Mark Mann | Capturing Icons


My guest today is glasgow-born photographer. Mark man who has built this stunning career photographing some of the most iconic celebrities in the world from robert redford michael. Douglas iggy pop the black-eyed peas seinfeld raonic queen latifah stevie wonder bradley cooper willie nelson and hundreds of others. The funny thing is mark pretty much stumbled into photography in the most unexpected way in his late teens which is a story that he shares and then ended up on a plane to new york city. Where with little experience. He found himself dropped into the world of hip hop and music focusing his lens on some of the early icons in the space he fell in love with the stories that people's faces told and started spending more and more time developing this really powerful signature. Approach to hyper vivid close up black and white portraits that in some way kind of captures a moment mood vibe. A story and behind the scenes. It's been anything but a straight line Horn easy path remark as is common in the world of photography. There's what the public sees and then there is the reality of the photographic life which is not often an easy one but for him it has been the source of profound connection and a life stories that will live in his mind long after the images themselves fade so excited to share this conversation with you. I'm jonathan fields and this is good life project good. Life product is supported by madison. Read the other day. I was texting with my sister and she was looking for a way to change up her hair color and wanted my recommendations and i was explaining to her that when it comes to coloring my hair. There's a few options go to salon. Sit for many hours pay for pricey treatment or go to the drugstore and get a kid and be really drying your hair and have lots of fumes so i recommended that she try madison reed and that was easy because ivan using madison reed for about two years now and i really love it. It smells great. it's easy to use. I've just been really pleased. Every time that i use madison reed get ammonia free multidimensional hair colored delivered to your door. Starting at twenty two dollars visit madison dash reed dot com. That's madison dash. R. e. e. d. dot com. And now good life project listeners. Get ten percent off plus free shipping on your first color use code good life. That's code good life so when you think about living a good life that often includes a career where you're encouraged and supported to reach their potential to tap into your skills and interest and feel empowered to drive meaningful change. Maybe it's time to consider verizon as a global leader driving innovations like five g and more. The opportunities are endless from finance to marketing. Engineering emerging tech verizon is transforming how people businesses and things connect. It's a place where meaningful work happens. Visit verizon dot com slash careers to learn more. Today was a great place to grow up. A really will always. I'm jewish. Jewish community was a little bit bigger than it is. now it's dwindling Was great culturally. And i mean i didn't really experience any antisemitism of any notable no more advise goes than the catholics and protestants were so busy fighting once again. If you're jewish we don't care so i was. I thought it was a great place to grow. It sounds like it's funny. When we ask gary all of our guesses just fill out a quick form before we hang out just to a little bit of background and The bottom question is it's something like you know like. Is there anything else we should know. And your answer was a maybe in the bathtub. We're speaking so. There's clearly your sense of irreverence. That sounds like it's also probably been there from the early days. She has funny. It said is classical bannerman he can. There's nowhere else like. He can't get away with anything you know when i go home my friends who have known my whole life will say thank you all fancy now living in new york he they it. Oh fancy day and it's just this immediate bring back to earth and incredibly grinding. But it's amusing. It's it's funny just can't it's just the this banter the banters phenomenal. I miss that. Did it's like forced humility at high speed snuck in there. Yeah i mean it's funny. I have a very good friend who's Is named is scotty. But it's actually not as real name. He's from scotland elsa and And as soon as he dropped down into sort of london area which is where he's he's been just immediately. People started calling him scotty just because of his accent and that for his entire adult life. Now that's his name. I hated london. I never wanted to live in london. God london Major cities that. I've been super fortunate to have been in a few london just only a much much later in life and i was sent to london as photographer to do a job. And you know we could take a taxi from heathrow Subway you know the underground and you know straight into central london a nice fancy hotel and london's quite nice but my experience from other before was friends. Moved there at these damn flights in north london. Oh so depressing. Horrible instigate anywhere took forever a much prefer glasgow-to-london. Yeah now that makes sense to me. I'm not dissing london but it's a different oil about one so it sounds like for you. Art kind of touchdown fairly early in your life. You didn't show biz photography in the beginning but it sounds like nearly stays. There was something that was. There was a an artistic impulse in yet. So yeah i mean i. I enjoyed it. I definitely enjoyed it. And i think started off by kennecott cartoons. You know trying to draw little characters from cartoons photography. I had no idea Who's just like your dad's donato day. It was nothing. And then i really wanted to do our and those two things that can happen simultaneously at made these sculptures in clay which i really liked and really. I enjoyed them in. There were gray and then similar Similar can at time. Some of my buddies were in edinburgh edinburgh festival and win on the train from glasgow to edinburgh. Must have been about fifteen or fourteen fifty. Maybe sixteen ambivert chancer. You know Philo myself and get on the train and this one four seat with very beautiful young lady. Older lady must be at least seventeen or eighteen. Maybe night just intriguing looking at expose now in respect for indian might be the term. But i wasn't really Look i'm sitting dying side. Then we started talking and she told me she was studying photography. Manchester school of art. I'm gonna do. I'll see you there and she can explain to me by School was while you know. I'd never heard this from anyone and i came back from the festival into a very good relationship with my art teachers. one especially mr marshall and i said tim too advani. Photography school goes yamagata darkroom. All great was at and they said well. What if we photograph some of your sculptures and emma can make prince of them in the dark so i said that's a great idea. You have a camera. So i hear the camera tooks photos. And then he Took me into the dark room before. We can process that phil and as soon as you can have for me as soon as i walked in. Smell the chemicals in the red light was just very cool place. I don't think of Ever beaten anywheres colas and we didn't have any negative so he shoots photo paper. And i think to go my glasses and his impedes or somebody. We put on a sheet photo paper very man ray style who shone the light dying in a put it in the developer. And i just this alchemy. Just something shifted inside me. And that's all. I ever wanted to do from that home and on my dad's a little camera started taking pictures with that Applied to manchester polytechnic Lavar go in. The young lady was in a thinker third year when i go into my foundation course we who was no romantic interludes but we did remain frayn's and speak occasionally till this day star. That's amazing do you ever wonder i'm fascinated with the concept sliding doors. If you hadn't just randomly. I met this woman on the train. And then if you hadn't gone back to school and and your teacher's like oh yeah. We have a darkroom and taking an interest. You're like those two just moments that set in motion. I are lifetime of work like do you ever wonder if those do and all the time i a maybe a baby advil to ford lunch if that has like how could use my brain to do. Something actually made money to wonder i if i go back to. Art was my thing at high school. So one of the purposes of making the photographs of the clay sculptures was. Because if you're going to apply to art school may be. Then you know. So i think i would have all was. I don't know. I really really don't know an end to this day. I don't even know you know as you talk about sliding doors would i. I've been better something else. I mean not tokar fever. i don't know man is such an interesting question really interesting fascinated by those. I mean some people this late this gradual progression and build over time and then some people. There's a moment or an experience or a person the just drops down and everything changes and for you. It sounds like there. Is this maker impulse in you. That was yearning to get an would've probably found. Its way out some way. Think so the way that it has with us pretty amazing. I kinda wanted to be an architect for five minutes. So did i actually between between being pre-med and oh go dark extra skull when when you get add manchester. It sounds like you went almost immediately to new york yet. The info period in between where a lot of my buddies in school were actually from london or manchester and my buddies from london went to london. Hanan alone of known photo buddies got jobs right so they moved to london with jobs. Hi my moon to london man. I don't have any money. Got nothing. I've got a portfolio weird art crap that have created over the last four years. I have absolutely no idea how to get a job as a photographer. I mean i have no idea what i wanna do. I mean it was all right. Thanks for the education so moved back to bosco which was kind of i mean. That's really what i had to do. And i also didn't like london but mentioned that some impact glasgow start shipping around my portfolio like calling design firms and add firms and start to pick up a few jobs furniture catholics cetera had been there two years maybe after i don i don't know i'd have to check and again criti- of god like a couple of catalog furniture catalogs do month. The i mean for me was very well paid but enough to afford a rain and they thinking maybe i should buy an apartment stopping him and then it was. I couldn't explain what was by new something that was stopping me doing that. I'm not sure what and then another tremendous piece of lock as that. The woman i was with who was an absolute love of my life decided should be with nearly more. And i just had to. She was in london by I had to leave the country. I couldn't get far enough away. So i a buddy that was in new york selling diamonds. And i call them said. Hey can i come for minute. He goes comes one planned like this two week three week. The first time i went home was two years later. Three years later to visa New york was just mind. Blowing goes to new york. And i think one of the first or second night. I went to party with somebody new from summer. Analyst said. I'm talking to this really cool girl forest. Who will any liebowitz studio manager. So you know things happen. Superfast new york super slow so all of a sudden my portfolio in more relevant to the kind of going to see magazines Started to pick up a few bits and pieces here and there. I got an agent. Which was bizarre. But i think somebody saw potential on a gutless job in la for entertainment weekly I went out to la my portfolio. My camera bag in two pairs of underwear in a pair of socks which is pretty much. I was bypass or at came. I came on vacation. You know anna. I did the job. And it was great. May fedex the foam from the studio back to new york to my lab and then a new somebody new somebody and they said why have lunch to this guy. So i drove highs in the rental car came at lunch. The chunk of the rental car had been broken into camera. Going close goad bowman folio and this was the day where it was probably all film right so this was there wasn't a digital backup right and i know reneged soon. Scotland ryan you know and you know. Most of the was in my book. was you know. An menagian scotland So get home. I get back to my agent. She goes. I can get a newburgh. She goes 'cause when you get a new book we'll seven thankfully i is this the silver linings in all these things. I started to assist and i assisted for two or three years. Still trying to shoot for years. And i really learn. I think more than anybody could have ever taught me about the business in how it works. You know that way a little bit. Yeah i mean new york also especially that. We're talking sort of like late. Nineties right early to know. Community sevens probably ninety nine. You want okay so early late eighties. Which was i mean. It's a little bit of a you know it's weird to say. There's a golden era photography in new york. But i feel like there was a season in new york logo and where it was. Just some incredible. I mean you mentioned liebowitz. And but they're also i mean there. There are so many people who are doing really pushing the envelope of what the expectation of photography and what you could do down that window. You ended up assisting for at least a chunk of time. I guess with miles aldridge. Yeah worked for miles for awhile. I'm a great admirer. In respect of his work. I think he's very talented. But it was more an excellent example for me of not to treat people you know it was it was it was and i learned a ton of always. Be thankful to that but it was like. Wow can't can't believe you're saying that you're doing that that. I think working for a few people like like that made me very different in how i was when i was the boss. In addis instance. Probably to my detriment. Actually i mean you know if i the dollar for every time my wife said you're dice dic- should be harder on these things bridge back. Cantona of the energy managers wanted to go smooth that nobody's fault but mine right. I mean it is the bottom line with tars. Nobody's fault but mine but at the end of the day though i mean what have you you have your work and you have the relationships that you build with people you know and they both manner you know they both. It's allowed not just the money you get paid for what you're doing that you're like at up to glenn who is supposed to get paid that the classic photography live right You're right am Great relationships with so many people came out with so many of the doger's game with me or not taking photos anymore. Sadly the stylus are the makeup artist kind of like. Oh shit will your old school. Now de i'm trying to remember so that danny clinch On the podcast before lightens. 