Diversify or Die - Photography, Videography & More...with David Newton

I’m not quite sure how I got where I am, I just kind of fell into it, but I’m doing what I love!
— (David Newton - Togcast Ep.18)

David Newton (www.photopositive.co.uk) is a SanDisk Extreme team member, a Canon specialist tutor and one of the busiest photographers on the scene today. In this weeks Togcast episode we chat with David about the necessity to stay ahead of the curve professionally and discuss some of his recent road trips for Canon and other brands.

It's something of a cliche to say that modern photographers need to be not just 'Jack of all trades' but 'Masters of all trades'. David has diversified into videography and drone work alongside his already broad portfolio of skills covering all manner of photography from macro to time lapse, and portrait to landscape.

Something that drives me on is a fear that I’m not getting the best out of every situation
— (David Newton - Togcast Ep.18)

David and host Paul discuss the desire and drive required to stay on top of your game and bring fresh eyes and techniques to your kit bag of skills. Whether it's because of the mental burdens of being self employed in a highly competitive marketplace or perhaps just because of his own internal drive David discusses some of the fears he may have whilst out shooting and how that helps inspire and motivate him to work harder, try different things and stay fresh.

This is a guy who took 63 flights for photo/video related work projects in 2016, it may sound glamorous but that's a lot of time away from home and living out of a suitcase. Knowing your gear requirements inside out is par for the course and also understanding how to match that to a commercial clients vision is part of the skill required.

“There are a lot of people who go and teach but they don’t ‘do’…I want to be able to say I do go and shoot this stuff before going and teaching it”
— (David Newton - Togcast Ep.18)

Whilst many pro's have found it necessary and commercially constructive to diversify, David also loves the technology. His work with Canon as a specialist tutor and touring brand 'evangelist' has driven him to really stay current and make sure that if he's teaching these skills and techniques it's something he knows he has mastered in a real life commercial situation already, bringing another level of credibility to his teaching and advice.

It can also be enlightening teaching other creatives at different levels of skill and at different stages of their development. Sometimes when teaching you can learn a great deal from the student making it a two way exchange of ideas and it's Davids open mindedness to this that has helped make him the 'go to' guy for big brands wanting his teaching skills and style.

“We’re now in a world where photography has less value…Clients are less willing to pay for photography”
— (David Newton - Togcast Ep.18)

Many photographers are now trying to seamlessly bridge the gap between photography and videography, David chats about the commercial value of videography now being higher for him than photography. We speculate that this is probably due in part to the time consuming nature of editing and the fact some of these skills and processes are still quite tech heavy for the average marketing team member who might be comfortable making reasonable images for branding but hasn't had the time or opportunity to up-skill and produce high quality video, leaving a space for the pro market to fill.

If you cut me I bleed Canon red!
— (David Newton - Togcast Ep.18)

Obviously David is Canon through and through, and on a recent road trip with a fellow photographer he was able to compare the 5DsR back to back with the new Fuji GFX. It seems like there wasn’t a huge amount in it with regards the image quality but David makes a fair point that at this stage the Canon is perhaps more versatile due to the wide selection of lenses and other accessories available to help in all shooting scenarios, something Fuji are surely working towards so it will be interesting to see how that develops.

The Togcast is a Landscape & Travel photography podcast and is hosted by Sam Gregory & Paul Sanders. Subscribe on iTunes or Podbean to get the latest show straight to your device.