Speaker 0 00:00:00 Podcasting at its core is simply a medium by which people communicate with each other. One of the more insightful forms of communication is when two experts just sit down and talk. It's one thing when a curious interviewer or a journalist asks questions, and by the way, we do need shows like that. They're very important. But when two experts in their field just have a conversation, I don't know, it just hits different,
Speaker 1 00:00:27 You know, when you hear it, you know, when you hear two people talking about a level at which they're at, a lot of times when they're the people that are the leading, like the people that we look up to, is leading in their field, in their thing, you can hear it in their voice. It's, um, it's another level. And I think all of us have one thing in common. And it's just that, that drive, if you let me, I would work 18, 20 hours a day doing this, and it's because I finally found the thing I love. And so, podcasting is an extension of that. It's, it's me talking about the thing I love.
Speaker 0 00:01:06 Next, an acclaimed photographer takes us inside his podcast and how he connects with his peers for intimate conversations about their craft. My name is Stuart, and this is Audience, a Casto original series for podcasters in the pursuit of producing better shows and uncovering the business that powers audio creators.
Speaker 0 00:01:27 On this show, we talk a lot about respecting the craft of audio. And the guest you'll hear on this episode is a craftsman. He brings the same craftsmanship to his podcast that he does his photographs. That's one thing all good podcasts have in common in some form or another craftsmanship at Casto. We can help you with that, with our team of professionals. We can help you make your show add in our suite of integrative tools like Stripe or our private podcasting app. And Casto has everything you need to bring your podcast to life. And we'll add some craftsmanship to the mix too, Lord, more by emailing [email protected]
Or you can just click the link in the show notes.
Speaker 1 00:02:13 I got a call from Guitar World Acoustic Magazine to photograph Tim Reynolds and Dave Matthews.
Speaker 0 00:02:20 For a lot of people in creative fields, getting that big break can be something that changes their career and even their life. For Alan Clark, a Nashville based photographer, that big break came when he got called to do a photo shoot for the Dave Matthews Band.
Speaker 1 00:02:35 We'd shotted at the Palace Theater in Louisville, Kentucky, and a lot of people don't know, but there were a lot of theaters across the country that paramount the movie studio or Fox, the movie studio paid, uh, to make these gorgeous theaters. Like there's a really famous Fox theater in Atlanta that a lot of people still play at Nashville, was never lucky enough to have this. Um, but Louisville, Kentucky has the Palace Theater, and it is one of the most beautiful theaters I've ever seen. And he, Dave Matthews thought the same. But I got that job just because I had paid to be in this resource directory. And, um, yeah, drove all the way up there to photograph him. And what I did was I kept thinking, I want to get him by himself. I wanna get Dave Matthews by himself, and it would be, but if I did it in front of him, it might be offensive.
Speaker 1 00:03:23 So I kept thinking, you know what? I'll just make it all about Tim. So I did, I kind of made it all about Tim and I photographed him first, and then I did a lot of stuff. And then I would go, yeah, Dave, you know, maybe hop in for a couple, you know, something like that. And I would make Tim go stand over there. And, and I really wanted Tim to not feel like I was there just to photograph Dave. And, and honestly, I wasn't. I was there to really cover this for quite a few magazines, but what I did was to make sure I isolated Dave. And so I did manage to get a lot of photos by himself. Uh, no one knew this at the time, but the following year he came out with a solo record, and none of us knew this was coming.
Speaker 1 00:04:00 He didn't say a word to anybody. And so there were no photographs of him by himself. Um, it's always with the Dave Matthews band. So I got really, really fortunate that that happened. And I, I mean, I would love to make it like I saw that coming, but I didn't, but I sure did benefit from it. I mean, just made a ton of money off of the, the luck that I had, you know, just basically kind of planning like that. And I did, I photographed him by himself, and there were no literally no existing photographs of the guy by himself. And so every magazine and every news agent in the world paid me to run these. And, uh, yeah, that was very, very successful move that I made. But it was, you know, just kind of, I don't know. I don't know. I was hope, I would love to say that I was smart enough to think about that, but you know, I think I got lucky
Speaker 0 00:04:49 From there. His career took off. Alan has done work for some of the biggest names in the world. Celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawk, Jim Gaffigan, and p Diddy, just to name a few. He also counts brands like Jack Daniels, journeys, Puma and Yamaha as clients. His work has appeared in publications like the Rolling Stone, the Washington Post Time, and People Magazine. Oh yeah. He's even photographed two former presidents, both of the Bushes and former First Lady, Barbara Bush. So as a professional creator, he didn't take his venture in the podcasting lightly. He teamed up with a producer, his longtime friend and fellow Nashville, native Marcus de Paula, to create a show that would be unique to him. The result was a podcast called The Photo Untaken, which typically features a casual conversation between Alan and another photographer. His guest includes some of the world's top photographers like Sig Harvey and cma, bill, and other renowned creatives like Disney animator Floyd Norman Audio is not a completely new medium for Allen in college. He actually studied radio and TV broadcasting and went on to write and produce hundreds of radio commercials. It'd be easy to assume that a visual medium like photography is way different than a podcast, but a thinks of his podcast as an extension of his photography.
