And then this. For the purpose of documentation, this session was by David Hobby of @strobist fame. Moving on from “documentation”, WHAT A SESSION. I didn’t meet anyone who hadn’t had an almost breakthrough moment during David’s session. I nodded my head throughout – I’m quite certain fellow-photographers in the rows behind me might have been concerned for my well-being – only if they had not been riveted by what David had to say.
I could claim it was life-changing for me as well. I had been thinking about the exact same things in my photography career with the help of my mentor ( who is one amazing lady by the way ). And David’s session pushed me over the edge to actually taking action.
In short, that slide above summarizes his entire session but that is such an understatement. I wish I could share more than the slides below but it would be a massive disservice to David and GPP who brought him to the audience I was in. You really have to be there to see it how he delivers it – and he tweaks each session based on feedback from the last. That, in my opinion, is bang for your buck. As I claimed in one of my tweets during his session, just David’s session alone was worth the entire ticket money of GPPLondon. I stand by it.
I’m sharing some of my notes from this session just as I wrote them down.
No scattershot – think your business ideas through to a larger goal that YOU have.
Time to stop and think.
Why are you a photographer?
Other than a photographer, who are you?
You need both components : Amateur + Pro. The love and the business.
Use your camera to make a difference.
Most sustainable things exist within an ecosystem.
Above : When you offer to help, cool things can happen.
David told us how the above image went down. One of his children noticed hummingbirds drinking water while flitting in front of these water-dispensers that had been installed specifically for them. The child wondered aloud, something on the lines of, “But it must be tiring for the birds! They should have a perch. Maybe I should hold my hand up.” And while David responded with something on the lines of “Well they are hummingbirds – they are used to flying! It’s ok.”, the child proceeded to hold their hand up… and the bird caught a perch. I have goosebumps even while typing this.
Own the vertical. Expand laterally. Create feedback loops.
Optimize for things other than money – like happiness. Think long term.
Present the subject as a person they are soon going to be.
Create more value than you capture to build a sustainable photography career.
Dollars for hours is a limiting model.
Give yourself space to think.
Be only limited by the time you have.
Learn to think indirectly.
Having an idea is useless if you don’t keep it.
That, above, is where David gets his ideas. A walk through the forest behind his home. While such a thing might be unthinkable for most Indians ( What forest?! ), there’s other spaces we can evaluate. Below, the top three songs that help David generate ideas.
One of the changes I’ve made as a photographer, after GPPLondon is that I’m no longer a wedding photographer. It just not my kind of thing and was detracting from where I would truly like to focus. It’s a big deal for me and was not an easy “business” decision.
David does some really cool things for his local Howard County community.
Thank you David, that was fantastic. For me, that was the best session in the two days – not because any of the others was bad but because this one was the closest to my heart.