Hey Wicked Hunters,
Welcome back to the art of photography podcast with Stanley Aryanto. This week we welcome a celebrity photographer all the way from LA.
Walid Azami is a photographer & video director based in Los Angeles, California. Originally from Kabul, Afghanistan. He has worked with people you may recognize like Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Ricky Martin, Mary J Blige, Wendy Williams, Bernie Sanders, and many more. His work has been featured in magazines such as Rolling Stone, Glamour, Allure, and Teen Vogue. He’s known for holding the client’s hands through the entire time, creating dramatic images, and evolving the experience and creative process for everyone on set. He invests his time empowering the community of photographers, creatives, and visual artists with amazing business/life advice through his platform.
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Walid Azami 0:00
value yourself. Because without your work, you can’t launch pretty much any industry without the work of a photographer. Without a photographer capturing those, the community will never know who you are what the food looks like, that’s photography, that is the value of what we do. Now, we, you need to charge for that, because what you’re doing is they’re not doing you a favour by calling you you’re doing them a favour by lending your talent.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:37
Welcome to the Art of Photography podcast, how are you?
Walid Azami 1:43
I’m good. Thank you so much for having me that I have really appreciate it.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:47
Yeah, no, it’s, you know, I love you get in touch and I look at your prom, your profile your portfolio, and I was just intrigued. So it’s a lot of my audience, or a lot of my guests are, you know, from the travel landscape, and I have a few people from portrait, but you know, never from the celebrity niche. So this is really exciting for me, I never, you know, know what’s going on in there. So I have a whole lot of questions for you.
Walid Azami 2:15
Awesome, awesome. Well, hopefully they accept it. And I know that they will. But like, you know, it’s something new for the photographers that are accustomed to hearing your podcast. So, you know, maybe maybe we’ll all learn a little bit
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 2:27
100% 100% I mean, you know, me myself, I do a whole lot of genre of photography. And I know there are a lot of landscape photographers out there who also love doing portraits, fashion and so forth, right. But we just have like the main thing, which was, you know, landscape or astral photography. So, this definitely will apply to everyone. But before we get started, give us a little bit introduction about who you are, what’s your background, and you know, just a little bit about how the audience can get to know you better.
Walid Azami 3:02
Sure, I’d be happy to thank you. I’m number one, my name is Walid Asami. So I’m in Los Angeles. And, as you mentioned, yeah, I do a lot of celebrity, but I also do a lot of commercials and big brands, domestic and international. And I’ve also started to branch out to directing music videos and commercials, and now creative directing, too, and then also mentoring photographers in their careers. And I’m very interested in landscape photography for what that’s worth too. But I’ve been shooting for maybe about 12 years. And it’s been a very rough road. I think, like most photographers listening to this podcast, but I just, you know, my goal has been for the past six years, still continuing my photography career, but then really designating a big chunk of that, I would say, almost like a third of my energy into making sure my peers do well, too. And whether it’s from my mistakes, or my big accomplishments, I think there’s something that I can teach people and make sure that nobody ever takes advantage of photographers, and that they do well, and that they get the compensation that they deserve to. So that’s pretty much a little bit of a lowdown on me.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 4:16
That’s incredible. Yeah, that’s love to hear that, you know, I think, you know, as a photographer, it’s really important to, or as an artist, I shouldn’t say photographer, because this apply kind of on the board is that we are we are stamped with this notion that you know, it’s we can’t make money from photography and you know, it doesn’t produce it doesn’t make a living basically, you know, like the starving artist mentality. And we know that it’s not true. Because you know, like, there are so many different photographers already have made it and there is a lot of mentality I think behind that. So I was curious, are you were you I’m born in grew up in LA itself, or what’s a little bit of your personal background?
Walid Azami 5:08
Um, no, definitely not raised? Well, I guess somewhat raised in LA. But I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. So I’m a total war baby. And that sense, refugee, and America never took a photo class in my life. Never ever, like not even one class. One time, actually. I did at the junior college, take, like, try to take an intro to photo class, but I’m on week number two, I quit. Because the way that they were moving at that speed, and I just thought was like, Oh, my God, you want to tell me about the history of this. I just want to know how to do it. And so I just didn’t show up anymore. Terrible student in that way. But yeah, that’s my background. So I didn’t come from a family that had photography and its blood, I didn’t have any special connections. Just a lot of hard work some luck, and lots of hard work again.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 6:05
That’s incredible. And so what did you you What did you study in, in, in college or university? Where did you get into or you ever go into college and university or you just throw yourself through into photography right away?
Walid Azami 6:20
No, I was going to actually become a teacher. And not because I really, really wanted to be a teacher, I actually think it’s the most important job in the world I really do. Besides being a good parent, is that but my mom was a teacher, my aunts were a teacher, my grandfather was a teacher. So really, that does run in my blood. And I think that was the most, at least on paper, like the most free job like the freeing, liberated, independent job, it’s really not these poor teachers, they have to work, especially in America, it’s really hard for teachers. But my, my, I was a history major. And then my specialty was the Israeli Palestinian conflict. So I just became obsessed with that story, and really dug deep into that one. And then after that, I ended up working with Madonna right afterwards, completely different 180 degrees. But I will say, though, that my history was what really helped me excel in that office, because Madonna would be, hey, we need we need to research this one thing for the World Tour. And people could not research. I don’t know why people couldn’t research and I was like, just wait, just wait, I’m about to kill you guys with like, the 17 books I pull because of this, you know, so it helped me in that sense. But no, I never study photo, that is incredible kind of fall in my lap.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 7:51
What is story? You know, I think this is what, actually, you know, just the other weekend, we went for a catch up with a few friends. And he mentioned this notion that, you know, everything we do in life is an admin at administration to get to what we want to achieve. And this is exactly it, right? A lot of people nowadays, especially with the instant gratification, we we don’t want to put into work, we don’t want to do this admin and we just wanting to get the result. But without this administration work, you’re never gonna get there because you won’t have enough information knowledge. And this is a really good, great demonstration of the day just show that you know, you the the study that you did have nothing to do with photography, but yet, it is what opened you to the world of photography. Now. I’m quite interested. How did you come across Madonna though, like, you know, like the teachers? Were you working for her? Or you know that because that’s a pretty different niche. Right. So that’s interesting to hear.
