6 Figure Creative Icon

The Six Figure Photographer’s Key To Closing More Sales | With Ben Hartley

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As a freelance creative, you probably have thought “if only I could close one more deal a month I’d be much better off.”

Closing more deals can result from many different variables, but one of the easiest ways to increase your odds is by reframing your sales calls to focus on the client and how your service will change their life.

Listen now to hear Ben Hartley of the Six Figure Photography Podcast share his advice so you can close more sales in your creative business!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How you’re shooting yourself in the foot by focusing on what you provide
  • Why sales is about the outcome
  • How to navigate sales as a creative
  • How to escape the “technician mindset”
  • Why you need to show your clients they’re worth investing in themselves
  • How to close more sales

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“If I say it, it's selling. If they say it, it's closing.” – Ben Hartley

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[00:00:00] Chris: Well, Hey guys, Chris here. I'm doing a solo episode today because our internet went down Our backup, internet went down our backup, backup, and our backup backup, backup, all went down. So I'm here sitting alone, with my dude, Ben Hartley, who believe it or not. post the podcast called? the six figure photographer. 

[00:00:16] Ben: Six figure photography. 

[00:00:18] Chris: Hey, when people do 

[00:00:19] Ben: It's just the, why is the why 

[00:00:21] Chris: six figure photography? So this is so weird. Ben, because you're here in Columbus and as Brian and I were doing, research, to have guests on the show, you know, we're rebranding and launching six figure creative. 

[00:00:33] and I'm obsessed with photography. And I was like, oh, we, we want to find Business-minded photography people. 

[00:00:39] And as we looked into that. it was like, oh crap. He's here in Columbus with the same show as us, but for a different industry, we were the six figure home. 

[00:00:47] studio originally. And now we're this issue of your creative and What the crap, how are we not friends though? 

[00:00:53] Ben: I know this is cool. I love it, man. When you said that you were here, I was like, nah, that's not a thing. 

[00:01:01] Chris: Well, That's what happened with me. and My, friend, Andy too. It was like, we met and he's doing a business podcast for creatives and I didn't even know that And when we first met 

[00:01:09] and we started to realize like, holy crap, like, there's not a whole lot of people in this like business. 

[00:01:14] creative freelancers niche. So we got a whole club going on here. super weird. Well, Ben dude, let's, let's dive in. Let's hear the story about your life. like 

[00:01:25] how did you get into, how did you get into art and then business and then. podcasting? 

[00:01:31] Ben: man. Okay. So our let's go backwards all the way to the beginning. So for context to listeners I studied oil painting in college, so professional oil painter. It reminds me of like, when you talk to someone and they get there major in like underwater basket weaving it kind of feels like it when I'm like, my degree is in oil painting, not technically, it's like two dimensional studies, but all I did in college was just like paint people. 

[00:01:56] And so photography for me was, oh, here's that phrase again? Your audience is going to need to let me know. Photography was a means to an end. it wasn't a well photography. It was about oil painting. I took photographs in order to make a painting. So I use those as references. Right. So is it, does that mean it was a means to an end. 

[00:02:17] Chris: I think 

[00:02:17] so. Yeah. Photography was a means to an end. It was a tool. It was not the, thing 

[00:02:22] Ben: Yes, exactly. Yeah. That's what I'm trying to say. so I studied light and composition and color theory and all this stuff within photography behind the lens, but for the end result to be a reference files for, for paintings, you know, well, fast forward graduating in Ohio with that degree, like I'm like looking around who wants to buy oil paintings. 

[00:02:43] And so, listen, my father-in-law, he's got three daughters. I sold them exactly three paintings, and then my pipeline went dry. So 

[00:02:53] Chris: oh 

[00:02:54] Ben: made good money on 

[00:02:54] this 

[00:02:55] too. 

[00:02:56] Chris: That's awesome. We talk about that. So often on the podcast about how you aren't really running a business until you've sold to a stranger and People think like, oh yeah, I've got a business Like, no, you're only selling your friends. And when they run 

[00:03:07] Ben: Oh Yeah. exactly. Yeah. so my wife and I, we were in our first year of marriage and we're sitting there and we're looking at each other and we're just brainstorming at this point. Like what, what are we going to do? 

[00:03:19] How are we going to make money? Like good for you, Ben, you're an oil painting made, you know, like, how are we going to do this? And so it was actually Leslie, that's my wife, by the way, she, she created it. She like breathed it into existence. Like, and I, and I, and I mean that literally it was like, she spoke it and then it was like, oh, she was like, Ben, you are decent at making things look good. 

[00:03:43] And you love people. Why not photography? 

[00:03:48] Why not wedding photography? You could like photograph people. You can make people look good. And, and, and uh, and then there, it was, it was just like, okay, I I'll, I'll go try that now. I'm not I'm not like how do I put this? I think maybe at that stage, like being newly married, I was like, yeah, that sounds like a cool pipe dream. 

[00:04:05] Let me go also get a job as a server at the same time. You know what I mean? So I did, I got a job as a server, right. I, I kind of like made a website saying I took pictures. I announced it to Facebook back then. It was like 2010. And, um, but at the same time I also got an internship or at least I applied to get an internship at a motion graphic studio. 

[00:04:24] I'm doing like TV commercials, animation, video production, 

[00:04:27] Chris: Is that here in Columbus? 

[00:04:28] Ben: Uh, That was in Toledo. 

[00:04:29] Yeah. Yeah. Called madhouse phenomenal studio, highly recommend your audience check out madhouse creative. And and then I got all three, like people started hiring me for photography. I started waiting tables and I got this internship. 

[00:04:43] Chris: That's amazing. It's so fun for me. I'm like, think I'm absorbing this as we're talking about it. And there's so many parallels. 

[00:04:50] to my own story and the Brian, my cohost story. And I'm fascinated that you about the part that you were an oil painter and that, that, turned into photography because I think a lot of people think, well, photography, it's mostly technology. 

[00:05:05] No, it's not like 

[00:05:07] it's Mo it's light. you see the colors and the contrast and the, the thing that's going to grab the eye and can you in your mind rotated. around so you know where to stand and make it look dope. 

[00:05:17] Ben: And 

[00:05:17] Chris: Like, as you, as you're talking, like the only thing I know about light is that Renoir lighting is when there's a shadow. 

[00:05:24] Like if I get that right, 

[00:05:25] Ben: Rembrandt. 

[00:05:26] Chris: on. I'm 

[00:05:26] Ben: a little, it's a little triangle on the cheek of a light that just kind of like kisses the cheek, a little triangle of light, and then everything else is like shadow across that. 

