The Power of Redoing Interviews: Enhancing the Message of Your Storyline

Have you ever stumbled upon a groundbreaking way to improve the message and quality of your storyline during an interview? I certainly did this week while in Moldova, and it involved the simple but effective act of letting my client redo their interviews. In this blog, I’ll share my experience and how this unconventional approach was a game-changer in crafting compelling narratives.

The Genesis of the Idea

It all started a few months ago when I interviewed a doctor in Atlanta for a video project. At the time, I thought I had captured all I needed, and the interviews were ready for the editing room. To save time during the production phase, I decided to show the footage to the doctor, essentially giving him a sneak peek of how he came across on camera.

In parallel, I conducted another interview with a different person over Zoom. Interestingly, I didn’t record this one, but it still served as a valuable practice session. Little did I know that these initial interviews were just the tip of the iceberg and that I was about to uncover a unique method to enhance the narrative.

My video results from Moldova

The Power of Self-Reflection

What I noticed during this process was that the first interviews were, as expected, somewhat spontaneous. When individuals are interviewed for the first time, they tend to respond with the thoughts that immediately come to mind. However, once they had the chance to hear themselves and discuss the content in more depth, something remarkable happened. They began to reflect on how they came across in the interviews and the overall purpose of the video.

It wasn’t my questions that changed dramatically, but the individuals themselves. The act of listening to their own words and perspectives caused them to reassess and refine their responses. This newfound self-awareness allowed them to be more deliberate and strategic in their communication, resulting in a much more polished and practical interview.

Practicing for Perfection

Inspired by this revelation, I decided to take it a step further with a few other interviewees. I informed them beforehand that I would be interviewing them and encouraged them to practice beforehand. This wasn’t about rehearsing lines or memorizing a script; it was about becoming comfortable with the material and the message they wanted to convey.

When it came time for the actual interview, those who had practiced delivered outstanding performances. It was evident that their prior reflection and preparation had a significant impact on the quality of their responses. They could speak more fluently, confidently, and with greater clarity.

Authenticity Over Stiffness

One key aspect of this approach is that it allowed interviewees to maintain authenticity. While scripting and having individuals read from it can be practical in some cases, it often results in a stiff and rehearsed delivery that lacks the genuine connection needed to engage the audience. Redoing interviews with self-reflection, on the other hand, ensured authenticity while improving the overall message.

The Takeaway

The main lesson I gleaned from this experience is that, unless you are accustomed to being interviewed on camera regularly, conducting practice runs and providing interviewees with the opportunity to evaluate their initial responses is invaluable. It not only helps individuals think more deeply about their message but also allows them to hear and assess how others perceive them.

In an age where visual and verbal communication is paramount, ensuring that your interviewees have the chance to refine their responses is a powerful tool for crafting a compelling narrative. This approach enables you to capture the true essence of their message while ensuring that it resonates effectively with your audience.

So, the next time you find yourself working on a project that involves interviews, consider incorporating this practice. Let your clients redo their interviews, encourage self-reflection, and watch as the quality and impact of your storytelling soar to new heights. It’s a small step that can lead to a giant leap in narrative communication.

Changing My Photography Game with the Nikon Z9: White Balance and Metering Insights


In the ever-evolving world of photography, it’s not uncommon to adapt and change your techniques by introducing new camera models. One such transition for me was sparked by the Nikon Z9, a game-changing mirrorless camera that opened up new possibilities for my photography. In this blog, I’ll share how my approach to shooting has evolved, particularly in white balance and metering, thanks to this remarkable camera.

Spot Metering and Eye Tracking

Like many other Nikon DSLR users for years, I predominantly shot in Matrix metering mode. It was a reliable and versatile option, providing a balanced exposure for a wide range of scenes. However, my world shifted when I discovered the power of the Nikon Z9’s Eye Tracking feature.

The real game-changer for me was the realization that I could now effectively use Spot Metering, thanks to the camera’s eye-tracking technology. Instead of relying solely on Matrix metering, which assesses the entire frame, Spot Metering allows me to meter precisely where Eye Tracking focuses on people. This precision brings a new level of control over the exposure, ensuring that the subject’s eyes are perfectly exposed, even in challenging lighting conditions.

Working with Spot Metering is a breeze with the Nikon Z9, much like with Nikon DSLRs. This newfound precision has enhanced the quality of my portraits and expanded my creative possibilities, enabling me to create images with a unique depth and emotion.

White Balance Techniques

While I have significantly shifted my metering techniques, my approach to white balance remains somewhat consistent with my earlier practices. I still value the reliability of custom white balance, allowing me to fine-tune the camera’s settings to match the lighting conditions. This method ensures that colors are rendered accurately and consistently, especially in critical situations where color accuracy is paramount.

Following custom white balance, my next preference is to use white balance presets like Sunshine, Fluorescent, or Tungsten when the situation calls for it. These presets offer a quick and efficient way to adjust the white balance settings according to the predominant lighting source, saving time and effort in post-processing.

That said, I have also started to experiment with Auto White Balance more frequently, especially when I am moving quickly from one lighting situation to the next. This shift in my approach is rooted in my background shooting Color Transparency Film. When working with this film, there was no room for post-production adjustments. The goal was to capture the perfect image in the camera, and this philosophy has stuck with me through the years.

Less Time in Post-Production

The discipline of shooting Color Transparency Film taught me the value of getting it right in the camera, thereby minimizing post-production work. As a photographer, this has translated into capturing images that require minimal editing, if any, in software like Adobe Lightroom.

The combination of custom white balance, Eye Tracking with Spot Metering, and the advanced capabilities of the Nikon Z9 has allowed me to achieve this goal. With these tools, I can now deliver images closer to the final product straight from the camera. This not only preserves the moment’s authenticity but also saves me considerable time that would otherwise be spent in post-production.


The Nikon Z9 has not only elevated the quality of my work but has also redefined my approach to shooting. With the switch to Spot Metering and the continued reliance on custom white balance, I’ve managed to maintain the discipline of achieving near-final images in-camera. This approach saves time and honors the timeless tradition of capturing the moment as it happens, a philosophy deeply rooted in the art of photography. The Nikon Z9 has indeed been a transformative tool in my creative journey.

Creating a Drone Video Highlight Reel: The Art of Selection and Cinematic Transformation

In the world of videography, crafting a captivating highlight reel is both an art and a science. Recently, I embarked on the exciting journey of creating a Drone Video Highlight Reel, and let me tell you, it was a rollercoaster of creative challenges and personal growth. In this blog, I will walk you through the intricate process of selecting the perfect music, curating the proper footage, and giving your reel that cinematic touch.

The Quest for the Perfect Soundtrack

Choosing the right piece of music is often the first hurdle to overcome when creating any video, and my drone highlight reel was no exception. However, I wasn’t just looking for music; I wanted something to complement the mood I envisioned for my reel. My search involved carefully scrutinizing the volume peaks and valleys graphic along the timeline of audio clips. I knew this visual representation would help me find a track that synced seamlessly with the video’s emotional arc.

I steered clear of the over-the-top sports reel type of music for my cinematic highlight reel. Instead, I sought a composition to evoke emotion and transport viewers into a world of awe and wonder.

The Hunt for Hidden Gems: Selecting Footage

Once I had the music nailed down, the next daunting task was locating all my drone video clips from years past. Some were buried deep in my archives, while others had slipped from my memory entirely. This process reminded me how much I had grown as a drone pilot over time.

Selecting the proper clips from this treasure trove was a painstaking process. The first challenge was realizing that, like any artist, my skills had evolved over the years. There were early clips I cringed at, unwilling to showcase them. Simultaneously, it ignited a desire to push my boundaries and capture more dramatic subject matter in the future.

Syncing Sight and Sound: Editing

I used just one piece of music to bring my vision to life and dropped the clips onto the timeline individually. I meticulously reviewed the footage, paying attention to the visuals and the rhythmic peaks and valleys in the audio. This helped me identify the perfect moments for scene transitions.

Occasionally, I had to speed up some clips to maintain the desired pacing, but I never slowed anything down. This decision lent a sense of urgency and excitement to the final product.

