Chase Jarvis LIVE on Wed April 6 – Taking All Your Questions [+ a Special Guest]

Whenever I give a talk or host a show, my fav part is the Q&A. Rather than me guessing what I should share, you just ask away. Especially the hard questions that you can’t learn in photography books: landing clients, overcoming failures, working with challenging clients, legal, gear, portfolio questions, whatever it might be. In this year’s first #AskChase version of chasejarvisLIVE, I got thru about 40 of your questions in the 90 min show. This time around, I’m hoping to double that, plus we’re adding another dimension.

The first half of the show will be me answering any questions you can put in the comments below. Rapid fire, as many as I can get thru. So don’t be shy, ask anything you’d like below and I’ll give you a shout out for asking it and do my best to answer with the dirty truth. But catch this: the second half of the show, I’ll have a guest with me. The Associate Creative Director for REI, Jason Sutherland. If you have been ignoring me are new here, then you’ll need to scroll back a bit and read the Diary of a Shoot I just wrapped up, where I chronicled my 9 day campaign shoot with them. Jason will be on hand to answer your specific questions, but also any/all your general questions about whatever you want to know from a client CD/AD perspective. Hopefully this is as good as gold.

Who: You, Me + guest Creative Director Jason Sutherland + a worldwide gathering of creatives
What: YOUR questions answered for 90 minutes
When: this coming Wednesday, April 6th at 10:00am Seattle time (1pm NYC or GMT -8)
Where: just visit
How to get your questions on the show: ASK THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW

We will take some questions LIVE via the #cjlive or #AskChase hashtag on Twitter (follow @chasejarvis here) during the broadcast, however, so that we can be organized and get through as many questions as possible, you’re far more likely to get your questions answered by framing them below in the comments.

It’s free, it’s LIVE, and apologies but this video will not be re-posted in it’s entirety, so please tune in LIVE if you can. (We’re still in a technical gear/podcast/youtube transition at the moment, figuring some stuff out.) Hope to see you Wednesday. The more people participate, the more interesting it will be for everyone involved. Feel free to invite anyone you’d like to join the party.

102 Responses to Chase Jarvis LIVE on Wed April 6 – Taking All Your Questions [+ a Special Guest]

  1. Richard Lutz April 4, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Hi Chase and Jason:

    I’m a recent college graduate aspiring to be a commercial director. I’m curious about the things that I need to do to be working with multinational clients and corporations. I’m passionate about bringing stories to life and collaborating with others. Are there certain steps that I need to do to accomplish this and make this my career? Also, do I need to be in a certain market to achieve this? Thanks!

  2. Philipp Ulrich April 4, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    First off, I love your redesigned “Gear I Use” page! Will you keep this up to date and maybe add a few things (e.g. lights)?

  3. christian levesque April 4, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    @Chase : How many shot / setups / locations can you hit in one day of shooting photo or videos or both?

    @Chase : How many shots can you garantee to your client in a normal location shooting day?

    @Chase and @Jason : Any books on creativity to recommand?

    @Jason : How do you prefer to be approached by new photographers?

  4. Dmitry April 4, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Hi! Uzat would like to see if your book is in Russia? Live unfortunately not be able to see the transfer, but we are waiting the release of her record. Whether you’re planning a trip to Russia?

  5. Ryan D April 4, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Hey, I would like to move to Florida in the next couple of years, I’m big into photography and going to school for it in PA right now. I was wondering if you know any hot spots in Florida where the photography can get you somewhere, and if possible any good art schools you might know that have good credibility there? Thanks.

  6. jake scott April 4, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    What are the best places to present your work?(outside of the internet)
    The best way to show off your work?
    any special effects lens that you would recomnd?

  7. Willis April 4, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    @Chase: What’s the longest you’ve gone without shaving?

  8. Nicolae Cioloca April 4, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    I`m a photographer from germany and I really connect with my clients before and during the shooting. The outcome is an outstanding personal and intimate picture. Most of the times the photographed person is totally stunned afterwards how easily and fast they opened up for the camera, plus most of the times my clients are first timers in professional photography.

    the Problem: The client and me are both happy with the pictures, I just don`t know how to phrase my unique selling proposition. Because most of the times the pictures are not flashy but subtle and communicate with you over time.