[00:05:35] Chris: I love that. So obviously I barely know what I'm talking about. I'm a student of this and I'm I'm pumped cause I'm like, oh my gosh, this is so cool. I'm hanging out with an O G photography. genius here. And I'm like showing you my, 

[00:05:48] fancy CA so I this is probably the first time I've told it, but told you guys this, but I'm working with this camera company called Sigma and so I reached out to them and they were like, you should try our camera. 

[00:05:59] And they sent it to me and I was like, oh, 

[00:06:02] Ben: It's pretty 

[00:06:03] Chris: I love it. 

[00:06:03] Ben: Yeah. so this is, this probably changes, even as I'm talking gear like today about we we've been chatting about like the tech side of the audio, like I, I don't like gear like that. 

[00:06:17] Chris: That's, our shtick is we're like, no, no, no, that's not the gear, but when it comes to photography, I can't resist. 

[00:06:22] Ben: no, and I, and I get it and when I say it's like um, So like there's different camera brands out there and, and I've, I've gravitated like certain ones. I feel like I'm holding a computer right. More so than others. So when I say I don't live Gira, I actually do really like your idea. I like something that feels a little bit more mechanical. 

[00:06:44] And in a way, right. And so, so listen, Sony shooters, love y'all. The cameras are phenomenal by the way. So, and he's got some of the best tech available, some of the best EEQ IQ available. Like they're, they're brilliant cameras, but when I hold a Sony camera, I feel like I'm holding a computer and I, and it, and it makes me feel dead inside just a little bit because it almost like it's like, it just kinda does all the things. 

[00:07:09] And so I even started to feel that way with Canon. And so I ended up moving after all those. And I went to Fuji Fujifilm, and I shoot on a Fuji X T3. And it's, it's like this is the crazy thing about photography. It's like I'm shooting on a crop sensor and I'm shooting. 

[00:07:24] Chris: crop sensor means it's like smaller than what? A 35 millimeter. 

[00:07:27] Ben: Yeah, exactly. It's a 1.18, I believe crop 2 35 millimeter. And so like, wow. We're about to get really technical here. So 

[00:07:37] Chris: as a photography person. It really does matter that you, that you get everything 

[00:07:41] Ben: but it's like the, the Fujiwara, they feel like, like the dials are all mechanical and I'm changing things manually. And even the, the, the appearance of it, it just makes photography fun. Again. I don't know how to describe it when I hold it. I just feel like, oh, this is fun. Like, let's go make something. 

[00:07:58] It feels like I'm. And that's actually the right word. Make, it feels more like I'm crafting, like I'm making versus rendering on a computer. 

[00:08:09] Chris: Totally Well, in audio like the space I'm from, there's a lot of 

[00:08:12] that nostalgia as well for physical gear, because there is something we made, we've made art with our fingers for millennia, and now we sort of only make it with our index finger on a mouse. And I get that. 

[00:08:25] too. Like, I, I love photography. but my, I miss the old days of film. I grew up 

[00:08:30] with a film camera and my favorite sound was this, it's my old man Nolita. and I just I loved getting in the dark room and using an enlarger and, You know, tactile. I like using my fingers to go in there and be like, okay, well, I'm gonna. 

[00:08:45] Ben: physically dodging and burning with a little cardboard. 

[00:08:48] Chris: Oh, I loved it. It was like The most fun I'd ever had. 

[00:08:52] I took the class the same class, like five times in high 

[00:08:55] school and it was So fun And then I, when it became so convenient to use a digital camera, I stopped using it. Like it. Got too convenient and it. It It wasn't fun anymore. There wasn't that 

[00:09:07] tactile sensation. And I had like some crappy Nikon and like digital photography. sort of, it was like, well, I'm not going to go shoot film, now because film is a pain in the butt compared to digital, but I'm not going to go shoot digital because digital 

[00:09:20] back then, wasn't very fun. and so I just stopped taking pictures and now I'm, I'm back at it again. Now I love it. 

[00:09:27] And I've got, I just bought an iPad pro with the pencil and light room and I'm like, changing my life. It's so I'm just, I'm just a hobbyist. Like I take pictures of my kids in my mind. 

[00:09:38] Ben: sure. Yep. I totally get it. And, and to be fair, like to raise my hand, like I love digital and I couldn't imagine documenting a wedding without all of the conveniences that come with it. It's just the happy, like the, the middle ground that I found, like this happy place is with, with Fuji where it still feels very tactile. 

[00:09:58] And yet it's giving me all the conveniences of the modern era, thrift digital. 

[00:10:02] Chris: there's. 

[00:10:03] an interesting topic there. Not to like rabbit hole us already, But there's an interesting side of it because I think that there's a common thread through all creative fields. And I mentioned in audio. 

[00:10:14] People were really obsessed with having an outboard analog gear. That's like seen as sexy, And this has started to end the last couple of years, but it used to be like as a mastering engineer, people would call me the thinking of getting a record masters and don't just want to know if you use analog gear I'll use computer by like, they would just they wouldn't even, I'd be like, dude, that's not 

[00:10:34] Ben: not 

[00:10:35] Chris: that's not the right question, but So let me tell you guys a weird business story. So back in the day, in Scotland, 

[00:10:41] there was this huge union of people that would weave fabric and it was really, time-consuming and really, really, really, diff. and eventually somebody invented an automated loom and you know, it's got the shuttle and it. you know, kind of weaves back and forth, it's Way faster, way more efficient. 

[00:10:58] They started to automate part of weaving. The union of weavers got together and they smashed all of the machines as this No, no, no, no, no. You're not going to automate our jobs. No, no, no. We're not going to use systems. And there was this rebellion and There's a word for it. I can't I'll think of it like 

[00:11:14] as soon as, our episodes over, I'll think of, but it starts with an end. 

[00:11:17] You guys can try to Google it, but it's this thing that is still alive and well today. Where an audio? 

[00:11:23] people have this fascination. Well, this has got to have a vacuum tube inside of it, or, oh, you don't shoot on film. A real, real photographers show. Oh, oh, you have a crop sensor. Oh, 

[00:11:33] like there's all these arrogance is about like, oh, if you don't have the right tool, you should be, you should feel ashamed of yourself for Calling yourself a real feeling. and 

[00:11:43] I just I'm fascinated by that because it has seeped into every corner of the creative world. You know, if you got like V tried to go on stage as a musician and you were playing with I'm a guitarist, an ovation, acoustic guitar, people would, think you're a moron. A guitarist would, 

[00:12:02] Ben: sure. 

[00:12:03] Chris: does that matter? 

[00:12:03] No, of course. not. I can play great songs. Every rose has its thorn was on nose and guitar. Anyways. Let me, let me pull myself back out of this rabbit hole here. 

