Friday
Jan
2015
30

Friday Stuff for Photographers

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

Happy Friday, everybody!. Here’s what’s up:

One minute and 41-seconds of brilliant advice for photographers
We do an “Inspire Me Monday” piece each week on our KelbyOne Facebook page and this week it’s a short 1-minute and 41-second clip taken from our business interview with Dave Black, and his advice to someone who asked him how to handle a portrait shoot with an athlete is just brilliant. Simple, yet so smart. You’ve got it watch it. It’ll be the best minute forty-one you spend today on your photography.

If you’re a Wedding or Portrait photographer…
We’re doing a giveaway for TWO Full Platform passes to WPPI (the big Wedding and Portrait photographers conference & Expo in Vegas, coming end of Feb/Early March), plus a 1-year KelbyOne Membership (the prize package is valued at $598). Not too shabby. Details to enter are here. (by the way, I spoke at WPPI last year — one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. Absolutely first rate!).

If you’re into Lightroom…
I posted #3 of my “10 Things I would Tell New Lightroom Users” series over at LightroomKillerTips.com - hope you’ll check it out if you get a minute. While you’re there, check out Pete Collins post yesterday about applying presets on import. Really good stuff.

Secrets of Professional Photographers…
Yesterday, on “The Grid” RC hosted sports photographer Dave Black and lifestyle photographer Erik Valind, and the reviews have been fantastic! You can watch it above (I haven’t had a chance to see it yet myself, but I’ve heard rave reviews. Figures, they crush it when I’m not there). ;-)

Shooting Tethered & Lightroom Mobile Studio Workflow
Next Thursday we’re releasing another of my new Lightroom online classes (we release new full-length online classes each Thursday on KelbyOne), and this one is on setting up Lightroom to shoot tethered and then how to incorporate Lightroom Mobile into your own workflow. Keep an eye out for it next week on KelbyOne.

A Big Shoutout and Thanks!
What an amazing week! I had over 1,000 photographers come out to my “Shoot Like a Pro” seminar this week in Columbus, Richmond, and Raleigh and I met some of the most gracious, kind, and just downright fun people during those three days! I’m very grateful to everyone who came out and spent the day with me, and I hope to see you all again next year. NOTE: I made it through the entire trip without buying a guitar, despite visiting three music stores along the way. I think that’s a record for me. ;-)

Catch me LIVE on Monday at ImagingUSA
I’ll be teach two sessions on stage at the Canon booth at PPA’s ImagingUSA show in Nashville on Monday, so if you’re at the show, I hope you’ll stop on by and say Howdy.

One more thing:
If you see me in Nashville on Monday, my wife would probably appreciate it if you would please stop me from sneaking off to Gruhen Guitars shop. Last time I was there I wound up shipping back this candy apple red Fender telecaster). ;-)

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend! (I’ll be home on the couch recuperating) and I hope to see you back here on Monday!

Best,

-Scott

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Jan
2015
29

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  74 Comments

New Lightroom Classes from Scott Kelby
Over on KelbyOne, we just released four brand new Lightroom courses from Scott Kelby! Whether you’re wondering why you should start using Lightroom and are curious what the advantages of it are over just using Bridge and Photoshop, a current user who wants to know more about sharpening, a sports photographer looking for the best way to integrate Lightroom into your workflow, or are just looking for some cool layout ideas, Scott has you covered.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy of Scott’s Lightroom 5 Book for Photographers!

Moose Peterson’s Trip To Africa in BT Journal
The latest issue of Moose Peterson’s BT Journal is out, and it’s all about his trip to South Africa! At 70 pages featuring 200 photos and plenty of video footage, it’s one of the largest issues they’ve ever produced. If you want to check it out, you can find out more right here.

Last Week’s Winner
-Bill Hardman

If that’s you, you’ll hear from us soon. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Jan
2015
28

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring David Molnar!

by Brad Moore  |  22 Comments

I’ve been afraid to admit this for a while… afraid to say this out loud.

But this is a safe place right?

For years I felt like a fake. I would be so nervous the night before a shoot that I felt like tomorrow was the day that I was going to come undone.

Tomorrow the world will discover that I’m faking this. I’m not really a good photographer. They really shouldn’t pay me for this. I’m not worth anything.

I’m pretending to know what I’m doing. When really, I’m scared as hell.

You may or may not know this, but I’m a celebrity, music and advertising photographer in Nashville. I make most of my living shooting album covers for musicians and photographing advertising campaigns for companies like Pepsi, March of Dimes and Cracker Barrel.

But I owe all of my clients an apology.

A few years ago I had some big breaks. I shot an album cover for a band that sold over a million copies. I probably copied an idea from someone else or slightly altered someone else’s style and claimed it as my own. Regardless, I was the new hot thing in Nashville for a minute or two.

After a few more successes and working my butt off trying to take amazing photos… I realized I could just keep doing what I was doing. I found a couple of things that worked. Like shooting on a white backdrop and a specific lighting set-up that would look killer every time. It became my “old faithful.” I became more confident in my craft… or at least a few of my tricks.

I didn’t want to feel insecure anymore or worry that I’d be discovered as faking it, so I started playing it safe. We’ve probably all experienced this right?

I found myself saying by default, “How about we shoot that band on a white seamless backdrop. That would be cool and original!” Even though I’d already done it a hundred times.

If you’ve been shooting for a while, I bet you can relate to having a specific set-up that you know will work. Maybe you shot a killer senior portrait session in your secret location, or a bride in a beautiful backlit garden, and you kept replicating your past successes.

No one knew it wasn’t your best. But you knew. You knew it was only a copy of your previous best.

Sometimes early success is not good for you (or at least me). We turn to coasting on the momentum we luckily gained from a big break.

I’ve heard it said, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

Well, here’s my confession:

I’ve been stale. I’ve been coasting. I’ve been lieing to you. Cheating my clients.

I told the artist, I loved the idea. I told my clients this was my best work, I told you… well, what you wanted to hear. I didn’t want to be vulnerable, I didn’t want put myself out there again, I wanted to be comfortable. Frankly, I wanted stay on my couch where it is warm and cozy.

PLEASE STOP THE MUSIC.

The world needs your art. It needs all you have. It doesn’t need my half-assed effort anymore. It needs my best. It needs me to push limits. To do things that scare me.

DON’T WITHHOLD YOUR BEST. If you’re not absolutely spent after a shoot… you’ve cheated the world.

I’ve had a few moments of being shaken back to reality in the past few years… but then I fall back into the same creative rut or safe zones.

Until recently, I hadn’t done any test shoots for myself in the last 3 years. I hadn’t gone out and tried something new. In contrast, my first couple of years, I was shooting every chance I could to build my portfolio, to learn, and sometimes just to create something beautiful.

Everything I’ve been doing recently has been from techniques that I learned years ago… and I kept doing the same things over and over.

Maybe for you, you need to stop shooting the same backlit portraits at the same location over and over shooting at f/2 to get that same super shallow depth of field. I need to stop shooting on the same white seamless background.

PUSH YOURSELF.

I love Jon Foreman’s lyric in the Switchfoot song: “This is your life. Are you who you want to be?”

I’ve been in a creative rut. I’ve been doing the same old things over and over… because they are safe and I know they work.

But that’s lame. I’ve been a coward.

I dare you to join me. I dare you to get uncomfortable. Let’s push the limits.

I dare you to risk being discovered as a fake… again.

You can see more of David’s work at DavidMolnar.com, and follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Tuesday
Jan
2015
27

Frozen (the tour)

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

I was born and raised in Florida. I was 24-years-old before I ever saw snow in person. Now I’m in Columbus, Ohio where I did my seminar yesterday and I’m making up for lost time. It’s “snow city.” Brrrrrrr!!!!

This is Brad. He’s from Knoxville, Tennessee so he’s used to cold weather, and even likes it, but it’s really not fair because his beard generates it’s own heat (just ask the ladies in Columbus).