Speaker 1 00:06:17 I think about the parallels constantly about, I mean, little things like, like even mixing, you know, or just the way something sounds, if you look at an audio wave and a visual wave, they are literally the same lows, mid highs. And so I, I don't know if I've written a list out of everything that is parallel, but there's a lot, there's a lot of parallels. It, it kind of goes into overtime, really. I mean, just hundreds and the thing like, you know, looking at a file in Photoshop is the same as looking at a file, I'm sure in logic or whatever you're mixing something with. And so I think about those types of things just because I live in a music town, and so I'm always thinking of the parallels and even down to the way light bounces around a room. Is this the way a sound bounces around a room?
Speaker 1 00:07:03 It's interesting, you know, starting the podcast ended up, a lot of things happened for me indirectly. Other people wanted me to produce their podcasts or start something with them, or for them, I think, I can't remember what episode it was, but Chris Gunn from, he's a photographer for NASA on the James Webb telescope. And his story was amazing. And, and so we started it as a podcast that I then broke it apart and then tried to sell it as a Netflix streaming documentary. And it, it kind of can get you some things. That's what's so great about podcasting. If you're good at storytelling, this, this is the platform for you. And then if you're good at editing and you're good at shooting and you're, and you can actually be a host and you've got some personality, um, there's no telling what kind of opportunities can come for you or to you because of what you've done on podcasts. That's what kind of blows me away. It's, I always look at, no matter what I'm doing, if it's a photo shoot or a movie or anything, it's always an audition for something else. No matter what you're doing, every time you do something, it's gonna be an audition for the next thing that you're gonna do. So, uh, I think you need to focus on doing it very well no matter what
Speaker 0 00:08:14 The photo and take it. Is this a podcast for a photographers or is it for someone else?
Speaker 1 00:08:21 I think the starting point, and the starting point for me obviously is because I'm a, I'm a photographer. That's my art. That's, that's my contribution. That's where I entered this conversation. I think the broadness of it can be artistry, period, like I was just saying. And it could just be creating period, not just photography, because I, I plan on like already, you know, the first season we had mostly photographers. I think the whole thing was photographer Season two, I started off with a Disney animator, you know, and I've got like a friend of mine who, he's the Canadian, um, coach or head of mountain climbing for the, the Canada. And he has summited Mount Everest twice, no, three times actually. Sorry. Now summiting and getting up the mountain are two different things. And so, you know, he's been to the mountain 15, 20, 30 times, but he's summited three times. That should tell you how hard that is. But I'm, I plan on just getting different, uh, guests on here because I, it's really to me about storytelling. And that is a broader theme than just photography, but that's how I've entered into this conversation was through photography.
Speaker 0 00:09:22 But I think that's the distinction between what you're doing and I think maybe what the impulse for a lot of what we'll call industry podcasts do. And I think sometimes it's through taking good advice and applying it poorly. And by that I mean, look, nicheing down is probably one of the smartest things a person could do in any medium, but I think that can be taken to an extreme. And I, I could see someone in your position maybe who doesn't think about it as critically or who has taken some kind of course where they were told to do so, where they say, not only is my podcast about photography, it's about wedding photography. And then so they box themselves in, well, we can only talk to wedding photographers. And who knows, maybe that works, maybe they book the gigs and that's the whole point. But for what you're trying to do storytelling, it's more than that. And so you've given yourself a framework with which to work, but you also give yourself that room to kind of grow and talk about other topics.
Speaker 1 00:10:21 I just think if I were to talk gear in photography equipment and all these things nonstop, I would be bored of tears because I'm more than that. And I think anybody else is too. I think if you're a guitar player, you would like to hopefully talk more than just about guitars, you know? And if you're any profession police officer, at some point you want to be known for being a person as well as a police officer. So to me, that's kind of what this is. I, I think it's very narrow view. If you only talk about photography and I love, then it's coming from a person who absolutely loves photography. I love it. Um, but I definitely want have a bigger conversations.
Speaker 0 00:10:57 Yeah, I mean, I think there's always the decision you have to make when you do talk about something technical, how much jargon you bring into the conversation and how, how in the weeds you get. And it's not like you leave that stuff out. I mean, I, I listened to your conversation with Chris Gunn, for instance, and you talk some shop and that type of thing, but I never felt like an outsider listening to it. I, I felt welcomed in that conversation. I felt interested in it. Do you think a lot, when you're making, when you're planning your conversations, do you think a lot about how much jargon you're actually gonna bring in? Do you make an effort to leave it out? Like what's that balance been like for you?
