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In This Episode, I Reviewed YOUR Photos [ChaseJarvisRAW #05 is here!]

Hey all — Another glorious episode of cjRAW is here! Can I just say that I’m having so much fun making all this content – and to be back on my game! Thank you for all your well wishes, support and sharing.

Also thank you for the oodles of comments & photo submissions across my social channels for photo critique! Given your overwhelming response, I decided to not just review one, but SEVEN photos. And even if your photo was not selected, I bet dollars to donuts you’ll find some tasty tidbits to consider the next time you pull out your camera.

And- oh – be sure to hang tight to the end of the episode as well…as I’ll discuss how you can get your photos reviewed on the show in future episodes AND some ways easy peasy ways to get other people to chime in and evolve your work through constructive feedback.

In the meantime – here’s just a sample list of stuff I discuss when reviewing your images in this episode… (LMK in the comments what’s working for you and what you’d like me to do differently next time).

Zero in on Your Subject

Every shot tells a story. The most powerful photos zero in on their subject by removing the less important details that distract from it. Use composition, light, natural lines, focus & blur, to direct the eye to the elements more important and remove the rest.

Consider Body Position

If the subject of your shot is moving through the frame, take a look at their body position. If they are the subject of your photo,  you’d ideally want to see the majority of the athlete, or a really nice shape that creates visual interest & context.

Placement of subjects in a photo

Look for opportunities for your subjects to stand out from their surroundings through camera angle or position. Ideally, try to keep them separated from the background so they are not lost or engulfed by other elements. Make sure they don’t intersect with the background in weird ways…(i.e. stuff sticking out of the subject’s head.)

Use the rule of thirds

A simple, yet powerful tool that can affect the tone and balance of your photo. Artistic choice comes into play by either employing it or breaking it. Lines, for example, can frame a subject, draw the eye toward convergence or create tensions through a blocking or cutting off feeling.

Wide Angle Lenses

Use of a wide angle lens can cause distortion on the outer edges of your frame. If used in a scene with humans, the side-effect could be distortion of their bodies. You can minimize this by avoiding to place your subject near the edge of frame – and/or use photo editing software to digitally correct for this.

And there’s a bunch more goodness buried in the video. Dig in and LMK what you think.

Links from the Episode

My CreativeLive Course Pick of the Week: The Power of Body Language, Vanessa Van Edwards [14:37]

This is not directly photo related, but it’s something every photographer can use -> Social queues and techniques through subtle body language can help you communicate more effectively in client meetings, negotiations, and more.


What’s Covered

The Idea [0:27]

Karan Jeebun [1:03]

Crop the photo [1:17]
Remove other distracting elements [1:59]

Blake Johnson [2:34]

Initial Reaction [2:45]
Strive for tack focus in panning moves [3:15]
Body Positioning [3:44]

Bram Berkein [4:20]

Initial Reaction [4:39]
Hide the light source behind an object to avoid over exposure [5:18]
Subject Placement [5:47]

Krassy Dimitrov [6:11]

Initial Reaction [6:22]
Rule of Thirds [6:36]
Shoot what’s comfortable to the eye[7:14]

Preston Gervais[7:38]

Initial Reaction [8:16]
Show just enough detail [8:33]

Udell Jimenez [8:55]

Initial Reaction [9:02]
Using a wide angle lens [9:21]
Composition + Use of Triangles [9:59]
Exposure [10:18]
Storytelling [10:30]

Veronica Domeier [11:10]

Initial Reaction [11:23]
Composition [11:58]
Remove anything that competes with the main subject [12:17]
Exposure [12:31]

How to Get More Feedback Like This:

  1. Watch for future cjRAW opportunities [12:55]
  2. Your Trusted Circle [13:13]
  3. Trusted Source Online, Workshops, Courses [13:32]
  4. Professional Reviewers [13:56]

People Mentioned

Tim Ferriss
Casey Neistat
Michael Kenna
Zack Arias
Vincent Laforet
Sue Bryce
Chris Burkhard