Walid Azami 9:02
Yeah, I know. And I know that when I say that a lot of people are like, Well, great. Somebody, somebody just opened the door for him and and lucky kid at the time, and you know, and life was just easy. It actually wasn’t easy. And here’s the thing is that now I had, and I still do a small list of people that I really wanted to work with. One was like director, documentary director, Michael Moore. Another was Bill Clinton. Not not not anymore, though. But just like at the time, it was important that was like, I really want to work with this guy, because I thought he was going to make a lot of positive change and everything. And there was some other people too on that list. But on that list was Madonna. And why I really, really liked her as because visually, I was a fan of every single person that she ever brought on her team. And I watched because if you think about you know her age Now watch the world likes to make a really big deal out of her age. But the last I don’t know, like 40 Somethings, 30 Somethings, 20 Somethings, 50 something, even 60 something, they all have a significant part of those younger years, with her being the soundtrack, Michael Jackson, you know what I mean? Like you to some of these people. So I had a chance to really watch her, break the mould and everything. But all that to say that she was always on my list of people that I wanted to work with. And I am I will say that of course, I worked really, really hard. My parents taught me a lot of hard work and honest hard work. But I also very, very much subscribe to manifestation and law of attraction. And so I, you know, I Okay, I’ll say this, socially, I’m supposed to say, Oh, my God, it was such a surprise. But it wasn’t. And neither was like, some of the other people that I work with because I, I am such a good manifester that, I don’t know, I’ve always just knew is going to happen. Is that crazy, but it’s just how that happened. And it’s not just Madonna, it was like, Bernie Sanders was like that, like, Jennifer Lopez was another one. Like, it doesn’t have to be like a long time being it’s like I really, really focused on it. I mean, where is my, it’s not here at my desk right now. But I I journal, like, several times a week, like a script. And I kind of write like a make believe of things that in this world that hasn’t happened yet, but I believe that they’ve happened like in a parallel universe. And I, so I always played with manifestation. So so she was on that list. That’s a very long answer, but I’m sticking with it.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 11:55
No, that’s incredible. I love that. And it’s, it’s a couple of things that I have a question with, based on what you’re told me is the first, you know, you have a list of people that you want to work with. And I was, I’d love to know, what makes you what makes them to be on your list, what make you want to work with, you know, work with them, basically.
Walid Azami 12:23
No one’s ever asked me that question before. So thank you. And I never even thought about that, really, until you just asked that question. I really admire people that want to change the world, even if they’ve negatively accidentally made like a really, but people that impact like, that’s one thing to be on stage and to go, Oh, look at me with beautiful lights and beautiful costumes and all that. But it’s another but how many artists do that now. I mean, there’s a lot of artists that have incredible shows. But how many of them change culture. And I don’t think any of them really have changed culture in that capacity. Michael Jackson will be another one. You know, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, these people change culture globally. And so that I admire that like some of the people that I’ve worked with, like Bob Proctor is an author, he’s become like the father of like law of attraction, he changed the way and entire culture, he introduced law of attraction to so many people, now, the world is catching on to it, at least the Western world finally is catching up to so to me, anyone that wants to change, make an impact, I’m always going to be a huge fan.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 13:37
That is incredible. You know, I think I’m a big, big believer on purpose in life and finding that you know, the purpose and not just, I mean, it’s also important to do stuff that, you know, just doesn’t have purpose. But at the end of the day, you know, we want to look back at our life and see what we’ve done, you know, how far we make a change, whether it’s true, the smallest thing, you know, in our life, or the bigger thing, but you know, that what you’ve done is very important, right? Being able to push that positivity to the world. And basically, you know, expose them to your photography and the way you story child to that. So that’s incredible. Thanks for sharing that.
Walid Azami 14:24
Thank you for asking that. I think even you know, like, if I can just even add to that. It’s like, yeah, it doesn’t have to be celebrity doesn’t have to be like a big, big author. It could be like, for example, you have large part of your audiences, like they’re landscape photographers, but if you are exposing that landscape to the world, and you’re able to show the beauty of a place that people normally may not have thought about, that’s like a huge service, they think you’ve added to mankind
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 14:51
100% And you know, like it’s, one of the things that I do in this podcast is not having people that have big followers or You know, like they are famous, but also people who just have really get great inspiring stories. And like you say, that’s really important to like, just spotlight them right. Now, the second question that I have based on your previous answer was like, it’s really interesting how you brought up manifesting and journaling and all this stuff, right? And I know there’s a lot of people out there that literally it’s like, you know, this is this is, you know, a bullshit basically is like, Oh, I’ve been doing this forever. I say, it’s like, I want to get rich, I want to get rich, I want to get rich. But yeah, here, I am still not selling a single print. Right? So, right, give us a little bit insight of how you manifest and how you manifests in a way that you can actually make what you’ve think about or what you’ve manifested, come through.
Walid Azami 15:58
Give me Give me an example of that. Or, like, oh, do I do it?
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 16:02
A little bit of both, as I suppose you can give a little bit example, or actually give us? Yeah, just like how, like, how do you do it? What’s the difference between those people whose who have manifested, but haven’t made things come through from their manifestation?
Walid Azami 16:20
Sure, um, well, I think that what it is, is that I’ll start off by by saying this, there is something bigger than us. And it doesn’t matter what you believe in what religion or if you don’t have a religion, there just has to be something bigger than you. And that’s where I really, I just hope that everyone that is listening to this podcast, is like, they believe there’s nothing whether you call it God or energy, or Buddha or Allah or Mother Nature, whatever it might be. So there’s something running this whole show. But the other thing too, is I don’t have a course I don’t have a book, I don’t have an ebook. I don’t have a workshop and manifestation. So when I see this, there is no gain for me. But just to see our hopefully, one day see how it benefited someone’s life, if they’ve, you know, heard it. So much of my success has come from Law of Attraction manifestation, they kind of overlap, a way that it’s about feeling. That’s the biggest thing. So I used to be one of the worst students you will ever meet. But I was one of the best daydreamers in class, I would sit there, and just daydream. But what I didn’t know is that as a student in the public school system of America, I was failing, I wasn’t failing, because I knew how to play the game and turn in every homework, and every extra credit and everything. I wasn’t the best student, okay, but I had personality. And I would, like try to charm the teachers and everybody and just try to be funny when I could, and all that. But what I would do is spend an immense amount of time, an immense amount of time daydreaming to the point that I don’t even remember sitting in the classroom. And I just was like, Oh, my God, oh, my God, I have to like now be friend a nerd. Because I didn’t I have like two blank pages. And they have two full pages, front and back. Right? So and I’m like, hey, everybody come to my house this weekend. I’ll get pizza, let’s compare notes, you know, and try to figure this out. But in that process, I didn’t know what I was doing was manifesting, I was truly feeling what it would feel like to do this. To the point to the point that one of my one of my fears, I remember consistently in high school was, okay, so if I get an award, if I get invited to an award show for a music video, and they only give me two tickets, like who am I going to invite like, I used to sit there and worry about it. And it was a really real, real fear. But I did get nominated for for Soul Train Music Video of the Year, I did only give, you know, I only had one ticket. My horrible agent at the time used it and didn’t tell me about it. But that’s a separate story. But it’s like