Transcript: Giles Christopher, Media Wisdom Photography (Max#7)

Here is the transcript of the first part interview with Giles Christopher of Media Wisdom Photography. Giles draws on how he became motivated to start his own business offering excellent advice for others helping them to be successful in their own life and business.

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Welcome back to the Maximise Potential podcast, the podcast which enables you to maximise your career, business, and life potential through listening to a range of motivating interviews.

Welcome back to episode seven of the Maximise Potential podcast. Today’s interview is with Giles Christopher founder and owner of Media Wisdom Photography. Giles talks about the highs and lows of his early career with the movie and film business before moving on to discuss his motivations for starting up his own business. Giles is not only interesting, but it’s also incredibly passionate and articulate person to listen to. He gives a valuable insight into his approach to creating a successful business, career, and life. Plus, he introduces some great ideas for small business marketing.

So, Giles, thank you very much for taking the time to sit down with us today on what it is, thankfully, actually, on the lovely bright sunny Friday morning.

Giles: Pleasure.

Kevin: Let’s start off… You are a photographer. Why? What you love about photography?

Giles: This is something that started at a very young age. I bought a camera on my 13th birthday. Backtrack a little bit, my father was a very keen amateur photographer and he was in the film industry. I always watched and taking photographs because he was a good amateur. Every time I wanted to learn, I was told I was doing wrong. So for my 13th birthday I got my first film camera. It was a lot of shots of rhododendrons and the cat in the garden.

It was in the days of films where you would learn by your mistakes. You take the picture in three days later you get the results and the one we had done wrong. So next time, you tend to spend more of an effort trying to find out why you got that particular shot wrong. And, it kind of started from that is where my love for it started. I just took pictures constantly and I love to camp and polished it every night when I went to bed. Polish the lenses and saved up for other lenses and self-taught myself to a point. Until college town.

Kevin: It was full [indiscernible]

Giles: I had an early inspiration to be a wildlife photographer. My father used to take me to the wildlife photography expeditions that I used to love those. I think that is where it started from and I’m thinking how it would be in photography. I think as my career, my childhood and teen years went on, I started to realize that maybe being a photographer I couldn’t see how I would ever make it as a career.

School came along, and they started doing career talks for you and when I went in and said I wanted to be a photographer that was stopped straight away. Then they said it was wrong and that I needed a proper job.

People saw it as a bit of a fad and fashion. So I kind of went into the career talks in school and was talked into being a layout graphic designer because I was very good at art as well. It’s pretty rubbish at all the academic subjects. But I just loved art, that was my second thing and I used to draw constantly as well as take photographs.

That is kind of where it all kicked off really. I want to be in the art somehow, anything with imaging whether destroying or taking pictures, that is where I wanted to take my life.

So we finished up in high school, what was the next step for you?

Giles: I was drawn to the design side of it because career teachers could understand and push you into that kind of a career. I didn’t want to go into the fine arts side of it, so the idea was to go into a technical college. I learned a bit of product design and a bit of copywriting. While I was there, I had free periods like you do at college and are last in the second year I could take photography. Such up photography again. I was kind of a little bit frustrated because I knew it all already because I taught myself for eight or nine years, and those engineers. So, I was really pushed towards the graphic design. In the natural thing there was to take day releases and go often to graphic design.

Then, I thought that I should do architecture because I love graphic design, layout design. So, maybe drafting or instant architecture. What put me off there was the seven years in training that was required to be an architect. That kind of put a stop to that, being in your late teens you want to start working as soon as possible. I want to have a Porsche and a big house by the time I’m 20, you know how it is, and I’m still working towards it.

So the natural progression from college was to go into work experience. I worked with a big graphic design agencies and I was really sharpening pencils and making tea. And then gradually they would give me small layouts and drafting exercises to do. Quite often, it was putting the scales in the bottom of the drawings because you had to manually in those days. It was frustrating. So I went to see dad, who is working on a film at the time, the Lady Jane Grey. Basically, they were setting up a very big art department. Because you can imagine a film department that has a lot of historical references and things of that nature…

The draftsman said that he was looking for someone to come and work on this. So that was my first push into the film industry. That was secretly the thing about that for me to get into but I rebelled against it because I didn’t really want to go that route myself. There were too many bad memories as a kid of not having my dad around. But, I found that that was my first push into the film industry and I was thinking I would do the trap thing, and do this for a while, then I went onto another film. It was a very big, but I went into another film as an assistant to the art department. Sharpening pencils, making tea, and was very frustrated because I wasn’t taken the photographs.

Kevin: Were you still in college?

Giles: It was officially work experience, but unofficially I was ducking out of getting a bit of money.

Kevin: You are moonlighting!

Giles: Yes, and that was the lead up to photography again. Then, I left college and there was very little work around. It was the trend to be a graphic designer, and I’ve worked very hard to get work. I had worked on a couple of feature films as an assistant in the art department, so I found it was very hard to get work. Again my father stepped up to the great again and gave me a job in the production office as a runner. Which, being not a particularly admin sort of person, I found that very frustrating. You have to be very subservient and lots of guest stars and no sir, and can be photocopied the scripts 150 times… I was rebelling big-time. I do not like it at all. I did that for a film called death wish three. That was shot in London.

Then, I did a couple of small television dramas and pitch films. It’s a really couldn’t bear doing it anymore. I think I wound up firing myself. I would tend very surly and did not want to do it.

Kevin: How did your father react to it?

Giles: I think you knew all along that I wasn’t going to follow in his footsteps because I wasn’t cut out for the production office. I wasn’t prepared to do any of the things that you should do as the production runner. Like wash the director’s car. I had gotten a degree and I feel like I had done my penance by then.

On the way out, I ran into a chap who asked me what I wanted to do. I responded that I wanted to be a camera system to work with photography and he led me back into my father’s office and told him, “your son wants to go to the camera department to do something with photographer and we actually need something for film I’m about to start.” So off I went and became a camera assistant on a couple of feature films.

Kevin: Wow!

Giles: Yes, but it was almost like everyone expected you to be a silver service waiter. I thought this wasn’t really what I wanted to go to either, and I wanted to give stills. So I did a film called poor little rich girl which is very unknown, but has good actors. They took me to Morocco as an assistant which was very good.

Kevin: You were still in the early 20s?

Giles: No, actually I was about 20. I feel like I found myself there. I wasn’t earning money and I was getting very frustrated, so I did that on the movie camera side of it.

I scratched around for work a little bit, and someone offered me a break as a clapper loader on the Thomas the Tank Engine. For those of you who don’t know, you start as a camera assistant, and then you load the clapper. Naturally, that was where I was going. And then, I got a lucky break on Thomas the Tank Engine is a clapper boy. It’s it was a little bit of an anticlimax and the fact that you are not working with actors, but toy trains. And the clapper boards are about 2 inches across, in my head I saw this big clapper boards standing on the actors doing it, but it didn’t really go that way.

I did that for about two months and fill in for someone who couldn’t get into the production. And then they set up a protection about tugboats. There are was for a year at Shepherd and studios in waders, filming tugboats. It really took the Mickey out of me because it was a big dip in the film industry. But, it was a year’s work.

Then I had a very lucky break on Memphis Belle. It was an amazing film to work on. I then take history when I was in school, but to watch this while it was being filmed in being involved in it really opened my eyes.

Kevin: It was a complete blockbuster. Huge Hollywood cast!

Giles: I was going up every day in the B17s and B25s for 12 weeks and running around in P51 Mustangs. And during the day we would be up in Norfolk the air and filming dogfights. You get to operate a camera and sit in a plane looking out the window of the B25.

Kevin: I think you’ve just lived every boy’s dream.

Giles: It was even better on my 21st birthday. That actually gave me, they said I’m not working today is a clapper boy but this dress me in full army fatigues. And I spent the whole day is extra being a gunner. They knew I loved it so much. I was in the belly gunner outlasts about five minutes. I am okay with highs, but I do not know how anybody does that job, sitting in the belly of a plane in the bubble. You might as well paint a target on your backside really because that was the job that no one ever really survived from.

Kevin: I remember from the film that they said you had to be the smallest person… In the nicest possible way, you’re not quite the smallest person. [laughing]

Giles: [indiscernible]

Kevin: It was a bit uncomfortable because I was 6 foot then it was a bit difficult. Then they put me up on the top and I spent the whole day to shooting fake bullets and being filmed. So I’m kind of in the film, but not recognizable. It was very sad when it came to him because it was such good fun. I was thinking I really love this job and love what I do and getting paid very handsomely. Does the days in the film industry when the money was fantastic. So after 11 weeks I still have money in my pocket and living at home. I remember going and buying myself a brand-new gold GTI convertible and paying cash. It was fantastic. It was the equivalent of spending, most people, half of your salary on a car but I did it. Because you worked hard and again I was going in at five o’clock in the morning and leaving 11 o’clock at night and those were the days when no one was paid overtime.

After that I got a job at Robin Hood Prince of thieves. Our second unit. In the main unit, the dialogue scenes and the love scenes can go on a bit. And the second unit it is much more fun because you’re filming action sequences. So are your filming explosives, bombs, fireballs, and running around the forest and a castle with a camera filming the stunt guys falling from trees was fantastic.

I did that for about 12 weeks and made a very good friend with Kevin Costner. Use one of the pals who would call and come out with a single off her curry with Kevin Costner. It was a lovely town because he wasn’t known in this time. There was a film about the release called no Way out which she was in and it hadn’t quite got cinematic release in this country said he was unknown. He could actually walk around the country and enjoy himself.

When I finished, I got a break into television. I loved it! Everyone had taken the Mickey out of me because I was doing TV now that I had come from feature films. I had turned down a Bond film to work in pie-in-the-sky television series because I loved it so much. I got to come home and see my son every night, and see him walk, and give him tea sometimes. I was thinking this is what life is about because I’m getting my cake and eating it. I am working in the media industry and getting to go home at a reasonable hour and getting a relatively good wage at it. So I did that for six months and it went on for three series so I did a year and a half at it.

Then I did other television dramas that were really taking the Mickey out of me because they were working 16 and 17 hour days six days a week and pay me very little money. Pound for pound, I was earning the same as people at McDonald’s and it wasn’t where I wanted to be. The film industry was getting so Satcher was on the students coming in. No one wanted to move up. The other thing that was quite important was I have become very in demand as a focus puller even though the work really wasn’t there. There would be days and there wouldn’t be enough to pay the mortgage. So times got very hard.

I did get divorced over that time which was very sad because of the hours, and I just wanted to again really take stock of my life. While I was doing that, I went to work on Jonathan Creek is a focus puller. While I was doing that, I met my lovely new wife at the time. She was a production assistant and I was captivated by her because she was so organized. It was a good friendship for a good year and this girl is really great. I like her company, good fun.

And she had similar thoughts about the business that there wasn’t enough were going around as there used to be in a related change our lives. So, I started to think really seriously about getting back into photography which is deep down the burning in my heart that was my first true love. That is what I should’ve stuck with. So we both thought about it long and hard and how to get some equipment investments. That is how we started media wisdom photography and it was good.

We had gotten down to one waged initially, but we had control of our lives. Friends would call up and say, can you come over Friday night? And we will do was say yes. If someone called you for a job offer at night, and you said you couldn’t do it, you could save you could do it on Monday. I lost a lot of friends in the film industry because they call you up and see if you wanted to come out and you can’t because you are working. Then they keep asking me that you’re working, and they start to disappear. So a lot of my friends fell by the wayside in the film industry and I could rekindle his friends again.

It was lovely to call them and catch up with you. Now I have more friends than I ever had in the film industry which is lovely. I think that would’ve been a recipe for a lonely life as well if I’d stayed in a career. So now I have time to spend with my children in a business that I’m running with my lovely wife and getting paid for it, and seeing my friends. This is the recipe I would’ve wanted.

Kevin: What did it feel like when you got that first job?

Giles: I didn’t want the client to feel like I had done an experiment on them, but it was a bit sort of haphazard. But it all worked and I can get it going, postproduction took forever if I did anything. Then we went into a local company because we wanted to start local. There was a company called Massive Pumps. The end of our road in Hampton, that although top clubs. So we went in there. Having chatted up the owner and helped us get in the door. Obviously the owner was stressed because [indiscernible]

He said, I would love someone to take this off my hands and do the photography so we gave them a good quote. It was quite high, what we were charging per pub, but he got us down and we came to a good agreeable quote. So the next six months we did 350 pubs for him. I think I went around my parents house and did test shoots on rooms at how quickly do the postproduction. We do our own house just to make sure is a really slick module so that I wasn’t experimenting on his pubs.

Kevin: Post and ask about this balance between your inherent passion, something always considered a hobby, and now it is a business has to pay money. How did you deal with it internally?

Giles: Abbey is the answer to that. She reins me in. I’m one of these people that on my day off and holidays are going to the town with the camera at five o’clock in the morning the matter what I am and take pictures. I have to take pictures! It is a bit cliché to say that I live, drink, and sleep it, but I really do. I can’t think of anything else. When I get home at night time I sit and read photography magazines and am on the computer learning about trends in photography. I am sort of photography robot now this is a little bit scary because academics have suffered. I am terrible at writing letters now, I’m terrible at my spelling. But I love it because I get paid to do my hobby. But thinking of it as a business hard thing and I still struggle it sometimes with movie cameras and film cameras, I have so much to draw on.

Kevin: Yeah.

Giles: Having that experience, and going back to sort of 23 years experience, 25 years experience with movie cameras and film cameras, and I have so much to draw on them so much confidence that I don’t have any problem with a new job now. Whereas it used to be in the early days people would say can you come and photograph 16 people in a nightclub, I would be scared and ask about what nightclub do I use, and is a two door? Some of the pictures I took in the early days, the clients were happy, but as a technical aspect I was beating myself up about that.

I was one of these people that I did something I wasn’t happy with, even if the client was happy with the result, I’ll go back and practice and practice and practice until I got it right. It was a bit like a soldier, they say that soldiers can strip down their guns with their eyes closed. I can do that with photography now. I thought I’d go in a camera bag and recognize the right was by touch, put it on the camera, and know how many clicks it takes to get working.

Kevin: You’ve touched on something that finally enough was actually spoken about at length by a gentleman called Steve Davies who appears in the earlier podcast that we did and he spoke about the only way that he learns, the only way that he develops as a person was to throw himself to a level where he was completely uncomfortable. And then, haul himself by hook or by crook to get there. It sounds that you have a very similar philosophy.

Giles: I get a buzz by putting myself in uncomfortable zones. That is how we have succeeded as photographers. A lot of photographers have died out in the last three or four years with the recession, too many people doing it, how to go heroes, who get a camera for Christmas and set up a business, but they don’t think about things like insurances, consistency, make a careful note of the lighting so that when I go back I can read that lighting, all of those things that as a professional, I have been trained and watch another photographers doing us a become second nature to me.

Filmmakers as well to make careful notes of things. And also, working in the commercial business. You have this level of perfection that another industry has. I’ve done commercials where we filmed one handbag with 17 hours. But, it has to be perfect and the client doesn’t like it because the engine is wrong with a cucumber is wrong. The tape 300 or 400 sometimes you get to take right. And then they are happy.

Kevin: Is it that attention to detail in the search for perfection that puts certain people apart from others, personal or business.

Giles: Definitely! Has he says that we do. We get terribly upset if someone is not happy with something or something is not lined up properly. I go into a bar and photograph a row of 20 chairs, get the laser on the chair, and make sure they are sitting on the right point on the tiles. In all our pictures, you’ll sometimes noticed this almost anal perfection. Sometimes it causes too much time. When at the end of the day you’re running short of light, you think that you shouldn’t have spent all that time, but we aim for perfection. A lot of other photographers that have been brought up in this industry, like the commercial industry, where perfection is achieved.

Kevin: You somewhat someone who is possibly learning and seeking new sources of inspiration. Tell me more about that?

Giles: Inspiration… I have always been in awe of the big filmmakers. The David Lings. The decadence of waiting for light all day, like Lawrence of Arabia. A lot of Stanley Kubrick film of shooting an incredibly low light, so everything is very shallow. It’s probably the first time I saw that happen and I wanted to learn how to do that. So started to do that with my photography in those days. And Alan Hume, who I got to work for as a cameraman on the Bond films, was an amazing cinematographer. There are lots of other inspirations who I did Memphis Belle with.

Kevin: You’ve spoken about these different influences of people use taken inspiration from. Were some of the traits are you seeing from these people that you can empathize with and try to emulate?

Giles: One thing that does come through as they have a common ground which I think you have to have is a photographer and cinematographer. Or, to anyone who’s running a business. You have to have the sort of fine line between arrogance and confidence.

I think that is something that I’ve probably had to learn in the last four or five years. More than anything else, be more serious about business you have to instill the confidence to your clients that they then trust you. As soon as you start saying “maybe” you sound a little bit more experimental. Thing now is very much “we are doing it this way.” Sometimes clients turn up and say “We want to do it this way.” And I say that is fine but can we do it my way to because I have some ideas on this too. I would say 60 or 70% of time end up going with ideas that we have come from. Quite often they come from an academic and admin background and the comfortable world war we have done sometimes shoots like this before so we know what works and doesn’t work.

So I find this study in photographers and filmmakers is that one common ground if there is a farm on between arrogance and confidence and you have to really just push that. I don’t tend to do a lot of public speaking, I leave that to Abbey because she is better at that than me. With a background in filmmaking, web design, typographic design, I have all of these things I can pull on, so when people say, I want to do things this way, I can say, well that will work, but this won’t work if you do it this way, will it?

Kevin: I can imagine, going back to what you said earlier in the interview about your previous role, particularly in the film industry and how subservient had to be, did it take a while for you to shake that subservient attitude? And turn around to say that I am expert and I can offer you advice.

Giles: That was one of the hardest things to come across. Because, right up until since the server business has still been a subservient role, working under a few people. They all pass the buck down the line. [indiscernible] I have learned to be more sympathetic because of that because I have been through those were a lot of people haven’t been through those. They come out of university and college, straight as a cameraman or photographer. I think you need to learn a level of subservience just to be sympathetic to people who really aren’t that great.

So, with that you definitely feel like you’ve really had to push yourself with confidence because it is easy to take a back seat and get someone else to tell you what to do. That is one of the biggest things that I have to retrain myself about.

Kevin: How did you train yourself to do that?

Giles: I don’t get a lot of things out of networking, because I leave that to Abbey. But getting out there and selling yourself and realizing that you are putting your food on the table and not having to wait for the phone call anymore. Before I would sit there and go on holiday with what friends I have and would come back hoping that there would be a film to work on a couple of days here and there.

Now I’m having to fight for the crumbs on the table because there is a lot of competition out there. I think it was out of necessity because it doesn’t come as a second nature. Abbey has that, because she has grown up with that side being in production, learning how to sail on how to talk to people and being very diplomatic. She is much better at that than me.

As I said, I feel like I’m switching off certain sides of my brain which don’t do that. One thing I have kept billing as a confidence thing. So much so that now I’m thinking about putting stuff back in training. That is totally out of my comfort zone, being a teacher, and teaching photography and filmmaking. But there is a low standard of photography at the moment, and I think people do need proper training.

Kevin: Is at the level they feel like you are reaching within your own personal development? That you now want to start giving back?

Giles: Yes, about the same time last year, I thought I could still do shoots, I’ve got myself a name but it isn’t getting anywhere because I’m blending in with the other photographers in the area. They’re ridiculous amounts especially around London. There are good ones, bad ones, and people who are just starting out. There are some very good ones especially around this area, but they just need to be taught in business and the proper traditional skills of photography to really hone it up. So that was the driving force.

I was naturally sounding a little bit about sour grapes and I thought I really shouldn’t be saying this, she put something back. So one thing I thought about was that I had never entered awards and never entered any competitions.

So I’ve joined an Association of photographers and also join the master photographers Association. I joined SWPP, SICP, which are all industries of commercial photography. When I joined on, they push you into the competitions and so I entered five of them last year. I was totally gob smacked when I won all five! That was great and it was making me a little bit big headed. So I had to think about what I could do with it. I also won the professional photographer for the year competition. I thought I had to use this and harness it for something.

If you go into business with all these things maybe gives the client and confidence but it doesn’t achieve much more than that. It is a bit about having a credit at the end of the film in your name goes up in white dots but that is it. You have to play with this, so whether you use it as marketing, I thought that was a little better again and of course we all put in newsletters that we’ve won these awards, but the key thing is that what happens from this is people are starting to recognize me and wanting to have training.

Other photographers are calling me up for advice, letting of photographers asking what camera to buy and I’m thinking this is wasting a lot of time a week or month answering his phone calls so when I think about training I will definitely offer training to individuals or groups, but also want to start putting online what camera to buy and what you should be looking for Christmas presents and I want to do all that and save my time because taking calls on phone saves a lot of time of the month.

Suffer like I’m using the accreditations now to get the [indiscernible] but the next step is to teach. That does give you a lot of freedom because you are earning an income and you get the freedom to go into photography, but that is not what I’m about. I would rather still earn my main money from photography

Kevin: it sounds like one of than main reasons you want to get back is because it puts you out there publicly and that is the motivation to challenge yourself to keep yourself pushing your boundaries so that you can then impress other people with your knowledge and help foster their knowledge.

Giles: Definitely, in this country… I have visited America and one thing I noticed is that they come back with this absolute confidence. As much as I don’t necessarily agree with everything in America, one thing it does teach is the will to win. I’m just thinking that we don’t have that in this country. We very much play yourself down to your not that good and everyone says that in this country. I am thinking, but I do see a change in this country about selling themselves and they are very good. But I’m thinking I’ve got to start pushing that. I’ve got to start using the awards I’ve got and the people that want to know, I have to start using that to elevate myself above the competition.

At the end of day, around this area, even though I am about the youngest I have the most experienced the started at such a young age that business. It is lovely when you have people that are 60 and 70 and being photographers and want to have learned from you. It is lovely that they can recognize that come from their world. Also come from the new world of digital so I can talk on both levels. Also with the digital SLR to shoot high-definition film which is great because apples back on my filmmaking career. There’s a lot of people that go on YouTube and put in filmmaker and there is a lot of sites on it.

They’re just shooting test movies and having doctored scripts and a good background orca training so I’m thinking this is a natural progression to teach as well how to get these amateur filmmakers and teach them filmmaking skills. So much so that we set up a new site or company doing filmmaking as well. I feel like I’ve been away from our long enough I can start going back into it and I’m thinking that this is another thing I can offer because there is this crossover. You can’t be both at the same time because one would be compromised, but I do think that you can shoot a video shoot or a still shot on the same camera which is amazing.

Kevin: That is in the business that you have called video wisdom?

Giles: Yes, video wisdom.TV. We have a lot of friends have done one minute pitches and presented themselves in front of the camera. The problem is, if you put that on their website in that quality it is your business to the service. So we thought let’s do two video days a month and we will set this video was the website and it will just be for video presentations. So we are not competing with other corporate markets and we put a budget now where people can keep coming back once a month.

