Interview: NvN on photography
I met up with Ed Verosky in his studio to chat about photography and the direction I’m taking. Here’s a summary of the conversation. I already am aware that I use my hands to talk. In fact, it would be tough for me to explain something without moving my hands around in semaphore. But apparently I also use my eyebrows to express what I am trying to get across.
10 Comments, Add Your Own
1Patrick Ng says
I found it very interesting that you talked about “diversifying”. More often than not, we hear the advice that we need to specialise. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s important to find a balance between specialising and being a Jack of all trades. We may choose to show only the things that we specialise in as far as our business is concern, but I believe it’s important to try new things, hit new walls, face new challenges. I believe photography is like life in general, how we approach a new problem is heavily influenced by our past experience.
1.1Jane Davey says
Eyebrow expressivity . . . terrific!
1.1.1Patrick Ng says
Please don’t laugh, but what is “eyebrow expressivity” ?
2Neil vN says
I never thought of myself as being just a wedding photographer. I’ve always described myself as a photographer that also does weddings. With that, as my career here in the USA progressed, I was gradually able to move out of that specific bracket.
If I had thrown all my energy into wedding photography, I would most likely have followed a specific arc where all my energy and time is put into networking with wedding vendors and venues. All kinds of very wedding-centric activities.
Instead, I put a lot of time into writing for my blog – planetneil – with no discernible reward at the time. I did it simply because I wanted to do that. I liked doing that. In time, it triggered a series of things for me which was entirely unpredicted and unintended – an offer to write a book. With that, the workshops and other books happened, and the blog, now called Tangents, had snowballed into something much bigger.
It was all unplanned, and happened “organically”, simply because I liked doing this.
This took me into different directions than purely being a wedding photographer would have. This most definitely helps keep the interest and drive going as a photographer, since every day isn’t just locked into the same routine of editing, marketing, networking, shooting, editing, marketing, networking as a wedding photographer. As much excitement as you may muster, and say you have a “passion” for photography, at some point there is a real risk of burning out when you do the same thing over and over.
This is part of the discussion about whether one should diversify or specialize – it keeps my interest alive because I have options, I’m very okay with other directions.
And in trying new things, I am not becoming a weaker wedding photographer. The contrary in fact. I learn more. I’m inspired by other things and other fields. So yes, my time spent on my specific business is now diluted to an extent, I can confidently tell you that I catch up in other ways in terms of business growth and income.
With that, this year my web techie guy and I have started to revamp my website into discrete levels, where the different genres are entirely separated from the others, so that potential clients aren’t overwhelmed or confused by the other activities and areas of photography.
As a summary, I can say that diversifying has been good for me in the long run. Different opportunities, and different experiences.
2.1Patrick Ng says
I am grateful that you are sharing your knowledge with us, through your blog and your video tutorials. When I bought my first flash, I was struggling a lot and was about to give up. I read lots of tutorials, and then found your blog. I became addicted to the information it had, and then signed up for the two flash photography courses without fear because I knew the content was going to be good. Today, I carry a flash with me almost every time I take my camera with me.
On the interview posted you said your dream job would be to work in “mogs elega” or something like that? I’m just wondering what it is?
Great interview by the way!
4Neil vN says
I mentioned that my dream job would be to do portrait photography at the level that Mark Seliger does. He has appeared in numerous fashion magazines and in Rolling Stone and so on. Iconic!
4.1Jon Lloyd says
We have a couple of guys at work here with South African accents… I will have them read that name and see if I hear Mogs Eleger! :)
5christopher steven b. says
Particularly good answer for that last question. It immediately reminded me of ‘natural light’ photographers (at least the subset of those who don’t know how to use a flash) as well as photographers who are ‘all about the candid’ and who have made ultra passivity a virtue. I’ve wrestled with at least the latter issue and there are probably more that I haven’t even become fully aware of. Thanks for the reminder not to mistake style for, well limiting our range of possibilities.
6Marvin Litman says
I like the fact that of all the good work you do that you still have dreams. When you stop dreaming of really where you want to be in this busines it’s time to go into another field of work. Enjoyed your talk