Chase Jarvis Keynote Address on ‘Social Art’ from Photo Plus Expo NYC

In the past several days, I’ve received a ton of correspondence asking if I’d re-post my chasejarvisLIVE Keynote address from the PDN Photo Plus Expo in NYC last week. You asked for it, you got it.

At about the 25-or-so minute mark, I wrap up my monologue and invite a handful of guests on stage, all of whom I consider my friends who are living my message. I think you’ll be quite engaged. By my count it’s the first time all these folks have been together under one roof.

_Zack Arias (
_Vincent Laforet (
_Jasmine Star (
_Rob Haggart (
_Joey Lawrence (

An impressive cast by any measure. Please give it a watch and share your thoughts. The topic is The New Creativity and the Social Art of Photography. In short, it’s about the new, crazy world of creating and sharing and how it has redefined an entire era.

[Update: there’s about 30 seconds of blackness where you still get perfect audio, but no visual. Hopefully you won’t mind – it’s just 30 seconds where you’re freed from looking at my dumb mug…]

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Chase is Awesome,

florian milz says:

hey there!
I saw scott using a small one-hand steadicam (also in other videos) – is that the steadicam merlin? – couldn’t find it in the “gear i use”-section!

Danny Maco says:


I too thought that your talk was inspirational. I think that often the people who become known as visionaries, simply have taken a moment to step back and notice how even today’s world is operating and changing around them… the same world available for anyone else to observe if they make the effort.

Thought this link was relevant to the discussion…

amy says:

Chase is the man.

My dream man to be exact. Soccer player turned groundbreaking photog? Sold.

cal geyman says:

Hi Chase.

The very critical nay sayers feel threatened (?who is this rich jarvis?). I am always amazed how critical and yucky people can be on the internet. They type things that are very rude in any person-to-person interaction. Maybe with the democratization of the internet and social media, we can self police the rude critics.

I am sorry you get the same trolls that do not appreciate your openness. I have watched many of your videos done when you were dead dog tired, and really like seeing all the hard work that goes into what you do. I do not aspire to be a professional photographer, but do want to improve my skills all the time as a hobbyist, and really like your sharing and education. As you said, it is free and you give it away.

Cal Geyman

Łukasz says:

Your blog is one of the most creative things in the world !
Thanks for sharing! Chase !

Joshua Everitt says:

This might be out of line but i felt like i needed to say something. Althought that i love how photoraphy has evolved and how easy it is for photographers to get information, but not only is it easy for photographers who make they re living with taking photographs, but anybody can get the information. yeah.. that sounds great in thearoy but don’t you think it cheapens photography. Anybody with a little know how can go out buy a camera read these blogs and call them selves a profesional. they can go out make websites,blogs, and get jobs becasue alot of them low ball the photographers that put there time in, and were always passionate about photography and wanted to be photographers. i Just kind of feel like this is aiding tha photography fad, which in my opinion is not good thing, its hard enough to make a living as photographer now. im afraid the term profesional photographer will disapear in a few years. I’m not trying to start a fight or anything of the sort. Chase is a great inspiranition and Speaker. but does anybody see where i coming from?

Matt says:

You should lecture at a SPE national conference!

Thank you for posting this!

Every now and again, I lose track of my focus and it takes something epic like this to get me back pointed in the right direction.

Focus on being awesome and the rest will fall into place!

Bruce says:

I seriously doubt that Rob Haggart is living your message Chase. That one is a bit too big to swallow.

rich jarvis says:

Nice find, Bruce. I’m so glad more and more people are posting valuable statements.

One thing I recalled. There’s that little site called Fstoppers.. They guys are from North Carloina and were inspired by CJ bs.. They post some BTS vidoes everyday, some original, some third party. I ask why wasn’t that mentioned ever on this blog and why the guys were not in the panel?
They literally live the CJ message. I don’t know how successful they are fincially, but it’s way more interesting and valuable to watch some videos on their site instead of popping in here. They update it daily, so that’s the real competition for Mr. Jarvis. More over he has no interest in promoting that untill they make a serious business out of that.

Now, delete that Mr. Chase..

Visitor says:

The xtranormal videos are so funny. This one is a pretty good one about who is the king of all photo.

Bruce says:

rich jarvis says:

oh, and if my post won’t get deleted, I bet he will make a new post, so that this one wouldn’t have much exposure. Save it people, till it’s here. We will repost it somewhere else if that gets trashed.

Gerry says:

Must be an American thing but what a blowhard, this guy loves himself.
The stories about all the rejection and not knowing how to turn a camera on are very cliched.

Credit where credit is due though, they have all figured out how to work the social media machine, none of their work stands out as exceptional though, maybe Vincent. And it must have been so hard being Jasmine, I mean hot chicks never get the breaks.


Rob says:

The internet giveth and the internet will taketh away. Eventually Chase will be seen as the informmercial star that he is.

rich jarvis says:

Well said, Rob! Whooah, what a backlash! I hope we are onto something with it. CJ needs to be brought down to earth and his schemes need to be exposed.

His latest activity and this keynote is way overboard. The D7000 is a poor camera in comparison to the Canon 7D, Aperture 3 is a joke, Best Cam app is a terrible piece of overpriced soft and this blog has become a regular CJ outlet. Panamerai? How even heard about these watches..

rich jarvis says:

Again, a valid point, Gerry. it is becoming more and more aparent that it’s all a scheme.
The overpriced and poorly rated Best Cam app, the book, Nikon promo, CJ Live courses. it’s all a disguise for a serious business they’re making.

The black box is there and it has never been made transparent. CJ spews his “mentor tips” from his business blackbox. he makes it look like it’s about art and photography, and most of all, the people and saving the world.

My comments are always deleted as I try to break the message, which only confirms it.

Dude says:

This is all complete crap. They say those who can’t, teach. And this roundtable is absolute proof of that. These people get paid to spout their stories of chasing the brass ring. And yet, none of them own it. They are Masters Of The Mediocre. Leaders Of The Bland. Any success they have gained has been through mastery of new social media. Not talent. The only message I can see from this self help group of dropouts is the following – if you want to make it big, know your marketing and get corporate sponsorships. Artists with true talent never have a need to talk about it or lead workshops. Their work does it for them.

rich says:

well said, dude! i see you comment wanishing in a while..
yet, notice how they don’t talk about the business side.. no company will pick your mediocre pictures because you put it on flickr or you need business skills which none of the panelist talk about.

true artists have nothing to fear.

Dude says:

Chase and company are all just a bunch of hucksters. Self-promoters in the truest sense. It’s ironic that his name is Chase. Because that’s all he’s doing.

Jarvis says:

Dude, finally someone here besides me is making a valid comment. Count down till we get “Chased”.. we are the Jarvises

i follow cj since 2007 or sth and it’s really sad watching him lying more and more. once he said he had never deleted a comment. well, he deleted several of mine, which btw contained no profanity and were related to the subject matter.

I wonder how many other voices has been muted this way..
Chase, if you have enough courage, you should address our comments. I have nothing against your business as long as you are honest about it. so, please don’t preach this kind of nonsense as you are doing on the nyc keynote. you are a businessman, you should talk about the business side only. photography has merely nothing to what you are doing. you could apply your “teachings” to music making, text writing and basically everything digital, yet it wouldn’t help people make any money. you need to be a businessman in the first place and that’s what you’re keeping in the blackbox. you are a liar and hence my comments.

Richard Simons says:

Thanks for deleting my comments, Chase. Keeping it real fake, huh?
By the way, those who deserve applause, don’t have to ask for it.

Wouldn’t you feel better if you knew you are actually worth as much as you think you are? You’ve got the potential, but not being honest to your audience is not a moral thing to do.

Anthony says:

Dude, you pump me up!

Santa Barbara, Ca

Love the work. Keep spreading the word my friend.


Thanks for posting this on your blog. I missed photoplus this year so it is great that the social media / online era is upon us. Great to see your keynote. Very well presented with great ideas

Tyler says:


I’ve watched this twice, the whole way through now, and I can’t get the words out of my head, it’s simply amazing. I am an 18 year old on my way to college next year, and I have this passion that I wan’t to study photography, I wan’t to be somebody from all this, and your talks always inspire me to want that even more. I say thank you for that, and thank you for opening up the world of digital media to the art of photography.


rich jarvis says:

See Tyler, you’re the victim of CJ. you’re his core audience. Don’t be fooled by him. I wish you all the best in your future career, but you better prep up on the business first as nothing that CJ does is photography related. You won’t be successful if you have no business skills.
It’s really easy to produce a candid shot when you have nice location, makeup artist and tye whole crew. The hard and actual work is to get this crew and land a job with a proper budget.

CJ is just lucky and he’s workig hard on his business side, plus he has excellent people skills, he’s likable and “reliable”. he makes up with it all for his lack of talent. but believe me, this is harder to achieve than producing a stunning shot.

So remeber, unless you are making fine art of quality pictures, you need to have that people/business skills first.

Thatcher says:

HOLY CRAP! So amazing! Every time I feel lost, you come out with something that keeps me going. THANK YOU!

thank you so much for posting this! i really enjoyed watching it and took a lot away from it.

Paul C says:

Hey Chase,

Thanks for posting this after the fact for those of us who couldn’t tune in live as we were sitting in our cubes, offices, etc.