3 Tips for Shooting Photos + Protecting Your Gear in Bad Weather, Rain + Snow [ChaseJarvisRAW #04 is in the House]

Most people don’t know this, but bad weather often means great (interesting) photos. So I almost never shy away from it. BUT I’ve heard LOTS of you whining rightly worrying about your camera gear when working outdoors in the yuck. Truth be told – I totally get it. The gear is spendy and unless you’re an active pro photog or…rich…you want to be careful.. Sooooo, based on your asking, I thought I’d address this challenge with a tip or three and a couple of affordable hacks that’ll help you stay outside and get the shot.

1. Get weather-sealed pro cameras that can keep out rain, dust, and other elements. I know they’re spendy as hell. But this is where that extra $ pays off in spades. They work. And when they stop working…they’ll usually fire right back up when they dry out…

2. The hack. Don’t want to spend the big bucks on the pro cameras, and you just got a “normal” dSLR. I get it. There’s nothing quite like the shower cap to suit most of your needs. Srsly. Check the vid.

3. OK OK, so you found a way to work outside but your lens got super nasty wet….and you’re getting streaky pictures and blowing thru lens cloths like it ain’t no thing? Here’s then how you PROPERLY clean your lens. (take it from me…)

Links from the Episode

Gear I use. This is the pro stuff

Music “You Can Have It” by Fresh Espresso:

BTW, CreativeLive is a good resource.

What’s Covered

Working with weather sealed cameras [0:39]

The Shower Cap [1:36]

Drying a nasty wet lens [2:22]

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

BIG NEWS!! Bravery, Authenticity + Rising Strong in a Digital World — Brené Brown on #cjLIVE [Thurs, Sept 17]

UPDATE: Still reeling from this awesome interview the Brené Brown. Incase you missed it, check it out above!

UPDATE: This live show is TODAY at 3:30pm San Francisco time (6:30pm NYC time or 22:30 London) at…. but you can still win $200 gift card from CreativeLive by sharing this blog post via twitter and facebook, see below on to score.

UPDATE: there are just 20 seats left to be part of the LIVE in-studio, in-person audience tomorrow at CreativeLive in San Francisco (details below). Interested to meet Brene in person? check this link ASAP to see if there are any spots left. Sorry we’re all full up ;)

cjLIVE Brené Brown Bravery and Authenticity in a Digital WorldA huge part of success is failure … but what we do AFTER a failure, heartbreak, or loss can make the difference between becoming defined by those stories or writing them. I truly believe this is the secret to unlocking your creativity and your biggest successes in life.

Enter: Brené Brown. You certainly remember, Brené joined us in studio in one of the TOP #cjLIVE episode of all time to discuss vulnerability  and having the courage to share our struggles as a path to a more creative life…. WELL HERE’S THE BIG NEWS! I’m honored to have her join us again to chat about her new book RISING STRONG, and how bravery, authenticity, and Rising Strong from failure, is a huge catalyst to our lives. Only when we own our true stories — our failures and discomforts — can we truly access the full power of creativity, love, belonging and joy.

WHO: You, Me, Brené Brown + a worldwide creative gathering
WHAT: LIVE interview, discussion + worldwide Q&A
WHEN: Thursday, September 17th, 3:30pm San Francisco time (6:30pm NYC time or 22:30 London)
WHERE: Tune in here. It’s free!

Anyone can watch and we’ll be taking YOUR questions via Facebook and Twitter, hashtag #cjLIVE

// How do we recognize the power of our emotions and turn them into creative energy?
// How owning your personal struggles and story are keys to bravery and authenticity
// How do we lean into discomfort of any kind to drive personal growth, innovation, and huge success?
// How can we create a revolution in our lives on a path to becoming a better creative entrepreneur, a better partner, a better human?

