Posts By Brad Moore

Dave Cross and Corey Barker square off during Photoshop Wars in the Dell booth at Photoshop World Las Vegas 2010.

Hey gang, Brad here with the news for this week:

TOMORROW is the LIVE NAPP webcast featuring Dave Cross and Corey Barker sponsored by Dell!  They’ll be taking the stage to present a bevy (yes, bevy) of their coolest Photoshop Tips & Tricks, plus it’s open to the public, plus plus they’re giving away FREE prizes! So register now for your chance to win, then tune in tomorrow at NOON Eastern on that same page.

Matt Kloskowski will be bringing the Photoshop for Digital Photographers seminar to the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle on November 18! You can get all the details and sign up right here.

Speaking of Matt, episode 56 of DTown TV with he and Scott Kelby will be going up soon right here. Here’s what’s in the next episode:

  • Matt and Scott discuss using different types of autofocus for different situations
  • Moose Peterson’s amazing new wildlife photography book, Captured, is now in stock at Amazon and Barnes & Noble!
  • Larry Becker has a Cheap Shots tip on “photographer’s shirts” as an alternative to photo vests
  • Check out the brand new Larry’s Cheap Shots blog!
  • Scott’s in the photo studio with a tip on using v-flats reflectors as backgrounds
  • Cliff Mautner shares how he stays motivated when photographing tons of weddings every year
  • Check out the work of aviation photographer Tyson V. Rininger!

There’s still time to vote and/or enter in the free Kelby TV photo contest sponsored by Dell and Intel! The winner will receive a brand new Dell Precision M6500 laptop (the same laptop used in Photoshop Wars at Photoshop World)! Visit by October 31 to vote and enter. (Voting is open to everyone, submissions open to U.S. residents)

Looking for a great way to present your portfolio on your iPad? Jason Lykins recently did a review on the “Portfolio for iPad” app over on Check it out!

That’s it for today. Swing by tomorrow for some BIG news, and for a cool story about a gray card (yes, gray cards can be cool ;) )!

My name is John McWade. Because this is my first post, here’s a quick history.

I’m a designer, not a photographer. Early in 1985, I was the first person in the world to lay down my T-square and become a full-time “desktop publisher.” That meant that I was doing my design work entirely on a computer — a 9″-screen Macintosh — with a test version of Aldus PageMaker.

I’d been at it for months when, that summer in New York, Apple rolled out its “Macintosh Office,” a networked suite consisting of the Apple LaserWriter, Adobe PostScript, and Aldus PageMaker. All three were revolutionary. The press, impressed, said, “Yeah, this looks good, but is anyone actually using it?” To which Apple said, “Well, there’s this guy out in California . . .”

And my phone started to ring.

Things have not been the same since.

It took only five years for desktop publishing to democratize design. Its early adopters, with exceptions, were not designers. They were writers, editors, marketers and others who had design to do — newsletters, brochures, business stationery, whatever — but lacked the time, budget, or need for a professional.

Most had an affinity for design, too. But most did not have the skills.

Books and periodicals taught point and click. How to draw a curve, make a shadow, put a glow on something. This was helpful. They called it design, but it wasn’t. It was effects.

No one outside of school was teaching design. Typography. Page layout. The art of making a visual message beautifully and simply and clearly.

So we jumped in. We launched a small magazine titled Before & After, How to design cool stuff in January, 1990, to help the novice — the non-design professional — with graphic design. It was an immediate hit.

I’ve been at it ever since. In print, in books, online, in video (just starting this), and in the occasional live class. I love my work. The surprise has been that our little five-year project would turn into a career that continues to this day.

Brad asked if I’d do a post for photographers.

From a designer’s standpoint, the great thing about being a photographer is that you have great images to work with. So how about how to get a photo and type to coexist in the same small space, like on a business card? There’s a universal way to do it, which I’ll show you here, and once you have it down, you can elaborate pretty easily if you want.


(Above) Jayne Kettner’s business card had a clip-arty logo, a slogan, a swashy, calligraphic signature, and her business information, all scattered into various corners and places. This is common, and there are several problems with it. One is the scattering, which puts similar kinds of information in different places, with nothing to connect it. Two is the visual complexity; that is, the unnecessary tangle of lines. Three is that we can’t see her photos; her biggest asset is absent.

Here’s how to fix it. (more…)

Hey everyone, Brad here with the latest news:

Kelby TV is running a free photo contest from now until October 31, sponsored by Dell and Intel! The winner will receive a brand new Dell Precision M6500 laptop (the same laptop used in Photoshop Wars at Photoshop World)! Visit for all the details. (Voting is open to everyone, submissions open to U.S. residents)

Tomorrow is the day, London! Hundreds of photographers have already signed up for Scott’s Photoshop for Digital Photographers seminar in Islington tomorrow, but you can still show up and register at the door.

If you can’t make it to the seminar in London, Matt Kloskowski will be bringing the same seminar to the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle on November 18! You can get all the details and sign up right here.

