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Answers To 4 Good Questions, Including Why I LOVE/HATE Coffee [#cjRAW 10, #HeyChase]

Hey friends – Time is flying. We’re already at episode 10 of the new #cjRAW, and frankly speaking, I’m just getting warmed up.


Onto this week’s episode where I’m AGAIN answering YOUR questions, just like Episode 02..AAAAANNNNDD…. While selecting questions for this episode, I noticed more and more questions coming in were starting with “Hey Chase”… So that got me thinking … what if you/everyone just tags their questions with #HeyChase it’ll be easier for me to find YOUR questions to answer them in future episodes. So, starting today, if you have questions, please use the hashtag #HeyChase and that’ll help me pull them for future episodes!. Ok then. Without further ado, let’s get to those questions:

Q: How did you get over the fear of taking street portraits without being too intrusive?

Thing #1 - Previously on the blog, I wrote a 5-step guide to street photography, and there’s a bunch of goodness there. So check that out first and foremost.

Thing #2 - Smile when you’re on the street. Not a creepy, stalky smile, but a warm one. Simply having your camera out and giving a nod and a smile gesturing that you’d like to take a photo is a great early step regardless of the language.

Thing #3 - If you are in a place where you speak the language, a short, tight, dialog like … Hi, my name is _______ and I’m doing a project on _______ (or I’m an aspiring photographer) Can I borrow 20 seconds to take your picture? This is a technique my pal Brandon Stanton uses for his project Humans of New York. We chat a bit about it on an episode of cjLIVE. The main thing is, don’t be a creepy stalker person that takes a photo and then acts weird when someone notices. Start with a smile, and that will go a long way.

Q: What do you think about coffee?

So first thing is first. I love coffee. Love it. I can even say that I think I have abused it at different times in my life. But…when a few of you asked this question from episode 07 on my morning routine I did not mention it. Why no mention? I did not mention it because here’s the real deal: I don’t think it should ever be a daily requirement. Keeping in mind that “should” can sometimes be wishful. Personally coffee is my preferred morning beverage (in addition to water), but I sometimes I have tea, and sometimes I have nothing BUT water…and say I get that same buzz from exercise and without the caffeine. I’m not trying to sound saintly here, but I know from personal experience, research, and others around me that coffee as a must have (anything for that matter as a must have) is not desirable.

Q: Can you talk about a time where you realized you could not fly solo and needed to hire a team?

First, if you’re an individual / independent artist, hiring people as full time crew is a huge step. I look at it as being personally responsible for the income of another and their family, so look at it carefully to make sure you REALLY need that person and if there is the income & flow to support that long term. If not, hiring crew members on a per project basis is a really great way to go. You can budget rates into your projects, see how it is working with them, and start learning to collaborate as a team.

If you do have the ability to keep someone busy full time, then make sure you’ve connected with the right resources to make sure you understand the various nuggets in payroll, taxes, and other rules & regulations. Sounds lame, but those rules are there for a reason. Once you’ve done that, create a job description to set clear idea of what you’re looking for. Source people you trust by using your network, narrow down candidates to those who align with you & your business values, and have gone through an interview process that demonstrates they are competent to do the job & are one the same page as you.

Q: What tools are you using for being productive, keeping ideas, and inspirations?

Thing #1 - I LOVE, love, love Evernote. It’s an everything digital file cabinet that’s always synced to the cloud. You can take a picture, take a screenshot, record something and tag it. I’ve been using it for YEARS, almost since the beginning of time. It’s a great tool that I carry with me on my computer and phone. You can type notes, upload photos, and it even turn graphic documents into searchable type. For example, you can take a picture of a business card and the text becomes searchable. I use it for notes, reflections on mtgs, agendas the next mtg, notes from the shoot, brand ideas from something I saw, etc. I use it 10x per day minimum. Everyday.

Thing #2 -- I still love a great notebook. Moleskin, Field Notes or similar. Something I can carry around to sketch in and draw.

OK friends. There you have it. Links and other goodness from this Episode are below. Cheers.

Links from the Episode

Money + Business for Creatives with Ramit Sethi
Humans of New York
cjRAW EP07 – My Morning Routine

What’s Covered

Tag your questions #HeyChase [0:29]
How do you overcome the fear of [0:53]
What I think about coffee [2:56]
Transitioning from a solo artist to building a team [4:57]
Tools I use for being productive [10:48]

People Mentioned

Brandon Stanton
Kelly Starrett
Michael Bierut
Ramit Sethi
Tim Ferriss

How To Get UN-STUCK From Anything in Life That’s Got You Down [with Lewis Howes]

Ever felt STUCK with something in your life? Blocked, like you can’t get past this mental state, this hurdle, this creative block, this bad habit, this… Wait a minute. Why am I even asking that question? Of course you’ve been stuck before. We’ve literally ALL been stuck before. And by extension we all know how much it sucks to be in this state of mind. AND – on the flipside – how amazing it is when you can reclaim your life and get back to the things you want to be thinking, doing, and becoming. I’m obsessed with overcoming the mental blockers that try to keep me down – and I think it’s been a big piece of my personal success. Which is why I thought this little nugget might help.

ENTER: Lewis Howes.

My good friend Lewis Howes was in the studio shooting his newest CreativeLive course last week and I was able to snag him for a few minutes to chat about his new book and his amazingly simple, yet powerful process for reclaiming our lives and live our biggest dreams. In this episode, Lewis shares a powerful experience from his life and how- on reflection – it helped him overcome his biggest obstacles in achieving his biggest dreams for himself. Lucky for us, Lewis breaks this process down into TWO simple steps, and gives us an action plan for moving through our blockers. He calls the exercise his “Perfect Day Exercise” and it looks like this:

1. Create a Big Vision

What’s one thing that we clearly have the ability to do as kids that we usually LOSE as adults? Easy. The ability, or rather comfort, with dreaming big. As adults, our wildest dreams are tempered by a lot of other messages we get in life (mortgage, job, family, responsibility, etc – sound familiar?) and that can often cloud the real vision we want for ourselves. To break through this blocker, and to get clarity, Lewis prescribes the following… First, go out into nature. Not like a climbing expedition to Everest, we’re talking just spend 30-60 minutes outside. In a park, on a beach, under a tree, at the table out in front of your favorite coffee shop… and envision your wildest dreams. Dream big. It’s a creative exercise. Do not limit yourself and in the process, picture your PERFECT DAY. Think about all the things that you want in life — without limits. Be detailed. Think about the people you’re spending time with, where you’re traveling, the food, the experience, how you’re feeling, what you’re creating … dream big and don’t feel guilty about it. Then write.this.down. This is key, because even if you have 100 reasons why your big dream cannot happen, there is power in taking the first step… writing it down.