For those of you who know and love CreativeLive… The #cjLIVE show is now broadcasting on the CreativeLive network! We are the world’s largest live-streaming education company, teaching skills for career, hobby, and life…focused on unlocking your creative potential. As the Founder + CEO, you’ve see me excited about CL for years, and you’ve also seen featured all over the place including the New York Times, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Time, CNBC, Fast Company, etc. So my long-running #cjLIVE show has now joined forces with CL to incorporate an even larger worldwide audience.

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 promoting the show as many times as you can starting RIGHT NOW till the show begins. Send out a creative tweet OR Facebook post including #cjLIVE + @BreneBrown + any url pointing to THIS blog post. Be sure to use the hashtag and/or point back to my Facebook or CL’s Facebook so we can track all your entries. We’ll select 2 of the best ones and give you a shout-out at the beginning of the show, along with access to the $200 CreativeLive credit.

WE WILL ALSO GIVE AWAY MORE TASTY PRIZES DURING THE SHOW… including signed copies of Brené’s book. You gotta tune in to the LIVE SHOW for a chance at winning those.

Want to be part of the live studio audience in San Francisco? It’s first come, first serve. Be one of the lucky few! Register here.

LASTLY BUT NOT LEASTLY… thanks to CreativeLive and our fine friends at –the place where I get all the rental cameras, lenses and equipment for my shoots … who help make this show possible.

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

First Hands on with MIMIC — It’s a Game Changer [ Plus Score a Free MIMIC + MOVI Package ]

Today I’m excited to be the first to share with you a piece of game-changing technology that will help new AND established cinema / video camera operators capture world class moving pictures in the most intuitive, simple way that I’ve ever imagined. And if you read to the bottom of this post, you’ll see I’m giving you a chance to win this gear valued at ~$5000.

Over my career in the photo & film industries I’ve had the good fortune to collaborate behind-the-scenes with many of the brightest minds, top brands and most innovative products. Among those I count experiences with Apple on iPhone and other products, with Nikon on the world’s very first video DSLR (D90), Ustream and now Meerkat and Periscope on live internet broadcasting and…well…drones, software, computers, etc…game changers that completely re-defined entire industries and — most importantly from my perspective — they share the common thread of having led to the democratization of creativity.

Today marks the public debut of yet another one of those ‘pinch yourself’ highlights…the opportunity to collaborate on MIMIC. What pray tell is MIMIC you ask? Well i’ll give you this tidbit first, and then let you watch for yourself…

MIMIC represents a completely intuitive and organic way to control a cinema / video camera remotely… NOT the camera settings…but what the camera actually sees and records. You’re familiar with the concept of a steady cam, right? Well consider that with this product you can now operate a stabilized camera remotely, right from your director’s chair with a simple-to-use device that track your movements and translate them into smooth, precise camera moves.

MIMIC with Chase Jarvis from Freefly on Vimeo.

The genius minds behind MIMIC are Freefly Systems… the same minds that more than 6 years ago I was hiring to fly custom, camera-carrying drone helicopters. The same people who 2 years ago created the MOVI system – a handheld digital stabilized camera gimbal, so advanced, it completely redefined camera stabilization.

MIMIC is their newest breakthrough product and it’s launching tomorrow at NAB. But you got to see it here first.


MIMIC controller on the left, pictured with MOVI on the right. Game-changing combo.


So why is MIMIC so revolutionary? In short MIMIC fills in a previously-huge gap in cinema. Where the MOVI brought camera stabilization out of Hollywood and delivered it to the masses…MIMIC now allows expert users, intermediate users and — even people with even the most limited camera experience — to “drive” the camera in the very most intuitive way imaginable and get the shots you want. See for yourself what these 5 year olds can do on their first time using this device…

MIMIC with Jett and Kaia from Freefly on Vimeo.

SO.. If you are a newbie and combine MIMIC with MOVI, you will get better shots than with nearly any other camera stabilization + composition system on the planet the first day you use it. If you are an intermediate operator or director you will get insanely high quality shots within minutes of first use. And if you’re an expert operator you will be catapulted into the stratosphere and the only thing holding you back will be your DNA’s urge to hold onto the past ways of thinking about camera movement and stabilization. [ Win this amazing combo below…]

Concept of MIMIC

MIMIC allows you to remotely frame up any shot.


