Posts By Brad Moore

Photo by TomDiPace

Hello everyone, I’m Rob Foldy and I’m a freelance commercial sports photographer based just outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I’ve been a friend of Scott and Brad’s for quite a while now and they have asked me to share with you some images and tales from a recent shoot. As always, I’m extremely humbled to be asked to share with you.

Not too long ago, I was asked to photograph each of the Miami Heat players before the start of the 2015-16 season for one of my clients, Getty Images. The most common opportunity to photograph professional or college athletes is on what’s called “media day.” If you’ve never heard of media day, it’s basically a day dedicated for all of the players on a team to fulfill various media needs, from still photographs to radio broadcasts to television interviews. This is a very busy day for the athletes. I’ve had the pleasure of covering a fair number of these over my career for different teams and organizations, and I’ve been able to pick up a few tips and tricks from others as well as stumbling upon some of my own.

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Josh Richardson #0 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on September 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Josh Richardson

Allow me to explain a bit more of how the photo section of these “media days” work. For basketball, most of the activity takes place on the practice court at the team’s home arena. The team/league, and typically a large local paper, will do photos as well, but traditionally in different locations around the arena. I don’t know exactly what else these players were required to participate in on that day, but I know there were at least 7 different sets of photographers from various newspapers and wire services set up and making portraits in the same room that I was in.

This is one of the first challenges. It’s a technical challenge with all of those strobes firing and all of the other distractions, but it’s also difficult to make a strong, unique image when these players are pumping out the same photos for various photographers as if they were on an assembly line. I don’t mean that to belittle any of those agencies or photographers, and those photos are very good and very important. However, my assignment was to make something different than the other photographers there that day, and I took it upon myself to strive for what I hoped to be a different image than anyone shooting any of the various teams and players throughout the country. Where as the other media day portraits are used for editorial work or television, the images from Getty are often used in advertising campaigns or for other commercial purposes.

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Chris Andersen #11 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on September 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

I’ll start with the gear stuff. I know when I first started reading this blog the gear stuff is the first thing I’d look for. So if you’re like me, here you go. I used Elinchrom BRX monolights (a BRX250 and three 500s) with the Skyport triggering system, two Westcott strip banks for side/back lights, a basic Elinchrom reflector to light the background, and an Elinchrom beauty dish with the silver deflector (with and without the diffusion sock) as my front light. I shoot with both a Canon 5Ds body mounted to an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, and a 1DX body with an EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens. The 50 plus megapixels of the 5Ds gave the images a ton of detail, while the low noise capabilities of the 1DX, along with the 12 frames per second motor drive, allowed me to shoot using just the modeling lights and capture the exact moment of the player’s expression that I was after.

I wore my Spider Holster dual camera system so that I could easily switch between camera bodies or have my hands completely free, and tethered into Lightroom on my laptop (just the 5Ds, as that was my “primary” camera). Every client wants things done a bit differently, and for Getty I always shoot JPEG. (I’ve had to familiarize myself with a lot of functions in my Canon cameras that I didn’t really know were there to help get my JPEGs as close to perfect as I can right out of the camera). I shot large JPEG plus RAW for this shoot just so I had a backup, but I’m proud to say that I was able to use my standard JPEG workflow for all of the photos that I delivered. Below is an iPhone photo of my setup.


As you can see, it’s not a typical portrait setup, so let me explain a little more about media day. Photographers get, on average, about 2 minutes with each of the players before they’re onto their next commitment. They move from one photographer directly to the next. How do I make good portraits, much less ones that are unique, in less than 2 minutes?! That’s where this dual background setup comes in. I can get two different looks with one lighting setup, without my subject really having to move or reposition. I cannot take any credit for this idea. A good friend and Getty staff photographer, Mike Ehrmann, told me about it and uses it himself, as do many other very talented shooters.

But, like anything I learn, I try to adapt it and make it my own. Although I used the two background idea that Mike had used, he traditionally uses it with all of the light coming from the front. It gets more difficult when you try to add lights behind the subject as well. But, if done correctly, I can get 3 different looks, each of those with a few different expressions, giving my clients a good variety despite only having the players for a short period of time.

