The Meaning of Life in 10 Questions… Richard Schultz

There are some truly creative people in this industry. Let’s face it, you’ve got to be constantly concepting, developing, and executing or you get left in the dust. I’m fortunate to work with some really dynamic and inspiring people, ranging from art directors, to producers, to creative directors, photo editors, art buyers, and print producers. Instead of questions about email blasts, printed promos, and portfolio reviews, I think that it’s time that I put some of them on the spot to show us their meaning of Life. “The meaning of Life” may be a little far flung to answer in only ten questions, but hopefully these interviews will serve to distill some of the inspired and intellectual energy of the creatives that we work with.

chris crisman 10 questions meaning of life richard schultz

There’s nothing bad I can say about Richard Schultz. I love his work and really appreciate the brief time we’ve been able to hang out. He’s so very committed to his craft and by that process has cultivated some incredibly connected, honest, and inspiring imagery. I’m proud to be in the same agency with Richard. Please take your time looking at his work, there’s truly something special there. Enough from me, I’ll let Richard tell the rest…

1. Name one actor you’d like to portray you in a movie about your life?

Assuming my life was actually exciting enough to be made into a film, and you know what they say about assuming, I think George Clooney would be perfect. He just keeps getting better with age at his craft and I think that’s what we’d all like. Also, if he’s the actor then there would be some beautiful leading ladies which is always nice. I have my soulmate already but it would be interesting to see who showed up…Honestly, I think it must be incredibly strange to see a movie about yourself while you’re still alive, but maybe he’d let me borrow his Lake Como vacation house which might make it worth it.

chris crisman 10 questions meaning of life richard schultz

2. What is your preferred vehicle or mode of transportation?

Walking and sailing. I spend HUGE amounts of time on airplanes and in rental cars, those are definitely not my favorites but I do always love the window seat on flights and seeing what the clouds and the light are doing. Walking is just amazing because you’re at such a slower pace you can actually notice so many of the nuances and details that just get missed at 30,000 feet or 80 miles an hour. I feel that the pictures I make and take are very much about those small nuances so I do always like to watch those things, enjoy them, and analyze them for future use. And sailing, well, nothing really beats that.

3. What is your favorite beverage for creative inspiration? (Specifics are encouraged)

Rum…and lots of it. Honestly I’m pretty open as far as drinks go and I’m a big Maker’s fan, too, but there’s definitely something that just puts me in a warm happy place with the rum. It’s like a Caribbean party in a glass, soft sand and all. Oh, and sugar-free RedBull is a cornerstone to my diet when I’m shooting.

chris crisman 10 questions meaning of life richard schultz

4. Name your all time favorite band, singer, or album?

Katie Perry (and all the teeny bopper musicians like her)…that’s all I get to listen to when I’m home with my young kids. I’m trying to teach them what great music is but they just do love that sweet pop. I’m more of a Johnny Cash/Allman Bros/Neil Young kind of guy but I do have to admit to a real liking for semi-modern country music as well (to the chagrin of my wife). Something about long periods of travel that make those lonesome songs ring true. Also, I am always blown away by the Beatles and just the sheer quantity of some of the most amazing music ever produced. They were only together for 10 years and they must have about 150+ amazing tunes that still seem totally relevant even today, 50 years later. It’s crazy.

5. Name one place in the world that you’ve been and can’t wait to return to and why?

There are just so many places. I’ve been able to see just some stunning locations around the world but what always ends up making a place truly special for me are the people you meet along the way, they’re what make it into an adventure and make it interesting. Oh, and the food is REALLY, REALLY important. I’m a big fan of Turkey, the country, although it’s in a bit of a rough patch at the moment. Istanbul is beautiful and you have the Med and the Aegean Sea down south and the Black Sea up north. Just great memories from there and so much history. I remember one beach I was on somewhere on the Black Sea and there had just been a big rain storm a few days earlier and there were all of these old roman-era pottery pieces and ancient coins that had washed down from the cliffs and were just lying in the sand. Also there were 2,000+ year old carved marble columns just sticking at odd angles out of the beach. It felt a little like Planet of the Apes, but amazing, and I wasn’t in a cage.

chris crisman 10 questions meaning of life richard schultz

6. What is favorite shoot of all time? Please elaborate.

There have been many, but again, like traveling for me, it’s the people that are part of the shoots that make them be fantastic. I definitely like to create a feeling of bonhomie on my shoots and that’s between myself and my crew and the agency and the client and our talent, etc. It makes it so much more fun and enjoyable. We’re all there to work hard but I feel the end result is actually better when people are happy and relaxed. I don’t do drama on my shoots.  I will put a shout out to some of my homies; Steve & Steve, Jamie, Rich, RG, Ahmer, Kayte, Mark, B.C., Mel, Vinny, Gio, Peter, Vanessa, Alex, Sady, Colleen, Shef, Dom, it’s a long list….

7. What is your philosophy on creating and inspiring?

I’ve never quite understood where creativity comes from. I can be doing something totally unrelated and ideas will just pop into my head, I’m sure it’s the same but different for everyone. Part of it must be because of the visual nature of what we do but I find I can visually or mentally see things and (make them burst into flames…kidding), have them turn into other ideas easily. I realize this is not the norm because my wife, a former high-level computer code writer will look at a blank wall and…see a blank wall. I think a truly visually creative person can stare at an empty bottle and create a thousand different ideas from that, again, I have no idea how that happens. If anyone knows please pass on the good word.

chris crisman 10 questions meaning of life richard schultz

8. Describe a defining moment in your career that has led you to where you are today?

Probably the biggest single event was apprenticing with a photographer named Louis Psihoyos. He was an editorial photographer and had been hired on staff at National Geographic as one of their shooters at age 20, prior to that I think the youngest had been about 40, he was just that good. I think more than anything photographic that he taught me, though, was learning the value of hard work. Talent is crucial but without the hard work and focus behind it you’ll still be left with mediocrity.

9. Name one person you wish you could have a drink with and why? 

Phew, I need a drink after all this…I think i’d invite all of the evil, dastardly and self-serving leaders of countries and fringe groups to meet at a bar and then lock the door and toss the key. I don’t understand how some people can do what they do countries and individuals and sleep with themselves at night. After that I’d have to meet up with Clooney at the pub to give him some more pointers for the film.

chris crisman 10 questions meaning of life richard schultz

10. If the world is ending in 2013, how will you change your life plan?

I would not answer any more questionnaires.

Richard is one of the busiest guys I know. If you’re not already familiar, make sure to take a look at his work. You can also keep up with him on Instagram.

2 replies to “The Meaning of Life in 10 Questions… Richard Schultz”

  1. I had the pleasure of working with Richard on a couple shoots in San Francisco. What an amazing photographer: fantastic with talent, clients and old art directors. He’s the kind of guy you end up feeling like you are good friends with when all is said and done. Thanks, Paul Hamill

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