    Any Ideas?

    For examples look at my website:

    and blog:



  9. India April 4, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    I’m new to the photography stuff.. Please look at my stuff and let me knnow what you think!

  10. India April 4, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Hello, I’m new to Photography, and I was wondering if you would look at my stuff. I’m not asking this like spam I’m asking a great photographer to look at my stuff to tell me if I’m doing Ok.

  11. Barry April 4, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Hi Chase,

    I believe it was you who said photographers should become publishers. If it was you, what did you mean by that and are you doing it yourself?

    Thanks – Barry

  12. Robie DuChateau April 4, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Can’t wait to tune in.

    My question is what are the things that you, Chase, did to get noticed and hired by REI, what the kinds of things you, Jason, and your colleges saw that made you hire chase initially and then what were the things that made you guys hire him again this time around.

    Also @Jason I have heard the term Creative Director tossed around a lot and I understand that it is something like Don Drapers gig but I’m curious what the job entails. How different it is from company to company? What kinds of Duties and responsibilities you have as a CD with REI.

    Thanks – Robie

  13. Cody April 4, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    Couple questions.

    First, how did you get to where you are now? You’re probably most successful photographers under 40 in the world. What were specific steps you took?

    Second, on a more techy side, what is the workflow for the D7000. I’m really curious to know.

  14. siri smets April 4, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Hi Chase,

    Which area would you (advice to) invest (more) time and money in when starting out in the photography business when you know you have the talent and the drive to make it, but you still lack skills and practice in both the photography and the design (Photoshop) part??
    You will probably say both but…if you would really have to choose which side would the balance go to?
    Knowing that you can not (afford) to outsource the design part…

  15. Shane O' Sullivan April 4, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    I notice you have a 2X extender in your bag.

    I know Nikon keep the Mp low for better low light performance, but in the Canon world where you have upwards of 21Mp, is there any advantage to extenders?

    It’s an question that’s been rattling around my head for the last 6 months, don’t they reduce sharpness as well as increase chromatic aberration?

  16. Royce R April 4, 2011 at 11:50 am #


    I am a wedding/portrait photographer looking to break into the commercail biz too and would like to find out how to go about doing that? Submitting my work to Photog reps for consideration, suggestions for photog reps, etc. Or should I not be looking at a photog rep and going another route. Any tips would be great. Thanks!

  17. Allen April 4, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    Chase: How did you first get started and what was it that got your foot in the door? How is business different (or the same) compared to first starting out?

  18. Normand Desjardins April 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    During your snowy mountains shoot, you said somewhere that you had a spare lens for your 24-70mm f2.8, I think. Do you go out on every shoot with a spare of everything? Bodies, lenses, lights? Do you now get your gear for free or for very cheap from Nikon and all your sponsors/clients like Sandisk, Broncolor, Apple, etc??? Thanks… your turned this shoot into an inspiring story.

  19. Gregg April 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Question: Chase, there are a lot of DIY solutions for things like lighting and light modifiers that can save money for someone just starting out. At what point in a new photographer’s career would you recommend ditching the DIY stuff and buy the real gear in order to maintain a sense of professionalism with your clients ? Does the level of a photographer’s gear taken to a job reflect the perceived level of professionalism and competency or does raw skill trump all ?

  20. Moses April 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    How does a typical invoice/quotation of Chase Jarvis look like? What kind of details/items are included? Do you disclaim responsibility for data loss?

    How do you explain to a client it is important for creatives to bring extra cameras, kits and have a backup workflow and charge them for it? My clients seem to think that it is our responsibility that we have a backup system and they aren’t paying for it. How do you add value to this?

  21. J L G April 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    For an aspiring DSLR Videographer to start his own business, what is the barebones equipment you would say is needed? What lenses are the first to get?

  22. J L G April 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    For Video do you prefer Canon or Nikon and why?

  23. Bill Marson April 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Chase — if you were going to Paris or Rome on a family vacation, and could only bring a few lenses, what would they be?

  24. David Johnson April 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    Jason: We read in the blog about your last shoot together in Telluride, how Chase was concerned about cost over runs and the extension of the shoot due to the crappy weather. That’s great, and shows Chase’s professionalism to keep your budget needs in mind.

    The question is, if the result of his work increases REI’s revenue or market share by a certain amount or %, whats the deal of an extra 10k or 2 to get er’ done? Do you feel its appropriate to pressure the artist in this way, when his prime concern should be output, not your pocket book.

    Jason: ow do you handle this, and how did this convo happen in Telluride?

    And Chase: how do you handle it when a CD / AD / client, confronts you with this, and can it affect the quality of your work?

    Outside Q: Can you to post the final product for REI – Telluride on your blog, before REI releases it commercially? Followers here would love to get the jump.

  25. Alex April 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    @ Chase: When will you come to visit Belgium for a shoot? :-)

  26. Jim April 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    Hi Chase! this one´s quick:

    after you build a strong portfolio… what´s the next step? of course i want to be hired by a magazine, etc.. but don´t know if it´s better to have an agent or doing the job by myself.


  27. Sara Huntley April 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    @Chase – What do you do when a difficult client is not satisfied with the final product? Is it a take it or leave it situation, especially when you’ve delivered what they’ve asked for?

    @Jason – Do you find that it’s common for a creative director to have first started as a photographer/graphic designer/videographer/creative etc. ?


  28. Justin Rosenberger April 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    @ Chase- Where do you start with being a pro-photographer? What steps should people take to be a professional commercial photographer?

    @ Jason- What kind of knowledge does it take to be a creative director? Are there any specific degrees or backgrounds a person has to have to get a shot?

  29. Dan April 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    The Creative Gap and more.

    What I’m missing is the creative ideas/planning to final image. (I know this is sensitive, but it might be cool to show a project from the past.) Like the idea of the “perfect location” is missing something without the vision it is fulfilling.

    I’m guessing most readers would just run out and take photos in the snow. Being pro, would really mean having a clear vision and message you want to deliver. So that would give you (Chase), AD and CD a unified target to work together towards. Is that how it worked? Cause I could see many conflicting ideas or too many ideas all together happing with that many people.

    Who has the final say? Are the ideas/plans being made real, or is it just a jumping point to where the AD says, I can work with this, I can deliver the message we need to say?

    Was there any talk to shoot something that would have fit the weather? Like a side project that would have fit what the weather was giving you?

    I have conflicting thoughts, as one make the most out of what you have vs. having a target goal for a single project and only concentrate on that goal.

  30. David Killingback April 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    @Chase : Could you tell us about some of your most difficult experiences working with clients / A.D.s / C.D.s, what you learned from those experiences and the best way not to get into those situations in the first place. @Jason – anything you could add to this from your perspective would be really appreciated too.

    Thanks guys, great work you’re doing.


  31. Matt Momberger April 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Whats the most important thing youve learned to this point in your careers?

  32. Brian H April 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    @Chase- How did you first develop your portfolio to emulate the sort of commercial work you wanted to shoot? …actually, I’d like to see the portfolio you used to land your first commercial gig and have you tell us how/where/who helped you get those shots (friends, hired models, personal work, etc)

    2. I assume you started with assignments much smaller than that of the REI Telluride gig, tell us about your first few

    3. Ugh, pricing. Given the opportunity to bid your first commercial gigs, how on earth did you develop your bottom line price and know that it wasn’t going to be astronomically high or wayyyy too low?

    4. In the beginning, how many projects did you bid in comparison to how many you won a contract for?

    5. Can you ask what the clients’ budget is regarding and RFP for photography? Or is it always sealed bids among competitors where the lowest number wins??

  33. Robbie Jenkins April 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Hey Chase,

    My name is Robbie Jenkins I am currently a senior at Wheaton College, I have contacted you before when I did a paper for my photography class I wanted to say thanks for getting back to me so quickly. With graduation in a about a month away I have decided to pursue a career in photography. I really have two questions for you…..