I’ll start with my “main” setup. I shot these straight on, strobed, white background shots with the 5Ds and 70-200, ISO 100, 1/160th of a second, somewhere around f11. Before you give me too much grief about the players sitting down, like the great portrait photographer Peter Hurley did, let me explain to you why. I agree that most of the time portrait photographs look best when your subject(s) are standing, but there are a few problems with that on media day.

The first being that I’m trying to make a different photo than everyone around me, and everyone else has the athletes standing. But the main reason why I have them sit is more psychological than physical. I try to set up my little “portrait station” to be welcoming and comfortable. When the players walked up, instead of posing them and asking them to stand one way or the other, and then turn and pose some other way, I simply introduced myself and asked them to sit down, put their feet up, and make themselves comfortable. “Imagine you’re just chillin’ on your couch at home watching TV…except for some reason you’re holding a basketball.” I’ve found that an approach like this gets them out of the “routine” of media day, and into something along the lines of, “Wait a minute, I’ve never taken a photo like this before.” I try to make them feel relaxed. Sure I have an agenda/shot list in my head, but I don’t tell them that, I let the photographs come to me.

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Josh Richardson #0 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on September 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

For this shot I knew I wanted some more serious photos, but also something with a bit of that specific player’s personality. If I were to ask them to smile, the players would just give me what I have nicknamed their “media day smile.” So if they did, I would jokingly say to them something along the lines of, “Come on man, that ain’t your real smile. Give me the smile you would give me if I told you I was sending this photo to your mom.” Bam. You’re in.

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on September 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on September 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Dwyane Wade

But photos of people smiling are a dime a dozen, so how do I make something different? Something genuine, something that really shows their personality, but do it in less than a minute? I have found a trick that seems to work pretty well for me. After I snap a few frames, I drop the camera in my Spider Holster and walk up to them like I’m about to tell them a secret. In the pros, a lot of these guys are married, so my conversation with them usually goes something like this: “Hey man, are you married? (If yes, keep going, if no, skip ahead a few lines.) Okay, well, let’s go back a few years to before you were married, okay? Okay, so you’re out at the club with your buddies, the place is packed, everyone is having a good time. You see this group of girls walk by and they are smokin’ hot. You realize one of them keeps checking you out, you think she’s worth getting to know a little better, so the next time you catch her looking your way, you give her ‘the look.’”

At this point, they are usually snickering because they know exactly the look you’re talking about. “You know the look I mean? I call it the ‘ay girl’ look.” (I now demonstrate my best attempt at the “look.”) “I’m going to walk back over there, but when I count to three, do you think you can give that look to the camera?” Admittedly it works on some guys right out of the gate and others not so much, but it gets them out of their own way and continues to get them to relax. If they try the look and it doesn’t work, that’s usually followed by laughter. Like Dr. Hurley says: sometimes it’s not the face you’re after, but the smile you get right after the face.

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Greg Whittington #22 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on September 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Greg Whittington

So at this point, hopefully they’re playing ball with you (yes, I just made a basketball pun). That’s when I holster the 70-200 and grab the 1DX with the 85mm. I have this camera set to Monochrome JPEG, and on the 1DX cameras you can adjust the sharpness and contrast, as well as apply filter and toning effects for black and white images right in the camera. My exposure settings were somewhere in the neighborhood of ISO 1600, f2 and 1/500th shutter. I shot these in black and white for a few reasons. One, I like black and white images. Two, I shot these only using the modeling lights from the flashes, so I knew a ton of mixed color temperature ambient light would be creeping into my photos and my white balance would be a mess.

Free from the tethering cable and not having to wait for lights to recycle, I was able to keep those looks and expressions coming while they were still trying to make a good “ay girl” face, and the subsequent laughter that follows. My good friend David Santiago from the Miami Herald took this photo of me while I was trying to shoot just that. (Oh yeah, that’s another distraction. In addition to the portrait shooters, a lot of papers or agencies will cover the event overall, so there are people shooting photos and video of you as you’re shooting photos of the athletes.)

Photo by David Santiago/The Miami Herald

I like to get in really close with the 85mm. It may make the subject a bit uncomfortable at first, but in the end, they’re all real human beings like us, and they want to look good in the photos. A lot of times they’ll ask to see the photos on the back of the camera. If they like them, you’re in even better shape moving forward.

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Amar'e Stoudemire #5 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on September 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Amar'e Stoudemire

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on September 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chris Bosh

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Justise Winslow #20 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on September 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

I still know that I’m on a time crunch, so once I know I have what I need from the front, I tell the players that they’re almost done, I just have to make a few more frames. I re-holster the 1DX, grab the 70-200 again and head over to the side so I can shoot them against the black background. (Below is another photo from David Santiago. You can see another photographer’s setup right next to mine, and there’s another one next to that, and 4 more on the adjacent wall.)

Photo by David Santiago/The Miami Herald

This shot also requires some foresight. Remember how I mentioned that someone had told me about the two background idea, but that all of their light was coming from the front? Well, if I were to fire all 4 of my lights and shoot from the side, my photo would be a mess. There would be light spilling into the lens, the strip banks would probably be in the frame, and it would just not be the image I wanted. I’ve used other brands of lights and triggers in the past, and my work-around was to plug the background light and strip banks into a power strip and then just turn off the switch before taking the shot on the black background. That worked, but is not ideal. By using the Elinchrom Skyport system, I had the background light, the strip banks, and the beauty dish all in separate groups. This not only allowed me to turn each of the groups up and down individually, but also allowed me to fire just the beauty dish.

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Amar'e Stoudemire #5 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on September 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

To close, I’d like share with you a story from a few years ago… I was shooting another team with a similar setup and was trying to use the same tricks. It was towards the end of the day and honestly I was starting to get tired. I was pretty far away from this player who was a bit larger than some of the other guys, so I was zoomed all the way in towards 200mm, and instead of walking over to him and really selling the “girls in the club” story, I kinda gave a brief explanation from across the room. After I’m finished I ask him for the “ay girl” look and he gives me something. Not perfect, but not bad. I shot a few more at that distance and then came in close with my 85. I ask “hey, give me that ‘ay girl’ look one more time.” “OH! You were saying ‘ay girl’, that makes a lot more sense. I thought you were saying ‘egg roll’.” I lost it. My assistant, the other photographers near by, the player’s handler, he and I we were all cracking up. “The rest of those guys were giving me that look thinking they were giving it to an attractive girl, you gave it to me for an egg roll!” “What can I say, man, I really like egg rolls.”

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on September 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Udonis Haslem

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and I hope it encourages you that, despite the obstacles you may be facing on any particular shoot, if you think outside of the box you can still walk away with some unique images! Cheers!

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


Welcome to my 10th Annual Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide. I know it’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years. When I wrote the first one, Roosevelt was still President, The Dick Van Dyke Show was a prime-time hit, and the Spice Girls had just released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (please don’t dwell too long on any of that—just let it go). Anyway, that’s not important; what’s important is that there are some really cool, fun, and tasty gear in this year’s guide (including my throwback pick—the Flowbee). It’s almost time to unleash the “gonzoness” of this guide upon you, but first, some housekeeping stuff.

As is my sacred Gonzo tradition for more than a 10th of a century, I’m breaking things into three distinct categories:

  1. Stocking Stuffers: But you can use these as actual holiday gifts if you’re not that crazy about the person.
  1. Great Value Gear: Stuff that’s a really good deal for the money, and even though it’s not a lot of money, they’ll still totally dig it.
  1. Cha-ching! Stuff you buy for the surgeon/Wall Street banker/rap mogul on your Holiday gift list. This is the stuff that makes them burst into spontaneous tears of joy. Well, at least I would.

These are my annually self-imposed guidelines for which products make it into the guide. It’s just two rules actually. First, to be listed here, they have to be products that I use myself, and that I absolutely love, and now can’t live without (well, I could live without them, but I just wouldn’t want to). Second, if a product makes the guide, it has to be one I’d recommend to a close friend without hesitation, especially if my friend was Justin Bieber.

Okay, folks, hang on to any loose body parts; here we go!



Yong Nuo Trigger

YONGNUO YN-560TX Wireless Flash Trigger
If the photographer on your gift list has a YONGNUO flash, this is an inexpensive wireless controller that sits on top of their hot-shoe and controls up to six groups of flashes. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it’s cheap at less than $45. If they don’t have a YONGNUO flash, then it becomes a unique tree ornament.


