Developing skills over Christmas, the fleetingness of family, the most underrated gift and why niching is like cake

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Welcome back to another newsletter! Apologies for the delay — I’ve been a little under the weather the past few days, so this is getting released a few days behind schedule.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone out there. I hope you all had a great celebration with family, friends or however you choose to celebrate this time of year!

As always, the format of the newsletter is simple:

  1. Ideas I’m thinking about
  2. Resources that are upgrading the quality of my life
  3. The latest from me

Ideas

The people around you — your friends, family and loved ones — aren’t going to last forever. Your time with them is limited. Life is fleeting. Be present when you’re with your loved ones. There are only so many more moments you’ll get to share with them. Embrace it all. The joys, the hardships and everything in between. It won’t always be perfect, but it will be exactly what you both signed up for.

Gifting money is more thoughtful than people think. It humbly says, “you know your situation and what you truly want more than I ever could, so spend it on whatever’s best for you.” Especially with people who are minimalists who are selective with what they keep or people who can be very picky about brands, features, etc. (I am both), it shows a person that you’re paying attention to their behaviour and honouring their choices.

Niching is like offering people food. If there’s a hungry group of people and you offer them food, they’ll say yes because they’re so hungry they could eat anything. But if the same group of people is full and you offer them food, odds are only a couple of hands will go up. If you offer that same full group a desert, however, many more hands will go up. If you go even more specific and offer them a dark chocolate cake with oozing hot chocolate sauce on top, some hands will go down, but those that stay up will be so passionate about the idea of that specific type of cake, they will passionately buy what you’re offering — even though they’re full.

Practice makes progress, so wherever your skills are just get started and improve through repetition. I didn’t feel ready at all to have a photography shoot this Christmas, let alone one for each family, but I just did it anyway and figured things out as I went. I brought my lighting setup and photography gear into the world for the first time, identified the most ideal composition I could see and snapped the best photographs I could of my family. Once the photoshoots were over, I turned on cinematography mode and filmed b-roll of the rest of Christmas and got tons of usable shots for a mini film and beyond. Through sheer repetition, my cinematography, videography and photography skills all improved so much over the course of just a few days and I became infinitely more comfortable doing it in public. The quality of the first photo shoot was much different than the last because I was learning through being in the game.

Everyday life can always be made to look cinematic and it’s more simple than you might think. Get some distance between you and your subject. Shoot at 50mm-85mm when possible. “Dirty the frame” with other objects. Get close when it’s essential. Chop off the inessential. Film in 60fps and slow it down to 24fps for 2.5x slow motion.

Resources

The King’s Man soundtrack by Matthew Margeson and Dominic Lewis. Of the 3 Kingsman soundtracks, this was by far my favourite to date. Featured as of writing within my playlist, The Hero’s Journey.

Hacksaw Ridge. Tremendous film of courage and principle from a medic recruited into the army in World War II who wouldn’t touch a rifle, let alone hurt someone. Total work of art from both the storytelling, filmography, cinematography and the actual content substance. Andrew Garfield killed it, too. Boy, I hope we don’t go to war because it’s a very ugly reality.

Hawkeye. The most underrated Avenger’s show wrapped this past week and I really enjoyed the series. It was down-to-earth, funny, and gave Clint Barton the proper screen time and attention that he deserves. Plus, Kate Bishop was a great addition to the MCU and her scenes with Yelena were amazing (especially knowing that this may have been the first scenes ever from the future young avengers)

Why You Need a Second Life Jacket! What people sound like when they’re obsessed with vaccines — booster edition. Long live JP Sears.

Latest

I got a drone. Here’s what happened. I’ve been talking with close friends for months about how excited I was to release this video because I made a big jump in quality. The storytelling, the pacing, the editing and the filming were all at levels that I’ve never done before. Still lots to improve on, but I’m super pleased with how it came out and I believe this was the best video I’ve made to date.

We hit 50 subscribers on the main channel. Thank you tons, guys. It took me 160 videos to hit 50 on my original main channel. This time, we did it in 4 videos. I’m thankful as fuck. Building the channel for growth has been so worth it knowing that other people in addition to myself can experience these creations, too. So grateful for each and everyone one of you. Next up, let’s hit 100.

Until next week, much love.

—Josh

Thanks for reading, listening or watching. If you got value from this content, consider sharing it with a friend so that they can benefit too, and by doing so, you help support my content creation efforts.

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