Design & Style, Arts & Entertainment

Capturing Your Passions

Jimmy Chin

Lesson time 11:07 min

Learn Jimmy’s philosophy for finding your voice as a photographer, evolving creatively, and learning from failure.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Find What Drives You


JIMMY CHIN: I've always been inspired by people who've kind of pushed the upper limits of what was humanly possible. And you always see, if you really pay attention to how they achieved it, that they took an idea, and took it up a notch, and then took it up another notch, and just kind of kept pushing it. I think it's important to look at where the bar has been set before and toy with the idea of setting it higher than anybody else has ever done before. As a photographer, you're setting your own standards. And personally, I think you should set them very high. Photography's so personal. And so if you're not involved in it personally-- like, if you don't feel something about the subjects that you're shooting, it makes it much more challenging. If you do feel something about the subjects that you're shooting, or if it does give you some sort of meaning, and there's depth behind it, it really kind of opens up your eyes to how to shoot it. A classic example is Sebastiao Salgado. He was an economist. He worked at the World Bank. He had a deep interest in geopolitics and how the economies of the world affected the people. And he kind of left academia, and left the World Bank, and pursued his passion about looking at how failing economies might push people out of their countries, and created this incredible amount of work around migrations, also seminal work around the workers. And that focus and that look into migration or workers was really inspired by what he was passionate about before he ever was really shooting. If you're going to shoot, it's really helpful if you have something that you're really passionate about already. So it really begins before you even pick up a camera. I think you need to find something that really interests you. And it doesn't have to be climbing, or skiing, or surfing. It can be a lot of different things. It can be music. It can be art. But when you find something like that, it gives you access, because it's something that you're involved in. You're probably surrounded by people who are into that particular field. That is access. And when you're passionate about something, you know something deeply. And that is important, because that means that you have depth in how you're going to approach the subject. [MUSIC PLAYING] When you're thinking about your work, I always tell people to look at a lot of different photography. And it's not easy to find your voice. I mean, that is part of the whole creative process. Over time, you will find it. But it's helpful to have inspirations. So for example, when I first started shooting in the climbing world, in the mountaineering world, I was really influenced by the late, great Galen Rowell. And he had an incredible body of work. He, to me, kind of invented the participatory adventure photography space. He participated in the expeditions. He was a climber on the expedition. He shot these expeditions from the inside out, because he was in it. And I found t...

About the Instructor

Jimmy Chin has built his career taking photos at the top of the world, earning him the cover of National Geographic and multiple awards. Now he’s taking you on location to teach you techniques for capturing breathtaking shots. In his photography class, learn different creative approaches for commercial shoots, editorial spreads, and passion projects. Gather the gear—and the perspective—to bring your photography to new heights.

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Jimmy Chin

National Geographic photographer teaches his techniques for planning, capturing, and editing breathtaking photos.

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