Always inspirational.

Tim Skipper says:


This is my new favorite video. Thank you so very much for putting out here for everyone.

Dave says:

I shared your keynote video on FB and called Chase one of my inspirations.

Keep up the great work.


Kirsten says:

So inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing, as always. Whenever I hear people speak from their gut…I just get all fired up. Love to see creatives that are willing to “share”. AWESOME!

Spencer says:

Lots of words, but Vincent nailed it: lots of hard work. Success does not happen just because you want it badly. Fortunately, there are so many self-promotional tools freely available now to enable that hard work to pay off, but the core is: acknowledge the modern toolkit and work your butt off. Period.

Luke Copping says:

This was such a wonderful talk, so glad that It was shared online, as I was dreading that I might miss due to not being at Photo Expo this year. Such intriguing and insightful points, not just about photography, so much of this applies to all creative disciplines and endeavors, and about the the world itself has changed these past few years. So glad that there are people out there like Chase and the rest of the panel who are inspiring people to just get out there and create something.

Thank you Chase and thanks to all of you in the panel. As a lost 20 year old photographer? doing a degree in accounting I need to hear this stuff, it gives me drive, inspiration, grounding and it acknowledges what I am doing outside of university as not a waste.

Again, thank you, please speak and post more.


scmb says:

you are so full of yourself!

Matt Timmons says:

This advice will be well used today. I especially liked what LaForet had to say. Cheers -M

Just Joshin' says:

Nice vid…thanks for posting.
I hate to diverge but is it me or is Jasmine totally “into Chase”?
Watch out Kate! :)

Mia Baker says:

Thanks for sharing this! Fantastic presentation!

Congratulations Chase, great presentation! Thank you so much for bringing all these talented people together. It is indeed a great time to be a Photographer. It’s very interesting to see how all these guys found their own path to the present, including you. Very inspirational and certainly makes me want to go out and try harder and harder to be a better photographer.
I was about to go to your presentation when I realized I didn’t have enough funds for it, but I’m really glad you re-broadcasted it and I thank you for it.
I hope to work together one day!

Chase, first off, thank you for taking a leap of faith, side-stepping the criticism and ducking the violence, to bring to the table a dream of changing how things are done! It’s amazing to sit back and watch the times change.
I was also a biology major (other options were either a lawyer or engineer) trapped with an artist’s mind – until I realized ‘now I’m paying the bills’ and moved onto being a graphic designer. Only, after seven years, to realize that I don’t have to be ‘traditional’ anymore! and, although uncomfortable at times, I’m slowing becoming the artist that is truly inside of me!
This is further affirmation to be me, faults and all, so THANK YOU!
One question – as I’m trying to incorporate another medium (wedding photography) into my business model (wedding invitations and graphic design), I’m facing much resistance – even offering free services to compensate for training. Any suggestions on how to find people, with your same viewpoint, who would be willing to help? would still offer free services as compensation … LOL ;)

I caught it when you did this live, but now I can pass it along to others. A lot of great ideas and concepts shared.

Pat says:

F**** AWESOME, Chase…. I am so inspired to hear someone speak so passionately about creativity in general. I sat with tears on my face for much of the morning while I was viewing this. I can’t really say why.

ian aitken says:

Sure these stories are interesting and inspirational.

The web has caused an explosion of new talent and allowed relatively fresh talent to reach star status very quickly. Which is great in a way, but also I have heard many horror stories of young talent being assigned major campaigns, taking them on and failing miserably. There is still the place for traditional route of assisting, learning the ropes etc. For example why was Zack so good at lighting, years of toil.

you are correct in that it is all there to be had by all and sundry but have a good look round photographer sites there is so many claiming to be photographers, when actually all they do is put the camera on auto,snap then run a couple of actions. I have some friends severely let down by their wedding photographer, case in point.

Sure there are the few who are good and talented take Joe L he deserves to go far he was at as a young kid, and applied his knowledge and worked hard but there is also a huge pile of …… out there.

Did I hear right Jasmin said photography is not about your work???? what is it about then marketing?????

Cheers for the panel discussion



Stu Bailey says:

Thanks for posting this Chase! I watched your key note but had to leave work when your guests came on.

Watched it last night. *Warning* There’s a lot of great thinking points in this video. If you watch it late at night, you will have trouble turning off your brain afterward!

Thanks for the dedication & for sharing your insights.

Shivakumar says:

This is what i call absolutely inspirational.
An hour well spent and now looking forward to planning and spending the rest of the life with camera in a better way.
“Follow your path” – that’s the take away for me from this keynote.

Thanks Chase and Thanks to all those folks over there on the stage for getting us this beautiful inspirational stuff.


