Posts By Brad Moore

I, Photographer

I believe it was last summer when I was having dinner with Brad Moore at City Fish in Oldsmar, FL when he asked me to write my first post for Scott's illustrious Guest Blog series. I was humbled, giddy, and nervous. As a longtime follower of Scott's work, being asked to contribute marked a milestone in my career as a photographer. I fully admit modeling a lot of how I teach and relate with our users at onOne Software based on Scott's practices, so you can imagine my surprise when I got an email from Brad a few weeks ago with the subject, "It's that time again." I am truly honored to reprise my role as guest contributor and I'd like to thank Scott, Brad, Matt, RC, Corey, Stinky Pete and the rest of my good friends at Kelby Media for doing so much to help so many of us reach our own milestones as photographers.

<Cue the Wayne's World wave dissolve and smoothly segue to the post>

I will always remember the first time I admitted to actually being a photographer to someone. It was in late winter of 2009 and I was photographing the beautiful and frigid coastline of Provincetown, MA. At the time, I had a full time job at a software company that created products for the financial sector and I was also starting to make inroads with my own little commercial photography business. I already had a few solid gigs under my belt and had been lining up some more. Things were looking good and my goal was to move into doing this full time at some point in 2010. While I was photographing the Provincetown coastline, an elderly woman saw what I was doing, walked up to me, and asked me plainly, "What do you do?"

And to that, for the first time in my life, I answered, "I'm a photographer."

Prior to that, I would have likely stumbled and stammered to justify what I was doing and I'm sure that more than a few of you can relate. For some reason, there is this layer of self-doubt that we have when owning up to answering this particular question. It's almost as if we are trying to justify it to ourselves as we answer it. Before I move on to how this memory spurred the point of this post, let me clear the air. We are all photographers. Whether you are a casual hobbyist, an avid enthusiast or a part/full time paid professional, just by virtue of picking up a camera with the intention of freezing a moment in time, you are a photographer.

So why is it that so many of us get defensive when someone calls you an amateur photographer? It's such a beautiful word, so appropriate for so many of us out there, and yet in the same breath, it is seen as a form of denigrationâ”a lower rung in a caste system of photographers. Have you ever actually looked up the definition of amateur? While there are different interpretations of the word, the definition I wholeheartedly subscribe to is â˜a person who engages in a pursuit.' Doesn't that sound so lovely? It almost has a romantic feel to it. And it's true after all, isn't it? Aren't we all actively engaged in the pursuit of our photography? While I consider myself a working photographer, I also wholly consider myself an amateur. Photography is my life and I will dedicate my time here to mastering it in my own way and helping others find their own paths.

But let's go back to the issue at handâ”namely, the consternation that we feel when we have to justify whether we are photographers. It was in thinking about this that I realized what I should write about. The problem lies in this pervasive need to seek the approval of as many people as possible in order to justify whether you are a photographer, and worse, whether you are even a good photographer. For many of us, the quality of an image has been relegated to the response rate and engagement percentage of a post you made on your social media outlet of choice. Good, honest, quality feedback has been supplanted by mindless Likes and +1s. Our entire scale of artistic growth has been commoditized whereas the clear voices of a small group of mentors and trusted friends have been replaced by a cacophony of fleeting words and phrases left as comments. And then there are the trolls and the flame wars. Small-minded people getting off on slicing and dicing anything that you share with impunity, no matter what the nature is.

The culmination of investing your emotions and tying your growth to all of these things can be terribly destructive and stifling for those photographers out there who are doubtful of themselves and not sure whether they feel like they can contribute anything meaningful to the world with their work. All of this static may serve to turn someone away, making them gun-shy to share their work or even pick up a camera in the first place. I am saying this because I know it to be true. I have friends who are impacted in this way and it truly saddens me and that is why I wanted to bring it to light here. Photography is only what you make it out to be for yourself.

Understand this: photography isn't easy. There are no shortcuts. It's laden with frustration and disappointment, but it's also a labor of love. Yes, the barrier to entry for creating an image is extremely lowâ”just pick up any device capable of capturing an image and press a button. If that's as far as you want to take it, then by all means "snapshoot" away. I'll support you 100%.

There is one lesson I'm hoping you take away from this: true growth in photography, or in any craft or vocation, requires confidence in yourself and confidence in your ability to dust yourself off when you do fail, because you will. It also means that you have confidence to weed out the static and confidence to pursue meaningful growth from those you trust and who will give feedback that is both constructive and supportive and not laced with anything else.

If there is one concept that I am vehemently passionate about, it is sharing of work. I share my work because I believe that is how I infuse the last piece of soul into my image. I also share the anecdotes and technical details surrounding the creation of my images because I absolutely love teaching my techniques and giving away the farm. I don't share to get comments, +1s or Likes. They are most certainly appreciated but please understand that they aren't any sorts of driving forces for me. I share because I am a photographer and sharing is the elemental outcome of being a photographer.

