|Interview with Travel Writer and Travel Photographer, Jerome Shaw on Job Shadow|
Interview with a Travel Writer/Photographer, Jerome Shaw
Read as acclaimed writer and photographer Jerome Shaw talks about his career as a Travel Writer and Photographer. You can find him at the links here or on his Twitter feed in the sidebar.
What do you do for a living?
I am a travel writer and photographer. I also teach photography workshops in Colorado, Utah & New Mexico and develop & lead tours and workshops in Cuba, Fiji and Europe.
How would you describe what you do?
Travel Writer and Photographer: I develop story ideas about travel destinations and travel to the location to produce photography and gather information with which to create a travel article package for publication. Most of my writing and photography product is now consumed by online publications. Ten years ago it was predominately published in print magazines and newspapers.
Photography Teacher: I conceive, design, set up, market and conduct photography classes and workshops here in Denver, Colorado as well as in travel locations in the Western USA and internationally.
What does your work entail?
I am a one-man band. I do a bit of everything; from marketing and advertising to accounting and collections to website design and social media. And, now with digital photography I also perform many of the post-production photography services on my computer that my photo lab used to do for me.
All the while doing what you’d expect from a writer – writing, and from a photographer – photographing. When you are self-employed you wear many hats during each day.
What’s a typical work week like?
There is no “typical workweek” for me. Every week is different. Some of things I do consistently are answer and send emails, administer my blog and website, post to social media accounts, make travel arrangements, keep up with developments in both the travel and photography industries, read press releases, attend PR functions, call on clients and prospective clients, and manage account receivable and accounts payable. Occasionally I travel.
When I am not traveling I do try my best to keep regular hours. Though, that can difficult when I encounter high work volume and short deadlines.
I am sure many people are surprised that I spend more than half my time not doing any travel writing or photography. I was certainly surprised when I first became a photographer just how little time I actually spent behind the camera. While the advent of digital photography has changes some things it has not increased the number or hours I spend actually working with cameras but it has increased greatly the number of hours I spend on the computer.
How did you get started?
I started as an amateur photographer at age 12 entering 4-H completions. In high school I worked on the school paper & yearbook, and did small local photography jobs. I attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. I have Bachelors of Fine Art with an emphasis in still & motion picture photography and three-dimensional design with a minor in art history. I also accrued enough hours in business and law courses to have a minor in business but art majors are required to take their minor in art history. From there I expected to become a well-known fine art photographer in a few months after graduation and be represented by countless galleries and museums … but that is not how it worked then or now.
After graduation I moved to Aspen, Colorado for what was a to be a 6 month break between undergraduate studies and a graduate program at UCLA or USC in film. Fortunately or unfortunately I found work as a commercial photographer and as a sound engineer, still photographer and assistant cameraman for a film production company. Five years later I left Aspen without a graduate degree but with a lot of experience. I moved to Denver and continued to work as a commercial photographer in the ski and adventure sports industry.
I was fortunate to get several jobs that entailed travel: shooting swimsuits in Hawaii, airline brochures in Mexico and as part of 4 man crew working on a adventure travel television series entitled “Sir Edmund Hillary’s World of Adventure” that eventually was picked up by the Discovery Channel. The television series took me from New Zealand to Greece and from Alaska to Peru. The travel bug had bitten me hard. I was hooked.
During most of my early work for travel publications I was the photographer in the writer/photographer team. I enjoyed being able to concentrate on photography while the writer did the research and gather information and details. Soon though, I noticed that when only one person was invited on travel assignments it was NOT the photographer. I began watching how the writers I worked with gathered material. I often saw the first draft through the published article, which gave me great insight into the writing process. I began to teach myself how a travel article was created start to finish. I was also involved in the marketing of the article/photography packages and learned that side of the business too.
For the past 10+ years I have been both writer and photographer on 90% of my jobs. While I still do enjoy being able to concentrate on only the photography portion of the product, when the publication and budget allows, I have come to enjoy the writing as much as the photography.
Read the full interview on JobShadow at: http://www.jobshadow.com/interview-with-a-travel-writerphotographer/