Ep016 - Jeremy Hanson, chef, entrepreneur and mentor

Despite the busy holiday season and schedule, we made it happen!

Jeremy and I have been trying to schedule a recording session since this summer. For those of you that remember, I met Jeremy while I was on site at Black Label Brewery, interviewing one of the owners. Jeremy asked about the podcast, asked why I was doing it and liked the concept. He shared his contact info on a tray you would serve fries in at a burger joint. I kept that paper tray in my bag until it was time to start finding new guests to record.

This is another episode where I had yet to really get to know the guest beyond simple introductions. Despite unfamiliarity, Jeremy and I connected quickly; at only 30 minutes in we were discussing the concept of regulatory bodies. That definitely was a subject I didn’t intend to bring up, but it also speaks to how swiftly our comfort level developed with the episode and each other. Both Jeremy and I have significant experience with the FDA, ISO, USDA, WSDA and others. Something I didn’t expect was how engaging that part of the discussion became. There was obvious passion and feeling behind our words. It was refreshing, breaking off prepared questions and unearthing content that truly affects everyone of us on a daily basis. This part of the discussion even sparked potential work between Jeremy and I on his film “Buen Provecho”. 

Walking around with Jeremy and having him explain all the different restaurants and operations really made me love this part of the gig. Something about carrying around my computer, mic and a notebook full of questions, coupled with meeting new people and working together to create an enticing piece for the audience. It just feels genuine.

It’s been a year since we started this podcast. I say “we” because both the guests and those behind the scenes are as much a part of this as I am. I’m ecstatic the podcast exists and continues to grow. It’s taught me to be more comfortable, flexible, professional, confident, and most importantly, how to look at a subject and extract engaging bits for the world to marinate on. I have lots of ideas, but the other lesson is to make sure you’re putting full focus into the project. Otherwise leave it alone. No sense in doing anything half-arsed.

We have some big plans for the podcast in 2019, and if you’ve been involved with the blog and episodes until this point, you know what those plans are. In short – new equipment, new segments, and exploring existing content for purposes of expanding it. The notion of working with Jeremy to help with his film also births ideas in my mind. In particular, specifying a message or vision then working on a delivery that pulls different strings in the audience’s psyche. What that message is, or it’s purpose, are questions I can’t answer at the moment. But I’m thinking about them, and I’m surprised the idea didn’t come sooner.

Along the same vein; there was a project in a digital media course at WSU where we had to create a PSA (public service announcement). This is 2009-2010ish so my message was “Don’t text and drive.” iPhones had only begun to take over but everyone still had a mobile. The condition of the project was the message could only use audio. I found the sound samples I wanted and created a back and forth scenario of someone driving with noises of a phone keyboard cracking away. It then cut to a child’s playground, complete with music that sounds like its coming from a wind-up toy box. Back and forth it cuts until the car is screeching to a crash into the playground and the music continues for a moment until it fades to silence. Finally, my ominous words, “Don’t text and drive.”

Cold and as dark as a David Fincher film, I thought it would resonate. Simply put, I’m a fan of scare tactics. But the message doesn’t have to be dark or depressing to get people to think. Watching Jeremy’s passion with Buen Provecho reminds me of Michael Dyrland’s HazMat Surfing project we talked about way back in beginning of the year.

As I write the conclusion to this post, a few truly exciting stones have fallen for the podcast. I’ve pulled the trigger on upgrading the mics and purchased the Zoom H5. Aaron got me squared away with FAQ and getting the full functionality out of the H5. Trevor is writing up content to prepare for our first episode and tomorrow I’ll join Mitch and Sam on the Cinetherapy podcast to create a joint episode that both Amalgam and Cinetherapy will publish! After those two episodes are published, I’ll have an exciting new pair of guests lined up for the first official episode of Amalgam on the new equipment. Needless to say we have new content on the horizon and our work cut out for us.

Cheers to 2019, I hope we all work hard and enjoy the progress.

- CM

Ep014 - Briana Malmquist, photographer, blogger, & social media guru

Bringing you one of my favorite photographers and an episode full of resources.

Briana has been our family photographer for the last few years. Every encounter she captures those special shots, ones you get as canvas prints that end up proudly displayed for all who visit. We first took photos in downtown Spokane on the bridges near the river. My daughter was at the age where she couldn’t sit still no matter what, but somehow, Briana captured some of the best pictures we’ve ever taken. Now that I’m writing this, I remember we were some of the first families to pose for Briana. She used us for practice sessions and we got some of the best stuff we could imagine! When she delivered the photos to us essentially the same day, it was an incredible gift that we’ve appreciated ever since.

Her ability to compose a shot then further the emotion of it post-production is top freaking notch. I mean top shelf, thousand dollar a bottle, crazy good. I’ve seen some serious editing and I have great respect for all photographers. Briana’s work is special beyond what you already expect from a serious photog. There’s emotion and atmosphere pouring from every shot. Nothing feels overly staged and the candidness helps bring the audience into the scene with the subject. You feel like you’re standing with Briana as she shoots when you look at her albums.

After recording this episode and further learning what makes her tick as a creative, you can see the wholesomeness in her motivation. We discussed her philosophy on using social media for your projects or business and it reiterated some of the comments other guests have had. Briana has a very helpful and sharing mindset. She offers the keys to the kingdom during this episode and does so like she owes it to the world. That’s something others can work towards emulating, eliminating the ego and competitiveness. Aaron from the Cascadian Beer podcast does so as well. They don’t flinch at the idea of a competition or challenge, they just want to help people!

I learned a fair amount myself this episode. We talked significant shop and I walked away with new ideas and directions to implement changes to my brand immediately. The idea that Briana wants a story to be told or an emotion evoked each time she posts is something that I didn't really consider. I’m almost checking off boxes with the posts and there should be more of a connection to the audience other than simply being an announcement and a pretty graphic. An immediate change will be the switching of styles for the audio previews and we’ll have more of them. It doesn’t hurt that the photos Briana provided for my graphics are in the mix as well. Did I mention she takes good photos?

This episode is exactly what the podcast needed - jump start the fall and the looming holiday season. Briana mentioned how nervous she was to record and how little she desires to be captured on video or audio, and I am forever grateful she stepped out of her comfort zone. There has been a guest or two that showed slight initial hesitance and I will never blame them for it. I still get nervous each time I record and my job is easier than the guests!

We have lines out to a few more potential guests so hopefully I can make up some of the missed time for the end of summer. I’d like to get the new segments launched in October so we can hit the ground running in 2019. Is it weird that I’m already discussing events months from now? That’s how fast time moves these days.

You can check out Briana Shae Photography and also Piper’s Zoo for her photography and blog. Please visit her Instagram pages for her photography business and Piper’s Zoo as well and give her a follow!