MM says:

great, thanks.

I wanted at LEAST two more hours of these peeps. wonderful to watch, made me grow, think and want to get busy!! Thx CJ & all the hand picked speakers… I only knew J* before this vid, but i’m going to look everyone else up. PS i even liked all the video “hiccups” makes it raw, so thanks to the behind the camera folks too!! <3

Daniel says:

Very Cool Chase! I will be sticking myself out there, for sure….

Come to Texas sometime….


Ady says:

Very Inspiring.. great stuff.. I learn a lot from you guys!!
I agree with “equipment doesn’t matter”.. what matter most is ‘creativity’..

Ady from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Jay says:

Chase you made this years photo expo the best one yet .. No lie every one that was their was talking about you … And that is a blessing . I hung out with tue night at the ace hotel and I can say ,,, you are the most humble person I meet .. Just a flash back !,,,, I’m the guy with the nikon tattoo lol … And please post the photos we took that night !!! it would make my day.

God bless

jordan says:

Awesome! informative! inspirational! Do you see yourself running for US president or starting your own religion in the near future?

Watched live on the day of, and just re watched it again. It’s interesting to see everyone I have been following for years sit on the same stage. Great job bringing everyone together. Thanks ^_^

Keri says:

Thanks for sharing that again for those that were unable to watch it live, great stuff !

Kyle Tunney says:

A BIG thanks for posting this up. I couldn’t get to online when it was live. Got my popcorn out and ready to rock watching this!!

Carmen Chan says:

Hi Chase,

Thanks so much for posting, producing and sharing this with the world. I am familiar with all of the people that you brought on stage and have learned something from all of them including yourself. Thank you for the inspiration and motivation to do things “backwards” and affirmation that we can all be where we want to be as long as we keep creating, sharing and listening to ourselves, our community and our clients!

Walter says:

A world of audience indeed Chase. Great keynote!

Jean-Pierre says:

Watching/Listening to your keynote on youtube app from an android phone. I’m almost half an hour in.Great information and insight. I love photography. Learning and reading about photography, talking about photography, and of course MAKING photographs.. gosh, i can’t get enough of it.
The world becomes a smaller place with the internet, and then getting to know individual people and how they see things makes it big again. Art brings people together because it’s timeless and beautiful, culture-defining, life-changing.

All we/I can do is try our/my best at what we love. Sometimes that’s enough and can make a difference.

Ali Daouk says:

Thanks Chase.

I looooove Vincent Laforet now! As I do love all of the panelist. I have to admit, I have not heard Vincent speak before. But, I am going to try to check him out at Creative Live downloads. Thank you Chase and panel for the talks!

Norm says:

Great panel and very inspirational

Taylor Verde says:

Thanks Chase! Watching this on my lunch break :P

Nick Gerber says:

Really interesting stuff. It’s cool to watch so many icons of current photography come together to talk about their story and how they came up. It’s just good to hear it doesn’t happen overnight, but if you work hard and you put your stuff out there you can become known. More than anything it’s good in this current environment to feel like you’ve got a voice (even if it’s not a big one). You can put your work out there in a way like no other time in history, and that is damn cool.

Richard Wagner says:


Juan Carlos says:

From Venezuelaaaaa

Ray Spaddy says:

It was a great pleasure to be in the room.

Your keynote presentation was very inspirational. I came out wanting to shoot everything, with my camera of course.


rich jarvis says:

You should be starting to think about how to establish your business Gaby, and that’s what Chase won’t say you in details, as you would become a threat. This scheme is workig as long as people are naive enough to swollow this “inspirational” bs. He want you to buy Nikon camera or his crappy app and a book, cause you taking picures with his app is a PROFIT.

Joan says:

MADE MY YEAR!! the power of persuasion…muahaha!

Robert says:

Hi Chase!

You are my inspiration!

Robert from Budapest, Hungary

John Caetano says:

thank you! Will def be watching this later while eating dinner!

Sal Fiduccia says:

youre a fan of chase too? awesome stuff :)

Cody says:

Thanks so much for answering my question. It probably made my week to be able to even ask a question.

rich jarvis says:

what was your question, Cody, as my post are getting deleted here.
I hope CJ won’t resist the current backlash in the comments.
The consensus is, after this keynote, Chase is “infofrapher” that is, a lying businessman, who’s still sitting in his blackbox with his people and business skills. Photography and “art” has really nothing to do with landing him jobs.

The real message should be how to be sucessful with people, how to lie efficiently to the clients, how to approach the clients, who to make connections and deals, how to undercut the opponents and so on.. Now, it’s still happening in the CJ company blackbox. photography is just a byproduct of that.

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