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Episode #118

What Happened When A National Geographic Photographer Showed Up to This Student's Photo Shoot


UPDATED: May 25, 2023
ORIGINALLY AIRED ON November 25, 2022


It could have gone all wrong. But this savvy Conservation Photography 101 student turned it into an exceptional opportunity (and one we can ALL learn from).


How to turn an uncomfortable surprise into opportunity

One of the big benefits of being a Conservation Photography 101 student is that you gain a roadmap for how to create a photo story.

That roadmap is a BIG source of confidence and courage. That's because you can lean on it to create your first story, then the next, and the next… taking on bigger, bolder stories as you grow.

That's the experience one of my students had as they used their training to take on bigger stories, until they found one special one that is truly special… and also a little intimidating.

That student faced the intimidation factor head-on, set themselves up to photograph an event important to the story… and showed up to discover there was a National Geographic photographer on the scene.

<cue the dun dun duuuunnnnn music>

Did they bow out? Throw up their hands and say, nevermind?


Instead, they did something that ALL of us should do every time we're faced with a hurdle in the story creation process.

This student paused, used smart strategies to get their head back into the game, and afterward and asked themselves four critical questions to recenter themselves:

  • Why do I want to tell this story? 
  • Could I find a different story angle if the Nat Geo story comes out first and has a lot of similarities to my story?  
  • What unique perspective do I bring?  
  • How can I use this experience to energize myself?   

Hit play to find out how they put those questions to work to come away from the experience stronger, more confident, and more clear on their photo story than ever.


Episode 118: What Happened When A National Geographic Photographer Showed Up to This Student's Photo Shoot

Shownotes: ConservationVisuals.com/118

(Digitally transcribed, please forgive any typos)

Jaymi Heimbuch:
[00:00:00] Jaymi: Welcome to this episode of Impact, the Conservation Photography podcast. And Joe, welcome back. Good to

[00:00:06] Jaymi: see you

[00:00:07] Jo: Hello. Good to see you too.

[00:00:09] Jaymi: So in the last episode we talked about mindsets we talked about kind of that the issues of insecurity and confidence that that come up. And we mentioned that we have a really great story to dive into and talk about. So that's what we are gonna dig into this episode.

[00:00:27] Jaymi: What do you

[00:00:27] Jo: Okay. Tell me a story, Jamie.

[00:00:30] Jaymi: Well, so this story is actually one from one of my students. They were working on a story that they were really excited about shaping. They'd had some, , publishing successes with different stories, and were starting to tackle one that was kind of bigger and more complex than they had tackled before, and felt kind of intimidated about it, but were moving ahead anyway.

[00:00:51] Jaymi: And when they brought up this story I immediately was like, that is such an exceptional idea unfortunately I can't really share. [00:01:00] Very many specifics because they're actively working on this story right now and wanna make sure that, you know, it's kind of held close to the chest.

[00:01:07] Jaymi: A lot of times when we're working on a story, we don't necessarily wanna let the cat out of the bag and we're gonna learn we're gonna learn why. That's a really good idea as as we actually unfold this story. So Found this really interesting story happening near where they live and decided to go ahead and pursue it.

[00:01:29] Jaymi: And when they told me about what the story involved, I thought that is fascinating. It has to do with an endangered species and a community and culture. It's got all the things to it and it's really, really interesting. And so I was like, That is amazing. Go get that story. Go pursue it. So,

[00:01:48] Jo: And this is a photo story that

[00:01:51] Jaymi: a photo story. Mm-hmm. . So they set up a shoot, they get an opportunity to go out and photograph some of the work that's happening around [00:02:00] this species and are all excited already kind of feeling like they're fumbling a little bit and trying to get this set up.

[00:02:06] Jaymi: Cuz it turns out that when they showed up on shoot day with these researchers that. There was a little bit of misunderstanding, so the researchers thought, Oh, not only are they there to photograph us, but they're also there to volunteer and take part,

[00:02:20] Jaymi: and so ,so my students like, Oh, okay, so I'm gonna be photographing, but also trying to help out as much as I can.

