Posts By Brad Moore

To grow our photography businesses, we make images that serve specific, narrow functions. For example, our wedding photography needs to attract and satisfy a specific demographic with a certain look in order to allow us to charge a particular price and create a consistent brand. Our commercial photography needs to assist clients in generating specific feedback from their customers that are in line with business goals. Even though my photography offered me creative expression, it was being undermined by a mechanistic approach that treated photography as a utility. I realized my photography needed to participate in something.  My photography lacked a community and I needed to have an outlet where my photography could give and serve.

I thought this personal crisis was more widely shared among photographers, so I was a little surprised to find out that so few professional photographers have volunteered their time to serve their local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club. I cannot speak broadly about philanthropic photography, but my goal here is to highlight why the Boys and Girls Club is one of the best organizations for your consideration.

With over 4,100 club affiliations spread across America, the Boys and Girls Club is likely the most conveniently located nonprofit organization that you could serve. I called my county-level organization for the first time, two years ago, and was met with gratitude and opportunities to photograph almost immediately. When I said I wanted to offer service on a continuing basis, they were justifiably skeptical. Pro photographers are known to serve local nonprofits infrequently and only when they need to create an inflated tax writeoff.

By offering my photography at the county level, I was able to work with the administration team and became involved with multiple Clubs. That is a great strategy. If you volunteer exclusively at an individual Club, they will appreciate your service and your images will be put to good use, but there may not be enough opportunities to sustain your service for multiple occasions.

Most people think that the Boys and Girls Club is just afterschool care: a place where children go to hang out or do homework until for their parents finish their long hours working.

Yes, there is homework, and academic mentoring available, but you'll be pleasantly surprised to see that the Boys and Girls Club is filled with broad opportunities. This will give your photographs variety and you'll see yourself as photographing the life of the Club rather than repetitive stock moments.

In fact, many Clubs offer genuine outlets for play: like summer camp and networked computer gaming. And in our case, we've created a strong relationship the the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team, where professional athletes frequently mentor and play with our kids.

"The Club" or "teen centers" are Clubs that cater specifically to teenagers. I teach photography at my local teen center, and if teaching photography is your passion, many teen centers will welcome you with open arms.

Jay, for example, is one of my photography students. He doesn't own a camera, but with a little networking, we got him a media pass to photograph alongside professional photographers at a Duke University Football game.

The Boys and Girls Club has an internal, nationwide photography competition for it's Club members, sponsored by Sony. And this year, Jay entered and won 1st place in two categories at our local level. We're hoping he'll win again at the regional and national level.

Some teenagers like to be expressive and playful in front of the camera, so if you're interested in practicing your commercial photography techniques with teens you're mentoring, some of them will be happy to model for you. This is also valuable if you become involved in teaching photography because your teenage photography students will frequently want to photograph other teens.

Since the Boys and Girls Club is a nonprofit, they fundraise and need donations. But that means they need to schedule events for donors and create an atmosphere of celebration for successful contributions. This creates opportunities to provide event coverage photography.

Internal to the Club organization is a structure created to allow youth to overcome a classic leadership phobia at these events: public speaking.

I hope these experiences and photographs I've shared have encouraged you to find a nonprofit organization worth serving. The Boys and Girls Club, in particular, is both locally available and historically underserved by the photographic community. If you decide to serve a local nonprofit on a continuing basis, the life of the organization will unfold in front of your lens. You'll experience a satisfaction that will sustain you through the routine affairs of operating your photography business.

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

New Classes at KelbyOne
It’s Fashion Month at and we have a lot of great classes on Fashion Photography from instructors like Lindsay Adler, Lou Freeman, and Joel Grimes! High Fashion Photography on a Budget by Lindsay Adler is a brand NEW class that will be releasing today. In this class, Lindsay shows you how to get the same looks that you might see in magazines or designer ads, but without breaking the bank.

Also, Dan Hughes from MacPhun Software stopped by and created a class called Dynamic Black & White Images Made Easy featuring Tonality Pro. Dan shows how to start with built-in presets, layer multiple presets together, apply custom settings, and a number of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of this innovative software.

Keep an eye out on for both of these new classes today!