YN560 TX (for Canon): $44.95 (link)

YN560 TX (for Nikon): $39.99 (link)


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Lastolite Ezybalance 12″ 18% Grey/White Target
If they shoot people…(let me rephrase that). If they take portraits, this is an awesome gift because it helps them get the white balance right on the money. It’s super portable (it collapses like a diffuser or reflector so it’s really small and fits in any camera bag), super lightweight, and pretty cheap.

Price: $32.88


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Tether Tools RapidMount SLX Speedlight Holder
Okay, so technically it’s for mounting a flash just about anywhere, but it’s really for mounting just about anything anywhere. So clever, and very affordable.

Price: $24.95


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Some Cool Books
If they’ve ever wanted to create really professional-looking headshots, they’ll love Peter Hurley’s The Headshot. It came out this year and it’s already going into its third printing. A huge hit! (Full disclosure: I was the development editor, and despite that—it’s still a good book.)

Every photographer and/or graphic designer/illustrator needs Ed Greenberg and Jack Reznicki’s The Copyright Zone book. It’s full of invaluable information for protecting your work, and lots of great business advice, as well. Good stuff.

Our dear friend Glyn Dewis wrote quite an awesome book this year. It’s called The Photoshop Workbook and it’s packed with great techniques for intermediate users and up.

If you have a few extra bucks to spend, check out Jay Maisel’s It’s Not About the F-Stop and Light, Gesture & Color. Both brilliant books (from us and Peachpit Press).





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Perfectly Clear Plug-in 2.0
This plug-in is pretty much your “retoucher-in-a-box” type of plug-in (for Lightroom or Photoshop) in that it applies up to 20 automatic image corrections. Yes, there are other plug-ins that do automatic corrections and retouching, but this is probably the best I’ve ever seen. Good stuff.
Photoshop or Lightroom Plug-In v2: $149
Photoshop and Lightroom Bundle v2: $199



The Everyday Messenger by Trey Ratcliff and Peak Design
This awesome little camera bag/messenger bag was co-designed by travel photographer Trey Ratcliff, and funded through a Kickstarter program that raised more than $500,000 its first day (raising nearly $5 million total), and when I got mine, I saw exactly why. It’s beautifully made, thoughtfully constructed, very clever, holds a little or a lot (and cleverly adjusts for both), and overall it’s just an awesome camera bag that the photographer on your gift list will love you for.

Price: $249.95



Platypod Pro Deluxe Kit
This is a very slick, small, lightweight camera support that you use in place of a tripod (you just put a ballhead on this incredibly sturdy plate and you’re good to go). Its small size lets you use it in places where tripods aren’t allowed, which is a big thing. I love it for doing interior photography with a wide-angle lens down low, or travel photography for getting a really low perspective in a cathedral or palace, but I’m also using it for remote cameras at sporting events. It also has a very well thought-out carrying case.

Price: $49.95


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CamRanger: Wireless Camera Control & Tethering
This is one of the most useful, smart, and just brilliantly designed things to come along for photographers in a while. It lets you wirelessly control your Canon or Nikon camera for everything from tethering (with touch focus) to time-lapse photography, to making movies, and more with your iPhone or iPad, Android-based mobile device, and even your Mac or Windows desktop computer, and the level of control you get is pretty astonishing. You can view images, save images (RAW and JPEG), adjust the controls all wirelessly, change metering modes, do bracketing—it’s just sick! It’s won about every industry award you can win and its fan base of evangelists around the world grows larger every day.

Price: $299.99


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Tether Table Aero System
This is a shelf that attaches to a tripod to hold your laptop for tethered shooting, which by itself is incredibly convenient for shooting in-studio or on location, but the optional accessories they make for it are awesome, including a little under-mounted holder for external hard drives, to a secondary holder for your iPad, to a pullout drink holder that I personally just love. It’s totally worth it.

Price: Starting at $175.95



Westcott Apollo 50″ Mega JS Softbox for Hot-shoe Flash
It’s a big, beautiful, super portable, lightweight softbox that’s a miracle for the money. Perfect for lighting portraits, full-length shots, or even group shots, all with just a single flash. It collapses like an umbrella but forms into a big ol’ 50×50″ softbox, and at $169.90 you can’t beat it.