Luckily, we hunkered down indoors yesterday, and we had an awesome group of photographers (over 300+ photographers braved the cold and the snow to come out for the day – as seen above). Thanks to everybody who came out, and even though it was cold outside, I sure got a warm welcome from the great photographers up there. I’ll be back next year with my new tour. :)

I won’t be there for “The Grid” tomorrow….
Brad and I will be in Richmond, Virginia (in fact, I’m at the airport right now), and I’ve got a shoot at one of the most beautiful classic old theaters in the country today (provided my flight doesn’t get delayed), and then I’ll be teaching my seminar when the Grid air, and I hate to miss it, because our in-studio guests are none other than Dave Black, and lifestyle photographer Erik Valind. It’s gonna be a great show, so make sure you join RC tomorrow at 4pm as he welcomes Dave and Erik. Here’s the link. 

OK, I gotta fly!
They’ll be boarding soon, so I’ve got to head out. Hope I’ll get to meet some of you in person tomorrow at my seminar in Richmond (if you haven’t signed up, it’s not too late – here’s the link).

All my best,

-Scott

P.S. Yesterday I started a new series over on LighroomKillerTips.com called “10 Things I would tell a new Lightroom user” and if you’ve got a quick minute, it’s right here.
 

 

Monday
Jan
2015
26

A 2nd Look at Project Luca — The App for Photo Storytelling is Moving Forward

by Scott Kelby  |  4 Comments

OK, it’s not actually a “Photo storytelling app” — it’s a Storytelling app that just happens to be really good for photo-storytelling
When I did a “First look” at Project Luca, back in December (here’s the link) there were things I really liked about it (like professionally designed themes, different fonts, a decent level of customization, that it’s app-based, there’s motion options and dissolves, and lots of stuff that makes it great for photographers who want to tell a story).

There was also some key stuff I felt was missing…
…and I called them out on it pretty seriously in the article. The Project Luca team wrote me back that same day saying that a lot of the things I complained about (not being able to reorder photos, you couldn’t center captions, updating your story was funky at best, and hidden somewhere hard to find at work, and so on) and they let me know that stuff, and more, was coming in a future build. Well, I’m happy to say, they just released a pretty significant update (the app is still in a limited public beta — you can request to try it out at this link), and it’s come a long way in a short time.

Above: There’s better control over your photo size and location including the ability to move a place photo up or down within your story, which is a big improvement.

Here’s what the Project Luca team noted are the new features in the latest update:

-        Centered captions

-          Support for high res images on desktop browsers (folks said my London Luca project looked VERY pixelated when viewed on a desktop computer).

-          New themes icon (a little thing, unless you can’t find where they hide the themes)

-          New publish dialog

-          New theme

-          Image re-ordering (much needed, and it works great)

-          Photo grid image re-ordering (also needed. So glad this feature made it)

-          Better copy/paste support (respects line breaks) (Oh, hallelujah!) 

But there’s still no bold and no italic
That’s a deal breaker for a storytelling app, because without those two, what do we have left at our disposal for emphasis? ALL CAPS?

They fixed a lot of the really glaring issues, which is great. Just one more hurdle to go: 
Building a Luca is still not intuitive enough. I talked about this pretty extensively in my previous post, and while stuff that was missing is now there, the overall process of building a Luca is still kind of counter-intuitive. For instance, the way you start adding photos and writing a story in the default template and then later you pick the template you actually want. Wouldn’t you pick the template first? If not, you start off working in a template you’re not going to use. The app has a lot of quirks like that. Sure, eventually you figure out how to do most of what you want, but do you really have extra time to “figure out” an app, or should it all just make sense?

They’re close. Really close. 
The experience for the reader is actually very good. If they can tackle the authoring experience issues, and make putting a Luca together more of a pleasure than a puzzle, they’ll pretty much have it licked. I’ll keep you updated as they move toward shipping the final version.

