Jack: Hello and welcome to Episode 8 of the Get To Art podcast. I’m your host, Jack Roach, author of Naan of Your Business.
Jennifer: And I’m Jennifer Roach, Atlanta wedding photographer.
Jack: Premier wedding photographer.
Jennifer: You say that every time.
Jack: And because you don’t.
Jennifer: I don’t want to be braggy. Hey, before we get into the content of the episode today. I just want you to share with our listeners about how you almost change careers today.
Jack: Well, not today. It’s just it happened earlier this week and I just can’t get it out of my mind. I think it’s something that I’m really, really, not going to do. Our common friend who is your friend that I met once.
Jack: Another wedding photographer, not premier.
Jennifer: Well, she’s premier, sure. Don’t be dogging her like that.
Jack: Didn’t you watch American Horror Story? There can only be one premier.
Jennifer: Oh, okay.
Jack: But you sent me a post that she has on Instagram of her taking of photo and I look at that and I thought, “That’s what I want to do.”
Jennifer: My friend got hired by a swimsuit company to take promotion all photos of their swimsuits. So her Instagram post was her in a pool with four or five ladies lined up in the pool in front of her. I believe they were all topless, but they were turned around so you could just see their backs, and they all had on skimpy little bathing suit bottoms with their bottoms poking out and my friend was posting them and I sent this to Jack, and he immediately wanted to know where he could learn photography and how quickly he could get hired for this job.
Jack: You would be surprise how few bodacious booties come up in the world of supply king. Aside from mine, of course.
Jennifer: Well, I mean obviously.
Jack: So Jennifer what did you do today?
Jennifer: Today I took the kids to the pool for three and a half hours? And we were out there for a very long time and I came home exhausted.
Jack: And while you did that, I went to the gym.
Jack: Did some squats and chest flies, bicep curls, all that sort of thing. And when I came home I had a protein shake of course which is one part of my stack.
Jennifer, do you know what a stack is when it comes to body building?
Jennifer: I do not.
Jack: So they call the array of supplements I guess should call them your stack, and the basic stack has three components – protein shake, creatine, and BCAAs or Brain Chain Amino Acids. The protein helps you build muscle, the creatine stores water I think, I’m not really sure, in your muscles so you can perform harder at the gym, and the BCAAs help you recover faster so you’re not as sore afterwards, and that’s my weight building stack.
Jack: Actually, my weight building stack is donuts and soda, but this is my weight lifting stack or body building. Just like my weight building from my writing I have a stack that I’m using right now as well.
Jennifer: Oh nice segway. I see what you did there.
Jack: You know what makes a segway even better, when you call attention to it. But I have a trio of books that I am going through in preparation for revisions of the first draft of my next novel, working title “Wheel in the Sky”.
Jennifer: That has to be the title, it’s not working title. Like there’s no other choice. It has to be that.
Jack: This week I wanted to talk with you about them and explain what they are and why I’m so innerve with them.
Jennifer: Okay, well I look forward to hearing about them.
Jack: So you’ve kind of get the week off.
Jennifer: Cool, I can just listen and make little jokes, hearing there as I see fit.
Jack: Well the first one is Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody.
Jennifer: Okay, what’s this book about?
Jack: Before I get into that, I just want to tell you, it’s the first book I’m going to talk about but it’s subtitled The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need.
Jennifer: So that could be kind of confusing I think.
Jack: Either me or Mrs. Gasket are wrong. Save the Cat started out as a script writing book but Jessica Brody took it and adapted it for novels. But basically what it is, is it’s a beat sheet for novel writing. I did not know anything about beat sheets until I got into publishing even though I went to school for a long time to get a degree in literature.
Jennifer: Yeah you did. I was there with you.
Jack: Not for all of it, for some of it.
Jennifer: For some of it. For the best parts of it, I’d like to think. You are welcome.
Jack: So a beat sheet is a list of key scenes or moments in a story and a guide for roughly where they should fall in. Your midpoint obviously happens at 50%, your first action in about 25% percent, your climax should begin around I feel it’s like 85%. I forget it, it doesn’t matter. You can read the book for yourself if you wanted more. But there are fifteen scenes and roughly a word count or a percentage of where they should land.
Jennifer: Okay. I’ve never heard of this.