'cause he was assisting franny liebowitz. I think it was right around. That's similar time and it's interesting to see who's like you said who who still around. Who still shooting what. They're shooting and whether they really substantially changed what they're doing. I mean it sounds like for you. You kind of emerged from this season of your like really developing the craft and learn the business and you land doing a whole lot of work for source magazine. Yeah yeah that was crazy though. That was how does that happen. Because it's not the most logical next or here. There's a fellow code. David cookery who went onto. I was i think he will. I knew he has his own design firm now but he was the creative director for a tiny little publication called manhattan file. Remember elliot. Just i went in cold with my book. You know as a magazine. I'm very much a society magazine. I don't know if you He can doug my porteous and the me a couple of commissions one was braised analysis mama's jay mcinerney hand. I think mostly. Because i had no idea what else doing a produce some addressing portrait's ghabra award broker. And i did that and then he wanted to give me a cover. Gave me a cover of candace bushnell. Soon maybe the first kennedy season of sex in the city was huge. Managed to get this show of her lying on beds and i had no desire for to get undressed. Akara she wanted. She said commute naked. If i'm like that okay. I'm just no it's not my way is the more closed you've got on the bed to for comfortable. We did. This show knows a very very successful cover for other was beautifully retouched and those the success will cover in all of a sudden. Some other things start to happen around that bit. Cook radio win. On cody. wedneday goes mark. I'm going to be the creative director of the source magazine. Get in next week to shoot. Some stuff row is great. Dave was the source of hip hop pop Puff daddy you know what i mean but didn't really have a. Ad knowledge of what. Paul was the roots. Coacher anything so. It caused me to this magazine. Little white guy from glasgow main that good to the office in. it's all like real cut of hippo. Hello and he says okay. So i want you to go out to new jersey. It's the year anniversary of biggie. Smalls death I want you to photograph his mom. Mrs smalls brilliant Just do what you do mar great. So research I don't think i knew was not in a bad way. But it was not part of my thing. so new jersey rental car. I don't think i had an assistant with me. Just me and the open the door the charming wonderful woman missing from the source and she goes. Okay we're expecting you're expecting. I did these free Bit some pictures of mrs wallis at that. i'm leaving. she goes listen. There's if you wanna hang by some people coming over for the anniversary of my son's death Can hang from mid half cup of tea wherever and then like all these people start a nadia's is very funny. Like off. Who i knew but like low kim came about three or four other. People should have known but didn't start coming just as interesting. And i think it did okay because i had no. I think they can pigeonhole me as somebody. So i'm just mike go self you know. I'm just myself to know. What do you do allow Ama- do rap. Oh cool Wrap so. I think it was this eleusis guy but not in a bad way. You knows kaz just as a human being. I'm jay lynn. Jessop people and you know. I think that was kind of will was okay and then started working more and more more of the source and it was great. It was great experience. I got to all of a sudden. Like i get a call that i can. You photograph the the sure Identities album cover. No i done some as photographed and before for something. I was a thing for another magazine. Anos i sure and he goes. He's not going to show up unless you arc suddenly every time it was just as bizarre can things that happened is still my mind to this day and the other thing about working for the source was there one day. I was in a brief starter. Marriage i was in my brief star marriage. And i'm working in the i'm visiting creative directors. Little the door on this very beautiful young lady comes in brian. can attract Thing she was absolutely beautiful at that. This is a hey mark mrs katie. She's our new director of our editor for source for nice to meet you. I'm arkan that is my wife today so that took a long time but we were friends but yet the source was magnificent. And then can all went. Bear-shaped light just Through the source then started coming out of a hip hop album packages and then all of a sudden it was like a- wanna do is stand beside my car. Jay did it you know and it just started to get so nfl. I did to kennedy segue Music i was finding it. I mean listen. I've never turned on job by pushing towards things i suppose. That's when can celebrity stuff started. Yeah mean it's interesting that you know part of what you said in there. Is that you know. There's certain genres certain culture. Certain things where it's like everyone has you know there's one shot that becomes iconic and then everyone wants their version of the same shop. You know recover looks the same. Every album looks the same all the stuff the same and for them. You know it's probably Like i'm sharing in this iconic moment but for us somebody who's behind the lens is sort of like at a certain point. It's sort of like you know your own creative jones starts to want more yearn for something that's out of that box. Definitely one hundred percent in the is very rarely the out get let my creativity get in front of the fact that i'm getting paid or make photographs because that is the to me. The most important thing. Creativity does get stifle. But i'm incredibly fortunate in just the team player and being part of it in going in meeting people and talking to people in the experiences are just as important to me as the final image. I know a lot of photographers and may be. Allied via solve them is are just so committed to that final image. And i'm not. I'm not committed like that. I'm committed to the experience in doing it. you know. I think that allows me to do stuff that i didn't necessarily wanna do that mckinney. Yeah i mean it. It does working rights. I mean for you. I guess for some people. It's all about the final product rate. It's about this shy and but sounds like for you. That's part of it but that's only part of why early part of it is about. It's about the interaction that conversation. The moment good lead project is supported by inside tracker. So do you want to add more years to your life and more life two years if you do you really need to start taking the reins of life and start making better more informed decisions about every aspect of health that is what inside tracker is all about founded by leading scientists in aging genetics and biometric data from mit tusk harbor inside tracker is personalized health and wellness platform. Really like no other inside tracker. Start gathering data from me but not just by asking you questions but by giving your body voice to reveal what's truly going on. I recently finished the dna and the blood draws and they're on the way to inside track a right now really excited to see what they tell us. And they use a patented algorithm to analyze your body's data and offer you a clearer picture than you have ever had before of what's going on inside you then inside tractor provide you with a concrete science back action plan for living a longer healthier life and tracks your progress every day. Every step of the way for a limited time inside tracker is offering good life project podcast listeners. Twenty five percent off store-wide visit inside tracker dot com slash. Good life to get your offer code and try inside track today again. That's inside tracker dot com slash. Good life or just click the link in the show notes because change is an inside job. Project is supported by. Or so. I can always tell having gotten enough nutrition on a good day Everything kinda feels off. I bet you know what. I'm talking about to have one of those days where you really mean to eat. Well but then well life kind of happens and before you know at the day's almost done and you have made it through the day running. Essentially on fumes. Believe me i get it. It's hard to eat a nutrient dense diet when we're all so busy. That is why. I'm such a big fan of organic fi. So organic by the plant based organic superfoods blends that. Make it easy for me to get the nutritious healthy died i want. I love how i can. Just choose one of their delicious blends. Mix it into some water or another beverage and be good to go. They have got such an extensive line at powders can always find exactly what i need. At any given time from day to day lately. I have been blending. Their immunity superfood boost which is full of vitamin c. Beta kalookan vitamin d unzs ing with their regius. Which is packed with things like organic. Red beet root ritchie mushroom pomegranate blueberry and other organic ingredients super yummy. And i had this knowledge that i'm giving my body all the tools it needs to really stay well filled with energy. The best part. I know i've just scratched the surface of their menu. I'm really excited about exploring more. So if you wanna join me go to organic dot com and use the code. Good life for fifteen percent off any item in the store. That's our g. N i f. I dot com or just click the link in the show notes and use the code. Good life for fifteen percent off any item in the store searching. I was scanning back through Some of the stuff that you posted on instagram and there is You shared a shot of george carlin and the caption was something. Like the shot is meaningful to you like when you reflect on it you would have done a different. But what what you love about the shot is. It reminds me of the time with him. How george carlin. And like george having a chat to me that much more valuable than this image which is not my favorite Great not anything pilot. Twenty minutes george. Carlin man just listening to him on a personal one-on-one is everything and that is so much of the experience and yeah happens a lot with celebrities by real people as well. It's like when you get a chance to really you know. And it's an it's brief and it's fleeting and for that can be offensive. 'cause you know you're probably never gonna see that person again that that to me is experiencing what i'm beginning to understand looking back. In retrospect is that conversation and the the to the authenticity of the conversation makes the portrait so they work very much in tandem. But if you told if you have said to me okay. We're gonna destroy that picture. George carlin a nobody illiteracy again are. We're gonna take away your memory as photo on the types of steaks experienced you know. Even in retrospect looking back at that picture while i do like it by the as the communication. That's kind of the I don't like light focuses. Bad exposure was wrong about the communication is since me and that memory. It's so interesting to me. Because when i think a lot of people think about a photographer they or the a particular photograph. Let's say you know they think well this is a great depiction of the fact of what was seen. But what what they probably don't think about is but this is actually it. It's it's always got to be some blend of the fact of what appeared before the lens and the person who chose how they're going to capture it but maybe there's a third thing in there also which is the quality of especially if you're talking about portraiture the quality of the interaction at that moment in time it's got to elicit something you also. It's it sounds like a blended these three different things definitely. I would say the third one is the most important as a so many examples of just as anybody kind of talk to me about photography or portraiture knows in you know somebody somebody comes into just as we kind of touched on achim interim i commend to room both there for a purpose. You're there have your picture taken on there to make the picture. It's hard to remember. But i was thinking twenty five years ago but what i'm thinking nine is my light annot akano what i'm doing right thirty years if i don't know i you know. Second nature exposure second nature composition is not second nature. But it's coming easier to me nine so all i have to do Great team that helps you know with these things. I'm so very aware of everything. That's going on but i know i don't have to think about the only thing i've to full focus on and i'm not that great that either is going on between us in o- getting getting you to to smile two nods to tell you a story and shoot through that moment. That's all i focus on at and it is really changed a really begun to light more of my photos for that because i can really feel that i made that happen saying is it's not saying anything about me but it seems something about that person and provoked. That are induced are made that happen. And that that i think is the essence of a of a a good portrait. I think i've made like three. I could really say while if i had to have three photographs the ones and mostly it's not because life is now because a composition. It's not because of any of the other factors is just that moment. The is earl the What's happening between saddam photographer de when that happens. Do you know it when it happens. Do a happy dance to happy dance. I've really I call it like the photo. God's allying right and the factors that make up for reporter which are all the things we discussed. Light composition exposure Quite easily for me. But when that fourth one where the the the thing the the in the milliseconds or one to v of his aac wherever hits at that point you know it you see you see it in your camera you say care gutter. I mean do you feel it in your bones at the same time. Okay and what. What i tend to do when that happens is go. You know. there's the technical side of things but there's A brilliant button. I'm sure lots of cameras avot but like as to which have been shooting on law as has said it's a it's errorless has a digital viewfinder. See not really seeing through the glass. Which don't mike but you. It has one feature where if you press a button and the viewfinder comes up last pitchy took so you can be staring at the last picture. You took With your hands dine so it doesn't appear like year chin-ping the Check so i can chimp from here. And if they see. An i feel that i just go. We got it evenly taking twenty frames. We got it. Get any better and then sometimes i get a big smile. And i'll take that picture sweet. I'm out of hearing like no shot but yeah it's it's definitely it's definitely a listen i am. I'm still nervous and anxious going into any job. And i think the anxiety mix. The nervous energy allows me to to bring out his personality. I don't know this guy is when he comes but it's me and it's good for bind seven minutes. So minutes is a good amount of time for me to discuss border. I get weird or say something really bad get. I'm still. I'm fascinated dead. You know you're you're three decades into your career. You've shot many of the highest profile people on the planet and yet you still walk in anxious to do you ever wonder what that's about. Yeah the so many factors that can go wrong you know. I think i'm doing what i love and i'm trying to do something better than i'm always very aware of that. And then have these crazy at pre shoot anxiety dreams usually the night before i mean everything from my camera. Melting in la My sister out. Alex alex wise the camera melting. We've got another omar cameras mill. These really vivid Dreams you know by photography. And i have to say whatever years have been taking photos. Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong so a First hand you know on share for go sit gable in the light you know i. I mean when another shoot with a certain hip hop artist and he's hitting delete instead of the forward arrow and that was that was in the time before. I didn't go to the trash that was when the league was delete early digital sell for deny should of brought live the film and by accident. I i haven't had checked the dia so Through the scanner. I've lost twelve somewhere between me in the Had scan the polaroid give that to. I mean anything has gone. I mean we haven't killed anybody. Thankfully railing let paneling photographic camera breaking dropping the camera ruining the film deleting the With any of these things have happened. So i think spro things i comes from and then you know. It's a weird balanced more prepared giant to be less prepared i am. I know the things. I've got to get right like a gun to get the equipment there. I've got to get my functioning camera. There have got to get the light for high perceived the shop but if star thank. You really truly about what i wanna do that. Go into a crazy world who craziness so being prepared as might quit -ment at mentally. I just try not to think about it too much to get there and then guy i mean it's interesting also because the way you shoot so much of capturing the shod is about the moment that you create with the person so it's almost like the the more anxious you show up the less capable you are probably makes you more anxious than just Teams where. I can't speak where i'm talk to the person who discount on what i can't actually vocalise event that Eventually witnessed. That actually happened to somebody. I think has probably with james came from where shooting obama in the white house. I had a photo assistant with me. That i've been working for for a long time. Incredible young man and he had been through everything you know we'd had it all any disaster shoot. Went well for the five minutes ago to shoot on. Then as obama was wanted to me. Everyone abbas photo with everyone and said that this might assistant on obama took his hand in. Shukan said how's your summer going on photo assistant just kinda win and could not physically speak. And i've never seen that happened. Allegation being before obama was to cooley said well enjoy the rest of it is just magnificent. So i think after. I sold That became innings dream. I turned into somebody. It's it's not mark. When i'm taking photos at somebody i mean. It's not like you know grumpy mark. We my wife calls me the grinch especially this time of year. But that's not what you get when when i go to take your picture but it can't last as as five minutes and then everyone was. They are right ghetto off. I mean i'm curious also is it If you got your five to seven minutes where you have like this window to create a certain amount of conversational magic to try and create something that grabs the shot is the time limitation in part. You know okay so you're shooting. Celebrities generally don't have a lot of time. You've got to be in enough but also i'm curious about your ability to sustain that. It seems like you're very good areas. You're very easy in conversation But i wonder also. Did you feel like you're more introverted or extroverted and that being almost that forward-facing facing being part of the experience actually is hard for you to sustain just on a personal level or is that not part of it every interaction i have. I can turn into practice for taking a photograph. So if i go in to have daily to buy a can of coke if heads in a certain place which is all Photograph the sky while we're eight. Him is a handle for the money. I wanna make this guy life. I wanna show up as guy and mentally. It's constantly thinking about. I'm going to make this guy life. i'm gonna make this woman laugh armageddon. It's much to his chagrin of my wife family. Get to witness this but is great practice for me. So i think it's practice is definitely definitely practices definitely practicing communication. But i i have genuinely find that. Find that interacting with every human being you me. I can't do it all the time. But if you interact if you're gonna take their picture and you both have a better interaction. Jaw have cameron with you. When you're when you're walking around or is it more owner. My phone i feel so bad. I keep buying these blood cameras to to have a camera with me has so bad. It's it's it's a major major irc for me and i have tried so hard The fellow who works for leica. Who's a really good friend of mine is pro services guy's name is jody kreidler and i. I've never done street photography. If our adjust i i. Can't i live in new york city. I don't see anything is pathetic you know. Go for a walk. I don't see any anybody who was reasonable street photographer walking around new york for a day. We get great photos. I i don't see it understand it. I don't know if i should stay beyond me. So i said hey john. John is really good street photographer. John can you Can you give me a lesson. Street photography sharp trauma so we go and my office is in china tan. So we're walking ryan the kind of core area there which is pretty low hanging fruit because free magnificent as you know so. It's you know one of these new york light shadow days released from sunlight related harsh shadows and walking along. I'm framing up a show off the pillars from the site of the day. Just framing op. Just so worked with the light and shadows make a composition something. Yeah this is pretty good and at that moment. This woman in a Full length red coats decided to to walk out between two of the pillars in the right place and miraculously. I pressed the photo at abbas. The button that moment a gar kind of in the air like leaping off a stat and looked at the nine retiring photography i done. I will never met that a ever. So i've retired is a street photographer. I'm still waiting for that in portrait's so you had your own magnificent day. Just never do that. You know it's interesting. I have this curiosity. 