Give it try yourself
Give it a try for yourself and see what you think, and let me know if I’m just being too picky (which is entirely possible, but when I see something this close to being really amazing, I want to help push it over that edge to greatness). Get early access over at GetLuca.com

That’s it from cold, gray, snowing Columbus, Ohio…
where I’ll be spending the day inside, toasty warm with 300+ photographers who are here for my Shoot Like a Pro Tour. Really looking forward to meeting everyone today, and I’ll be sure to share a photo of Brad’s first-morning fresh beard at breakfast, over on my Instagram account to start your day off right. ;-)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’ll be in Richmond on Wednesday with the tour, then Raleigh on Friday. Come out and spend the day with me. 

Friday
Jan
2015
23

Some Lightroom Love…Some RC Love, and other Friday Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  31 Comments

I’m very excited to announce that the awesome RC Concepcion has been named “Director of Content and Education” at KelbyOne
RC wrote a blog post about it, called “My New Job at KelbyOne” (here’s the ink) so I want you to hear it about it in his words, but I’m so happy for him; I”m excited about what he brings to the role, and I’m just really proud of him on so many levels. Please join me in welcoming RC to this new position leading our team and helping to mold and guide our educational curriculum for the future.

Yesterday We Released FOUR Brand New Full-Length Lightroom Online Classes (All taught by yours truly)
We’ve having a Lightroom Love-fest and I hope you’ll check out my new classes (the one shown above is one of my favorites of the four. The entire class is about “How to Create Cool Photo layouts” for your images, from multi-photo posters to slick one-photo layouts and everything in between. It not only show you how to create them, but I share a bunch of my own favorite layouts, with all the settings, in the class. Here’s the link to watch it right now.

Here’s my other classes that were released yesterday, too:

> Why you might want to switch to Lightroom (for folks not yet using Lightroom) link
> My Lightroom Sports Photography Workflow (link)
> Sharpening in Lightroom (link)

By the way, we release brand new online classes every Thursday (Brad mentioned Pete’s new online class on Photoshop’s “Mixer Brush” yesterday, and if you just said to yourself “What’s the Mixer brush?” then you’ve gotta watch Pete’s class. You’ll fall in love with it!) :)

My next Lightroom class, scheduled for release next week, is on shooting tethered and using Lightroom Mobile in the studio (from start to finish).

We’re giving away FIVE copies of Jay Maisel’s brilliant new book TODAY!
We’re picking the winners this afternoon, but there’s still time to enter (provided you’re reading this on Friday morning, mind you), so head over to LightroomKillerTips.com – leave a comment THERE (on the Jay’s Book giveaway post), and you’re entered. We’re picking the winners this afternoon around 4pm (NY time).

It was either a really awesome or totally horrible episode of “The Grid”
This week’s episode of “The Grid” (our weekly live talk show on photography) is being hailed by some as our best show ever! It’s also being hailed by some as literally our worst show ever. It is definitely our longest episode ever. Our in-studio guest was Jared Polin (Fro Knows Photo) and it had a little bit of everything (swearing, rants, arguing, blood pressure rising, big hair, sniping, 80s throwbacks – you name it. The train did come off the tracks a few times). Jared was a great guest – really outspoken and passionate, and he really gets into his groove about 1/2 way into the show, and we just had to let it keep rolling because it was really getting interesting. Anyway, while it is a very long episode, there’s lots of good info wrapped in some really funny (and polarizing) moments, so it’s worth at least letting it run in the background and just listen. Hope you check it out (above).

If you live in Columbus, Richmond or Raleigh, I hope I get to meet you in person next week!
I’ve only got a few cities left for my full-day “Shoot Like a Pro” seminar and I’ll be in:

> Columbus on Monday
> Richmond on Wednesday
> Raleigh on Friday (my first time visiting Raleigh ever)

Hope you can come out. It’s just $99 for the full day and there a 100% money-back guarantee if it’s not the best photography seminar you’ve ever been to at any price, period! Here’s the link with all the details.

Well, that it for this Friday!
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend – hope you have some opportunies to shoot, create, and have a yummy snack or two, and I hope to see you here again next week.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’re not following me over on Instagram yet, you’re missing some really boring photos I put up there. My Instagram name is (wait for it…wait for it…) Scott Kelby — go follow me right now, in case you’re having a hard time sleeping. ;-)

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