SUBJECT LINE: How a cross-eyed, world famous photographer made me see clearly…
When I was a young kid, I wanted to be a photographer.
But back in those days, cameras were expensive.
And unlike our digital technology… developing film was expensive too, which made it pretty hard for a kid to get a shot at taking many photos.
Accidentally cut off someone’s head, or take a crooked photo and you’d face a lifetime ban.
When I was in High School, I decided to do photography as a subject towards my High School Certificate. But I lasted about a week.
It took all of about “2 Nano Seconds” for my art teacher to tell me I had no talent for it. (This was the same woman who told me I couldn’t paint either and splashed red paint across my major work. Turned out she was wrong! I got top marks for my painting as it happened.)
That woman shattered my already fragile adolescent self-confidence and I gave up on the idea of ever being any type of photographer.
Fast forward to a week ago…
I was offered a place on a photography workshop with world famous photographer, Steve Parish. (If you’re not familiar with his work, he’s been photographing Australia for over 56 years. Google him and be prepared to lose some time as you check out shot after spectacular shot.)
Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to spend even one minute with him. (Even though my art teacher critic made me doubt my worthiness.)
Now, I’m a bit of an “Eye Person.”
Which means… when I meet a person, I look them right in the eyes. It’s the way I read people.
Well, Steve had me a bit confused! I didn’t know which eye to look at!
You see… He’s cross-eyed!
But don’t let that fool you!
The way he sees the world is totally worth exploring.
Well because I believe it also applies to writing, business and life in general.
How does he take such memorable and emotional photos?
What does he do that’s so different to everyone else?
Steve Parish knows the secret of stunning, eye capturing photography is…
Knowledge Nugget #68 – It’s All About Removing Things… Not Adding Them!
To do this though, you need to know what you’re focusing on and looking at.
The problem is… most people are more like the camera on a smart phone.
Let me explain…
By now, you would have seen a photo taken on a smart phone… Everything is clear and looks great.
But what you may not have noticed is… Everything is in focus.
The person you’re taking a photo of is in focus… the person behind them is in focus. The trash can to the left of them is in focus and the cars in the background are in focus too. Even the person driving the car, flipping off someone else, is in focus.
This creates a bit of a problem… the person (the subject of your photo) doesn’t stand out because they’re competing with everything else in the shot for your attention.
This same phenomenon happens in copy, marketing, business and in life.
And this kind of “Focus” doesn’t help anyone.
It’s overwhelming and causes paralyzing procrastination.
Steve Parish shared that what he takes are “Considered Photos.”
He looks for a subject… finds it, and takes the shot (or a set from different perspectives and angles.)
The subject is the main feature of the photo and when the photo has a single focus, they tell the story by themselves.
Distractions from the subject are removed (Steve asked if anyone was willing to walk into the jungle-like foliage to move a vine that was in the way of his perfect shot. I was the only one brave… or silly enough to do it. It was worth it!)… nature is adjusted when needed and the image is tweaked on the computer as required.
So it’s not all about the flashy expensive camera and lenses (yes, they help but they are tools… not the talent.)
He said, Great photography is about two things…
1) Sharing Experiences and
2) Triggering Memories.
In other words, tapping into the emotions of people and making them feel something.
That’s exactly what we do as copywriters, marketers and business owners.
We make people Feel something.
However, we need to make sure we get them to feel the right thing.
How much of what you do in your business and life is considered?
Are you just running around taking “Happy Snaps,” getting all the background, foreground and subject jumbled together?
Or are you taking considered shots and making it 100% clear what you want people to focus on?
Oftentimes, you don’t actually need to add anything more… all you really need to do is Remove distractions.
Doing the workshop with Steve Parish has changed the way I see writing copy too.
Too often I find myself trying to add in more, when all I really need to do is move the “Wayward Vine” out of the way and the perfect copy reveals itself.
It’s almost too simple.
Until next week… be safe, take care and have fun : )
a.k.a. “The Copy Alchemist”
P.S. Last week I was asked why blood pressure machines pump the cuff up so high. Well, because when the same machine is used from patient to patient, it goes off the last blood pressure it took. So it needs to search for the right range. The individual is made to fit to the parameters of the machine.
Where as a nurse would look at the individual patient’s chart and use that reading as the reference of the range. Therefore, they only need to pump the cuff up a bit higher than the patient’s last reading.
Essentially, the experience is Tailored to the individual. (There’s a powerful business and marketing lesson right there, if you want to get it.)
P.P.S. Thanks for all the interest in my Mentoring Program. I’ll be answering enquiries over the next few days. It looks like it will be a One-to-One, “Customised” 90 Day Program with weekly accountability calls. If you’d like to know more… reply to this email and ask any questions you have.
P.P.P.S. Steve Parish and his co-teacher complimented me on my “Eye for Detail and Photography”… I guess my art teacher was wrong after all. How often do we allow “Dream Stealers” to take away what is rightfully ours?
Now, I’m no Psychic… but, I do see a lot more photography in my future and a few more courses with this cross-eyed, world famous photographer ; )
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