Posts By Brad Moore

http://youtu.be/kLMg1-vUyzw

Last Day To Save $100 on Photoshop World Orlando
Today’s the day. You’ve waited as long as you can. If you don’t do it today, you’ll be spending more than you need to. It’s time…

To register for Photoshop World Orlando!! Come spend a few days in sunny Orlando, Florida learning from the best Photoshop and photography instructors on the planet. And when you register, make sure you book your room at the Rosen Centre Hotel so you can stay where the instructors stay!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a full-conference pass (but don’t not register and miss out on saving $100 because we won’t choose a winner till next week)!

Joel Grimes – My Uncompromising Passion To Create
This has been the week of Joel Grimes!

Last week we added his Mastering Beauty Lighting & Fashion for Portrait Photography class to the KelbyTraining.com library.

Yesterday he was the featured guest blogger here.

And now you can watch his newest KelbyTraining.com class, My Uncompromising Passion To Create. If you want to know the secret to Joel’s success, this interview is for you. Find out about the goals he’s set for himself, how he’s branded himself artistically, and his hard working creative process that has gotten him to where he is today.

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

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Scott KelbyJoe McNallyMatt KloskowskiRC Concepcion, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

The Digital Photography Book Unleashed with Scott Kelby
Apr 3 - Philadelphia, PA
Apr 30 - Chicago, IL

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Mar 15 - Tampa, FL
Mar 25 - Houston, TX
Apr 10 - San Francisco, CA

Photographic Artistry with Adobe Photoshop with Ben Willmore
Mar 19 - New York, NY
Mar 20 - Washington, DC
Apr 12 - Portland, OR

Lightroom 4 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Mar 22 - Phoenix, AZ

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Apr 24 - Minneapolis, MN

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

Epson Finish Strong Contest
Want a chance to win $5,000 or attend a photo shoot with Joe McNally? Epson’s recent Finish Strong ad campaign has featured world class photographers shooting incredible subjects in amazing places, and now they’re looking to you to help them come up with their next shoot!

For all the details, head over to Epson.com/FinishStrongContest or click here to watch Epson’s Dan Steinhardt talk about the contest on last week’s episode of The Grid.

Moose Peterson Workshops
Sheesh, I’m starting to realize how many great opportunities are on the blog today… Let’s keep things rolling with these workshops with Moose Peterson!

First up is his Photoshop for Shooters workshop that takes place in Mammoth Lakes, California. This workshop covers everything from camera settings that will speed up your post processing workflow, to post processing techniques, to printing, and everything in between. It’s happening April 27-28, and you can get more info right here and here.

Next up is his Mono Lake Weekend workshop that takes place at, well, Mono Lake! This one is for people who want to photograph a beautiful location and get all the insider tips and tricks from the guy who calls Mono Lake his back yard. It takes place May 18-19, and you can get more info here and here.

Leave a comment for your chance to snag a free rental of one of Moose’s Kelby Training classes!

Frank Doorhof’s New York Workshop (and a special discount on some downloads)
Next up on the list of great opportunities is Frank Doorhof’s New York Workshop that’s taking place April 13-14. Spend a couple days with Frank shooting cars and models, and learning about posing, light meters, lens flare, small lights, big lights, retouching, and more! There are only three spots left, so sign up soon and get a free copy of his Live In Boston DVD!

If you can’t make it to Frank’s workshop, he’s also offering 15% off his instructional downloads. Just head over to his online store and use the code UK77 when checking out to get the discount.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free rental of one of Frank’s KelbyTraining.com classes!

DC Shootoff 2013 Workshop
Last but not least is the DC Shootoff 2013 Workshop that’s happening this weekend! It kicks off tonight with portfolio reviews and a reception, then continues all day Friday with presentations from photographers including Ken Hackman, Tom Sperduto, Allison Shelly, Corey Rich and others. Spend Saturday photographing assignments and getting advice from mentors and editors. Then wrap things up on Sunday with a silent auction and awards ceremony.

If you’re a military or civil service photographer, this workshop is for you. You can get all the info on it right here.

Winners
Photoshop World Full-Conference Pass
– John Price

Joel Grimes Class Rental
- Marcel Bauer

Kelby Training Live Seminar
– Kathy Bargar

Signed Copy of Peter Read Miller on Sports Photography
– Brent Just

That’s it for today. Have a great Thursday!

The Human Condition

Life has its way of weeding out the weak, fragile and insecure. The problem is, there is not a person on this planet that is not to some degree exactly that. The truth is, the human condition puts us at a disadvantage from the very start.

It is said that if you are lost in the wilderness, the first thing you need to do is recognize you are lost. The great philosopher singer/song writer Paul Simon once wrote, "I am the first to admit it, but the last to know." As a general rule, we are often totally oblivious to our human condition. When it is challenged, we panic, come undone and often just give up. But there is hope.

The single greatest reason we fail in fulfilling our dreams and succeeding in the marketplace is the fear of rejection. To overcome the fear of rejection, we need to understand our human condition, that we are all to some degree easily influenced by other's opinions, and that we are not as strong as we might think. To prove how weak, fragile and insecure we really are let me give you an illustration.

Most of us have posted images on web sites such as Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, etc.. As a general experience, the majority of us receive positive feed back. We read things like, "this image rocks," "love this," "you're the greatest," etc…. Praise after praise. Then there is that one bad critique. Someone sticks the knife in and turns it. They say that, "your image sucks, it's a total bore and you should quit taking pictures and keep your day job." We have to admit, it hurts. When we go to bed at night what do we remember, the ninety nine praises? No, the one critique! Ninety nine praises and we come undone by one critique. You would think that ninety nine praises would easily offset one critique, but it doesn't.

You may think you're tough and maybe you have convinced most people around you that you are unshakeable. But the truth is we all have a breaking point, and in the end, come undone. It is a 100% guarantee that if you present yourself to the real world, you will be rejected. That's right, a 100% guarantee! One person holds the power to steal your dream. One person's discouraging words, one person slamming a door in your face, one person's harsh criticism, and you quit, and give up on your dream.

How then do we overcome rejection? I like to look to music as an analogy to help put things in perspective. If you think about it, look at how many different types or genre of music we have available. No two people like exactly the same thing. Everyone's taste is different. Even if you like jazz, look at how many flavors of jazz are available to us. The point is we all have likes and dislikes.

I have a teaching session called "Country Music verses Rap." I don't know too many people that are into Country Music that are also into Rap. This is life. So when it comes to creating images, why do we come undone when we present a "Country Music" look and a person who is into the "Rap" look, says they hate what we do?

Create anything and you will find an audience that loves it and an audience that hates it. We have to understand that the ultimate goal or end result is not to please everyone. It is a impossible task. The most important thing is whether YOU like the images you're creating and does it fulfill YOUR vision as an artist? Master what you love, do it well and you will find an audience that will love it. To be successful, you don't need the masses to love what you do.

I have included two images that have had many praises, but also have received their share of criticism. The image of Jessica that is extremely blown out would not have received glowing marks back in my college days. Back when creating a picture was more about getting the perfect exposure. But I love it. If fits me like a glove. I relish in the idea of pushing the envelope on how we define a photograph.

The image of basketball player Rudy Gay, where I have cut off his head, is another one of those images that received mixed reviews. When it comes to composition, we have all sorts of rules that we as a culture have deemed as acceptable or unacceptable. Cutting off someone's head definitely hit a nerve with many of my viewers. But challenging the status quo takes a risk. Risk opens the door to explore new ground and gives us the opportunity to fulfill our vision's as artists without preconceived ideas established by others.

So, follow your intuition and create images that you love. For every praise there is a critic. Accept the criticism with a smile on your face knowing that if you love what you are doing, then you are on the right track.

You can see more of Joel’s work at JoelGrimes.com, follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and find his classes at KelbyTraining.com

Pre-Conference Workshops at Photoshop World
If you’re going to Photoshop World Orlando, make sure you check out the Pre-Conference Workshops! These are workshops that happen the day before Photoshop World officially starts, and they last between 4-7 hours so you can really dive into one particular topic.  Spend the day learning Lightpainting from Dave Black, photographing Characters on Location with Joe McNally, shooting a live concert with Alan Hess and Scott Diussa, shooting a wedding with David Ziser, or maximize your Photoshop skills with any of the workshops from Corey Barker, RC Concepcion, Dave Cross, and Matt Kloskowski! There are even more workshops than the ones listed here, so go see what’s available here.

All of these workshops have limited space, so once they are full, they’re full! And there are only 7 days left to save $100 on registration for the conference, so you really don’t want to wait to sign up. And make sure you book your room at the Rosen Centre Hotel so you can stay where the instructors stay!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a full conference pass!