it comes. So true. I guess. Okay, so your listeners are like, Yeah, okay, great, great work for you. How do you do it? One thing that I do is called scripting. And scripting is like, Oh man, where’s my actual journal somewhere in a bag or something? But I sit down for maybe 15 minutes, and I’ll sit at a desk I’ll go in a coffee shop just somewhere comfortable and I will write five things. So this is like truly Okay. Five things that I already have in my mind. I may not physically have At the moment, but it is coming for me it is coming to me. And so I’ll write five things. And I will write, I’m so grateful that blank, I’m so grateful that five times, then I will take those five things. And then write almost like a like a journal like a diary, journal, one, two pages, something like that. And then I will use those five bullet points in a story as if it already happened. So for example, I might say, I’m so I’m so grateful now that I finally have the beach house that I wanted three levels on the side of a hill, not across the street, but the side with the ocean, right. And then I’ll just say I have that. But for me to really believe it to really feel it. What I will do, then as all after I list those five bullet points, and I’ll write like a journal. And I’ll say, I’m so thankful now that I finally have my beach house that I wanted. And it’s amazing. It has like the Spanish tiles that I really like, which makes it very uncomfortable in the winter, because you have to wear socks all the time inside the house. But but in the summer, it’s amazing. And the only part I don’t like is when my friends come over, my family comes over, and then all the footprints are there. And I have to mop it up afterwards. But I’m so thankful I’ve that many people in my life because we get to go downstairs down the grace steps made of wood to the ocean, and we get to swim and come back up to my house and barbecue. Like I write exact things, right. But then I’ll actually I’ll write those five things as if it happened that day. So I’m so thankful my parents could do it. And I’m thankful my sister brought my nieces too. And they got to, and I’ll just sit there. And it’s actually kind of sounds dorky, but it’s actually fun for a minute, and you’re just pretending you have it. And the idea is that you write it until you feel it. And then you just leave it alone. I will say I’ll give you one quick example. Because I know you have other questions too, is here’s an example of scripting, just one of many that have worked out for me. And the past three years, I had a job where I was photographing for a new startup clothing line. And the owner decided to decided to go to Bali, and go on vacation. And, and that’s amazing, right? Amazing for you. But if you have a brand new company, why would you leave all of us alone for your first ever photoshoot? Very bad decision as a CEO, it was a disaster. The lady at his company had designer awful the the agent for the models complained and said, We never want to work with her again, the models complained, I complained the assistants all separately complaint and I told the CEO of this company, you know, I, I really like you. And if I didn’t tell you everything that happened, I would never be a good person, a friend to you. And I kind of missed the beginning of the story. But the beginning of the story was basically that I wanted to still do photography, I still want to direct but I wanted to start creative directing. I wanted to work from home and I wanted to work maybe 15 or 20 hours a week. That’s it. I didn’t want to go to anyone’s office. But I wanted people to start trusting me as a creative director, the shoot now the shooting happened in real life. It was a disaster. So I told the CEO how bad it was. And then he’s like, I appreciate you telling me everyone else kind of complained and said she was awful. And then I sent him the pictures. And he called me like the next day or so. And he said, you know Walid, considering everything you said, considering everything everybody else said. These pictures are phenomenal. And you guys were up against a lot. And it’s phenomenal. And I’m really curious, I have this weird idea. Just think about it. You can come back to me a different day and think about it. Would you be open to being the Creative Director for the the startup company no more than 15 or 20 hours a week and you can work from home? That right there is an example that happened within two weeks of me writing it in my journal. Now I know all your listeners at this point are like, Who is this guy? This is? This is crazy. That’s like one example. That’s how I do it. It’s about feeling and that’s like one example of it actually working.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 24:37
That’s really cool. And I mean, I just remember I just got into Lena and this manifestation and meditation and I think the difference I mean if we take away you know, all of this spiritual aspect is it’s all about making you believe in yourself. And you know, when you feel it, then you can believe that it already happened and therefore it’s more likely that you will work towards, you know, I mean, a good example that I always use is like, let’s say you need to get something from the grocer, and it’s about to close in five minutes, and you’re an hour away. You’re never gonna make an attempt. Right. But if it’s like five minutes away, and it’s almost close, you know, in five minutes, I was like, Oh, maybe I could go really quick. Maybe I could not tell them. You know, it’s that is the difference. It’s the signal that telling yourself and that is, I love how you share, you know, the journaling, the scripting that is so powerful. Now, yeah, to segue back to, you know, photography. Yeah, yeah. This is really cool, right? Because most people in photography, you know, I know, like, most people gonna be like, What does manifesting have to do with photography? Most people in photography, they have some sort of goal, whether they want to make money of their photography, they want to capture, you know, a certain image. And I believe the only way to make that come true is to believe in the journey to believe in their in their self, right to believe that there is one day they will be able to get there so that they keep going. Now, that’s it. I want to, I want to ask you a little bit from your experience and your journey. What are some of the hardest struggle that you have come across that almost make you give up this journey? That almost give it all away? And you know, take the easy route? And how did it all unfold for you? Hmm.
Walid Azami 26:44
Well, your podcast is asking questions that generally other podcasts don’t ask, which I mean that in the most complimentary way. So I appreciate that. What made me almost give up? Well, let me just be really honest. Not this past year. But there are good years and bad years. I think that a lot of times people are like, oh, did you almost give up? I almost give up three times a month. Not gonna lie to you. So if anyone’s like, Oh, my gods like, so I’m not crazy. I’m not alone. Well, you were crazy, because this is what we want to do for an occupation. So there is a little bit of crazy, but it’s like a fun, crazy, you know, I wanted to give it many, many times, because I think to myself, we need health care. And we need long term retirement and we need stable income. But then I also think to myself, like after you have like a mass, like you have a big win, that could be a massive job. That could be a beautiful photograph that you’re just like, staring at it for a long time. The high of that. I don’t do drugs. But I would imagine it’s like the high that you would feel if you have a powerful drug. And then that right there pulls me right back into it. But the things that have bothered me, that have made me put the camera down, I’ve now decided to try to be an answer to that problem. So how people treat artists and photographers, well, no, we are photographers, artists. How people treat artists has really angered me how people treat marginalised populations. I’m sure it’s like this around the world, but I just have experienced in America, they they make if you’re a woman, if you’re Brown, if you’re black, if you’re Asian, they make you feel that just having the opportunity is the paycheck don’t ask for money. And so they add in their attitude and the what they say the microaggressions and everything. So for me, it was like okay, well, instead of giving up what a giant waste of my experience, what a slap in the face to all of the hard work that I’ve done. So why don’t I try to be the anti everything that made me put my camera down, you know, because I did for eight months. I did stop photography. I did open a studio and I was like, Well, I guess this is it, you know, like, be thankful for what you’ve done. But you guys, it’s not easy. If it was easy, every single person will be doing it. Who doesn’t want to take photos and have people say oh my god, I love the way you see. It’s incredibly special. Or, you know, or who you happen to be stumbling on this podcast or this particular episode and you’re a filmmaker or you’re a writer or what have you. Like it’s an immense privilege to have people you know love the way you think. What was the exact question was how do I give up or did I ever think about giving up or none of those
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 29:43
so what you know like what what was the moment and how you get out of it?