Price: $169.90


DxO ONE iPhone APri

If you have an iPhoneographer on your Holiday list, this gift will blow them away. It’s a pro-quality 20-megapixel camera lens and sensor that attaches to your iPhone via a lightning connector, and the results are pretty stunning. With its f/1.8 aperture, now you can take shots with those soft out-of-focus backgrounds right from your iPhone, but it integrates directly into your iPhone so you can still do all the iPhone stuff to the images it captures. The images are sharper, clearer, better in low light than your iPhone, and well, it’s basically a whole new experience in quality and size.

Price: $599


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Vello Shutterboss Version II Timer Remote Switch
This is so inexpensive that it probably should go under “Stocking Stuffers,” but it doesn’t look cheap, so I’m sticking it here. This accessory does double-duty—it acts as a cable release for your camera, but then it also does time-lapse photography (well, that’s actually its main act). It’s pretty well made (mine has lasted for years now), and it’s only $49.95 at B&H.

Price: $49.95



Use MPIX to Print, Mount, Frame, and Deliver One of Your Own Images
This is a really personal gift—giving one of your images, framed, to someone else. The impact this will make is pretty incredible. Expect them to follow you around like a puppy for the rest of the year for giving them something only you could do. You upload your image to; pick your mounting, framing, etc.; and they’ll ship it directly to the person on your gift list. Don’t go chinchy on the size—get a 16×20″ or larger (figure around $100 with mounting, framing, printing, and delivery or more if you choose a larger size).

Price: Depends on size, mounting, and framing you choose



The B&H Photo Gift Card
Not exactly sure what to get them? Get them this! That way they can get whatever they want (within the limit of how much you put on the card, of course) from the greatest photo store on earth. You can order gift cards directly from the B&H site. They’ll send a card and a catalog so it looks pretty substantial.

Price: That’s up to you




A Fisheye Lens
I’m just saying a fisheye, because you have to pick one that fits the camera make and style (crop sensor or full frame) that the photographer on your Holiday gift list uses, but whichever brand you wind up getting, they’ll super-dig this special-effect lens.

I use the Canon EF 8–15mm f/4L Fisheye USM zoom (for full-frame cameras), and it’s awesome! ($1,249).

For crop-sensor bodies, a lot of folks like the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye (around $600).

Nikon makes an AF Fisheye-NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8 for full-frame cameras that’s right around $1,000.

Their AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR 10.5mm f/2.8 for cropped sensor DX bodies is around $771.

Price: Starting around $600 and on up.


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Elinchrom ELB 400 Battery Pack
If you want the photographer on your list to fall in love with you with a burning passion that knows no bounds, get them this awesome little battery pack that can use two small lightweight (but very powerful) flash heads. This is what I use when I want studio-quality light on location, and this latest version is better than ever. It has its own built-in (better) version of high-speed sync for freezing motion and strobe special effects that’s just awesome. Very lightweight battery back, well designed, and incredible for the money.
Price: $1,019 (without optional Lithium-ion battery or strobes)


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Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Ultra-Wide-Angle Zoom Lens
This is the greatest super-wide-angle lens I’ve ever used, and I believe it’s the widest wide-angle lens ever made without becoming a fisheye lens. It’s sharp as a tack, it’s a rectilinear lens so it minimizes distortion, and the images you’re able to capture with it are just stunning. It’s just so darn wide! I love it! Of course, this much love doesn’t come in a cheap package. It’s around $3,000 but for the greatest wide-angle ever made, it’s worth it.

Price: $2,999


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DJI Phantom 3 Standard Flying Camera
Everybody wants a drone copter for taking aerial shots these days. Everybody! It’s “a thing.” I know I included a copter in my list last year, but however popular they were last year, it’s pretty much quadrupled for this year, so I had to include one. It’s a really fun thing, and the DJI Standard is, well, it’s the standard! (Note: If you give this to someone, prepare to receive the same reaction a dog gives his owner when he returns home: They’ll jump up on you and lick your face. Just sayin’.)

Price: $699



Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 Professional Inkjet Printer
We have one of these in our offices, and it’s among the best printers Canon’s ever made. It’s a 17″ wide-format pro-quality printer with all new guts (print head, new inks, new technology, new special magic, etc.) to make prints that are just unbelievable in quality, sharpness, and vibrance. They’ll not even believe you bought them a printer. It will totally freak them out (in a good way).