Mastering Beauty Lighting & Fashion for Portrait Photography
Joel Grimes, who is known for his creative edgy lighting and compositing, is back and showing the softer side of his lighting techniques with his latest class on KelbyTraining.com, Mastering Beauty Lighting & Fashion for Portrait Photography! In this class, Joel takes you from the creative process in the beginning, through the different lighting modifiers he uses for fashion and portrait photography, and all the way to the end with the post processing that helps create a beautiful finished image.

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

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNallyMatt KloskowskiRC Concepcion, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

The Digital Photography Book Unleashed with Scott Kelby
Apr 3 – Philadelphia, PA
Apr 30 – Chicago, IL

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Mar 15 - Tampa, FL
Mar 25 - Houston, TX
Apr 10 - San Francisco, CA

Photographic Artistry with Adobe Photoshop with Ben Willmore
Mar 19 - New York, NY
Mar 20 - Washington, DC
Apr 12 - Portland, OR

Lightroom 4 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Mar 22 - Phoenix, AZ

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Apr 24 - Minneapolis, MN

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

Sports Photography Workshop with Peter Read Miller
Legendary Sports Illustrated photographer Peter Read Miller is hosting a sports photography workshop in Denver from April 8-14! You’ll spend six days photographing high school and pro sports, all the while learning from Peter and other industry experts that will be on hand to help you get the best photographs possible. Events will include football, mountain biking, track, basketball, boxing, and more! Not only will you photograph the action, but you’ll be learning how to use studio strobes, speedlights, and remote cameras to get unique images as well. You’ll also have a one-on-one portfolio review with Peter so you can see how to take your images to the next level.

Get all the info for the workshop here, and sign up for it here. And, leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of Peter’s upcoming book, Peter Read Miller on Sports Photography from Peachpit Press!

Winners
Photoshop World Full Conference Pass
– Jason Strickland

Kelby Training Live Seminar
– Alex Alegre

Growing Your Business with Scott Kelby Rental
– Sandryte

Dave Black KelbyTraining.com Rental
– Jerry W.

That’s it for today. Have a great Thursday!

Ok, so when you get asked to be a guest blogger for Scott, one of the first things to do is check out the competition and see what others have done. The top blog posts as far as comments and reshares have been from Peter Hurley⦠Seen here hamming it up in our studio:


Photos by Pete Collins

And Zack Arias':


Photo by Zack Arias

I wanted to be considered as insightful and popular as them. So I did some studying on what they did to get such a good response and it became quite obvious⦠It is all about the hair! If I am going to get the greatest response and win the top honor as the "coolest, hippest blogger on earth," I am going to have work the hair angle hard. So without further ado⦠I give you Peter Bob Ross Arias!

Take that hair club for men!

Now that I have established my hair cred⦠on with the blog!

The opening paragraph was done in jest and a bit over the top (sorry Bob Ross!), but I wanted to use that to illustrate a point. We are killing ourselves by comparing ourselves to others. We ask constantly ask ourselves⦠"Am I as good a photographer as _________?", or "Do I communicate like ______?" We find ourselves on the unending treadmill of trying to catch up with this artist or photographer, and feel like a failure because someone we know is doing it "better" than we are. Please stop doing this. If you don't read any further than this, I hope you will take this thought with you. "Comparison is the Thief of Joy."

Warning: If you proceed to read further I will attempt to talk about what hinders us from being creative and alive. I will talk about feelings and ramble on some about our hearts etc⦠because I truly believe that is where our work comes from. So if you aren't interested in any of this⦠no problem, just look at the pictures and perhaps take a look at the list at the bottom as it is a bit more no-nonsense⦠well, sort of. :D  Yes I do realize that some of you are hoping to hear amazing photographic stories or maybe juicy gossip that Scott is really Keyser Soze, but that is for another post⦠this one is a little more about what drives us.

Let me walk this out for you with an example in my own life. I was asked to write this blog, and I got excited and immediately I started to plan what I was going to do. Thoughts start to swim around of all the things that I can talk about or show. Then I get the brilliant idea of doing exactly what I did at the top of the post. Comparing how other folks did their posts. Suddenly, the excitement I had for sharing my heart and idea with you turns into fear of "not screwing up" and not being rejected. Now I start to feel pressure and the idea that I don't have what it takes starts to grow inside of me. The voice in my head/heart tells me that I am lacking and that I should just give up and do something safe and boring, or better yet, find an excuse and not do anything at all. The problem with listening to that voice is that my heart and creativity die a little each time I give into it.