Walid Azami 29:48
Hmm. anger anger pulled me out. So for me, the anger was after eight months of putting my camera down and and manifesting nation. Okay, so here’s, this is gonna take a little bit, but I promise listeners, it’s worth it. Okay, so anger got me really upset when I said, Okay, enough is enough. And I’m going to make sure that I use my experience to help other people. So I started, what at the time, it was called How to photograph. Now it’s called Walid Asami, on Instagram. And I was anonymously, helping photographers with tips and suggestions and pricing and marketing and copyrights, and lighting and editing, and all those different things. And I just was like, you know, what’s going to happen, no one’s going to take advantage of any of these other people. And I’m going to use that experience of the bad in the good. And then that account grew. Now we’re like a 50, something 1000. And it grew and grew and grew, because people are like, what is this because it’s like, legitimate information that’s really helping people do better. And now my name is attached to it, just because it’s easier, you know, and I want people to know, who I am and, and reference my work, you know, to weigh it against the advice. So it was one way that I beat it was just saying, you know, what, I’ll show you, I’ll show these record labels that no one can take advantage of photographers anymore. Also, these big corporate companies that you can’t just bulldoze over people. And I’m going to make sure that I give my community the tools that they need so that they know how to get out of your name and get out of the way the punch back basically. So I’ve I have tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of screen captures that people are like thank you so much. Because of you have gone full time because of you, I was able to stop a situation. But the manifestation one, here’s a, is it. Okay? If I go into one more example of that, because I want to give this gentleman Yeah, radish, who’s no longer with us. But if you’ve ever seen the DVD, the movie, The Secret or read the book, The Secret by Rhonda burns, the movie is opened by a gentleman by the name of Bob Proctor. Bob Proctor is like the they consider like the father of law of attraction. And I was in my studio when I told you I was in my studios, it was rather large. And I I I had given up photography and the studio was the attic of an old grocery store. So me, I’m watching YouTube, and I’m like how to apply drywall. Okay, and I would just do it, how to fix electrical and I would do it how to fix plumbing and I learned everything off of YouTube. And then nobody really helped me and I was like, I stopped in the middle of all this. And I had to move into the studio because I put all my money into helping my family and I also got rid of my apartment so I can move in and invest in this business. And there were like boxes and boxes and boxes in there. And let me tell you real fast. When it was cold, it was colder in that studio. When it was hot. It was hotter in that studio. Okay, there was no installation, nothing. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I did it. And so I was looking. I was looking at these boxes, all my personal belongings and I was like, I need to find the DVD for the secret. I just know there’s a message in there for me. I know there’s a message in there. And I don’t know don’t ask me why didn’t decide to YouTube the video, it didn’t cross my mind. I needed to find the DVD, okay, and then find my DVD player in one of those boxes. And I couldn’t find it. And for three days I searched. I really really searched through everything that Mike who was here, you know when something is right there and you’re like I saw it just like a week ago now I can’t find it. And I gave up and I was like forget it. Just continue building the studio. So you can open this up and start making money. But that’s what happens with manifestation you have to want something so bad. And then you have to let it go and release it. You know, and I did but I wasn’t trying to manifest it. I was like frantically like it was literally a man at his wit’s end. And, and, and I finally found it, or excuse me, I didn’t find that I finally gave up when I couldn’t find it. That day that I gave up. It was either later that day, or immediately the next day my phone rang. And it was a girl. Her name is Lisa. And Lisa said hi is Waleed there. First of all, I’m very private about my number. And and I was like yes, and she’s like Hi, my name is Lisa. I got your number from another mutual friend of ours, and I’ve been looking for your information. I just found that we have a mutual friend. My boss needs new photos for new book new projects new everything. my boss’s name is Bob Proctor. I didn’t even know Bob Proctor knew I existed in this planet. Okay, or on this planet. I didn’t Not No. Like, I had no connection to this man. And so, in the midst of all this, my students almost getting done. I was like, what I was just looking for his footage. And now his office calls me. And they’re based in Arizona. And when he came, I told my producer, Matt, I was like, go all out all out, like make him feel like a king, take out of my money, take out of any department money, make sure there’s beautiful flowers and like desserts and like just a beautiful thing, because I just, I was so nervous about this. And Bob came, so we shot some stuff. And the pictures are still being used. And they’re widely used still. And I was by the window of the, and maybe Isabelle, my assistant can send these photos, I’ll give her these photos to you. But I was by the window. And Bob and his partner, Sandy Gallagher, were in the hair makeup studio. And I was just by myself setting up the next shot. And Bob is a very airy, light, little walk, you know, like a much older man. And he walked up behind me, and he just put his hand lightly on my shoulder. And he said, You know what, lead I photographed with a lot of photographers in my life. And one of the other reasons why gave up too is because I thought I was no longer an artist, and my agent made me really feel like I hit it was gone, you know, that was just a machine. And so he put his hand on my shoulder, and he said, I’ve shot with a lot of photographers, and I gotta let you know, shooting with you is different. He’s like, I, he’s like, I’ve just the way you shoot, the way you see things, the way you direct things like I’ve never shot with anyone like you. And then and this was like in a YouTube video. So if anyone’s questioning it, this has been timestamp many times over and blogged and everything. And he said, I just feel you need to hear this. But you’re truly an artist. And so I had like this weird, perfect storm of like anger, I was like, I’m going to help these photographers, I’m gonna make sure that the industry never abuses photographers. But at this other time. At the same time, I was also manifesting literally, a one particular human being on this planet. And he called my office, and he came to my studio. And then he put his hand on my shoulder and said, You’re an artist when I thought I wasn’t anymore, so please, you guys, please don’t dismiss law of attraction and manifestation. That was really the main point of that example.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 37:40
Wow, that was a really great story. Thanks for sharing a long story. I get better at these nuggets. That’s great. And you know, like, sometimes when you shorten it, you kind of miss the, the whole sense of it. So I think it’s it was great. I love hearing, you know, a lot of photographers out there or? Yeah, I would say a lot of photographers stopped being artists, when they started trying to earn from their photography, right? I mean, yeah. I really don’t know any photographers who got into photography, because they want to make money because there are hundreds other photography, jobs or other profession that is much simpler if that’s what you’re after. Most of the photographers who want to earn money is because they love photography. They love how that makes other field through the storytelling and photography. And they want to do more of that. Right? Yeah. So I feel like an AI. Don’t get me wrong, I got there as well, you know, I actually hit a burnout. And that’s exactly it’s very similar to what you say is that I stopped being an artist instead, I was like about, you know, how do I make money, what people like, you know, what sort of photo photo that will give me the most likes on Instagram and so forth. So your message right there, I think it’s just very important that you should never forget why you started, why you get into this business, that you are an artist and that is the thing that you know, make. What you do is beautiful, right? So thanks for sharing that while he that is, you know, a lot of message behind that story and a lot of advice behind that story. That is incredible. Now. So, you know you have turned into you know, from being an artist to making being able to make money from it and doing basically a job that you love. And now you take that a step further to contributing to other photographers and empower them how Help them to, to be out there in the industry without being stepped on. Now, one thing that I’d love to hear from you is how do people value themselves and their work, because I feel like as an artist who cannot get into whoo hoo, trying to transition or even who’s been in the industry for a long time, as an artist, we love to get our story shared, we love to have our photography, you know, in this publication, and so forth and show our message and our vision to the rest of the world, right. And for that reason, I feel like a lot of us don’t take don’t value, monetary, monetary incentive as much compared to being exposed until we really meet the man and says, like, Well, man, I can’t really make money from this, you know, this is not working out. Photography is not a good profession and so forth. And I feel like that’s when a lot of people kind of give up. So going back to the question is, you know, despite all the feeling of wanting to share our work, share our story to more people out there, how do we value ourselves and say, Well, I do want to share this, but I also need to eat or also need a roof to live in? And how do you connect that to so that photographers who listening right now, whether they want to do it full time as a hobby or part time know exactly how to value their work? And, and sell as well as you know, offer their work to? Basically, you know, anyone like the audience out there?
