But What Have You Created?

seth godin headYes, I know you’re a master of lighting, that you’ve used every light modifier known, that you’ve been going to PhotoPlus for ten years, that you were one of the first bloggers, you used Twitter before it was cool and you can gauge light temperature in your sleep. Yes, I know that you sit in front of your computer reminding other photographers that they’re using the wrong gear for this job or that job.

But what have you made? Where are your pictures hanging? Where are your campaigns? Your commercials? What about your new book or your portfolio? What have you done with your skills that has been worthy of criticism, that moved the dial and that changed the world?

Go, do that.

The above is a slightly modified cut and paste from this Seth Godin post to make it more relevant for our own industry. Seth is a wizard. We all need a kick in the rear. Let this be yours.

62 Responses to But What Have You Created?

  1. Peter Olson June 1, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Awesome post Chase!

  2. Lee Love June 1, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    You are so right. The Internet has bred a whole generation of know it all’s called “Internet Photographers”. They spend their life on the net instead of getting out and actually making images.

    Of course there is nothing new about the world of talkers vs. the world of doers.

    • Arthur van Megen June 1, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

      Luckily i’m not a master of lighting, and not one of the first bloggers

      Luckily i’m making photo’s :)

  3. Clark Barron June 1, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Wow… What an amazing wake up call.

  4. rosanna wolff June 1, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    ouch. hurts so good. thank you.

  5. Justin Thor Simenson June 1, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    What have I created? Well I threw all that camera gear aside and started to make Lumen Prints, using photographic paper and the sun to capture images that brought me down to mother earth from that digital jet stream. Watch a quick video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6bd6Y9UE0g

    I also have created some images with models that I have never seen before and wanted to share with the world. Check my model work here: http://iminphotos.com/Models.html

  6. Chris Hazard June 1, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    Thank you for posting this!!!!
    I love shooting and sometimes find problems being motivated to get out there and shoot, shoot, shoot!!
    Lately I have taken to shooting bands of people in my hockey league, because there are at least a few shows a week with people I know performing.
    Projects are also essential! My current one is to shoot places within a 15 minute walk from my house. Great neighbourhood and very diverse people and cultures.

    I also agree with Clark concerning this being a wake up call.

    • Chase June 1, 2010 at 10:44 am #

      full credit to seth… i get a lot of inspiration from his wisdom. here i’m just passing it along in a form that we are more familiar with here in our industry.

  7. Wayne Hutchinson June 1, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Really makes you think about your work! Consider my rear kicked.

  8. Konstantin Golovchinsky June 1, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    As always, thanks for the prod, Chase.

    I have a great project I’ve been shooting for about 5 months, its al on my regular website, but you’ve inspired me to build a separate site just for those pics. Time to see what I can do with Photoshop and WordPress.

  9. Jeffery Saddoris June 1, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Seth is the man, Chase…thanks for the additional kick in the ass.

  10. NickM June 1, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    Give us Hell, Quimby!

  11. Mike Henry Photo June 1, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    Ha…Good Stuff, and well interpreted into our photo world. Love me some Seth. Thanks for pointing out that post of his, I don’t get to his site nearly enough.

  12. bellasqueeza June 1, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Amen to that Chase! Well put…..

    Happy June!

  13. Nat Thompson June 1, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Im a photographer/plodder. I just shoot what is on the agenda during my day. Try to serve people well with my stuff and get a little bit better. The safety of a newspaper job has harmed and served my shooting. Knowing that I have a brief and style can get really rote…and learning new little toolbox tricks has probably been good but it makes me stuck.

    So now Im out on my own in the big bad world of “humanitarian photographers” , thats not to say I dont want to be great at shooting.But Im finding it takes bravery to face my mistakes and subpar images and realise where I sit in the scheme of things. referencing off the best in the world is okay (and demoralizing) but the lighting and tech jargon can get a bit overwhelming if your not a tech head.

    If its images you like not photographers, then it can feel like everyone has a better technical perspective and they have all the gear and I have the camera I can afford that has a rubber grip falling off. I think sometimes I see pictures that are really tech lighting and go wow thats a really boring model. Who is that person? What do I know about them from this photo? Is there a mystery to unravel? but oh yeah but the lighting is amazing….

    I went to Irving Penn in London a few weeks ago and he really knew how to make a subtle image. He was classy.

    Chase ..how do I find my voice? Oh oracle of the interweb….

  14. Khashayar June 1, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    amazing notification ! thanks for sharing chase !

  15. Troy Woods June 1, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Thanks for the post Chase!

  16. Todd June 1, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    I love this post. I try to stay away from most message boards and alot of online things so I can create my own style. plus I don’t like being told what equipment is right for the job. advice is sweet but arguing sucks and that’s what seems to show up on alot of message boards these days.