Jack: There’s another book that’s come up a lot strictly for romance novels, called Romancing the Beat which is a play on Romancing the Stones starring Michael Douglas, I think, and a woman. It’s probably a super famous woman like Susan Sarandon or Lin Manuel Miranda.
Jennifer: For the last time, Lin Manuel Miranda is not a woman.
Jack: Then why she got two girl names? I think this is a great resource for taking a jumbled mess of a first draft and trying to shape it into a story.
Jennifer: Well, I’ve never heard of this, it’s an interesting content to me. That’s Kathleen Turner by the way who is the woman.
Jack: No, Kathleen Turner is an actress. Lin Manuel Miranda made Hamilton.
Jennifer: In Romancing the Stone, it was Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.
Jack: Excellent work.
Jennifer: You are welcome. And Danny DeVito.
Jack: Really? Made famous by playing The Penguin in Batman Returns?
Jennifer: I’m not going to look it up again, but yeah.
Jack: He was also in War of the Roses.
Jennifer: Was it Danny DeVito?
Jennifer: Frank, hello.
Jack: Yeah just trying to drive you crazy by not mentioning…
Jennifer: I just waiting like you’re going to mention Sonny right? The most important role, probably not to him. He probably thinks consider that his most important role, but I do.
Jack: You’re right, probably Twins.
Jennifer: Oh my god, I forgot about Twins.
Jack: You forgot about Twins?
Jennifer: I forgot about Twins.
Jack: Alright, clear your schedule.
Jack: We will watch that and Junior.
Jennifer: Okay. I remember Junior, oh and like Kindergarten Cop 2. As long as we’re going down that little rabbit hole.
Jack: They made a Kindergarten Cop 2?
Jack: Shouldn’t be 1st Grade Cop?
Jennifer: Aha, nice.
Jack: Has these movies been remade with Kevin James yet?
Jennifer: They have to have been. I’m sure.
Jack: This seems like a real Kevin James vehicle doesn’t it?
Jennifer: Yeah. You know how the trend is to take old movies and remake them with women now. I think that that the trends should also be remake hot well built man with Kevin James.
Jack: I would like to see a remake of Pretty Woman with Kevin James playing the title role.
Jennifer: Oh my god. Well, okay, now.
Jack: But still Richard Gere.
Jennifer: Okay, I would watch that. So that new movie with Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen is…
Jack: I believe it’s Sheron.
Jennifer: No. We’ve had this argument a lot and I am right. I will do that if I told you. It’s Charlize Theron.
Jack: Did you see that it came out that we’ve all been saying Rihanna’s name wrong?
Jennifer: No. How was it actually said?
Jack: Oh, I forget it because I didn’t heard it say it. I saw it written. But it’s not Rihanna, it was like Riyana or something.
Jennifer: I didn’t know that but I did know, we had this argument once before about Charlize Theron and then you keep saying it’s “Teron” and I was like no, it is “Theron” and I look it up and yeah it is. It is Charlize Theron.
Jack: That’s great.
Jennifer: You are welcome.
Jack: By the way, did you remember what the topic of this episode was?
Jack: Yup, books.
Jennifer: I’m reading Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper. I like it so far.
Jennifer: Alright, get back to talking about Save the Cat! Writes a Novel.
Jack: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody.
Jack: Do you have any questions about it? About the nature of beat sheets in general. Do you have any objections? Won’t that make everything formulated?
Jennifer: No, because you’re talking to a woman who has used other photographers posing guides and her photography for a long time and I think the argument against those have been, oh then all of your session started look the same and all your posts started to look the same, but that’s not true because the couple is what makes the picture, and so just because it’s the same post, it’s like a totally different picture.
Jack: I’m glad you said that Jennifer because I kind of feel the same way. You can take a beat sheet and come up with a completely unique plot even though it might follow the same beat. But what’s really important I think is characterization and the characters.
Jennifer: Yeah exactly.
Jack: Which brings me nicely and smoothly into my next book, Verbalize by Damon Suede.
Jennifer: Okay. Well I look forward to hearing about this book.
Jack: Before we talk about the book, I want to talk about his name for a minute. Damon Suede.
Jennifer: That is a pretty cool name.
Jennifer: Yeah, that’s very reminiscing of Sweezy.
Jack: Suede, Damon Suede.
Jennifer: That is a pretty cool name.
Jack: So I heard about this book on the Create a Pen podcast by Join the Pen, he was a guest on it; probably pitching it because he was his next novel or book actually. It’s funny, I’ve never heard of this guy before. The only thing I know about is writing this book but of course he goes on and on about how he’s applied this process to his scripts in his books and it’s just made him so successful and all that, sounds like who?
Jennifer: I don’t know who you are.
Jack: I literally had to pull-up the book in Amazon, remember who wrote it. But that being said, it really is a great book and I’m so excited to get through this stack right here and start applying the lessons I’ve learned from it.
Jennifer: Okay, well what lessons have you’ve learned from this book?
Jack: Well, have you ever heard somebody when talking about writing say used stronger verbs.
Jack: Well, he says that but not about weak verbs. He says it about characters.
Jennifer: Oh okay, this is the book you were told me about. Yeah, retell me about this one.
Jack: So, his assertion is that writers tend to write characters as nouns. He says it’s not nouns, they’re not people. They’re lines on a piece of paper and you need to start thinking about them as verbs, and so instead of saying that Bob is depressed but ambitious and attracted to Susie, you describe them by the choices they make. Not the things that they are.
Jennifer: So instead of saying Bob is depressed, you would show Bob laying in bed all day long or laying on a couch all day long.
Jack: Something like that, actually. Yeah it’s a show not tell writ larch. Mr. Suede. I’m not half way through this one right now. Each chapter ends with a sub exercises which I’ve been working through so it’s been taking longer to get through this and I would actually like. But I got to tell you Jennifer, I have not been this excited about writing craft book ever.
Jennifer: Well, that’s pretty high price because we have read a lot of them.
Jack: I really do think this is going to make a world of difference in my draft.
Jennifer: Well that’s good.
Jack: And to do that, I’m going to also pull-in my third book, which is called The Emotion Thesaurus written by a couple of women whose name I cannot pronounce. I’m going to give it a try though.
Jennifer: That’s sexist.
Jack: Becca Puglisi? And Angela Ackerman.
Jennifer: Ackerman is not complicated.
Jack: Well it’s… had issues with. Now I will put links to these books on the podcast now, so if you’re interested in getting them, just hit the little “I” in the circle in your podcast player and you’ll get the links right to Amazon. Not even affiliate links. So this book, it’s a fairly thin book surprisingly, so I think were actually more simple than I thought. But each entry for which is about two pages each, has an adjective basically and you pull it up and it has a large list of verbs you can use for that and it goes into you know like anger might develop into rage or abuse and etc. etc.
Jennifer: Well that escalated quickly.
Jack: And it’s got a list of I believe in script writing they call them the business, but things that could do in a scene to bring out that emotion. So somebody who is anxious might wring their hands or chew on their fingernails or have some sort of other nervous take. Somebody who is embarrassed might blush or pull-it their color you know these are very basic conclusive things and the book is a lot better I’m giving it credit for. But what I be able to do is, sit down with my draft, pull out all of the characters I’ve written, determine what their verbs are and then go into the writer – The Emotional Thesaurus – and then get some ideas for things that they can do to show that they are these verbs.
Jennifer: Well that’s pretty cool.
Jack: One of the first exercises in Verbalize is you take your character and you write out the adjectives that describes them, simple enough right? And then you convert them to nouns, and you recall I sat here with you and said like what a noun for sexually frustrated or something. I forget it what it was.
Jennifer: Yeah, I remember.
Jack: And you said I don’t know, that’s a tough one.
Jennifer: Oh I didn’t know that you were doing at the time, you were just sitting there and all of a sudden started asking me this random noun question like I don’t know buddy.
Jack: But anyway you take five adjectives, five nouns and then you turn those into a five verbs. Let’s say that Frank is depressed, so Frank is a depress person or Frank is emotionally unstable person or something like that, some noun. And then you turn it into a verb, like Frank represses emotions, Frank avoids confrontations, Frank lies in bed. And so then you start to develop a character but what they do and the choices that they make, and it is really prevalent on the choices. Not necessarily to scene open when Frank lying in bed, oh okay that’s what it is. The way that Mr. Suede writes it is that the choices they make when confronted with something is where you use these actions, these verbs to develop their character and really make them hit the reader and let them understand what kind of character this is.
