Real Photos

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There are many things I could tell you about my last week in the Silicon Valley meeting hundreds of fantastic entrepreneurs, Investors and Academics but there is one guy I met doing something totally unique.

I was at an event and Michael was doing portraits, he had an old school looking camera and a very calm and centred vibe, and as I went to get my photo taken he said to me. “Now I want you to relax!”

Relax?, Normally people say ‘Cheese.’ I had never heard that before but tried to respond. As I did, the smile fell off my face, the cheesy grin that I use in almost every of my 3,000 photos on Facebook disappeared into the ether. He clicked the flash button and a bolt of lighting hit the room and I felt like I had just been wiped by Will Smith in the Men in Black.

Then a very unexpected thing began to happen, I suddenly felt pretty damn vulnerable, I realised he had done something incredibly clever, he used just enough of his cool tools and his calming demeanour to distract me from the reality that he was pulling a glimmer of authenticity out of me. In a 3 day retreat with150 top CEOs, Venture Capitalists and Corporate Executives not one of them inquired or required anything from my real person but this man did it, in one big flash,  proved he is one of the ‘Good guys dressed in black’

In his presence, his tools, his timing and his questions, this man creates a experience of the deepest value, whilst the whole world is running in one direction with photos, he is thinking differently about their nature and purpose.

The product was the least important part to me, I don’t even know what to do with it, I will probably give it to my Mum. His value is in the experience and moment of reflection he invited in me.

I am regularly reminded by people in the most diverse of fields that the tools and professions we choose or are handed to us in life have little baring on our ability to do great things. Although we must work hard to get good at what we do, the true value is created in how we go about it.

The image of the photo he took of me would have gone here but weirdly I’ve been trying to upload the image for about 20 minutes and I can’t do it! – Maybe there’s a good reason!

Here’s a Video on what Michael does :

Check him out! :

Ps. Just listened to the Men in Black theme tune! still surprisingly catchy 🙂