John Craig, Professional Photographer, on Favorite Books & Reading Habits
Today’s interview is with Jean 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!
Quel est votre livre préféré et pourquoi ? Entreprises et non-entreprises, si possible.
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.
Y a-t-il eu un moment, précisément, où quelque chose que vous avez lu dans un livre vous a aidé ? Pouvez-vous m'en parler?
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.
Quels livres vous ont le plus marqué ? (peut-être changé votre façon de voir les choses, radicalement changé votre cheminement de carrière)
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.
Quels livres conseilleriez-vous aux jeunes intéressés par votre parcours professionnel ? Pourquoi? (pas de limite de nombre ici)
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.
J'aimerais en savoir plus sur vos habitudes de lecture. À quelle fréquence lisez-vous ? Sous quel format ?
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.
Comment gagner du temps pour lire ?
I have no direct answer for that. Watch less TV?
Prenez-vous des notes ou avez-vous une autre technique pour conquérir le torrent d'informations ?
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.
Comment choisissez-vous les livres à lire ensuite ?
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.
Do you prioritize those recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?
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.
Dernière question : quel livre lisez-vous actuellement et qu'espérez-vous en retirer ?
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