Posts By Brad Moore

Photography Tips & Tricks
The first episode of Photography Tips & Tricks is now online! It features Scott Kelby, RC Concepcion, and special guest Bill Fortney sharing tips on using Auto ISO, bracketing, and setting up a remote camera in places to which you don’t have access.

This is our brand new show for photographers, which replaces D-Town TV. Since D-Town started off as a Nikon show, the D in D-Town stood for the camera model numbers (D3100, D7000, D600, etc). But we decided to finally change things up and go with a name that was more obvious to everyone.

Plus, the show focuses on quick tips and a shorter overall length so you can get great info quickly and get back to shooting! You can subscribe on iTunes right here. Hope you all enjoy it!
Check out the latest class from world-renown wildlife photographer Moose Peterson, Beginning Outdoor Wildlife Photography! In this class, Moose gets back to the basics and shows you how to get started photographing wildlife… in your own back yard! Well, it’s actually Moose’s back yard in the class, but you get the picture ;-)

Moose explains camera gear, shooting techniques, knowing about the wildlife in your area, setting up your shooting area, and even using flash! You can check out this class, Shooting Fall Landscapes, and all of his other classes at And, leave a comment for your chance to win a 1-Month Subscription!

Kelby Training Live
Check out these dates for our upcoming Kelby Training Live seminars:

Lightroom 4 Live with Matt Kloskowski
10/10 – Orlando, FL
11/26 – Toronto,

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
10/12 – Lansing, MI
11/2 – Philadelphia, PA
11/5 – Tampa, FL

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers
10/17 – Minneapolis, MN (with RC Concepcion)
10/19 – Chicago, IL (with RC Concepcion)
10/29 – Washington, DC (with Scott Kelby)

Worldwide Photo Walk
We’re just over a week away from the Fifth Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk! There are over 1,300 walks taking place around the world with over 26,000 people signed up to be part of this exciting event. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can check to see if there is a walk happening in your area right here.

And if you want to help spread the word, you can download web banners to put on your blog (or wherever) right here!

High5 Workshop with Glyn Dewis & Calvin Hollywood
Glyn Dewis and Calvin Hollywood are teaming up to do a 5 day workshop just outside of Heidelburg, Germany January 26-30, 2013 called the High5 Workshop! They’ll be going through 2 days of studio and location shoots, retouching, marketing and networking. Knowing these two guys, not only will it be incredibly informative, but quite exciting as well!

Light Stories: Writings on Photography & Inspiration
Light Stories: Writings on Photography & Inspiration is a brand-new FREE eBook by Nicole S. Young featuring some of her most inspirational work on her blog, The eBook consists of ten articles posted over the past three years on inspiration, life and photography. This special eBook is Nicole's sixth book, and it's also her first published through Nicolesy, Inc. You can get more info on this book, and Nicole’s other books, at

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Seminar
- Steven Suwatanapongched

One Light, Two Light Seminar
– Lenna Davis

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

Taye Diggs & Brian Smith

Huge Thanks to Scott, Brad and the entire gang at Kelby Media for kindly allowing me to hijack the Photoshop Insider blog to share a few of my favorite portrait photography tips from my new book Secrets of Great Portrait Photography

I never set out to be a portrait photographer. I started out shooting news and sports photographer but gradually made the move to magazine portrait photography when I realized that I preferred connecting with people face-to-face instead of from the distance of a 600mm lens and I've learned a lot along the way.

Here are just a few of my favorite stories from the last two decades photographing celebritiesâ”stories that reveal what really goes on behind the scenes of a high-profile portrait shoot. I learned a lot in the course of these shoots and I hope you will too.


David Hyde Pierce & Kelsey Grammer photographed for Art & Soul

The first key to successful portrait photography is finding a way to connect with your subject. Portrait photography is kind of like mixing psychology and speed-dating. You've got to quickly figure the right approach to take with your subject to connect with them and draw out their personality.

I get asked all the time how I pose people or what I say to them to bring out a great expression. There is no magic phrase or pose that works every single time. I'm not trying to be coy or hide any secrets, but there's simply no formula to this. An approach that works for Donald Trump will likely fail miserably with Bill Gates. The best way I can answer that is to say: It's Different Every Time!