Remember Scott’s report from Moab where he photographed the mountain biker at Slickrock Trail? Tom Bol‘s Photographing Adventure Sports class over on Kelby Training Online was filmed at the same location! He covers everything from portraits to getting unique action shots, so go check it out!

Would you like to spend a week at one of the most beautiful resorts in the world, learning from Joe McNally and Scott Kelby? Here’s your chance! There are only two spots left for The Hot Shoe Lighting Workshop in St. Lucia. You can see Scott’s report from last year’s workshop here and email Lynn here if you want to take part in what could be one of the most memorable experiences of your life (and I’m speaking from experience :) ).

If you’re a digital photographer and haven’t been watching DTown TV (featuring Scott and Matt), you’ve been missing out! Each episode has tips for shooting, getting the most bang for your buck, guest photographers, giveaways, and more. The latest episode features…

  • Scott with some tips for beginners on choosing which camera and lenses to buy
  • Larry Becker with his Cheap Shots segment in which he discusses cleaning dust out of the camera
  • Wedding photographer Cliff Mautner shares advice on shooting wedding processionals and recessionals
  • Matt shares a post processing tip about combining images to keep multiple subjects in focus when shooting portraits with a shallow depth of field

So drop by and check out the show! You can also subscribe to the podcast for free in iTunes.

Scott Bourne recently asked Scott Kelby to be a guest on his Photofocus podcast where they discussed Lightroom, shooting in harsh light, using bright backgrounds for portraits, photographing fall leaves, clam shell lighting, and a WHOLE bunch of other great topics. Click here to check out Episode 53 of Photofocus. (Scott was also the guest host on two previous episodes that can be found here and here)

Scott mentioned earlier this week that Moose Peterson’s new book Captured was in stock at Amazon, and now it’s in stock at Barnes & Noble! Click here to order your copy now.

I shot my first wedding in October 2006.  Back then, I simply hoped for the best.  Hoped the wedding wasn’t delayed, hoped the family members remained nearby for formal pictures, and hoped I received a timeline for the day in advance.  I’ll never forget the terror of standing outside–in a garden–after my first wedding on a pitch-black night for the family formal pictures.  It was so dark I couldn’t get my camera to focus.  I actually resorted to my assistant holding a flashlight just to provide enough light to get my camera to fire.

I redefined awesome.

After that experience, I realized how important it was for me to address a wedding day timeline in advance.  Namely, using my experience (you know, all ONE wedding I had tucked under my belt) to best prepare my clients for an optimal photography experience.

This meant discussing my clients’ desires weeks in advance and offering guidance if the bride was inclined.  This was of tantamount importance if a wedding coordinator was not involved with the planning, as the ebb and flow of the day is controlled by the wedding photographer.

In 2007, I photographed 38 weddings and–through trial and error–created what I think is an optimal timeline.  Now, this is just my opinion.  Everyone works differently, but I’ve discovered I’m able to balance my clients’ desires as well as my creative desires adhering to the following timeline…

– Photography begins
– Details photographed (wedding dress, shoes, jewelry, invitations, bouquet, etc)
– Last minute hair and makeup touchups
– Candid photos of the bridesmaids preparing

– Bride dresses
– Candids of bride with mom and bridesmaids

– First Look
– Bride and groom see each other before the ceremony for photos

– Bridal party pictures
– Bride with her bridesmaids, group and solo photos
– Groom with his groomsmen, group and solo photos
– Entire group

– Bride gets tucked away from early arriving guests
– Photographers shoot ceremony details and cocktail hour location, if available.

5pm – Ceremony

5:30pm – Ceremony Ends

5:40pm – Family pictures

6:10pm – Sunset photos with bride and groom

6:25pm – Photograph reception details

6:45pm – Grand Entrance

6:55pm – First Dance

7pm – Welcome and prayer, if applicable

7:15pm – First course served

7:30pm – Toasts

7:45pm – Second course served

8:15pm – Father/daughter…mother/son dance

8:25pm – Open dancing

9:30pm – Cake cutting

9:40pm – Bouquet/garter toss

10pm – Photography coverage commences

Like I mentioned before, everyone works differently and there’s no such thing as a perfect approach.  I wrote this blog post because I wish I had something to consult when I first started.  I made many mistakes, but I learned from each of them, and I used them to build my business.

Most importantly, simply go out of your way to ensure you’re on the same page with the bride.  Your experience, your client’s experience, and the overall flow of the day will be amazing if everyone knows what to expect.

If you’d like to read more about how I work and other FAQs, here’s a specific link to just these types of posts:  FAQ Posts on Jasmine Star Blog

I appreciate the opportunity to share a little about who I am and what I love to do.  Thanks to the Kelby crew for welcoming me and I couldn’t be more honored.