[00:02:28] Jaymi: All right, cool. I'm gonna keep going. And they show up that morning and are, are kind of getting themselves situated, feeling a little bit intimidated, a little bit insecure, because this is a pretty in depth involved story.

[00:02:41] Jaymi: And so then everyone's kind of getting ready for the work that they're gonna do that morning and they announce, Okay.

[00:02:47] Jaymi: And there's a National Geographic photographer here.

[00:02:50] Jo: E.

[00:02:51] Jaymi: us Uhhuh cue

[00:02:53] Jaymi: like stomach drop. So here is, you know, my student who is relatively [00:03:00] new to conservation, visual storytelling and showing up, kind of feeling a little bit shaky already about this morning, and then they find out that there's also a National Geographic

[00:03:12] Jo: Dun Dun.

[00:03:15] Jaymi: So for so many people, for so many of us getting started, you would hear that and just be like, Well, what would be your reaction?

[00:03:22] Jo: Oh, well I'll just go home now. , I mean, you know, it's like the big guns are here. Why am I doing this? Yeah, sure.

[00:03:30] Jaymi: And then the fear of , Oh, so does that mean I don't get to do my story

[00:03:34] Jaymi: anymore? And oh my gosh, , why am I even gonna bother? It is such a time where you could just throw up your hands and just

[00:03:41] Jaymi: be like, Okay, nevermind. I'm out. You have it. I'm gonna go figure out something else. Well, instead of doing that, my student did so. Very different. So of course they felt all the feelings. And I found out about this whole story because they emailed me about it to let me know like what was going [00:04:00] on. And I asked it, Well, let's get on a call and, how did you navigate this and, and everything. So I found out all the details and they approached. Their reaction in a way that I think was brilliant and that we can all learn from, which was, okay, I feel the stomach drop, I feel the, Oh my gosh, what do I even bother? Continuing. But they said, Okay, well, Instead of giving up, what else could I do? I'm already feeling flustered. I'm already kind of feeling a little bit of nervousness, you know, what can I do to get myself into it?

[00:04:31] Jaymi: So instead, they went up to the photographer and introduced themselves and

[00:04:37] Jo: Ooh,

[00:04:38] Jaymi: you know, I'm, I'm a conservation photographer. And I was like, Yeah, you

[00:04:41] Jaymi: just. Said that, So you introduced yourself because that is, I think, a really important element of feeling confidence is owning the title conservation photographer, you know, not just saying like, Oh yeah, you know, I do photography on the side.

[00:04:55] Jaymi: It's like, Hey, I'm, I'm a conservation photographer

[00:04:58] Jaymi: also, and just owning that [00:05:00] you project that kind of confidence. so I loved that. That was their first step. And then they knew. You know, it kind of break the ice between them and the photographer that showed up and. They asked a little bit about, Oh, what is the story that you're documenting to kind of figure out, okay, well what's the angle?

[00:05:16] Jaymi: , how are you approaching this? Is it the same story as

[00:05:19] Jo: Right.

[00:05:20] Jaymi: here for? And, and they found out that the story that the National Geographic photographer that was there to document was actually a bit different than their own. And so the, the angles were a little bit different and it wasn't identical or anything, and they realized like they were like, The photographer wasn't exactly very friendly.

[00:05:41] Jaymi: They were

[00:05:42] Jaymi: more interested in getting ready for their shoot

[00:05:45] Jo: their head was in their own game.

[00:05:46] Jaymi: mm-hmm. And so my student was like, You know what? That's where my head should be. I shouldn't be worried about this. I should be focused on getting ready for the shoot. So that's

[00:05:56] Jaymi: what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna kind of take a page out of this [00:06:00] photographer's book and go get myself ready and get into it.

[00:06:02] Jo: Smart.