When I was shot Art & Soul in partnership with The Creative Coalition and Sony as a way for celebrities to show their support for arts education, David Hyde Pierce was one of the first actors I photographed for the book. David has such an amazing face, I didn't have to do much to come away with a memorable portrait.

That photo of David was enough to convince Kelsey Grammer to pose for the book. After just a dozen frames, I'd only started warming Kelsey up when he turned to leave with the words, "Certainly, you must have what you need." I only had a split-second to save the shoot, so without pause I replied, "Yes, I suppose I do, though we got a lot more out of David Hyde Pierce." The sheepish look on Kelsey's face is his reaction to being upstaged by his Frazier co-star.

Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing.


Jack and Elaine LaLanne photographed in Morro Bay, California

When photographing an environmental portrait on location, the shot is about the person and the place, so I always spend time before the shoot getting to know the location and searching out the most interesting place to shoot.

I grew up in the 60s watching guru Jack LaLanne on TV every morning whip Americans into shape. When I got the chance to photograph Jack and his wife Elaine at their home in Morro Bay, California, I wanted to shoot the couple together at sunset with the Morro Bay Rocks behind them.

It was a landmark suitable for a legend - yet until they struck a pose flexing their biceps, I hadn't pictured that the Morro Bay Rocks would become a third bicep rising out of the sea. Sometimes you just get lucky.


Jeff Gordon photographed for Ocean Drive

Reportage and sports action photography are all about anticipating what's about to happen and putting yourself in the right position to capture it when it unfolds. Portrait photography is more about directing and creating and making something happen. It's not uncommon to hear photographers loudly debate the merits of one over the other - particularly when cold beers are involved. Honestly, one is not better than the other, they're simply different. The great thing is that the skills you learn from one can make you better at the other.

The idea for this shoot NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon was to combine the expected with the unexpected. We got approval to shoot Jeff at Homestead racetrack, which is a place you might expect to find him, but gave it a twist by shooting him in a spot he could never be during a raceâ”standing in the middle of the track along the final turn leading to the grandstands.

Anything can happen in the course of a shoot, and embracing these elements of surprise rather than fighting them can result in some unique portraits. In this case, I noticed that the wind kept blowing Jeff's tie up, but instead of pinning the tie down, I asked the stylist to pin it up to match the sense of motion in the checkered race flag. Even when directing a shoot, keep you eyes out for things that happen naturally.


Donald Trump photographed for New York Magazine

A great concept is worthless if you can't convince your subject to do it. Convincing celebrities to take the risks that make great portraits is a bit of an art form in itself.

New York Magazine, assigned me to shoot Donald Trump at his Palm Beach mansion, Mar-a-Lago. I went in the day before to scout the location with the stylist, my wife Fazia. When we spotted a pair of massive poolside swan fountains and pictured the Donald, decked out all in white and sitting on the swan so that it looked like he had angel wings.

Without hesitation, my ballsy wife called the store where she'd reserved Trump's wardrobe for the shoot, canceled the suits she had lined up and asked for every white suit they had in Trump's size.

The next day we showed up at Mar-a-Lago with nothing but eight white suits. Trump's handlers were worried since they'd never seen him wear all white and they were concerned that it might not be the best look for him. But I've always found that dealing with people confident egos is actually a piece of cake since we all want the same thingâ”to make them look good.

When Trump showed up, he took one look at his wardrobe and said, "I've always wanted to do a shoot in a white suit. Don't you think I'll look good in a white suit?" As it turned out, he did look good in a white suit. And he loved the look so much he even bought the suit!


Don King photographed for Forbes

When Forbes assigned me to shoot Don King, art director Bob Mansfield's direction consisted of two words: "Think cover."

I knew I had to bring back a bold, eye-catching image if I wanted to land the cover and figured that nothing could be more eye-catching on the cover of a business magazine than King's signature hair.

