Being inspired is a crucial part of being creative. The more things you feed your brain with, the more chance a great idea will bubble to the surface. I try to take inspiration from many sources but in this first instalment of what will probably become a sporadic series, I want to share with you a few photographers that never fail to give me an inspirational and motivational shove in the right direction.
David Hobby (aka The Strobist)
If you are into photography or lighting enough to be reading my blog, you are bound to have heard of The Strobist. David is the man who brought about the huge off-camera flash renaissance and drove the price of old Nikon flashes through the roof on eBay If you’ve not read it yet get the hell out of here and go read Strobist 101. I’ll wait! It was reading that series of posts and seeing just what you can do with small flashes that really sparked my interest in lighting. He’s since released two DVDs. The first is a solid intro to off-camera flash with some great live demonstrations while the second really shows how David has finessed his style and will take you even deeper. His current project is HoCo360 – a visual journal of his home county.
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Zack is based in Atlanta and describes himself as an editorial and commercial photographer but he is also a great educator. Between them, David and Zack got me interested in working with lights and taught me more than I’ll ever be able to thank them for. Zack’s OneLight DVD is out of production unfortunately but his “shutter speed controls ambient, aperture control flash” mantra really made the penny drop for me. Not only is Zack incredibly good at explaining complex concepts, he has a practical, down to earth, no BS attitude that I have taken a lot from. His honesty and openness is refreshing in a “fake it til you make it” world. Zack also as a huge Tumblr site which is dedicated to nothing but Q&A. This is solid gold! There is everything from advice on lighting and composition to business and marketing tips. To give an idea of scale, Zack has answered well over a 1000 questions, but only 100 of them were needed to fill the The Photography Q&A Book
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Chase epitomises frankness. He’s been blowing open the doors of the photography world for years, or as he puts it, he was “transparent long before it was hip to be so”. So long in fact that the old guard accused him of ruining the industry by giving away all their secrets! It’s Chase’s “rising tide floats all boats” ideaology that inspired me to start sharing what I have learnt with the world.
He even stages what can only be described as his own monthly live chat show on which he sits down with a variety of inspiring creative people. Add a few past episode to your YouTube watch later list, you can’t fail to be motivated. Chase is also the co-founder of CreativeLIVE, an incredible training resource with a unique business model that lets you watch every course, live, as it’s being filmed for free. Being able to ask some of the names in this list questions via Twitter and get a live response for free is well… priceless!
On top of everything he gives back to the community, Chase is an amazing photographer, a hugely likeable chap and walking proof that being different, not just incrementally better gets you places.