2. Create a Daily Itinerary

Thing 2…is once you have a vision, create a fantasy daily itinerary outlining blocks of time will fit into your big vision in to every day little steps. What would you do every day? What would your day look like if you wanted to live those big hairy dreams you thought up in step 1. Now be careful not to over think this part. This should be easy. Imagine big blocks of time for what you want most. Some small block for other stuff you love. Get in touch with yourself. And again – WRITE IT DOWN.

3. Baby Steps – but Get to WORK

From this simple recipe you now literally have the basic outline of how to get out of that rut you’re in. You should ideally be energized because you’ve literally just created V1 of your outline to a new life. NOW… start integrating those things, those moments… first something that just takes 15 minutes, then something that takes 30 minutes… then keep pushing. It’s super simple stuff I know, but if you are intentional with your calendar you will start seeing small progress to the things you want to be doing. How do I know this? Because I’ve done it. Countless times in my life I’ve used this technique to get unstuck from stuff in my life… be they small or large…it works. I even share a simple example in the video.

Setting an intention starts with a dream. Then writing it down makes it a little more real. Scheduling time give you a space to start to live it…and before you know it, you’re on your way.

So this little nugget of goodness and a bunch more is in Lewis’ new book, The School of Greatness which drops TODAY! Check it out – and buy it via that page I just linked to and receive some special prizes along with your order. He also has two awesome CreativeLive courses online, Start Your Profitable Podcast and How to Build and Online Business. Both are baller.

Links from the Episode

The School of Greatness Book
The School of Greatness Podcast
Connect with Lewis Howes [ website | facebook | twitter ]

What’s Covered

Who is this guy [0:38]
The key to success [1:13]
How to get unstuck. Where this idea comes from [1:37]
The Perfect Day Exercise: [2:10]
Step 1: Dream Big [3:15]
Step 2: Create an Itinerary [5:29]
The Recap [6:35]
My results by planning my day [6:51]
The School of Greatness Book [7:30]
The School of Greatness Podcast [7:36]

Virtual Reality + I Answer 5 Questions on the #AskGaryVee Shoooooow

Hey friends — quick blog post coming to you from NYC. Just wrapped an episode with my man Gary Vaynerchuk. Episode 154… wowza. I’m sure you remember him from one of my most popular #cjLIVE episodes back in 2013. It was great to connect. Thanks for having me on the shoooooow! Here’s a brief recap of the Q&A:

Let's get into the shooooow. #AskGaryVee

Q: If I pursue what I think my passion is, but don’t come close to achieving what I want, will I have wasted my time?

You gotta follow your heart, and that’s never a waste of time. I spent the beginnings of life trying to do the things people wanted me but it was all crap. There’s only one thing, and that’s doing what you’re supposed to be doing in the world.

Gary brought up a good point, which is you also need to be real with yourself. If you want to be a needlepoint expert, but you want to make 10 millions dollars, those things just don’t line up. Gary said it best … reverse engineer yourself so you don’t have regrets. I’m a strong believer that we all have the answer inside ourselves. Do what you know you should be doing and if you’re not sure what that is, experiment until you do.

Q: Would you rather time travel 100 years into the past or 100 into the future and why?

Easy one. If I know everything I know now, then I’d definitely go backwards to capitalize on that. If I don’t know everything, then I’d go forward.

Q: In episode 122 you say at 22 to 24 don’t settle. What is the settling age? I thought you should never settle?

There’s living in the cloud of dreams, and there’s practicality. Sometimes the fact that you need to pay rent, eat, or other responsibilities cuts into making those dreams happen and you might decide to “settle”. But I think if you are serious about following your heart, you’ll use that practicality as a motivator to start doing the work. Nothing like doing the thing you hate to motivate you to do what’s necessary to make your dreams happen.

Q: Would you say the “T” in timing is way more important than the “T” in talent?

Hands down, talent. Though I truly believe there is no “talent” without (also) hard work to cultivate it. Your ability to do a thing, or as Gary mentions knowing when to do a thing, is all about talent. Timing or luck doesn’t win over the long haul.

Q: Star Wars or Star Trek? Or both?
Ahhh. I gotta say Star Wars here.

Fun times. Hope you found some nuggets of value in this. To close out the show, in #AskGaryVee style, my question of the day was …. Do you see virtual reality becoming popular in the next 24 months? Drop me a line in the comments below. As always, love to hear your thoughts.

ChaseJarvisRAW #03 — How I Learn ANY SKILL + How You Can Too [plus, get me to review YOUR photos]

People ask me all the time if there’s one thing that’s changed my life the most, what is it?

No question it’s the ability to learn quickly…new skills whether they be for life, hobby, or career… Life long learning is quite literally what has created anything I would consider a classic “success” in my life. SO… In today’s episode of #cjRAW I break down my own learning process into 3 clear, easily repeatable steps. And then I go DEEP into each one of these steps…how to overcome some potential pitfalls, and how to stay on track.

    1. Getting Started – Use your curiosity about a topic to dig in & explore. More importantly get out and start doing. Doing something is better than nothing. It can spark new ideas, inspirations, and motivations that can help propel you forward.
    2. Mentors – Find relevant mentors through your community, people you follow or who inspire you, or via a scaled model where you can learn online…like
    3. Practice – This is core to getting better at anything. Rinse, wash, repeat. BUT it matters HOW you practice and with whom (details in the vid…).

Again, hope you enjoy the video where I break down all of the above steps into subcategories of their own, and then piece it all back together in a system for you. This is LITERALLY how I’ve learned to do almost anything in my life…from photography, to learning to take care of myself, my personal health, learning how to speak French, to learning how to direct moving pictures. It’s all in this little system.

REMINDER: If you’ve ever wanted me to review your work, here’s a chance. For an upcoming episode of #cjRAW, I’m reviewing your photos! Submit a link to (1) photo in the comments below or wherever you see this video by EOD 9/22 and I’ll pick some for review. (BTW I chat about it in just a little more detail here in today’s episode.) This is now closed for submission. Thanks for all the zillions of submissions! My crew and I are busy sorting out which of the submitted images I will review in an upcoming episode.

Links from the Episode

CreativeLive:  ⟶ Award winning online education. Check it out for education on Photography, Design, Audio, Crafts and Money/Life classes.

The world’s largest photo education week is happening right now. FREE to watch live, only pay for it if you want to own it…(and not gonna lie – it’s an amazing steal of a price. 30 lesson from top instructors for $199). It’s called Photo Week and it’s happening right NOW.

Music “You Can Have It” by Fresh Espresso:

What’s Covered

Getting Started [0:44]

Curiosity & Doing [1:26]
Inspiration [2:16]

Mentors [2:53]

Community [3:29]
Individuals [4:36]
Scaled Mentorship [5:57]

Practice [7:20]

Deconstruct / Reconstruct [7:47]
Repeat [8:36]
Iterate / Fail Fast [9:12]

CreativeLive PhotoWeek – Jump in! Join the Conversation. [6:20, 11:17]

Have your photo reviewed by me! Drop me a link [11:41]

People Mentioned

Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist

Malcom Gladwell, Outliers / (re: 10,000 hours to skill mastery)

Ira Glass, The Creative Gap

ChaseJarvisRAW #02 — Shoot What You Want to Get Paid to Shoot + Answers to 20 other questions…. (Episode #02)

Hey ya’ll … thanks for all the great questions and comments about the NEW cjRAW series from way back in Episode #01 here on the blog and here the Tube. Thank you so much for sharing it with others as well. I’m grateful for your support.