So I try to ignore the lump in my throat⦠and no longer feel excited⦠scared yes, excited⦠not so much. What is safe and accepted? You folks like videos⦠so I should definitely do a video and it shall be really cool! I will create this masterpiece video that shows the behind the scenes here at Kelby Media Group, and highlights the creative process that goes on here and how I get to be part of this. Great idea, but then the doubt kicks in⦠I haven't done a lot of videos and editing on that big a scale, and it won't look as cool as Zack's⦠I mean he had a smoke machine and mannequins! Ok, so let's settle for something safer.

How about I do a neat time-lapse drawing that will amaze and astound all who see it! Yeah, that will be easier I have done those before. But, what should I do? What should my subject matter be? What is normally easy to decide becomes impossible when the pressure of comparison is added to the mix. I need inspiration: that mystical illumination that quiets the voices and brings new wonders to our minds! Desperate, I start to work on playing with words like Inspiration that all have the word ration in them⦠even though I am feeling anything but rational right now. It might be cool to draw these words over time and do some neat stuff with them.

But then I start to worry that this is dumb and suddenly I don't like the order of the words so decide that what I need to do is develop a new creative font. Why? So that I can dazzle you guys with my talent and to make up for my lack of hair. Granted this is already late in the evening, and the blog post hasn't had the first word written. But a cool font is all this needs to make this abomination turn into glory. Hours later I have created something⦠and boy is it something, I just don't know what it is and I am pretty sure it won't work for this. Help!

So now I have spent hours scrambling to find that just right combination of hip creatively breezy elements that will amaze you and have you resharing this blog for years to come. I have visions of folks talking about my blog as The Blog of 2013! Whispering in cubicles across the globe "Hey did you see Pete's blog?" Of course it would be in different languages according to local dialect, but you get the drift. How is that for pressure? This is no longer a blog⦠it is my life's destiny and the fate of the free world depends on my ability to produce something earth shattering. (Please tell me, you have been in a similar situation⦠Letting your feelings overshadow the importance of a task until it becomes all encompassing. Yes, you there in the back, I see that hand⦠thank you for sharing.)

So I step back and try to regroup with a Coke⦠or three and some chocolate. Yep, that calms the nerves right down, don't mind the seizures. But while I stare at the blank screen, my lack of coolness taunts me. I start to think about my situation and how many times I have been in this very same state of pressure when I am trying to be both creative and safe. How many times have I been so wrapped up in trying to be accepted that I lose the ability to fly. By flying I mean to go where the heart and mind take us without the constraints of worrying about what others will think, or limiting our art to what others will like.

I bet you are like me and the best art you produce is when you are doodling while on the phone or waiting for a friend at a coffee shop. Why? The pressure is off and the only reason you are doing it is for the pure joy of it. Life Example: My kids don't make a picture and then throw it in the trashcan or hide it⦠they want us to display it and stick it on the refrigerator because it is something they put their heart into and they see it as good. But, as they get older, comparison creeps in and starts to tell our children⦠"Your sister draws better trees than you," or "That dog looks stupid!" The result is that they stop drawing altogether or they draw "safe" pictures that are acceptable. But their hearts wants to draw wild things. And guess what⦠we are just kids in grown up bodies.

This reminds me of an idea I have for a kids book that deals with our needing to forget our past hurts and failures so that we can be free to live, love and fly. I call it Dilbert the Forgetful Elephant, because the way most of us deal with life is a lot like how an elephant deals with captivity⦠but more of that in a minute⦠I can't talk to you now; I have an idea for this blog! Yes! I laugh at my angst earlier⦠I am now inspired and I start sketching elephants that will amaze you: and to be honest they looked better in my caffeine soaked brain than they do on paper. I need to study how elephants look and how to draw them. But at least I am excited about the direction this is taking.

So I Google "drawing elephants" and God being the gag writer that He is⦠wouldn't you know it, the first three hits to appear are from my friend Aaron Blaise, animator and illustrator extraordinaire who has some wonderful lessons on drawing elephants.

If you haven't seen his work, make sure to check him out at AaronBlaise.blogspot.com

Crap! Just when I was starting to feel ok about what I was doing, now I am going to compare every sketch I do with his. My sketches start to lose all life and joy as I try to sketch like Aaron. I know what he has done is good, I don't know if what I can do is good, so I try to slip on the mask of another that I know is accepted, because that will mean I will be accepted too. Won't it? I have shared this drawing before, but it still is one of my favorites that I have made to remind me of our tendencies to hide ourselves behind masks that in turn imprisons us and keep us from be real and alive.