    1) I have been accepted to BU center for digital imaging, but the problem I am having in deciding to go or not is is it really worth it. I have been working a internship at my local paper as a staff photographer and have learned a ton but still have loads to learn. With the cost of my four years at Wheaton and another possible 20k for a year at BU I’m really not sure if a year of BU is what I need. Do you think it would be more valuable for me to go for this year at BU or can I learn what I need to do from taking some workshops and trying to find a job to get on the job experience.

    My second question……

    2) I would really love to graduate and start a career shooting photos freelance until my portfolio is good enough and large enough to get the big jobs. My question is what are the best ways to find work and get my name out there in the industry?

    Thanks so much for you time and consideration and I love your site keeps me entertained when I’m in those boring classes that have nothing to do with photography, I can go to and just indulge myself in photography awesomeness.

  34. Matt Walsh April 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    Hey Chase,

    I have a very hard work ethic and I want to be the best at my craft. I am very ethical/positive but I get a lot of bad mouthing from people I’ve never met in my market and I don’t know how to stop it. I’m just starting out and all of my bids keep getting under cut, this is really becoming a large obstacle. How did you overcome the push back when being a young charismatic photographer entering the market place?


    I’m originally from Washington (so I know the REI brand well) and now I’m living in New Zealand doing adventure photography. How do I get a client like you? Do you prefer email or print promos? And how much business photographer vs. talented adventurer/photographer do you like to see?


  35. Scott David Martin April 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm #


    1. When was the first time you hired Chase and what was your reasoning behind that?

    2. What does Chase bring to the table the most other pros don’t?

  36. diala chinedu April 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    I wish I could tune in for this but I’ll be taking an exam at that exact time…darn it!!! I’ll just have to wait for the mini video to be out…I really really wish i could tune in :-(

    Have fun…I’ll be with you guys in spirit

  37. Casey Ferguson April 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Do you find it rewarding working as CD under the roof of one brand? What tactics or guiding light principals do you and the gang put in place to “keep it fresh”?

    Does REI develop brand standards/visual language in house or has the company worked with agencies in the past?

    Was cool to see Kina in the posts from Telluride. Have run into him a few times in Bozeman.

  38. Dan April 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    What question(s) do you wished you had asked when you were starting out?

    What question(s) do most aspiring photographers NOT ask enough of?

  39. Corby April 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    Hey my question is for Jason, at what point did the REI brand start spending real money on advertising and developing promotional material? I have been pursuing smaller companies for photography/commercial work in the hopes that we can grow together but I have yet to see them grow there advertising budgets along with the rest of there company. Should I just go after the big guys and compete with the likes of Chase?

    Thanks to everyone at Live for putting these on.

  40. Raph Nogallp April 4, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    I’ve always been curious if an art director viewing a photographer’s portfolio would rather see a jack of all trades with a particular style or a photographer that specializes in one thing (ie. Portraiture). As a freelance photographer, my project vary from week to week and am currently making a full transition into wedding photography. I have a hard time determining if I should be selling myself as an expert in one area or a jack of all trades showcasing my versatility. Please shed some light (pun intended) on this subject. Thanks a lot!


  41. Bryan Nelson April 4, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    How do you communicate to you talent for Ski/Snowboarding shoots? How are you able to get the talent to give you what you need. I’m learning that communication to all parties involved is critical to the outcome of the final image.

    Also critical is learning about your subject and their sport. Do you try to keep up on the sports/lifestyles that you are shooting so you can communicate better with the talent?

    Side note:
    Recently I was trying to get some nice shots of my brother and his friends in a busy snowboard park. With out any help it can be hard to get a good shot if you can’t see them coming. I only had about 15-20 minutes of good weather for the day. My last visit with my brother was great for skiing (lots of powder) but not great for photos (totally socked in). For a guy who lives where it’s pretty flat, I’ll take what I can get.

    Thanks for all you contribution to the photographic community.

  42. Clifton Roberts April 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    WOW! This will be as “good as gold”!
    I do have a question for you guys. Let me give you some background info. I graduated with a bachelors in Photography last December, and for about 1 1/2 yrs I have been shooting fashion for a local magazine. Its not a bad gig but I really want to take the next step and further my skills. Since I have total control of the creative department at the magazine, it is often hard to push myself and try to learn more. I have been looking into many jobs throughout the U.S. but have not stumbled across anything yet. So my question for you Chase, and possibly Jason is:
    Where to begin? I enjoy fashion but am very open to commercial photography as well. I have learned from various contacts that a staff photographer for a magazine is rare, but if I were contract only I would worry about dependability of the job. Is there a good avenue to pursue to learn more? Did you begin as an assistant somewhere or did you just pursue your own company from the start?

