate your fortitude. You offer to help people to your left and to the right 'cause we're all in this together, this is why we're doing this the way we're doing it right now. So I heard that it was hard, I heard that you want to focus on landscape. Is it landscape and travel?
Travel and wildlife.
Yeah I like chasing down the wildlife.
Got it. So is it the idea of the thing or have you started on your journey here? Have you done any of these things?
I've already started on the journey, it's something I love to do. I'll spend hours outside just walking trails trying to find things. That's my passion, that's where I want to be.
Got it, got it. So when you made money as a tattoo artist. How did you make money? Was it on a per tattoo basis, were you at a studio and you had a chair? Just help me understand that a little bit.
I had my own studio, actually, and I did a lot of custom work. So each project was different than the other. So I didn't find something on the internet and just put it on somebody.
I think that's a really interesting part of your narrative and I think you should use that as a part of your future story in photography. Everything was unique, every trip is different--
I try to look for that different angle all the time.
Right, so if I went to your site right now what would I see there?
For the photography? A whole bunch of landscape stuff and I try to find art in nature too. So I'm really interested in that.
But not niche.
What do you-- I think if you go somewhere looking for wildlife and nature and whatnot you'll get the landscapes. 'Cause it's about going instead of not going. When it's rainy and terrible and crappy and no one else will go, that's when you need to go 'cause that's when the cool shit happens. And a lot of days you're gonna turn out and it's just gonna be gray, you're not gonna get any pictures. But that's the differentiator between why you should shoot something you care about is because you have fun being outside. And if you get to photograph a deer or you get that epic, there's that little moment when the sun's going down and it's cloudy right between the horizon and the clouds, you know that moment I'm talking about? You gotta go when it's raining the whole time when you're hiking to get that little last little moment. So I want you to be outside a little bit more than you have been. And what are you doing, like where do you see your work? So you mentioned National Geographic.
Yeah, National Geographic, there's a lot of wildlife publications, even hunting magazines that'll take wildlife pictures and things like that. So I'm really trying to go for publications, or at least that's one avenue.
Can I help you think about how I would like you to attack your client list?
You should have a list of the top 50 magazines that use the kind of work that you are talking about shooting. And you need to know the photo editor, the assistant photo editor, the deputy photo editor, and the editor. And when you are traveling because you're gonna go to Boulder, Colorado because that's what you do, you want to go out be outside, you're gonna take a vacation, you're gonna temporarily close the tattoo studio, go on a vacation for a week to Boulder. You need to see every single person who has an office, who is a photo editor for that publication while you're in Denver, Colorado. And the same with Washington D.C., the same with New York, the same in LA. And if you're not doing that with a badass book of photographs that you shot and that are printed beautifully. Don't show up with your phone. This is how they recognize you. They hire people that they know. Again, they're making a bet. If you put yourself in the mindset of the people who are putting it out there, they're making a bet on you. So the more familiar you can be, know every single person and you're following them on Instagram and you are DMing them, you're not stalker weird. That's important. Don't be stalker weird, but that's your own personal taste, so how can you share your work with them? I'm gonna give you another thing, again I haven't been to your website, I haven't looked at it, but I have a-- I could be way off here. But when I find people are transitioning out of one thing into another and it's from creative thing to a creative thing there's a reason to be bold. You've spent time in there, you know what it's like to put yourself out there, you're comfortable with being uncomfortable. But I also find that people, it's much better to show 10 great photographs than 10 great photographs, five okay photographs, and three crappy photographs because you're trying to show breadth. No one cares. These, what did I say? I did my math bad here. These seven photographs, something like that. Dustin, you shut up back there. I can't add, okay. These are holding you back. You think you're showing them because you want to, "I also shoot antelope!" Doesn't help you. 10 amazing photographs that-- Studies say that they're averaging the quality of your pictures. So if you have 10 stunner, leave it at 10 stunners. Make them claw in for more and then when you send the a follow up send them a big print of your number one stunner. And if they say, "We're looking for antelope photographs," and you have a shitty antelope photograph, do not send them the mediocre, I won't say crappy anymore. Don't send, despite how passionate you are about your mediocre antelope 'cause you have a chance to make $ because they're asking you-- And they put out submissions, they put out request, "Hey we're looking for antelope photos for the in focus "section of National Geographic Adventure, "we really need antelopes. "The antelopes in Yellowstone are struggling and so "we need to represent that." If you have a mediocre shot, have you ever seen a very bad photograph in National Geographic? Don't answer that. Mostly not, mostly not. But my take away for you is I want you to be really focused on who your clients are, how you can get started, how you can go from-- I think your tattoo business is 10, it's developed, you've been making a living at it for a long time. What did you do in the tattoo business to become successful?
