Author Archives: David L Griffin
After you’ve had some well-deserved rest, please share any fun photos you took of your teammates on the blog. I (and hopefully the other faculty) will do the same in the next few days.
As you begin to gather for the workshop, here’s one tip from an old hand who has made this mistake: at the beginning, be careful about the partying. Most of you are going to be thrown together with high-energy and creative folks about your same age. That is a recipe for all kinds of well-meaning shenanigans. I would be a total hypocrite if I told you to not enjoy yourself. All I suggest is that you moderate the fun at the beginning of the workshop. You will need to be “on your game” Saturday and Sunday for your shooting and we don’t accept excuses from those working with a hangover and/or lack of sleep. Once we get to Monday, then you can let loose. In fact the last night’s party tends to be a ton of fun, but only if you have not burned yourself out the days prior.
For the next few days before traveling to upstate, please eat healthy, exercise and rest—there will be little time for any of this once the workshop kicks off. End of lecture.
Weather update: It looks like it is going to be even colder than earlier predicted and the chance for rain has increased slightly. 30s at night! Brrrr. Bring gloves, scarf, warm hat, warm socks. The upside of this is that we will have moody skies and soft light.
As you prepare for the workshop, please keep an eye on the weather. The conditions this time of year in upstate NY can vary since it is transitioning from summer to fall. I’ve seen it blazing in the 90s in the day and freezing in the 30s at night. The barn, where most of the action happens (lectures and editing), does not have good climate control.
I highly recommend that you plan to dress in layers. Bring shorts and pants; a sweater, fleece or hoodie; a light rain coat; a hat. Eddie’s farm sits on a number of springs and when it gets wet, it can get very muddy. Bring light hiking boots, something more than just sneakers. And plenty of socks.
Right now the temperatures look reasonable, a tad chilly in the evening, and—alas— there is a low chance (30%) for rain. You will be shooting on Saturday and Sunday, so those are the key days where weather is going to have the biggest impact. But this can change, so best to check a day before you leave.
Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.
Instead of doing this as a comment, I wanted to post, so it would not be missed.
The clip that Chad posted (below) from “Louis” is indeed worth watching (start at 4:42, as Chad advises), and when you do so imagine Louie as a photographer.
As an editor I’ve been in the position of having to “lay it on the line” for a photographer struggling to “make it.” It is never easy to be in either position. But the tenor of the advice in the clip is very much the same: your success is very much in your own hands, but it also requires someone championing along the way.
This speaks to the definition of success. When I was at Nat Geo, I met many who claimed (and I’m not making this up) that working for the magazine was “their destiny.” The only problem was that I was standing in their way. What I felt my role was when ever working with a photographer and their career arc, was to find the “right” spot for their work. Often, it was not Nat Geo, but another publication. The worst thing you can do is to define your success (and thus your own self-worth) by criteria which is out of your control.
My advice, always, is to find an outlet (hopefully a paying editorial gig) where you are respected and your work fits their needs. When you have that marriage, no matter how small or prestigious, you will reap the benefits of true collaboration. That’s why, while everyone can have as a goal the desire to work for one of the major publications, it is healthier to start small and work with sincerity.
Some of the most important collaborations I have had in my career were at the smallest of publications, because I was with a group of like-minded, striving journalists who pushed each other to continually improve.
Find your spot, work with colleagues who challenge you to do better, work hard, and don’t obsess over artificial measures of success. Do this, and most likely, success will come on its own.
I’ve lived in DC for over 20 years, been down on the Potomac many times, but had never noticed this alignment of the base of Key Bridge (which connects Georgetown to Virginia) and the Washington Monument peaking through. The Kennedy Center is on the right. It ran on The Post’s Metro front and a local photographer wrote to me claiming that I must have flopped this photo, since this angle was impossible. Hah! David