Posts By Brad Moore

Photo courtesy of RC Concepcion

Don't Get Social, Be Social

A question that I frequently hear of photographers and creatives, which always makes my skin crawl, is, “What’s your approach to social?” Of course, the person asking wants an answer related to how to gain followers or boost their engagement metrics to drive revenue. Those are the questions we’ve been trained to ask as artists scrambling to find a consumer for our wares. While having a sound social media strategy is only a good thing, my challenge to you as an artist is to do something much more rewarding: don’t get socialâ”be social.

If you’re looking to gain marketing insight from the rest of this post, read no farther, as that nugget won’t follow. I’m going to talk more about that oh-so-rare interaction that won’t help pay the mortgage, but is what I feed off of as a photographer: a unique shared experience with awesome output that everyone involved will enjoy for years. The key is finding a dance partner who’s as adventurous and open to experimentation as you are.

A freelancing sports job introduced me to the lovely Natalie Taylor. While she was TV-facing and I focused on stills, our coverage was often of the same events and naturally I showed her some of my work over a coffee break. When she introduced me to her boyfriend, Walter I could tell she had found a solid guy and had hoped it would go the distance. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to hear good news before the rest of the world. When you’re really lucky, you get to play an active role in helping to announce that news as well! For my friends Natalie and Walter, this was the news of their unannounced engagement, which we (my wife Elise and I) were thrilled to shoot.

Since both are media personalities, we knew that shyness in front of the lens wouldn’t be an issue at all and were thrilled to hear that they wanted to introduce their new family to the rest of the world with Rookie, their fur-baby, in tow.

When hiring voice-activated light stands, I recommend asking them about their dog-wrangling skills early in the interview. They might prove invaluable one day. Creative personalities who were willing to be part of a collaborative and experimental shoot were the key to a great day that was personally rewarding for all involved.

This is going to sound silly, but you’d be amazed how many photographers I know that lament never having anyone fun to shoot. When I ask them who they’ve asked, they look at me like I’m wearing a Canon hat and a Nikon vest. Absolute honesty and transparency will get you very far. “Hello, my name is Ken and I’m a photographer. You’ve got a really great look, would you ever be interested in shooting?” It’s clear, it’s concise and it’s honest. If they’re receptive, you can immediately start getting a feel for what kind of shoot they’d be up for, but by all means, have an idea ready.

Meet Erica, by far one of my favorite people to shoot. We had chance encounters when she was an employee of my favorite hockey team and she wore her adventurous personality on her sleeve. Who better to ask to climb a utility tower with me on the edge of town? I had just acquired some new strobes and felt like test-driving them in a bright outdoor environment, and I let her know just that. The expectation was set that she’d meet up with my wife and me for the shoot and stroll around an area and experiment. We came away with some of my favorite photos that I’d made in a long time:

Not only did we have a great time making some great photos during our first outing but I now have Erica as one of the first people I reach out to when I start thinking about a shoot that might take a little bit more patience than most can muster because I know how well we work together. Normally when asked if my wife and I shoot weddings we find ourselves washing our hair that weekend but when I heard of Erica and her fianc© Liam’s pending nuptials, we jumped at the opportunity to be there on their special day because we know that we’ll have an engaging bride and groom that will want to make some memorable images.

Sometimes the key to your social networking will be the social networks of your subjects. Meet Chris and Steve, an incredible couple. Chris was a co-worker of mine, and (though he had recently moved on to other endeavors) Steve had worked with my wife. Chris and Steve have long been active members in the Columbus community, serving in roles that would help further local transit, LGBT advocacy, and initiatives to attract young professionals to the city. Our concept for their engagement shoot was to articulate their lazy Sunday afternoon routine as a couple and get some great environmental portraits in an urban setting. I remember sitting Chris down to ask him what their perfect lazy Sunday looked like, and he mentioned it was often hitting up one of their favorite local establishments for brunch and a beer.

Immediately I started trying to think about ways to emulate the vibe of that restaurant and Chris told me to stand by. Moments later, I got a message from him: we were cleared to shoot in the bar prior to their opening. We were given free run of the place, including a tour of the haunted basement and free pour at the taps while we were there. Since we were shooting in a bar at 9am, it was my task to set the lighting up to feel more like a late, cozy afternoon⦠so as not make my friends look like alcoholics. Their patience was key here. The beer certainly didn’t hurt.

Once we’d had our fill (of beer), we moved on to a great urban art cooperative which Chris and Steve had reserved for their local reception after eloping. Once again, because of Chris and Steve’s great social natures, we were given carte blanche to make some truly unique engagement photos that captured the two of them so well.

They may not be your money-makers, but that’s not always the point. Take time to make photos that are rooted in genuine social interactions, and aren’t driven by the trending social media metric. It’s here you may find your most rewarding experiences that you’ll treasure for as long as the photos themselves, if not longer. This certainly won’t help pay for your newest Nikon body or Canon L Series lens, but it will make you look forward to picking up your gear that much more.

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

Unpacking Dubai with Scott Kelby, RC Concepcion, and Brad Moore
Tonight, April 2nd at 7:00pm ET, join Scott, RC and Brad as we take a look at Dubai and our recent middle east adventures! We’ll be showing photos, sharing stories, and giving away prizes, including a signed print from Scott! To register for the webcast go to then watch live for your chance to win.

KelbyOne Live
Want to learn from Scott Kelby, Joe McNally or Joel Grimes live in person? Check out these seminar tour dates to see if they're coming to a city near you!

Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded with Scott Kelby
Apr 13 - Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 15 - Los Angeles, CA

The Moment It Clicks with Joe McNally
Apr 21 – Phoenix, AZ
Apr 27 – Portland, OR
May 4 – Rosemont, IL (Chicago area)
May 19 – Philadelphia, PA
June 15 – Lansing, MI
June 17 – Nashville, TN

The Photographers Creative Revolution Tour with Joel Grimes
Mar 27 - Minneapolis, MN
Apr 17 - New York, NY
Apr 22 - San Antonio, TX
Apr 24 - Houston, TX

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of these events!

It’s Not About The f-Stop by Jay Maisel
You are about to go on a visual journey and learning adventure with one of the greatest photographers of all time, Mr. Jay Maiselâ”a true living legend whose work has impacted, informed, and inspired generations of photographers from all over the world. Now, for the first time ever, Jay's amazing insights, captivating stories, and expressive images have come together in a groundbreaking book that has the power to change the way you think and create photography forever.

In It's Not About the f-Stop, Jay takes you beyond the buttons and dials on your camera to teach you the most important parts of photography: how to finally "see" like a photographer, and how to capture the world around you in a way that delights, intrigues, and challenges the viewer.

You can pick up your copy from the KelbyOne store, or leave a comment for your chance to win ONE OF FIVE FREE COPIES that we’ll give away right here next week!

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
– Darrin Johnson

If that’s you, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Hi! My name is Regina Pagles and I am a portrait photographer residing in the rural community of Springdale, Utah (Pop. 450), just outside of Zion National Park. I have a small studio where I have been taking portraits of friends and family since I discovered studio lighting in 2010.

I have combined the techniques learned from my biggest inspirations, Peter Hurley (expression), Sue Bryce (posing), Don Giannatti (lighting) and Scott Kelby (post processing) to develop and hone my own style. In the spirit of â˜paying it forward,' I would like to share with you what I have learned and the techniques I use, in honor of those that have inspired me and who have offered their knowledge so graciously.

I will take you through my post processing workflow, using a recent image of one of my favorite subjects, model Yolanda Damon Harris.

Straight out of the camera, you can see the image doesn’t look too good…

I begin by making initial adjustments in Lightroom and the image starts to improve.

The first Lightroom adjustments are correcting White Balance, Exposure, Highlights, Shadows and Blacks.

Next in LR:

  • Add a little Sharpening. Amount = 60, Radius = 0.6 
  • Correct the table perspective. Under Lens Corrections, I adjust the Horizontal slider to +11. This distorts the entire image a little, but I'm ok with that.

Under Camera Calibration, I make these adjustments:

  • Change Profile to Camera Neutral
  • Under Red Primary, Hue = +8, Saturation = -10
  • Under Green Primary, Hue = 0, Saturation = -5
  • Under Blue Primary, Hue = +10, Saturation = -35

The red, green and blue primary adjustments are image specific, but generally very close to these settings for the majority of my images.

All finished in Lightroom, now onto Photoshop.

First thing I do is mask the subject.

Next, I add the â˜Oliphant' layer.

