As a professional photographer and cinematographer, I feel that it's my job to elevate others...lift them up to be larger than life. And not just people, but products or experiences. At this point, you might be saying, "That's sounds like some corporate speak to me, Brant. Just words. No meaning."
But that's not the case. Let me cite some examples.
Take this image of my son on his cool chopper minibike. Sure it's a professionally shot image and looks nice, but it's so much more than that to him. My son has a form of cerebral palsy called spastic diplega, which impedes the function of his legs. It makes it hard for him to run and play with other kids, play sports, or just walk around in general. This mini bike allow him to cruise around without worry of his legs giving out. It speaks to his personality as a complete gear head (mechanic-in-the-making). And it creates an image of him that he can be proud of. This is so much more than a good picture. It means style, freedom and self image to my son. I wouldn't have captured his essence if I didn't know enough about him.
To that end, I strive to understand where my clients are coming from, not just what their product is. What's their personality, their company mission, their audience. If you don't understand these elements on a deeper level, you won't be able to elevate them. Your work won't have meaning.
Here's another example. This photo was taken for the Carolina Renaissance Festival. It's more than just a picture of people at the festival. It captures the surreal quality of the location and the large crowd that attends every year. It's inviting to potential visitors. This has been used many times for their social media because it has that magical quality that captures and elevates the experience.
Here's a video example. My client, Scott Safety, needed to convey the chaos that happens on scene at a structure fire and the ability for firefighters to use their product to see in the dark thick smoke. Because we had been to numerous controlled burns and talked to many different firefighters, we were able to bring the experience to life and elevate their product in the eyes of firefighters. It's more than just a fancy mask. It's a game changing, life saving device.
I'll close with this...if you strive to elevate, it changes the way you work. It changes the way you see products, people and events around you. You begin to look for the positives. You ask more in-depth questions so you can understand at a deeper level. This life philosophy doesn't just apply to business. If you elevate those around you in your personal life, you'll find that it elevates you. So if you make one change this year, keep "elevate" top of mind and act on it. The effects will change the quality of your work, your business and your life.