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Advice For Graduates That’s Advice For All Of Us | Chase Jarvis

By Kishore Sawh on June 27th 2016

It’s been cap and gowns everywhere for the past month as graduation season comes to a close. At various levels of education a new breed of creatives emerges, feeling accomplished and ready to make a mark.

Sort of. Maybe.

Actually, graduates from creative programs, the ones who have matriculated through creative curriculums and coming out with an arts degree on the other side are often highly uncertain about their future and prospects. Now that the supportive and protective cocoon of a school’s hallowed educational halls are no longer there, the deficiencies of a strictly scholastic education really begin to show. After all, schools don’t teach you how to be an adult, as much as they teach you how to be a student. As such, fresh grads are all going to be facing a similar predicament: What now? How do I live?


While there is no shortage of advice out there for new grads, for creative grads practical advice from those who really know the working gears of our industry and market are the ones to listen to. People like Chase Jarvis. Jarvis himself was, after all, faced with a dilemma many creatives know all too well. He was aspiring to be a doctor, going to Uni on a sports scholarship, then decided instead to get a PhD, and left that halfway through to pursue photography. He knows first hand what that uncertainty is like, and what’s required to ease it.

You’ll find Chase addresses 3 main points of focus in the video within. Throughout the 5 minute, frank and candid, hard-hitting video, myths are dispelled, and earned-wisdom is imparted by way of advice, all in the hopes new grads will listen, and act.

Interestingly, however, what Chase has to say here has so much bearing for anyone looking to get into a creative field, and not just grads. Here are the Cole’s Notes:

Be Great At Your Craft:

Understand that your education doesn’t stop when you graduate, and the continual growth and honing of your skills is absolutely necessary to stay relevant much less succeed. While you are now faced with the trappings of adult life, and there is much to be learned, you must still focus on your craft and make sure your fundamentals are solid – if they’re not, nothing else matters as much.

Learn the Business:

Get a grasp on the fact that even if your craft is solid and consistent you must learn the business to succeed. You must understand selling and reframe it so you understand it’s not a bad word, and oh-so-necessary.
*This is probably the most critical component of what Chase is saying, in my opinion, to those looking to get into photography.

Check out the SLRL Wedding Workshop if you want to see the details of how a successful wedding photography business is really run. Or stream it an all the rest with SLRL Premium.

Take Risks:

This is more for those of a youthful persuasion, but Chase stresses the benefits of using this time of less constraint and less responsibilities to do the things you’re unsure of, and take the chances you will be less prone to taking as time goes on. His words, ‘accumulating excuses’ is particularly poignant.

It’s all worth a watch, and the source is key.

[REWIND: Wedding Workshop One | Communication, Planning, & Happy Clients: 10 Ways During the Shoot to Build Trust, Confidence, and the Relationship]

Check our more wisdom from Chase on his blog here

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Callib Carver

    He always has something interesting to say, and he seems like a very passionate person. Doesn’t feel like someone who’s going to blow smoke up your rear.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Agreed. Chase, throughout the years has grown more and more frank, and I think it’s absolutely refreshing.

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  2. Daniel Thullen

    5:42 worth the time invested. Chase makes 3 very valid points. I especially like #3: “accumulating excuses.” How true. I’ll be putting Chase Jarvis on my blog list!

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Daniel, that was the point that stuck with me most. There’s this interesting dynamic between the moment you think to do something and actually doing it, and i my experience, the longer you wait the more reasons are found not to act. Accumulating excuses is precisely what it is. I would definitely add Chase to your list. He’s CEO of Creative Live and really always has great things to impart. As Creative Live is a partner of ours, I’ll try to continue to bring some of his best here. Cheers

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