MIMIC explained

MIMIC explained in a single photo. Blurry blob on the right is my camera operator and the green blob on the left is my model


The MIMIC configuration pictured here (monitor, handles and sensor) in these videos is just but one configuration…. the sort of “steering wheel” style where the pilot remotely drives the camera gimbal like a video driving- or flying-game… Imagine if you will another configuration I also was able to use in preparation for this launch… one where I was able to pilot the camera with a set of VR-like glasses. YES I’M DEAD SERIOUS. Just sitting there in my directors chair I was able to control the camera w being held by my operating counterpart simply by moving my head in space left, right, up and down in space. I could see exactly what the camera was seeing and was able to steer the camera with nearly flawless precision by simply looking at the feature in the scene I wanted to see. Anywhere I looked, the remote camera (held by my camera op counterpart) would track exactly to that framing. Wow. This truly is the future.

SSSOOOOOOOOOO…. It’s with all that in mind that we are kicking off a contest/sweepstakes TODAY. Yours truly + CreativeLive and Freefly Systems are making it possible for one winner to take home an insane gear package.. That winner could be you.


1. MIMIC controller system. This is the new hotness – the device that represents a completely intuitive and organic way to control the camera. Sophisticated sensors track your movements and translate them into smooth, precise camera moves. (Link coming – its so new it’s not yet on the Freefly systems website!)

2. MOVI m5. This is the digital 3-axis, gyro stabilized handheld camera stabilizer that transformed camera movement over the past 2 years We are including the M5 in a bundle with a bunch of other tasty gear, pelican case etc etc. Check it here.

3. Personal lesson from Yours Truly and the gurus at Freefly systems. If the winner is close-ish to us here in the USA, we’ll come to your place. And if you live far away, we’ll do a 60 minute Skype, Google Hangout or phone call with you. We can talk about whatever you want to discuss about the MIMIC and MOVI – whatever would be helpful, be it tricks and tips or just inspirational ideation for how to get some insane shots with your new toy!


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 12th of May. Winner will be announced on May 13th via the @CreativeLive @ChaseJarvis + @FreeflyCinema social feeds. Good luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for tuning in. This will be raging on all this week at NAB show in Vegas, so keep an eye out for more news here on this post and elsewhere in my digital landscape. HUGE shoutout to the crew at Freefly for continuing to push the boundaries of what’s possible and for leading the charge in the further democratization of video + filmmaking. Questions / comments? Hit me up in the comments or on social as usual.

VIDEO: Unboxing The New DJI Global Inspire 1 Drone

You my dear friends all know the drone photography + cinematography, UMAV’s, quadcopters, whatever the hell you wanna call them is all the rage these days. You don’t need me to tell you that. But even I couldn’t have predicted when I was first playing around with this stuff back in 2008, 09 and 2010 how fast this technology was going to blow up (figuratively). And…well… I’ve gotten to know the fine folks from DJI Global, attended their launch event in SF end of last year…and lo and behold, I last week scored their newest machine–The Inspire 1– and holy crap. #nice stuff.

Even if you’re not a pro, the DJI Global Inspire 1 drone (or unmanned aerial vehicle, but that’s a debate for another day!) is going to make you feel like one. For the first time (with any degree of quality), this sexy beast has its own camera, made by DHI, just for UAV filming. There are lots of other bits too…some great, and the jury’s out on some other features… My rants and ramble are in the above video, but here’s a quick list o’ specs:

  • 4k camera mounted on the drone
  • 12mp stills
  • 1.2 mile radio range
  • 3-axis gimbal
  • Wireless 720p HD live view back to earth via the mobile app, so you always know what it’s seeing
  • GPS to help guide it — and find it, in case you’re a bad pilot
  • Indoor mode with spacial awareness
  • Average flight time: Between 18 and 22 minutes

Other hot features on the Inspire 1 that make it sweet? Frickin lazers! Ok, just kidding. But it’s got landing gear that retract and expand on takeoff and landing, without sacrificing the 360-degree view of the camera. It’s also got an optional double-remote feature, so one person can be manning the UAV, while the other pilot is aiming the camera itself. How cool is THAT? That arrangement most closely mimics the approach the professional drone operators have been using for years. Now it’s in your hands.