I photographed just the Oliphant backdrop at a darker exposure and place it in the document as a separate layer. I then mask the subject. The original texture of the Oliphant background is retained, but just darker. I made a large 5000 px soft feathered brush and added noise to it. Then, I put the Oliphant backdrop layer in it's own group and add a white mask to the group. I paint with black, using the large brush I made, right over the subject. Now I have a vignette, no banding and the hair blends seamlessly in to the background. Plus, the background is the darker shade I prefer and the texture is the original. Yay!

Next, I mask the table and correct the saturation in the yellow and reds.

Now on to the subjectâ¦

  • Add a Selective Color Adjustment layer for the skin, Red = +12.
  • Use Healing Brush to fix skin blemishes.
  • Apply a skin retouching technique learned from Calvin Hollywood, who learned it from retoucher Natalia Taffarel. I have it set up as an action, and I don't remember exactly what the steps are… sorry! Calvin explains the technique in his ‘Calvinize’ DVD. Not a deal breaker if you don't use this technique, especially if the face is so small in the image, like they are in mine.
  • Double check for any skin inconsistencies and add add'l healing, if necessary.
  • Even out the eyebrows and eyelashes, (only on females) using a 1 or 2px hard brush.
  • Use Viveza plugin by Nik to subtly darken the highlights of the face, if necessary.

  • Add very subtle contrast, only to the subject, with Nik's Color Efex Pro v.4 â˜Tonal Contrast' filter.*

  • Brighten eyes using Dodge & Burn.

I then make some image specific adjustments, such as removing the string on the cross in this image.

A few more minor tweaks to skin healing and I'm done.

Now, I just save and duplicate the image, then resize the copy to 2048px wide, which I read is best for Facebook.

Last of the adjustments, I will use Nik's Sharpener Pro v.3 and apply only to the subject, avoiding the edges.

I convert the profile to sRGB and use Save for Web, 75 quality.

*I am SO disappointed with the Version 4 of Nik's Tonal Contrast filter. I used to LOVE v.2, but v.4 is just awful. I use it still, out of habit and denial that such a wonderful filter could turn so bad.

Older behind the scenes shot (pre Oliphant backdrop and reversed main light position).

Black foamcore on left is not in use, it's just resting against the only available wall space.

Here are the Photoshop layers:

Lighting diagram:

I hope that this information will provide some insight into how I post process and light my images. Granted, posing plays a huge role, but I will have to save that topic for another post! Thank you for reading and I'll see you next time :)

Image samples:

You can see more of Regina’s work at, and follow her on Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram.

Moose Peterson’s Safari Adventure
Moose goes on safari! With a career studying and photographing wildlife for over three decades, Moose has his first African safari and you've got a front row seat. Join Moose as he encounters the wide array of wildlife that calls the Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa home. Moose shares his take on the gear he brought along with his tips and techniques for capturing images that help tell the story of your trip.

KelbyOne Live
Want to learn from Scott Kelby or Joel Grimes live in person? Check out these seminar tour dates to see if they're coming to a city near you!

Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded with Scott Kelby
Apr 13 - Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 15 - Los Angeles, CA

The Photographers Creative Revolution Tour with Joel Grimes
Mar 27 - Minneapolis, MN
Apr 17 - New York, NY
Apr 22 - San Antonio, TX
Apr 24 - Houston, TX

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
– Tim James

If that’s you, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!


All photographers have familiar subject matter. Maybe you are wedding photographer, a sports shooter or a headshot specialist. You cover similar events and subjects year after year. The natural progression is you start asking yourself, â˜is there a different way to photograph this familiar subject?' Sometimes unique perspectives or new locations prompt spikes in creativity and original ideas. Sometimes new lighting or post processing creates fresh looks. And other times new gear comes along that lets you realize new possibilities.

I've been photographing adventure sports for almost 30 years, and I have watched how trends, techniques and styles have all evolved over time. Just when you think you have seen it all, photographers figure out new techniques and perspectives and things become fresh again. Right now the adventure sports genre is experiencing the â˜drone revolution.' Video and still photographers have a new tool that permits exciting new ways to photograph climbing and kayaking. And combine that with athletes climbing cliffs and paddling off waterfalls that were thought to be impossible, and adventure sports photography is looking good right now.

