Homeless to Happy – One Photographer’s Journey to Optimism and Success with Christopher Hall.
Episode 01: Show Notes.
Welcome to the first episode of the Find Your Focus podcast with Cole’s Classroom, where you’ll hear inspirational stories and pro tips from our guests to help you on your journey with photography! Joining us today is Christopher Hall, a professional photographer who we had to invite on the show after we heard his inspirational story. Christopher went from homelessness to happiness and it was all thanks to photography! After neglecting his health around 2011, Christopher found himself in the hospital with doctors predicting he had less than a week to live. Miraculously, Christopher recovered but then endured a period of homelessness and rehabilitation facilities, until his life changed forever after receiving a camera as a gift from a church friend. In today’s show, Christopher tells us the story of how he always loved the idea of being a photographer and finally decided to pursue it professionally at that moment. We hear about his journey with photography, how he borrowed equipment and slowly built a name for himself, and moved from shooting stock photography to family portraits, weddings, and more! Christopher shares so many motivating things today, talking about how he developed his style, how to get going with entry-level equipment, the love and reception his work has received, and the importance of keeping the creative juices flowing! He also talks about the benefits of pricing well, and the value of doing free work too, because you never know who your last subject might become! A big takeaway is Christopher’s belief that one wouldn’t feel like giving up at times unless they had something to give up on, which is a reason to have gratitude and be motivated again! Tune in and learn how it’s never too late to change your life, and how photography helped Christopher change his!
Key Points From This Episode:
• The story of Christopher going to the hospital and finding he had three to six days to live.
• Getting out of the hospital, struggling with work, and ending up homeless.
• Christopher’s initial strategy of thinking of things to photograph for image libraries.
• Moving to photographing families from church and the challenge kids present.
• Christopher’s initial hesitation to shoot weddings and how he got into that niche.
• How Christopher’s lack of wedding photography experience made his first wedding pictures unique.
• The fortune Christopher found in the wedding photography niche with clients loving his work.
• Lessons learned on the street and Christopher’s strategy to keep his work affordable.
• Opportunities that can come from doing headshots of people who could become celebrities.
• Homelessness to photography: remembering that you don’t know how things will turn out.
• Remembering that one doesn’t need the fanciest equipment or training to get going.
• How much more you learn by starting out with entry-level equipment.
• The importance of having one’s own style and not copying trends.
• Not realizing that one’s style is unique until somebody recognizes it.
• Keeping creativity flowing and how Christopher has endured the hard times in his work.
“My ex-wife at the time, she actually wanted me to get a hobby and decided to buy me a camera and so I had done it a little bit before and it was one of those sorts of dream things. I thought it would be really great to actually do it full-time.” — Christopher Hall [0:04:23]
“I was given this camera. I thought, ‘Right, I’m going to do it,’ and went for it. I didn’t have a job to go to or anything. I just went, ‘Right, I’m going to set myself up as a photographer,’ and did it.” — Christopher Hall [0:07:16]
“When I was living on the streets, all of those people walking past me, I doubt would have even looked at me saying, ‘He is going to be a photographer owning his own business.’” — Christopher Hall [0:17:30]
“I think if you don’t have days where you want to give up, possibly something is wrong because the days where you want to give up actually should be making you realize you’ve got something to give up.” — Christopher Hall [0:24:29]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: