15: Joey L – How Personal Projects Fuel Commercial Success
“I’m a big advocate of having a vision and seeing it through. If that leads to work, then so be it.”
I’m stoked to bring you today’s guest, Joey L. He’s what I like to call a prodigy in the photography world. He’s in his young 20’s now, but he shot the Twilight movie posters when he was 17 years old. He began his photography career and making videos a year or two before that. He’s one of those kids that makes me feel like I didn’t start my career soon enough.
More than that, he’s amazingly talented, and today we get to dive deeper into talking with Joey about how important the development of your personal work is to developing your visual brand and attracting commercial clients. Joey’s personal work is amazing and inspiring to me because he treks out to the beyond reaches of the world to photograph beautiful portraits of tribal people. A lot of his trips, he treks 3-4 days each way just to get out to the tribes he photographs. He then spends 3-4 weeks at a time with them (which we’ll hear more about).
Not only has Joey photographed these people, but he’s also created a documentary showcasing the making of the prints, hanging a show in new york city, then taking the show back to the people of the tribe and presenting it to them. Joey is a huge inspiration.
So lets get into it, hear about Joey’s adventures, and how his fine art has fueled not only his passion, but the commercially sustainable side of his business.
“The best way to grow is to hang out with people that you admire.”
Some things we learn in this podcast:
- About working as a professional creative
- What it was like working on the Twilight Series poster and how an artists work can be turned into something completely different when working on big projects
- Humble stories of how world class photographers get started
- The importance of personal work
- The first big personal trip to India that inspired Joey L
- How travel shapes artistic skills and life perspective
- How to get started as a freelance photographer
- The power of photography to get the artist comfortable with discomfort
- How to survive financially as a freelancer
- The number one thing in business from Joey L
- How to excel with like-ability on big, stressful photography sets
- The source of inspiration for tutorials
- Social media importance for top photographers
- Joey L’s favorite project to date