Anyway, there’s more deets in the video above. And I presume we’ll be seeing more from upcoming competitors like GoPro, Adorama, 3D Robotics, SteadiDrone and many others.

Check out this unboxing video above to hear my take and get a feel for how hearty (and sexy) this craft is.

[Any questions on this? Hit me in the comments. Have other fav drones or optimistic with one coming out? Chime in as well…]

Happy to Take on Some Ice Water for the ALS #IceBucketChallenge

I know, I know! I’m two weeks late for the #ALS #icebucketchallenge…I hate being late for an internet meme, but this is obviously way more/bigger/important than a meme… In this case, as you know by now, the world is raising awareness and money for ALS research. I’ve donated to ALS for not hitting my 24hr mark… and it’s never too late for a good cause, so bring on the ice anyway, per the vid above.

I explain in more detail about my tardiness in the vid above, but want to thank everyone who nominated me. Lots of lovely people/folks/groups throughout the innerwebs (thanks to Adorama, Kai and DigitalRev, Brian, several on the CreativeLive crew, and many others that justifiably beat me up via Twitter. I hear ya ;)

We banged out the video above and wrangled a few playful vid effects to keep it fun. And of course, I also get to nominate some folks to do this chilly challenge, so here they are below:

Actor and pal Adrian Grenier (@adriangrenier)
Homie Travis Rice (@TravRice) – the best snowboarding in the world.
And… hardcore Mike Horn (@ExploreMikeHorn) – the gnarliest active explorer on earth.

Get to it, you three, while I go dry off and warm up.

Lastly! I shot stills of my dousing. If you donate to ALS and share your receipt with me online in any way — even for donating a dollar — I’ll share with you the ridiculous image via a download or something so you can poke fun at me, privately or in public.

As always, if you have questions/comments on the video or anything for that matter… post em below. And forever feel free to hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, and G+.

I have lost a family member to this disease, so it’s extra close to me personally. I can’t overstate how phenomenal the response to the #IBC has been – I hope you’re interested in supporting awareness and research has been piqued.And please, if you can afford it — ice bucket or not — please visit the ALS Association website and make a donation. Thanks and #love.

Aerial Landscape Photography Porn – Iceland Style

Over the years I’ve kicked out a bunch of vids shooting from the skies on commercial gigs, like here, here, here and here for starters. But occasionally, on the heels of a commercial assignment based out of a particularly stunning location, I’ll treat myself to some heli time shooting my ongoing aerial fine art project (personal work with dose of adventure). In fact, I’ve documented these adventures before — like here in New Zealand. I even did a how-to shoot aerial photography thingie here from Belize… but truth be told, all this flying never gets old.

And so it stands to reason that I’m rolling out another bit of aerial photo porn today in hopes of bringing a little joy/beauty to your day AND of course celebrating a quick hit to a gorgeous little corner of Iceland. Please enjoy. As always, taking your questions and comments below, answering those that I can muster.

Like more of these vids? Subscribe to my Youtube Channel here
Or signup for my weekly VIP email photo lovenote right to your inbox.

[And, lastly, before you eeeeeven dismiss this post/video and say “This is so outrageous, when will I ever get to shoot from a helicopter,” I’ll just say that every photographer who has ever shot from a chopper has said those same words at some point… only to find themselves at a future date pulling heavy G turns and shooting from a blue sky somewhere. You can probably even hitch a sightseeing ride for less that it costs to rent a lens for the weekend, so take it all with a grain of salt and enjoy. And, of course, a HUGE shoutout to my guy Big Chocolate for the beats.]

