Interview with Aaron Meyers

March 14, 2018

Welcome to episode 047 of the F-Stop Collaborate and Listen with California-based landscape photographer and the Director of Product for SmugMug, Aaron Meyers! Aaron reached out to me to see if I would be interested in discussing more of the business side of being a landscape photographer and I thought it would be a great idea. I personally really enjoyed our conversation this week - there's a lot for everyone in this episode!

We covered some great topics this week, including:

  • How to think like your customers
  • How to price your photography
  • How to cultivate your buyers

Over on Patreon this week we went on a deep dive relating to social media strategy for landscape photographers, including ad buys and more. We also discussed the new Vero app.

Special announcements: 

Please consider supporting the podcast on Patreon! There's a ton of bonus content over there for subscribers! We are closer to our goal of being able to award a $1,000 prize to a photographer dedicated to conservation. 

To learn more about Aaron:




Here are the artists that Aaron would like to hear on the podcast:

CJ Kale and Nick Selway

Sarah Marino & Ron Coscorrosa

Chris Burkhard

Some examples of Aaron's photography can be seen below. 

I love hearing from the podcast listeners! Reach out to me via Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter if you'd like to be on the podcast or if you have an idea of a topic we can talk about. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook Group.

Aaron Meyers - Thinking Like Your Customers in Landscape Photography

In May I traveled to the Big Island of Hawaii for a week long vacation and there were 2 things I was most looking forward to: scuba diving with the Manta Rays and seeing hot scalding lava. The trip delivered everything and more! A lot of back and forth decisions finally led my friends and I to sign up for an evening lava tour with Kalapani Cultural Tours. The hike out to the lava wasn't too bad -- about 2 miles along mostly flat lava. Our guides LOVED to talk about the lava but unfortunately they couldn't seem to do it while we walked. We spent so much time stopped 'resting' that our arrival time started getting dangerously close to the best light. At first we came upon the surface flow -- where some of the lava had bubbled over and began to creep along the surface. After taking my picture 2 feet away from 2,000 degree lava I decided I wanted to go see the ocean flow. The lava conditions change every day. A lava bench that was around yesterday may have fallen off and will be completely gone the next morning. When I arrived there was no safe viewing spot close up to the lava. I had to stay far back, high on a cliff, and used the 80-200mm telephoto to get nice and intimate with the lava. On this evening the lava was flowing so fast that there was a TON of steam everywhere. More steam than I would have liked. As we watched 2 new streams of lava broke through the tube and made their way down into the ocean (you can see them on the far right of the photo). Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 80-200mm: 145mm, f/6.3, 0.4 sec, ISO 800

Aaron Meyers - Thinking Like Your Customers in Landscape Photography

For the last 8 years I’ve gathered my friends in Yosemite National Park to celebrate my birthday (or, as of late, more of a “belated birthday” celebration). A few of us drove up early Friday morning and spent the day setting up camp, relaxing, making dinner, and then racing out for sunset. While cooking dinner I looked up at the sky and noticed some high clouds had moved in but they were primarily only in one small patch of the sky. We all agreed to head to the Meadow to watch sunset: my friends wanted to walk while I wanted to drive so I could continue on to shoot the Milky Way at Olmsted Point. When I got to the Meadow I realized I was wayyy too close to Lembert Dome — I needed to be further away. Ditching my friends, I drove towards the Visitors Center and got out by a nice little pool of water facing west. To my frustration, there was not a cloud in the sky to the west. The old saying of “look behind you!” couldn’t have been more true on this evening. When I turned around and saw the absolutely GORGEOUS lenticular clouds behind me, I didn’t even think “grab your camera bag” — I just took off running for the Tuolumne River. I knew I wanted Lembert Dome, the river, and the amazing sky in my photo. Thankfully neither bear nor human touched my camera bag during the 30 minutes I was away shooting. I took quite a number of photos as the amazing lenticular clouds glowed orange and red. In this case I stitched 11 photos together to form a 63 megapixel image and then cropped to this 40 megapixel image. The title of this photo, is a play on the name of the area, "Tuolumne" (pronounced Two-all-um-knee). Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S: 24mm, f/10, 1/3 sec, ISO 100 11 image panorama, cropped

Aaron Meyers - Thinking Like Your Customers in Landscape Photography

If I’m getting up for sunrise while at home in the Bay Area it’s usually to go visit the Golden Gate Bridge or some other iconic spot in San Francisco. The Bay Area has some other beautiful locations though: tons and tons of rolling hills with beautiful oak trees dotting all over. They become especially pretty in the winter and spring, when all the winter rain turns our golden hills into stunning green hills. On this particular morning we met just before sunrise and looked around, wondering where the clouds were. There was 1 small patch of clouds that might light up, but the rest of the sky was devoid of anything that would catch color. Fortunately for us, that one small cloud happened to plop itself right behind the tree we wanted to photograph! I loved how this scene has criss-crossing hills, that suck the eye in, and then the Oak Tree cements your eye. A bird perched itself on top of the tree, which itself is perched on top of the hill. Big thanks to Willie for hunting for this tree and finding it! Nikon D700 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8: 56mm, f/11, 1/40 sec, ISO 200

Aaron Meyers - Thinking Like Your Customers in Landscape Photography

Every February there's an absolutely stunning phenomenon that occurs in Yosemite National Park: a waterfall appears as if it's on fire! Horsetail Falls, which runs from snowmelt off the eastern side of the giant rock known as "El Capitan", hasn't existed for the last 5 years due to the California drought. But this year, thanks to El Niño, it has returned! As the sun sets with its orange light, and if it's located in the right place in the sky, its light reflects off the granite walls and onto the waterfall, making it look as if it's on fire! I last photographed this in 2011 and I was very eager to capture it again. The angle in which the sun can hit the waterfall is fairly limited, and knowing which angles will work, I'm able to write a computer program every year that predicts on which days and what times the waterfall will erupt. This year, the ideal days were on Sunday, Febraury 21 and Monday, February 22. I had seen a number of amazing photos taken earlier than this but with my busy schedule, I planned on making 2 trips to Yosemite to see the Fire Falls. On Sunday, Willie, Mike, Sammi and I drove to Yosemite, rustled with the massive crowds (thanks to Social Media, thousands of people flock to Yosemite to see this), and then left in disappointment as clouds rolled in at the last minute and blocked the sun from hitting the falls. On Monday I had planned to take 8 of my SmugMug co-workers to see the waterfall and we left work at 6:30am to get to Yosemite in time. A few people hadn't ever visited Yosemite, so we left some time to explore a bit of the park. Knowing the crouds could get large, we immediately dropped off Willie and our tripods and then ventured off to explore the park. Having photographed this in 2011 from one of the two main locations (South Side Drive), I was determined to try a new angle this year: near the North Side Drive, El Capitan Picnic Grounds. Clouds began to roll in during the afternoon and I began to get worried that our chance at th

Aaron Meyers - Thinking Like Your Customers in Landscape Photography
Posted in Photography Podcast and tagged Podcast.