Walid Azami 41:56
Yeah. Great question. Well, I went on, I lately have been going on a huge tangent about this. value yourself, because without your work, and it doesn’t matter if you do landscape or or commercial or portraits or babies or weddings, what have you. You can’t launch pretty much any industry without the work of a photographer. Okay? So it’s just not going to work. You can’t launch a world tour. Without the photos. I just like did something for Tiziano. Ferro, he’s about to go huge in Europe, about to go on a major world tour. That’s my photo. He released an album this last Friday, two days ago. That’s my image. He’s on Italian TV shows right now, with my images behind him. Amazon has massive billboards all over Italy, like building size ones that we can send you, you know, copies of those. That’s my image. You can’t do that without my work. Right. Now, let’s talk about what about the personal photography, because not everyone wants to do commercial, you can’t tell family history, you can’t tell future generations that haven’t even been born. If the photographer didn’t push the button and perfectly frame people. That’s your value. You can’t sell your grandma’s favourite recipes in your restaurant that you’ve been working over. And like, you put the kids to bed and you pay them and put them to bed and you feed them. And then you go and you work on this little by little perfecting the recipes. Without a photographer capturing those, the community will never know who you are, what the food looks like. That’s photography, that is the value of what we do. Now. We, you need to charge for that. Because what you’re doing is they’re not doing you a favour by calling you you’re doing them a favour by lending your talent. Now let’s look at okay, if you said a large percentage of your audience is landscape photographers. Imagine just the way you can represent a geographic area, the way you can represent places that people will go to like the amount of landscape photographers I get jobs with, let’s just say unique situations, tours, like wildlife tours, like boutique hotels that just like you can’t dress something you can’t sell an expensive home anymore. Without beautiful portraits on the wall. The image behind you is as beautiful nightscape with the Milky Way galaxy and all that that you want it to pay money for that and hang that up on your wall. I don’t know if that’s a wallpaper that’s truly your living room. So I just realised that could be a wallpaper but that regardless, it’s someone’s living room. And it’s like we do so much. And even if you do landscape like you’re literally selling serenity, your selling piece somebody wants to pay for your art put it up on their wall in their living room. They want to stare at it. They want it to be in the background of home videos and photos and everything. like that they want that art to be a part of their Christmas dinners and Ramadan dinners and Hanukkah dinners and everything else, you have a tremendous amount of value. The problem is that somebody told you a long time ago, that you can’t love what you do, and make money for it. And that is one of the most criminal things ever. And then to make it worse, you believe that to further make it worse, you choose to pass it on little by little by little by little complete bullshit. And if you think about it, you should be able to put food on your table, have money for retirement, a vacation, love what you do, and make an impact and enjoy a full time income from it. Because I would say this to any photographer. What if you hated your job? Like, what if you hated your job? And I don’t want to disparage any occupations? I won’t name anything. But we all would hate to do something, would you charge for it? And they always will say, Oh, yeah, for every minute that I’m there, I will charge for it. So why do you want to get paid? If you hate something? What? Why can’t you love something and get paid for it too. But people like me, that are yourself, you know, like with this amazing podcast, we can share our stories with you, we could tell you that we’re able to do it, we can tell you that we want to help you do it, like knowledge on us, but execution on you, you have to believe that you have value. And
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 46:35
that is incredible. I love a few things that you say but the one thing that really hits me is the fact that we do the things that we hate and we want to get paid for it. But when it’s doing the things that we love, we don’t seek as much and that why not? Yeah, interesting. Yeah. I love that. I love that. That is great. So, all right, so Okay, now, you gotta look at you, I suppose, you know, coming through what you just said that, you know, we have to kind of step back and realise, what is this false belief that we tell ourselves, you know what it was? Who told you a long time ago that you can make money from what you love? Which which what you said earlier right? Now, okay, let’s say we find that right? Okay, I know, there was this time and then okay, it’s not true. Based on you know, the story that you tell that it’s very true, you know, without photography, without artistry, life is boring, right? Everything is just black and white. It’s just a plain wall with nothing in it. Right? So yeah. So you value yourself you value or your art, your art. Now, the problem that I see a lot of photographers come across is that, okay? Well, you know what, I valued this an X amount of money, and then you go to other, you go to your customer and say, Well, this is an X amount of price, if you want to have this beautiful piece on your home, and they will go like, no, that’s too expensive. I was like, I could get an X amount of dollar, which is, you know, probably like 10% of the I could only pay 10% of that from somewhere else and you know, get the same amount of a feel, for example, and I feel like that is one of the problem that we come across in this industry is that we’re continuously being compared with something cheaper, and we that really take away our confidence, right before it’s like, man, like, I feel like this worth $1,000. But this guy told me that, you know, he only willing to pay like maximum $200. And you know, you saw it somewhere else for $200. How do you overcome that? And yeah, like, how do you go from there?
Walid Azami 49:02
Yeah, that’s a solid question. So how you overcome that there’s two things that’s going on here. And number one, you have not fully expressed your value to your client. Now you never want to say I am valuable. No. They’re they are saying to a particular person, I only want to pay $200 for this because in their mind, no, you say your 1000 but I think you’re only worth 20% of that you are acting like a heavily discounted item. Okay? So a lot of this is psychology. And I’ll talk about in I talked about this in my step Pricing course secret to easy photography, pricing, and it doesn’t matter what kind of photography you do, we break down what kind of like how you present your prices, what to ask the clients. How to analyse a situation. If they say this, you say that you know all kinds of scripting and everything your market value and all that. So what I would say number one is determine your value, it should be high, and then portray that to the client. So one example would be, okay, here’s an example. I will have a photoshoot on Tuesday. And the client was referred to me. She emailed me through my website, I got the email. And I said, amazing, I kind of vetted who this person was. And then I said, Would you be open to having a phone conversation? Because I don’t really just give my numbers out to anybody. And she said, Sure. And we had a zoom call. And I, I asked the questions that I teach in my course. But I also asked these questions. Tell me about you tell me how you want people to feel. Tell me about the goal of these images? Why are you doing it? Why did you not like the other one? What did you like about the past? Shoot? And what did you not like about it? And I built this entire thing, because I can’t price something for you, if I don’t know what you want. I’m not I’m not a vending machine where I’m just like, here you go two bucks. And that’s it. No, what we do is the photographers, you are luxury items, but sometimes you behave like a discount item. So pause a little bit slow down and really get to know them in the process. She said to me, while either I’ve never had a photographer, inquire this deep about what was important to me why I was doing the shoot. And it really, really made me think thank you so much. That right there. I didn’t have to say, hey, hey, I have value. Nope, I just displayed that in the kind of work that I do. Now, for example, if let’s just say there’s a big Airbnb, let’s just say it’s a mansion. And they have a lot of property and they want to bring a landscape photographer to photograph for them. You can just say, Oh, I mean $1,200 For that, well, what a disservice. Or you can say, what kind of clients would be there? Okay, what kind of decor Do you have? Like, what’s your colour theme? So we’re doing more of an evening light? Are we doing morning? What would the mood be is like hard sun? Is it like foggy? Do we want it to be songbird? We want it to be cheery, like all these extra questions, right? That raises up your value because they’re like, Oh, she or he is not like any other person that I’ve interviewed for this job. That’s the first part. The second part is that poor people hang out with poor people, rich people hang out with rich people. Both are wonderful humans. However, if you keep serving the audience that says I know you’re 1000 But only have $200. They have cousins who believe the same thing. They have neighbours who believe the same thing. They have friends and co workers who believe the same thing. You are going to get stuck in this. What is that thing of the ocean that goes in a circle? If you’re weak swimmer, it’s like a whatever. It’s like it’s not a title. It’s a it pulls you out. And
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 53:10
I know what you are correct? Yeah, that’s right. Yeah,
Walid Azami 53:12
yeah. So it’s like this ripcord that keeps pulling you out. Or even like a hurricane, it just keeps spinning around throws you right back into the cheap people, the cheap people, the cheap people. Now, they deserve great photos too. But let that be someone else’s problem. That’s not your problem, dear listeners, okay. But if you decide to serve an audience that really values, the time, the expertise, your artistry, they hang out with people, they refer people to you, that have the same belief. So if you have clients being now I know, you’re 1000, but I only have $200 $300, you are very much in the wrong circle. At that point, do everything you can to leave that little rip current that keeps pulling you in and go somewhere else. That’s easier said than done. But oh, you know, like a really short cut way of saying it is okay. Where would your client hang out? Where would your perfect ideal client hang out? If you’re doing let’s say landscape photography, and you want to sell $1,000 for a massive print, I would really want to be at the wineries you know, and taking pictures out there and letting these people that can enjoy these these little weekend getaway vacations. See you with a camera and ask questions and see the work. Put yourself where they hang out. You don’t want to go photograph outside of a Walmart parking lot.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 54:42
That is a great advice. And I love how you give a lot of example for people at different niche and I think that’s really cool. speaks a lot about what you probably you know, teach in your course because I haven’t taken it myself so I can’t really say to it, but yeah, that’s
Walid Azami 54:59
kind of what And over these landscape photographers?
