Speaker Interview: Robert Norman

Robert Norman will be talking about Longevity in Business at Inspire Boston 2011. Robert just celebrated his 20th year in this field and has a lot of insight to share on how to survive and thrive in an ever changing industry. Learn more about what Robert Norman will share by visiting his workshop page. Website: Robert Norman Photography / http://www.norman-photography.com

What do you love most about your job? Occasionally you'll receive an email or thank you card telling you how meaningful the photographs you've taken for someone have been for them. That's very easy to forget but worth it all when you receive such a reminder. I had a mom recently tell me that my wedding photos of her daughter helped her during a hard time with breast cancer and chemotherapy. She nearly got me crying, it overwhelmed me so much

What do you hate most about your job?

I don't handle heat and humidity well---so 100 degrees and 99% humidity in a non-air conditioned church or tent is hell on earth for me. I also hate being told what to do, so i don't handle family members telling me what shots to take very well...it's very hard for me to bite my tongue in those situations.

Where do you find inspiration?

I look a lot to movies actually. Often when i shoot I think in terms of the movie screen--so i shoot horizontal a lot for that reason. I'll watch a film and kind of deconstruct what I see in terms of lighting, angles etc. I am also very inspired by movie music and how it helps to tell and add to a story. I consciously listen to that while watching a film...sometimes more than watch the movie! (which explains my penchant for sappy tunes for wedding slideshows---give me syrupy and sweeping and you GOT ME!!)

What was your first experience in photography?

I started out as a graphic design major in college and had to take a photo 101 course, which I had ZERO interest in. I told my Dad I needed a camera and he bought me a Canon AE-1. That first day of photo class I totally got the photo-bug. The immediacy of shooting and seeing results (and this was film mind you, so it was MUCH slower than today) really hooked me. I moved to Los Angeles for 2 years and worked as an assistant in a commercial studio making a whopping $50 a day...but knew I loved it and stuck with it!

Aside from photography, do you have other creative outlets?

I try and take a trip - usually out West - once every year or so to give me an opportunity to photograph something other than weddings. Its very inspiring and refreshing...and as an added bonus,  mountains and trees don't provide you with a shot list.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I loved animals and thought I wanted to be a vet. I suppose I thought that meant I got to play with and be around animals. Then I found out it involved blood and medical school...and that was the end of that.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Invisibility so I could spy on people

What are your pet peeves or interesting things about you that you dislike?

I hate insincerity. I think its the worst possible character flaw you can have.

Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.

I hate to admit this, but I have a kinda OCD thing about touching certain (mostly greasy) foods. So i'll use a fork and knife on things most people pick up with their hands. i also wash my hands and face a lot...do you happen to know a good shrink?...

If you had to describe yourself using three words, they would be…

Passionate.    Silly.    Altruistic.