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How to Cultivate Your Authentic Voice With Sam Jones

By January 18, 2015February 9th, 20154 Comments

“The road to a good picture is through a lot of bad ones.” – Sam Jones

This week’s episode is a bit of a departure. But like Frost’s road less travelled, it’s a direction well worth pursuing.

My podcast was borne from a love of the art of the long form conversation. Authentic expression is a predominant theme of virtually every episode. And I sheepishly admit to a slight obsession with talented people at the nadir of their creativity, expressing their specific life purpose with unapologetic conviction.

Sam Jones is the embodiment and ethos of all these ideals and more. Lauded photographer, documentary filmmaker, award winning music video director, magazine publisher, television creator and podcast host. Oh yeah, he’s also married with kids.

As a photographer, Sam is the go to guy for top tier magazines such as Vanity Fair, Esquire, Rolling Stone, GQ and Time for creating timeless portraits of luminaries, A-list actors and musicians like Barak Obama, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Bob Dylan, Jack Nicholson and Dave Grohl.

All of this is super cool of course. But quite frankly it’s not what motivated me to want to sit down with Sam. What really captivated me about this talented artist is Sam’s newest venture, a multi-media, multi-faceted project he created entitled offCamera.

It’s photography. It’s a magazine. It’s a television show. It’s a podcast. It’s journalism. It’s entertainment. It’s art – the art of exquisite portraiture achieved through images, words and conversation.

Simply put, Sam performs up close and personal, uninterrupted long-form conversations with today’s most prolific cultural icons – people like Matt Damon, Sarah Silverman, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Laura Dern and more. Each conversation is filmed for initial broadcast on DirectTV’s Audience Network and subsequently available on the offCamera website as well as on iTunes as an audio podcast. Accompanied by a formal portrait, the interviews are also reformatted in print to comprise a printed magazine.

After listening to Sam’s intimate dialog with Robert Downey Jr., I was left to ponder this question: where else could I possibly listen to (or watch) someone like this converse for a full hour on the particulars of life and art?

Nowhere. You can’t. Blame our soundbite obsessed world, but conversations like these are extremely rare if not altogether nonexistent in publicly available form. Complemented by his extraordinary attention to detail and quality, these are all reasons why Sam’s work is such a gift to us all.

I have been so moved by offCamera that I felt compelled to turn the mic around, point it at Sam and get to the bottom of his story. Thank you Sam for your willingness to engage me in a dynamic conversation that explores the intersection of art and commerce; the importance of authenticity in the expression of one’s creativity; and what can be learned from working with the most prolific musicians, actors, filmmakers and artists in the world.

In the words of Sam,

“it has taken me a lifetime to develop my attention span, and I want to use it.”

Me too Sam. Me too. I sincerely hope you enjoy the listen.

Peace + Plants,


Listen & Subscribe on iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher | TuneIn

Today’s show was brought to you by : Matching you with the best insurance for your life.

Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson. Thanks boys!


Connect with Sam:  offCameraFacebook  |  Twitter  | Sam Jones Pictures |

*Disclosure: books, films & cd’s denoted with an asterisk in above show notes are hyperlinked to our Amazon Affiliate account. Any purchases made via these links will not cost you extra but will help support the podcast.

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  • richard parker says:

    Rich…been there since the beginning and love it all. Just wanted to point out that Frost’s poem is entitled the Road NOT Taken. This often misread poem is really about the fact that we cannot travel all roads or pursue all dreams. Look carefully at the poem and you will see that the 2 roads “lay equally” that day and are “really about the same.” Many folks like to think Frost was writing about taking a unique road but the poem does not support that. the speaker at the end is merely rationalizing what has been fully litigated earlier in the poem…neither road was less travelled. Peace, plants to you too!

  • Julia Hanlon of Running On Om says:

    Hi Rich, I deeply enjoyed your conversation with Sam and did not feel it was a departure from what you do with other guests– it was also about creativity, dreams, and pioneering one’s path! I especially loved Sam’s perspective on following your gifts versus dreams, his discussion on fatherhood, and his advice for younger artists: “i’m going to do this whether or not i’m successful at it”– thank you for harnessing these long-form conversations! Peace, plants, and thanks!

  • Tommy F says:

    The Creative Process..
    Cleaning the window for God’s light to shine thru. Then, living in that light…
    Inspiring conversation.

  • Cornelius Rex Alexander says:

    I think you got confused between “nadir” and “zenith”. I think you meant zenith. 😛

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