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 Tour with Scott Kelby
Mar 9 – Sacramento, CA

The Photographers Creative Revolution Tour with Joel Grimes
Feb 23 – Indianapolis, IN
Feb 25 – Atlanta, GA
Feb 27 – Arlington, TX
Mar 25 – Washington, DC
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
Lightroom 5 Book for Photographers
– Georgia M. Higgins

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

On the field pre-game

Last Sunday I shot my 39th Super Bowl.  I know that sounds like a lot of Super Sundays, but it pales in comparison to photographers Mickie Palmer, Tony Tomsic, John Biever and Walter Iooss, -each of whom came into last Sunday's game having photographed all 48 of the previous Super Bowls.   (For more of their stories check out Neil Leifer's cool new film Keepers of the Streak on ESPN.)

My first Super Bowl was 9 (I'll spare you the roman numerals).  It was supposed to be played in the brand new Louisiana Superdome-the historic first indoor Super Bowl.  Unfortunately the â˜dome was not completed in time and I found myself shooting in rusty old Tulane stadium with the game-time temperature hovering in the 40's and a steady rain coming down.

New England's Ron Gronkowski makes a touchdown catch in the second quarter - Canon EOS 1DX, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 IS Series II lens, f/2.8 @ 1/1600, ISO 2000.

Leading up to Sunday, Phoenix had a pretty rainy week. Fortunately for all of us, the photographers, the players, and the fans, the sun came out on game day. In fact the weather was so good that they opened the roof to the University of Phoenix Stadium (aka "the big toaster"). While it lacks the grandeur of AT& T Stadium in Dallas, the U of P is a pretty good place to shoot with its roomy sidelines and good light.

“The flyover" - Canon EOS 1DX, Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 lens @ 15mm, f/4 @ 1/8000, ISO 1600.

Most of my winning images have come from shooting on the sidelines, so let me take a moment to explain the setup here. Sideline space at any game is precious, but especially at the Super Bowl. There are several hundred credentialed field photographers and at least as many TV, video, and NFL Films personnel all sharing the same space on the field. Most of the crowding happened in the corners of the end zones. The end zone space was at a real premium due to the fact that there were at least 10 television cameras in permanent positions in either end zone. Crossing an end zone was a little like running an obstacle course requiring stepping up and over photographers, assistants and film runners, then back down to your knees for a few feet to duck under a camera, then up again, then down again. To avoid the gymnastics routine, I decided to shoot almost exclusively from the Patriots side of the field.

Seattle's defense gets a piece of New England running back LaGarrette Blount - Canon EOS 1DX, Canon EF  400mm f/2.8 IS Series II lens, f/2.8 @ 1/1600, ISO 2000.

Locations aside, my gear selection is just as important because there isn't a do-over opportunity to run back into your car to grab that extra lens or accessory. So what gear did I use for the game? My go-to sports action camera has been the Canon EOS 1DX since it was introduced in 2012. On Sunday I used three of them to capture the game. My backup was my new favorite lightweight action camera, the Canon 7D Mark II. With a burst speed of 10 fps and incredibly fast auto-focus, the 7D2 makes a great companion to the 1DX.

My gear packed for the game

My long lens for the game was the EF 400 f/2.8 IS Series II exclusively. I went with this lens over my beloved EF 200-400 f/4 because if you add the Canon EF 1.4x Extender to a 400mm, it will give you a 560mm f/4, while the 200-400mm built in extender will drop it to f/5.6.  The extra focal length is a big help with shooting at a crowded game like Sunday's. And although the light at the beginning of the game was sufficient to shoot f/5.6 at ISO 4000, it soon started dropping as the sky darkened.

Seattle's Marshawn Lynch runs after a catch in the fourth quarter - Canon EOS 1DX, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 IS Series II lens, f/2.8 @ 1/1250, ISO 2000.

My exposure for most of the game was set to 1/1600 @ f/2.8 at 2000 ISO. When I shot at f/4 with my 70-200 zoom or with the extender on the 400, I cranked the ISO up to 4000. My physical set-up was the 400mm with the EOS 1DX set on a monopod, and one 1DX with a 24-70 on a short strap and the other 1DX with a 70-200 on a longer strap below it both around my neck. This is my favorite set-up for accessibility, although it does eventually take a toll on my neck.