We kept the shot very simple. With King in profile, I backlit him from both sides to rim light his face and make his hair glow, and his face is lit from the front with ring flash. Right before we shot, Don did his part, combing through his hair to make it stand up. Did Don make the cover? Absolutely!


Simeon Rice photographed for ESPN the Magazine

When you're shooting pro athletes, it's virtually a given that your time will be limited. You can either panic or embrace it.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in the midst of their Super Bowl run when ESPN the Magazine sent me to shoot defensive end Simeon Rice. With only a half hour to do so, my job was to come away with as much variety as I could in the time I had to make my editor happy.

Sure, you can walk in with a high-speed motor drive and machine gun the hell out of the shoot, but often the best approach is to do the opposite. We kept things very simple, shooting outdoors in available light against a plain black background with my vintage Graflex Super D camera and Polaroid Type 665 Positive/Negative film. You shoot, pull the Polaroid to process, wait 15 seconds, peel it apart, drop the negative side into cold water, and look at the positive to see what you got. Out of the 39 frames we shot, five shots ended up in the magazine.

Shoot less. Think more. Make every shot count.


Christy Martin photographed for Sports Illustrated

Never leave a shoot without at least one shot that makes you proud. Although some magazine assignments can be very open-ended, others read like a shopping list. You always have to photograph what's on the list, but you shouldn't overlook a great shot just because the magazine didn't think to ask for it.

This Sports Illustrated shoot of boxer Christy Martin read like an endless shopping list of shots. We started early in the day and had knocked out the sixteenth and final shot and everyone was beat. When I told Christy I had an idea for one final photo, she shot me a look like, "You know I could kick your ass." But she agreed to do it if I made it quick.

I pulled out my 4×5, placed a single flash head on a boom directly overhead to mimic the tungsten spotlights you'd see at a fight, and taped a full CTO warming gel over the reflector. I shot just four frames of 4×5 and sent Christy on her way. When I shipped the take to my editor at SI, I made certain those four frames were on top.

A week later I got a call from my editor; "Congratulations, you got the coverâ”and it wasn't even one of the shots we asked for."

Always shoot one for yourself because there's often more to the story than just what's on your shot list. Those four extra sheets of film got me a cover I wouldn't have had if I'd done only what was asked.


Nude Golf photographed for Sports Illustrated

If I had to rank these points, I'd actually put this number one. Never, ever forget that photography should be FUN, both for you and the person on the other side of your lens.

One of the keys to successful portrait photography is having all the technical aspects of the shoot nailed down before the subject walks in front of your lens. Then put all the technical stuff out of your mind so that you can concentrate on the person you're shooting.

As a photographer, there's nothing better than getting a call from a photo editor who begins the call with the words, "I've got a shoot that's perfect for youâ¦" unless their next words are "nudist golf." With those two words, consider my calendar cleared. Our shoot was not only tons of fun - it also resulted in some of my favorite photographs ever.


Richard Branson photographed for Time Magazine

I'll close with this portrait of Richard Branson from the cover of Secrets of Great Portrait Photography since it encompasses so many of the points I've made in this post.

"Richard Bransonâ¦on Necker Islandâ¦in a spacesuit." That pitch from TIME magazine photo editor Dietmar Liz-Lepiorz is as good of a pitch as I've ever heard, but to be honest, he had me at Branson.

Branson is a photographer's dream subject: He's extremely media savvy, and he knows a great concept when he hears one. So when we suggested putting him in a spacesuit for a story about his new Virgin Galactic space flights, he was immediately sold on the idea.

Necker Island had a lot of great locations ranging from palm-lined tropical beaches to red rock cliffs that looked like Mars, but my favorite was a little sandbar just off the island surrounded by nothing but the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. After discovering that I wanted to shoot on a spit of sand just off the island at sunrise, Branson leaned over to me at dinner and slyly said, "Sunrise is at 5:30 a.m." Without skipping a beat, he added, "So you and I need to be at the dock at five."

The next morning, which just happened to be Christmas Eve morning, we were all up before dawn boarding the boat to the sandbar just in time for Branson to don the spacesuit as the sun began to break the horizon. I shot from one knee so that Branson and his spacesuit rose heroically into the sky. We shot for about and hour starting at first light. The resulting portrait, blends conceptual and environment portrait with a touch of the unexpected and boy did we have fun!