[00:12:11] What do you Let's let's talk more about sales, the, the S word. So you, you have built damn near identical, behemoth of content to What Brian and I have in a separate industry. and 

[00:12:28] Ben: that is. 

[00:12:29] Chris: Completely fascinating to me. I think, I think your podcast is. 

[00:12:32] bigger than ours. Your community's bigger than ours, for sure. And it's it's fascinating. 

[00:12:37] to talk to other creatives that are business-minded because they are so rare. 

[00:12:41] It's so rare to meet someone like you that thinks about things in a different way. 

[00:12:46] instead of like, well, I'm just going to watch the YouTube video and do exactly what they tell me And they're going to normalize everything and I will never deviate from the normal you've deviated. So I'd love to talk about sales. 

[00:12:58] W what 

[00:12:59] do you find with the photographers that you work with? What are some of the sacred cows that they're afraid to do 

[00:13:07] Ben: Well, I think in particular creatives are, we're really scared of sales. 

[00:13:11] It's like, I don't know. I think, yeah. Creatives are. Um, And maybe I'm just thinking about photographers, but we've made up a lot of things. We have a lot of stories running through our heads of what it means to sell. And a lot of them aren't stories that we would like attached to our names or identities ourselves. 

[00:13:31] And I think one of the biggest ones is that sales means having the right answers. 

[00:13:40] Chris: Hmm. 

[00:13:41] Ben: And, and so because of that, w we're we get really nervous going into any sort of sales dialogue, an email, a text, a phone call, a zoom call in person, God forbid in person, please don't look me in the eyes. I was like, whoa, it's happening. 

[00:13:57] We, we like second steps out because what if they ask a question that I don't know the answer to? and how am I going to convince them that this Jack, that I'm going to offer is, is worth this amount of money? What if they don't think it's worth that amount? there's a lot of fear wrapped around not having the right answers. 

[00:14:12] Chris: Yeah. 

[00:14:13] I love that man. There is, 

[00:14:15] Ben: Okay. 

[00:14:16] Chris: there is something fascinating about when you are in a sales situation as a creative, and you say, I will do X for you for Y and you know, say, why is $2,000? If the person says, no, It's 

[00:14:30] easy. I think as a creative to be like, I'm not worth that much. That's not what it is. You're not worth that to them right now for that. thing. That's not you, it's not, your personality It's not your inherent worth. It might just be like, you have a, you're not what they're looking for. That doesn't mean that no, one's looking. for you and sales is so funny in that regard, there's so much opportunity for growth to just lean into like your F your fear, which incidentally, I think has a big impact on you as a creative, as you start to confront that fear and, you know, apply that as you take risks artistically. 

[00:15:05] So I'm down a rabbit hole, but Yeah. 

[00:15:07] I mean, that's, that's really, really cool. I'm going to ask you, it's a really big question. 

[00:15:11] Ben: please. 

[00:15:11] Chris: Talk to me about your entire sales philosophy when you're talking to a photographer and you're teaching them about sales. Give me the 10,000 foot picture. 

[00:15:19] Ben: Well, yeah, I mean, there's a lot of ways that we can go with this. The first would be actually just to piggyback off of what I was saying about having the right answers, rather than having the right answers, the goal is to have the right question. Right. Because everyone feels like they need to prescribe something. 

[00:15:35] The prescribed solution prescribed the value, convince sell more or less. But we need to diagnose first because not only do we not know what their problem is, but no one else knows what the problem is here. Well, they, they think they know, you know, know, and so we need to diagnose, we need to diagnose for our own sake, but we need to diagnose that way. 

[00:15:53] They understand what the value is to, and, and that, and diagnosing that diagnosing process is it's a process of inquiry. It's just asking questions and it really changes the whole game. When you just get to sit back and be like, I'm just gonna go in this to learn. I'm going to ask some questions and kick back and just discover what the answers are. 

[00:16:11] That's sales, right? So, to go even higher, We'll talk about sales from the, so I'm a huge believer in value based pricing, right? And if you're not familiar with value based pricing, there's a few different ways to go about pricing. You could price based off of, and this is what most creatives do is they, they price based off of the inputs that they're receiving, or like the inputs being the costs. 

[00:16:35] It's a cost-based pricing, right? It's like, oh, so this audio project, it's gonna take me 10 hours to edit. And I'm going to need to be onsite for another two hours. That's gonna be 12 hours of my time, a hundred dollars an hour, 1200 bucks makes 

[00:16:48] sense. So I've got the inputs, the time 12 hours, I've got costs associated with that. 

[00:16:54] I'm going to spit that into my little equation times if I, my hourly rate and I'm going to say, Hey, $1,200. Okay. Now what if on the other end of that audio project that I'm going to deliver to you when you go to like, use that. File that I give you. What if on the other end of that you only seek to gain $500 worth of value to your business. 

[00:17:15] Are you gonna hire me? 

[00:17:16] Chris: Absolutely 

[00:17:17] Ben: You're not, no. Cause you've just lost 700 bucks and I'm, I'm a, you know, it's like $700 of value, you know, like who knows what all the Trinzic value could be from that time and all that kind of stuff. so via base pricing says, before I ever give you a number, I'm going to spend time diagnosing, I'm going to spend time asking you questions. 

[00:17:35] So that way I can understand what is the end value for you to receive in your business from this project. And once I can understand that I can price it. And once you can understand it, you can say yes to my offer because if, if we have a conversation and you understand that on the other end of this thing, there's $30,000 value for your business. 

[00:17:58] And I say, great. So this project is, is going to cost you 6,000 bucks. so you're going to pass up $24,000 right now for my six, 

[00:18:11] Chris: Yeah. 

[00:18:12] Ben: so I'm oversimplifying it. Right. and so that would be, so I believe in value based pricing, which is a process of diagnosing. the other component that I would say is a high level sales conversation that I love to have, especially with photographers. 

[00:18:24] And this is different for B to B, to C instead of B2B B2B, which is probably what you, most of your listeners are in, is business to business. Right? For me and my clients, where a lot of us are B to C we're business to consumer we're to selling, to like couples getting married and people getting pictures of like their newborn babies and that kind of stuff. 

[00:18:41] Right. And it's a little bit of a different world when we're having this value conversation, because with B2B. Those metrics are really clear. There's monetary gain to be had, right. There's like market gains, there's profit, and there's also costs to be reduced. And that, that equates to like a tangible number of value. 

[00:18:59] Chris: Yeah. Well, it's not just B to B or B to C. We've got, you've got business to customer could be service or it. could be product and you And I are squarely most, I would imagine that most of the revenue for most photographers and for most mastering engineers, that makes an issue. Most people listening to the show, it's the client that you perform a service for. 

[00:19:22] that's even different than, you know, I'm going to sell 500 widgets. But dude, I, I, I'm saying this and I'm like, 

[00:19:28] Chris, shut up, shut up, shut up. He's killing it. He's killing it. So present. I said nothing. Keep 

[00:19:32] Ben: oh mercy. So, so what I was getting at is a high level sales philosophy that I hold is that with B2C values a little bit. Because when you're talking to someone who's hiring you for photographs of their dog or of their kid or of their wedding, they don't have profits to be gained and they don't have costs to be reduced, like a business would have, right. 

[00:19:54] So it's like, it's intangible value. There's this intrinsic value. There's there's a whole bunch of other problems that are getting solved for that are a lot more complex actually. So, whenever I'm coaching photographers, I always ask them, Hey, Chris sell to me right now. It's like, let's have a phone call and I want you to like, offer your service and, and they'll do these things. 

[00:20:14] Well, they'll say really great stuff. There'll be like, man, Ben. So when I go photograph your wedding and say, it's a wedding, okay. When I go to photograph your wedding, like this is more than just photographs, right? Like I'm going to be by your side the entire day. And I, I just really value connecting with my clients to make sure that that connection comes through on the wedding that you feel like you've got a friend by your side, not just a vendor. 

[00:20:41] And when I deliver these photographs to you I care a lot about print that these are actually represented in like real physical form that they don't just go to die online. And so you're going to receive an album with your wedding collection. This is going to be an heirloom for generations. This is going to be something that you're going to have on your wall, that your kids will see. 

[00:20:59] And these are a lot of the things that separate me from every other photographer I've been photographing for 10 years. And these are a few of the places that have been featured cosmopolitan, New York times, Huffington post et cetera, et cetera. Right. So I'm just riffing right now. Now that sounded pretty good. 

[00:21:16] Chris: Real damn good. 

[00:21:17] Yeah. I was like, I need to get married, 

[00:21:19] Ben: but it's wrong. But it's wrong. This is the thing we have to turn it on Ted, because that whole conversation, all I was trying to do was to convince you that I am worth it. My whole conversation right there, we started to convince you that, Hey, I've got it. I've got chops. I'm worth it. 

[00:21:36] I'm the photographer you want to hire. I'm good enough to, for you to pay me $10,000, right? We need to understand that someone who's hiring you to photograph their wedding, why would they pay you $10,000 to create photographs of their family and their friends and of themselves? They would only pay you $10,000 if they first believed. 

[00:21:58] That they and their friends and their family are worth $10,000. Not if they believe you are worth $10,000. So most photographers are spending all of their sales calls, fencing, someone that they're worth it like that. I'm worth it as a photographer. When in all reality, what I do is I first have to create an understanding. 

[00:22:17] I have to create an opening for them to see themselves and their friends and their family in a new perspective, new light, where they can actually come to the understanding that these people are worth $10,000 investing into that I'm worth $10,000 investing into as a bride or groom. That my relationship is worth that because if they can't first see that they will never hire you for it. 

[00:22:39] Does that makes sense? I got trained as a transformational coach. Uh, So that's another side thing of me that I do. And I learned this when I was getting trained as a transformational coach, because I did a role-play with with the person who trained me with my coach. 

[00:22:52] and he's like, Ben, all right, sell, sell transformational life coaching to me. And so I'm trying to convince him of all these things and experiences. And he's like, dude, I won't, why would I hire you as a life coach? If I don't first believe that I'm worth the $500, you know, investment or whatever the number is. 

[00:23:08] Chris: I love this. 

[00:23:09] Ben: So if that's a pretty high level thing that we just kind of hit on but it changes the entire game. It changes every phone call, every interaction when I'm just trying to create an opening for you to see that you are worth it. 

[00:23:22] Chris: So one of the reasons I like podcasting is that you get free coaching. And that, that to me was super helpful, 

[00:23:28] To re-embrace like, I think I've been overly focused and my business is on proving authority and being like, I'll look, look at this. I got this, I did this, but as you're talking about this, 

[00:23:38] and I'm, I'm seeing it more from the standpoint of what you're saying. If you have to get them to value themselves, you have to get them to value their friends, their family, their, that the experience itself is that's the value 

[00:23:51] That's important. They need to know what that's worth to them. And as I think about this, you know, when I got married. 

[00:23:57] in oh six, we hired 

[00:24:00] a photographer. I think it was $3,500 and we were dirt poor and he shot black and white film. He did an awesome job. And it's funny. I was so bitter at the time. I got talked into spending that much money. 

[00:24:13] You know, it was like way more than a month worth of, you know, what we were making. at the time. But now I look back and I'm like, that's like the best investment I've ever made 

[00:24:22] Ben: yeah. 

[00:24:22] Chris: and I'm getting emotional, but you're right. Like, I'm like, how did you do this? 

[00:24:27] Ben: I don't know why you getting emotional that, how good am I? Let him talk. Those tears are trying to tell you something, 

[00:24:34] Chris: I guess. So, yeah. So you're right. 

[00:24:37] And I think that we, that we, as creative service providers Often see ourselves as primarily technicians and technicians primarily see themselves as costs and overhead and time and what you charge per hour. And They don't look at what they're actually selling. 

[00:24:55] You know, the experience itself, a camera is such a perfect example of this because a camera is a piece of technology. But What a camera can do is insane, you know, to, point at something and capture a moment that, grabs people's hearts and impacts them and makes them like, I got emotional. just now, because I'm remembering a specific picture. 

[00:25:15] And 

[00:25:16] Ben: what's the photograph, 

[00:25:17] Chris: uh, It's a photograph of Alison walking out of the reception, of her wedding and, 

[00:25:22] the reception hall was next to a family dollar and she's in her wedding dress and there's a family dollar in the background and it's this weird. 

[00:25:29] juxtaposition of like, We did it. We're married and I haven't really shared this in the podcast. Like my wife and I are, we're not doing really well. This whole PTSD thing is made stuff very difficult in our marriage. And so I'm trying to navigate that and not talk about her on the podcast. 

[00:25:44] But, 

[00:25:45] at the same time this is so unbelievably relevant I'm going to take a, I'm going to take a risk here and kind of say something intense. this episode might've come out after this happens, but, um, when, when Allie and I, my wife and I started really having problems, um, it was right when COVID hit and I started just kind of behaving in some weird ways and, and, and getting really nervous. 

[00:26:10] And we had an argument one night and she kicked me out. And instead of leaving, I had a seizure on the floor. I've never had a seizure before and long, very, very long story short. I had many more of these. When I found out now are called disassociative seizures and kind of a panic attack, but it's worse than a panic attack and got into therapy. 

[00:26:32] Um, got diagnosed at a hospital at one point. And what I found out was that I had been born and raised a Catholic and I had been an altar server at a church that had, um, a couple pedophiles at it. And these guys, one of them in particular, raped me. And, I ran afterwards and I'm like all raw and emotional right now. Cause I've, I've, there's a newspaper here in Columbus called the dispatch, the biggest paper in Ohio. And they told me yesterday, like I am forward and I'm telling my story and using my name. And they told me yesterday, like, um, it's going to be in the front page. 

[00:27:10] that the laws in Ohio for this sort of stuff are the best in the nation. If you're a pedophile priest, they're the worst in the nation, if you're a victim. And so I just have started meeting with politicians. I've got a meeting right after this, uh, with a guy that's with the Republican party. And so I'm navigating all of this and trying to focus on interview, but at the same time, like it's, I've been thinking about photography a lot in that regard because there's been, this sounds so messed up. 

[00:27:41] I don't really want to do this, but as I've been thinking about processing my own with photography, which is what I've been doing, I've been taking pictures of my kids and taking pictures out. You know, I'm just gonna say out on the internet, I'm at the real 

[00:27:53] Ben: world. 

[00:27:54] Chris: and at the place where I do yoga and it's been really fun. 

[00:27:57] And I've been thinking about, what does it mean to document, Hey, I'm going to go try to change. The laws are around pedophiles in the state of Ohio. And I think I'm going to do it. Like I'm going to be on the front page of the dispatch, I know personally, one other victim of this, of this guy, these guys, and we think there's going to be a whole lot more. 

[00:28:17] So 

[00:28:18] anyways, um, maybe that'll get edited out. I hope it doesn't. Um, it's it's timely, but 

[00:28:25] let me try to steer us back on course here, 

[00:28:27] Ben: It's all 

[00:28:28] Chris: because I'm so uncomfortable. 

[00:28:29] Ben: I just say, just so you can feel a little more comfortable. You're in good company and I appreciate you sharing that, man. There's no, I I'm just like all in right now. I'm here for it. 

[00:28:41] Chris: Good. I appreciate that. Well, it's an, it's intense you being in here in Columbus, like, there's a little, it's weird to think about it's about a month and a half from now is when it's supposed to hit the paper, but that could change there, like doing a deep dive and have multiple journalists, like on this, they're doing like a mini documentary and. They've taken like hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pictures of me. It's been really weird and really a healthy experience. But a terrifying one, one that I, I need to lean into to figure out who the hell I am. 

[00:29:09] Ben: the experience that you've been going through, like the process of the interview and the photographs it has that have you discovered in the process, has it been, more healing for you 

[00:29:20] Chris: Much more healing. 

[00:29:21] Ben: probably a wrestling match a bit as my guests, a yang, like a yo-yo 

[00:29:25] Chris: There's like, it's like three steps forward, two steps back type of thing. And yeah, it's been really healing and it was so weird. Like I was in a yoga class the other day and yoga classes are like kind of the sacred, quiet, like everyone's in their own 

[00:29:40] Ben: wow. 

[00:29:40] Chris: And, I love the, the journalists that I'm working with. But they didn't have a mirrorless camera. So it has a, yeah. And so I'm like trying to do yoga and it's just like the whole time, so many pictures. And eventually at first I was like, Aw, this is freaking me out. But then eventually I started to remember the sound of my old Minolta 

[00:30:03] Ben: Yeah, 

[00:30:03] Chris: and, you know, it sounds a lot like that. 

[00:30:05] And eventually it started becoming therapeutic, started to take me where photography took me. So like when I got into photography, it was my freshman year of high school. All of my freshman year, my mom went to Midwest photo here in Columbus, who I adore, I love Midwest photo. It was one of my happy places. 

[00:30:22] And she bought me this Minolta from like the seventies. And that was like my therapy. So this happened spring of eighth grade year, the attack, and then fall of freshman year, I'm just having camera therapy running around and taking pictures. And it was wild because with PTSD, you really struggle makes it very difficult to exist in the moment. 

[00:30:42] And when you're taking a picture, you're not necessarily in the moment that you're taking a picture of, but you are present for it. And the camera becomes like a companion in that moment. And for me to exist in the now, instead of like, I'm having a flashback, I feel like I'm 14 again, or I'm 

[00:31:00] I'm freaking out that like, I'm going to get attacked again. 

[00:31:03] Like that PTSD really makes you fixate on like, they're coming back, they're coming back and with a camera, it was just wild. It just click. Okay. I was totally in that moment and I reckon, yeah, it's extremely grounding. And so when this 

[00:31:17] Photographer was at the yoga class, it was weird. All of a sudden I was like, man, this, that, that sound was triggering for me in a good way. 

[00:31:26] It, it, it centered me and if I had the best yoga I'd ever had, it was so interesting. But I'm 

[00:31:31] Ben: is that your original 

[00:31:33] Chris: so I ordered this on eBay because I couldn't remember exactly what model it was. And if I had the 2 0 2, this is the Minolta SRT 2 0 1. 

[00:31:41] But 

[00:31:41] Ben: I'm now holding it. 

[00:31:42] Chris: yeah, 

[00:31:43] Ben: That's awesome, man. 

[00:31:44] Chris: it's a blast. And I, you know, film was filmed was so tactile. You know, you would wind the F 35 millimeter film in this thing. You'd go out. You had, if you're lucky 36 pictures and you take your 36 pictures and then you would wind it all up, take this, the film, put it in a black bag, reach your hands in there, wind it around a spool without being able to see it, treat it with chemicals, to get the negatives and then take the negatives and then figure out which one was 

[00:32:12] Ben: good 

[00:32:12] Chris: and then figure it out. 

[00:32:14] You know, I want to make it, you know, eight by 10 or, you know, what you're going to enlarge it. And it was so tactile and there were the smells and the chemicals and, you know, the, the sound of the enlarger going up and down. And like, there was, it was such, a stimulus rich environment and it's in the dark, like it's, so you're perceiving reality differently. 

[00:32:34] And I dunno if, if he was so healing 

[00:32:37] Ben: Yeah. Well, I have a good friend of mine. And he, I can't remember what the non-profit is, but this healing process that you're talking about so he works with an organization that brings photography to kids with cancer, and uh, he spends time teaching kids, photography who are on a terminal sentence because of what you're describing, like the, because of the ability for for them to create, obviously to, to make anything, but also like there's, there's something about freezing a moment in time. 

[00:33:07] And grounding these kids bringing them into the present and experiencing what they have in front of them. Yeah, it's a, it's incredibly therapeutic. 

[00:33:15] Chris: That's so cool. I think some of that, I I'm, that was visceral for me. You explained that and I can imagine, I can imagine. No, I I'm sure it's very inaccurate what it would be like to be terminally and hold a camera and realized I just pulled that trigger that moment's gone, but I have a copy of it. That's kind of cool. 

[00:33:33] I think, I think for me with photography, there is an element too, of, so with PTSD, like this attack, This particular priest was super, I mean like the, the, the rape itself was quite secondary to this DJC me afterwards. That was so scary. Cause it was like, God was chasing me and I was like, oh I can't escape. 

[00:33:52] Like even if I ha like, even if I can get away from him, he's just got, he's going to have God come and, you know, whatever it was so freaking scary. And lo and behold when I was running from him, I screamed, this woman showed up and like distracted him long enough for me to get out of there. And then I ended up finding her somewhere else in the building and she let me use a phone and I called home and I don't got back to the house. 

[00:34:17] I ended up walking, but the crazy thing with my story and the reason it's front page going to be front page news is I reported everything I could remember in therapy to an EMDR therapy it's like specifically designed for. 

[00:34:29] Ben: I'm familiar 

[00:34:30] Chris: All the started coming out. I told the cops and the detective on the case, Mr. 

[00:34:35] Detective Pitts, my dude, shout out the 

[00:34:37] Ben: Pitt 

[00:34:38] Chris: found this woman and she corroborated my story. And as far as victims of priests, as far as me and the people at the dispatch can tell, that's a first there's 11,000 victims in the United States alone. And I hope I'm wrong about this, but there's never been a good Samaritan come forward 24 years later and be like, he's telling the truth. 

[00:34:58] I saw it. part of that, the reason I tell that story is it makes it challenging for me to, to interpret people's emotions correctly. You know, there's, there's you know, when you've had an encounter with someone that's this violent, this disturbed it confuses you about what an emotion is, a precursor. 

[00:35:16] So you see somebody have a feeling and PTSD is like, oh hit the deck here. It comes like here, here we 

[00:35:23] Ben: go again. 

[00:35:23] Chris: But that's not true. That's not what would happen. 

[00:35:25] Ben: And 

[00:35:25] that's what 

[00:35:26] Chris: in destroyed my marriage. I was like, my wife would have an emotion. I would not know what it meant. And I would think it meant something so much more intense than it did. 

[00:35:34] And what's been cool about photography for me is I love to say I've got this like little Sigma FPL camera. I'm just, it's my favorite thing. It gets, maybe I maybe love it more than my guitar, which is saying 

[00:35:46] Ben: is 

[00:35:47] saying a 

[00:35:47] Chris: It's a Martin HT 28, man. I mean, it's a good, but I love this little camera and because it's mirrorless, it doesn't make a shutter sound when you're taking a picture and you can set it to take multiple pictures per second. 

[00:35:58] I, you can do like 11 or 12 per second. And so when I'm with my kids, it's so fun or with my parents or people I care about to hold that button down and to just take a bunch of pictures and to find. A moment where you can really see and identify the emotion that the person is having to meet. That is the power of photography. 

[00:36:19] Video is great with photography. You can take a picture of a single emotion. And I took a picture of my daughter a couple of days ago, and I thought it was going to turn out terrible. I got at the end, took a bunch of pictures were just like, not in a nice place or shirt was dirty. I was like, whatever. 

[00:36:36] Like I like this moment. So I took some pictures and it was wild. Cause there was one picture in there that she had some hesitation and some kind of fear. We were like at a sailing club and the boats were intimidating her a little bit. And uh, just kinda caught that, that moment of suss I, and so I'm learning that as, as an aspiring photographer myself, I love to take a picture of somebody feeling an emotion, not just, Hey, they look pretty or they're. 

[00:37:02] Ben: yeah. Tie this back to what we were talking about earlier. This is like, everything is awesome. In 2021, in terms of photography equipment, everything is phenomenal. It's like you take a, you pick up a consumer camera and this is like, I mean, even what you're talking about, this was Sigma. 

[00:37:18] Sigma is a, it's a consumer's camera and it's phenomenal. My, the phone on my camera on my phone is phenomenal. And so. This is, this is why I think I also, I don't care so much about like the, it being the perfect piece of gear. You know, again, I, I mentioned Sony being just like incredible cameras, but they feel like little computers that just like are perfect at doing this thing. 

[00:37:39] Because at least then when I look around the industry, it feels like you're, everyone's just trying to make the prettiest thing ever, like the prettiest photograph, whatever it is. And I I'm drawn to where is their humanity? Like, and, and it doesn't take a piece of perfect technology to capture humanity. 

[00:38:04] And so I find that when I'm focused more on the person who's in front of me and less on my gear, and when I'm focused more on authentic connection with that person, Uh, and maybe even that means I'm holding something, that's not as intimidating. This is what I love about the it's it's like I said, it's already, it's a crop sensor. 

[00:38:21] It's about actually it looks a little, it looks almost identical to this military here. It's silver, just like this is gunmetal 

[00:38:26] Chris: That's my, I almost bought one a 

[00:38:27] Ben: It doesn't have one of those huge grips. The lenses you can put in your pocket. It's not a giant 1700. I can just hold it down to my side and flip mine the screen up. And I can just be like taking pictures and it's, it allows me to be a human uh, first rather than the photographer. 

[00:38:43] And so I can capture more actually emotion and the photographs. And for me, that, that seems to be the thing that. Creates a worthwhile photograph. Don't get me wrong. Yes. Technically I would love it to be exposed properly. I love it to be sharp. I love to be creative and interesting. And you know, all of those things. 

[00:39:03] Yes. But like emotion and humanity trumps that every time, like if it's a slightly blurry photograph, but there's real, like it shows me something, this is the best description I learned from Erica man to man studios. If you're a photographer and you love photography, check out two mans studios, M a N N, but Erica Mann is her name. 

[00:39:23] And she describes humanity as, when you look at a photograph and it reveals to you something about what it means to be human. 

[00:39:31] Chris: Amen. Holy crap. Yes. That's a hundred percent. And I think where this starts to apply. To people listening is name a creative practice that that's not true for when you listen to a song and it's really damn good. Like that example I love to use is my girl with the temptations. It is an awful recording. It is a tr it is mano. 

[00:39:56] It is not cute properly. There's distortion everywhere. But if it's not a jam, then I was going to say, my name's not Chris Graham, but that was just, I'll never say that for real. I'll just make that joke. So corny, but there's so much art like that where So it's just like my daughter's toy camera. You know, when she got a picture, the flash reflected in the window and it was weird and you couldn't tell what it was. it, it revealed a flaw. Like it, it, it was gritty just like real life. And I think, you know, there's the same in the Bible. Like Jesus calls somebody, a whitewash to tomb, which is like a hell of a burn. It's like So in the inside is decaying and festering old flesh on the outside. It's white and it's smooth and pure and it's on the inside. 