I'd like to leave you with what my hope is that you'll take away from this post. Do you remember when I defined the word â˜Amateur' up above? It is a person who engages in a pursuit, and in this case, the pursuit is photography. What I'd like you to think about is â˜who are you pursuing photography for?' By determining the true answer to that question, I suspect you'll find your individualized path to artistic growth appear a bit more clearly.

And always remember: never stop shooting.

Thank you for your time.

You can see more of Brian’s work at BrianMatiash.com, and find him on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

BREAKING: The Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. LIVE Tour Lighting Kit is $100 off at B&H today only!

As mentioned this morning, we’ve been doing a short 5-minute broadcast at the top of each hour today starting at 10:00am Eastern. In each one, we’ve shared some of the best Cyber Monday deals for photographers we could find, including some great ones from KelbyTraining.com and NAPP :-)

Here’s the first video of the bunch (with links below it), and the rest after the jump:

http://youtu.be/ky3BywdtEBQ

Topaz 50% Off ALL PRODUCTS
https://www.topazlabs.com

500px.com
Cyber Monday Awesome account just $37.95 (normally $50).
https://500px.com/upgrade

B&H with LR 4 at $99 plus Matt’s DVD
http://bhpho.to/TqF5Dj

Kelby Training Online – $40 Off with promo code CYBERMON12
http://kelbytrainingonline.com

40% off SmugMug – must use code cybersmug
http://www.smugmug.com/

Tether Tools – 20% Off Wallee Gear for iPad
http://conta.cc/UXhWp3

Gelakins 20% off EVERYTHING
http://bit.ly/V2B9Wy

Kelly Moore Bags: $25 off any bag (use the code BLACKFRIDAY25).
http://kellymoorebag.com

(more…)

Just a reminder… We have a ton of crazy deals going on today through Monday, November 26! Check out everything below to score huge savings on KelbyTraining.com, NAPP, and Photoshop World and our Books and DVDs:

http://youtu.be/YK_cFj8sC0Y

Kelby Training Online (Our world-class online training for photographers)
NOTE: check out the free sample video above with sample clips from our online classes

> DEAL: $40 off Annual Subscription
(That’s just $159 for a full year, unlimited access. Just $139 for NAPP members)

> Use the Promo Code: CYBERMON12 

______________________________________________________________________

Kelby Training Books
(My Lightroom 4 book, my Photoshop CS6 book, Matt’s Photo Compositing Secrets, Corey’s Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers, RC’s The HDR Book, and many more).

DEAL: Take an additional 15% off + FREE Shipping

Use the Promo code: FREESHIP

______________________________________________________________________

 

Kelby Training Tutorial DVDs
(Matts Lightroom 4 Crash Course DVD, my Crush The Composition DVD, Matt’s Tack Sharp DVD on how to sharpen your images in Photoshop and many more).

 

DEAL: Take an additional 15% off + FREE Shipping

 

Use the Promo code: FREESH12

______________________________________________________________________

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS BUNDLE:
1-Year membership to the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP)
PLUS a 1-Year membership to Kelby Training Online BUNDLE DEAL

BUNDLE DEAL: You get BOTH for just $199 

> Use the Promo code: CYBER60

OR…..

New Member Deal: National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP)

> DEAL: You get 3 extra months + What's New in CS6 DVD [retail $49]

> Use the Promo code: CYBERNEW

OR…..

> Renewal Deal for Existing NAPP Members

> DEAL: Renew now and get 6 extra months free

> Use the Promo code: CYBERRENEW

> A Full Conference Pass to the Photoshop World Conference & Expo
(Orlando, Florida —  April 17-19, 2013)

> DEAL: Call in ONLY deal: Buy your conference pass and “Bring a Buddy” and their pass is just $299

> Use This Promo Code: CYBERPLUSONE

> Call (toll free) 800-738-8513 or 813-433-5005

OR….

> Online DEAL: Register now and Save an extra $50 + a Free Speed Pass

> Use This Promo Code Promo Code: CYBEREXTRA

http://vimeo.com/53617569

Four years ago we started this crazy idea of Help-Portrait. The concept was simple - find a person in need, take their picture, print it and deliver it. Our goal was to give photographers, stylists and friends "permission," so-to-speak, to use what they had in their hands to give back to the community.

The idea caught on quickly, thanks in no small part to Scott Kelby lending his platform for me to share this idea.

Help-Portrait is now a global volunteer effort that takes place each second Saturday in December. To date 20,000+ volunteers have given approximately 200,000 portraits to the less fortunate. We're doing it again this December 8th.

Then Hurricane Sandy hit, and I was reminded why we do this. Why we have to do this.