Twitter:  @JasmineStar
Facebook:  Jasmine Star Facebook Page

Hey gang, Brad here with the latest news…

It’s official! Larry’s Cheap Shots blog goes LIVE! – Posting “a few times a week,” Larry’s new blog will cover what you already know from watching DTown TV, PLUS Larry will post photography money savers, behind-the-scenes info, videos from back episodes, links to cost effective solutions all around the web, and more! Check it all out at

Join us Friday, Oct. 15th at NOON (Eastern) for this month’s NAPP Member LIVE Training event, which will be open to the public! Corey Barker will present his cool Tips & Tricks! There will be NO 3D in this so Ps Extended isn’t required. Only the live event is open to the public. The replay will still only be for NAPP members and only NAPP members can submit questions early. Scott will share the link here as soon as he can!

Ron Martinsen has posted his chapter-by-chapter review of Scott’s Lightroom 3 Book over at

There’s still time to sign up for Scott’s Lightroom for Digital Photographers Tour stop in London on October 15 (that’s just a week from tomorrow!), and Matt Kloskowski’s stop in Seattle on November 18. Get all the info over on

Have you checked out Kelby Training Online lately? We’ve had some killer classes going up lately, like…

Frank Doorhof, one Kelby Training’s newest instructors, will be teaching a lighting seminar and workshop in Italy on November 13th and 14th. You can find all the details over at (Sidenote: I assisted Frank for one of his Kelby Training classes, and this guy rocks! These are events you definitely don’t want to miss.)

And lastly, Epson has announced new printers in their Stylus Pro lineup! The newest models are the Epson Stylus Pro 4900, 7890, and 9890. You can find more info on them by visiting their product pages (just click each model number), or by reading the press releases here.

The Importance of Practicing and Sharing

Before I started blogging I was always playing around with Photoshop, Illustrator and other apps I had an interest in learning more about and wanted to improve my skills in. The idea was always the same…to try and recreate something I saw and liked using this tool. I pretty much spent a decade doing that, always saving to my computer.

Towards the end of 2006, life played its odds and my office was robbed. It turned out that the burglars chose to take my backup drives on the exact day that I decided to backup my files. So my laptop and my two backup drives were taken and I found myself completely lost in space. All those years of learning by practice were gone.

Since that day I decided that everything I learn I would put up online on my blog. So I restarted my routine of experiments and after these almost four years I’ve learned quite a lot of things besides to never take your two backup disks to the same place at the same time. The most important thing I’ve learned is that the best way to promote your work is through sharing your knowledge and the secrets of your work. It’s true and I have a few examples to illustrate that.

Super Interessante

I always liked to play with space scenes in Photoshop, trying to come up with solutions and techniques to create those scenes. I am also always checking out work by other designers (James White, Chuck Anderson, Scott Hansen, Eduardo Recife, and a bunch of others) so I can learn new things as well. In 2007 I was playing with brushes in Photoshop and created a nice space scene, and then I posted a tutorial on my blog showing how I created it.

A few months after that tutorial I received an email from one of the largest publishers in Brazil asking me if I wanted to recreate that exact same scene for the cover of one of their magazines.

I thought to myself, if I hadn’t published that tutorial, I would never be hired to create a cover for that magazine.

Illustration for Wired

After that experience I was convinced that it was merely a coincidence, or beginners luck as they say, and would never happen again. Nevertheless I stayed true to my idea of practicing and sharing to not only learn more but help others as well.

In one of these practicing days I decided that I would have to create an abstract scene using vectors. So I spent a few hours in Illustrator and came up with a very cool design using only vectors, then in Photoshop I played with some textures and boom! The design was done and it was nice.

A few months after that I was checking my email and I saw one from the guys over at Wired Magazine UK telling me that they were inviting designers to create the cover of one of the sections of their magazine. They also said that they saw my tutorial and really liked it and invited me to create a version of that illustration for them.

Once again the same idea came to mind, without practicing and sharing that never would have happened.


In 2008 I was writing a Photoshop tutorial for a popular web site, and that same year MSNBC had released their new site with a very colorful background design. I remember that I received quite a few emails asking me how that was done and if I could create a tutorial on that.

I took some time and started playing in Photoshop trying to recreate that effect. I learned that we could create that same sort of effect using the Fibers filter with Motion Blur. So I created the tutorial, published it, and it was a big hit.

Almost three years later while checking my email I saw this message from a designer over at MSNBC saying that they use my blog for inspiration and saw some of my tutorials including the MSNBC one I had created. They invited me to come up with a background for their new web site design. I was totally blown away.

These three examples show how important it is to practice new things and to evolve through personal projects especially when you’re just starting out your career as a graphic designer, illustrator, or digital artist in general. Working on projects for ourselves allows us to do what we love and to follow our passion, because we are our own clients.

However, perhaps just as important as practicing is to share what you learn. In the past I used to do my personal projects and keep them in a vault just for myself, waiting for the great day to show the world what I was capable of. That day can sometimes take longer than you think though. So why only keep it to yourself?

Sharing my technique and skills allowed me to evolve quicker and to apply the things I’ve learned on professional projects with clients that otherwise I am sure I would have never gotten the chance to work with.

“Put yourself out there, being awesome is long tail” – Allan Branch

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