Custom work, that was really the biggest. Do something that wasn't seen everywhere else.
How did you get custom work the very first time?
Client victims, I would say.
Client victims that would allow me to do what I wanted, I had some wonderful clients.
So early on in your photography career you're not gonna go from zero to National Geographic so you're gonna get some clients that are very willing to let you experiment. And these are gonna be blogs, they're gonna be online publications or the online version of Hunter Magazine or whatever it is. That's a good way to get comfortable putting your work out there. And then what was the next thing you did in your tattoo business? Because the tattoo business is the photography business, is the design business, is anything that's portfolio based, based on what you've done, who you've done it with. It happens the same way. This is like, the answers are in here. So what was the next thing you did in your tattoo business?
What do you mean?
So you got a few lucky breaks, as you said, you called the victims I think.
Basically I started out at another shop and then I created my own shop. So then I really was able to fine tune my style and then that's where--
Great, I'm gonna unpack that in a second. So do you follow or are you familiar with any other landscape photographers?
Have you met with them face-to-face?
I have not, no. Been looking at workshops.
There you go, workshops is good, it's a good way to connect with them. Also volunteering. I call this the other 50%, what are you doing besides making your work and sharing it to participate in the community? If people don't know that you want to be an outdoor, landscape, or whatever fill in the blank photographer, how are they going to find you? You need to shout it from the treetops, and this goes for introverts too. You just don't have to shout quite as loud, you can have a quiet drink next to somebody or you can meet them at their office in New York or whatever it is. There's, I think the future favors the introvert. I really think that there's a really interesting pivot happening so take that with a grain of salt. There's many of you right here that are uncomfortable. Safe space, we got you. But I would like you to try and unpack and get close to some of the best photographers in the world so that you can maybe volunteer, attend some workshops with them. Actually being around the people developing the community is a huge part of it. Because go back to your tattoo business, that's what you did as a tattoo artist, right? You worked at someone else's shop, you saw how they charged for money, you saw how they did this, how they packed their gear, this is where they went-- Ah, those are the needles, this is where I get them. You were just absorbing all of that. I recommend you do that, as well. And in the process of doing that you're going to discover some things about yourself. You're gonna be like, "I'm actually better than (mumbles), "fill in the blank, at something. "I'm actually different than Franz Lanting, "than Art Wolf at something." The more you're around people the more you understand what's in here. "How am I different? Not just better, how am I different?" so spend some time with those people, do the work to go in and figure out all the magazines and this is not hard. You literally can go, I used to spend hours in front of the magazine rack writing down people's names in the (mumbles). Yeah it's right in front, exactly, you can do that. I think you've got, it's a little bit of homework, some work to do there. Give him a shoutout. (applause) Awesome. It's you and me.
So, um, again I'm in videography, filmmaking. And for me it started with a message and then it lead to filmmaking was the vehicle 'cause for me personally, again, it was always so powerful in my life, the impact it had on my life. So I thought that the message I wanted to give, film was the best way to portray that message. So I've been in it for two and a half years now and six months ago I finally did the first thing that aligned with the message, but it was self-funded, the learning curve was very steep and it's a short documentary, sorry. But it's just been very difficult for me to always try to maintain, I've been lucky enough to make it sustainable through video editing and things like that in these last six months, but I know that's not sustainable in the long term right now 'cause I really want to focus on that message.
Why is it not sustainable? How long are you willing to eat dirt to live your dream?
Then it's plenty sustainable, you can edit your ass off for the next two years if you're making films on the side that make you feel great. That's the thing, this is-- I feel like school should teach this and that's one of the reasons that Creative Live exists 'cause we weren't getting this information out there. The best way to transition, I think there's a belief that just like, "Alright cool, I'm gonna make documentary "films, all in, mortgage the house, sell the car, "all in." That's just dumb, that doesn't work. So Richard Branson's become a mentor, he's an investor in Creative Live, he's become a friend, I'm gonna run a half marathon with him on Saturday. The first mile of the half marathon with him on Saturday. (laughter) Mitigate the down side was his early advice to me. If you figured out how he started America, Virgin America, he negotiated this crazy deal such that if he failed that it was either Boeing or Air Bus would buy the planes back at full price. What? I'm gonna drive a car off, I'm gonna go around making money Uber Eats, if it doesn't work I'm gonna sell you the car back at full price. Or for some small discount. He negotiated that just in case it didn't go well. He wasn't planning to fail, but he protected the downside and the downside for him would've been eating the cost of all those airlines 'cause last time I checked there weren't very many airlines and they're looking for bargain basement 'cause they want you to go out of business. So he pre-negotiated that 'cause he saw that was the biggest hurdle. What I find is that most people when they are, this concept of betting everything is bad, the concept of I'm juggling, I'm video editing. The fact that you're making money editing video as a living and you want to be shooting documentary project that inspire and move people to action, how far does he have to go? Not very far. Sometimes I bet you wake up at two in the morning thinking, "Holy crap, I've got a long way to go." But I'm telling you as someone who's coached thousands of people all over the world, you're like right here man. That's like I want you to focus on that thing. And the fact that you have to edit video, right now there are people literally sweeping the streets somewhere that want to have the same thing. And there are hundreds of hours or days or, hopefully not hundreds of years, but away from that thing. You're super close. Do not deride editing video. I also heard you talk about, "I made a film but it was "self-published and I did this," and it's like you made a film. "I made my first film this year."
It's post-production, it's not done, but it's not funded.
We've got to talk. (laughter) I want you to finish something. Real artists ship stuff on a regular basis, slightly before it's ready because it's never gonna be ready, just as a reminder. There's always gonna be five percent. But I want you to be proud of the thing that you've done, that you self-funded it. It used to be like, "Yeah, I self-published the book." Mel Robins, who's on Creative Live, she self-published her book in Amazon, it was in the top 10. Remember the numbers? Just crazy, a million copies or something like that, self published on Amazon. You know how much her agent got? Zero 'cause she had no agent. All that went into her pocket so I don't want you to feel bad about that. I want you to be proud. Whether it's crowd funded or out of your own savings, the fact is that you're not on the streets, you have a steady opportunity to make money as an editor. Don't deride that because that's gonna be a great place, 'cause you're gonna get better, you're gonna learn on somebody else's dime. There's nothing better than that, that's so powerful. It mitigates the risk that we were talking about with Sir Richard, so I want you to double down on that and make sure your boss likes you. Show up for work every day, do 10% more. How much time are you spending video editing?
40 hours a week?
It depends, sometimes it can be up to 40, but it probably is never more on that.
Have you done the calculation on what your expenses are?
No, but-- No.
What I want you to do is I want you to calculate how much money you need to live and put an extra 500 bucks on there, you don't want to leave rich, I want you to live-- I want you to find out how much money you need to make and I want you to make just a little bit more. And then I want you to spend all the rest of your time figuring out your passion. You know what your, figuring out how to make documentary films and for whom and who's gonna pay for it. I want you to research that, I want you to understand every aspect of it, but right now if you've got a video editing project it's probably, you kinda get pulled in. You're like, "Alright I can make a couple extra grand "if I just did a little bit more." Try and resist that without pissing off your boss to make sure that you continued to get hired there 'cause thing is gonna be a great landing pad if something goes sideways, I want you to keep that. You're getting paid to do the thing that you're gonna actually do, which is learn to tell stories better and better and better. Now, I'm gonna shift gears for a second and I'm gonna go into the how you actually do the thing that you want-- Do you know what your why is?
Yeah, do you want me to open--? That could get into a long conversation.
Okay well just, um--
I don't want to waste people's time.
Hearing someone talk about their why is inspiration as hell, do you guys want to hear his why.