'cause i think we're all walking around with cameras in pockets now whether you have a like a strap around your neck or whether you have a phone in your pocket make curiosities on on the one hand. I feel like if i'm going out if i'm always sort of like in this mode where i mean scan and capture mode you know. I'll probably see a lot more in my life. Even if i never take a shot. If i'm mode i will be seeing. It'll be actively moving through my day seeing but then also wonder if if the dark side to that is. I won't be as in it myself because i'm in a mode of looking to capture looking to witness and frame and capture rather than being in the frame and being in it and i wonder if there's that tension that because i i sometimes feel that when i'm walking around and and i'm i'm almost in that you know like i want to capture some cool stuff modem like what if i'm just here like what if i'm actually in the frame and me wanting to capture the frame stops me from from living it while that's that's very very interesting insight. I absolutely hear. You're saying but i don't suffer from it because i've never looking but that's a that's a hard scenario. I i think. I think with with everything. It's if you're capable i would say there's captured days in those not captured as and but that's that's really really difficult. You know anticipate see jerry seinfeld a few months ago while few months ago before the pandemic and he does his bit about you know. He's wilkins through welcome. Time are whatever his buddy his buddy jerry jerry without looking at and he just doesn't work phillies. Hey with whatever is as a guy over there in this crazy thing in is like okay. I got picture keeps I think are a bit. Like i don't want to see it as i don't wanna feel guilty but not taking. Perhaps if i don't see them you know. I think i think your point is very very johnson. Because when i'm working mostly it sam very intense short periods of time. I mean law. Hurry up in way but to go looking for something out with that i. I don't have the discipline. I don't have the talent discipline. And i don't like it enough. I don't particularly like being cold particular light being alone. I think who streep over for somebody came to my office the other day to pick up lands. I borrowed from like he was borrowing pissing. Fucking dying in new york. City was like bundy's torrential downpour days and he's a very well known street photographer. Any scott full anorak on his hood up. I have to take We run under a bus stop and said so. How's your day going like really sarcastically. Way like you know australian. I'm getting great stuff. Like wow mind-blowing so yeah i'm not that guy. I i am certainly know that guy major respect to those who are. I think you should need for you. I think you shouldn't be hard on yourself and over and over. Think you know it's inching it think i've also inadvertently found myself doing what you said where there times unjust out where i am right now. I can you know in in five minutes. I'm walking in on a dirt trail in the middle of stunning mountains. And and i have this impulse. Because i look out and i'm i'm scanning the rise and i'm like this is the most stunning moment you know. I i can't believe what i'm seeing and then my next impulse is to reach into my pocket and i have to capture this because it's like crap right and and it never likes anything but then i'm also like i'll like i literally put my hand on my phone and then i'll stop myself only now man like that's not the point of this moment. There's a time in my think. I have a similar wiring to you. If you could do that for real. I do through laziness actually for real. I figure really on to something. Yeah some days. I do it some days. I'm just like okay so this'll be my time to catch but then now this might time. Yeah it's also. I think he comes to experience where Lose the golf course just behind us here in long island and we were walking on the golf course and the light was that. Can of william merritt chase stunning. I mean the light was just unbelievably beautiful and those three quarter moon still by four. Pm three quarter moon and the sun was going down behind the layers in the levels in the men and it was. Just you know somebody Take a photo this gorgeous. And i just knew that the moon would look tiny colors would be wrong. The scale with bureau as i. Yeah if i had xyz d to do this and so yeah. I pull out my camera. Tickets navjot comeback the. Let's see that photo. Look like that yet. So i think i think also the experience of knowing that the it's better to live as a moment and keep memory as your as you're saying are wire there you know i mean i i have. I have a six year old. I've been pretty reasonable at documenting mostly through cell phone bat. You know every six months. So photograph from the camera. And i don't think i've made very many successful pictures but have been pretty successful Documenting is different stages. So that was that was insightful. Support fund rise. Now more than ever people are really paying attention to wear their investments. Go and i know folks have been revisiting how to invest in a way that truly matches their needs and gives them what they want. That's why i'm excited to partner with fund rise there industry-leading platform gives you access to diversified portfolios of private real estate which is great because according to fundraise studies show that portfolios with an allocation to private real estate generally delivered a better risk adjusted return with more annual income and lower volatility over the past two decades thanks to its track record of consistent performance through multiple market cycles. This means that whether you're looking to add more stability to your cash flow vi- dividends or you're interested in long-term growth appreciation. Private real estate is a good avenue to explore and fundraise makes it super easy for you. Their team of real estate professionals carefully vets and actively manages all of their real estate projects and their website is so easy to use so you can quickly get a sense. How your portfolio's doing see for yourself. How one hundred thirty thousand. Investors have built a better portfolio with private real estate. It takes just a