Inspirational Interview with Professional Dog Photographer Kaylee Greer Join Mia McCormick and Kaylee Greer as they sit down to discuss Kaylee’s fast and fabulous rise as a commercial pet photographer. Kaylee’s passion for dogs is contagious, and her energy, love, and compassion for dogs just radiates from her work. Her unique approach to dog photography has resulted in growing list of commercial clients and her pet portrait calendar is booked out a year in advance. Over the course of this hour Mia and Kaylee discuss how she got her start, where she gets her inspiration (hint, the dogs), how she creates much of her signature look in-camera, and so much more!
This class will be released later today, so keep an eye out for it at KelbyOne.com. Leave a comment for your chance to win a 1-month KelbyOne membership so you can watch this class for free!
Your Calendar Isn’t Your To-Do List… It’s Who You Want To Be. Last week I was in a conversation with my pastor, Tommy, who was talking about counseling people regarding their lives and relationships. He mentioned talking with people who have these big aspirations of things they want to do with their lives… Become a pilot, get their black belt, write a book, etc. Yet when he asks if they have the steps toward doing those things on their calendar, they don’t. And that’s when he said the thing that’s stuck with me since… “Your calendar isn’t your to-do list. It’s who you want to be.” If they were serious about these things, they would be scheduling time for them. Otherwise they’re just pipe dreams.
Every year, Tommy and his wife Sarah map out their family calendar to be sure they make time for the important things: Date nights with each other, family time together, one on one time with each of their three kids, evenings on the porch remembering the past and discussing the future. They’re not just going about their lives and marriage haphazardly. They’re being purposeful about it and planning for the future they want together.
So all of this got me thinking about my own life. Am I just taking things a day at a time, or am I planning and taking steps to become the person I want to be? Am I saying yes to the things I want to do and that are important to me? Am I saying no to the things that are just distractions and won’t mean anything a year from now? Have I been taking advantage of my free time and using it to better myself and accomplish the things I want to accomplish in life? Or have I been wasting it away in the vast, bottomless, never-ending (though very entertaining) vacuum that is Netflix and giving in to every distraction that pops up?
As we draw near to the end of 2015, I’m going to invite you to join me in making a plan for 2016. Grab a calendar and think about the things you want to accomplish in the next 12 months. Then figure out the steps you need to take each month, week, and day to accomplish those things and put those steps on the calendar. And along the way, say no to the things that are just distractions from accomplishing those goals. If you get to the point where you have so much on your plate that you can’t handle it all, learn to ask for help and delegate the things that don’t require your full attention to others.
If you know you have a habit of starting strong but not finishing, plan for that. If one of your goals is to get in better shape, maybe just joining a gym isn’t enough. Maybe you need to take the extra step of hiring a personal trainer or enlisting a friend who will hold you accountable. If you want to up your photography game, watch some classes and read some books, but don’t stop there. Actually schedule shoots and make time to experiment with new techniques. Explore other genres of photography outside of what you normally shoot to see what looks and techniques you can apply to your own work.
What if you’re not happy with where you are but you don’t know where you want to be? Ask the people in your life to describe you. What traits do they see when they think about you? Are you a strong leader? Do you find joy in helping people? Are you happiest when you’re working by yourself or with others? Do you like variety or repetition? Ask yourself the age old question… What would you do if you could do anything and money didn’t matter? Then figure out what steps you can take now to start working toward that.
This isn’t a set of New Year’s resolutions that are going to be abandoned by March. Put the steps on your calendar and stick to them. Seek support through friends, family, prayer, community, and any other ways you can stay accountable to yourself. Learn to adjust to the things that life throws at you without abandoning what’s important to you. Let’s make 2016 our best year yet!
How To Photograph & Create Fun Holiday Cards
This year, instead of going to the mall and taking that same-ole’ Santa pic, why not put your photography and Photoshop skills to the test and create something truly special?! In this KelbyOne holiday course, RC Concepcion takes us on location to a local playground, where he shows us how to do an easy, one-light photo shoot, and then how to work those images into a fun holiday creation with Corey Barker. Coming Soon to KelbyOne.com!
Leave a comment for your chance to win a 1-month KelbyOne membership and watch this class for free!
Death Valley Landscapes and Night Sky Workshop Trip Report
I just finished up the Death Valley workshop and we had an amazing time! I was unsure of what to expect due to the recent floods in the park. All the roads were closed due to flood damage except the main road. Going to some of my favorite places like The Racetrack and Badwater would not be an option with all the water damage! I shifted gears and decided to go to Valley of Fire instead for part of the workshop, but the night before the workshop started, we got news the Racetrack was now dry and we could walk on it! Plus the road to Badwater and Devil’s Golf Course opened up, just in time. The workshop was back on track in Death Valley as planned!