The Art of Color Grading

For me, the most challenging phase of this project was color grading. This intricate process involves extracting the best color from each clip and applying a consistent color grade to the entire package. It’s like adding the finishing touches to a masterpiece.

I created an adjustment layer for the entire project and then applied LUTs (Look-Up Tables) to give my reel a stylized look. This step made the footage pop and unified the visual aesthetics throughout the video.

A Lesson in Nuance and Dedication

While I’ve been editing videos for 16 years, venturing into drone videography and creating a cinematic reel was a refreshing but challenging experience. It reinforced my appreciation for the art of video editing and the nuanced decisions that elevate a project from good to exceptional.

I could have easily handed this project to a professional editor, but I wanted to learn and grow. What I discovered is that it’s the subtleties, the fine-tuning, and the dedication that take your project to the next level. Now, I understand why editing a movie can take over a year; it’s not an easy feat.

In my case, I began my drone journey in February 2021 by obtaining my FAA Part 107 certification before even taking flight. The path from there to creating this cinematic highlight reel has been continuous learning and creative exploration.

In conclusion, creating a Drone Video Highlight Reel is a testament to the fusion of technical skills, artistic vision, and an unwavering dedication to storytelling. It’s a journey that challenges you to push your boundaries, refine your craft, and create something truly memorable. My advice to fellow creators: Embrace the process, revel in the nuances, and let your passion soar, just like your drone.

The Reality of Marketing as an Independent Visual Storyteller

In the dynamic world of independent visual storytelling through photography and video, one often hears about the creative aspects of the job—the beautiful moments captured, the artistic vision realized, and the stories told through the lens. However, there is a less glamorous side to this profession that is rarely discussed: the relentless and time-consuming task of marketing. It’s an elephant in the room that every independent visual storyteller has to acknowledge.

As a visual storyteller, your journey begins not just with capturing stunning visuals but with the intricate art of marketing. You must build your brand, attract clients, and create a reputation that separates you. However, the harsh reality is that despite your best efforts, most of your market audience may not be interested in your services. These are just the standard marketing numbers, and it’s a tough pill to swallow.

The time it takes for marketing efforts to yield results is even more challenging. It’s not uncommon for independent visual storytellers to invest six to eighteen months or even longer before clients start booking their services. This extended timeline can be attributed to various reasons:

  1. Timing Issues: Your marketing material might be exceptional, but potential clients may already have someone booked for their next event or project. They may express interest in your services but commit to working with you on a future project.
  2. Budget Constraints: Clients may love your work but must align their budgets with your pricing. Sometimes, this means waiting until they have the resources to hire you.
  3. Repeat Business: Building a loyal client base takes time. Clients who have worked with you once may be more likely to hire you again, but this relationship-building process doesn’t happen overnight.

This slow and often unpredictable flow of clients can lead to periods of “famine” in your business. During these times, anxiety can get the best of you. In these moments, it’s crucial to have a financial reserve that can cover your bills for at least six months. Financial stability eases your mind and allows you to focus on your craft and long-term growth rather than worrying about immediate financial needs.

On the flip side, there are “feast” periods when you become exceptionally busy, and the work is pouring in. These are the times when you can build a financial cushion for the leaner months. However, during these periods, you may find yourself overwhelmed and need help managing the workload efficiently.

So, why am I writing this? It’s not just for you; it’s also a reminder to myself. In those challenging times of famine, anxiety can indeed be overwhelming. But I’ve learned that the best response to fear is action. Instead of dwelling on what’s not working, focus on what you can control.

During the slow periods, invest in personal projects that you can turn into marketing pieces. Dive into your past calendars and identify clients who hired you at certain times of the year; check in to see if they have upcoming similar events. Stay proactive and keep refining your skills and your brand.

Remember that anxiety often stems from worrying about things beyond your control. While it’s vital to acknowledge your fears, it’s equally crucial to accept the limitations of your influence. Instead, channel your energy into making yourself better for your clients.

Ask yourself, “What can I do now that will make me better for my clients?” Are there skills you can improve, new services you can offer, or innovative approaches you can take? By focusing on self-improvement and value creation during tough times, you’ll weather the storms and emerge more robust and resilient as an independent visual storyteller.

