Reflections on my nature photography Internship with LIGHT FINDS / ALIVE Photo

by Dasha Tammark by Dasha Tammak

Editing video requires many hours of watching, listening, and re-watching and re-listening. This was the bulk of my work. The Skype interviews between Paul and various ALIVE Pro photographers enabled me to walk in their shoes. I often walked away from the editing booth feeling like I’d known them for many years. Amazing, since we’d never met.

There was an underlying similarity in what they shared.

They all lived to do photography.

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY

While editing, I learned from this cohort of photographers to look at why an image is beautiful. I began seeing the depth an image holds—how moments locked in time have light, shadow, color, line, shape, and texture.

It seems that for these Pros, photography is a vessel, an excuse, a drive to be up while the world still sleeps, to observe and appreciate this beauty we all share.

Ron Rosenstock expressed this deep feeling when he called nature photography ”walking meditation.” These thoughts they shared were like a deep secret that most people will never hear. I had a front row seat.

by Dasha Tammark by Dasha Tammak

One piece of advice changed how I saw everything.

I was editing Ron’s interview, and he began talking about how he sees light before subject matter.

Next time I pulled out my camera was at the ALIVE Photo launch. I discovered that I was not looking for pretty subjects anymore. I was focused on how light was touching and working within nature around me. I’ll never forget this.

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT VIDEOGRAPHY

For the successfully Kickstarted business, ALIVE Photo, Paul and his team create lots of videos.

For the successfully Kickstarted business, ALIVE Photo, Paul and his team create lots of videos. photo by Dasha Tammarck by Dasha Tammark

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I like editing, but these early mornings in pristine nature always win over a day in the office. Over the course of the summer, I joined them on three shoots in the field.

Speaking personally from my video production background, there are always unforeseen challenges and logistics to trouble-shoot when arriving on-location. These shoots were no exception.

We scouted for awhile seeking a pleasing background that worked with the skylight. photo by Dasha Tammark We scouted for awhile seeking a pleasing background that worked with the skylight. photo by Dasha Tammark

I helped leap hurdles—from audio issues, to teleprompter problems, to adjusting lights.

On this shoot with Paul and videographer Stuart Jones, we arrived in the dark hours of morning before the sun rose. We had a lot of equipment to setup.

photo by Dasha Tammark photo by Dasha Tammark

Stuart flew his drone with GoPro camera mounted to a gimbal head. That was a fun highlight for me to witness. Stuart flew close to the surface of the river while fog still lingered all around us.

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This moment made me think about how the Pros whose interviews I’ve been editing must feel every time they are outdoors waiting on the light.

It was magical.

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT BUSINESS

Paul has a drive, passion and kindness that allows his vision to thrive. For example, the Kickstarters-only ALIVE Photo launch event in June was a wonderful way to connect and see the audience that believed in his big idea.

A couple dozen backers arrived at 5 a.m. to photograph an East Tennessee sunrise, enjoy hand-flipped pancakes (by yours truly), and sneak a peak at the videos filmed for the ALIVE Photo online classroom.

I helped to photograph the event.

photo by Dasha Tammark photo by Dasha Tammark

As usual, Paul was transparent with the business side of his new startup, and he shared some useful photography advice too.

Watching the time Paul spends crafting emails taught me how important it is to communicate thoughtfully with your audience—whether it be customers, peers, or employees.

Through his current email service provider Mailchimp, I was astonished to learn how much information he has access to about his client behavior. He crafts and tweaks every correspondence accordingly. I knew nothing about this before my internship began.

I gained a new perspective on the importance of having multiple streams of income—especially passive income and its importance in balancing quality of life. This was a valuable nugget I am taking away from my internship at Light Finds.

CLOSING REMARKS

Paul has been an indispensable mentor to me.

This internship has proven valuable as I build and focus my ideas and passions. All of my experiences build on top of each other, creating a foundation for something great.

I have ideas, and I have faith. I don’t know exactly what the plan is, but I can feel it leading to something exciting.

by Light Finds / ALIVE Intern Dasha Tammark

Interested in being our next intern? See http://www.lightfinds.us/page/internships

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