I felt the love –thank you– and today I’m back trying to deliver some value, given that last episode was really just an announcement. SOoooo today I bring you answers to a pile of questions you asked me last week about photography, creativity, business, life, travel, adventure and … some seriously random stuff…like my favorite animal.

Also — btw, stay tuned for an announcement later this afternoon on my feeds. If you’ve been waiting for the next chasejarvisLIVE, you don’t want to miss this….!

In this Episode, I answer DEEEEEEPLY the following 20ish questions PLUS SEVERAL OTHERS NOT BELOW…that you asked me last week… I put the the short answers in the txt below… Longer, better, more answers in the vid above.

// Any chance of chasejarvisLIVE becoming a regular thing? There’s still lots of great people to talk to!
Yes! CJLIVE is coming back with a new passion and super kick-ass guests. Hold tight. It’s on the way!

// What’s your favorite visualization tools or techniques?
I meditate twice a day using transcendental mediation (TM). It has been a game changer for me. I realize this isn’t necessarily a visualization tool, but along with this I use some visualization exercises tied to my morning routine.

// Have you ever been to Norway?
I was in Norway & Sweden for a Helly Hansen shoot. I actually have a lot of Norwegian in my blood. I’m looking forward to going back soon.

// Can you get the guys from DigitalRev to come to the States?
I love those guys. I’ve been to Hong Kong a few times and shot a couple episodes with them here and here.

// Who was your first commercial client and how did you score that job?
Waaaaaaaay back my first commercial gig was with Hart Skis. They’re not around anymore. I got that gig because I was immersed in the ski industry, people knew my work, and I hustled.

// What’s the best way to approach agencies?
Shoot work that you want to be hired to shoot on your own. Invest your own money. Pimp that work.

// Why did you give up medicine to be a pro photographer?
Let’s be clear, I didn’t “give up” medicine because it was something I was bad at. I aborted. I gave up. I quit -specifically because I was chasing something that someone else wanted me to be. That’s a bad recipe for a life.

// What do you do outside?
Skier, hiker, kayaker, flyfisher. About to get back to surfing after a 10 year hiatus because of a busted up shoulder because I am making killer progress rehabbing with my pal/trainer Dave Werner from Level 4 Crossfit in Seattle…and his website MoveSkill.

// What are some tips to push past a creative funk and limited thinking?
I stop focusing on the funk and start focusing on living. I also get into the practice of creating by booking time to be creative.

// What do you do if you can’t shoot the way you want?
I spend a lot of time upfront setting expectations with clients. This is a longer answer in the video – and it’s important. So watch it.

//What do you do when you are in the middle of a project and you’re feeling down in the dumps or depressed?
I do something besides that creating. I’ll go live. I’ll go on an adventure. I’ll take a vacation. As far as actual depression, that’s a real serious issue that I’ve gone through before. I think it’s worthy of a whole episode of chasejarvisRAW. STay tuned for more on that.

// What are some of the top marketing & business minds you follow?
Richard Branson has become a big influence. He’s an investor in CreativeLive and a mentor to live by. My peers: Tim Ferris, Gary Vaynerchuk, Ramit Sethi. Then there are the folks who’ve built great business like Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn. He’s an unbelievable leader, incredibly empathetic, very smart.

// Can I work for you, please?!
You just missed out! I just had a position open but now it’s closed. Keep an eye out on CreativeLive Careers. We have a bunch of jobs open. You can work with me and 120 other super talented folks.

// What’s your favorite animal?
I love me some big cats!

Links from the Episode

chasejarvis LIVE: ‪

CreativeLive: ‪ ⟶ Award winning online education. Check it out for education on Photography, Design, Audio, Crafts and Money/Life classes.


CreativeLive Jobs:

What’s Covered

CreativeLive Seattle office getting a refresh [0:38]

Is cjLIVE coming back? [1:29]

Visualization tools & techniques [1:58]

Norway [2:48]

DigitalRev reunion? [3:02]

My first grey hair [3:33]

My first commercial gig [3:51]

What’s the best way to approach agencies [4:27]

Why did you give up medicine? [5:23]

What’s the scope you do outside [7:27]

Tips for getting out of a creative funk? [8:24]

What do you do if you can shoot the way you want? [9:46]

What do you do when you’re feeling down in the middle of a project [11:50]

Who are some of the top marketing & business minds you follow [14:10]

Can I work for you? [14:54]

What’s your favorite animal? [15:09]

People Mentioned

Kai & Lok

Dave Werner

Mark Runco

Richard Branson

Tim Ferriss

Gary Vaynerchuk

Ramit Sethi

Jeff Weiner


I’m BAAAAAAACK – with a New Video Series Starting NOW! Enjoy chasejarvis RAW 2.0

Fellow creators, makers, do’ers and lovers of all things internet and beyond…

WELCOME to the first day in a new chapter! I’ve been promising more content is in store, and today I’m on the delivering end of that promise… and happy to be kicking off my newest video series, chasejarvis RAW.

Errrrrr. But wait a minute you say. I know, I know. RAW?!

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll certainly be familiar with a series by the same damn name I started doing way back in 2007 which was a behind the scenes look at commercial photography.

Well. As you know, over the years my work has evolved to not ‘just’ photography, but TV + film, community builder, software/app developer, entrepreneur etc, etc. At the core, it’s all just art…but with this series I want to lean INTO all these things.

NONE of us are just one thing anymore. We’ve all become hyphens…artist-entrepreneur-etc-etc. This NEW cjRAW is fresh content covering any and all topics about just that. You asked for it, and I’m doing my best to deliver. Yes it will be creativity, it will be photography, but it will also be lessons learned. Heartbreaks. Morning routines. It will be gear/products I love, a quick hangout with a guest, CreativeLive, behind the scenes look at X, Y, or Z. You get the picture. Expect episodes to be coming your way 1-2x a week.

[But hey, wait, you say… What about chasejarvis LIVE?! Is RAW replacing LIVE? No. No. Nope. No. RAW is a totally separate thing. chasejarvis LIVE – the original connection on the internet (5 years running now!)to the most creative minds from a zillion fields… that 60-90 minutes with people like Macklemore, Adrian GrenierTim Ferriss to Marc Ecko, Brené Brown to Swiss Miss….people I think are doing really badass work. That’s still happening…and, like RAW, also about to be reborn. Bare with me, hold tight! New episodes coming your way soon.]

