Eduardo Feldman: From National Geographic Photographer to Unicorn Storyteller
Updated: Jul 18, 2021
Eduardo Feldman, a professional photographer whose work has been featured multiple times on the front cover of the National Geographic magazine, first met Jennifer Elias and Jessica Rosner, Co-founders of Tech It Forward, when a Tech It Forward intern sought to interview startup founders whose companies had suffered from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the interview, Feldman shed light on how his company, which gave tours in Israel to amateur photographers from around the world and which could not continue during the pandemic, adapted to the changing times by converting to a virtual feedback system through which aspiring photographers could learn from experts. As a natural entrepreneur with a resilient spirit, Feldman is onto a new venture: A Day In The Life. So, of course, I met with him to learn more about his life and his new company.
Feldman made Aliyah in 2018, following his brother and parents who had moved to Israel a few years earlier and had left him the only remaining member of his immediate family in Mexico. “As a serial entrepreneur, for me being in the startup nation was a unique opportunity, so I decided to take it… in Mexico, I had a specialized travel agency that organized itineraries for photographers. Then, when I moved to Israel, I opened my past startup, Phloc, which was the Israeli iteration of my first travel agency in Mexico. At Phloc, we would hire photographers in specific places to make photographic tours in their local areas for our clients. The vision was to expand worldwide: you could arrive in Rome and we would find you a local photographer to guide you through the most picturesque locations in the area.”
However, when the Covid-19 pandemic crushed the marketplace for tourism, Feldman took his ventures in a new direction. It seemed fitting, given Feldman’s professional history, to find a new problem to solve with photography, so he started A Day In The Life Photo. “I think it started like that because after I paused my last company due to Covid, I went hunting for a new job. As I was entering all these fancy company websites with elaborate systems, I was struck each time I arrived at a page either with just text or with generic stock photos. Man!—I thought—you have invested literally millions in your offices; you work in an office on floor 50, and you have a gym, and you have all these beautiful things, and all I saw were generic photos of somebody holding a coffee cup and typing mindlessly at their desk. As a photographer, I hated that. When I saw this lackluster showing on at least ten different career pages, I felt a responsibility to do something about it—it was a problem I had to solve. Yes, stock photos are a great business, a great idea, but not for everybody. Especially not for those companies that want to be unicorns! How dare you have a ten dollar picture on your website when you aspire to greatness?”
Feldman’s services can evidently provide strong advantages to companies who want a competitive edge in the hiring process. Moreover, his photography can be versatile, too. “It started for talent acquisition but I think it’s completely good for marketing, social media, shareholder report, yearly report. When everyone wants to hear about your company, seeing authentic pictures seems objectively preferable to looking at generic stock ones. It’s about transparency and authenticity. They can start using real images from their real worlds. Some of them are not even using my photography on external media, but for reports or internal communications authentic photography can be important. Honestly, it’s up to companies to find out the best ways to use the photos I take. But consider this example: When you go to a restaurant and you see a generic picture of a hamburger, how do you feel versus when you see the real picture of the hamburger you actually will be eating? It’s the difference between fast food and good food. It’s about quality and trust.”
Authenticity and trust, Feldman recognizes, require a mutual understanding between photographer and client. “At the end it’s about understanding their needs and trying to understand what they want to convey and express from the company with the photos I can take. What is the soul of the company? Are they vibrant? Young? Elegant? Experienced? They want to express something through my photography, so I need to know the values and the core of the company; only then can I take pictures that align with that affinity. At the end of the day, we are visual animals. We trust our eyes. We unconsciously narrate an internal story every time we see an image. You don’t need to be a photographer, just open your eyes and you will start making a picture. As a photographer you can manipulate a scene to evoke an emotion.”
Feldman wants to take pictures that tell the realest, most genuine, and most compelling narrative about a company. “My objective, my idea, is that I also want to be there when my clients are having a difficult negotiation, to be the Pete Souza of the startups. I want to be there for the uplifting moments, but I also would be thrilled to hear a client say ‘hey Eduardo we are travelling to China to close a very important deal, come with us!’ I want to be in the negotiation room, and I want to photograph the face of the founders when they are defending what they stand for. It’s not for me, it’s for them; it’s for their own story. They are building a huge venture and for them, having these photos will prove to be valuable to them in the future.”
Feldman sees photography as so much more than a professional service. For him, photography is a way of seeing the world in its truest element; capturing not only what looks the most beautiful but also what tells a real, compelling story. “I love and connect to photography. I see the world in millimeters and shadows and lights. However, until now, I was very much against — and I need to choose carefully my words here — photography as a service. For me, photography was a lens through which I perceived the world around me. But now that in my entrepreneurial ventures, in an attempt to solve problems that I see, I actually am giving photography services, I see that there is a whole new world of photography. Photography has always been an artistic vision instead of a profession, but now I’m discovering the professional path of photography, and, to be honest, it’s amazing. I never got paid for taking a picture; instead, I got paid for organizing tours in India and Patagonia, and, of course, people trusted my services because they knew of my work. Now that people are paying me to take pictures, I love it: I love to find the perfect moment with the right settings and the right lighting.”
From National Geographic to an entrepreneur saying no to stock photos, Eduardo Feldman continues to both find and foster success while making a strong impact—for the startups and for the world. At Tech it Forward, we can’t wait to see Eduardo Feldman’s A Day In The Life Photo pave the way for startups to tell their best story.
To learn more about A Day In The Life Photos, click here