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Interview with David Molnar | GBPW Episode 121

4 min read

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David Molnar.

You’re not a photographer when someone pays you. That doesn’t make you a photographer. You’re not a photographer when someone else tells you that you’re great, that you have beautiful photos, or you start getting praise. There’s all these moments where people think, “Oh, maybe I’m a professional photographer if I get certified” or whatever it is. But I say you’re a photographer when you say you are.

David Molnar

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In this episode, I speak with celebrity and advertising photographer David Molnar. David takes stunning pictures of celebrities, landscapes, and more. He knows how to tell a compelling story through each photo that he takes. David has had amazing success as a photographer. After years of hard work and patience, he decided to become a mentor and help others take better photos. 

We talk about:

– Overcoming imposter syndrome

– Practical business tips for photographers

– The inspiration behind David Molnar’s book, Learning To See

& much more!

I had a great time speaking with David Molnar about the creative and entrepreneurial side of photography. If you’re interested in building a business or just improving your photography, this is the perfect episode for you!

Here is a preview of our conversation with David Molnar.

Q: What is your book about and what inspired you to write it? 

David Molnar: The book, Learning to See, walks you through the 5 steps to become a photographer. In the end, it helps people turn pro. People ask me who this book is for and what it’s about, and I say it’s for anyone who’s interested in photography at all, whether it’s for passion or profit.

The first part of the book is helping photographers get inspired and learn the foundational skills that every photographer needs to know. The middle part of the book is helping photographers develop and pursue a specific path, a specific niche in photography. We help them pick that path and understand what options are available to them. Regardless of whether or not you want to go pro, everyone needs to learn how to do photography from a foundational level and get really good at shooting and editing photos.

Then, they need to pick a specific path, like landscape photography, wildlife photography, wedding photography, etc., regardless of whether they want to actually make money or not.

The fifth part of the book is optional. It’s the part where we actually teach you how to start a legitimate business, book your first paying gigs, and create raving fans from those first gigs that send you a lot of referrals, which kicks off your business and really makes you a legitimate professional photographer.

Q: At what point should a photographer consider getting mentor?

David Molnar: As soon as possible. As soon as freaking possible is the actual answer to that. 

Regardless of where you get your mentorship, it’s absolutely essential that you get a mentor. Whether it’s a virtual mentor or a photographer that you can assist in person, it’s absolutely essential that you get a mentor to start learning from right away. 

That’s exactly why I wrote the book. There’s a lot of people that are in places where they don’t know a photographer or there’s no photographer that’s willing to let them assist or intern under them. A lot of photographers don’t share their secrets. A lot of photographers feel like if they’ve earned this status of being a professional photographer – the years of blood, sweat, and tears – they don’t want to share their secrets. I feel the exact opposite. I remember what it was like to stumble through the dark and try to figure out photography on my own. I’d think, “If I ever become a successful photographer and learn all these lessons, I want to help other photographers pursue their dreams with less heartache in less time and have a clear path for them to go through.”

Q: As a mentor, what have you learned about photography that surprised you?

David Molnar: It’s actually made me become a better photographer. I think the best way to learn something is to teach it. When you have to teach something step by step, you become more of a master at whatever the subject is that you’re teaching.

Author Bio

David Molnar is a celebrity and advertising photographer, believer, and family man. His work has been seen on millions of Pepsi cans, in People magazine, on American Idol, and in the New York Times. His clients include Google, Pepsi, and Sony, among many others. Feeling so blessed to be realizing his dreams, David is now focusing on being “Your Photography Mentor.” He is helping tens of thousands of photographers pursue their dreams by creating world-class photo education, inspiration, and resources.

Learning To See

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Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
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