    The internet is a great way to learn but I agree you gotta get out there and shoot and not care what anyone thinks but you and the people you shoot for. even if it is just for yourself

  17. Aleksandr Slyadnev June 1, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Ha! I thought it only at us in the country a problem with critics :)
    I them name skunks and simply I erase all comments.

  18. Jonathan Godoy June 1, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Couldn’t have been said any better! :)

  19. David June 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    I just got my stuff shipped to Readers Digest today…..now I have to find what`s next….

  20. Kerry June 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    I love what you write – I think that what you say often applies to other artists as well. I am a poet and find real inspiration in what you say. Thank you

    • Chase June 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

      love that! thank you for writing back.

  21. Jane Quigley June 1, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Chase – a post I read from Merlin Mann over a year ago had the same effect on me and continues to motivate me (I revisit it a few times a month to remind me to be BETTER). I think that everyone should read it and point everyone who works with me to it.

    Better – http://bit.ly/ajKuKL

    • Gerry Beltgens June 1, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

      Just read it – if I can do just part of that I will be like a minor god, makes me wonder if I should edit this post better though.

  22. Adam Jacob June 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    This post is so true, getting out and shooting is what matters not what equipment you have. Thanks so much for posing this Chase, it really has motivated me into wanting to shoot more. I always thought you had to have the pro equipment to get good pictures, but this blog post has inspirited me to rethink that idea.

  23. Matt June 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    I started reading Seth Godin’s blog after hearing recommendations from Chase’s blog and others. I really like his message. I’d like to read some of his books, but he has several titles, and I’m not sure what a good starting point is. Does anyone have a recommendation for a first Seth Godin book?

  24. Matthew T Rader June 1, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    I rarely criticize other photographers on their work, I try to find something they did that I can learn from.

    What I can’t stand is a pretentious photographer who won’t answer your questions because they are afraid that you will “steal” their idea of learn their “tricks.”

    My photography so far is only on the walls of some homes.

  25. Gerry Beltgens June 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    Great post. Just when I was getting complacent you make me pause and think again. This fits in nicely with another post about “what is stopping you.”
    It is too easy to become obsessed reading about the”new latest coolest thing” and miss the award winning shot waiting outside my window as the sun is coming up.
    On another note; at a time when trolls have taken over so many threads it is always refreshing to check in here. Do you have someone who hunts them down?

  26. David Harry Stewart June 1, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    Right on, and thank god! This is a meritocracy, not a democracy. If someone is not making good work, they are not worth reading. Where does the credibility come from? Who cares if you know 10,000 CODECS? The photo floor at any camera store is flooded with these people, and you know what? They don’t matter. They are not relevant because they are not working. In the subtle words of Werner Hrezog, “Have fun losers”. Show me the work, show me why I should give you the time of day, and then maybe I will read what you have to say. Tell me how you did that last award winning job, how do you go about speaking to Anna Wintour, who is the best tech in Paris? That is what interests me.
    We both work, a lot. That is why I read this blog, because I know you know what you are talking about.
    Know what I mean?

  27. Miah Kvidt June 2, 2010 at 7:44 am #

    This is waht I just made! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Peace Chase!!!!

  28. Steve Hebert June 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    What have I created? thanks to you Mr. Jarvis I, at 17, am in the process of filing a DVD for my Pregnancy Help Center to give to clients and individuals seeking information. thanks to your blog I have known some of the things to expect along the way. Which has empowered me to make this a truly special project,including a Houston Symphony cellist recording gratis for the soundtrack. In addition to creating the project, by encouragement of your “Create Share Sustain” post. I am also blogging about this. People in 35 countries have read about my Eagle Project benefiting my PHC. Without the encouragement of your blog this would have never been possible. Thank You.


  29. reader June 2, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    hardly a new insight

  30. Michal Fanta June 3, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    Wonderful post! It gives me better perspective.

    Thank you Chase!

    P.S. It’s true that it is not something new or a new insight, but reading, remembering and thinking about it every year might be better for our work than reading always something new.

    It always brings something new to me!

  31. point357 June 3, 2010 at 6:07 am #

    Yo, Chase. You aware of this: http://www.presspauseplay.com/about/

  32. Danny St June 7, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    Thank you for that inspirational kick in the butt… :)

  33. John Erdovegi June 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Do you really think Chase has the time to read all these comments from his followeres? Well if he’s listening, I’d like to tell him what the next frontier is to prepare for after this iPhone thing. Yeah, great blog bloke.

    Check out my website in a week and I’ll post more, I’ve got to get copyrighths, releases, then edit more and post. I don’t them selling my stuff on eBay after I die. Not before I have a chance to do that.

    • Chase June 10, 2010 at 9:47 am #

      yes, john. i read them.

      and do tell me what I should be preparing for…if you have time.

  34. Mike Morawski June 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    How appropriate that one of my fav photogs would paraphrase one of my fav pundits.


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    im doing it.
    and even though its not your ‘thing’, would you tell me what you think of my work?!

    your ‘review’ would be deeply appreciated.

    have fun…

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