I was watching the telethon after the superstorm and nor'easter wrecked New York City and the East Coast. Every person interviewed said something to the effect of, out of everything they lost, what they most wanted back was their pictures.

It's heartbreaking to know thousands of memories documented by priceless pieces of paper are forever destroyed, lost and ruined from this storm. It adds insult to injury for families who've lost much, and maybe all.

And it happens all over the world with regularity now. Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, tsunamis and earthquakes know no ethnic, regional or economic boundary. Disasters aren't limited to natural causes either.

Even though hearing the stories and seeing the photos of these disasters can sometimes be overwhelming, or worse, emotionally numbing, I know that we can make a difference.

After watching the pain on the faces of Hurricane Sandy victims, I knew Help-Portrait was made to respond to disasters like these. While lost photos can't be replaced, new family portraits can symbolize strength today and infuse hope for tomorrow.

So we're starting with Hurricane Sandy, and positioning ourselves to mobilize the global community to respond to future events.

Our teams on the ground in New York and across the U.S. are planning Help-Portrait events for those who've been hit hardest by Sandy. We're hoping this will lead to funding that will allow us to replicate our response efforts around the globe.

Here's how you can join us.

We're launching a fundraising campaign with a goal of $160,000 so we can provide relief for at least 150 families with care packages valued at more than $1,000 - ideally we'd really like to raise $200,000 and reach 200 families. In several events in December, the main one on December 15, we'll provide free professional portraits and hair & makeup to families and individuals in some of the hardest-hit communities. We'll also give them cameras and equipment to capture and digitally preserve their new memories.

We'll give relief supplies, gift cards to major retailers and necessities, and other gifts, like tickets and transportation to a Broadway play. Pampering these folks for an afternoon may feel frivolous but this is about more than a handout and a gift bag - it's about restoring one's dignity, reminding them of their worth and giving them a tangible symbol of hope and a fresh start. A picture can do that.

Will you help us?

Donate here: http://www.indiegogo.com/HelpPortraitSandy

We have a ton of crazy deals going on today through Monday, November 26! Check out everything below to score huge savings on KelbyTraining.com, NAPP, and Photoshop World:

KelbyTraining.com
$40 off Annual Subscription
Promo Code: CYBERMON12 

 

Kelby Training Books
15% off + Free Shipping
Promo code: FREESHIP

 

Kelby Training DVDs
15% off + Free Shipping
Promo code: FREESH12

 

NAPP & KelbyTraining.Com - Join Or Renew
Combine both for only $199
Promo Code: CYBER60

 

NAPP - Join
3 extra months + What's New in CS6 DVD
Promo code: CYBERNEW

 

NAPP - Renew
6 extra months free
Promo code: CYBERRENEW

 

Photoshop World - Orlando
Call in ONLY: Bring a Buddy for $299
Promo Code: CYBERPLUSONE
800-738-8513 

Online: Save an extra $50 + a Free Speed Pass
Promo Code: CYBEREXTRA

http://youtu.be/l3c0lYRo1CU

Lightroom 4 Live
Matt Kloskowski is heading north to Toronto on November 26 with his Lightroom 4 Live Tour! Come join Matt for the day as he takes you through all the most powerful and useful features of Lightroom. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to make your images look great and quickly get back behind the camera!

Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It – On A Budget with Hot Shoe Flash
Just starting out with photography and want to add lighting to your shots? Scott Kelby has you covered with his latest Kelby Training class, Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It – On A Budget with Hot Shoe Flash! In this class Scott shows you how you can get started with an affordable lighting rig, what settings to use, and how to process the images in Lightroom and Photoshop. And, as usual, he does all of this in his easy to understand teaching style.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a 1-Month subscription to KelbyTraining.com!

The Grid – Is There Money in Photography?
Yesterday The Grid was 200% more international with guests Glyn Dewis (from England) and Serge Ramelli (from France)! These gents joined Matt Kloskowski for a discussion on Is There Money in Photography? They had a great talk on the difference between photography as a hobby and photography as a business, plus answered viewer questions on getting started. You can check it out on Kelby TV later today, and check out Glyn and Serge’s work in the meantime!

Terry White’s Holiday Gift Guide App
Looking for the perfect gift for the gadget geek in your life? Terry White has put together his 2012 Holiday Gift Guide, and this year it’s a FREE app! You can read all about it over at Terry’s Tech Blog, or just go grab it straight from the iTunes Store.

Running to Raise Money for Hurricane Sandy Relief
Matt Kloskowski’s brother is running the length of the entire state of New Jersey (220 miles) over 3 days to help raise funds and awareness for the relief efforts. Here’s a quick story about it if you’d like to help out.

Winners
Photoshop CS6 for Photographers in Washington DC
– Joe P

Kelby Training Book & DVD
– Roger Dallman

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

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