The problem is that creativity lives in the land of freedom. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and start living. The story of Dilbert is an offshoot of what is probably an urban legend that goes like this⦠"when elephants are very young, trainers use rope to tie them and, at that age, it's enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break the rope so they never try to break free." It is a great illustration of the mental bonds that we can place on ourselves in regards to who we are and what we can do which we place upon ourselves by comparing ourselves to others.

So I wanted to create a story about an elephant that is forgetful, and as a result forgets that the rope is stronger than him and flies away. (Now you will have make the mental jump with me as I use the idea of an elephant as a balloon to represent the natural pull to fly as rope/string dangles beneath him representing what use to hold him back).

If I can stop comparing myself with others, I will be truly free to be creative and the result will be a better me.  It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy⦠the less I worry about others the more of me shows through, and the unique beauty that only I have to offer is seen and cherished by the ones who get to see it, which encourages me to show more⦠etc⦠etc⦠The world does not need more masks and copycats, the world needs more folks that are truly alive and free to create.

Yeah, yeah Pete we have heard this before⦠be free and be real⦠yada yada yada. Well, to be honest, I don't mind repeating it because I need to hear it daily, if not hourly because I forget. I fall right back into the trap of comparing and I shut down and cling to the easy road of mediocrity. The world is filled with mediocrity; we need folks who are brave and reckless enough to be excellent.

Photographers don't' worry I haven't forgotten about you. Below is an excerpt from a blog post that I started a while back that I never finished because something shiny came along and distracted me, but I think will tie in with what I hope is the heart of my thoughts today, which is don't settle⦠don't make excuses⦠fight to go beyond mediocre. Strive for joy and life⦠learn to fly!

"Over the past while I have had the privilege of watching Scott, Matt, RC and others like Joe McNally and Joel Grimes give photo critiques. I have also been able to watch the comments that go on during those critiques and I have noticed a societal trend. Often there is a rush to excuse why something isn’t right, or to try to give the benefit of the doubt due to exigent circumstances. But, is our goal to be ok? Mediocre? If so, then here are some ways to keep attaining that safe yet heart killing standard.

Don’t worry about telling a story⦠who cares if it is boring.

Don’t worry about what is in the corners⦠distractions and lines add excitement.

Don’t change the angle of your shots… tripods should always be shot at comfortable heights that every other photographer uses.

Make the same shot as others⦠You're ok, so I'm ok.

Only shoot when it is convenient and then blame the bad lighting for why it is not better.

Limit your shooting to your surroundings and then ask for a break in judgment because the locations are boring. It takes to much work to go somewhere else to shoot.

Demand fairness and equality even if your images are not good and not special. Your heart was in the right place, even if your camera wasn't.

Mediocrity can be attained by everyone, and that may be why we are not happy with our work when we settle for it. You are created in a dynamic and special way, and when you listen to the voice of comparison and settle for safety and excuses, you cheat the world of the special vision and voice that you have to offer. I need you to fly so that you can remind me to fly. I am one elephant trying to help the next one loosen the ropes that keep us tied down.

The question at the end of the day, and the end of this long post is⦠are you going to stay tied down to that stake of comparing what others are doing, or are you going to forget about what tends to hold you back and fly?

You can see more from Pete at PeteCollins.com, and follow him on Twitter and Google+

http://youtu.be/kLMg1-vUyzw

Photoshop World
There are less than two weeks left to take advantage of the Early Bird pricing for Photoshop World Orlando! Register before March 15 to save $100 and join the greatest Photoshop and photography instructors in the world.

Once you’re registered, make sure you book your room at the Rosen Centre Hotel so you can stay where the instructors stay! Rooms at the most conveniently located hotel (just across the street from the convention center) are limited, and once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a full conference pass!

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Matt KloskowskiRC Concepcion, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Mar 15 - Tampa, FL
Mar 25 - Houston, TX

Photographic Artistry with Adobe Photoshop with Ben Willmore
Mar 19 - New York, NY
Mar 20 - Washington, DC

Lightroom 4 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Mar 22 - Phoenix, AZ

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

Growing Your Business with Scott Kelby
Ever wondered how Scott Kelby started Kelby Media Group then grew it into what it is today? Check out his latest class, Growing Your Business, on KelbyTraining.com to get his advice on partnering with the right people, taking risks, using social media for promotion, and more!

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

Southwestern Photojournalism Conference with Dave Black
This weekend, Dave Black will be presenting at the Southwestern Photojournalism Conference in Fort Worth! This conference holds a special place in my (Brad’s) heart because it’s the first place I ever met Dave and Joe McNally. Past presenters have also included Scott Kelby, Jeremy Cowart, Bill Fortney, and myself.