Elevating Stories and Marketing with Drone Photography

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in how we capture and share moments, tell stories, and market products or services. Integrating drone photography is one of the most transformative innovations in this regard. Drones equipped with high-quality cameras have soared into popularity, and for good reason. They have revolutionized how we capture visuals, offering unique perspectives and a new dimension to storytelling and marketing. In this blog post, we’ll explore why drone photos are so helpful and why they are used extensively in today’s storytelling and marketing efforts.

Phipps Plaza is a shopping mall in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia. It is located at Peachtree Road and Lenox Road, adjacent to the Phipps Tower office building.

1. A Fresh Perspective

Drones provide a fresh perspective on familiar subjects. Whether it’s a sprawling landscape, a bustling cityscape, or a corporate office, drones offer a unique viewpoint that’s hard to achieve with traditional photography or videography. This fresh perspective instantly captures the audience’s attention, making it an invaluable tool for marketers and storytellers. Drones can capture breathtaking aerial shots, revealing details and patterns often hidden from the ground.

Youth With A Mission campus in Kona, Hawaii.

2. Visual Engagement

In a world inundated with content, visual engagement is critical. Drones create a visually stunning and dynamic range that holds viewers’ attention. Aerial shots, sweeping panoramas, and cinematic flyovers are visually appealing and emotionally engaging. They evoke a sense of wonder and captivate the audience, making them more likely to remember the message.

New construction at Village Park at Milton on Alpharetta Highway in Alpharetta, Georgia.

3. Versatility

Drones are versatile tools used in various storytelling and marketing scenarios. They are equally at home in real estate listings, travel documentaries, product launches, and corporate videos. This adaptability makes them an indispensable asset for creative professionals and businesses looking to showcase their offerings compellingly.

Real Estate in Woodstock, Georgia.

4. Cost-Effective

Drones are a more cost-effective option compared to traditional methods of capturing aerial footage, such as helicopters or cranes. They require less manpower, equipment, and time. This cost-efficiency makes drone photography accessible to more storytellers and businesses, leveling the playing field in visual content creation.

Sunset at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.

5. Enhanced Storytelling

Storytelling is at the heart of marketing and content creation. Drones enable storytellers to add depth and dimension to their narratives. Aerial shots can establish a sense of place, emphasize scale, or create dramatic tension in a storyline. Whether showcasing a luxury vacation destination or highlighting the construction progress of a skyscraper, drone photography enhances the storytelling experience.

Phipps Plaza is a shopping mall in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia. It is located at Peachtree Road and Lenox Road, adjacent to the Phipps Tower office building.

6. Increased Accessibility

Drones have made it possible to access remote and hard-to-reach locations, capturing images and videos that were once difficult or even impossible to obtain. This accessibility opens up new possibilities for showcasing the beauty of nature, the grandeur of architecture, and the uniqueness of different cultures, all of which can be leveraged for storytelling and marketing purposes.

Panoramic skyline above Phipps Plaza Atlanta, Georgia.

7. Social Media Appeal

In today’s social media-driven world, striking visuals are crucial for engagement and virality. Drone photos and videos are tailor-made for platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, where they can quickly gain attention and traction. Marketers and influencers have embraced drone content to stand out in the digital landscape.

I am looking towards downtown Atlanta from the Phipps Plaza shopping mall in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia.

8. Competitive Advantage

In a competitive market, staying ahead of the curve is essential. Those who embrace drone photography gain a competitive advantage by offering something different and visually captivating. It allows businesses to showcase their products or services in a way that sets them apart from the competition.

In conclusion, drone photography has become an indispensable tool in storytelling and marketing for its ability to provide a fresh perspective, engage audiences visually and emotionally, offer versatility, and do so cost-effectively. Its capacity to enhance storytelling, increase accessibility, cater to social media trends, and provide a competitive edge makes it a must-have in the modern content creator’s toolkit. As technology evolves, we can only expect drone photography to become even more integrated into our storytelling and marketing efforts, helping us reach new heights in creativity and engagement.