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 55:03
No, it’s really good. Because yeah, like, you know, you really bring it back, you know, your celebrate photographer, fashion portrait, but you really bring it back to like, you know that. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what sort of artists, you are the fundamentals the way you think is the same, right? And I feel like a lot of people get really caught up on that. It’s like, well, yeah, like, you know, I don’t know if that works for me, because I’m a landscape photographer. And like, well, I don’t know, landscape photographers, are miniature photographers. And I feel like we we label ourselves. And instead of using that as a string, we actually use that as a weakness as an excuse. So I really love how you can merge all this together and say, Look, guys, it doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter what sort of artists you are, this still works. Right. So that is incredible. I love hearing that. And I’m sure the audience will get a lot of value for that. Now, one more question around around the pricing. Right. So excuse me, this is something that I also come across a lot. Is that okay? Well, while he, you know, it’s really good advice. I agree with you, I need to get out of this, you know, current and retired and I need to go to where my customer. Right, right. But the problem that I have is that I need that money, I need that money to put my next meal on my table. Right? I need that money to, to pay for the rent for the electricity. I, I don’t know, how long will it take to build, you know, all of this, right. And I know that that is one struggle that a lot of artists come through, they decide to bring their price down, they price down the price, the in hope to get that little money, just enough to pay whatever they need to pay. And I believe that is the origin of the belief that we are in that, you know, the broke artist mentality, basically. So what would you what would your advice? What would you what advice would you give to people who are thinking that way? And who are in that situation?
Walid Azami 57:28
Sure, I think that that’s important to say that is like the gateway to like, when it just starts spinning out of control faster and faster, and just keeps slipping out of your hand. And that’s how you buy really cheap cameras, everybody from photographers who have given up and you buy it used, okay. But I will say this, I don’t I wish I you know, that wouldn’t be the case. But that’s literally Hey, it becomes like a gravestone, or a graveyard of like people who gave up. Um, the one thing is, I will say this, if you’re a photographer, I don’t care what you photograph. Do not ever, ever charge hourly, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. In fact, when like in my step Pricing course, you also get like a year’s worth, inside this private Facebook group. I have told them that if I find out because I will Snoop because I do care about my students, that if I see you guys charging hourly, you’re out of the programme out? I don’t like it. Absolutely not. So that first of all, please don’t charge hourly, everybody. But what do you do? Well, I’ll say this. Sometimes you just have to put food on the table. And that’s your only choice. So you have to do what you have to do and take care of yourself and your family first. Assuming you have a tiny bit of a cushion, okay, you have a little bit of freedom to be able to try something new. I don’t, I would much rather you go deliver food for people and get tips. Rather than take cheap clients. Because it’s a very, very small industry. If you work in fashion, everyone knows each other. If you work in documentary, everyone knows each other. And all that once word gets out that you are the cheap photographer. Good luck trying to find your way back to the top. It’s kind of like in high school. We knew the people who were a boy, okay, we knew the people who were easy. And you can hook up with them if you needed to. And you know, the people who were like, Nah, they’re not that type of a person. It’s doesn’t mean it’s right. But it happens. And word gets out so fast. Everyone knows, like, you might as well get like this, like this tag on your forehead that says easy, cheap, free photographer, whatever. So don’t do. I’m just going to use just for round numbers. Let’s just say you want to charge 1000 And please, everyone charged more than that. But let’s just say you want to charge 1000 And you’re like I’m just gonna grab these $200 jobs and pay the bill. I wouldn’t much rather you go deliver food, go drive an Uber, because at least what you’re, what you’re doing is preserving your name and your brand in the market. Because once you’re the cheap one, good luck coming up, it’s nearly impossible. I would almost rather say rebrand yourself, get a whole different business name, or go to a different market, you can start high, and you can find reasons to come down. Maybe it’s a Christmas special, maybe it’s like, favourite clients type of special Valentine’s Day. Okay, and I’ll give you an example of how you can charge cheaper and still win. If that scares you don’t care what you do. Now, this might be a little harder for landscape photographers. But portrait, family, babies, engagement, modelling, restaurants food, do something called mini sessions. And mini sessions are such a stealth way of so many benefits. Okay, so let’s just say you have a goal of $1,000 per photoshoot, please, again, everyone aim higher, especially if you’re in the United States. But your goal is $1,000 Who’s going to trust you as a snoo photographer with their $1,000 as we’re going into a recession, so but you still need to grow your portfolio, you still need to grow your network, you still need to make some money. So what I would do is do mini sessions, Hey, you want to do family portraits, great book out at a time in a day and go to a local park and make it special for them. Bring bottles of water, bring your little boombox speaker play music have like little kits of like hair and makeup and hairspray and like the things that people do for their shiny skin that dab that paper, whatever it might be, have it fun, have some snacks, everything, make it an experience, people love to pay a lot of money for experiences. But instead of booking one client in one day and saying okay, I barely got one for $1,000. And that’s your whole day. Why don’t you do a bunch of mini sessions $400 each $350 each. And instead of one client, you try to fit like five or six. And you actually end up making way more money. You ended up getting more practice as a newer photographer, because you don’t have to manage somebody for like five hours, you haven’t for 45 minutes, you have way more images in your portfolio, because you have all these different faces. And you get to benefit from these people who so if if you were to take my family photo for $1,000 you hope that I put you on Instagram and I tag you. But if you were to put like eight 910 families there, at least half of them are going to tag you, you’re going to enjoy the benefits of their network and it starts growing. So invest in mini sessions. That also means that if they can’t yet afford your full rate, and they can only pay the mini session rate, then what happens is they get a little sample. It’s like an appetiser at a restaurant you get a little sample, and they will save up. They’re like oh my god was such a fun experience. We should do like a half day with a photographer next time, or maybe a full day. And that’s how you grow your business. So like a tactical thing that I would do that never charge hourly, ever, ever, and make it an experience too. But if someone doesn’t want to pay, you’re in the wrong audience, go get another job and treat that other non photography job as an investor. So I don’t care if you don’t want to drive people around in an Uber. You just say cool today I made $125 That’s the Think of Uber as an investor in your company. And now you can start saying, Okay, I’m going to now go sit at the expensive coffee shops and edit my pictures there so I can run into rich people. You can also find yourself a rich husband or wife that way to podcast.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:04:18
That is great. I love that. I
Walid Azami 1:04:19
love that how do people do it? How do people find their you know, their? Their sugar mama sugar daddy, they go to rich bars.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:04:28
That is funny. And yeah, that’s that’s what a great advice and you know, that’s that’s just I think that will open up a lot of objections, a lot of doubts that people have, and it just goes to show how much value keep on your course. Right. But one thing that I do, I’d like to kind of follow up on that. Is that, okay? You talk about this notion of okay, go to where your customer is. hang up your ideal customer, I should say, yeah, just your customer, you go to where your customer, your ideal customer hang out and appeal to them in a way that they want to be appealed to, right? Because that’s, that’s what like you can’t I think one way that you were, you put it earlier, it’s like you can’t, you know, dress all hippie and go to a high end place and try to sell people at the high end place for example, correct, right, you harassed to kind of walk the talk and basically be become one of them or you know, relate to them. Now, one thing that I like to get your, your response on is, once you do that, there is still this one thing that is difficult to break, right? To be able to put your work out there is trust, right? Well, yeah, they may come to you. And then you might you may be the dress and you know, walk the talk and talk to talk or whatever it is. And you go like, well, you know, I’m here and this is, you know, I’m looking fancy. And, you know, I’m this sort of photographer, but they look at us like, Okay, well, you know, have you ever sell, you know, for example, an art with the high end price? Or, you know, what’s, what’s the value and so forth? Right? How do they trust you? If you just got out of this riktigt you know, and you move into this? The people who just want to bring you down and you know, ask for everything for nothing to this place where people actually value your work. Right? How do you get that trust? And how do you get them to invest on you, and your art? For the amount or the value that you value your art?