Everything is very easy and it makes it a very relaxed atmosphere; it is becoming incredibly successful and now we are filling every day that we do it we are filling the days up with appointments. We do six per day maximum and it works fantastically. Now we have teamed up with an acting coach who does projection and presentation skills who trains up here in this room. But half an hour with him before them, and that is an extra charge they learn acting skill and then they come down to their video presentation and the couple people that we have had to do that say it is fantastic!

There was a lady in the middle of the week who shall remain nameless but she was very very shy and wasn’t sure she wanted to do the video. She decided that she wanted take yourself out of comfort zone into the active coaches began with a video and she is amazed with the end result. She can’t believe it is her and all the hits on the video have been hurling herself. She couldn’t believe it was pain. That’s one thing is the confidence gives and professionalism in the business. And they were going to start to incorporate with a portrait package so they can have this whole social media thing done. They can have the video, the still, and acting training as well.

It is becoming pretty more successful than I wanted to be because I wanted to take away from the photography I’m just worried that I’m going to go back into that and go away from photography but I do see a big crossover where they can both work at the moment.

Kevin: So let’s just begin to finish off now but let’s finish off on the area do you just touched upon which is helping SMEs and local businesses to take themselves to the next level and improve how they perform. You are a local business, but you’re now projecting yourself as very much a national business. And very much a national and international expert.

What would you say to local businesses in and around the Waterton, Sheperdton, and Thames area? How can they propel themselves to the next level and differentiate themselves from other people out there who are doing the exact same thing as them?

Giles: My feeling is the first to have this gut feeling. If you go with your gut feelings and that that is one of the important things. You think maybe I should do this. Give it a go, try it out, do little but training is but a little bit of money to try out. See if it works and if it doesn’t work affect how you were and tried again we feel it the next time. Keep trying yourself, testing yourself and putting yourself in the training courses. Definitely keep thinking about things that you can offer your clients. Take yourself out of that comfort zone and every week to one thing that takes you out of your comfort zone and business. That is kind of how I think I roughly worked my mind.

Every week I’m finding something on testing myself the next level. I think that is the most important thing is to keep testing yourself, I guess testing your staff to. And that is how you get the best out of people that you work with. We’ve tried to do a lot of our stuff and house, and we started to realizebut there are some good photo retoucher’s around here, video editors, and networkers. So recognizing the skills of other people whether you are freelancing or using third-party people are using people in your company, I think if I was working in a permanent business and I was, let’s say an much.D. Of the company, I would love to know the skills of employees I have apart from what they do on their daily work. I would love to know what other things they can do because you never know when you’re going to calm them.

Through those ideas, you can come up with quirky things that will set your business apart. We tried to quirky things all the time and sometimes I have a little bit too quirky and you have to reign them back and then sometimes I wish I’d gone with a quirky idea because it really would work. I was thinking that is the thing is to keep testing yourself.

Kevin: I think you’ve already answered which would be my next question which is how do you maximise your own potential on a daily basis? I think you just answered that.

Giles: I think it is testing but the hardest thing was running a freelance business especially with this weather is that you can get lured away too quickly. I have a gentleman downstairs runs electrical department who asked me to come to the pub lunch today and it was like I wanted to say yes and I wanted to go, probably will go, but my gut feeling is that probably will have to come back at certain times. That is the hardest thing to do when you run your own business is to set yourself that regime everyday regime.

I’m one of these early birds that is up at 430, 5 o’clock in the morning and I put in my research and development time before I go to work. I’m a bit of a cyclist sometimes in the morning and I tend to row but then I would come back and spend a little bit of time at the computer doing research and development to learn about youth trends things I can try.

The other day I tried this new wacky idea about this video compositing special effects. It took me two days to sort of work this thing out and I just thought it was to confiscate and it was going to take too much time but I got a little insight into that business and I thought it was a seed. It is a seed that is in my head now and I’m probably going to put myself I’m a seminar and learn about this stuff. But, it could lead to another level of photography that will set us apart from other people. So I tend to always try and bend the rules of photography, have brackets made, things that people couldn’t possibly do with cameras.