Speaker 1 00:11:35 It's interesting because I, I am conscious of it and we'll stop and pull over. Sometimes if there is a concept that's just real, like, you know, in our business there are concepts and things that we talk about, like pre-visualization, um, which might be to a beginning photographer over their head a bit. And I think, or even an artist or just someone starting out, you know, just being an entrepreneur and things like that. You could even bring that over into that conversation. But, and that's just a, that's just one that came off the top of my head, but like, if you, if you do that, you better, I feel like you better at least explain what that means. And it's broader meaning to others than yourself. Because I've always wanted, I've always wanted to feel like everyone is invited into that conversation. That was very purposeful.
Speaker 1 00:12:21 I, I'm glad you said that because that means a lot cuz that's exactly what I wanted to do. Even though this is about photography, I wanted it to have a broader appeal from the very beginning. And so I set it out that way. Um, I get disappointed, I think when I hear other podcasts or people in their storytelling. You could say this about a lot of churches, probably because they have a very inclusive language that you don't, you may not get if you've never gone to church. And so you'll step into church and they're talking all this, we used to call it Christianese and uh, you could say that if it was anything else, you know, I'm sure. But like, if you're selling power drills, I'm sure they have a language, you know what I mean, of tool language that we don't get. And every little faction does that. They do that. And I think it's great because you can talk specifics and, and, and then solve specific problems. But I think it's bad in that it, like you said, not everybody's invited into the conversation when you do that, a lot of times, and I've always been really conscious of that.
Speaker 0 00:13:25 I don't remember exactly where I read it or exactly all the details, but the basic premise was, it was a story about Guy Roz helping develop a story for the TED Radio hour about outer space. And he made a comment to the effect of, if we do this story right, nobody will ever look up at the sky the same again.
Speaker 1 00:13:46 Hmm. Wow.
Speaker 0 00:13:48 And that was, that's amazing. Because again, they probably could have made a story that maybe astronomers just geeked out over.
Speaker 1 00:13:57 Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:13:57 But they made it for the person who's not an astronomer. And maybe astronomers liked it too. I listened to, I've listened to most of your episodes, but I keep coming back to the Chris Gun one, cause I like that episode so much. I was driving in my car, I listened to it on a long car ride. I could not wait to get home and look up the photos Chris took of the NASA scientists. I think when experts talk about their craft, that's what they do. They take someone like me who's never really taken a photograph in my life if it wasn't with my iPhone. And I had a new appreciation for photography after listening to many of your episodes.
Speaker 1 00:14:36 Appreciate that. You know, I think Chris's episode is one of my favorites as well. But in addition to that, like I don't, I think it's because I related to Sam Abell when I, I kept calling him the poet photographer. I loved his episode so much because a, I was able to work in some friends music, which we, Marcus Geniusly <laugh>, which I don't think is a word, took a song, one song, and then spread it out over the life of the whole episode, which I thought was really brilliant. I mean, from beginning to end, it was like first intro, then first verse, then Cho. And then he just kind of went through the whole episode and spread it throughout the whole episode. And then at the very end, he, I don't know how he did it, but he made it the song Climax on the end of the podcast.
Speaker 1 00:15:24 It was perfect. And if you go listen to it, it's just a work of art. Like, if you could go look at how to do a podcast, that is the one listened to just because it was just so, it was, it was hitting on all cylinders. It was artistic and thoughtful. And as Sam would say, not, not well thought out, but I think he calls it, what does he say? He says like, fully realized, that's a fully realized idea. And he says that through the podcast and I just love it. Like, um, yeah, just, I don't know why that one just hits me. It does. And, and the Chris gun is a really close second just because of my absolute obsession for NASA and space suits and all those things that I love. I just, I love Chris's episode, but Sam's for me is the one that I hit.
Speaker 1 00:16:05 And I can remember I was tasked with photographing Nashville's tornado that hit downtown Nashville. And Sam's episode had just come out maybe a month or two prior to that. And so it was tough. Uh, I was behind the scenes working with National Electric Service and the city, and they were trying to assess how much damage was done to the city. And so we started in Germantown or worked our way all the way through, I guess all the way through East Nashville. And to the end of it, as it, it starts jumping the river, the Cumberland River. And it was tough to look at, but the worst part of it was where it killed the two sweet people that were out behind a bar and between Woodland and Gallatin Road. And it just was very upsetting. And I didn't know, and I just kind of walked into the area where it happened and it really freaked me out, you know?
