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Photography with a Purpose: Podcast Interview with Valérie Jardin

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I recently had the honor of being a guest on Valérie Jardin‘s Hit The Streets podcast. I’ve actually subscribed to her podcast for quite some time before she invited me aboard. She interviews a number of photographers with interesting stories about travel, inspiration, and photographic technique. So, needless to say, I was shocked when I was invited.

I’ve received a surprisingly large amount of great feedback from listeners across all social channels and email. If you have 35 minutes give it a listen; I hope it gives you something to chew on, especially if you feel like your photography is lacking direction and purpose.

Direction and purpose. That’s the entire genesis of what we discuss in the podcast, though we didn’t really have a chance to touch on this part.

To give you a quick summary, in the podcast we discuss my photography work with both environmental and humanitarian nonprofits. We talk about how my trip to Haiti inspired me to do more, my recent trip to Morocco, and my upcoming trip to Uganda.

Why am I going in this photographic direction, rather than solely focusing on the beautiful landscapes that I often encounter in my travels?

I think my time in the military, and who I really am, has a lot to do with it. When I was in the Air Force I had a mission. I woke up every day and either trained new pilots or provided close air support for ground troops in Afghanistan.

Upon leaving the Air Force…now what? I take pictures, but why? I’d sell them to editors and art buyers, but why am I really taking the pictures? There has to be more to it than money.

I needed a mission, and working with nonprofits was it. I even wrote a mission statement (which you can read in my bio) to remind me why I’m taking pictures. It’s not enough to do it for Instagram or for the stock library, at least for me.

Actually having a larger purpose is really what I needed to feel fulfilled and excited about photography again. I can’t wait to see where it will take me next. What drives you?

Link to show page, or listen here if your browser allows: