John Craig, Professional Photographer, on Favorite Books & Reading Habits
Today’s interview is with Juan Craig, who has more than 25 years of experience as a professional photographer. He’s the owner of John Craig Media, where he creates different types of content for branding and storytelling. John’s also Head Sherpa at Elizabeth Craig Photography – his and his wife’s photography business, specialized on romantic and editorial-style portraits.
I discovered John and Elizabeth thanks to Going Deep With Aaron’s podcast. I don’t remember exactly how I got there, since it’s not a recent episode, but I do remember that one of their projects caught my attention. I’m talking about The Beauty Within Foundation, a foundation they started with the mission to empower women and recognize their beauty through photography and storytelling.
From our interview, you’ll find out more about his favorite book, how they influenced him, and his reading habits (you’ll also find John’s contact links at the end). Enjoy!
¿Cuál es tu libro favorito y por qué? Negocios y no negocios, si es posible.
On the Shortness of life by Seneca. This is the book that I recommend to everybody. It’s everything you will need to make it in life & business. It is by far a complete business self-motivational book all-in-one. The best thing is that it’s 2,000-year of time-tested wisdom.
¿Hubo algún momento, específicamente, en que algo que leíste en un libro te ayudó? ¿Me puedes decir al respecto?
That is hard to pinpoint into only one answer. Every book has at least that one sentence that I will carry with me forever. In Peter Thiel’s book, he asks the question “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” If you can answer that question it will give you the direction on how & where to grow your life & business to the next level.
¿Qué libros te impactaron más? (quizás cambió la forma en que ves las cosas, cambió drásticamente tu carrera profesional)
Without a doubt: Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life. I am paraphrasing here: The opening of the book starts off with the sentence, “Life is long if you know how to use it.”
Here is my second favorite: “It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much… The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”
What I have taken out of this book is to enjoy life and to enjoy being of service to others. That is how business grows & the secret to personal happiness.
¿Qué libros recomendarías a los jóvenes interesados en tu camino profesional? ¿Por qué? (sin límite de número aquí)
Photography is an ever-expanding field, yet the fundamentals never change, also this is where many fall short.
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is the book that I recommend to anybody starting off.
You can probably guess by now that I recommend “On the Shortness of Life” by Seneca. The fundamentals never change, even after 2,000 yrs.
Me interesa saber más sobre sus hábitos de lectura. ¿Con qué frecuencia lees? ¿En qué formato?
I read two books a month on average. I use my local library to feed my addiction. I like paper books the best, it is simply the feel of holding a book that I love the best. I also keep my Moleskine journal next to me while reading for note-taking. This is how you can get your Ph.D. in life if you become a good note taker.
¿Cómo haces tiempo para leer?
I have no direct answer for that. Watch less TV?
¿Tomas notas o tienes alguna otra técnica para conquistar el torrente de información?
Moleskine journal; it worked for Picasso & Hemingway. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Writing your thoughts/notes down in paper & pen just seems to keep it right there in my waking consciousness.
¿Cómo eliges qué libros leer a continuación?
BrainPickings.com & New York Times books section helps me a lot. Also, I find one book leads me to the next book, reading in itself is a path to discovery. Oh, yes, friends. Your entrepreneurial friends are readers; ask them what they are currently reading.
¿Priorizas los recomendados por ciertas personas? ¿Hay alguien a quien consideres un gurú de las recomendaciones de libros?
The only book, or should I say author, that takes priority is Haruki Murakami. He is a Japanese novelist that takes me into the next world. His style is surreal. Check it out. Start with Kafka on the Shore.
Última pregunta: ¿qué libro estás leyendo actualmente y qué esperas obtener de él?
Links where you can follow John Craig or find out more about his projects:
Books mentioned by John Craig in this interview:
- Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
- On the Shortness of Life by Seneca
- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
- Understanding Exposure, Fourth Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera by Bryan Peterson
- Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson