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September 10th, 2009

Joe McNally: I couldn’t imagine not having a blog

Posted by liveBooks

When Joe McNally, a legendary photojournalist and lighting guru, stopped by the liveBooks office during some rare down time in San Francisco, I couldn’t resist setting up a video interview. (Thanks to videographer Drew Gurian.) Joe has contributed to National Geographic for 20 years and was a staff photographer for LIFE magazine. He works with huge commercial clients and produced a seminal portrait series of September 11 heroes. He’s also the author of two must-read instructional books and writes a very popular blog — which brings us to the video below.

Joe started his blog in 2008 after prodding from friends (and avid bloggers) including Moose Peterson, David Hobby, and Scott Kelby. Now the blog is an important part of his business, especially since “big pipelines” for assignments have dried up in recent years.

“Any photographer out there now is stitching together things,” he says. “Work comes now in all sorts of strange ways.” Smart photographers like Joe understand that blogs and social media are an important part of that patchwork. They bring in assignments, create buzz, and help build community with other top professionals. (If you haven’t seen Joe’s parody of Chase Jarvis’ Consequences of Creativity video, I recommend you watch that too.)


  1. September 10th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Joe McNally: I couldn’t imagine not having a blog – Miki Johnson (RESOLVE/liveBooks) @ Photo News Today

    […] Source and Read More: […]

  2. September 10th, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Twitter Trackbacks for Joe McNally: When assignments dry up, blogs fill the gap | RESOLVE — the liveBooks photo blog [] on

    […] Joe McNally: When assignments dry up, blogs fill the gap | RESOLVE — the liveBooks photo blog – view page – cached Master photographer and lighting guru Joe McNally talks about his blog and how it helps him build a multi-faceted photo business. — From the page […]

  3. September 11th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    There’s A Pileup on I-74 – of Links! « Central Illinois Photoblog

    […] he uses social media to connect with new customers, via his blog, his Facebook page, and Twitter. Livebooks put up the video of the interview and it’s an interesting […]

  4. September 14th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Rory O'Toole

    Great video, thanks! Been following Joe’s blog for about 6 months. Came across him via Strobist. Bought the Hot Shoe Diaries soon after, read it through in about 3 days, and have been dipping in and out of it since. I’m saving The Moment it Clicks till I next have a few days break, cos his writing is so good, it makes great holiday reading! How many technical photographic books can you say that about?

  5. October 8th, 2009 at 12:54 am


    Outstanding interview on both parties. Thanks

  6. November 24th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Hvorfor blog ? « Jesper Skærbæk Jensen Fotoblog

    […] mest de blogs der omhandler min store interesse , foto. Joe McNally fortæller her, i en lille video, hvorfor han startede sin blog, og hvordan han bruger den. Der er god information […]

  7. August 28th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Multiblitz Studio Lighting

    Great interview!

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