How to Turn ‘No’ Into ‘Yes’ + Get What You Want [An Essential Strategy That Will Get YOU Hired]

It’s fair to say that I’m obsessed with the human spirit. It is amazing, bizarre and lovely at the same time and it can accomplish unthinkable things in the face of the most harrowing odds, in the face of challenge, in the face of “never”. Which is why I believe in the following quote and the following story that relates to this quote. You may have seen this story ‘blow up’ on social a few months ago, but amidst reflection (and upon this great story and the short film about it), my interest in sharing this story compounded. So, as such, here ’tis….with some extra insights to follow that’ll help you win.

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

— Calvin Coolidge

This story opens with a man. A bizarre but fascinating man named Greg Packer — who had set out on an inexplicable journey to become the most quoted man in the news (I know, weird goal, but a seemingly impossible one as well)… but here’s the kicker: he pulled it off. Packer was so successful in his campaign in fact that the Associated Press eventually issued a memo to all its reporters to stop interviewing the guy.

Enter filmmaker friend Andrew David Watson who, when he discovered the Greg Packer story, had the brilliant idea for a perfectly ironic, smart, funny story to tell this Greg Packer’s story from within the media that he hacked. Essentially, tell Greg’s story in the news.

So Andrew pitched his story idea to a bunch of publications. No one bit. Not a one.

This is where – in a very meta way – the human spirit kicks in. Andrew shot the story anyway. And this is where the TAKEAWAY LESSON FOR YOU begins

Andrew cold emailed a rough cut to The New Yorker, they snatched it up right away. Turns out Andrew’s instincts were pretty spot on.

A month after his beautiful little piece published, The Most Quoted Man In News had over 100k views on The New Yorker and Andrew’s Vimeo page had almost half a million.

I never tire of these powerful reminders to pursue personal work, to tackle passion projects, even when the people who write the checks shut the door. In the past, I’ve told you to get used to hearing “NO” and to use it as a motivator. Now I’m telling you HOW. In Andrew’s case, he knew he had a compelling story to capture and he knew he had the tools to do the story justice.

Mark Schwartz did it with his 8×10 Polaroid, and now his work is used by Billabong, Levi’s and Surfrider. Joey L does it, and he’s now turning work away. Tim Ferriss was shot down by 27 publishing houses before the 28th said yes to his multi-million copy selling 4-Hour series of books. Jason Shelowitz (AKA Jay Shells) put up street art that he knew was going to get stolen, but something in his gut/heart/left brain said “do it anyway.”

The common thread in all of these tales of big time success is… PERSISTENCE. Someone told all of these people NO and they forged right ahead and made the thing anyway, and that thing became a successful stand-out piece of their careers.

To give you more insight, I reached out to Andrew with a few questions about this project and how he bounces back from rejection.

First, let’s hear just a little background on your Greg Packer project:

I first met Greg Packer back in 2008. I read a short article about Greg and decided to track him down. It happened to be during the World Series and Greg was in Philadelphia for the Phillies victory parade. I met up with Greg, filmed some footage of him at the parade and got to know him a little better. I thought Greg was a fascinating character but I just wasn’t sure how to make a film about him. I archived the material, kept the story on my ever evolving list of project ideas, and moved on with life.

Fast forward almost 5 years and I was digging through my note book and got thinking about Greg. My visual style and story telling skills had developed a lot in those 5 years and I all of a sudden could picture exactly how I would make the film. I called Greg and asked if he could come down to a studio in Brooklyn for an interview and he (of course!) was super into it.

The best part is the footage I shot in 2008 when I first met Greg, made its way into the final edit as archival material.

Let’s jump right into rejection. You knew you had a good idea. You pitched it, no one bit. How did you handle that rejection? More importantly, how did you handle it with integrity and turn it into resolve?

At this point in my career I’m used to rejection, it’s part of the process. Sometimes it comes down to the creative, but other times it comes down to elements outside of your control such as timing, similar content already under development, etc. I have pitched ideas in the past that I thought were amazing, but once I went through the pitch process, I realized they were not as rock solid as I thought. Other times, such as this project, even after being rejected I still had faith in the story and the passion to pursue it, which told me it was worth doing.