[00:06:03] Jaymi: Right. And I just love that. And so, and the other thing that they did, which I thought was really awesome, is that they congratulated the Nat Geo photographer on getting their story accepted and you know, just kind of being a really. Person and, and making sure that you have a, a really good rapport and not being competitive or you know, that like bravado

[00:06:26] Jaymi: or overconfidence or anything like that.

[00:06:28] Jaymi: It's more like, Oh, well we're both here doing this. Okay, cool. What's your story about? And getting, like, getting that much needed information to

[00:06:35] Jo: So it sounds like the student of yours is a pretty confident person in general.

[00:06:42] Jaymi: So they are really someone who I think is, has a certain level of confidence in their ability, but is just like all the rest of us. We've got our worries, our insecurities, our self doubts, our questioning, am I really doing this right? I'm messing up, I'm making mistakes, feeling frustrated, and all of that. But I think that they really [00:07:00] have the skills to move through that. And they really do. And so that's why I'm so excited to share the steps that they went through

[00:07:07] Jo: That. I think that's a great, that's great. This is really fun to listen to because I like listening to the process that went through their head to, Okay, now what? Okay, now what? Okay, now what? Okay. Right. Okay. I'll let you keep going.

[00:07:21] Jaymi: Okay, so, so the day starts and it turns out that the two of them were actually photographing different activity, cuz the research kind of got divvied up into different groups, which is really great too, because then you're not feeling like, Oh, am I shooting over the shoulder of some other great photographer?

[00:07:37] Jaymi: Do they think that I'm in their shots or taking their shots? You know, there's all this stuff that can come up when there's two photographers that are

[00:07:43] Jaymi: photographing the same thing. So luckily they didn't overlap even during the activity during the day. So my student got their head back in the game, and so they're really thinking about, now it's about the images that I'm making. I'm gonna capture what I can. But then at the same time, you go home and [00:08:00] you're thinking about, okay, you know, this is what happened during the day. It's sort of like when you get that adrenaline rush and you can get through whatever issue caused the adrenaline rush.

[00:08:09] Jaymi: But then after that's done, that's when the shake. Start, you

[00:08:12] Jaymi: know, like it's sort of like that only mentally, you know, you get home and now there's still some, some mental work that you have to do. And so my student was like, you know, even though I went and, and got my shoot done and got the photos that I wanted and needed for my story, it doesn't mean that the nerves just disappeared. I was feeling pretty down about the story. I was feeling pretty depressed. I, I wasn't really sure. Like, where is this story really gonna go? And so they sat down and started asking themselves some questions, and this is where kind of strategy part two comes into play. So there's the mental strategy that they did at the shoot, which was okay. This is happening. How can I go ahead and make it [00:09:00] something where we're not in direct competition, I'm gonna build some rapport. I'm gonna learn about what is it that you're documenting, what is your story? Get my head back into my game and move forward and, and just be a really great human about this.

[00:09:11] Jaymi: And then part two is, Okay, well now that I'm home and I'm feeling all freaked out, cuz here is a National Geographic photographer covering a story obviously for that publication. What does it mean for my story? What's the future of it? And so they asked themselves a series of questions. The first question was, Okay, why do I wanna tell this story? And I love this question so much because it gets back to what I really believe in in conservation photography that sets this field apart from other fields is. you always come back to your why. What's the, what's the bigger, deeper, overarching purpose of why you're doing this work? And it's typically not because of glory and fame and money you know, that stuff is hard to come by in this field. It's because there's a bigger something [00:10:00] under it. Right? And so my student was like, Why do I wanna tell this story? Well, yeah, I wanna get it published, but there's more to it than that. I really wanna document this story because it's meaningful, it's impactful by documenting what's going on with the species and what's, what it means to a community and a culture and a group of people and to science and to all these other things. Getting that story out there can really move the needle on important issues. So

[00:10:28] Jo: And this was a local story to this person as well, right?

[00:10:32] Jaymi: local story to them.

[00:10:33] Jo: So there's even that sense of connection because it's their community

[00:10:37] Jaymi: Mm-hmm. .Yeah, absolutely. Which is I think honestly another confidence booster because. Here is a National Geographic photographer who has to come into an area and, and kind of get to know it and photograph there, whereas you kind of have a little bit of an upper hand

[00:10:53] Jaymi: cuz you are familiar already. So.

[00:10:55] Jaymi: Once they were like revisiting their why and being like, Yeah, I wanna get it published. [00:11:00] but there's more to it. And that gives you a lot of confidence because it means like, Well, I don't have to get it in National Geographic. I could get this in other publications that might be even more impactful and more meaningful depending on what I want my outcome to be. Depending on what those goals are that stem from that why, and then they ask themselves, Okay, well can I find a different story angle if. National Geographic article comes out first and is

[00:11:24] Jaymi: really similar to my story. So let's say that that story comes out, There's overlaps. Is my story flexible? Can I change the angle? Can I change the shape? And so they thought, you know what, Yeah, I, It's very likely that I might be able to shift the story angle a little bit or the way that I approach it.

[00:11:45] Jaymi: There's enough difference in between what I heard from that photographer and what I think I'm working on. But even if it comes out in their similarities, I think I. Some room for movement. And so that actually caused [00:12:00] them to think, well, hey, how am I gonna go ahead and photograph the rest of this story in a way that allows me the space to flex in the future?

[00:12:08] Jaymi: And in a way that allows me that when that other article comes out, I'm like, That's okay. I can pivot cuz I've got other photos in

[00:12:15] Jaymi: the bag that can help me shift the story around. So actually, instead of staying super narrow on. Aspect of a story. They were like, Okay, well what else is going on and how might I broaden my perspective on this story and build an even bigger archive of images that allow me movement to shape angles and structures, Which is also a really important thing to think about as you're a visual storyteller, because there might be. Primary story that you're telling, but you might be able to shape that story to different audiences. And you wanna allow yourself enough photography, enough visuals, enough approaches that you can do that with your archive. You're creating one big archive for this story, and from it you can shape multiple different [00:13:00] visual stories.

[00:13:00] Jaymi: And that was kind of a light bulb moment, So I love that. So they asked themselves, Okay, why do I wanna tell this story? Let's get back to the roots. if another story comes out that has enough similarities and overlap, how flexible is my story? So here's building some confidence around what you're capable of doing.

[00:13:20] Jaymi: Should things shift? Like building confidence through flexibility? Then they ask themselves, what unique perspective do I bring? Which I

[00:13:29] Jaymi: love this question because. You could have two photographers out in the field photographing the exact same story like let's say they were given a brief, an assignment from an editor, they both head out to photograph it.

[00:13:43] Jaymi: You'd still get two completely different visual stories cuz people bring in their perspective, their. Vision there, the opportunities that come up through the relationships that they build with characters in the story or moments in the field and all kinds of different things. So two stories can [00:14:00] look very different and be approached in very different ways.

[00:14:02] Jaymi: And so they were like, Okay, well what unique perspective do I bring to this story that could make it stand out? And they were like, Well, it's a local story for me, so I get to spend more time shooting. Talking to people, building relationships, All of the photographs that I create are gonna be my own.

[00:14:21] Jaymi: They're gonna be my perspective, my style, the way that I see things, the way that I bring emotion or perspective or whatever it is into this visual story. it's okay that someone else is covering something similar, because just by the very fact that I am my own person, I will bring something unique to this and I get to spend more time on it because it's happening where I live.

[00:14:47] Jo: that's terrific. So it sounds like then they really were able to have their game plan in their head. But think on the spot in order to shift both on [00:15:00] site and afterwards, and that, that is, that's a great tool to have in your, in your toolkit in order to to make that shift and be prepared for what could happen later.

[00:15:12] Jo: And really, I guess when it all comes down, . If there's two stories that come out around this species but have different perspective, it's just that much more shining a light on the situation. So that's a good thing too, right.