Walid Azami 1:06:58
So, so that I fully I want to make sure I understand how do you get people to trust you with their money and their project and all that, right?
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:07:08
Correct. Oh, even if you if you just got out of this, like, you know, like, let’s because you say earlier, like, leave this thing that like, keep asking for more but doesn’t pay anything, you know, go find a different place. Exactly. Cheap town. Okay, we’re going into a new city. So but you’re nobody there. Right? You’re nobody there. So how do you build that trust? How do you get that trust so that people invest on it? Because you know, that first person who believe in you really going to open up the doors, right? That yeah, gonna become your portfolio, they’re gonna become your success story. But how do you get that first person to invest and belief in you?
Walid Azami 1:07:49
Of course. Well, here’s the thing, what I touched on a minute ago, which was many sessions, so you’re new in a market and you’re like, hey, normally I would charge let’s say, $1,000 or $500. For this quick family Christmas card photoshoot? It’s $150. Right? That’s a fast way. And like a small investment for people to be able to give you a chance. That’s the first one. And the second one. How do you get people to trust you as let them see your work? So walk with a camera? What like, like, people walk their dog, walk your camera, go to a coffee shop, put your camera right next to your laptop. Okay? Invite people for that. You know, they say like, Okay, if someone dresses very sexy, they’re inviting. Eyes to like, look at them. If someone dresses very intimidating. They’re inviting a judgement. So when you walk in, I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. I’m just saying like, it happens right? When you like, it’s kind of like the people that fly with their Louis Vuitton bags and like you are inviting theft for people to open your bags at the airport and start going through stuff. So when you go with a camera, you are inviting conversation. And people will ask, Oh, are you a photographer? No, I really have this giant thing for fun, you know, but and so. But people will talk and then they’ll see. Get out of the house. Get out of as artists we hide in these little caves. Like as artists if you disappeared sometimes your friends and family may not know for three days that you have been kidnapped. Because we don’t see the sun as much we sit in this corner and we stare at the monitor and we work and we work and we work get out and sit at a coffee shop. Go to a cafe and eat a little slower and do some work. Go somewhere. Go to a bookstore go like just be outside let people see you. If your ideal client let’s say you’re in a new year like okay, suddenly I’m the higher price photographer but what kind of photographer Are you? Are you As a family photographer, where do the families go? They you can be there too, and not be creepy about it, you know. So for example, let’s say there’s beautiful hiking trails by your house. And that’s where people like to take their kids and their dog and they go, you go there too, and you take some beautiful photos, just enjoy nature be just be present. People will walk by, and you will start having conversations with people. Okay? So put yourself again, in the space that they want to be. The second thing is Wait, the exact question was, how do you get them to trust you is? Yeah, yeah, is word of mouth really, really is important. You know, nowadays, we can have the world’s biggest stars say, Do you must buy this computer monitor? I don’t care. I want to know what the photographer with 700 followers says about this monitor. That’s what I really care about. So ask people in your life to help you. Most people. 1% are really terrible people, I will say this 99% of people are really good. They want to help you. They don’t know how to help you. So they don’t help you. Okay, so I’ll say that one more time. 99% of people are really good. They want to help you. They don’t know how to help you. So they don’t. If you were to actually ask for people to help you and say, Hey, I am new to the market. And I really want to get into photographing for restaurants in the area. Do you know anybody like that could really benefit from a menu revamp or reinvention of their menu? You’d be surprised how many people know somebody who knows somebody. Okay? Talk about it. Ask people how they can help you tell them, hey, you can really help me by connecting me with the HR lady at your office. If she’s doing all the LinkedIn portraits, you can really help me by connecting me to your mom group you can really help me by I don’t know like connecting me to three people in an email, ask people for help, people will help you and I know that this makes people like really freak out. Like I have that on my course we have a whole script of how you do it and what step and when, but it does help. I’ll give one more tip just to like make sure maybe you know different things help different people so a put yourself in their position walk your camera and be asked people for help. See, I guess is the mini sessions that really boosts your portfolio fast. A lot of examples, but maybe I can do a quick fourth one because I kind of promised something off the top my head I think you know what? You help people you know, I said, have people help you. You go help them? If you see so back on the example of Okay, so here’s an example. My friend used to have the world’s ugliest coffee shop. Not because she wanted that. I was like, Yo, the art here is so ugly on the walls. It is so ugly. It’s criminal. Like it’s like you almost want to call the police it is that ugly? Okay. But people would hang out there. And I would say hey, Camry your space is so cool. This beautiful little cottage people come here you’re near the university. What have you put like different kinds of art that does showcase that upscale the furniture, the the walls, the flooring, everything and it just looks more like a gallery versus like grandma’s old cottage. And grandma died five years ago, but you haven’t remodelled the cottage yet. Okay, and help people. And maybe like in that case, offer them some porch and say, Can we put this up on your wall, you can have my business cards on the side of your counter. If anyone wants to buy it, give them my card. Or, hey, I really really love your restaurant. Your food is so delicious. I’ve been driving by your store for four years. I’ve never wanted to come in because it didn’t like your advertisement isn’t there. I see that you’re a mom and pop business. I know that you guys are doing everything would you be open if I helped you one day maybe like photograph four of your main dishes and just give you something beautiful that you can put on Instagram and Yelp and things like that help that once the conversation starts good is infectious and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger. I know that’s like kind of woowoo stuff but that’s truly helped people and then the world will help you back
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:14:44
that’s that’s I think you know like that is so important. I love how you share that last bit and because help people is you know when you it just takes me back to the Bill Gates story right how when he used to be broke, you know, he, he helped out and and he always say that, you know it does if you don’t offer a hand when you’re struggling, you’re not going to help people when you reach when you make it, right, because that’s the nature of it. So, and you know, karma always came back. And you know the other story about always I think Tony Robbins use this story of how he gave like, money to this, to help out this person. And during the hardest time he he was he needed that money, but that person can go and compete back. But in the end, Something opened up, you know, at that exact moment that he needed the money he actually get more than what he gave up. And, you know, there’s a lot of other story that you know, I mean, whether you believe it or not in karma, you know, if you do good, it’s, it’s natural, that good will follow your way. Right. Exactly. So I really love that that. That advice? Well, um, well, it’s been incredible. Thank you for being here. Usually, I would ask my audience or sorry, my guess, you know, what is the one advice that they would give to the audience, but I feel like what you just gave right, there is such a good advice, unless you have any other advice that you want to give.
