Ron Clifford – The Arcanum
Ron Clifford shares his vast history and how he has given back through his teaching and sharing with others. His latest teachings brings him to The Arcanum, a fantastic resources for every photographer.
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Tell us about Ron?
Photo restoration artist…embracing digital photography
Started with anything but also did weddings and portrait work to help pay for the bills…ended up realizing I like working with people. Now weddings are limited to ten or less. Online education is prime focus.
Passion is teaching and mentoring
How did you get into photography?
Doing a drawing of bambi and knew that he was an artist. Moved toward art in High School and was encouraged to take photography…thought I was going to be a painter and realized I was into photography.
Never anything else on the radar…always stayed toward being an artist
In the middle years there was a time money forced work into restoration and contracting with photography being a side hobby
Getting a digital camera in 2007 changed my focus
Is photography a full time job for you?
Photography and photography education
What type of photography is your favorite to shoot?
Two favorite things to photograph…all about the moment:
Photograph people…capture “who they are” where the camera disappears
Outdoor world and infuse artistic character
Any lessons you have learned over the years that someone just getting into the field could use? It’s a hard profession to make a living at, any advice for someone wanting to be a full time photographer?
Not really a defined path such as a lawyer or doctor…very diverse field with parts changing rapidly.
Challenge is to not think about what will make money but what is the “value thread” where I have a passion and most likely be successful. Very difficult to make money
Take a business / marketing course to know what makes people tick…what are peoples purchasing behaviour.
Most photography paths have already been taken…look to specialize and cater to specific clients / market
Deliver more than you promise
Question: Enjoy shooting all subjects, how to narrow down the focus to a specialty:
Is it important to specialize? Your style / voice will come by exploring the world, the journey starts by making your “heart sing”
You do a “Photoshop Show”, PS has come a long way but is there anything you still feel is missing or needs to get better?
Where you an early user of PS?
No…started late. Taught at a local college someone asked if PS would takeaway the business of “hand art”. Thought I was years ahead, however, six months from the conversation I was out of business.
Now embrace PS as a digital studio
Where is PS going in the future?
At the cutting edge of photos
PS integrates video now and foresee the ability to pull the best image out of a video…scary for the photographer
You are big on G+, is that your primary social outlet? If so, why G+?
Google+ has changed my life…game me the opportunity to engage with other photographers. The platform allowed strong connections with meetups local and faraway. Created communities to place people in specific groups
Hangouts allowed us to get together and broadcast to a larger group
Google asked me to be on the “getting started” list which built up followers. Google didn’t look for superstars but rather brought together active users
How did you get into photography education and why?
Always looked for the opportunity
10 – 12 years ago was a turning point…asked myself when was the happiest. Teaching and taking photographs. This led me toward what I would retire into.
Google + accelerated the process as there were plenty of people looking to better themselves
What is The Arcanum?
A very old… ancient, in fact… way of learning and growing your Art through a Master & Apprentice relationship, powered by a NEW kind of academy. Imagine a type of Hogwarts, online in Augmented Reality, where you always have a connection to your Master and your fellow Apprentices. Get your head around that, and you’ll see where this is going…
A learning platform…based on the old master / apprentice, however, much large with a group of twenty or so apprentices being taught by a master
Each master brings along their own specialty
Tell me about the teachers
Who are they?
What does it take to become one?
Are they looking for new teachers?
Any specific areas of photography?
What type of photographer is a good fit?
What skill level?
All skill levels and all apprentices start at level one regardless where they are in skill level
Tell me how it works?
Do I get to pick my Master?
No, the master picks the apprentice and there is a waiting list
How often will I interact with the master?
Is kind of like a part time job
Masters are carefully selected to ensure the culture remains the same
Waiting list is approximately
What should I expect if accepted
An invite to Arcanum to become a cohort
Required to make an introduction
Level one – upload five photos and complete task and move toward to the next level. As you move on the levels are less general and more specific based on the cohort
Do all members see what the cohort does?
The cohorts are responsible to help you to grow with and the community helps each other. Crowdsourcing of knowledge is very powerful.
How much does it cost / commitment?
$79 / month…access to
grand library which continues to grow…information from Masters
ability to see other cohorts grow to assist you in your progress
Is it worth it? That is an answer
You will learn:
- Editing skills
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