[00:15:28] Jaymi: Yeah, it just means that, yeah, when one story comes out, you can pause and think, Okay, so that story is out in the world. It doesn't mean I can't do mine, but how can I build on that? How can I use that to make an even bigger impact? How can I

[00:15:44] Jaymi: take that and say, Okay, so there's a light shining on here in this direction.

[00:15:48] Jaymi: Now how do I shine a light over here from this direct? and you know, build an even bigger spotlight on this issue.

[00:15:55] Jo: Yeah, because I know as a consumer my grandma used to say, [00:16:00] When you learn a new word, you'll hear it again in the next day, you know? Um, And it's the same sort of thing when you read something or you see something and you learn something new, then all of a sudden your awareness is there and then you see something else come out about it.

[00:16:15] Jo: You wouldn't necessarily glance over it like you might because you're already aware of this. And it's like, Oh, well, tell me something more. So I think that's exciting actually and, and kind of cool. So it's, that's a great, that's a great way of seeing it as an opportunity.

[00:16:31] Jaymi: and with opportunity comes one more thing, which is that energy. And that was the fourth question that the student asked themselves is they said, How can I use this experience to energize myself? So you could come away from that experience feeling really kind of dejected. And even if you're thinking, Okay, well I might be able to pivot and do something different, or I might, you know, have a way to make this unique, but still kind of feel like. Now there's [00:17:00] dust on your story or you're kind of like in a shadow and you still have to come out of that. And so they asked, Okay, well how can I use this experience to energize myself? And the thing is, there is. A National Geographic photographer there to document a story that you recognized and came up with independently for yourself.

[00:17:18] Jaymi: So yeah, there might be multiple people thinking about this thing, but you came up with something on your own without other people hinting at it for you, which means that this whole experience validates your ability as a storyteller to, to recognize really good stories, right.

[00:17:33] Jo: Oh yeah.

[00:17:34] Jaymi: if you hold this publication and the photographers, as so many of us do in really high regard, like, wow, they recognize really amazing stories.

[00:17:43] Jaymi: And you realize, Oh, they recognized a story that I already found over here. Well that means that I think on that scale,

[00:17:51] Jaymi: how

[00:17:51] Jo: Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:17:54] Jaymi: And so what they did was they were like, Okay, so there's a not geo photographer who. Is here [00:18:00] doing this story. So there's interest in this. There's definitely interest in this story. So now why don't I make a more detailed list of who, what, how I wanna photograph in this story. Why don't I like really dig into how else I can go in depth. It's kind of like what we were talking about, like how can I expand my photography of this so that I have all this flexibility to be able to tell stories at different angles, should I need to, Okay, how else can I dig into this? are there other characters that I haven't thought of?

[00:18:32] Jaymi: Are there other events that I haven't thought of? Is there other information? Data that I haven't thought of that I might be able to visualize for this story. So they started to think, okay, if I wanna go and document that, What are the technical skills that I'm gonna need to learn to be able to photograph that stuff? What are the technical skill sets that this story's gonna need for me to really tell it the way that I wanna tell it if I'm getting more in depth, [00:19:00] more complex, more thoughtful about it? And so they came up with a few different, Technical things that they wanted to learn. So now it's not just about the story itself, it's also like, now I'm gonna go play.

[00:19:11] Jaymi: I'm gonna go play with new toys and new skills and new classes and new mentors and new, all these other things so that I can document this. It

[00:19:20] Jo: I wanna be this person, Jamie. Wow, this is so cool.

[00:19:26] Jaymi: they are really, I deeply admire the student. And I wanna be them when I grow up too. I was like, That is brilliant. You think about, okay, how am I gonna make this exciting and energizing? If I love expanding my skill sets of photo as a photographer, what inside the story can I come up with that'll help push me into those skills? So now it's this exciting adventure. You're thinking about the story in this more engaged way, and you're thinking about your photography of it in a more engaged way. Talk about taking a moment that could just be like, [00:20:00] Well, forget it. Then I'm gonna go to the next story on my list. And instead you're like, I'm gonna come out of this more badass than ever, and the story is gonna get more attention than ever.

[00:20:12] Jaymi: Like how

[00:20:12] Jo: I'm just picturing this t-shirt that says Badass conservation photography,

[00:20:18] Jaymi: I love that. I

[00:20:19] Jo: That's great.

[00:20:21] Jaymi: So from this, one of the reasons why I really wanted to share this story, and I got permission of course from my student to share the story, but without specifics, I cannot wait until the day that this is published and I can be like, Remember that episode? Look, here's the story. But some of the things that came out of this that when we had a conversation about the experience was, One of the confidence builders that they had that allowed them to really dig into, into this. Of course, just their natural mindset and, and natural way of the way that they work through the world is one of 'em. But also having a roadmap of, here is the process that I use to document stories, gave them this confidence [00:21:00] to be like, Okay, well we're in the roadmap. Can I head in and think, Okay, well I'm gonna double down here or I'm gonna put extra energy here. So they leaned on the experiences that they had gained from working through conservation photography 1 0 1 and putting that roadmap to work, and then we're like, Okay, well if this is the process that I follow for documenting a story, shaping it, photographing it, where am I gonna dig in deeper? It makes it so much easier to visualize where you're gonna put your energy or the questions that you're gonna ask. Then if you didn't have that and you're just kind of spiraling, I'm like, Okay, well then what should I do now?

[00:21:37] Jaymi: Where do I put my energy? What's the right move to make all of that?

[00:21:41] Jo: And that's where we had talked about early on when you were entering this world about you know, you looked at me kind of cross eye when I said, Actually planning allows you to be more flexible. And you said, How can that be? If I'm already having to plan all this out, I'm losing my flexibility.[00:22:00] This was a perfect example of how they were able to use what they had planned and then include the flexibility based on the pivot that they needed to make.

[00:22:10] Jaymi: That's such a brilliant point, and that is one of the biggest aha moments that I think that I've had under your mentorship is how much more creative you get to be when you've already put up. That plan, I think of them like bumper walls in a bowling alley. It's

[00:22:27] Jaymi: like now you've got these bumper walls up. So you get to explore all kinds of stuff inside of that, knowing that you're still gonna stay in this realm that you've set up in the zone that you set up. And yeah, you're absolutely right. That is. Such an important lesson to learn, and one that really played out here was, okay, I know the shape of my story.

[00:22:49] Jaymi: I know how I think I want it to go. I see how I'm gonna have to adjust things, but I know what the process looks like so I know [00:23:00] what I can adjust and how much, and how that might shift some other things in a way you go. I love that. Yeah. The other thing is, This is such a great example of how you do not have to be perfectly confident in your abilities or your knowledge or your experience to be able to go out there and be really successful. And I think that if you are waiting for a time where you feel experienced enough or you feel like you have. Enough connections or enough shots under your belt or enough publications or enough validation or whatever it might be. If you're waiting for a time where you feel like you have enough of that, that time's never gonna come.

[00:23:42] Jaymi: Because most of the time we never feel confident enough to be like, Oh, well now I'm ready to tackle anything. So really, I love this example of being like, I still am feeling nervous. I'm still feeling like I'm messing up as I go, but I'm gonna keep advancing forward through this story because it's important [00:24:00] to me.

[00:24:00] Jaymi: I have my why, why I'm working on it that I can use is my touchstone. I have all, all of these sort of reminders of these. Safety nets or boundaries and planning that allow me flexibility, like all of these things that are built in to be like, I don't have to be perfectly confident. I know that I can go in and I've got the resources and the skill sets to figure it out as I go, and adjustments are gonna have to be made no matter what.

[00:24:25] Jo: And find more creativity and more things to learn along the way too, to get you re-energized.

[00:24:32] Jaymi: Yeah.

[00:24:33] Jo: I love that part of the story as well.

[00:24:35] Jaymi: Yeah.