[00:40:43] And I am so much more interested in recordings in videos, in photography. That is that, that does that, that shows some aspect of humanity where you learn more about what it means to be a human. And I think my favorite example of this uh, is that this yoga place that I go to. So the yoga factory here in Westerville, the yogurt factory is like 150 year old warehouse with humongous 150 year old windows. 

[00:41:11] And are those sort of like friends now, glass, the fuse thing. So you can't see through them, but the light comes through. So there's diffused light all day long. The biggest window is something like 70 feet wide and 12 feet tall. And so you get, and it faces north. So you get this amazing diffuse light. 

[00:41:28] It's unbelievable. But when you lay down to do yoga on the ground, you look up and they have this wood ceiling 150 years old that caught on fire and got really, really burned. And the owner of this place had this brilliant idea of like, you know, the last people were covering it up. They were trying to hide that there'd been a fire. 

[00:41:49] Let's rip down all the ceiling stuff so that you can see the, where it was burned and let's spray paint it flat white, the whole thing. So you're looking up at this totally burned ceiling. It's been painted flat white. It's the most beautiful ceiling I've ever seen in my life. It takes that flaw that, oh moment and turns it into beauty. 

[00:42:11] And that's what I'm hoping happens with this whole PTSD priests thing is there's a Japanese philosophy. Wabi Sabi and wabi-sabi is this idea of you take the broken thing, the human thing, and you elevate it instead of hiding it. And you know, through the most famous example of wabi-sabi is a type of pottery called consumer and consumer. 

[00:42:32] You've probably seen it and not recognized it. So let's say you have a teacup and you drop it and it breaks. You could throw it away or you could pick up the pieces and fix them with real gold. You could glue the whole cup back together with gold and lacquer and then put the cup on display. And that's the art. 

[00:42:50] It broke something terrible happened, but the cracks are now part of the story and they've been elevated and made it into something beautiful. And man that is just from a photography standpoint, creativity, from a podcasting standpoint, music, I don't care. It's those moments where it's messed up, it's broken. it's embarrassing in the wrong context. If it wasn't art, it would be totally embarrassing. I love that. I'm fascinated by that. And I don't think I have any choice because as I'm processing like this dispatch article, this is going to be coming out. It's really intense to be like well, I'm going to be that guy for the rest of my life. 

[00:43:29] Like when I meet people, I will be, oh God, that thing happened to him. Holy And I know the intimate details of, cause I read about in the newspaper, that's intense, so I don't have any choice, but to Wabi Sabi So that's what I'm 

[00:43:40] Ben: trying 

[00:43:40] Chris: do. 

[00:43:41] And I think photography. I don't mean to offend any creatives listening, but to me, photography is almost the purest form of art because you can capture a moment and that's the way our minds work. And my PTSD was wrapped up in moments. It was like they got stuck and I repressed them and they would just keep coming back again. 

[00:44:00] And again, literally snapshots of like, oh, he's coming through the door. Oh my God. He's walking towards me. I'm a God, there's a woman in here. Oh my God, I'm running. And I'm touching the door. Like, so as I'm getting to know, like the way my mind works in trauma, and I'm learning more about photography and I'm doing this freaking business thing, you try to talk to people about like what it means to grow their business. 

[00:44:21] And you know, what it means to grow my businesses and to share what I've learned, reading books. Because I lucked out as, as a PTSD person, most people cope with alcohol or heroin or some. I got lucky. Priest got me drunk first, so I can't drink. And, but I can read business books and that helped out a lot. 

[00:44:38] And I'm going to rabbit hole here. And this, this is, these are the worst highs, rabbit holes, because like you can't change the subject. Be totally awkward. So let me change the subject. We were talking about sales, so let me just make an awkward jump back in. I'm uncomfortable talking about this guy. So like, um, I'm just trying to change the subject here. 

[00:44:55] Cause I've, I've reached my tolerance for, for sharing here, but you were talking about sales and I think what is so great about sales is that you're talking about flipping the true value of what? you're doing on its head. It's Not 

[00:45:09] the technician thing that you do. It's not that You're better than anybody else. 

[00:45:13] It's not that You have better gear. It's it's your client making uninvested. And that investment could be, and I want, to make this video for my pizza shops so that more people will come buy pizza. Or I want to remember the most important day of my life, my wedding, the, so there's a stupid saying in marketing, if you're, you know, let's say you're working for Outback steak, steak house, you don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle. So you really want to like put a mic up on, that steak when it comes out of the, off the burner. And just because that's visceral, that creates an emotion. 

[00:45:45] And there's a magic moment. 

[00:45:46] when you order a steak, when it comes out and the PR the presentation of the steak, my doctor, I'm a vegetarian, but my doctor told me yesterday, I need to start eating meat. So there's that. So he's like just one steak a month. You'll be so much happier just please do that. 

[00:45:58] But 

[00:45:59] Ben: that 

[00:45:59] moment, 

[00:46:00] Chris: that's why you buy the steak. it's not. 

[00:46:03] Waltz, you know, Angus grassfed beef, you know, 14, all of that is minuscule important to that emotional? 

[00:46:10] moment of when you get a steak, there. 

[00:46:13] is this moment of like, everything's great. When that steak hits the table. gosh, man, I'm like, 

[00:46:19] all the clamps here, I'm all emotional. So I'm all over the place guys. but you talked about sales in regards to the true value. What are you doing? How are you helping the person? 

[00:46:29] Not just like, well, you'd be a damn fool not to hire me because I'm real good. 

[00:46:33] Ben: Yeah. Well, I mean, even going back to it, like rather than me even trying to tell them that their friends and family themselves are worth it, rather than me trying to convince them that, Hey, you know, again, these are, these are moments that are gonna be gone. You're not going to understand how viable these are until it's the last thing that you have left. 

[00:46:52] That's still me having the answer. That's still me saying it. There's a really fantastic business coach. His name's Jonathan Stark. And he says that if I say it it's selling, if they say it or closing. and most people are just talking right there. They're saying it. So going back to the inquiry part, the way that you get to this is again, just by asking questions. 

[00:47:16] And so one of my favorite questions is called the Dan Sullivan question. He's got a book, don't read it. I'll just give you the answer. It's fine. You can go read the book of your why, but Dan Sullivan, the Dan Selvin question, I just call it the golden question, is where you cast a future worth having, where they've experienced the product or service that you're going to offer. 

[00:47:37] And, and so you, you, you, you kind of paint a picture of what that would be like and then ask them, what it is that they're experiencing in order to understand what they value. So like, again, let's go, I'll put this into actual, real world examples. So like for wedding photography, I might say Chris, like I want you, I want to learn more about photography and what you care about, but I want to word it this way. 