I'll keep it super short, but my hero is the Dalai Lama and I think the message is that he's, that (mumbles) are so important right now and they're being so neglected, especially in these times. So I think that progression of humanity has a lot to do with the (mumbles) of human thought in like a compassionate space. And I think that these are the less-- These, the best greatest human lessons of all time if you look at Nelson Mandela, people like that. I want to put that into, like I said, film was so impactful for me and I think it can be so powerful that I want to put these messages into film and into modern context and do that. But I know it's a long way away and I think that has to be like--
Would that be awesome if he did that? (applause) I'm gonna ask you one more thing, what's keeping you from doing that? Is there a meditation, can you make a short film for a local temple here or something like that?
Yeah, I'm always trying to be very sensitive to the fact that it's become such a taboo subject and so fluffy where I actually think it's like the most important thing. So I don't want to just put out content that's, put out 100 pieces.
Find the best pieces, find the best pieces. There are examples of the work that you're doing out there. Find the best examples, deconstruct why they're so good and go make five of those. Whatever-- If it's a two minute thing that you saw on YouTube that moved you to tears and you're like, "I want to do that," what was it? Was it the story? Was it the person? Was it the length? Like what about it? Deconstruct it, find out who made it, talk to them, meet them, call them up. Leave them a message, IM, DM, whatever. Get in touch with them, you were inspired, "Can I work with you on the next project? "We have a similar interest, I want to help spread "the word of the Dalai Lama because I think it's time "now more time. "It's a divisive time, what if we could bring the "world together? "You made a film that was impactful for me, "how'd you do it, how can I help?" And there's five of those. That's a little community right there. Go out, make that community, and then deconstruct what each of those people have done, figure out what it is that you can do, that you have to say that's interesting and just a little bit different. Remember, great artists steal. Good artists borrow great artists steal. And if you steal from one person that's stealing, if you steal from everybody that's research. (laughter) This is what I mean, you're so close. This stuff is sitting right in front of you. You can identify the five piece if I asked you, if I pressed you, if we had more time you could say, "I like this one, I like this one," and you could say what it is you liked about it. You're deconstructing the thing that you can go make. The first form of making is imitation. So imitate the thing, use your landscape, your lens, your personal lens and use that format. Rip of the format, the construct of the beginning, middle, and the end, except put your story in there. That's a great storytelling device. And that fact that you're a master editor who's getting paid on this side to figure this stuff out, beautiful. Got a little homework to do, you good? Round of applause for this guy, please. (applause) Alec with a C. Alright so it takes a lot of courage to have some red bulled up guy standing up here and get in your grill. I would love for you guys to, before, I'm just saying I would like you to clap for everybody, I would like you to give them a high five when they come back and find a chair or if they're standing at the back and I would like you to make some conversation with these folks afterwards. We're gonna have some beers in the next room. They need some encouragement right now, they were just cracked wide open. Want you to know this is a super safe place, we love you, you're good, don't cry it's all good, we're gonna get there. I know you're just jesting, but thank you for sharing your challenges with us, we're with you. (applause) You guys can take-- You guys can go find a chair now, thanks. (applause) Awesome, alright. Just in case I forget where we are. So that was awesome. I would like, I'm hoping that actually show of hands, how many people felt similar to somebody on stage? I'm clocking that in the 95 percentile. That underscores the point that I was trying to make which we're all in this together, we all have the same problems, the same challenges, and that's what's so-- One thing, that's what's so important about community. The fact that you all got out of your couch, your house, your car, your work, your whatever and you're here IRL, that matters. You need to do this as much as you can because when you realize, especially, that we are in this together and that we all have the same problems, that's why community is so valuable. Not this kind of community. Okay? This kind of community. It's one of the reasons that Creative Live exists. So when you realize that we're all in this together and we all have the same problems that, I hope, helps you open up just a little bit. So who of those in the crowd are willing to share their biggest problem and I'll see if I can add a little it of value in a short amount of time here. Alright. You, good sir, I'm Chase.
Lorenzo? I think we've met before. I'm visual, very visual person.
I do have probably about 36 questions, but I'll just cut it down to one and it's the biggest one as far as representation, trying to get your name out there. I'm a sport photographer and if you throw a rock in another other place you will hit 15 other sports photographer just heading that way. So how is it that you're able to-- I'm trying to find a way to actually get my name out there without having to commit a crime by knocking off 15 other sports photographers so I can get that particular job.