few minutes to get started. Go to fund rise dot com slash. Good life today. That's f. u. n. d. r. i s. e. dot com slash. Good life fund drive dot com slash. Good life or. Just click the link in the show notes. So i gotta ask you about something because you shared through throughout the conversation a number of times a sense of all ed almost say profound humility about your the level of skill in creating images and from the outside looking in. I think you know i look at. I look at the images that you have created over a long window of time so many just stunning or traits where. I will literally sit there. You and look and look. And i don't know why i'm looking but i know there's something immensely powerful that and i i know i'm not the only one. There's something stunning. There's something deeply moving about this and here. You are thirty your your career. Sort of like struggling to stand in that place of like this certain. There's something about a place where i am right. Now that allows me to create some really powerful images move people and definitely incredibly grateful and i think so many expressions fake it till you make it our whatever you only you. Last photograph even. I haven't heard that one for a while but it's it's hard when you're when when you're freelancer. I think he spends so much of your time worrying about how you gonna pay for this bay for that and you know the struggles are very real far photographers. I'm thankfully in a better position than you know. Used to be but so many times. You do issue the client's happy and you put behind junior looking forward. Never looking back at spreaker. Let what's next what's next. How am i gonna make this some of it now thankfully has developed into I can actually have to worry about money so much but it hasn't taken away the worry of what's next when we're going to do next. How am i gonna do better. But i think in the last two or three years doing things like this has forced me to be a little more retrospective a by everything. And sometimes i can take a quick glance at the catalogue and go. Jesus that's a lot of work from his now bad. But i don't think i'm ever gonna be the person that i think i think when when you think you're during gray and when you think everything's great stipe. Dying it up. I still have the passion to do better. Always have the passion to do better in. I if are looking at some of my absolute heroes pain don you know. There's there's photos they made. I mean they made thousands of fabulous photos. But they're staying right are I'm maybe one too. I don't know so if these guys are always striving to be better to move forward to work with the times the different way. Things are happening. That i think is a bit of a joke to think that you know. Be as as as a photographer can do better and be better. And i think that's the genuine humility of over comes from an. I also think that. I think that if you can find a balance onset between being kinda cool enough. Dick often people who are who. I'm photographing of seen. My work can have often an idea of who i am. What have done but if you completely humility card and it's genuine and give off the impression that you know exactly what you're doing but you fumble around a little bit. I think it's endearing can actually help with the work at the end of the day. But you also i mean not to skip over that one thing that you said. It's genuine you and with you. You're very there's there's this sense are yes thirty years into my career but i had this perpetual beginner's mind total total. It's such an important part of who you are. You just keep seeing the things. I wanted to say much smarter than i salem. No you're right. I've never thought about that. But yeah i have a beginner's mind added at the new. I mean that's exactly what it is had. I make this better. What i did do during the pandemic was really interesting for me was. I've been threatening promising myself to book. A kenneth started as twenty years in new york in twenty five years in new york in a couple of days of twenty six years. But you know people. I've talked to people respected. You've got to find an angle. You're not going to be happy by just a book of your full because that doesn't just know you are so really trying to find an angle in what can came up with was to go back over all the old shoots and look stuff that i'd missed her stuff that i didn't consider because a client had considered it just went away are more importantly stuff that appeals to me. Now didn't appeal to me. Then you know sometimes if you're doing something for someone there's some shots back there that have a great interaction. the weren't let perfectly the. I looked over because the client was looking for this or that. So calm i retouched around two hundred and fifty pictures during the pandemic Back to the beginning of my digital athletic My film wasn't with me is in storage at. I'm nearly through. That and the next stage is to go back to the film and do the same staff. And although i'm not you know somebody if somebody looking at it might not see it. It's not like a glaring statement. I still think they're all things so photographs of mayor. I've taken but there's just a slight difference going back and looking at pictures from twenty five years ago beyond trying to curate something potentially for books what what was that experience life. You're going back and looking through her. Horror horror count by levi. Did that camp alleviated cap. Clo- actually work Dining mean to do that know it was it was it was incredibly anxiety provoking a wonderful pandemic project because it keeps me truly focused that i could. There was no client pressure. Because i was a client so i am the client so the client pressure so you could work it weird times you know. Wake up at five before Got up a few hours. And then like were laying tonight. Because i could go for a sleep in the afternoon. 'cause you know was actually shooting so much so it was the pandemic flu past or the the first i mean. Now it's dragging because i'm kinda back at work in shooting in That's another crazy. I mean thank god. I'm shooting but it's it's it's it's added a whole new level by the pandemic flu bass. The summer months flew past. And in retrospect if i have to find a silver lining. I think that's a major. I would never ever ever have done this. If it wasn't for the fact that who's isolated for six months so it was. It was horrific. But i did learn mean. I learned things not to do things to do. I mean beyond the technical experience dory able to save any of it. I mean all those one. Should i went back to pretty. Recent shoot end lied photograph. Chris rock act forgotten. it photograph. Chris rock. I mean not in a bad way i mean just like if somebody said mark view photograph crystal Yeah but it just in my head. It wasn't there out. Chris rock. Yeah so like for instance that knows house could photo even here so yeah. There was definitely some very pleasant surprises. That were usually quickly undone by dreadful horrific errors no but it was nice to revisit. The story looking through looking through the pictures reminds me of the story. There's always a story so