So — Episode 1 of chasejarvisRAW kicking off! Tell me what you’d like to see in a future episode in the comments below.

Links from the Episode

ChaseJarvisRAW 1.0:

ChaseJarvis LIVE:

CreativeLive:  ⟶ Award winning online education. Check it out for education on Photography, Design, Audio, Crafts and Money/Life classes.

Music “You Can Have It” by Fresh Espresso:

What’s Covered

Brand new video series: ChaseJarvis RAW [0:43]

What could it be? [1:11]

What it’s not. [2:21]

More like a hyphen [2:51]

How often to expect episodes [3:37]

People Mentioned


Adrian Grenier


Tim Ferriss

Marc Ecko

Brené Brown

Swiss Miss

Come Work with Me! I’m Hiring a Digital / Content Guru

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 10.07.13 AM Jul 8, 2015Ok friends. This post has been a long time coming…you’ll see why a in a bit… but for now, here’s what you need to know.

In short, I’m looking for a high quality, high hustle digital/content guru to be my right hand man / woman supporting my content efforts. It’s true – I’m deep into lining up a new, fresh chapter of content aiming to add value to this community – those already with us and those yet to join our army. There are simply not enough hours in the day for me to create as much content as I’d like to be creating with one slice of a few people’s time (the way I have it set up now…). Between being CEO of CreativeLive and living the life of a working creative, I need someone to focus hardcore on helping me make behind- and in-front-of-the-scenes content that adds value and tells stories … photos, writing, video, podcasts – you name it.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, this isn’t a ‘get your feet wet’ job, or something you’d do on the weekends. This is a job and, honestly, a lifestyle. I hustle, and so must you. My work and play are highly intertwined, and it will be very helpful if yours is too… You are the rare mix of creative AND highly attentive to detail. You love beautiful things – and you also love a bit of data. You will play a critical role in helping me add value and authentically connect with a million+ person community. You found this posting because you’re already a part of this community – that’s a huge head start. You love creativity, photography, and technology. You don’t just want to work 9-5 M-F. I’m a reasonable boss (you will have a life!), but an unreasonable lover of doing cool stuff that has impact when the iron is hot…so I need someone who is available at off hours too and thrives on that. You’ll get unfair access to people, places, and experiences. Put bluntly, I need a aspiring pro who has done much of this before and is fully capable of running with it from early on. It’s immersion in the creative world, the content world, the tech world, the startup world…combined. It’s content and community management, it’s story telling, making, and growing. You already know a lot, but we will learn more together. You might dream in gifs.

This is NOT a photo assisting job. It’s not even close to that – in fact this is not a photo industry job. It’s a creative industry job for sure, but it’s not about photography. It’s not an internship. It’s not a learn to be a photographer, or director, or anything close — you must already be an writer, editor, creator, social media savvy human. You will not be a fake voice for me. You will not pretend to be me. This is not a personal assistant job. You are not schlepping anything. You are a respected teammate, a pro, a good human (see above) who contributes to making the Chase Jarvis + CreativeLive messages/content better than it could be without you – with the larger mission in clear view. Again, this is not weighted toward photography. This is weighted toward community management (see above).

Now if you’re still reading and I haven’t freaked you out…but instead have inspired you to consider a career change, life change or new path…I’d like to hear from you. [Or have a friend who you think we be perfect? Please share this in your social feeds / let them know. I will give you a high five and a pizza if you recommend someone I hire…]

– Co-create and manage my editorial and social calendars – this includes working closely with the community team at CreativeLive
– Be a primary force in producing, editing and sourcing great content to engage the community
– Monitor and help me engage with the community in authentic, playful, sometimes serious ways
– Edit and manage a new
– Analyze outputs and translate anecdotal or qualitative data into recommendations and plans for growth
– Be with me at live events and be able to capture what’s happening on the ground
– Sit in on new product briefings with me and play with the coolest and newest photography, video, drone, tech equipment
– Hang out with me and smart, sometimes crazy, sometimes famous, sometimes not, but always talented people all over the globe. You must be able to be your normal self in these situations
– You’ll be an employee of CreativeLive, you’ll get to be a part of a fast growing 120 person startup with studios in Seattle and San Francisco
– Based on our employment laws, you’ll need to be a citizen of the USA or have a green card already (sorry I know that’s tough for many of you)

MUST HAVES (these are non-negotiable):
– You must have 2-5 years “working” in digital. If you don’t have this experience, please don’t apply. If you’re wondering if you qualify, you probably don’t (just being honest here I hope there’s value in that…)
– You must have taste. A sharp eye for design, photography, etc. You can curate.
– You must know the ins and outs about optimizing for most digital/social platforms – or at least have opinions
– You must be analytical. The most creative people I know have an analytical curiosity as well.
– You must be organized. There will be a lot to do. You have experience prioritizing.
– You can proficiently write as well as shoot/capture + edit basic photography, video, and audio
– You can write well.
– You can communicate well.
– You are solid when there are elements of ambiguity.
– You are a self starter. I love people who think of things before I do. People who can run on their own are awesome
– You are a positive person (there is no room for negative nancies, aggro or jerky people – not even if you’re a genius).
– You are results driven. I don’t care much about output (“I did 50 blog posts!”) – I care about results (“community engagement is up 100% and we’re hitting our goals”)
– You live or are willing to live in either Seattle or San Francisco. Some travel is certain, but you won’t be on the road nearly as much as I am.

NICE TO HAVES (but not required)
– You may have built your own community online
– You may have advanced creative (visual) skills
– You have experience wrangling busy people and getting them to help you. People want to help you win.
– You can translate my late night voice mails, rants, bullet point notes and hallway conversations into compelling content.

Now. If you’re excited about this prospect – I want to hear from you. Please apply at this here link via CreativeLive’s application channel. You will hear back from us if we think it’s a good fit.

And thank you so much dear friends for reading this rant. I’m excited at the prospect of a new teammate joining the cause in the fight for high quality content that helps people lead more creative and fulfilled lives. Cheers to that.

That application link once again is right here…. Apply to work with Chase + CreativeLive here.

Lastly, we’re all in this together. Even if you’re not this person – if you’d be so kind as to share this post, I would be grateful. Hiring this person will help me create more things that – I hope – will add value to your journey.

Thank you.

How to Overcome NO & Beat the System — “Dear White People” Director Justin Simien on #cjLIVE Wed Dec 10

UPDATE: In case you missed it, here’s the re-watch of the incredible episode with Justin Simien, below!

OR if you’re hungry for my audio PODCAST here via iTunes or (be sure to subscribe) or download the MP3 file here. Subscribe to keep up with future episodes and take a peek back all previous shows including performances by Macklemore and the Lumineers, insights from Adrian Grenier from Entourage fame, Tim Ferriss and many others.