Price: $1,299




A One-Year KelbyOne Online Training Membership
How awesome would this be? (Mighty awesome!) They’ll think of you for a full year as they’re learning cool new stuff. From lighting to landscapes, weddings to travel photography, portraits to pet photography, there are more than 500 in-depth online training classes here (including lots of classes from me). They’ll love you (I’ll love you). It’s only $199 for a full year of unlimited access. Feel the love.

Price: $199/year 



Get Them a Ticket to My Live Full-Day Seminar
I’d love to see the awesome photographer on your gift list in person at my live full-day photography (and Lightroom and Photoshop) seminar. I’m heading all over here in the U.S., and I even pop over to Canada and the U.K. You can see a list of cities over at They’ll super-dig it, and you’ll be a hero.

Price: $99



Treat Them to Photoshop World Las Vegas
It’s a three-day photography, Photoshop, Adobe CC, video, and Lightroom lovefest coming this summer (July 19–21, 2016), and you can send your loved one (or hope-to-be-loved-back one) for an experience they’ll never forget. They’ll learn more in three days than they have in three years, and they’ll have you to thank. Plus, if you buy their full conference pass now, you’ll save a bundle.


Well, there ya have it folks. Remember, it’s not how many gifts you get. It’s about how many gifts you get me! ;-)

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving Week!


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It’s An All-New
Yesterday we launched a whole new website designed from the ground up to give you the best KelbyOne experience yet. There’s an all-new member dashboard, all-new navigation, and just all new everything! If you’re already a KelbyOne member, log in now to check it all out. And if you’ve never been a KelbyOne member, you can take it for a spin for FREE (click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for info)!

And to celebrate the launch of the brand new site, we’re going to give away a free 1-month membership to five lucky people… Just leave a comment for your chance to win! (more…)

Photo by Jen Coffin

You know those ’Top 5 Tips to be a Successful Photographer’ type of articles that you see come through your newsfeed and you cringe and say ‘Oh man!…not again!!’?

Well, this is one of those lists. :P

I know, I know. you’ve read this article like a thousand times before.. right?! Well, guess what’s cooler about this particular article? This one’s got SIX tips. :P But seriously, if you stick with me through this stuff, I can promise you that it’s not going to be one of those blog posts that tell you in order to be a successful photographer you need to carry your business cards at all times, market like there’s no tomorrow, and learn your camera settings (all really good tips, to be fair). However, we are going to go on a much bigger adventure than that. :)

So here’s the deal! I’m going to pepper this stuff with cute puppy photos throughout because even if it’s not directly related to cute puppies – an adorable canine here and there can never, ever hurt. right? And I’m not above cute puppy bribery, right? (right!) And for those of you who just want to scroll through the pictures, you can walk away assuming that this post was about how to take an expert look at cute puppy photos and I’d be totally okay with that.

Let me just take a very quick moment to share with you exactly why I’m feeling inspired to share these following 6 tips. I just recently spent one of the most incredible weeks of my life down in Tampa, Florida. Alongside some of the most amazing, inspiring, and impossibly talented people that I have ever had the privilege to join creative forces with, I filmed my class on dog photography for KelbyOne. (you guys!!! I am so excited for you to see it! GAHH!) Being in the presence of other like- minded artists all on their very own amazing, creative journeys reminded me of how grateful I am to be on this particular adventure of mine. I want to share with you a little bit about my journey, and let you in on the 6 tips that I would give that might just be integral to becoming a successful photographer.


As for me, I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer. I’ve always lived just a little bit on the edge of society – thinking up fairytales and big adventures and ignoring the status quo. I like to sleep late and I hate to plan. I like to watch the way the world unfolds around me when I just let go. I’ve always figured that life is for living, right? We’re given these beautiful, bright red beating hearts and these vessels of bone and flesh, and it’s all like one big, gorgeous poem. Everything works together, ticking in perfect synchronization to keep us alive — to keep our synapses firing and our eyes wide open. I think it’s unbelievable. And I’ve always thought – I might as well go discover the world while I still have these two feet underneath my body that are capable of carrying me across any kind of terrain, right?

