001: Adam Mason’s Story – From Failure To Photographer

December 6, 2016

adam mason's story from failure to photographer and how he started The Bearded Tog podcast

This is my story from failure to photographer and the idea behind launching a free podcast to help other creatives in their journey towards living their dream, fulfilling their passion, and living a life of intentionality, so that you can grow from failure to photographer, too!

I found photography, or, I should say, photography found me.  After getting kicked out of college, I found myself back at home, living with my parents, with no idea of what I was going to do next. 

My name is Adam Mason, and welcome to the first episode of The Bearded Tog Podcast! I’m a photographer and business owner in Washington D.C. My goal for this podcast is to help you run a successful business, reach your life goals, and chase your dreams.

Because of today’s world of social media, we often only see other’s successes, and it can make us feel inadequate, or even like a fake. My hope is that because of this podcast, from listening to my own story of failure to success, and getting to see the “behind-the-scenes” of other photographers and business owners, that we can have honest and transparent conversation about what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, and how achieving your dreams is possible.

From Failure to Photographer

My own story of photography starts with failure. I was kicked out of college, and found myself back home living with my parents with no clue what I was going to do next. So, I decided the best thing to do was serve and give back. I signed up with a humanitarian and compassionate relief organization, and was sent to the eastern European country of Moldova.

There, I met the team leader, who was an American photographer. I watched him use his incredible talent of photography, to take portraits of people who had gone through, and were going through bad times. He then would show them their picture, and what they looked like in a positive way. Many had never seen their own face before, and he had helped establish their identity in a positive way. It was incredibly powerful. 

To use a phrase from the modern kids these days, I was “shook”. I was inspired to serve people in the same way. After that I would go back to the states, save up,  and purchase my first camera, a Nikon D90.

Failure to Photographer to Future

My career started by taking photographs or anyone I could. Facebook profile pictures for friends, non profit organizations and event that had no money for them.

Before this, I had no formal photography training.  I learned everything about my cameras and what the buttons do by watching tutorials and reviews on Youtube and reading my camera’s manual. FroKnowsPhoto and AdoramaTV were where I cut my teeth on photography information every single day. 

Eventually I returned to and finished college, then got a job in Washington D.C. at a large church doing video, photo, and tech work. There, I was surrounded by people who knew they had a calling and passionately followed their dreams. It inspired me to do the same. 

And just two  years ago, I put in my notice, and went full time freelance, and it’s been the best two years of my life.

You are valued. You are not a fake, and we can get through this together.  I promise you can achieve your dreams, and have your business and life you desire. The great news is that you, too, can go from failure to photographer as soon as you set your mind to it.

Connect with Adam Mason


Instagram: @masonphotography


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See Adam Mason’s work here:

Follow Adam on Instagram @masonphotography

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