Thank you, Lorenzo. So the reality is that it's a very competitive industry, but the flip side of that same coin is that the pie has never been larger. There are more people using photographs in more places now than ever before. So the first thing I want you to ditch is the scarcity of mindset that by you succeeding someone else has to fail. If you are succeeding or even if you're struggling and you are shooting the Seahawks game 'cause you got yourself a pass and I don't know how you figured out a way to get on the field, but you're on the field, and you see Rod Mar, you go, "Rod, what's up man? "Love your work." You need to connect with Rod Mar, he's one of the best sports photographers in the city. He needs to know you, you need to know him. He needs to see you at all of the events. I don't care how you got on the field. You need to be at the field. I will tell you a story, I was trying to break into the ski industry. Photographing the ski industry and I had one little breakthrough, I got paid 500 bucks and a pair of skis for a photograph that I just happened to have of a really good skier with the right pair of skis and the universe lined up and I'm like, "Okay I'm gonna repeat that." So what did I do? I saved up all my money, my wife was waiting tables at the time, she put like 20 bucks a night into a jar, when I had 300 bucks I bought a plane ticket and I rented a car and I drove, I drove to Salt Lake City because the next day was the extreme free skiing championships. I went up on the hill, I dug a hole, I spent the night on the course so that the next morning I woke up and it was just like, "I'm here." (laughter) Everybody else, down at the bottom. It was very, I would not recommend it, it was cold as shit. But I'm telling you the lengths that I went to to be in the right spot. So I'm just gonna ask you a couple questions, what are you doing to be in the right spot, to get Rod Mar to know you? Don't answer the question, this is prescriptive for this little section here. But I want you to do that. I want you to be everywhere where there are sports photographers, you are there. And I understand you probably have a full time job, if you don't, how can you make it a part time job? How can you figure out what your expenses are, put an extra 500 or 1,000 in the pocket and then don't work anymore. Wait tables, park cars, there's a lot of flexible jobs out there. Drive an Uber. How bad do you want it? Because right now if you don't want it bad enough, there's someone else in Tuscaloosa or someone else in Washington D.C. that wants it real bad. There's probably 100 people in Seattle. You said, "How do I step in there and not knock off "15 other photographers." So first and foremost you've got to be there. Be there and shooting your tail off. And second of all, what are you gonna do with those photographs? How do you distribute them? Sure you have your own social channels, I think putting out your best work. Don't put out second best, don't put out mediocre stuff, put out great work. And are you currently getting published anywhere right now?
Okay I would like you to take the advice that I gave up here, I want you to find where are the 10 places that are publishing work? Probably blogs, 20 places, and have them know you, you know them, you know who makes the decisions, you know the editorial team at that blog, send them your work, find out what the contributors guidelines are and can you get your photographs in there? You have to do something instead of nothing. You have to get your photos-- As soon as you get one photograph then all you do is talk about, "Oh yeah I was published last week in "the Sports Illustrated online." And someone's like, "Oh that's cool." You don't know that there was only one photograph in your whole career, you just say last week. My last image ended up on the front page of si.com. "Wow, that's cool." So there's this progression that I believe has to happen and it's in this time where you're grinding that it's the hardest because you haven't broken through yet. And it's gonna be, one thing's gonna happen then nothing for four weeks. Then another thing's gonna happen, then nothing for four weeks. I don't think you only have to do pro sports, too, by the way. So are you relating to any other photographers? Have you reached out to the people that you see on the side lines or the bylines? Have you asked, work for them, carry their bags, volunteer, have you done that?
I've actually approached one baseball photographer literally in the parking lot, "Here's my cell phone, "here's my wallet, where's your equipment?" And it's like you have everything I own I'm just trying to get in. I'm not trying to take your job or anything, but here's my life and how can I get in here? And it's like pulling teeth, that I understand.
That's a little creepy, I'm gonna be honest. I get it, but what I love is what is he willing to do? Anything. That's important. 'Cause that's what it actually takes, especially early on. I think there are constructive ways, I don't think it's bad, I think there are more constructive ways to do it. Like tracking them and if they have a workshop, go. If they're making an appearance, attend. If they're doing a book signing, go. Meet them. There's a gentleman here who's a contractor here at Creative Live named Norton, he lived in Brazil. He saved up enough money and when he was 18 in Brazil to move to Florida. When he was in Florida he washed dishes in an Italian restaurant long enough 'til he could fly to Seattle. When he was in Seattle he started attending every meet up that I did. He sent me something every couple weeks, it was a post card, it was a book, it was a thing that he made, that caught the attention of my then studio manager, Scott, who said, "We should give this kid an "internship, he's been tracking you since Brazil "for three years, two and a half years." Then he got a part time job, then he got a full time job, and now he's here. That was 11 years ago and he was 19 years old when he started in Brazil. How bad do you want it? That's what you're competing against and I only say that 'cause what you want is the real talk. Because if you want it bad enough, it's there for the taking. Most people don't want it that bad. And again, we're talking about professional stuff. So if you're in the crowd right now and this isn't resonating, I understand, not everybody want to make a living and a life as a sports photographer, but conceptually what I'm trying to get is if you want to, if you want to shift gears like that, this is what it's going to take. The concept of you competing, the fact that there are more photographs now than ever before being taken in the world is a great thing, but the flip side of that is that there are more photographs being taken now than ever before. So the competition is real. But I hear in your voice that you're willing to do whatever. I would politely stalk all the people who are your heroes, I want you to find a way to be on their radar. I think cleaning their cameras, carrying their gear, aspiring to help in some way. Add value to them before you ask them for anything. Like all their photographs. Believe it or not, they will know. If you like every single photograph that someone puts out, they will recognize you. It might take six months, it might take six weeks, it might take six days or six years, but they will know who you are if you're always there. And if you show up when they have something, introduce yourself, like I'm, "One, two, three guy on "Instagram, I love every one of your photos, "love to be able to support you in some way, shape, "or form. "I'm strong I can lift heavy things or I've got great "vision or I'm an amazing retoucher if you ever need "help retouching I'll do it for free, "I want to just be in the same room with someone "who's as talented as you are." Do it like that one person at a time. I don't care if you make a spreadsheet. Did I follow this person today, did I check? I'm not gonna judge the method, but you get it. Give him a round of applause for sharing. (applause) Alright, couple minutes, oh I got the wrap. That was only one question, I'm gonna try and go fast. I can do one. That stings a little bit. We're gonna continue this in the lounge afterwards, but I'm gonna talk another photograph. Everyone's like, "Yep." How many people got questions they want to ask? Don't be shy. Hand up. One, two, three, four-- That's getting gnarly now. Alright so in the very back row you had your hand up first when I said who has a question. So you have the bun right there, I can't quite see. Stand up and tell me who you are and how can I help?
Hi, I'm Delaney, I'm a young photographer from Seattle and I am so hungry for this industry. I have a lot of goals, honestly probably a little too many for where I'm at and I am not really sure how to prioritize. I have all these things that I want to do, places I want to go, roles I want to take on in my career and I don't know if I want that to happen now, if I want that to happen later and I'm just wondering how do you prioritize these things? How do you know that you're making the right step? You're choosing the right one first or should it happen later, what do you think?
I think... Complexity is the enemy of done. I'm here a little bit of paralysis by analysis. I feel like you need, you feel like you've got to get it right and I'm way over index on action. I think people try and, especially when you haven't made your living in your life doing this thing, don't worry about it 'cause it's very hard to make a misstep in your first 20 steps. And also, I may have heard this before, if you stumble over and over and over at the beginning that's fine 'cause who's watching? I mean, and at one time when you've stumbled enough do you just throw in the towel and say, "I'm not a photographer," or I'm not whatever goal number 208 on your list, you throw in the towel. What if we did that to babies? He tried to walk for six months, I guess he's not a walker. (laughter) It's absurd, right? But that's what we do in our culture when something gets hard. They say, "We're not cut out for this, "this is not our thing." And also how many times did baby fall down and mom was just like, "Gah!" Not very many because the people that were close to that person, and that's why if you're the average of the five people that you spend the most time with, who are you spending time with? Are you spending time with people who support you and your dreams, support you and your goals? People who care about you and want the best for you? I think first and foremost that's what you've got to do is you've got to put yourself around those people. If you've found that community, I'm sure there are five people here who would be your close friends and be a part of your journey, I just want you to start doing stuff. Are you making stuff and shipping it every day? To me that's the definition of a creator. Are you actually doing the work? Are you not pontificating about it? Are you not wearing your beret and smoking zee cigarette and talking about film? Are you making films and sharing them? And as soon as you can call yourself a photographer, that's the first thing that has to happen. You'll get other people who say, "You're a photographer," And you're just like, "Well I'm not." No. Whatever it is you want to be, you want to be a photographer call yourself a photographer. Someone says at a party, "What do you do?" "Oh I'm a photographer." Here's what I care about, this is what I love to take photographs of, I'd love to share some of my work with you. You have to be, if you don't write your own script no one else is gonna write it for you. And if they do, it's gonna be a bad script or a script that you don't want. So I don't actually care, there is no silver bullet, there's only lead bullets and there's a lot of them. You have to fire those lead bullets every single day. So I don't want you to be paralyzed, I want you to start doing some things. If you're practicing every day, you're taking pictures and sharing them, if you're trying to get work, if any of this resonates and you're able to get your first work, your first job makes the path to the second one. You can't have a second job if you don't have a first one. 'Cause then by default it's not your second job, it's you first one, right? So the first thing you have to do is get a first job, you have to get a first gig, something. Someone to give you money. What I find is that often uncorks it for people like, "Oh my God." I just did a thing on social, was it last week or something like that when I said 10 x your rates. And I got a bunch of heartfelt messages. Most of them, there's this one Kiwi he was like, "Oh shit I was getting 200 bucks a wedding and then "I 10 x my rates and the next person who came along "I said I'm 2,000 and they said okay and I didn't "know what to do and now I've got tons of money." So, again, it's related, separate but related. It's are you actually taking steps that are gonna get you to the thing that you want? And I don't actually care at the beginning because what people who are not doing anything, what happens is they sit back and then they try and decide what the perfect thing is. There is no perfect thing. You know what you're gonna do? You're gonna walk over here an you're just gonna like, I'm gonna do the first thing and I'm gonna bump into this thing and when I'm here I'm gonna realize that, "Oh my God, what this helps me "understand is that there's another thing right "over here." And I don't actually care what path you're on, as soon as you put yourself on a path, if you're doing that thing you will know in here if this is the right path. You don't know what you want to take photographs of, again, your first job is to find out what you're supposed to do on this planet, your second job is to do that thing over and over and do it really well. So if you don't know what to do, if you want to be a photographer, what kind of photographer? Just say it, do you know what do you want to do?
Yeah, food and product.
Food and products? Do you have a kitchen counter at home with your little studio setup with the white card and a-- Do you have that?
Yes, I do actually. I have professional gear, I went to school for it. And I'm actually more just figuring out how do I prioritize the actually imagery or the roles that I take on, too, because I also love styling and art directing and all kinds of stuff like that.
This is a problem.
Yes, it is.
I want you to focus. I don't care if you make money doing all those things, that's great. If you are trying to advertise yourself as an art director, as a stylist, as a photographer, as a whatever it's going to be very hard for you to break through in that one thing. So, again, the fear of committing to one thing is you're shutting all kinds of doors. If you commit to something and do it for two weeks, it doesn't feel good, great. This is the experimental phase, this is first bucket, figure out what you're supposed to do. I want people to find something and master it. 'Cause you know what happens in mastery? You get to understand what it's like to master something and then you get to deconstruct the thing that you mastered and you get to apply it to something else. That is like second career arch. Unless you've mastered something, you need to figure out what the thing is that you want-- Is it art direction, is get a good job at an agency and be an art director, do you want to be a stylist and travel all over the world and style things, whether it's food or tabletop or whatever. Figure those things out and experiment now. College is good for that. Your first couple of years, that's one of the reasons you work for someone, you get to stand next to them. I thought I was gonna go to medical school, I watched some surgeries. Ever seen a hip replacement? That'll make you not want to be a doctor. I was like, "Alright, I'm good," and then I volunteered in the sick kids children's hospital in San Diego, broke my heart. I wept daily when I left that place 'cause you got little small kids who are dying, it's horrible. I don't want to do that for a profession. But my point is that you get to experience it when you step into that space. Figure it out, do I like this, not like it? I can do this better, I can do this different, this is my thing, this is my jam. And then you start pulling on that thing. So do something instead of nothing, figure out that you don't have to get it perfect, you've just got to get something. Round of applause for her for sharing. (applause)