[00:47:57] So. fast forward three years after the wedding. And it was perfect. Like, it was exactly what you wanted to be. Including the imperfection of it. Like all the things, it just like, it was perfect. And now it's it's like a lazy Sunday and you're at home and you got to know where to be. And you're chilling on the couch and maybe you're on your phone. 

[00:48:18] And you notice is Alison, she picks up your wedding album again, you don't really care. You're just on your phone, you're doing your own thing. You're thinking by the next podcast or whatever. Um, But then you catch the corner of her ear. I like, like a, like a little sound like a little murmur from her or something. 

[00:48:32] So you, so you look over and she's smiling. And so you scoot over closer to her and you're, you're looking at these photographs together. Now, have you ever been watching a movie? Where at some point in the film you become self-aware that you're feeling what the characters feeling on the screen, like you're like beaming or whatever it is. 

[00:48:51] And you're like, why am I smiling so big? I've never smelled this big in my life because of the characteristics. And so then you catch yourself feeling as you're looking at these photographs. Right? So, so here's the question for you, Chris. Who do you see in this wedding album and what are those people doing that is bringing you like this much joy? 

[00:49:08] So that would be an example of the golden question. What I'm doing is I'm casting a future with having, I'm allowing you to actually see what it's like to have had my service and my product to actually experience the result of it. Like the joy of it, whatever emotions come up for you. Maybe it's laughter maybe it's, maybe it's, maybe it isn't joy. 

[00:49:28] I don't know, but I'm allowing you to actually feel that. And then you're you get to tie it back to the people again, it's all about connections. Like who are the people and what do they do? Not, what are those photographs look like? Are they bright and airy? Are they dark and moody? are, are they photo journalistic or are they posts? 

[00:49:42] I'm not asking that I'm saying who are the people in the photographs and what are those people doing? And now you're going to give me answers to things that I would have never understood about what you actually value for me documenting your day. And it's going to create an opening for you as well, that you're going to start saying that you were like, holy, like I see my dad standing and the front door of our house. 

[00:50:07] And he smells like gasoline because he's been working on the car that we're going to drive from the church all morning. And he's got to get to the church in 15 minutes. And I know looking at him that he's going to be. Maybe that's what you tell me, you see. 

[00:50:21] Right. 

[00:50:21] Chris: You're good. 

[00:50:22] Ben: But that's a, that, that is a moment in time that I would have known never unpacked if I was like, so my style of photography is very photojournalistic. 

[00:50:31] I value capturing moments because your family matters the most. And so tell me what kind of style of photography do you like? 

[00:50:37] You're just going to give me jargon. You're going to say things like you, like, you know, I don't want things to pose. Yeah. Whatever it is, but it's all it's going to be nothing, but now I've, I've given you a space, like a clearing for you to kind of see something, a new perspective. 

[00:50:55] and so, so maybe that would be a question I ask and then another one of my favorite questions, and maybe we can, we, you know, this could be a good place even to, we could begin to draw it in. But another question that I love to ask is and this also, I, man, I can't remember if this came from Blair ends or, or Jonathan Stark, but it's the inception question. 

[00:51:11] That's my favorite one to ask. So the movie inception is where do you get inside someone's head? And you like, can plant a dream within a dream. You can plant memories. Right? And so I would, after we have, and I asked a number of questions, but after having this dialogue and I, and the clearing has been made, the space has been opened up for them to step in and to see like photography in a whole new light, different than maybe they thought about it originally. 

[00:51:40] I'll then just ask them, well, I'll try to talk him out of hiring me. I'll be like, what? Like, why are we talking? Like it's 20, 21 and everything is awesome. And you could probably find some on Craigslist who would photograph your day for next to nothing, because everyone's trying to be a photographer right now. 

[00:51:57] Or you can even crowdsource the day from like your guests cameras or their phones. So just out of curiosity, like I've been at this thing for 11 years and you know that this is like a full service and this isn't cheap, 

[00:52:10] you know? And now either a they're gonna say like, that's a good point by, but 9.9 9 9 9, 9, 9 times out of 10, they're going to tell you exactly why they're about to hire you. They're going to, they're going to say it. Remember if I say it it's selling, if they say it's closing and they're going to say Ben, because I value these moments too much to risk, just having someone who started their business, I value these moments too much to whatever it is and who knows what they'll tell you. 

[00:52:37] And then at the end, I'll just be like, okay, 

[00:52:39] Chris: dude. I could keep talking for the next like four hours. I have to go convince someone from the Republican party to change the laws in Ohio in just a minute here. So Let's 

[00:52:49] hang 

[00:52:49] out again, 

[00:52:50] but that was the most, that was one of the best. mic drops we've ever had on the podcast. And I appreciate you coming on 

[00:52:56] Ben: I think it was awesome. 

[00:52:57] Chris: Thanks, man. 

[00:52:58] Ben: Let's 

[00:52:59] Chris: about what our audience 

[00:53:00] can do for you. What would you, what would you, what would your ask for our audience? 

[00:53:04] Ben: yeah, well being that they're podcast listeners, it only seems appropriate that they should probably uh, and then they might enjoy another podcast. So if, if you enjoy photography and especially the business side of photography I have a podcast called the six figure photography that why at the end, the six figure photography podcast. 

[00:53:22] And so you can find that Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, whatever you use for your podcasts. And then the only other space would be if you enjoy like a video a little bit more, or a little bit more off the cuff coaching, I do free coaching in my mastermind group every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 3:00 PM. 

[00:53:40] And so if if you'd like to join that community, it's free, there's 17,000 other creatives in it. You can go to Ben hartley.com forward slash mastermind. Again, it's free Ben hartley.com/mastermind. I show my face again, three days a week. I just hop in there and I had to share about what it is that I'm learning in my business uh, that week. 

[00:54:00] And it's a really great, it's a really great space. 

[00:54:02] Chris: Well, to close us up. My favorite movie bar, none is Lawrence. 

[00:54:06] Ben: yeah, 

[00:54:07] Chris: Bro. It's amazing. one of the most precious gyms in cinematography and there's a, one of the best. scenes ever is at the very beginning of the movie. I'm not gonna gonna, gonna even talk about it cause I, I can't do it justice, But there's a, scene at the beginning of the movie. When I first encountered you and saw your name, Ben Hartley, there's a scene where Lawrence says Michael John Hall, you are philosopher every time I hear your name. I just hear that. And that's so appropriate today. You dropped some huge wisdom, wisdom bombs. So Ben Hartley, your philosopher. Thank you for coming on the show, 

[00:54:43] Ben: thank you, Chris. Appreciate you.

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