If you’re in the area (or up for a flight or drive), sign up to come hang with Dave and some other great photographers like Eugene Richards who are presenting. I’ll be there as well, so come join us!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free rental of one of Dave Black’s KelbyTraining.com classes.

FREE Photoshop Elements 11 Book for Digital Photographers
Our friends over at the Photoshop Elements Techniques Newsletter (PET), have a great special right now. Subscribe for the PET newsletter and member website, and you’ll get Scott and Matt’s Photoshop Elements 11 Book for Digital Photographers free. It almost makes your membership absolutely free, but it’s only for a limited time so head on over to http://photoshopelementsuser.com/march-madness

Winner
Kelby Training Live Seminar
– Alex Alegre

That’s it for today. Enjoy the last day of February!

With my most humble sincerity, I would like to thank Scott and Brad for their friendship and for allowing me to share a brief window into my life as of late. I would also like to thank my friend Robby Klein for the photo of me above. He is a fantastic photographer in Nashville that you should totally check out.

If you're anything like me, long blog posts just end up getting skimmed through for the highlights (or just to look at the photos) so I'll try to keep this as A.D.D. -friendly as possible.

For those of you not familiar with me and my work, allow me to introduce myself. Two and a half years ago I wrote my first guest blog post here and was able to share my life and photographic journey up until that point.  A lot has changed since then, and I have grown a lot personally and photographically.  Not the least of these changes was a move from Louisiana to Tennessee.  I am now the staff photographer for the University of Tennessee Volunteers, a job that is held in high regard (being one of very few staff sports photography jobs in the world). It's also a job that I never felt like I could actually could get when I heard about it.  I applied regardless, and it is with that in mind that leads me to what I want to talk about.

FEAR

One of the things that has been rattling around my brain lately is the Idea of Fear, and the Fear of an Idea.

It's not the fear of things like my fear of heights, although when I walk out on the 110' catwalk, I'm not exactly comfortable.

It's the fear of putting your name on an idea and having the courage to execute.  It is because of fear that we have committees and meetings. So if it doesn't work out, you can't be blamed for it.  It's skipping out on the guaranteed safe image, and trying something with your camera that, even if you've done it before, is not guaranteed to be successful every time.

It's saying "this is a good idea, and I believe in it", when others might scratch their head because they don't share your vision.

It is my belief that there are t̶h̶o̶u̶s̶a̶n̶d̶s̶ millions of ideas out there that go unsaid out of fear that they will flop, and people will see you fall on your face.

I certainly don't claim to have all the answers, and am certainly guilty of holding back because of fear, but when I look around at industry leaders, you see people taking chances.  Sometimes they flop, but those failures fade off into the darkness of the interwebz and are eventually covered up by a brilliant, more successful idea. And why? Because they were not afraid to let one (or two or three or twenty-six) failures stop them from trying to find the ONE idea that worked.

I look at my own life as a Staff sports photographer, and sometimes I have to decide to leave the field and shoot from the roof.  Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it's a flop.

I've left entire portrait sessions not happy with many, if any, images.  It doesn't mean that my idea was bad or that I shouldn't keep trying, it just means I need to learn and grow and keep going.

Just the other night, while I was shooting a basketball game, there was a monster dunk that was the highlight of Tennessee's win over LSU.  I didn't get a single shot of it because I decided to shoot the whole second half with a 400mm and get tight details and faces. That decision cost me that shot. You live to shoot another day. As a sports photographer, I could make plants grow in the Sahara with my tears if I cried over missed shots.

I'm inspired by people who take ideas and are successful with them. I am also inspired people who chase after an idea and fail.  Because they tried.  There are no participation trophies in life, so trying isn't enough.  But there is no chance of success without risk, and that is the only way to know how great our idea can become.

Move your lights around. Face the other way. Get low. Get high. Shoot tight. Shoot Wide. Set up a remote. Make a Tintype. Use Gels. Go Underwater. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. The 24-70 is the blah of life.

If you have an idea, don't be afraid of it; let it breathe. Let it grow. Let it evolve. Let it be successful.  Let it fail.  But put your name on it and don't be afraid.

As an added bonus for making it to the end, I've also included this short video feature created about my work at Tennessee and my approach to photography in general done by the talented video folks at Tennessee.

http://vimeo.com/59940091

You can see more of Donald’s work at DonaldPage.net, and follow him on Twitter at @donaldppage and @Vol_Photos

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