Casey Neistat may not be your favorite Internet personality; Gizmodo's Bryan Menegus clearly isn't a fan. He recently wrote an article ripping into Neistat for a Hollywood Reporter interview he gave earlier today. The article titled "35-Year-Old Teen Casey Neistat Says a Few Stupid Things" I assume was intended to point out that Neistat wasn't entirely clear about his new role at CNN or why his "useless app" was purchased for $25 million. The author states the interview "answers none of these questions, while spoon-feeding devotees of his particular brand of mundane transparency a mountain of bullshit corporate-speak and more than a few blatant contradictions."
Whatever your opinion maybe of Neistat, it is hard to ignore what the man has accomplished. I came across this video he made a year ago, called "Fat and Lazy." After watching Neistat explain the hours in his day it made me think about all the time I wasted on social media, shitting on photographers I thought I was better than, or making fun of another photo of a girl in the woods shot at f/1.2 or f/1.4 with a VSCO filter slapped on it. One of the biggest lessons I learned as a freelancer was how to manage my time efficiently and I think we can all agree Neistat knows how to mange time. He has put out more content then most of us will ever put out in our lifetime. He knows how to get publicity, good or bad, and that is "cutting through the noise" as he stated in his Hollywood Reporter interview.
Key lessons from Neistat that can benefit your photography:
- Learn how to manage your time
- Reality and your dreams aren't always aligned, make adjustment according to your opportunities
- It takes hard work and long hours. If you want to be a full-time artist or content creator it's your 24/7 job, it is not 40 hours a week.
- The more successful you become the more people will discredit your success by calling you lucky without ever considering the time you dedicated to get there.
I can't say I'm an avid watcher but personally I feel like we should listen to people who have been there and done what we all aspire to do, work for ourselves, rather than tear them down for an interview they probably spent five minutes responding to in their hectic day. No one is forcing you to like or watch Neistat's videos but if you are going to watch them use that time to benefit you and learn something rather than shitting on someone with $25 million in the bank or anyone for that matter. Focus on your own work and just create.