    Please take a look at my work, it might help with an answer!

    Thanks for all of your great resources!

  43. John Bullock April 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Are 1.4x and 2.0x lens extenders worth their low cost? How good is the image quality with these products?

  44. Nath April 4, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    I might be busy !!!! Boo

    Someone ask him about his opinion in Robert Seales photoS of Evan longoria for sport illustrated

    Direct ripoff if his amazing shots he did shootig upwards through a plexiglass … Chase, what do you think, infringement of creative property?

  45. Josue April 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Hi Chase, my question is simple to say but hard to come by, my question is: If you were to be on a budget, what would you first invest in more? (camera, Glass, Lighting ect.)

  46. scott April 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    How do you stay organized? What programs do you use for calendar, appointments, billing, database and forecasting? Secondly and most important, what’s your favorite Seattle beer?

  47. Tyler Ragsdale April 5, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    I’m trying to get into Music Photography and would really like to shoot album covers & promotional work for bands. My question: When I get my first client, are there forms that I need the band or manager to sign? If so, what should be covered in those forms?

    Thanks Chase! I really appreciate how much you’re willing to share on your website and with Creative Live. Both have been a huge help and inspiration.

    – Tyler

  48. Matt Walsh April 5, 2011 at 1:30 am #

    I’ve put together a strong portfolio that gets a lot of positive feedback, but when I go to clients or other photographers want me to work for them I’m constantly running into the “trial” job. Each time I’ve worked my heart out and my images have been used, but it doesn’t seem to lead to more work. I understand every photographer has to pay his dues, but I’m starting to feel like I’m being taken advantage of and they’re getting free work. How did you deal with these situations when you were starting out? What are some best practices to getting solid paying clients versus, “this will build your portfolio, and get me free advertising?”


    When you want to work for a particular brand do you find it’s better to contact their advertising agency or brand’s marketing department directly?

    Cheers, Matt

  49. rugid imagination April 5, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    Hi chase i was just wondering how would i get the hard light effect on a portrait working with a wide angle lens at its wide end and two sb900’s ?? is this possible without the flashes showing in the shot??

  50. Alistair April 5, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    Chase could you use this service to make it easyer for people to see when to tune in for there time zone!


  51. Vinoth l April 5, 2011 at 4:20 am #

    Hi Chase,

    are you afraid of competition? how do you stay other words….how

    do you stay on top the fu****g game??

    Thanks and regards from Montreal.

    Vinoth Varatharajan

  52. Saneesh April 5, 2011 at 5:38 am #

    Thanks for the open forum.

    QUESTION : COLOUR Calibration :

    How to find the optimal balance between MAC and WIN screens ?. I edit on MAC and as soon as I see it on a different monitor (win ), it looks faded and entirely a different photo.

    I understand there would be differences that cannot be controlled and if it was printing we can use the printer color file for caliberation, however for a general look and feel of the photos across net and systems what can we do, or what do you do ?


    • David Clarke April 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

      ooo excellent question! I hope he answers!
      I personally just started the steep learning curve of colour calibration, and first thing Ive done is create a new ICC profile on my mac by calibrating the monitor with Xrite’s product. You could calibrate the other monitors as well?
      Chase will know way more!

  53. Dwayne April 5, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    Hi Chase

    Trying to get work in two different cities, New York where I currently live and Atlanta where I’m moving.

    When trying to get work from commercial or other clients in these cities, do you think it’s a good idea to invest your work into a small book to send to the particular clients I’m trying to get work from or just send them a link to my online portfolio with say an email. How did you do it?

  54. Tyler Austin April 5, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    What type of hand held video stabilizer do you use. I thought I saw a merlin in some of your raw video footage.

  55. Brad Davis April 5, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    Chase–thanks for the great blog posts and offering to share your expertise with the masses!