Not just to test myself within the rules of equipment that I’ve gotten the people that I’m using. We seem to only tend to ask third-party suppliers but what about things that are people in our business can do as well? So much so that we have actually just apply to Kingston University for graduate possibly starting at the end of the year. But we’ve asked very much for graduate postproduction editing because it will be an asset to our company. They will come along and see what we do and what skills the table as well. I guess that their ultimate goal is for them to get a placement with us.

It is a bit scary for us to take our permanent member of staff, considering what about freelance. I don’t know how to work it and considering it might be a contract basis. But it is something that we are thinking about the will maximise less to go into more things rather than get bogged down. It’s like a time slip. You sit on the computer and think I must just do this and then it’s four hours later. But as well as a lot of my time is just trying new things and I need to sort of farm that out to other people.

Kevin: From what you’ve spoke about the last 10 minutes it sounds like like that has become a real core area of your personal development which is understanding where your value should be spent.

Giles: Definitely.

Kevin: And then what you can outsource as a result of that. We’ve spoken about the people you’re now networking with and the skills that you’re trying to acquire externally. How have you seen that impact your productivity and your business?

Giles: Definitely. The networking and things I didn’t see as an asset at first. But the biggest thing we got out of networking, both Abby and I, is knowing that other businesses both of the same pitfalls that we do. We have had downs. The recession didn’t hit us but we had a very quiet couple of months. All of our clients went on holiday last year that is what it felt like June or July was very quiet. We were very down about it because we went to a couple of networking events and lots of people are having the same problem. It is because more people holidayed last year than have holidayed in this country. So there were a lot of people who went through the same issues that was so comforting to know that we weren’t the only business having that.

So what if we got that out of the business of the fact that other people go through pitfalls in quiet times. But also, and going towards the network we’ve learned other things from other people. We’ve actually probably employed several other people from networking. Not employed as in staff, but employ what they do and one of them in private medical healthcare we never thought we could afford that. A local lady does that and it was fantastic and made it affordable for both the spirit and believe McCain is a reasonably! We’ve taken an account training lady that we’ve taken on as well for networking and various other people. Even someone replacing some things are house having a roof fixed. But because they do their pitches and not tell what they do with such confidence, just what I was saying, we trust them. Another missed friends and colleagues through networking announcement address in the campaign accusing anybody else.

It is lovely because now they’re going back to us and asking for a video presentation about themselves. It’s a big circle that goes in and is learning to use of the people and the people skills which is what networking is really giving us.

Kevin: Giles, I think we carry on talking about this all day. You’ve already thrown up a number of wonderful ideas into the future podcast if you would like to come back. I would like to thank you for your time and I look forward very much to have you back on our show in the future.

Giles: Definitely. Thank you.

Kevin: Thanks Giles.

So, that was Giles Christopher of media wisdom. As always, we have plenty of links on the website for you to view Giles’ work and learn more about photography awards that he has won plus the business networking groups that he has found so beneficial to the development of his company.

And remember that we welcome you to post questions and suggest interviews to us by connecting with us on Twitter at maximisemylife and thank you to our podcast sponsors the Jenrick Recruitment Group and Xerxes music. On that note, I’m going to leave you with the selected works from the two album and the track is called H2O.

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Thanks for viewing the transcript of part 1 of the Media Wisdom Photography interviews. Follow part 2 of the interview (Max#8) of the Maximise Potential podcast and take your next step towards maximising your own potential and being succussful in life.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Tom Burkinshaw, I co-produce the Maximise Your Potential Podcast and Website and my goal is to help as many people as possible be successful in life, careers and business, by offering free coaching and mentoring through a series of unique interviews from inspiring people who all display exceptional self-belief, mental toughness and desire to achieve. Thank you for taking the time to visit Maximise Your Potential!