Speaker 1 00:17:02 And so I went back to the car and we went on to shoot other things later, and I listened to that episode to kind of get through it. It was just a thing that Sam started talking about. I think he was talking about something like area first. Oh, scene first and subject second, scene first and subject second. So I just kind of went, I think I actually put the episode on and listened to it while I was shooting because I was really having a hard time, ma you know, getting through the minutes after just being, experiencing that. And I think because I was working for Nashville Electric Service and had a hard hat on and everything else, like they just thought I was part of the crew. They didn't think I was just a normal citizen with a camera. And so I accidentally walked into that area. But that episode, <laugh> weirdly listening to that episode, I kind of was a, a, not a fan, but someone who needed to hear what Sam said on that podcast episode that day. And it just got, it honestly got me through it because I, it was, it was a rough day.
Speaker 0 00:18:02 And Sam Abel, I think best known for a lot of his work with National Geographic, correct?
Speaker 1 00:18:07 Yeah. He, I think he worked for them. I, I think I said 35 years. It may be between 30 and 35 years. But he worked for National Geographic and he left. It was so crazy. He left high school and went straight into an internship at National Geographic from High School. And that was a long time ago. And he actually said that he was the first student major, um, at University of Kentucky as well on that episode. So he kind of went from starting something here and then starting something else over here. And he worked for a long time for National Geographic, did a lot of special projects for them. The one that I remember the most, um, was a photo shoot he did in Newlin, Newfoundland. And it was his first big shoot, you know, it was the one that was, if he didn't get this shot, he was already kind of on the edge, on the edge of the bubble.
Speaker 1 00:18:55 Like the first one ends gonna probably be the last, you know, the first one out, or the last one ends gonna be the first one out. And he was worried that he was not gonna be able to work for National Geographic if he didn't do this shoot very well. And it's a shoot of, um, father and son fishing on the ocean. And it's unbelievable. And he nailed it. He got it. And then, then we went into this whole conversation about, cause I remember what it was like turning, filming back then. You know, you would turn the film in and you wouldn't see it again for two weeks, three weeks. And then on top of that, like if you were turning it into your client, then that means you may never see it until it comes out. So I said, how are you gonna improve if you can't see the work and just, you know, and what's happening and the changes that you've made, how are you gonna know what to do better?
Speaker 1 00:19:43 And he just said, faith, he said, we had to, we had to have faith that we knew what to do, and we would turn it in and we would never see it again until it came out, you know? And he wasn't even sure if he was gonna still be working there, but he made the cut, the images made it into the magazine, and it's a really amazing photograph. And that's what he did. He, it's almost as if he focused so hard. Those guys that worked and, and girls that worked for National Geographic focused so hard on creating that one image, not a series of images, you know what I mean? They, like today, I, I think in series of images, when I'm doing a shoot with somebody, I'm thinking of an eight hour day and the five setups that I've gotta do, and I'm talking about commercial photography.
Speaker 1 00:20:27 Even, even when I go and I shoot things in Finland or Alaska or whatever, wherever I'm at, I'm like, I'm gonna go in here. I'm doing this. And it's always serious, serious series. Those guys, one image, they just need one to make the cover or to be the lead image on the inside. And then all the other stuff was frosting, icing, you know, if they were able to get the image into the mag, just the one, you know, into the magazine, they were good. But then all the other images were just bonus, you know? So it was pretty amazing that conversation, because I, again, that's just tough because everybody that I know is cons immediately looking at their work the second they shoot it. You know,
Speaker 0 00:21:10 When you listen to two experts in their field talk, and you, you're an expert, you're an acclaimed accomplished photographer. You've had other critically acclaimed photographers on your show. There's a way experts talk to each other. There's this kinship, I'll call it, I hear it on Mark Muren all the time. He talks to another comedian mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And there's just that kinship. It's never, it's never explicitly said, Hey, we're both comedians. Here's like an insight joke or, or something like that. It's just you recognize that there's a way you guys talk about photographs on your podcast, and I can't quite put my finger on it. There's a way you talk about it that seems pretty distinct. Have you picked up on that?
Speaker 1 00:21:54 Yeah. And, and I think it's because we refer to it as the work. It, it's a body, it's the work, it's a body. I think a lot of times we're talking about kind of what I'm saying, not an image, not a single image, but it's making, I think Sig Harvey, which I believe was episode three of my first season, she refers to, instead of taking, making, taking is a different word altogether, it's almost like stealing, you know, and she's talking about making something making. And I love that. So I don't know if that's what you're referring to, maybe or if it's just, I think a lot of it is trying to be the absolute best, you know, shooting for being great. And then if you miss, you might be good. And that's okay. I think it's a lot of that. There's a tremendous amount of pressure that we're putting on ourselves to, to make the best image that has ever been made. Not just by us, but by anyone. And I think that's, that's another thing.
Speaker 0 00:22:47 Sometimes that's one of the most interesting things, I think in our medium that's going on. I think of something like Talk House, where they just get two musicians together and just let 'em talk.
Speaker 1 00:22:58 I think you're right. I think it's just a level, you know, when you hear it, you know, when you hear two people talking about a level, which they're at, a lot of times when they're the people, when they're the people that are the leading, like the people that we look up to is leading in their field, you know, their in their thing. You can hear it in their voice. It's, um, it's another level. And I think all of us have one thing in common. And it's just that, that drive, it's so weird. Like, I was talking to this about this with someone the other day. I, if you let me, I would work 18, 20 hours a day doing this. And it's because I finally found the thing I love. And so podcasting is an extension of that. It's, it's me talking about the thing I love.
Speaker 0 00:23:43 You'll listen to something like the photo untaken and a couple adjectives came to my mind listening to it. Sleek, simple, clean and effective. I'm curious your relationship with Marcus Dala. He's a great producer, really nice guy. He's been on this show before. He's helped cast us out with some great things. What's the collaboration between the two of you? Like,
Speaker 1 00:24:08 It's been pretty wonderful. I've known him for a very long time. I met him years ago. And we just have always had a kind of mutual respect. Um, both of us are tech nerds and both of us have always been just nerds, period. And, uh, so we were friends long before we ever decided to do anything together. He saw what I was trying to do, what I wanted to do about telling stories. He's the one that kind of sat down and you should tell stories. And, and he encouraged that in me. And then I was like, okay, can you help me do that <laugh>? And he acquiesced. He said, yeah, yeah, I'll help you do that. And he, I, I think from the beginning I knew that Marcus may not be able to do this forever. He really got me going and got me set up and taught me what it would be like to have the ultimate and probably the best sounding and looking podcast that I could possibly have.
Speaker 1 00:25:01 His skill set is here. He, he matches me in photography, on podcasting and sound and all the wonderful things that Marcus knows about. And that was another reason why I love to work with Marcus. And we decided to work with each other was because we both match in certain ways. And so we did this thing and it became big and a lot of indirect things, like I said earlier, have happened because of it. Um, season two it's been more me trying to do this because Marcus is moving to Minneapolis. If I just did a spoiler alert. Uh, but he's moving to Minneapolis and, uh, you know, we're not gonna be able to do it like we were. And he's gotten so busy, this was kind of a personal project for both of us. Um, so it kind of, now he kind of basically, he's kicking me outta the nest.
Speaker 1 00:25:44 It's, it's for me, it's now on me to do this. And so he trained me. He trained me. Not only that, but he trained my son because now my son's the producer. And uh, so he trained Clayton and he trained me. And now I've actually helped some other friends with their podcasts, um, in the same way. And I know what to do now. And one of them just came out called the Rist podcast, and Jamie George is the host and he's had everybody on his podcast from Barry Zito, you know, baseball player, won two World series to, he just had an American Indian on this past week who was giving us all this an amazing detail about a ministry that he's doing to help other American Indians, uh, indigenous people, um, just with the things that they struggle with. And he kind of educated everybody.
Speaker 1 00:26:34 It was really interesting. It's a very, very, very interesting podcast. And so I'm helping him. And it sounds wonderful. He, I even told him all the right people to go get and it was basically me in my mind, um, hiring Marcus, uh, you know, knowing not just to here are the things that he can do, but also knowing these are all the things that you have to do. You know, and there's probably the same thing for you guys. There's a tremendous team behind you and what you're doing. And of course all the skill sets that you have, I know all the things that you have to have now. And that was actually just as valuable. I don't know that I'll produce a lot of podcasts, but I could, I don't know that I'll do 'em as good as Marcus cuz he's amazing. But I like it and I enjoy it and I love storytelling, even if it's not necessarily me doing the storytelling. So I've just enjoyed this like crazy. And I could not, I could not encourage people that are,
Speaker 1 00:27:28 I think sometimes, not disenchanted, but they're wondering if they should continue doing their, their podcast. I know they feel it sometimes. I know they feel like no one's listening. They don't have the numbers they want. All those little things that we say to ourselves when, and you know what the thing I've figured out about all the levels I've, and I've met all of them, and I'm talking about the top, top of their game people to people that are just in the dumps, you know? And everyone has the same thing they think. And that is, am I good enough? And that hits at every level. I don't care how much, you know, I mean, I'm sure there's like, everyone that you look up to probably has that thought no matter how far up you look. And to me, I think that's, that's the thing that, that gets repeated again and again and again. And that, what is that? That's our own storytelling. And so I think that's, uh, something that's so valuable. And I think that's what I've enjoyed the most about learning how to be a podcaster.
Speaker 0 00:28:19 You, you mentioned doing the work. Each episode has its own custom intro. It's got that really sleek sounding music that your friend made for you. Yeah. It's worth it to do that work to me. I mean, I I'm guessing probably an extra, maybe 45 minutes to an hour to record a monologue, feel good about it, and, and drop it into an episode. Uh, some people feel like they don't have that time. To me, it's worth it. That extra step, that smallest thing. We get that question all the time at Casto. How can I make my show better? Stuff like that. Little things like that are the difference between the show you're doing. And maybe someone who spends an hour talking with another photographer sends it off to someone they found on five or to edit and then rinse was and repeat. I think it's, I guess sort of where I was going with that is, was that something you picked up from Marcus or was it vice versa?
Speaker 0 00:29:20 Because I can tell you the relationship of, I can tell you how collaborations don't work. Someone who's never made a podcast before, it kind of comes with this idea. They hire an editor and all that and they're basically like, all right, make the thing, make my vision come to life and I'm gonna tell you how to do it and I just need you to do it. Versus, Hey, I've kind of got this idea. I'd love your help bringing it to life. That's a big difference. Marcus has all this experience. I know you had some, but I, I guess I was just curious who kind of came up with that, that very simple idea.
Speaker 1 00:29:56 I think that's the matching I was talking about. I know that in what I do, I know that the small things, the small things do matter. Like you said, and I've had, I've heard coaches say this about championship teams. I've heard, gosh, you know, everyone from just anyone that's high powered and the best at their abilities or Olympic athletes, it doesn't matter. Al almost all of them talk about the same or similar things. And that's, that's, that's it. It's just the small things matter. Everything matters. And it's, it's what you're willing to do or what you're willing to sacrifice to get to that place. Because let me tell you right now, I'm in the middle of doing teaching modules and uh, they're supposed to be out. Hopefully we're gonna try to get 'em out before Christmas. And what that entails is this very conversation that we're having and the sacrifices that you have to, to have to be the best at what you do, are you willing to do it?
Speaker 1 00:30:51 Because everybody know, I think everyone thinks they know what those things are. And I think about 90, 95% of the people don't. And it's what you're willing to do to, to do it to the ultimate degree. I think that is the, the decision you have to make. You know? And um, sometimes you don't have to do that. Sometimes you don't have to go that far with it. You know, sometimes your expectation of yourself is just to have a good career that, um, feeds you and your family, you know, and you don't have to have this crazy expectation of yourself. Like, I want to be the best at what I do. That is a different conversation altogether. And it's, it's, it's one that you're gonna come to probably and you don't need to feel shame from for saying, gosh, you know, cuz I had to make a lot of sacrifices in the early part of my career.
Speaker 1 00:31:40 And my children suffered from that a little bit because I was gone a lot, um, doing that. So there's some things that you have to do now. Did I make up for it? Yes. For instance, my daughter lives with me. She hasn't lived with me since she was eight and she's been my roommate for a couple years now. And she's awesome. And I love that. And we've been able to get a lot of things back or for the first time. And my son and I hang out almost every day. We talk every day. We're super close. And
Speaker 0 00:32:08 He's your producer now, right?
Speaker 1 00:32:09 You're just Yeah, and he's my producer now. How, how old is he? I keep them. He's 27. 27. And um, yeah, so it's, you know, I'm an old dude and, uh, so it's, uh, you know, I've been able to get some of these things back and, and make up for some lost time and, and those types of things. I think parents sometimes have this idea that we, if something happens like a divorce or something that happens in a kid's childhood, they're never gonna get it back. And they're messed up for life. No, they're not. They're gonna be fine. It may take a while to get to fine, but they'll be fine. And I think that's kind kind of what this is, you know? But you have to be, uh, I don't think you have to be willing to sacrifice your family. I don't think you have to do that. But you have to make those decisions. You will come to a place and no matter what field of work you're in, where you've gotta go. Hmm. I don't think that's worth it.
Speaker 0 00:32:54 Almost everyone I went to college with and I did, I did all the college radio, the journalism, the broadcasting, I did all that stuff and almost nobody that I went through with is working in that field. And I, I don't say that, I don't say that to like put distance between myself and them. I mean, I, you know, I haven't really accomplished much of anything myself, but I'm still in it. I'm still trying. But I think also I've seen people who are remarkably gifted kind of settle for like a nine to five. And I don't mean that judgment because what they say is, you know what, look, yeah, I'm a I'm a I'm an artist, but it's not how I make my money. And I relate to the, I relate to art better now that I don't have to make my living doing it. Cause I think there's, like you said, I mean, you don't have to sacrifice everything and it's not like, and it's not like that just disappears forever for you. You know, it's, you can just, because just because your job title isn't, uh, isn't, you know, musician doesn't mean, you know, you can't pick up the guitar with your friends or, or whatever. So I think it's, uh, I don't, I don't think there's any shame in it.
Speaker 1 00:34:10 I agree. And I think, I think it would be good for you to try to do what you love. A lot of people are always about, oh, you've gotta do what you love. And I'm like, mm, this is the sacrifice thing that we're talking about. And so it might be at least great idea for you to try to do what you love, try it out, try it on, see what it's like, and then sit with it for a little bit and see if you can do this. That, that's part of doing the thing that you love. You've gotta figure out, maybe I could do something that I like a lot. I don't have to do something I love, you know what I mean? But I will say this, if you don't try it, you're gonna come right back to this conversation again and again and again until you do it.