is always A different studio or of gut. You remember the lunch we had after that are remember the fact that we forgot filmon mad so there's always a story so it was nice to relive the stories. I love that. I'm a big believer in that You know a good life as well story life and if you have this catalogue of images that for you even though nobody else will know this it for you. Triggers a moment conversation ori inhale It's pretty cool looking over being back issue that i did for men south. Who's a cover for men's health of usher and we were shooting. We're staying in. La on we were shooting on a beach. The beach houses. Malibu those veran. It was back in the early. two thousands. Probably where you know there was Who's dj onset of the kind of budget for stuff. Styling in motorhome inland big company cover for national magazine hand. We've checked and double check. Triple check the equipment you know. We've got everything because we know we get to malibu. Kinda dumb film has been delivered in a bag air. everything's And set up her lights. Everything's looking gray. And i said rose helping me that day or team. Give me some polarizing in ratliff some polaroid. Just make sure the lights okay. They come back and they're both action face. We don't have any olim but we are too. It's not in the bag. Fill gano no polaroid now. Actually that worried about that. But i know the creative director. The art director in sixty other people are going to see all rights. So usher comes out. And he's pretty he's changed is ready to go and go on sat. I think anybody in me could see that. I'm certainly anxiety. Although it was showing it. And i turned around to my friend to the stylus to as a friend or somebody knew quite well. Do me a favor of polaroid's its own his way from la. It's gonna be like another forty minutes. I would like. Can you change the pants bit. Take your time so he goes in labor. Did you take a bowler has denied unlike depends so but my assistants realized that russian vogue was the host next door. And i said to scholas- propecia polaroid telmo back in five minutes. So chico's over and you know five minutes ten minutes. Fifteen minutes at the usher is coming back backed a bowler ripple polar and you know back in the day you take like twenty. Thirty polarized does like taking three really examining them. Showing them around creative directors worked for awhile. Fuck is wrong with you. You know so. I think we'll we'll do the show show because of got film so start doing the show. The i can see from the beach. The road than i see a delivery van gogh and kenya relaxed. Do the ship. You know that that story is just going to stay with me. Forever i remember telling usher At another time it photographed doesn't realize those ailing rob but me as a human being probably took ten years of my life. Still can't the pretense everything. Okay i mean you like all these images are just. They're all these baxter is at. Nobody could look at the image and know what the story for you there so much more there. That was gonna be the name of the book. Craft store at crapload is good stories. Don't look the photos of the stories of good. The other thing that came by during the pandemic was a idea of at t if you like academy seminars every year and I have absolutely no gift for teaching. But i do enjoy the process of giving information the people once night. You know just to get together. Dig- a ton of requests on instagram Hired you this. I do make this. And some of them like woah Zone but a lot of them are are much deeper than i ever thought they would be. People take a long time ago bev reputation for answering people which is really nice. China answer everybody so we started a youtube channel is called complicated things. And it's we're not gonna teach to set your f- stop but we maybe hopefully teach how to budget for job you know that's been really really nice to so if you get a moment folks Cheka complicated things. We some giveaways complicated things. That's awesome. i haven't actually seen nets Is kind of fun is being that my partner. Alex and we have different views on things which is great. I'm i'm kind of old school. That are young. Knows what he's doing as able to multitask. You know if you have me more than one thing. I'm feels like a good place for us to come full circle so hanging out here in this container. Good life project. If i offer up the phrase to live a good life comes out will to live a good life. it changes every day does not changes in your circumstances. I think i think to truly live a good life. And i certainly wish i took more of by own advice here would be to take every day the grind He can do see we experience. See we contribute now. Delay things because if you delay any don't do it so i living a good life is making making the most of every day. Depending on the circumstances i mean. Sometimes you know a photograph michael and the it was just after his cancer surgery. He said i've got a bit advice for them. Something very similar to what you're saying says when you're sick you gotta make the most of it because there's nothing else he can do. So even if you're not feeling gray or Make the most of that. I would like to take more of my own advice. There is sometimes cited. Wanna do this and then regret it. In sometimes the rewards for the effort Immediate and sometimes awards to come back from months or years or you know the time that i insist on spending with my son right. I'm chopped liver basically mums around. Forget it but i really believe in that. Putting in this energy in time is an icy little hints of this. You know to say hey daddy okay. Yeah great question stuff that matters thank you i really appreciate eller station grilling say you so much for listening and thanks also to our fantastic sponsors who helped make this show possible you can check them out in the links we have included in today's show notes and while you're at it if you've ever asked yourself what should i do with my life. We have created a really cool online assessment. That will help you discover the source code for the work that you're here to do. You can find it at spark a type dot com that's s. p. a. r. k. e. t. y. pe dot com or. Just click the link in the show notes and of course if you haven't already done so be sure to click on the subscribe button in your listening app so you never miss an episode and then share. Share the love. If there's something that you've heard in this episode that you would love to turn into a conversation. Share it with people and have that conversation because when ideas become conversations that lead to action. That's when real change takes hold see time Hi i'm carla hall. You might remember me. From top chef or netflix's delicious. My life has been nothing short of a series of twists and turns but through the successes and the adversity. I always lean into my personal motto. Say yes to everything. Life throws your way in my new podcast. Say yes with carlo hall. I'm sitting down with some of the most inspiring celebrity personalities as we explore their challenges and how they got to their yes subscribed to say. Yes with carla hall on apple podcasts.

Coming up next