Clifford Pickett is a multi-talented creative, photographer, videographer, and full-time digital nomad. Amongst other projects, Clifford runs the ‘Capture It All’ course where he teaches people how to use the power of their iPhones to capture extremely high-quality still images, video loops, and film.
We recently caught up with Cliff whilst he was on an assignment in Latvia to find out more about why he believes the iPhone is the only camera you’ll ever need, how he uses Craft as an educator and consultant, and why he can’t get enough of Italy’s Dolomites.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Long Island and I lived in New York City for over 15 years.
Is New York still home for you?
Home is relative at the moment because I'm on the road full-time at this point. When people ask me where I’m from I usually just say New York if I don't have time for a longer conversation.
Would you classify yourself as a digital nomad?
Yes, in the truest sense of the word. With my laptop and phone I can (and do!) go anywhere, so my idea of home is wherever I am at the moment. Right now, that’s Latvia.
Can you tell us more about your work?
What I do for a living changes by the month but that suits me well because there is a lot of diversity. I think that's important as a creative these days to have mixed and varied income streams.
At the core, I'd say I'm a photographer, an educator, and a creative consultant. From a photography standpoint, I do a lot of commercial work for different clients. What charges my batteries and feeds my soul is that creative motivation and inspiration. My clients have included Clinique, British Airways, and National Geographic - where I've shot photos and film using only my iPhone.
I try to use technology to create something new that has meaning and value for my clients. I've also been teaching and consulting in Photoshop, Lightroom, and also digital asset management and editing. That's what I'm actually doing right now in Latvia; filming a masterclass on mobile photography.
I found a way to use my iPhone and make a living full-time as a professional photographer.
You run workshops on photography in locations around the world - tell us more
My workshops give me a way to get more hands-on with my students or clients. Throughout the year I run photography workshops in different countries where I help people to capture incredible imagery on camera. My workshops are open to all types of hardware - from DSLRs to smartphones - but I specialize in iPhone photography.
This year, I’ll be running workshops in Mexico, the Italian Dolomites, South Africa, and Death Valley. These are all locations I have deep knowledge of and love to visit to capture images and film. I like to show my clients how to find a different angle, that alternative vantage point, which enables us to capture a unique shot, something far more interesting than the cliche pictures every other photographer gets.
Where does Craft come into what you do?
I try and find the simplest way to do anything in my personal and professional life. I think there's beauty in simplicity and finding the least amount of friction.
That's why I love to use the iPhone for filming and photography. Because we don't need all this gear; all the memory cards, lenses, laptops, camera bags, and all the other accessories. It weighs us down physically, literally, but also digitally. So, with everything I do, I try to find the best way. And for me, that usually means the simplest way.
I also have to figure out how to make things easier for others. So I use Craft to take what I know, distill it, and share that with others, in the simplest way possible.
I use Craft for my consulting work, when I'm pitching a new client, and as a way to take my ideas and deliver them in a highly visual yet simple manner that everyone can understand and consume.
And the beauty is that I can do all this with just a link. So, everything from capturing notes about a meeting to having an outline of a new project can be captured and shared in the simplest way.
How would you describe Craft to someone who never heard of it?
Craft is a space where I can take my ideas and share them with others. It gives me the power and flexibility to progress in a nonlinear way. The beauty of Craft is that it’s something powerful, made very simple.
What has been your favorite project that you've worked on?
That’s so tough for me to answer because it's always going to be where I am at the moment. I'd say that's part of what I'm working on now with iPhone photography. I’m trying to help others recognize the potential of the device in their pocket. With iPhones, we really are just scratching the surface. We're all driving these sports cars in first gear most of the time with the parking brake on and don't even realize that there aren’t just six more gears, there are 100 more gears!
Where’s your favorite place you’ve visited for photography?
I tend to fall in love with wherever I am which is why I'm so fascinated with Latvia at the moment. Next week, I'll most likely be in Norway and I will be equally as enchanted in Norway. And a little while ago I was filming in New York, where I was born and raised, and I have never been more captivated by that location than when I was there.
But I will say there’s something very special about the Italian Dolomites. The combination of the mountains and jagged peaks exists really nowhere else in the world. The wine, the cheese, the food, the gelato, the culture, the history, and the castles. It's almost overwhelmingly beautiful.
See more of Clifford’s photography and workshops at CliffordPickett.com