63 minutes | Jun 17, 2019
How Stories can Help You Sell with Photographer Collin Leeder
Today’s episode with Omaha, Nebraska, photographer Collin Leeder is a first for me in two ways. One, it’s the first time I’ve done a live, on-site interview at an exhibit. And two, it’s the first time I’m presenting an artist interview completely un-cut! Yep, you get our whole, raw conversation. Collin and I have known each other for well over 20 years. He began studying photography before I did, even getting my dad’s old darkroom equipment first. We attended the same photography school, Metropolitan Community College (MCC). And I’ve watched Collin grow and develop into a wonderful landscape photographer. His photographs are crisp, colorful, and just as alive as the places he takes his camera. From school to freelancing Right after finishing the photography program at MCC, Collin did what a lot of students do and started out shooting portraits and weddings. Between 2006 and 2013, he chased any job that got him behind the camera, including some sports photography. But after one of his most successful years in 2013, traveling from one end of the country to the other shooting weddings, Collin needed a change. “I think that was my biggest struggle when I graduated photography school, I didn’t really know what my specialty, what my niche was. Because I was just kind of like well-trained to shoot anything,” Collin says in our conversation. The rigors and rejections of being a freelancer helped drive Collin to ask himself why he was doing all this. What was it he really wanted to be doing with his photography? And that questioning compelled him to make the leap back into shooting landscapes. Being outdoors and finding unique ways of photographing new locations are what drove Collin’s early photography. And he missed that connection. Reconnecting with the landscape Making photographs outdoors in the landscape has always been more natural for Collin: “For me, being outside in nature, shooting landscapes, I get a lot out of that.” Now, in June of 2019, we sit down together at Collin’s fifth exhibit at the Thunderhead Brewing Tap Room in Omaha. He sets up here for an entire day, talking with the people who come in to enjoy great beers and even better conversations. Selling photography with stories Collin tells me that it’s when people share their own stories with him, from their own experiences in the landscapes he photographs, that his best sales come: “Every photograph has a connection. And every photograph has a story. And when those connect with the people that are coming to your art show to support you, that’s where the magic happens…If that person didn’t have a connection or a story with my image, there would be no reason for them to buy it.” We had a great time talking together, and I’m really glad Collin suggested coming down to do this interview live. I’ve really enjoyed watching Collin grow as a photographer. And I’m so excited that he’s found his niche, his style, and his community of people who love and purchase his work. Please enjoy getting to know my friend and fellow photographer, Collin Leeder. SHOW NOTES: Leeder Photography My previous video interview with Collin Thunderhead Brewery Tap Room
92 minutes | Jun 4, 2019
Embracing Your Genuine Self with Songwriter Topher Booth
Topher Booth is a songwriter here in Omaha, Nebraska. He is one of the most generous storytellers I've had the pleasure of talking with in terms of sharing his artist journey. He is so open, so honest, and so passionate. This was one of the best conversations I've had in a while! When I first met Topher at another local artist talk, I knew right away I had to have him on the show. Not just for his talent as a musician, but because he and I shared a lot in common in how we grew up. Both of us were raised in fairly strict church environments, and both of us have overcome a lot of obstacles as a result of that upbringing. But we both stand on the other side with empathy and strength, and are able to embrace the truth of our own unique stories. My hope is that you will come away from this conversation encouraged to stand in your own honest story and embrace the truth of how you feel. Topher demonstrates such a healthy perspective in his honesty. I was honored to share this space with him, and I'm so grateful that he took the time to come on the show and open up with me. Please enjoy getting to know songwriter, Topher Booth. NOTES: Check out Topher's band, Nation Watch: Nation music videos on YouTube
76 minutes | May 20, 2019
Learning to Truly Listen with Actress Anna Jordan
I'm really excited for this interview with actress, Anna Jordan! Anna is from Omaha, Nebraska, and she shares with me her journey into becoming an actress. It includes being a voice actor starting at nine, falling in love with Shakespeare in high school, and learning the value of truly listening as an actor in college. Anna and I met through a program called Artist Inc. (a professional development program for artists), which was hosted by the Omaha Creative Institute, now Amplify Arts. Anna's sister and I went through the program the year before Anna did. And I was really excited to talk with a local actor. Acting is my aspirational art. What I mean is that it is the one art form I hope to be able to expand into more than any other. I fell in love with acting when I was in school for photography. The 20th century photographer, Minor White, had his students read Acting: The First Six Lessons, by Richard Boleslavsky. It was reading this short but profound book where I saw how much the work of actors overlaps with what photographers do as well. Anna shares some incredible insight into her acting process and offers some great advice that I think is valuable to anyone who is, or wants to be, an actor. I really think you are going to enjoy getting to know Omaha actress, Anna Jordan! NOTES: Anna's website: www.annakjordan.com Book reference: Acting: The First Six Lessons Podcast recommendation: That One Audition w/ Alyshia Ochse
81 minutes | May 13, 2019
Celebrating Great Mentors with Photographer Larry Gawel
For this inaugural artist interview, I asked a long-time friend and personal mentor of mine, Larry Gawel, to talk with me on the podcast. He shares his educational journey and how his experiences as a student have shaped him as a teacher, even today. Whenever I make something new, whether it's a new photograph, a blog post, or even this podcast, I'm always asking myself: Will Larry like this? Meaning, did I put enough work into yet? Is the quality strong enough? Or can I do more to make this the best it can be? Larry has been very influential in helping me focus on my craft, in any medium. He taught me the value of a great photograph that has been made well, and I've carried that lesson on well after college. More than a great mentor, Larry has also been a great friend. And I've appreciated that more than anything these past 14 years. So we sit down as friends and enjoy some delicious gins he brought back from Amsterdam last year. Enjoy getting to know photographer, educator, curator, and my friend, Larry Gawel.
30 minutes | Mar 5, 2019
Use the 3 Act Story Structure to Outline Your Artist Statement
Let's get back to talking about Story and how you can use the structure of storytelling to organize and outline your artist statement! One of the struggles I hear a lot from people when it comes to writing their artist statements is that they just don't know where to start. So today, I want to give you a great place to start. The three-act story structure is pretty fundamental to all stories. But more than that, you can use this structure to outline anything you need to talk about. I've used it in lectures, classrooms, and even to organize portfolios of photographs into dynamic, visual series. By understanding what goes into each Act of the three-act story, you can fill in your own story. That's what makes this so fun! You don't have to invent anything here, you just have to make creative choices about the "design of events" that you want to use to communicate your true story, the story about yourself and your work that is true FOR YOU! Remember, the goal of any story is to lead your audience to a "meaningful conclusion." As an artist, that conclusion starts with you. What does your work mean FOR YOU? And how did you get there? What has your journey looked like? The goal is to illustrate, in part, through your artist statement, how your work came to be and why it matters to you. When you learn to tell this story, you give your audience a meaningful understanding of who you are and what your work is about. And you open the doors for a community of people who love your work and resonate with your story to rally around you, champion your career, and help you grow as an artist. Stories connect people through meaningful experiences. Get to know your narrative so that you can design your story and build your tribe. Important links (not affiliates): The Screenwriter's Workbook by Syd Field How to Improvise a Full-Length Play by Kenn Adams Story by Robert McKee Connect with us: Join the Facebook group: Know Your Narrative - Podcast Join me on Instagram: @knowyournarrative Find me on Twitter: @kyn_podcast Connect with me personally: firstname.lastname@example.org Seriously, let me know you're out there! Tell me how you think this is going so far, and what you still want to know more about. If I don't know the answer, I'll find it and share it with you!