My own evolution came with a phone call from my friends at Elinchrom. I have shot with Elinchrom lights for as long as I can remember, and nothing makes me happier than hauling my Rangers and Quadras into the woods to light up a rock climber on a cliff. But this time Elinchrom had a new light for me to try outâ¦the Elinchrom ELC Pro HD 1000s. These lights are 1000 watt AC unitsâ¦and so much more. What knocked me off my seat was the spec that said "these lights can shoot 20 flashes per second." After crawling back into my chair, I fell off again when I realized, "these lights can recycle as fast as your Nikon D4 can shoot." If the specs were true I could finally realize a shot I had imagined for years; creating a sequence shot with every frame lit by flash.

To test out the lights I headed to Salida, Colorado to photograph pro skateboarder Shea Donavan. Shea has a huge half pipe skate ramp in his backyard, and he spends hours each day perfecting amazing aerials on his board. Shea and his dad Bill are always up for skating shoots; we set up the lights for cross lighting Shea when he caught air off the ramp, and waited for twilight for optimal conditions. But we didn't anticipate one thing; the blinding power and speed of the ELC 1000s.

On the first pass Shea catch huge air. I started shooting at 10 FPS, and the ELCs were popping off every frameâ¦and completely blinding Shea. Halfway through the jump he grabbed his board and prepared for a hard landing. Time seemed suspended for a moment, but somehow Shea landed on the ramp in control (but not on his board!). Lesson learned, we repositioned the lights, and on the next jumps, Shea knew what to expect and hit some amazing tricks well out of the half pipe. I was amazed to see every frame was perfectly lit. Instead of only having one frame illuminated per pass, I now had 10 shots to choose just the right shot from the jump. Bill Donavan and Dangerous Circus Pictures created a video of the shoot.

After seeing these amazing lights crank off hundreds of lightning fast shots, I knew I had the tool for my sequence shot. I had one challenge. Since I often shoot away from AC power, I needed a generator that could power two ELC 1000s strobes and keep up with the fast recycling time. I found that my 2000 watt Honda generator worked great, and better yet, it only weighs about 45 pounds. For my flash sequence photo, I hired a pro BMX biker, Chance, for the shoot. I told Chance well in advance to start with easy jumps since the lights might be a little distracting. But on this shoot we shot in brighter conditions with the lights at about 500 watts. And sometimes you just get lucky; dramatic clouds starting rolling in creating the perfect background for the shoot. I underexposed the background about 1.5 stops from what the flash exposure was on my biker. To help project the lights into the scene, I added sports reflectors to the heads.

Chance started with simple jumps, and then progressed into backflips and more advanced tricks. Each pass I was shooting my D4 at 10 FPS, and every frame was lit perfectly. What really amazed me was the consistency of flash throughout each sequence. We also shot a short video behind the scenes of this shoot:

I later seamed up the individual sequence shots into one frame in Photoshop using layers and brushing in the rider into the shot.

I continued to experiment with new sequence techniques using these lights. The ELC 1000s also have a terrific stroboscopic mode. Instead of combining multiple frames from a sequence, you keep your shutter open for long periods of time while a moving subject is flashed moving across the frame. The end result is one frame with your subject in multiple positions. I experimented with karate competitors and dancers for some interesting effects.

I don't think many photographers are ever satisfied with their work. I know I'm not. I create some images I feel are successful, and I may be complacent for a few days. But then I get restless, and feel the urge to create something bigger, better and more creative. I want to explore new frontiers. This year new technology, the Elinchrom ELC 1000s, have allowed me to explore new frontiers in my photography. But I'm starting to feel restless again. Perhaps this video best explains why I became a photographer, and why I just have to keep on shooting.

You can see more of Tom’s work at, follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and check out his classes on KelbyOne.

Our friends at Mpix are here to help you clean out your camera just in time for spring with a 25% off all prints sale you can’t afford to miss. From now, Friday March 20, through Sunday March 22, fill up your cart with whatever prints you’d like to purchase, then enter the promo code kelbyspringcleaning at checkout to receive the discount!

Maybe it’s time to freshen up your home with some new photos for your walls, give that special someone a way to remember that amazing day you shared recently, or it’s just time you treated yourself to some new prints for your portfolio. Whatever the reason, why not do it now when you can save 25%? Head over to now to get started.

Please note: This sale is valid for all photo prints. Additional services applied to prints are not discounted. This offer is not available through ROES and no refunds will be issued for orders placed prior to the sale. Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. (Central) on March 22nd, 2015