We spent our time with lectures on night photography and out in the field photographing the stark, but beautiful landscapes and night scenes. One night, we headed out to the Rhyolite Ghost Town and had a blast light painting the old buildings. We used red, blue and green lights to paint the abandoned town with the stars providing a beautiful backdrop. Out of nowhere, a donkey hee-haws across the street from us. It was so loud! Perhaps it was telling us that we were disturbing its sleep. We finished our night photographing an old car with the stars in the background and then headed back to our hotel for some much needed rest.
The morning light was beautiful at Zabriskie Point. We enjoyed seeing the pink glow of twilight, known as the Belt of Venus. Watch for the pink glow in the sky about 10-20 degrees above the horizon, just before sunrise or after sunset.
We took a road trip to The Grandstand and The Racetrack, renting jeeps to protect our tires. It was cold and breezy but we photographed the racing rocks through sunset and then stars, despite the cold!
I love the sand dunes. The forms and shapes have endless possibilities for compositions with sand patterns, animal footprints and s-curve shapes. We photographed at twilight and then with the sun, as it rose over the dunes.
Our last evening had howling wind gusts throughout the park. We decided to stay inside and did some additional lectures. The following morning was our last shoot. The weather report predicted even stronger winds but it was beautiful and calm. The hexagonal shapes, created by the drying salt, made for a delightful pattern. There were storm clouds hanging above Badwater adding drama. We saw some mammatus clouds, meaning breast clouds, that you can see in the gallery of images below. They have a cellular pattern of pouches that are under the base of another cloud. Overall, a great last photographic outing and a wonderful trip!
Free Books from KelbyOne!
Yesterday you saw the video above where Scott and RC made gift suggestions in the way of books from KelbyOne instructors. Well, today is Free Stuff Thursday, so how about we give away a free copy of each of these books! Leave a comment letting us know which one of the following books you’d like for your chance to win!
The places you have been…
The sunsets you have seen…
The smiles of strangers and oh so familiar grins of your family…
Photographs reflect the memories that tie our lives together. They are the parties, the vacations, the first kiss and the last days They are the moments that live in our hearts and stir our souls. They define us. Both in our work, and in our professions….
But too often, we get caught up in the technology of photography…the race for more megapixels and faster lenses. We don’t stop to embrace our families and friends and find ways to share the photographs of our lives in meaningful ways.
But you know what? All those pictures, those moments, those special times that define us are completely worthless if you can’t find them.
Everyone needs to make sure the pictures that matter in you life can be found quickly and easily. And they better be safe and backed up. We owe this to ourselves, and to the people we love. I know I am guilty of taking the easy road sometimes with my pictures. Forgetting to rename or add keywords when I ingest files. We all do it. It’s like flossing… you know you should… you just forget sometimes.
The same things go for our photographs. Sometimes, we just don’t take the time to set ourselves up for success. Oh we all have our own MacGyver solutions… This piece of software and this drive and that drive and this cloud and that cloud. If it works, keep going. If it doesn’t, then call me! But can you find the pictures from your vacation to the Grand Canyon 2 years ago? Where are they? What computer, what drive… How long is this gonna take!?
So light of recent tragic world events, and the impending emotions and wonder of the holidays, I decided to take my “hit by a bus” test and see where I would be if anything happened to me today. Would my family find all the pictures that matter in our lives? Would my professional legacy be preserved? Would the defining moments of my life be shared with the ones I love?
(And before any of you think this is a morbid exercise, think about why you have life insurance, or homeowner’s insurance. We never ever expect the worst to happen, but if it does, your family is secure. We cannot predict the future.)
So here goes. 5 pictures that define parts of my life. Seminal moments that I will always remember. Its part of my history and my life, and I found them in moments.
So the reality. I have been to 70 countries in my life and seen lots and lots of crazy things covering the world. I have over 2 million digital files and slides on various drives and stuck in boxes in storage. But I have a tapestry of about 1000 images that define me. The who, what and where of my life. The images that I want my family to have. These images mean so much to me.
So can you find your best, your defining, most personal moments? Are they organized, are they on all your devices? Are they with you all the time? Mine are. And I can put my hands on them in seconds. They are on my computer at home, the laptop I travel with, on my iPad and my iPhone. They are on my Windows Surface at the office and on a separate drive at my mom’s house in Virginia, and a NAS at my home. And I just do all this with a few quick actions and I am done.
Please please please take some time this holiday season to reflect on your lives, pray for peace, do good for others, and find the pictures that define your life and share them with your family.
Kevin Gilbert is a 30 year photojournalist, entrepreneur, teacher, Panasonic Lumix Luminary, and the memory evangelist at Mylio, a Bellevue, WA software company building products to help us all find our pictures, make them safe, and have they with you all the time. Keep an eye out for his Inspirational Interview with Mia McCormick releasing tomorrow at KelbyOne.com!