Great Day in Philly (Joe McNally talks and I listen… Why? Why not!)

Joe & Rich


I spent the day in Philadelphia watching and listening to Joe McNally. It was an amazing day to say the least. I have been to many classes and seminars and honestly Joe was by far the most interesting and creative photographer I have met to date. I’ve read his books; I have followed his work for years and have sat through just about every one of his online courses, so it was very refreshing to meet him in person. Amazingly enough when they called for “lunch break” everyone cleared out quick to run across the street to the Reading Terminal Market for awesome food, but I stayed behind and talked with Joe and his assistant. Great conversation for sure and after lunch I watched him work his magic first hand. Most people can’t really get a grip on where the man is coming from and some photographers have no idea who he is.

I have dedicated a lot of time to learning this craft and it has been a journey that keeps going. While most people will go on Youtube and watch hours of photography & Photoshop tutorials posted from obscure “wanna-be” photographers, it really is sad that they miss the point of looking at the greats that have already traveled the road and lived the journey. I talk to photographers all the time and one of the first questions I’ll ask when the conversation gets deep is; what’s the most recent photography book that you’ve read? Not a “how to” book, but a book written about a photographer or by a photographer about his career. There are some amazing photographers that have a wealth of information and I want to know and hear their stories. Stories… in my opinion this is where the real information comes from, it is not about camera settings or the latest software or camera gadget. But rather it is about listening or reading about how somebody like Mr. McNally sets up a shot, to hear him talk about his thought process of setting up a fashion shoot and then in the next minutes he is explaining how to deal with a large national ad campaign and then he’ll move on to how to deal with the everyday person. This is the kind of information you’ll never find on YouTube or a blog.

Plus today was a double win, not only did I get to meet and talk with Joe McNally, I also met a really interesting automobile photographer and we had great conversations. Turns out I knew a friend of his… small world as they say.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

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