This was the kind of outlandish thinking that brought me to where I am today. I am humbled and wildly grateful to say that I live my dream through a camera lens each and every day. Of all the things in this world that one could possibly be, I am a professional dog photographer. But it wasn’t just a simple, seamless jump that got me here. Oh no, it’s been a very, very big adventure. I’ve had to carve my own way. Because, while I didn’t know much when I first started, the one thing I did know was that nobody was going to get out of their warm bed and carve it for me.


If you’re reading this blog, it’s highly likely that you are a photographer or are interested in delving into photography. That means you are an artist. You have the heart and mind of an artist. And that is a rare blessing – a gift – that you’ve been given. You see the world in a different way from the masses. And if you use that gift – if you apply that special sight that you’ve been blessed with – in the all the right ways , you have the potential to go on a journey that takes you to places you never even thought possible. This I promise you, take it from me.

Just 5 years ago I was a terribly lost soul – I had graduated college with honors and big, big aspirations. I applied to a gazillion (<— technical number) different companies on a gazillion different kinds of resume paper. When most of those avenues fizzled out, I found myself working a ‘make-ends-meet’ type of job that squashed every fiber of creativity and soul that I had. Leaving my workplace in tears started to become commonplace, and I fell into a state of near depression knowing full well that I was wasting valuable time while not using my gifts to their full potential.

One afternoon, I was driving home from that particular job – tires splashing across wet pavement beneath me – and I made a decision. I was going to take the next step towards finding my purpose. At the time, I had absolutely no idea how much that decision would change my life.


Since that moment 5 years ago, I have photographed thousands of dog photo sessions, traveled the world teaching photography workshops, worked on life changing international animal rescue missions, shot national commercial ad campaigns for some of the biggest names in the pet industry, have seen my work on greeting cards and in calendars and am now impossibly grateful to be standing alongside some of my biggest idols and inspirations as an instructor for KelbyOne.

(It’s actually really hard for me to say those things above. And I’ve rewritten and deleted that paragraph above about 12 times because I feel like such an egotistical megajerk touting these achievements. But, ultimately, I think it’s important to say, ‘Hey, this is my true story.’ I’m living proof that with the right amount of passion, heart and hard work – these are the kinds of things that can happen. If I – just one red headed girl who started with nothing but a camera and a dream – can pull this off, then you can too.)

So, all of that being said, I want to share these following 6 tips. To me, these are the 6 things that have had the impossible ability to change my career, and ultimately, my life. I hope that sharing this wisdom might bring some magic to your journey as well.

Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded with Scott Kelby
Are you ready to take your photography skills to the “next level?” Come join Scott Kelby — he’s back, live on stage with a follow-up to his most popular photography seminar ever, with Shoot Like a Pro: Reloaded! This totally new tour, with all fresh new content, picks right up where the first tour left off and is packed with more of those “ah ha!” moments, more of eye-opening revelations, and more of the same clear, concise, and just downright fun photography training that made the first tour such a big hit. The entire day is designed with one thing in mind: showing you the next level of concepts, ideas, and techniques to help you make the kind of images you’ve always dreamed of.

We’re finishing out the year by bringing this tour to Philadelphia (this coming Monday!), Austin, Chicago, and Tampa. We’re giving a way a free ticket to each one of these events, so leave a comment for your chance to win! (more…)


Hey everyone. Good to see you here again!

A big hug goes to Scott and Brad for inviting me back to be a guest blogger. It’s not only quite an honor to post here, but it’s also great fun to share photo how-to info – and photo inspiration – on Scott’s popular blog.

I call this post, Transforming Your Home into a Professional Photo Studio, which coincidentally is the title of my newest class on KelbyOne, releasing tomorrow!

In this new class (which was shot in a home near the KelbyOne studios in Oldsmar, Florida) I share tips, tricks and techniques for shooting in your home with speedlites, constant lights, Ice Lights and even a small flashlight. The main idea of the class is that you don’t necessarily need to spend thousands of dollars a month on a studio rental, as well as thousands of dollars on lighting gear, to get good portraits.

Let’s start by taking a look at some of the end-result photographs, as well as some of the behind-the-scenes photos, from the class. For each photo I’ll share a quick tip.

After sharing some photos from the class, I’ll share some of my “home studio” images that were taken closer to home, actually in my home in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

Let’s go! (more…)