Guest Blog: Podcasting in a Pandemic – A year in the life of He Shoots He Draws! (Part 2 with Alan Hess)
(Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part guest blog from our good friends Dave Clayton and Alan Hess. If you missed part one from Dave, it’s right here!)
Alan here. It’s good to be back as guest here on Scott’s blog as the He Shoots, He Draws podcast only really exists because of Scott. Dave and I met at Photoshop World. Dave and Glyn met through Scott in London. Glyn and I met at Photoshop World. So really, if you love the podcast, thank Scott, if you hate it, blame me.
I never planned on being a host of a podcast. I had been a guest on other podcasts, and I was the first guest on the He Shoots, He Draws podcast because I was such good friends with Dave and Glyn. I would see Dave and Glyn at events during the year. Dave stayed at my house when he came to Adobe MAX in San Diego, and we emailed and messaged back and forth regularly.
In March of 2020, just about everything changed. Suddenly there were no more events, or concerts, or sports, or gatherings of more than like two people… Everyone was suddenly working from home, and there was an underlying fear and anxiety about the future. I considered myself fortunate, as I was working on a project for Rocky Nook, and my wife could work safely from home. I could still talk to my friends which reduced the everyday stress and helped with my sanity.
I can’t tell you how I became the co-host of He Shoot, He Draws because it really wasn’t a conscious decision. I knew Glyn was working on his dream of moving into a new house and had other projects he was working on, and Dave was going to continue to host the podcast. Dave asked if I wanted to sit in on a few interviews because I knew the people he was talking to, and having a third person in the discussion can make for good listening. I had so much fun chatting with Dave and the guests that my role started to morph into a more permanent thing. Dave would tell me that he had a guest lined up, and I would get excited and ask to join in.
Let me give you a little peek behind the curtain of how the podcast is put together. Dave and I chat every week on Zoom about how things are going in our lives. How the family is dealing with whatever the latest crazy news is, the virus, the vaccine, the election, TV shows, movies, and then we think about who would make a good guest. We contact the guest and ask if they want to be on the show, and everyone (except for Mr. Brad Moore) has agreed so far. (Editor’s note: I never turned them down, I just said scheduling would be tricky for me being a new parent and working around my work schedule!) We pick a day and time, not as easy as you would think with an eight hour time difference between England and California.
Then Dave sends me copious notes on the guest with the full interview outlined and… okay, thats not true at all. We both do our own research and come up with different things to ask. I know Dave usually has a list of questions and things he is interested in talking about, and I have a few notes of things I want to know. But in reality, once we start stalking, it usually just ends up as a chat more than an interview. We all record our own audio, then send the files to Dave who puts the whole thing together and pushes it out on all those podcasting places.
Every guest we have had on has brought something new to the show, but what I have found even more interesting is how much we all have in common. The passion that our guests have for their creative endeavors really comes through. It fills me with hope, and keeps me from that creative dark place, which is really needed now. At the start of the pandemic, when all the events ceased, I put down my camera didn’t pick it up for long time. Listening to others who were trying to keep their creativity going, who were going back to get an advanced degree, who were starting their own podcast, who lost their job and had to look for a new one during a global crisis, gave me hope. I hope that it resonated with the listeners as well.
There is a faint light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s hope it isn’t a train.
Things are getting better. I have had my first vaccine shot and my wife has had both. There are signs that events and sports might start to look more like they did before the pandemic. We might even see concerts soon. Please stay safe, wear your masks, get your shot, thank you for listening to He Shoots, He Draws.
You can see more from Alan at AlanHessPhotography.com, and keep up with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And check out his amazing Concert Photography course on KelbyOne!