    Question: Could you please comment generally on your video setup for the D7000–for example, do you use manual or autofocus, A or S mode (or something else), 30 or 24 fps etc.

    Honestly, I’m struck by the “super” high quality videos you (and others) seem to be able to get out of this camera while I struggle to produce stuff that honestly, looks pretty bad! I realize that post processing plays a role here as well, but any general setup/top 10 tips type comments you could make on using the D7000 for video capture would be awesome.

    Thanks a bunch!

  56. B Vanderree April 5, 2011 at 6:53 am #


    In a time where our attention spans are becoming shorter and we are constantly being pulled in every direction by interactive media and the moving image, do you think that the still image is losing ground in our society?

  57. Andy April 5, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    Chase, here’s a light one;

    When eating on the run do you prefer Grilled Cheese or PB&J.

    Carry on with the more serious stuff and thanks for the great blog/accessibility!

  58. Rene April 5, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Could you guys talk about how a photographer could break into the world of commercial jobs?

  59. Matt Anderson April 5, 2011 at 8:45 am #


    Thanks so much for everything you do to teach what you know!

    My question is this:

    I currently have a well paying job in a non related field, and discovered I was passionate about photography long after this career began.

    Do you have any tips for making the transition from something that essentially gets in the way of my creative persuits without just quitting and starting from scratch? I’m not at a point in my life where I can just jump off a cliff and risk it all, so I need to find a way to gradually change over to a creative career. I want to get in at the ground level and work for other photographers and whatnot, but with a day job, it really prohibits my ability to do so.

    Thanks so much for your time!

    Matt Anderson

  60. Amy Kim April 5, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    I posted a question last week and I put this on my calendar!

    btw- can somebody tell me how to upload my thumbnail picture here?

  61. Rich Siberry April 5, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    On a typical multi-day location shoot, how much of the grip gear you use do you rent versus own? I’m thinking Steadicam, cranes, jibs, dollies, generators etc.

    On a shoot like the one in Telluride, how do you provide for the crews “nature breaks” when out in the backcountry all day? I usually have to have a porta-potty or two on site for large crew productions but I don’t see that being very practical too far off the beaten path.

    Thanks Rich.

  62. Amanda April 5, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Chase- just a big, big thanks for taking the time out of your (crammed) days on the shoot to share your roller coaster ride with the rest of us. I absolutely love the process of figuring out how to pull skilled people together to create a vision; all the while trying to problem-solve around the elemental curve balls that the world usually throws and still pulling it out to make magic happen with a (tired) smile on your face. A mark of a true professional. All of us can take a few lessons from your narrative to put in our pockets for our own roller coaster rides, regardless if they are in photography or in other creative fields.

    Thanks for being generous with your time and your insights.

    Question for you: your business & brand plan is obviously fairly diverse (smart)- blog, iPhone app, commercial work, book publishing, creativeLIVE, etc. After photography, what came first and why?

    Jason- thanks to you for taking time out of your day to talk to the community.

    Question for you: managing external resources/time against articulating the brand image- to me, REI is adventure quality first, style a very close second- it seems translating the authenticity and toughness is also just as important as getting the pretty shot. When the elements get hairy (like they did for Chase and co.), at what point do you call Chase and say “Hey man, let’s do the rest in studio?” (if ever?)

    Thanks guys for sitting down with us.

  63. Martin Knorr April 5, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    I want to ask the obvious question: How do you land new and exciting clients?

    Do you have any other tipps to getting your work and name out other than using twitter and facebook to connect to the people?

    PS: I am from Germany and love what you are doing here, so motivating. I have recently started of trying to build my own photography business. Maybe you even have suggestions on the first moves? I’d love to do fashion and editorial work and am organizing some photo shootings with model and MUA to get some stuff for my portfolio right now. What would you do next?

    Thank you so much!

  64. fas April 5, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    Do you recommend micro four third cameras for professional photography?

  65. abhi April 5, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    how to make your first commercial portfolio when you dont have enough lights,cant rent a studio and dont have any team or hire any model?