It’s my hope that after watching this you…
…are now more inclined to take on a huge creative challenge
…can use Justin’s approach and techniques to overome hearing “no” in pursuit of your dreams.
…have a better sense for the “new” democratized way that films can get made..
…have a better understanding of how to recognize and respond to systematic racism.
…have now experienced another visionary and inspiring creative.

These are just some things that I took away… Surely I missed a bunch that are worth a shout out, of course feel free to let me know!
justin simien chase jarvis live REMINDER: this show is TODAY Wed, Dec 10, at NOON San Francisco time (3pm NYC, 20:00 London) and is broadcast LIVE at Tune in, join the global internet audience + live Q&A w/ Justin Simien. PLUS – I’m giving away a camera today too! Details below – see you soon.

Years ago as an up & coming photographer, I got so damn sick of hearing NO, sick of hearing what I had to BE and what my work had to LOOK LIKE in order to “make it”. Now years later and after some modest success, I…actually, wait, who am I kidding…that banter from the world never really stops, regardless of success or achievement. So the question I started asking myself some time ago WASN’T “how can I avoid those toxic ideas” – but rather “how can I use those toxic ideas, the uncertainty they create, or even my own identity crisis as fuel for my biggest goals + aspirations?” How can I beat the system?

ENTER: Film director, writer, and the artist that everyone in Hollywood/the film scene is talking about right now…my newest hero, Justin Simien. More than anyone I know personally, Justin has centered his emerging career around overcoming the “you can’t do this / make this / be this” and around telling stories about the human condition–HIS condition. And he’s parlayed those efforts from a successful IndieGoGo campaign, to nabbing the Special Jury Award at Sundance, and now a nationwide theatrical release of his amazing (and controversial film) Dear White People — that is IN THEATERS RIGHT NOW (ah-ma-zing trailer below…)

Among a several other challenges –like identity, race, AND financing his dream– Justin was told his script couldn’t become a feature length film…and that commercial success “wasn’t possible” with “that kind of script”. But who’s laughing now? Justin is… he’s laughing all the way to award parties, the late night TV circuit, Variety Magazine’s Top 10 Directors to watch, and…to my couch for the next episode of #chasejarvisLIVE!

WHO: You, me, breakout filmmaker Justin Simien + a worldwide gathering of creative people
WHAT: Interview, discussion + a worldwide Q&A
WHEN: Wednesday, December 10th, 12:00noon San Francisco time (3:00pm NYC time or 20:00 London)
WHERE: Tune into It’s free — anyone can watch and we’ll be taking YOUR questions via Facebook and Twitter, hashtag #cjLIVE

// How to use NO as fuel for your creative fire.
// How to crowdsource your projects from obscurity into success
// How to break free from the assumptions of others and claim your own identity
// The power of flipping the script and walking face-first into what people expect from you
// How to make conversation an integral part of your craft
// How to use your very own life experiences as the biggest accelerant to your art & career

FIRST, in order to reach the largest audience possible, we’re kicking out a couple nice prizes. We’re giving away $200 worth of free CreativeLive course credits to two (2) people. Enter to win by sending out a creative tweet OR Facebook post including #cjLIVE + any url pointing to THIS blog post. Sample for cut + paste…

Overcome “NO” + beat the system! @DearWhitePeople director #JustinSimien on #cjLIVE here–>

Promoting the show as many times as you can starting RIGHT NOW till the show starts on Dec 10. Winners announced LIVE on the show! Be sure to use the hashtag and/or point back to my Facebook so we can track all your entries.

SECOND, we’re giving away the latest and greatest GoPro Hero4 Camera during the live show to one lucky viewer – you gotta tune in to the live show to win….PLUS we’ll hook other people up with a bunch ‘o Dear White People posters signed by Justin himself. Again, you gotta tune in to the LIVE SHOW, day of, for a chance at winning those.

Want to be part of the live in-studio audience? filming here at CreativeLive Studios in San Francisco?? Space is limited, BUT if you’re in the first 40 people, to submit THIS FORM we will email you back within 48 hours with instructions for YOU + 1 GUEST to come hang with Justin and me in person, take some photos, ask your questions, and generally have a ridiculously good time.

LASTLY BUT NOT LEASTLY… our fine friends at –the place where I get all the rental cameras, lenses and equipment for my shoots — have kindly agreed to give all #cjLIVE fans 10% off this month. Use code “CHASE” now till yearend. Enjoy!


justin simien dear white people chase jarvis live

Comfort Is the Enemy of Purpose: How to Pursue Life-Changing Risk

There is no force as powerful as pursuit. It’s a gritty daily grind — but it’s the only way to find out what you’re capable of. Twenty years ago, I ditched medical school and bailed on a PhD in Philosophy to pursue my own calling to become a photographer. Amidst a bunch of head-scratching and doubt from my family and peers, I abandoned a known outcome to dedicate my life to making art. This quest woke me from a sleep state, and has since catapulted me into opportunities I never imagined existed.I test myself by doing, making and being, NOT by checking off boxes or collecting diplomas. By navigating my life in pursuit of my vision, I have – at the core – created my own trajectory.

Over the years, I’ve been lucky to befriend many fellow comrades in adventure — and there’s few if any more prolific than globetrotting entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau. Chris’s discipline and insight are a constant source of inspiration for me. His blog , The Art of Non Conformity is a part of my daily routine, his early books are continual energizers for me, and he’s even joined me on the #cjLIVE couch before.

But today is an especially awesome day, because I get to share Chris’ new book with you on this blog, along with an exclusive interview with the man himself. That’s right, during the time he wasn’t visiting every country on the planet (!!!) or running my favorite gathering of humans (the World Domination Summit), Chris managed to write a game changing new book, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life – and, although it just came out last week – it’s already a New York Times bestseller (no surprise there). I tracked him down between book signings (where he’s visiting 41 cities in the USA alone!!) and talk show appearances to chat about the relationship between pursuit and fulfillment.

Are you ready to be the hero of your own life? Then start by GRABBING CHRIS’ NEW BOOK HERE and then check out our Q&A below for a few actionable takeaways for finding your own life-defining quest.

Hello my friend! Congrats again. Please tell me and the good people here what inspired you to write this book? How did you know this was the next story you needed to tell?

I wanted to tell the story of real-life adventures and modern-day quests. I spent 10 years visiting every country in the world — but the best part was hearing the stories of other people who had also chosen to cultivate the value of adventure in their lives. I didn’t want to just write a memoir, in other words. I wanted to present an agenda: “a quest can improve your life, and here’s how you craft one.”

I love that term, “the value of adventure”. Is this a one-off idea, or are we having a cultural shift towards a new definition of happiness?

I think it’s fair to say that people are thinking differently about their lives. They’re understanding that with all the opportunities available to us, we should put our limited time and energy to good use. We should strive! We should live with urgency!

I’ve often gotten lost during my trajectory toward a goal. And looking back it has been because I’d poorly defined those goals. Your book cuts thru that nonsense (and the challenges that face most people) by making goals a “quest”. What defines a quest?

A quest has a beginning and an end. There’s something you work toward over time—and there are usually multiple stages or milestones along the way. Challenge is the essence of a good quest. It shouldn’t be that easy! Lastly, something unexpected usually happens along the way. You can’t help but be changed through the journey. A quest makes you a better person as you embrace the challenge and adapt to unexpected circumstances.

How do you begin to set “the right quest” – and even the right milestones for a quest — while also allowing room to learn from the unexpected?

You set a big, incredible goal that is also within the realm of possibility. It has to be hard but it has to be achievable. In my case, visiting every country in the world (193/193) was tough. It took ten years! But it wasn’t fundamentally impossible. I knew if I worked hard enough and found a way to overcome the various challenges, eventually I could see it through.

How do you recommend we build pursuit — be it of larger quests or smaller goals — into our everyday lives?

We can choose to live for something we believe in. We can spend our time on things we’re excited by *and* things that bother us. One of my favorite stories in the book comes from Oklahoma, where a young mother decided that she’d raise her family with an international perspective. She couldn’t visit every country in the world, but she decided to cook a meal from every country in the world. Over the three years that the project unfolded, her daughter grew up eating foods from all over and learning about life beyond her doorstep. Then other people started caring, following along with the recipes she posted online.

It became something much bigger than just a small project, even though it was something she could pursue from her home and without a lot of specialized skills.

Is a quest ever really over?

In some ways, yes. Every quest has a goal and a destination. It may be “all about the journey” but there *is* something you’re working toward that you’ll eventually reach. That’s why you should be prepared for the end!

That said, the act of “questing” itself is addictive. Once you go down the road of adventure, it’s hard to quit.

What’s your next quest?

For me, the next quest will be much more about community. I want to focus on serving people who are interested in living unconventional lives. I want to help them to form communities of their own and provide role models of others who’ve done remarkable things.

Ultimately, I think this kind of work will be far more valuable than visiting every country in the world. But I’m also grateful for the extended quest of traveling, because without it I wouldn’t have the community in the first place.

Well said, amigo… before I again recommend you pick up Chris’ book, I’ll leave you with one snippet that I’ve learned from Chris that’s different that all the other goal or quest-setting books out there.

According to Chris, here are the 5 key qualities of a quest:

  1. A clear goal and a specific end point
  2. A clear challenge
  3. A sacrifice of some kind
  4. A calling or sense of mission
  5. A series of small steps and incremental progress toward the goal

The key for me is the sacrifice. What is achievement without sacrifice? In the case of becoming a photographer, I turned my back on becoming a pro soccer player, a doctor, or a professor. There’s gravity is admitting that to one’s self, and for me it was understanding in advance that I’d have to sacrifice that helped me get thru the hardest parts.

So what is your quest? What will you sacrifice to get what you want out of life? Pick up Chris’ book for some inspiration and clarity on how to do this for yourself. It will be the best $11 you could possibly spend to get yourself un-stuck and on to the next big chapter in your life.


Looking for Just 100 Beta Testers — like YOU — for Mylio [New Photo Software]

UPDATE: this opportunity is now full/closed (sorry – that took all of 2 minutes). Thanks to all who showed interest. To those who missed out, I’ll let you know when Mylio is publicly available.

One of my favorite things about living a life at the intersection of artist/photographer + entrepreneur/tech founder is that — through community, experience, network, and passion – I get access to a ton of the newest, emerging IDEAS & PRODUCTS from all over the world. And it’s always my goal to share as much of this with YOU as possible — whether thats the newest cameras, photo apps, gadgets or any number of startups I advise.

So that brings me to the point of this short post: I’d like advance help from YOU on a cool new product, not yet released. I’m advising photo software startup called Mylio (short for My Life Organized) and it is looking for just 100 beta testers.

But what is it? Mylio is an insanely intelligent photo management + basic editing system for photographers who want to spend more time enjoying their photos and less time searching through them. Put bluntly, the first time I used Mylio, I tasked it to organize the 25,000 snapshots across my iPhone, my iPad, and my daily laptop. In no time flat I was looking at images off my first iPhone that I hadn’t seen in years. Once buried images of photoshoot scouting trips to New Zealand and Asia, my old portfolio and my new portfolio were at my fingertips. I even found copies of some of my signature images, long ago buried on a backup of backup somewhere, or so I thought. In short, Mylio had organized my pictures from every corner of my life, my memory, and my daily devices (including more than 10,000 from my iphone alone) and I was viewing them. And it was fast.

But that was my experience. What will yours be?

Here’s how to be a part of this select group of early users: just go here, sign up, and download the application. You will receive an email if you are part of the first 100 and an invitation to participate in a special forum to leave feedback.

Yep, just simply visit and enter your info.

Some top level bullet points about the service:
// Allows you to auto-magically manage, protect and adjust you photo library across multiple computers, tablets, external hard drives, network storage devices, and the cloud. Yes that means all your stuff at your fingertips, all the time.

// Lets you store edit both jpeg and RAW images (on all those devices…I know it’s nuts right? So yes you can edit Raw images on your iPad mini, or whatever)

// It’s designed to handle libraries with up to 250,000 photos without slowing you, your device or your network down, regardless of where you are in the universe.

// It’s for Macs, iPads and iPhones (iPhone 5) and…yes…Windows too.

// Integrates with Lightroom or Photoshop workflow too

SO, again, this is an opportunity to test an early product before it’s made widely available. You could have an amazing experience, or you could find some bugs and struggle to use it. That’s the point. But either way…above and beyond even the gratitude from me for helping out….the first 100 users will receive 6 months of free ongoing use of the product. So there’s that little nugget too. But really it’s way more about being on the test crew and playing around with cool new toys.

One last reminder, I am NOT involved in the daily activity of the company etc at all. I’m an advisor to this startup, so while comments and questions are totally welcome below, please direct your sharing and feedback about the Mylio experience to the Mylio team. Thanks and enjoy.

Everything You Weren’t Taught About Taking Photos: How to Make an Image While Making Tough Decisions on Set (Amidst the Drama of it All)

chase jarvis naked juiceBackground Story.
This image was a part of a global campaign — print, OOH and digital – for Naked Juice in 2011. This image was one image in a series of 6 ads where the goal was to achieve what we were calling “the Naked Lens” — a superwarm, hard backlit look, complete with lens flare and jeweled tones throughout the image. While it might be an overused look these days — lens flares hadn’t yet hitting the mainstream for advertising. The idea was that this look, when combined across all Naked’s imagery, could be an “own-able” look for Naked. You can see a few other images from that campaign here or here on the agency’s site to get the gist of them together.