Can you remember the first time you turned a “no” into a project’s first step towards completion? Tell us about it.

A few years ago Etsy came to me and asked if I had any short film ideas that encompassed what their brand was about (handmade, economy of scale, etc). I pitched an idea about a very opinionated motorcycle mechanic I knew in Philadelphia. The producer at Etsy politely turned it down, saying they didn’t really see it working. However, it was a short film idea I always wanted to do and the more I thought about it, the more I just wanted to shoot it anyway, so I did. When I had an edit ready, I showed Etsy and they loved it. They decided to take it with next to no edit changes. The piece went on to get over 300k views, a Vimeo staff pick, multiple festival screenings and was one of Etsy most viewed pieces for a while.

When you resolved to make the The Most Quoted Man anyway, did you make it with the intention of re-pitching it? In other words, was the style, editing, etc. all chosen because you still saw this thing getting published in, say, the New Yorker?

Honestly, no, I decided to make the piece exactly how I saw it. I learned from past experiences that following my gut is usually better than trying to cater to a specific style thats not my own. “Most Quoted Man” is slightly different from other New Yorker pieces (with a lot more graphics and punchy music), however when they decided to take it, they asked for no editorial changes.

Rejection helps us refine our pitching process. How has it helped you refine yours? Can you tell us about some of your pitching success stories and why they were success?

I gravitated towards cameras at a young age because I find images the easiest way to communicate. I was never a strong writer, and I’m still not, so I find it ironic that now I often have to write out my ideas before shooting them. I have refined my pitches by making them as visual as possible, using a lot of reference photos and my past work to explain my vision. Just like anything, the more you do it the better you get at it, but I still have and will always be refining my pitch process.

The lessons we learn as artists can (if we let them) inform many other aspects of our lives. How does this lesson — not taking “no” for an answer — get applied to other aspects of your life (preferably in a positive way!)

Learning to not take “no” for an answer is essentially creative problem solving, which I have always applied to my life. Whether it’s where to live, how to move forward in my career, where to go to university, etc… there is no correct path to take. Feeling comfortable and confident to make your own decisions even if they go against conventional thinking, is just as important as an artist as it is in your everyday life.

You’re sitting in a room with a bunch of talented but frustrated creatives who are struggling to keep rejection from getting the better of them. What is the one piece of advice you would give them?

Rejection is part of the process. It will make you more critical of your own work (in a good way) and will test your faith in your ideas. At the end of the day, rejection is often just one person’s (or a small group’s) creative choice at that given moment. Sometimes it works for you and other times it doesn’t, but the best way to ensure you continue to get the opportunity (even if it means more rejection) is to continue producing the work you are passionate about.

Follow Andrew David Watson on these channels:


Your Side Project Is Your Next Big Win [legendary Swiss Miss on #cjLIVE Wed Jun 18]

Hey, y’all, this show already wrapped on June 18, but you’d do yourself a huge solid to catch the re-watch on Youtube below or on the CreativeLive website here. Thanks as always for tuning in, and to be the first to learn about upcoming cjLIVE episodes, make sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter right here.

REMINDER: this show is TODAY Wed, June 18, 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/ Swiss Miss. Details below!

UPDATE: JOIN US IN THE STUDIO. Want to be part of the live studio audience? Check it –> This is a special remote episode of #cjLIVE coming to you LIVE from the CreativeLive studios in San Francisco!! Do you live in the bay area and wanna have special access to Tina and yours truly? We just released a few more seats. Send an email to – you will get a response about seats and details for you +1 GUEST!


ENTER: Swiss Miss. Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka is a force of nature who knows that “your side project is your next big win” more, better, bigger, stronger than anyone I know. Tina’s blog has been an inspiration to me since 2005 and was one of the original blogs I referenced when deciding to start my own…way back in 2006. Put bluntly, Tina is one of the reasons I got started sharing online…and NOW she again leads by example, having created probably a half-dozen business WHILE SHE’S BEEN A DESIGNER WORKING IN THE TRENCHES! Funny thing? Those businesses are now global powerhouses in their own right. AND she’s coming on #cjLIVE next week to tell us all about it.