  66. JC April 5, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    Chase can you go into a little about the licensing process, how it works any standards, pricing etc…etc…etc… I have a perspective job offer for a magazine, but have never dealt with licensing images for commercial use before.

  67. Gareth from Ireland April 5, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Is travelling the world an essential part of becoming a great photographer?

  68. David Clarke April 5, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    In terms of breaking into the professional photography industry, is there a level of formal education that you can reach that will help you, just because of the degree you have? Or do clients care more about your portfolio/what you can do?

    Thanks for your time!!

  69. Kurtis Bowersock April 5, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Are personal project images okay to present to Creative Designers/Companies or does it just make you look like an amateur.

  70. Cody April 5, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    What is your personal creative manifesto? Lloyd Wright, Tolstoy, and many others had their own manifestos, but what is yours?

  71. justinchando April 5, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    On a shoot with many moving parts, who is lessee insuring the rental equipment/gear? Is it CJ Inc? or the client?
    Also maybe you could touch generally on your production insurance policy.

    Thanks Chase.

  72. Nater April 5, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    Hey Chase! Thanks for always doing these! Hugely beneficial…

    I just wanted to know if you still use the Pelican 1490 case(s) to transport laptops?

    Any new thoughts?

    Keep up the good work!

    All the Best,

  73. Matt April 5, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Understanding that you had a client-side digital asset manager, what did you do with cf cards each night? Did you format after ensuring images were backed up, or do you hold on to them until end of shoot and arrival back home before clearing the cards?


  74. Marcos April 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Hi Chase,

    Wondering if you could share some tips on what can be used to setup a very, very, inexpensive home studio. i.e 2 Lights, Fill Cards, Soft boxes and what materials and things can be used from a local hardware of department store to get some decent lighting? Would be great for those of us on small budgets starting off.

    Thanks a bunch. Love your stuff.

  75. stellan April 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Hi there,

    Im a big fan of your work and your sharing of everything.
    I have a question about starting to take your photography to the next level, to go from a happy amateur to a more professional oriented view of things.
    How do you think you should approach that more businesses focused part of photography, for example how to promote a portfolio or to contact a magazine to take a look at your work?
    Is it some unwritten law or is it just to trail and error?

    Best regards from Sweden

  76. Finn Mainstone April 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm #


    One thing I struggle with, although it may just be an excuse, is not having the money to initially invest in gear, websites, lighting, business cards etc. I’m not sure where to find work, not sure how to get work to find me.

    I listen to photographers like yourself and the one thing you have in common is a big break (Freeskier / Nikon for you) in your experience of other photographers, like you mention in your wanna be pro? post… is it just persistence?

    Can’t watch your CjLive live cos I’m at a kayaking club AGM tomorrow evening GMT. If this was answered and in the you tube version I would be well :) No worries if not, will enjoy the show regardless.


  77. Emily Erb April 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    How did your style develop? Did it just come as you gained camera time or did you have a specific goal in mind? Was this a fast or easy process for you?

    As you were starting out, or even now, how much educating of your clients did you have to do in terms of the value of your work? Or was it that they were the wrong clients if that was necessary? If educating about value is just a part of the job, what is a good way to go about it? Jason- I would love your input here as well!

  78. Jonathan Liles April 5, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    I am just starting out on my own and I was wondering if you have any advise about landing clients? Maybe something that is basic and looking back that would have helped you come up quicker.

  79. Jonathan Liles April 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    I was also wondering if you might ever offer someone across the country (maybe NC) to come out to be an intern for a specific project?

  80. jose April 5, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Hey Chase,

    Is there going to be a Ninjas part deux?

  81. jose April 5, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    Hey Chase,

    You’ve mentioned before that you have shot numerous campaigns for REI that I guess has built a pretty solid relationship. With that in mind, would you shoot a campaign with a direct competitor to REI? For example, Lands End or Eddie Bauer?

  82. Tom Jacobs April 5, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    Hi Chase,

    Shooting a fashion show for a charity this week. There will be a runway but no hot lights. I am allowed to add studio strobes and/or speedlites as needed. I plan to place a 60″ umbrella key light at upper camera right as they come down the walkway. Some window light and florescent will be the fill.

    Any suggestions or changes?

    Thank a million.