You can see more of Brian’s work at, keep up with him on his blog, and find him on Facebook and Twitter.

For a limited time, you can also get 35% off Secrets of Great Portrait Photography using the code SMITH at the Peachpit Store!

Worldwide Photo Walk
We’re just a couple of weeks away from the Fifth Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk on October 13! Earlier this week we did a webcast (which you can watch above) to share some tips and answer some of your questions.

Tomorrow is the last day we’ll be approving new walks. So if you don’t see one in your area and want to lead one, you can apply right here.

And, if you want to help promote the walk, here are a couple of web banners you can put on your blog or website!

If you have any questions about anything Photo Walk related, EMAIL PHOTOWALK@KELBYMEDIAGROUP.COM for the fastest response rather than leaving a comment here.

There are nearly 1,200 Photo Walks taking place around the world, and over 22,000 people have registered so far. Help us spread the word to make this one of the best events yet!

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Seminar
Scott Kelby is heading to Los Angeles on October 3 for the Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Tour! Join Scott for the day to get tips and tricks for finishing your photographs in the digital darkroom of Photoshop.

We're giving away a free ticket to this seminar, so leave a comment for your chance to win!

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Joe McNally is in Atlanta tomorrow, September 28 with his One Light, Two Light seminar! We’re giving away one more ticket to this seminar, so leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner later today. Or you can still sign up right here.
Two brand new classes have just been added to the library…

First up is The Art of Dance Photography, the latest from Frank Doorhof! This class covers everything from arranging locations and models to adding drama and mood to your photos using color, light, and props.

Next is Fashion Lighting 1, 2, 3 with Lindsay Adler! In this class, Lindsay gets very creative with light modifiers and a variety of lighting setups.

I’ll be honest… If you’re interested in any sort of creative photography, both of these classes will help you come up with great ideas for beautiful images. It doesn’t matter if you’re not even a little bit interested in dance or fashion photography. You’ll learn something that you can apply to any type of photography that uses lighting. Check em out at!

The Moose Cruise with B&H in NYC
Moose Peterson is teaming up with B&H and taking to the waters surrounding Manhattan on October 18 for a three hour tour (a three hour tour…): The Moose Cruise!

If you’ve ever wanted to get up close to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, photograph from underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, or just try out some gear from Nikon, Canon, Oben, and others, well… This is your chance!

Not only is this a great photographic opportunity, but Circle Line is offering tickets at a discounted price of $25! Moose has let us know that space is limited and filling up quickly already, so sign up now!

Farewell To Summer Photo Contest
The team over at Samy’s Camera is giving away a $500 gift card to one lucky person! All you have to do is enter a photo that best captures the essence of summer. It will go on Samy’s Facebook page, where anyone can vote for their favorite picture. The top three most voted-on photos will be selected to be judged by a panel of judges, then awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. And all three of them get gift cards!

You can get all the info and enter your photo right here.

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Seminar
– Jerry W
– Bill S

One Light, Two Light Seminar
– Bryan Whitehead
– Caselin

Kelby Training 1-Month Subscription
– Jolemayo

The HDR Book
– Dan Reiland

Mastering The Lensbaby eBook
– Joe R

We’ll be in touch soon regarding your prizes. Have a great Thursday!

Amanda Sosa Stone with Daughter Lilia. photo by Diana Zalucky

Have you ever felt that glimpse of (insert YOUR THING here)? When it’s close you want to hold onto it forever. It’s a clarity unlike any other. Everything makes sense, whether it's the purpose of life or finding your own unique vision that will make you rich.

I too have sought "it," and I, too, want to hold onto "it." But I've lost it many times.  But I know it's there, and if I know it or feel it, then it must be real, right?

Who isn't searching for the purpose of life? Who isn't trying to build up their clientele, or make it to the next level, or just maintain what they've spent years building? Every person I encounter is in one of these categories, if not all of them. But how can you feed your creative soul if you can't see straight or you don't know your own path?

I'm no master, but I have spent most of my young life analyzing the hows and whys. I learn every day from my clients who teach me through their journeys and who allow me to tag along and honor me with the opportunity to give guidance.

What I've learned is this ⦠it's all about the journey. Moments keep coming and most fade with time, but it's the "AH HA!" moments that shape our experience and help us grow.

I believe the journey always starts with YOU. Consider these recent pit stops on my own journey.

I did a student talk at my collegiate alma mater about finding your path, and it contained an "AH HA!" moment ⦠the reawakening to my own style.  When you consult, you wear many hats and you edit based on the individual client's needs. I hadn't thought of my own unique style in a long time, even though I'm thought of as the "lifestyle" consultant (although I have consulted with every genre under the sun).

So before my talk, I crawled into the attic and dusted off photo boxes (yes, those were the days we printed with developer and my nails were stained with chemicals ⦠I wasn't a glove-wearing girl). When I pulled down the images, I slowly unveiled a personal style that I'd forgotten: mostly portraits, classic, simple and slightly epic in emotion. I knew what I liked then. That was Pit Stop one.

The next stop was making over my office, an attempt to find inspiration in my own space. I pulled out all my old photo books and my old tears from years ago. I wanted to do a wall of things that inspired me. I pulled out photo gifts over the years (some with sentimental value based on who shot them, some that were simply awe-inspiring), cutouts from years past, landscapes, still life, portraits, etc. Sprawled out on the office floor with frames I recently found around the house and Goodwill (I am thrifty) and started editing - and yes, editing for myself is as torturous as it is for you.

Once I forced myself to pick the images that made me the happiest, I realized it was the same theme - classic, simple, emotionally epic. But what shocked me was the amount of portraiture I've embraced over the years. The landscapes and some of my favorite gifts were pushed to the side. What made the cut? It was some of the greats (Da Vinci, Cartier-Bresson, Callahan), some more recent but no less brilliant work (Knights, Erickson and my college roommate) and some of the actual people who've shaped my life (Weissberg by Markow), and a few recent success stories (Costanzo) ⦠even some work created by myself (that wasn't easy).

Let me explain my decorating style. I work quickly and I don't question what I do, so once I picked the images, I started cutting and sticking the images into frames. My 3-year-old son helped me stick the images up on the wall (no walls were damaged in the process) with no specific plan or layout, other than what I saw in my head. If I didn't do it right there and then, it might be another 20 years sitting on a bookshelf or in a folder.

And there I had it - a glimpse of myself. This doesn't change my editing skills. But it does make me happy, to see myself reflected back, and now I see it every day.

How does this help find the meaning of life? It was a process of reflection - a look at the past and how it shaped the present, and how it's continuously shaping my future. I got into this industry because I loved the notion of the "caught moment;" I loved the soul captured through the eyes; I loved emotion that could be felt through a shutter. It's this love that draws me back and shows me the way. It's this passion that drives me to help my clients everyday.

What is your passion? What keeps drawing you near? What is that one thing that stops you from throwing in the towel, even though you've thought about it many times)?

Discover it. Reignite it. And do it over and over again for your entire life and career.

Seek. Reflect. Keep moving forward. Remember, change is the only constant.

What I've learned about this industry is that whatever career path you choose, you must integrate it into your life. It can't be a burden. Embrace it and stop running from fear of rejection. Shine your light on it, capture it and embrace the career and life you choose. It's not about making a million bucks (but that is nice) - it's about embracing each moment you experience.

And if you're lucky, you brought your camera along to capture it!

Barbara Morgan - one of my most favorite images of all time.

Jim Erickson - From his Book Mothers he sent as a promo over 10 years ago to me as an art buyer.  A favorite book I have kept over the years.  I sinned and ripped this image out of the book because I loved it too much not to look at it every day.

Amanda Sosa Stone (circa college - aka Amanda Sosa) - this was a polaroid from a series of 4×5 portraits taken.  Orlando Weekly's award winning cover image.

Photo of Elyse Weissberg (mentor and consultant extraordinaire) by: Paul Markow

Pablo Corral Vega – (One of My Dream Clients from National Geographic Assignment Division)

Harry Callahan - A self taught master that always reminds me to capture people that are in your life.