Moreover, we’ll be LIVE from Design Week San Francisco in collaboration with the AIGA to bring you this amazing look into one of the most progressive creative / entrepreneurship minds on the internetzz. Ever heard of Creative Mornings? That global series of breakfast lectures for creatives – now in nearly 100 cities worldwide? That’s Tina (btw here’s my CM talk comparing Macklemore with Ansel Adams). Ever heard of Tattly? The hottest, most playful temporary tattoo site on the planet – doing exlusive deals with MOMA and designers like Sagmeister? That’s Tina too. Or maybe you’ve used a little tool called Teux Deux to plan your day in lists. Yep – Tina. Co-working space in Brooklyn called StudioMates way before co-working was cool? That’s Tina too. It just doesn’t stop – nor does she. And she’s coming on #cjLIVE to give us all her secrets. Taking your questions via #cjLIVE, live on the day of the broadcast – a global gathering of creative people. An all-access discussion and interactive Q&A. Get the deets here:

WHO: You, Me, creative phenom Tina Roth Eisenberg + a worldwide gathering of creative people
WHAT: Interview, discussion + a worldwide Q&A
WHEN: Wednesday, June 18th, 12:00 noon SF 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

At the bottom of this post, I’ve included Tina’s SXSW keynote that should give you a good idea of what she’s all about, but here’s a list of just a few of the details we’re going to try to cover in our 90 minute episode next week:

// Making everything you work on a labor of love
// The risk and reward of an eternally entrepreneurial spirit
// Why side hustles are key to getting noticed and doing the kind of work you want to do
// How and why it’s important to cultivate a supportive community

MY THOUGHTS ON PERSONAL WORK??? Let’s face it – you know I’m a diehard advocate of personal work. Most of my biggest career accomplishments beyond nailing a good campaign here and there – certainly the biggest game changers for me — have been “side gigs” that have become either huge or at least interesting – occasionally both. Sharing behind the scenes photos/videos/looks into the ‘black box’ of photography (back when there was no such access) helped put me on the map. Best Camera – the first photo app to share images to social networks, recognized as ‘app of the year’ in Wired, iTunes, Macworld, the New York Times and helped kick off the mobile photo sharing craze was a side project born from a desire to share MY photos with the touch of 1 button. CreativeLive was a side project cooked up on a whiteboard between myself and my co-founder Craig Swanson. Turns out there’s a pattern to this stuff and turns out you can and should be cultivating these so called “side gigs” or “side hustles” or “passion projects” because they have tremendous power to catapult your career, your beliefs, your life into a whole new realm.

If you’ve watched #cjLIVE before, you know how we do! If you’re new around these parts, well you’re in for a treat… We’re giving away $200 in CreativeLive course credits to TWO lucky winners!

Enter to win by promoting the show as many times as you can starting RIGHT NOW till the show begins. Send out a creative tweet OR Facebook post including #cjLIVE + @swissmiss + any url pointing to THIS blog post. Be sure to use the hashtag and/or point back to my Facebook so we can track all your entries. We’ll select 2 of the best ones and give you a shout-out at the beginning of the show, along with access to the $200 creativeLIVE credits.

WE WILL ALSO GIVE AWAY MORE TASTY PRIZES DURING THE SHOW… but you gotta tune in to the show to find out what we’ll be giving away in real-time! I know, it’s a tease. But you’ll be glad you tune in no matter what.

Want to be part of the live studio audience? Check it –> This is a special remote episode of #cjLIVE coming to you LIVE from the CreativeLive studios in San Francisco!! Do you live in the bay area and wanna have special access to Tina and yours truly?? First 25 people to send an email to will score seats and be notified this week about the details for you +1 GUEST!

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