    Tom Jacobs

  83. Bryan April 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Hi Chase and Jason,

    I am a photographer from Nashville, TN and I also have a retail job at, you guessed it, REI. I can vouch for the fact that REI is a pretty cool company to be affiliated with and I’m glad we’re represented by your photography, Chase.

    You mentioned that REI’s brand is rooted in authenticity. This past fall I had the privilege of speaking with Tom G., the Photo Studio Manager for REI about opportunities in the photo department. He had mentioned that one of the ideas that was going to be used to increase authenticity in the brand was that they were going to start using REI members and staff as talent. I have noticed on in-store promotions to that effect. @Chase was that the case in this shoot? Were the talent made up of REI members or staff? @Jason how has this been received and is this something that REI plans to continue? Also, how do you select the talent?

    Also @Jason I sent a promotional book of some of my landscapes of Central Oregon titled “Rivers, Desert, Mountains” to the photo department a few months ago. I was wondering if it made it’s way into your hands and what you thought of it. Thanks.

    Excited to watch this even though it means I will have to drive to work in the afternoon instead of my usual hour plus bike ride in.

  84. Dale Reubin April 6, 2011 at 1:08 am #

    Hey Chase,
    Could you please role play out the first phone conversation you might have with an AB/AD/CD that you’d like to work with.
    It’s difficult to know what to say in the first conversation and to keep the follow up momentum alive. Any ideas?


  85. Andy R. Garcia April 6, 2011 at 2:15 am #


    Hi Chase! Im 19 going on 20 years old in May. Im a self-taught photographer in Albuquerque NM and planning to move to California to become a commercial photographer. Iv been shooting digital for about a year and half and film for 2. My question is-

    “How do I approach and seek for commercial work?”

    thanks ! :)

  86. Marcel T April 6, 2011 at 4:48 am #

    +1 to Andy! How do you get commercial gigs?

  87. Anne-Marie April 6, 2011 at 6:42 am #

    Hi Chase,

    I’ve been wondering:

    Q: Who decides the composition of the photo…you or the art director/creative director? Or is it a collaborative process? And at what point do you enter the creative process?

    Q: Do you make drawn sketches in advance ( but after the initial scouting ) so you know exactly what to aim for?

    I’m looking forward to CJlive session, for once I actually have the opportunity to see it live! ( My nice boss let me off the hook and let me come in for work later tonight! )

    Best regards from Denmark

  88. JasonL April 6, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    For Jason:
    Does CJ having a large web following and the day to day blog of the shoot play into him getting the job/bid at all? out of the group of people that could pull off the shoot you did why him? Does the built in audience he brings play into it? Is it an added marketing bonus for you or did it play no role at all? Thank you.

  89. andreas April 6, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Hello Chase,
    do you deal yourself on searching for work and communicating with clients?
    Or its your producers work?

  90. TimR April 6, 2011 at 9:37 am #


    With the herculean efforts that went into the Telluride shoot, it seems that directing the actors/models is a crucial element.

    Could you talk about your directing style, and how you developed it, having not come from a movie background.

  91. tyaudesign April 6, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Chase – have you ever needed a press pass to shoot at an event? How do you go about getting one? Or, do you have any advice for a freelancer looking to obtain one? Thanks!!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  92. Caleb April 6, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    I want to get out of personal photography and into commercial photography, what kind of photos should i be taking to build a commercial portfolio, and how do you submit a cold portfolio to an art or creative director who has no idea who you are.

  93. 3lyssa April 6, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    What are you going to do with that polaroid? Can I have it w/ a signature, please? It looks like 600 film to me. Very awesome. :)

  94. faiman April 6, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Great show CJ love it great knowledge you guys gave.
    Specially I prefer watch n listen to creative guys like you instead of reading books :D

  95. Alexander Babulevich May 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    How and when did you set up your studio and the equipment?
    Did you earn good money on something else before going into commercial photography business?

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  1. How & Why We Get Hired: Interview with an Art Director | Chase Jarvis Blog - April 13, 2011

    […] case you missed the last chasejarvisLIVE, we posted the above video excerpt of my interview segment with art director/creative mojo/REI […]

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