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How He Found His Voice & Built An Empire

by D'Arcy Benincosa

Jonathan Canlas is a pioneer in our industry. You may know him as owner of The Find Lab, or as the talented photographer and teacher. Jon joined me on this episode to share his story to becoming the photographer and industry leader he is today, and how he developed his voice through groundbreaking personal projects that nourish his love for photography. Jon has found the key to not getting burnt out, telling the stories that desire to be told, and putting his heart and soul into what he loves. Sound like something you could work on? Listen in!

Key Takeaways:

  • Jon’s idea of finding your creative voice is if you are doing what you would be doing anyways if money was out of the equation.
  • If you’re a wedding photographer, the last thing you need to be doing is looking at other photographer’s work.
  • Jon believes that in order to find your voice, you need to do things that get you out of your comfort zone.
  • Each of us, regardless of where you live, have access to a story that needs to be told. You need to take the initiative to tell those stories. Get off your butt and go shoot it.
  • You have to get out of the Instagram world. That’s where you start to find your voice.
  • Your voice and vision is all a huge reflection of your aesthetic. If you’re a very quiet and organized person, that should be reflected in your work.
  • The thought that everything around you is boring is wrong. There is an amazing photo 5 feet away from you at all times.
  • If you’re uninspired by where you are or what it is you’re doing, there’s nothing wrong with putting your camera down. Go immerse yourself in the things you love.
  • For you to think that you’re doing what hasn’t been done… you’re crazy. All we’re doing is rehashing what everyone else has done and either making it better or worse.
  • Fast-forward 10 years down the road and ask yourself, “did you take the time to point the camera at the people you care about just as much as the people you were paid to take photos of?”
  • If you’re having trouble saying what you want to say, the reason why is because you’re not confident enough in who you are.
  • Your first step should be becoming self-aware. Take the enneagram test. Find out what your core values are.
  • Find out where you call home, what makes you who you are, and dive in.
  • Anytime in your life when there is a big shift in what you believe or do, that should be a mile marker in your work. And moving forward, your work will be affected by this event.
  • Why is this important? The great thing about photography is that if you’re lucky, it will change the world for someone, a group of people, and possibly the world.

References:

Xo,
D’Arcy

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