Leading up to the Super Bowl this year, a number of my Twitter followers asked me how would I approach shooting the "biggest game of the year"? My answer: "Hopefully not any differently than I did any other game I shot this season." After my first Super Bowl I had a conversation with Dave Boss of NFL properties.  Dave was a friend and mentor, a multi-talented artistic genius who founded NFL Creative Services. I told him how disappointed I was with my photos from the game, how I thought they should be somehow better. Dave made the point that the Super Bowl is, at the end of the day, a football game. The teams will play 60 minutes, or more if you are lucky. Passes are thrown, tackles are made, touchdowns are scored, balls are fumbled and field goals are made, or missed. Players will play with intensity and brilliance and sometimes they make mistakes that will stay with them a lifetime.

New England's Tom Brady drops back to pass - Canon EOS 1DX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 IS lens, f/4 @ 1/1250, ISO 2000.  The low angle was achieved by shooting from ground level using the Canon Angle finder C.

When I am not shooting from the sidelines, I teach workshops around the country to aspiring sports photographers or photographers looking to build on their craft and I always tell them the same bit of advice Dave gave to me:  "As a photographer, your job is to cover the action that takes place on the field and not to be distracted by the hype, the hoopla, and the shear tsunami of bullsh*t that goes on around this game."

Sunday's game was a fantastic NFL football game. From the comfort of your home, there is a lot that you don't see of what photographers have to go through on the field. Here's what you missed:

– A two-hour bus journey to the game including mysterious waiting around and being transferred to other buses.

– A thorough security check. I get the importance of heighted security during an event like this, but it took some folks up to an hour to go through and lay their gear out on the ground to be sniffed by bomb dogs (I'm glad I left my doggie bones at home!).

– The chaos during the Katy Perry half-time show. Photographers who were trying to shoot Ms. Perry were moved from spot to spot and moved again and again until it was nearly impossible to shoot anything except the very end when she flew above the field.

– The double chaos during the last few moments of the game. In an effort to keep photographers off the field at the end of the game, the NFL places hundreds of security personnel shoulder-to-shoulder on the sidelines. Did you see at the end of the game where some photographers almost reach the line of scrimmage with 18 seconds left on the clock? Yeah those photographers probably ended up missing the most important shots of the game. After so many years, you'd think they'd figure it out.

– The worst trophy presentation (visually speaking) since they started doing them on the field (as opposed to the locker room). The presentation was aimed away from everyone except for a stand of television cameras and the background of LED advertising boards when usually it's the darkened stands with showers of confetti.

New England DB Brandon Browner tires unsuccessfully to break up a Russell Wilson pass to Seahawk WR Jermaine Kearse - Canon EOS 1DX, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 IS Series II lens, f/2.8 @ 1/1600, ISO 2000.

The chaos, and waiting aside, being on the sidelines is definitely worth it. This past Sunday's game had the Super Bowl's usual series of difficulties and distractions, but unlike so many of these games, it was, I think, one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever. It was a great 39th for me and it left me looking forward to next year's game in San Francisco.

The rarest moment of NFL action-a happy Bill Bellichick - Canon EOS 1DX, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8 IS Series II lens, f/2.8 @ 1/1250, ISO 2000.

You can see more of Peter’s work at, pick up his book On Sports Photography, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook for updates on his latest shoots and workshops.

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!

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.


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.


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, and follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

The Mixer Brush Tool with Pete Collins
Join Pete Collins as he takes you on a walk through of the incredibly powerful Mixer Brush Tool. The key to getting the most out of the Mixer Brush is in understanding the four key settings that determine just how your strokes will look. Pete takes you through all of the options, shows you how each option works in concert with the others, how to leverage the built-in tool presets, and how to customize them to make your own brushes. Once you get the hang of the Mixer Brush you'll find that you can create strokes, details, and looks that you just can't get any other way.

We don’t currently have a way to give you a chance to watch this for free, but how about this… Leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy of Scott Kelby’s The Lightroom 5 Book for Photographers!

Frank Doorhof and Mastering The Light Meter
If you’ve watched any of Frank Doorhof’s classes on KelbyOne, you know he’s all about using a light meter. If this is something you’ve wanted to master as well, check out this new class that Frank has released on just that topic! It’s over an hour long, and Frank covers everything you’ll need to know in order to master the light meter.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free download of this class!

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
– D. Lambert

If you’re the lucky winner, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!