[00:24:36] Jaymi: imagine if they didn't have a hiccup like this, and then they didn't push themselves to be like, Oh, well now's my opportunity to learn this skill set and this skill set. And so confidence isn't this magical place that you arrive at, where now it's okay for you to dive into big in depth. Intimidating stories. Confidence is something that you gain as you are actively practicing your craft and running into those [00:25:00] hiccups cuz you don't get confidence without the hiccups and the hurdles that shake you up a little bit and allow you the opportunity to see what you're capable of and therefore build the confidence.

[00:25:10] Jaymi: You gotta

[00:25:11] Jaymi: go through this stuff to ha in order to have confidence in this.

[00:25:14] Jo: It's like people saying well when everything is perfect, that's when we'll start to have children. No, there's never a good time to start you. You know? Yeah. There are better times than others in terms of preparedness, but , when you're going into some sort of big endeavor or big shift or new change or growth area, you're never gonna be totally prepared.

[00:25:36] Jo: You have to be ready to just eventually just leap and.

[00:25:41] Jaymi: Well.

[00:25:42] Jo: them.

[00:25:42] Jaymi: Yeah. And ultimately what I love about this story is understanding that confidence is something that you create as you go. And understanding that, well, I'm just gonna move forward anyway, and understanding that when something, oh my [00:26:00] gosh, happens that I'm just gonna think about what my next step is and understanding. It's a really good idea when you're shaken up to pause and ask some important questions and really think, Okay, well why am I doing this? What do I bring to the table? How might I be able to pivot or to shift? How might I make this really fun again? Or how might I make this something that I grow even more from knowing to ask all of those questions that puts you in a position of shooting stories that National Geographic photographers are shooting, and I hear again and again and again from students who sign up for the course. When I say, you know, what's your, dream or what do you envision for yourself in five years? Oh, I want to have a story in National Geographic.

[00:26:45] Jaymi: I wanna be shoot a shooter for National Geographic. And it's like, That's actually not that far off, is it?

[00:26:52] Jaymi: It's really about the way that you think about it, and you might already be on par with shooting photo stories that other [00:27:00] National Geographic photographers are working on. How cool is that?

[00:27:03] Jo: Very cool. Very cool.

[00:27:05] Jaymi: So that is the story from one of my students that I thought was just such an incredible learning experience.

[00:27:12] Jaymi: Not only for them, but I feel like just hearing it retaught me so many really important skills and mindsets and actions to take as you go through moments like this. I just thought, Wow, that's something I really wanna wanna share and wanna talk.

[00:27:31] Jo: Thank you for sharing that. I wanna go do something now. Something impactful.

[00:27:37] Jaymi: something big and bold,

[00:27:38] Jaymi: right.

[00:27:39] Jo: Yeah. Something. Something a little scary, but.

[00:27:45] Jaymi: Awesome. And I

[00:27:46] Jaymi: mean, these scary moments come up all the time in, in life, not just in photography, but in all kinds of

[00:27:52] Jo: Oh, completely. Yeah. I mean, I, I was offered a promotion once and uh, my boss, you know, said, Hey, [00:28:00] I, I think you can do this. , And it, it was a big shift in responsibility for me. And one, I was blown away that I was being asked to do it. But the other, I, I just felt, I said, I don't know if I'm ready for that.

[00:28:12] Jo: He said, No one is. He said, do you think that I was ready for any job that I was offered? If you, if you're ready, then you should already have been doing it, so

[00:28:22] Jaymi: I love that. I think that that's like at the heart of a lot of adulthood, like once you get into quote unquote adulthood, I think one of the biggest aha moments where I was like, Oh, when I finally was an adult is, Oh, so you're faking it for your entire life. There is no feeling, feeling grown up.

[00:28:42] Jaymi: There's no feeling adult like, Now I am grown up and know how the world works and exactly what I should do. And it was like, Oh no. We're constantly just feeling completely unprepared

[00:28:51] Jaymi: for every next thing and.

