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The ARC Creative Podcast: Educating + Inspiring Creatives to Excel as Artists, Entrepreneurs & Humans.

Dec 13, 2022

Cultivating a Community of Collaborators: An Interview with Josh Olson

Growing up in Minnesota as an aspiring photographer, Josh Olson didn't have the Rocky Mountains of Colorado or the architecture of New York City, yet he didn't need them—he had people to inspire him. In fact, people have been the foundation of what sustains him, mentors him, and have helped project him to the far reaches of his success as a wedding and editorial photographer.

Josh Olson is an acclaimed wedding photographer who lives in Minneapolis. He has a calming presence and can capture "moments of in-between, emotional intricacies and familiar subtleties of the wedding day," as Rangefinder states. The same magazine recognized him as one of the 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography.

In this episode:

  • The role of heritage and family lineage and how it affects artistry
  • The importance of mentorship in overcoming obstacles
  • The power of mantras to fuel and guide you through challenging moments
  • Breaking through comparison culture
  • Sustaining a career from nurturing positive daily habits


6:30 - "[Heritage] gives me a sense of identity and a sense of purpose that keeps me going. It's kind of in my blood to be doing what I'm doing."

13:20 - "Something that's carried me through my career is identifying mentors to help breakthrough problems I'm having in my business. There's something really powerful about just being curious and asking those questions to the right people."

15:50 - "I don't care if I'm the photographer getting this certain kind of client. It's really more for me about just sustaining something that brings me purpose and brings me gratitude."

18:50 - "Once I stopped comparing myself to other people and what their success was, I started finding success in my own way."

20:30 - "Success in your business is going to come more from things that you're doing for yourself, like actionable daily habits, making sure you're taking care of your health, that you can actually show up and bring your best to a wedding day. It's not from hyper-fixating on social media or trying to unlock the next trend or what the viral reel is going to be, right? Those things aren't sustainable. They're going to pass at some point. And really, you're going to be left with yourself."

25:05 - "Making a business or an artistic practice sustainable is knowing your values and sticking to them. Because even when times are tough, you'll still have that to lean back on."

Interview by Sachin Khona

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