Amanda Sosa Stone is a creative consultant based out of Orlando. You can find out more about her at or, and follow her on Twitter.

Guitar Raffle for Springs of Hope
Tomorrow is the last day to buy a raffle ticket for your chance to win a Schecter guitar signed by all the Photoshop Guys! All proceeds go to help the Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage, so buy as many tickets as you like :-) You can also donate directly to Springs of Hope if you’d like.

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers – Los Angeles
Scott Kelby is heading to Los Angeles on October 3 for the Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Tour! Join Scott for the day to get tips and tricks for finishing your photographs in the digital darkroom of Photoshop.

We’re giving away two free tickets to this seminar, so leave a comment for your chance to win!

One Light, Two Light – Atlanta
After today’s Hartford seminar, the next stop on Joe McNally’s One Light, Two Light seminar is Atlanta on September 28! Joe is a master of light, no matter what kind, how many, or what size. If you want to know how to create great images with just one or two lights, you don’t want to miss this seminar.

Leave a comment for your chance to win one of two tickets!
Photographing The Making Of An Athlete with Bill Frakes is the latest addition to Join veteran Sports Illustrated photographer Bill Frakes at the legendary Kona Skatepark in Jacksonville, Florida, as he photographs Cason Kirk, one of the best young skaters in the country!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a 1-month subscription to Kelby Training!

His Light Workshop in Slot Canyons & Monument Valley
Two names… Bill Fortney. RC Concepcion
Where? Monument Valley and Slot Canyons
When? November 3-11

Find out more and sign up here, and leave a comment to win a copy of RC’s The HDR Book!

Mpix Hip My House Winner
Mpix has announced the winner of the Hip My House contest! Head over to their Facebook page to find out who the lucky person is.

The DOORhof Is Always Open
Frank Doorhof has launched his new show, The DOORhof Is Always Open, and each episode is filled with great tips on photography and post processing from Frank and his friends! His latest episode, filmed at Photoshop World Vegas, includes tips from Pete Collins, Dave Black, Rich Harrington, Cliff Mautner, myself and more.

Mastering the Lensbaby with Doug Sahlin
If you’re a fan of the Lensbaby line of creative lenses, you’ll definitely want to check out this book from Doug Sahlin, Mastering the Lensbaby. In this book, Doug walks you through everything you need to know to use the Lensbaby lenses to get great images.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a digital copy of this book!

One Light, Two Light Seminar
– Bill

Video Nation
– Maarten Mennes

Let me start off by saying thank you to Scott for reaching out and asking me to put together this guest blog post. While my passion for photography is well known, I love being given the opportunity to talk about the philosophical and underlying importance of realizing just how fortunate we all are to be in the world of photography these days, but I digressâ¦so let's begin!

"Walking to Nirvana" - Angkor Wat, Cambodia

While my passion for photography lies with my landscape and nature work, it is actually my travel and humanitarian photography that has allowed me to carve out a name for myself in the photography industry. It has been through these experiences of traveling the globe as a photographer and photo educator that I have been able to take a somewhat unique view of both life on this planet and how it correlates to the ever changing photo industry as a whole.

These days, I feel there is no doubt that we are in the middle of a shift when it comes to photography and the photo industry. As digital cameras continue to become more affordable, photo technology continues to advance at unbelievable levels and digital editing software continues to become more accessible and easier to understand, we will continue to see a massive influx of individuals becoming interested in photography as their artistic median of choice.

While photographers of past generations seem to stubbornly focus on the perceived over-saturation of the market, they sadly miss one of the most prolific and fundamentally important virtues of this change. The simple fact that today, more people have the ability to creatively express themselves through the art of photography than ever before in the history of our species. And tomorrowâ¦.there will be even more than today.

"Lost Innocence" - Port Au Prince, Haiti

While giving more individuals the ability to capture their experiences throughout life is amazing in its own right, it is through our unprecedented ability to share those images and experiences instantly with the world around us we begin to truly see just how significant this change truly is. According to Internet World Stats in 2011 there were 2,267,233,742 active internet users on the planet. This equates out to roughly 32.7 of the planet. Can anyone guess how much of an increase this was from 2000?

If you guessed 528% then you would be correct! The advent and increased popularity of the Internet has dramatically shaped not only how we find information, but how we share content. While sitting in my office on the complete opposite side of the world I can instantly get information of a civil uprising in Syria, an earthquake in Haiti, the discovery of a new species in Papa New Guinea or simply hear about my sisters new jobâ¦.all with nearly the same amount of easeâ¦using the same pathways of instant communication that many of us have taken for granted over the yearsâ¦Social Media.

Colby Brown's image of Mt. Fitz Roy in Patagoni on his Google+ Account

As Photographers we all should all already understand the importance of the "visual element" when it comes to our photographs. All of us strive to create compelling images that are enjoyed by others, but do we really understand just how powerful our images are in influencing others? Let's find outâ¦

For the images below, I want you to take a second and asked yourself what are the first words that come to mind when you view each of these photographs individually.

Now while each of us might have different reactions to these images, the average response is fairly consistent when I give this presentation at seminars and photography events.

1st Image - Serene, balance, peace, tranquility. This image is of a set of mountains taken in a valley in Las Glacieres National Park in Southern Argentina.

2nd Image - Destruction, Earthquake, Sorrow, Sadness, Despair. This image is of the Carribean Market in Port Au Prince, just months after the devastating earthquake in 2010.

3rd Image - Happyness, Joy, Warmth, Bright. This image is of a sunflower in my home town of Denver, Colorado.

4th Image - Love, Compassion, Innocence, Peaceful. This image is of my son just hours after he was born in 2012.

The point of this little exercise is to showcase the power that a single image can have over another individual. Not only can an image invoke a particular emotion in the viewer, it also has the power to effectively change their view of a given moment, experience or scene. Think about it. How often have you been moved by an image and allowed it to change the way you think about a particular subject. It could have been an image of a malnourished child in Africa, a group of soldiers in Afghanistan or a Polar Bear floating away on an iceberg.

While these scenes are more exotic that the average photographer typically gets to experience, let's make this a little more relatable. Have you ever thought about how your images of the area surrounding your home effect other individual's impression of your state? Let's use Colorado, my home state as an example. According to Longwoods International, the state of Colorado had 57.9 million visitors in 2011. Out of these travelers, my home state brought in over $10 billion in revenue, which is no small amount, especially in a difficult economy. What does this have to do with photography?

Well every time I shared an image of Colorado, every time I wrote about my travels throughout the Rockies every time I gave a presentation on photographing this beautiful state, that content was published out onto the interwebs for the entire world to see. Was I personally responsible for the massive numbers I listed above? Of course not. But when you imagine the residents of the State of Colorado, the Colorado Tourism Board, all of the businesses that rely on tourism and the travelers themselves all sharing images and stories via the internet and a picture begins to be painted.

"Mt. Wilson in the Fall" - Telluride, Colorado

In understanding these fundamental changes, I created a new organization in 2011 called The Giving Lens. The idea is to combine photo education with supporting sustainable development initiatives in 3rd world countries around the globe. Each workshop we offer acts as a fundraiser where over 60% of the proceeds go back to the NGO's and individuals we work with on the ground to help fight for child education, women's rights, clean drinking water projects, species preservation and much more. So far this year we have worked in Peru and Nicaragua, with trips to Cambodia, Jordan, Israel/Palestine, and a second Nicaragua trip on the horizon. The idea is to find tangible outlets for your photography work to make a difference.

In the end the digital revolution of the photography industry and the Internet has changed the world. As more and more individuals are able to afford quality digital cameras and as we continue to become more globally connected through the Internet, the importance of the freedom of artistic expression has never been more visible. As artists and photographers we have the opportunity, and to some extent responsibility, to share our experiences with the world no matter if we are full time professional photographers or just picking up a camera for the first time. From receding glaciers to species preservation to the perception of the place we call home, we all have a role to play in shaping the image of life on this planet.

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