Walid Azami 1:16:32
Number one will thank you for having me on, and your podcast, thank you for having this podcast. Because I, you know, it, this is all part of that positive wave of helping our peers and all of us because like, when you do better, I will do better. And when I do better, the next photographer does better and we rise up together, right, or we think together, too. So I appreciate that. I guess you know what I will just say one quick thing is it’s cliche, but edit your circle, more than you edit your photos. So I’m sorry, if if your friends are talking about other people, you’re not going to go very far. Like, truly watch your circle, you’re not going to go far, if you hang out with people who don’t dream big, who don’t scare you, because they’re like doing something amazing. And then it makes you step up. And if you hang out with crappy people, that is your future, like it is 100%. So it’s cliche, it’s nothing new. But I swear by it. If somebody in your family, somebody that is blood, somebody that has a coworker, or neighbour, if anybody diminishes your goals and your dreams, you don’t owe them an explanation ever, ever, ever. You can step away silently, you don’t have to announce it. You Your only job is to save that child inside of you that still wants to create and treat that situation like you’re helping a child, get yourself get that child out of immediate path of danger. Anyone that would like what would you do if someone is telling a kid, you’re dumb, you’ll never make it. This is stupid. Like it’ll, it’s just unrealistic, you would move that child out of that situation and tell that person to stop, you kind of have to read now you’re not kinda you absolutely have to do that for yourself. And just watch people’s energy, like people say a lot of things. And then at the same time, if people are really, really supportive of you, then keep them near and, and match that energy to so you got to like feed them and they’ll feed you back and forth, back and forth. But cut out the haters let them let them go into like hater Ville, by themselves and disappear. Don’t care, family, friends, neighbours anyone?
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:19:01
I’m so glad that you give that last advice because that is so important. You know, like, it’s been proven that we are our environment. You know, the way we grew up the way who we become is because the environment that we’ve been put through. So it’s 100% True. So, you know, it’s all love. I love how you say that because I feel like I used to be there as well. And I know the feeling of like attachment to your family and friends. And you know, I think he just had a little bit to that you don’t have to get rid of them completely, but just manage the exposure to them. Right. So that is such a great advice. Wallet. I’m so happy to have you here. You know, it’s been a great conversation. I really enjoyed this. And prior to this, I really don’t know you kind of reach out and I was like, I don’t know who this is. But you know, this always this is why I put down the podcast it’s I just love getting to know people and getting to understand their story and their wisdom and their advice that they can give out to the world. So you’ve done a lot of work, you’ve done a beautiful photography, you know, for artists and also projects for different famous people celebrate these as well as you know, your personal project. Now, for those of for those people who want to get to know you better, or want to get in touch with you or want to find out more about you know, this course, what is the best way to find you?
Walid Azami 1:20:42
Um, you can always, you know what, Instagram, you can find me on Instagram, while he does me, you can always send DMS, I do get to all my DMs. I just think it’s rude when you ignore the DMS. So I do get through all of them. I do respond to all. And then from there, I can guide you to like, oh, you know, that would be on my YouTube channel, or that’s like a paid course or that’s this blog post. Yeah, them and, and it could be any kind of photography. And it could be any stage of your career. So definitely open to all kinds.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:21:15
That is incredible. Yeah, we’ll put all the links on the description. If you want to get in touch and find out a little bit more about what Waleed is doing, as well as how well it helps other photographer and artists, you know, to get out of this starving artists mentality, which I believe is very important. So thank you very much. Well, it for today, it has been a really good conversation. You know, I always tried to cap it on one hour. And I know we go over a little bit. But there is so many more questions. Yeah, no, of course, there’s so many more questions that I’d love to that I want to ask you. So you know, perhaps, you know, sometime in the future, we’ll get you back. But I really appreciate your time. Appreciate all the wisdom that you give me as well as the audience, as well, as I appreciate, you know, your positivity and you know, the positive vibe that you bring to this conversation.
Walid Azami 1:22:13
Thank you very much. Thank you. I actually had a really well, why don’t I say actually, I had a really good time. I’m very conscious not to say that I said, I had a great time. Thank you. And and my assistant is about found I said, let’s find the best podcasts so we can go visit. And you know, and yours definitely was right there on that list. So I’m very thankful to have had this opportunity to
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:22:38
do that meant a lot. Thank you very much. Wiki hunters. Thank you for being here. Thank you for tuning in for another podcast. Hopefully you listen and apply what you have to learn today. And you know, even though this was a conversation, Wally, I have given a lot of wisdom, a lot of advice on what you can do if you do want to make your money, when you want to make money out of your art. Whether you’re doing a hobby part, you know, part time or full time and you know, it’s it’s only knowledge is only a potential power. And only it only become your power when you apply. So make sure you you do what what I have told you, right. If you want to learn more about what he does to help more of you out there, then please do check out the link on the description. But with that being said, you know, we do this every month, every week to get other artists into the podcast. So if you do enjoy this conversation, please do leave a review so that other people who are looking for wisdom, inspirations and who are hitting the brick wall and burnout can get out of it through some of these inspiring stories and advices from photographers all around the world. Well, with that being said, thank you very much for being here. Keep creating, keep being creative and go out there and shoot. I’ll see you later.