Speaker 1 00:34:53 So it will be a form of regret for you, or it will be a form in the form of, I'm glad I'd tried that. You know, I I just don't think I've got the personality or gosh, you know, a lot of that has to do with just the having that personality where you can just sell, sell, sell, sell, sell or, or uh, be a go-getter or whatever. You've gotta know who you are with that, you know, because there's so many facets to being a business for yourself and being an artist and, and knowing what you've gotta do. You also have to have enough savvy to be in the right places at the right times and that type of stuff. And so you, it it's good for you to try to do what you love.
Speaker 0 00:35:32 Any new episodes in the work.
Speaker 1 00:35:35 Absolutely. And it's interesting because, you know, season two kind of middle season so many things happened. I mean, I got a divorce. I, between seasons one and two, I got a divorce. My father passed away then Covid. And so I just had to take a break for mental health reasons, you know, just was like, man, I gotta, I gotta tap out for a little bit. That's a lot. Take care of myself. Yeah, it was a lot. It was too much. Wow. And did all, so I took care of myself mm-hmm <affirmative> and just did a lot of, um, gosh, you name it, um, coaching, group therapy, that type of stuff just to take care of me to get through these things. And then, um, I started season two, tried to do in the middle of C and then I found a lot of people just nonresponsive, you know, because they were either just checked out, you know, for whatever reason.
Speaker 1 00:36:21 But it was tough to try to get things going during covid. So started had one episode and then we just took a little bit more of a break. And so it just kind of, now we're trying to get back to where we were. And that's, so we're trying to hit it every three weeks now and try to put something out monthly. But, um, had Floyd Norman, who was the Disney animator, gosh, months ago. And then from there I decided just to have the guy that worked with me for the longest time, for 20 years, be on the second one. And then the third one, um, is an influencer slash content creator. She's more of a content creator really. That was the one with Jessica Hirsch, right? Yeah. That was cool. We're, we still haven't really promoted that one yet because we just, I'm in the middle of trying to do these teaching modules and all this kind of stuff, so trying to get this done.
Speaker 1 00:37:04 And it's funny because now that Marcus has moved or about to move to Minnesota, I can see how much work involved with all of these things that, that that's actually there. And even for you, like I, I completely respect what you guys do and it's interesting because trying to, you know, edit content and make it sound good, make it look good, and all those things take, it just takes time. So that's another thing you've gotta figure out. So right now, the next one, um, is gonna be Dr. Jennifer La Vasser from the Smithsonian. Uh, she is the person that's in charge over cameras. So our conversation on the podcast is, it's mind blowing, first of all, if you'd like cameras at all, just her talking about the cameras of nasa and specifically for me it was the Apollo cameras and things like, you know, bill Anders, the guy who took earth rise photo.
Speaker 1 00:37:56 So the very first time the human saw earth rise over the moon <laugh> in the reverse, you know what I mean? Like usually you were seeing the moon rise over the earth. And the very first human that saw that was a guy named Bill Anders. And he took the photograph and it's one of the most famous photographs in all the world. And I went to this Smithsonian photograph that camera and interviewed her and, and just, it's gonna be great. It's gonna be really fantastic episode. Did you do that? You did the recording on site? No, actually, uh, thought about it. Yeah, I thought about it, but it was so crazy because they just, uh, reopened there in Space Museum in DC and everybody, it was all hands on deck. And if you don't know, this Air Space Museum is an extension of the US government. They are government workers. And so it's just all hands on deck and everybody's scrambling to try to get things done with less staff and covid restrictions. And they're in DC with traffic's horrible trying to get anywheres the worst and all that type of stuff. And so everybody's trying to do something. I thought about doing more there, but no, we just did it over boom caster. I'm in the middle of editing that episode right now. And, and, uh, it was a two hour and 20 minute episode. I'm trying to cut down to an hour. So yeah,
Speaker 0 00:39:04 It's always the challenge,
Speaker 1 00:39:06 Always, always the challenge. And then there's some other things coming up. Greg Gorman probably one of the most famous photographers that is around, uh, the guy. I mean parts of the Caribbean poster movie posters, like you name it. This guy has done everything. He's in LA a friend of mine, wonderful photographer. You've seen his work over and over and over again. And, uh, he's probably, I don't even know how Greg, how old Greg is, but he's just, he's like the man, you know? So he's coming up. We're actually gonna record next week. And as I said before, my friend Gabriel Felipe, who is the head of the Canadian mountain climbing team, he's coming up. So I've got a lot of things planned down the pike. It's, I'm taking it slower, not Overcommitting, because of my schedule. It's crazy. Trying to shoot and still have a schedule and do this is a lot of work. So, uh, I think we were trying to come out every two weeks before now I'm, I'm just like a month, which is good. We're good.
Speaker 0 00:40:03 I'd be remiss if we had this whole conversation. I didn't ask you how, how surreal is it to photograph a president?
Speaker 1 00:40:12 It's pretty, it's, it's a lot of thinking about it afterwards. I've described it at the time as he's like a wave. George W. Bush specifically was like a wave of energy, just you could feel it before he ever walked into the room. And then he walked into the room and he just started yelling and it was like, not like intimidating. It was, it was intimidating, but it was for different reason. It's just cuz he's just a ball of energy. He just walked into the room, he started shouting, who's the man like that? And, and I kind of went, I am Mr. President, you know, and then, uh, he, he just was, it was two things. It was just like, will Ferrell's imitation of George w and the second thing was, it was an amazing wall of energy that came in that they say that a lot of big time famous people, you can, um, feel them into the building before you see them into the building.
Speaker 1 00:40:59 And it was like that. And, uh, it was just, I thought that he was come stepping into my world and my environment. Nope. Mom was stepping into his and his, his environment is wherever he's at it, it was just crazy, you know? And I didn't necessarily agree with his politics or anything, but he sure was nice. It was funny. He said something to the effect of, let me know when I've done too much. And I had taken eight photographs of him and on the ninth one it was like, him and the Secret Service in unison said, you've done too much <laugh> like that. And that was like, and I kind of, I kind of did this, this in my own mind. I was like, I just held the camera and I stood up and then I felt somebody approached me from behind me. I was one of the Secret Service men.
Speaker 1 00:41:40 And, and I turned around to see like, like this. And I looked back and my camera was gone, wasn't in my hands anymore. And I looked up in, George w had it in his, and I didn't, it just kind of, I just looked and I went, what are you doing <laugh>? Like, things you don't say to a president. And I, and I just was like, what are you doing? And he just looked, he didn't even respond to me, he just looked past me to the Secret Service people in the room. Cause there was two Secret Service agents that were women and he just looked around and he goes, Hey, why don't you secret service guys, get over here and take our picture. And he wanted one of them to take our photograph together. And I just thought that was <laugh> and I thought that was so cool.
Speaker 1 00:42:24 And I was like, it's nice, you know, I didn't suggest that. And um, if you look at the photograph, I can send it to you, but if you look at the photograph, I'm actually looking like I'm looking at the camera, but I'm looking down a little bit to make sure the guy got it right. You know, like this, I'm kind of looking at it like <laugh>, you know, with a weird look on my face. Cause I'm trying to make sure he did it right. So it, you know, like it wasn't, not a focus or whatever. And then he, while we're standing there, he goes, cuz he knew it photographed his mother too. And he goes, how many mama that you take? And I said, like, three or four. And he goes with his shoulders, did the whole <laugh>, you know, kinda laughed that he does. And it was so funny.
Speaker 1 00:43:07 It was exactly like Will Ferrell's imitation of him. And it was just so funny. And anyone else for that matter, it was just like they nailed, he's such a character, you know? So to me, um, I think about that shoot a lot after that shoot because it's just, it's a big moment. And, and to be, to be in that moment, you have to be big as well. Your personality has to be big. If not, you're gonna get pushed around. And so you have to kind of, uh, peacock up a little bit, you know what I mean? Get the feathers out and kind of act big too. So, and I don't mean that in a bad way, like a gosh, like abrasive or anything like that. I mean that in don't let people push you around. You're in the moment they need to. There's an exchange there happening and, and you need to leave something, leave an impression as well as have one impression upon you. You know what I mean?
Speaker 0 00:43:55 Alan, if you stick around after the credits, we're gonna get a podcasting tip from you. But this was, okay, great. But I, I am deeply appreciative of this conversation that you've had with me today.
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Speaker 0 00:44:59 And now it's time for this week's podcasting tip.
Speaker 1 00:45:03 Hey everybody, it's Alan Clark with the Photo and Taking podcast. And I guess the podcasting tip that I would give everyone is when you're interviewing someone, ask one question one and then let it hang. I got that from Dale Earnhardt Jr. Who got it from Dan Patrick. And, and he did the same thing. He asked Dan Patrick, what should I do? What, what should I remember? And he said that to me and I'm passing that on to you. It's just a great tip.
Speaker 0 00:45:29 Audience is a Casto original series created entirely by our in-house production team. Our executive producers are Matt Madeiros and Craig kut. Production assistance is provided by esl, Brill, Jostle, and Devor and Marni Hills logo and website design, as by Fran SW Brill. All music comes from the Story Blocks Library. This episode was edited and produced by me. I'm Stuart Barefoot. If you liked it, there's plenty more of where it came from. All episodes can be [email protected]
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