But I can already hear you — “so what’s so special about this shot, Chase? It’s just a guy walking down the beach with a surfboard!” Fair point, but ironically I chose this image specifically for that point. One of the most popular questions I get asked about photography is… “what’s it like to do X, or shoot with Y, in crazy location Z?” By and large people want to hear the sexy war stories of the profession — and there are plenty. BUT in high-end, broad reach advertising work you’re rarely asked to shoot the sexy or the impossible. More often you’re asked to shoot the “normal” under some unique circumstances… be those circumstances a special lighting situation, a special location, during a special type of weather, etc… and with 100 smart people (agency, client, everybody else under the sun) looking over your shoulder all the while — each with their own opinion on the best way to do something. That was the case for this image, and that’s why I thought it a more worthy share than another sexy war story. IMHO it might be a less sexy story, but it’s a better read and ultimately more valuable for takeaways because it’s more real than most of the shiz you’ll read.

Sometimes even the simple images are hard to get. We were setup on location in Malibu at a beach park we’d permitted after scouting the week before. Key challenge #1 = the weather was NOT good. Overcast, cold, with fog and broken clouds. Certainly no one expects you to control the weather and contracts are written with “weather days” etc, but that’s my point. It DEFINITELY contributes to the mood on set — to everyones mood. All of which not ideal when your #1 objective is a warm, backlit sun flare. To add some complications in there, it was our last shot to get, we’d nailed the previous 5 shooting in LA over the past week. There was a fair pressure to get it done… budget pressure. Nobody likes cost overages and you can imagine the costs of 30+ people staying for another day — client, agency, wardrobe, styling, art department, motorhomes, cancellation fees, etc etc. There was at least another $50 – $100,000 on the line if we didn’t get the shot.

We were all setup several hours early, and a lot of less experienced people on set (client’s do these shoots once or twice a year, the agencies do them a few more, whereas we photographers literally live in this stuff) and the people with the purse strings are getting fidgety. [“Why are we even here? It’s cloudy weather! Shouldn’t we scramble to another location and try to poach the shot down in Venice? My phone says its sunny down there.”]

1. Patience. Scrambling 30 people to a new location that “might” be sunny, to shoot without a permit, is NOT a good idea. Parking alone is a nightmare, let alone all the rest. Besides risking getting shut down from the cops, nobody likes a scramble. Moreover, there is a phenomenon that you should be familiar with… it’s the phenomenon that quite frequently bites people in the ass: chasing light, i.e. “you can see it’s sunny right over there.” This sometimes plays in your favor with a smaller crew and a consistent weather pattern, but we had neither of those.

2. Sun Seeker App. Now I’m in no way affiliated with this $10 Sun Seeker app (and I’ve written about it before), but I use it every day of every outdoor photo shoot I’m on. In short, it’s a must have — it gives you the exact location of the sun in the sky at any given time. In this particular situation, when we’d scouted the location earlier we’d identified that our scene would be backlit the right amount for about 45 minutes before the sun went behind this hill just to the northwest of the beach we were on. BUT BUT BUT given the situation at hand I could tell that there were some breaks in the cloud happening right in the zone where the sun was going to be in an hour… and that — if things worked out perfectly — we might get a few minutes of sun just before it went behind the hill overlooking the beach (that you can see in the background of the image).

3. Making the Tough Call. They say that making hard calls in photography “goes with the pay grade.” But let’s be clear: most of the calls you must make on set — to shoot or not to shoot, to stay or move, to use this lens or that one, this model or that, this camera or that, do this or that or don’t — are based on gut and experience, and all of your gut and experience were cultivated with imperfect data. It’s a feeling combined with experience. Well, that’s what went down here. I had a strong hunch we’d get a minute or two of direct sun beneath the clouds and above the horizon, just right before it dipped away. I’d seen it happen 100 times, and that experience coupled withe the technology that told me where the sun was going to be AND the patience to always wait — to always give yourself a chance (see this post) to make the shot.

So, that’s what we did here. Amidst the voices from client and bystanders and agency and etc., I held the cast and crew at the location… and it worked. The sun turned on like a light switch, burning brightly and warmly for exactly 2 minutes. Not 20 minutes, not 2 hours. 2 minutes. But because we were ready (against everyone else’s desire… “its so cloudy its NEVER going to happen…”) we nailed the shot in a 2 minute window.

Gear & Settings
Camera = Nikon D3s
Lens = Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 ED-IS VR (at 78mm)
fStop = 2.8
Shutter = 1/1600
ISO = 800
Flash = none

Why I chose these settings
I needed the aperture wide open to get the light flare as I wanted it and I needed to be 1000% sure to freeze an action (at least 1/1000) and so that roughly dictated my ISO at 800 given the conditions.

In this case, my direction to the model was much more complex than you might think. First of all, it was very cold — probably in the 50’s and windy, so keeping him warm in between practice run thru’s was a must — can’t have a surfer all goose-bumped out. Second, in order to put him in the right spot on the horizon and in our frame he had to walk in a very unnatural part of the trail, while looking up and keeping a natural expression… no smiles, just contentment. So, the directions weren’t easy, but that’s what makes a pro model a pro. Seriously. Walk “normally” on this root-covered area just off the path with a perfect facial expression, carrying this surf board exactly this way, don’t look where you’re walking, and god forbid don’t look like you’re cold even though you’re wearing no clothes and it’s 50 degrees and windy as hell… aaaaaand now do that 50 times in 2 minutes while I unload 1,000 frames or so. THAT was the direction. #RequiredToGetTheShot

Post Production
In Photoshop we didn’t do all that much. Primarily some light balance between the hot sun and the darker elements (greens, etc.) in the front. The Nikon has great dynamic range, but we focused mostly on tweaking the balance between the brightest bits of the image and the darkest. We warmed it up a tad, we amplified the lens flare and we went a hair more to the jewel side of the tones in the image color to match the creative brief and the other images in the campaign. And Voila!

So there you have it. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter and Fbook with any questions. If you dig this blog post, I only share one of these every so often here… BUT I share one of these case studies every other week to my email list, with a complete breakdown of ever bit of the image making process. If you want to join the thousands of people who receive these special emails, do so on this form here. I will never spam you or share your info. #Respect.

Let’s Hang Out! WIN a Meeting with Me + $500 in Camera Gear + 2 Classes from CreativeLive

UPDATE: The contest has ended and a winner has been randomly selected! And the winner is… David Arthur! David: send us an email to to claim your prize and get that consult scheduled. Everyone else: thank you so much for entering! As always, we’ll do more contests in the future for you to win some rad prizes, so make sure to keep checking in.


Since I started writing this blog in 2006, I’ve always emphasized creativity and education over gear. You’ve heard me say “the best camera is the one you have with you” (ahem…) once or twice. I’ve handed the microphone to friends like Ramit and Tim to help me shout from the mountaintops that a new fancy camera is NOT one of your photography business essentials.

But while ideas and education trump gear, gear is not irrelevant. I’m 110% aware how easy it is for me to preach creativity over the camera when I’m slinging the latest goodies – D4s, Hasselblads, and an Alexa. The right gear HAS actually made many of my photos, videos, etc possible. Literally.

