We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul Scherer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paul, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Being in a creative business has taught me to have thick skin and a healthy perspective on rejection, because it’s very easy to get paralyzed by self-doubt. It requires you to have to be confident enough to make mistakes, learn from them and keep going. That’s true for anything you do in life, but particularly true when the value of your work is subjective.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I try to take the photojournalist approach to photography. I want to capture moments as they happen naturally. The photos that I’ve staged and posed people aren’t the ones that I’m most proud of. I’m most proud of the images that show true emotion, the true human connection. That’s where the magic is. Those are the photographs that draw you in and the one’s that make people smile years later when they revisit them.
I think the true art of portrait photography is putting people at ease so that they’re personality really comes out. It’s when people let their guard down and let you in that you can get those beautiful, fleeting moments captured.
I started my photography journey shooting real estate so the jump to doing portrait photography required a whole new skill set. So I took every opportunity I could to do portrait sessions-whether they were paid or not. And more often than not they were unpaid! But you have to pay your dues-no matter what field you’re in. Nobody starts at the top; you start at the bottom and work your way up!
I want all my clients to know that I get as excited about their pictures as they do. I think that’s the main thing. I put my heart into every image whether it’s a wedding, a proposal, a family portrait, newborn shoot, or just a simple corporate headshot.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ok so I’m not one for itineraries so he’s going to have a very laid back, casual trip. I feel like that’s what San Diego’s all about, anyway. But’s definitely some things that he’d have to experience while he was here.
So number one-the ocean; lately I have been trekking north between Torrey Pines City Beach and Black’s Beach. It’s a long walk but it’s worth it because not a lot of people are willing to take the trek so it’s rarely crowded. It’s a great place to surf, catch some sun, and it’s a great place for photography.
For sure I’d take him hiking. Not only do we have world class beaches but San Diego has some really cool hiking trails. I ‘d take him on some short hikes in Mission Trails or Cowles Mountain and depending on the time of year maybe we’d go out to 3 Sister’s Falls for something more strenuous.
Two of the most beautiful spots in San Diego are Balboa Park and Yogananda’s Self Realization Fellowship Temple. Those would be two absolutes.
Of course he’d definitely have to see a sunset from Sunset Cliffs and maybe spend some time on Newport Ave for some drinks and bar food.
There’s so many options in San Diego there’s no shortage of cool things to do. That’s one of the reasons that make it so great!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Veterans Village San Diego (VVSD). They helped me to find a springboard when I was at the lowest point of my life, and encouraged me to weave my life into the fabric of a community that I remain immensely grateful for years later. While every journey is individual, I don’t know that any of us find our true potential on our own.
I also have to give a big shoutout to my wife who has had unending patience and support for all of my endeavors. The same is true for some very close friends who are always there, not only as friends, but as mentors and advisors as well. I learned the hard way that the people you surround yourself with are often the difference between success and failure.
Paul at Next Wave Photography