Jennifer: Yeah, that’s really interesting.
Jack: Now when I sit here and tell you about and truly the listeners were thinking right now, that’s so obvious, of course you would do that. Why do you need to spend eight dollars on a Kindle eBook to figure this out? It’s so much more in depth than I’m actually saying it is, and if you go through your own writing, you’ll see exactly what I mean and the power of this book. So Jennifer you mentioned stealing other people’s poses.
Jennifer: Not stealing, but yeah.
Jack: Are there similar books or other works that you applied to your work? Is there a pose guide?
Jennifer: Well, this not so much of a guide. Okay, so I do the educational courses by Katelyn James, and one of her courses is the posing course. So that would be a big one, and then I also do her all access, every month where they record her doing and engagement session or a wedding or something so you see how she interacts with them and she poses them and so she talks a lot about the four core poses. So there’s really like only four main poses and everything, it’s just the variation on it. And so that is where I learned my posing is from her, and before that it was just all pretty much Pinterest seeing things on there. But I did read a book that I would suggest to people that want to get into wedding photography. I read these years ago, this called One Wedding. I don’t remember who wrote it because I don’t have it in front of me. I didn’t know you’re going to ask me that but he shows how he photographs a wedding from start to finish, and I feel like I took a lot more away from that book than I have through a lot in any other resources that I have done.
Jack: One Wedding: How to Photograph a Wedding from Start to Finish by Mr. Brett Florens.
Jennifer: Yup. That’s it. It’s on my bookshelf right now in my office and most of my books that I got you know years ago when I first like started really getting into photography, I don’t even have it anymore that I’ve got rid of them because they were more basic and I don’t need them anymore. But that book I’ve stuck with and I’ve gone back and look at it again later just because I feel like it was really informative and really helpful. Just not just so much with posing but just how assertive take the reins of a wedding day and make it happen from start to finish.
Jack: So there’s not a single book or anything that has, here’s the twenty poses that you have to take or the twenty photos you have to take for a wedding.
Jennifer: No, there’s not. I mean there’s like shot list and stuff if you get on Pinterest of the like the shots that people pretty much expect. Now, you’re going to take those anyway.
Jack: I’ve seen your shot list but those seem to be very vague. It is like bride and groom, bride and brides maid, maid of honor, you know wedding rings.
Jennifer: Well yeah they’re fairly generic, yeah. That’s the cool part about doing this about being a wedding photographer is that, yeah you need to get a picture of the wedding rings, but there’s no specific way you have to get the picture of the wedding rings. And that’s where your creativity comes into play, where it becomes art and not just you following a list or a Pinterest board or something. It’s well now how I’m going to take these rings and incorporate them into the details of the day and make it look seamless, like make it look like it integrates with the rest of the gallery later on. And so it’s up to you as to how you position them and what to photograph them on like your background choice, props, etc.
Jack: So it’s not like bride and groom with their foreheads touching.
Jennifer: No, I mean not, that is…
Jack: Groom standing behind bride with arms wrapped around waist.
Jennifer: No, not that I know of. Well I look forward to seeing the results that these books have had on your writing.
Jack: Me too.
Jennifer: If I ever get to read the draft.
Jack: If I ever write it.
Jennifer: You’ve get a good bit of it.
Jack: This prepping for the revision process is taking longer than I thought it would but I think it’s going to be worth it, it’s just, oh boy. Getting through this two or three books. I’m not really going through The Emotion Thesaurus, it’s more of a reference book but the other two have been a little bit more drawn out with than I anticipated.
Jennifer: Oh but it going to be worth it though. You may be spending more time on it than you anticipated but…
Jack: It’s not just the book. It’s more of the life stuff that has been getting in the way with school ending and the kids being around more often. I found it harder to sneak away for half hour a time.
Jennifer: Well yeah, tell me about it.
Jack: So I think that’s going to do it for this week. Thanks everybody for listening. I’m Jack Roach, you can find me at jackroachauthor.com and on Instagram @jackroachauthor.com.
Jennifer: And I’m Jennifer Roach and you can find me at jennifermariephotographer.com and on Instagram @jennifermariephotographyga.
Jack: And until next time don’t forget to take time out of your day and get to art. Thanks for listening.