[00:28:53] Jo: Exa, I remember that exact same feeling and realizing, Oh, you mean I'm gonna be winging it forever.[00:29:00]

[00:29:02] Jaymi: And then you're looking at the other people who seem to really have their stuff together and be like, So you're winging it too.

[00:29:09] Jo: Yes.

[00:29:10] Jaymi: Okay. All right. So I bet you feel just as shaky as

[00:29:13] Jaymi: I do in the Right.

[00:29:14] Jaymi: situation. Okay, cool. All right, well, we're in this together, man. All right,

[00:29:17] Jo: Yeah. That's why that National Geographic photographer was like, Yeah, yeah. I can't talk right now cause got too many things going on in my head.

[00:29:28] Jaymi: Yeah. I mean, they might seem cool as a cucumber, I don't know. But in reality be like, Oh, am I really gonna pull off these shots? And how am I gonna get that other one? And do I have enough time in the day and oh, I really wish I, How is all of this gonna really play out? Like they might have a million things like that going through their

[00:29:45] Jo: Yeah, who knows? And, and you know, they might have had to figure out daycare for their kid that day that was different than something else. And, and then they're juggling that and you don't know what's going on in that other person's life that you really admire or you think must have it all [00:30:00] together.

[00:30:00] Jo: And I think when you realize that everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time, like they say, Yeah, you can look at it as something where you're gonna go in and learn from it instead of being intimidated by it. So I think that's just a terrific, terrific example.

[00:30:14] Jaymi: Yeah. My thing that I always think about whenever I'm kind of approaching someone who I'm a little bit intimidated by or nervous by, is it goes through my head every time. Is everybody poops? I'm gonna go ahead and send off this email, or I'm gonna go ahead and introduce myself. There's.

[00:30:31] Jo: That's right. Everybody has to go into that bathroom at some point in the day.

[00:30:36] Jaymi: It's a kid's book that I remember seeing at one

[00:30:39] Jaymi: of my friend's houses, and when I saw that title, I was like, Man, that's the biggest life lesson right there.

[00:30:45] Jaymi: I'm just

[00:30:46] Jo: right.

[00:30:51] Jaymi: And on that note, I think we'll go ahead and

[00:30:54] Jo: I guess we're done.

[00:30:57] Jaymi: so at any rate, you know, before [00:31:00] we do wrap up, I really do wanna kind of go back through a little bit what. this process was. And so the first thing is go ahead and embrace the fact that this is really scary. Go ahead and embrace the fact that you're feeling nervous and you're feeling insecure. Because once you go ahead and just accept that, then you can clear up some head space to be like, Okay, well what's my next move? Okay, well I'm gonna go ahead and figure out how to reduce the intimidation. and in this story it was, they went up and introduced themselves to this photographer, broke the ice, tried to build a rapport, you know, find out more about the story, give themselves some ammunition to, to be able to think clearly, right? Get their head in the game, and then they walked away and thought, All right, well, I had that experience. What are the questions that I'm gonna ask myself? So why am I. in this story. Why am I really photographing this story? What is, its bigger meaning beyond publication to me?

[00:31:55] Jaymi: How am I really using it to make an impact? Like, why am I drawn to this? [00:32:00] What unique things do I bring to the table? How might I shift this or pivot this? How might I make this really fun and exciting and something that I grow from? You know, all of these questions. I think once you really start to give yourself the head space to pause, take a breath, ask some important questions, then you really give yourself the fullest opportunity that you can have to really do an amazing job and to come away from it feeling on top of the. . That's all.

[00:32:33] Jo: Is that the mic drop point

[00:32:35] Jaymi: I guess.

[00:32:36] Jo: So instead of It's,

[00:32:42] Jaymi: Exactly. Awesome. All right. Well, Joe, thank you so much for in just digging into this story with me. I was really excited to share it and to just talk about the cool strategy that's inside of this.

[00:32:56] Jo: Very good. Very good story. Thanks for sharing that, Jamie.

[00:32:59] Jaymi: [00:33:00] Cool. All right everyone, thank you for listening in and we'll talk to you again next week.


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