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Do you ever get majorly overwhelmed keeping up with ever-changing technology, apps, and gear trends? Or maybe like me, you nerd out over each little new trick and tool that becomes available.
Overwhelmed or nerding out, you’ll learn so much from this conversation with Sam Hurd. He’s a wedding photographer and educator based in Washington, D.C. whose creativity and originality has set him apart from the crowd. In addition to being a total magician of an artist, Sam is also a great mentor and expert on all things gear and technology.
Not only will you be inspired, but the links to all the gadgets and tools mentioned can be found below. Give it a read + listen!
How Sam got started as a photographer and his side passion of creating and producing music. (3:00)
Photography started as a hobby in high school, then after college, he got a job as a professional salaried photographer at a Press Club in Washington, DC. Eventually, he was asked to photograph a wedding and fell in love with it. Weddings are the only type of work that he’s actively pursued and wanted more of. We also talk about how his love of music and technology has translated into his work as an educator.
Sam’s love of gear, making magic, and how he stays on top of trends. (7:30)
He personally enjoys the tech world and finds that so much of it relates to the photography industry. Specifically, he shares the excitement of Canon R5 and dreams about what the future could look like.
We launch into the classic debate – Nikon vs Canon vs Sony. You’ll be shocked to hear our preferences! (15:00)
The reality is, we’re constantly learning and trying to figure out the best. We don’t have a ton of brand loyalty. There’s great things about all the brands, so we discuss some of the differences and strengths.
In camera multiple exposures, the editing process and videos. (18:45)
He shares about the multiple exposure process he does in camera to create amazing images like the one below. He also brags on his partner Nessa and her amazing video and editing work.
Creative burnout and making enough money to create a successful career that will last. (22:00)
When it comes to creativity, it’s so important to embrace failure and becoming comfortable putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation. He keeps trying and failing. It excites him to hit roadblocks. He has a whole livestream of live classes and is willing to show the ideas that flop and “all that matters in the end result.” Fresh eyes can make a huge difference too. He channels his nerves into excitement rather than anxiety.
For the first 3 years, he worked full time and also shot weddings full time so he had dual income streams. As he made more money, he tried to keep living on one income. These multiple income streams have served him well over the years, especially this year with Covid-19.
Sam doesn’t love to manage people. He enjoys working without a second shooter, even though he sometimes brings an assistant at a wedding. Not outsourcing has actually been a huge business benefit to him. (31:00)
The common advice might be to outsource up a storm, but there’s is benefit to staying in touch with all the areas of your business. “It’s so worth being intimately involved in all aspects of your work and as slowly as you can, outsource.” He does outsource album design. We talk Honeybook (get 50% off your first year here) and the Superhuman app.
Sam shares his favorite productivity apps + systems. (44:30)
Predictions for the photography industry.(55:30)
We also cover live view shooting, mirrorless focusing technology, and composition. The industry is continually changing – technology is advancing so fast. The appeal of film is also covered as there’s something to be said about the limitations.
Real talk about productivity and daily structure… His strategy is to work a lot and relax a lot. (1:03:30)
He uses due dates to help him, but embraces the flow of flexibility. “People seem really fixed on a golden pathway to be productive. I relax a lot and I work a lot. It comes in two big bursts.” As photography turns from a hobby to a profession, it’s important to still have a hobby. Photographers need a hobby.
At the end, we cover Patreon, education, and a few critiques of the Photography industry. (1:07:00)
The public accountability of creating consistently for your community can be great accountability. I also drop my LOVE of Marco Polo. Sam mentions using Borjoro too for personalized videos. Be a part of Sam’s Patreon Community here.