It’s perhaps then, fair to say that progress in one’s photography career / path takes a combo of 3 things. Ideas, education AND some basic minimum of gear.

SSSOOOOOOOOOO…. It’s with all that in mind that I’m kicking off a contest/sweepstakes TODAY that packs all 3 of those things together. Yours truly, along with my friends at Adorama and CreativeLive are each contributing prizes — all 3 prizes which will go to one winner. That can you be you.

1. A personal consult with Chase Jarvis. Yes, a 60 minute Skype, Google Hangout or phone call with yours truly. We can talk about whatever you want to discuss: creative ideas, business ideas, portfolio review, the World Cup — whatever — you name it, I’m yours.

2. Gear. Adorama is kicking in $500 cash (gift card) toward anything on their site. Grab a new iPhone for mobile photography OR apply that $500 to that Canon 5D that you’ve always wanted.

3. Education. CreativeLive is kicking in 2 free classes — online education from the world’s best experts in photo & video education. There’s also business, design, audio courses and more. Learn from Pulitzer Prize winning photographers, Emmy nominated directors, New York Times Bestselling authors. 2 courses valued at $149 each will be yours — for free.

SO, HOW DO YOU WIN? To help wrangle this giveaway, we’re going back to our favorite widget below. It does a few things really well:
1. manages all entries into a secure database and properly randomizes a winner
2. gives you info about how much time is left in the giveaway / how many entries there are etc
3. allows you to earn extra entries by participating more deeply in the community (tweeting, sharing, reading posts etc)

To enter just fill in your info below and follow along. And note: this giveaway is live TODAY all the way through the 7th of July. Winner will be announced on July 8th via my social feed and email. Feedback welcome on the widget if you have any.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to all who enter. I can’t wait to chat it up with the winner.

[In the meantime, to start your gearmouth a salivating … you gear-heads can check out this post: Don’t Leave Home Without It Gear Kit.]

How to Charge What You’re Worth — Which is 3 to 10x More Than You’re Getting Today [with Ramit Sethi]

Ok, first thing first…if you’ve already made the move OR are even CONSIDERING turning your passion for photography (or video, or design, or writing or whatever) into a business, do your future self a solid and start following Ramit Sethi, right NOW. Visit his website. Read his blog. Sign up wherever it tells you to sign up. Because Ramit will teach you more about the business side of this industry than you thought you needed to know. His style direct, you’ll get tough love, but he’s great at helping us creatives (eg he has helped me more with my business chops than anyone else) get to where we need to be. He’s been on #cjLIVE before and he’s also shared some thoughts on raising rates.

But today he’s back by popular demand to share a simple one-two approach to setting your prices and upping your earning potential. Pencils ready? Okay, take it away Ramit.

Thanks, Chase.

I recently asked a photographer how she came up with her pricing. She said, “Well… I researched my competition and found that they had similar services, so I charged what they were charging.”

Does that sound familiar? Or worse, do you know people who charge less to “undercut” the competition or “get more business?

Here’s the problem with using “me-too” pricing: You’re signaling to your potential clients that you’re the same as everyone else. Why would they choose you when they can always find someone else charging $10 less?

How can some photographers charge 5x, 10x, even 100x what others do? Are they 100x more talented? Do they have 100x more experience? 100x better equipment?

No! The reason they can charge more is simple: Of course they’re good, but good isn’t enough. They’ve learned to position their services as a premium product. Today, I’ll show you how you can, too.

Step 1: Think like your client
Start by asking yourself, “What are my client’s top 3 problems? What are their concerns when hiring a photographer?” The equipment you use probably isn’t in their top 100 problems.

Clients care about themselves and their problems. By taking the time to make your proposal client-focused, you’re already ahead of 90% of your competition.

In an 90-minute interview I did with Chase, we cover tons of examples on how to use this idea. See the 24:00 minute mark where I share exactly how to “read their mind” using a simple technique you can do in the next 5 minutes.

Once you’re in your client’s head and can address their burning needs, price becomes a mere triviality.

THIS is how some creative people can charge 2x, 5x, even 20x what others charge. Yes, they’ve honed their skills, but being good isn’t enough. They know how to focus on their clients, not just their equipment.

Step 2: Use these words to say “no” to low-value clients
One key is learning how to be confident in your own value. Part of getting paid more is believing you’re actually worth more and saying NO to low-paying jobs. Sometimes, we feel grateful for ANY job, especially when we love what we do. This leads to accepting less than you know you’re worth.

The truth is, you’ll get more clients and better clients who respect and value what you do if you’re confident and stick to your rates. Check out this tested word-for-word script to see what I mean:

CLIENT: “What’s your hourly rate?”

YOU: “I’ve actually changed my business so I only do weekly engagements now. This helps me deliver more in-depth results (for example, helping a recent client do ____). The rate for that is $X per week, and that includes A, B, and C.”

CLIENT: “Can’t we just get you for a few hours?”

YOU: “Unfortunately not. I’d love to help but I focus on high-value projects, and those typically take a minimum of a week to understand and execute. The good news is I’ve never had a client who wasn’t happy with the results, even if they originally wanted me for just a few hours. And based on everything you’ve told me, we definitely have more than enough work to keep ourselves busy during that timeframe. The potential upside of Project X is very large.”

CLIENT: “OK, fine. Um… could you do $Y per week instead?”

YOU: “I typically don’t discount my rates except in special cases. If $Y is your budget, I’d be willing do it only if we were to remove either B or C from the project scope. Which would you prefer?”

CLIENT: “Never mind, we can do $X.”

YOU: “Great! I’ll follow up with you soon with next steps.”

Do you see what happened there? Many of us fear we’ll scare away clients by charging premium prices. In fact, low prices are a bigger red flag in your clients mind. Sticking to your higher rate communicates that you’re more valuable than the competition, so the client will lean toward hiring you.

You can even add value to your current clients while raising your rates. The key is to create a win-win situation for you and the client.

Check out this video on how to raise your rates and thrill the client, including a word-for-word script you can use when telling your client about the new rate. You’ll learn:

  • 1:00 — The 3 things you must tell your clients about a rate change
  • 2:07 — How to get clients excited about the upcoming changes (even if it includes a rate increase)
  • 2:30 — A simple way to ensure your clients love you, even if you have to part ways

So how did a graphic designer convince me to pay more? Instead of focusing on design-specific concerns like typography and alignment, he nailed my primary concerns as a client. Click here to find out exactly what those were in an interview I did on pricing here.


For more information and help with negotiating your rates and navigating the ins and outs of creative business, check out Ramit’s CreativeLive course, Money + Business For Creatives. Make sure also to check out Ted Leonhardt‘s course on Negotiation for Creatives, Ann Rea‘s course Make Money Making Art, and CreativeLive’s entire catalog of business courses for creatives.

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