Posts By Brad Moore

Hey street photographers! Brad Moore here with some info on a contest you might be interested in…

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts is holding their third International Photo Competition, and their theme for this one is Focus on Street Photography. They’ve also asked Scott Kelby to be the judge for the competition!

The deadline for entries is tomorrow, August 31, so click here to find out more about the competition and prizes (including $500 for Best In Show)!

Image by Eric Barth

"Embrace risk. That is the key to improving at anything. Without the willingness to go down the uncharted path, you will not learn, you will not improve, and you will not grow. This might sound a little preachy, but it is a life lesson I have learned again and again as a climber, a mountaineer, and a freelance photographer. Safety is an illusion. Get over it. You cannot control everything in this world. I have learned to learn from my mistakes because I learn more from my mistakes than I do from my successes. When I make a mistake I own up to it, and then plot how to avoid making that mistake again. Making a mistake is just part of the learning experience. It makes me aware of certain possibilities and outcomes. Sometimes it is only by making a mistake that you stumble onto an unexpected result, or image in this case, and by analyzing that mistake, you can create a whole new look.

Creative people need risk to "break on through" to the next level; here I am making a reference to one of The Doors' most popular songs. The musical group creatively pushed the envelope, were unconventional (in the extreme), and took chances with their music and lyrics. I use the band as an example only to make the point that if you can't embrace risk, your images will never be more than mediocre. And that is a sure way to underachieve.

Red Bull is a company that embraces risk and asks their photographers to do the same. I had only nine seconds total to capture the action for this B.A.S.E. jumping assignment. In this image, Jon DeVore of the Red Bull Air Force Team, is leaping off a 3,200-foot cliff in southwestern Utah in his wingsuit. I was hanging over the edge of the cliff just next to Jon as he jumped. I wore a climbing harness and was attached to three small bushes that might have held my weight but I never fully committed my weight on the rope.

As a climber, a mountaineer, and an adventurer, I implore you to get out and experience your own adventures. They might just be the best motivator for your photography. Stepping out of your comfort zone provides everyone with a chance to grow. The next step is to take the knowledge you have learned and put it into practice repeatedly and as often as possible. Dare to fail. Aim high. Dream up an image you want to create and then go out and try to create it. If you don't get the result you want, try again and again until you do. Practice makes perfect, or at least in photography it makes your images better. Get inspired, get motivated, and get moving. That is the key to photography.”

The three paragraphs above are from my most recent book, Exposed: Inside the Life and Images of a Pro Photographer. They sum up my credo as an adventure sports photographer. Over the last sixteen years, I have pursued my craftâ”and my professionâ”with a fervent passion. I have also been fortunate to work with clients such as Nikon, Apple, Adobe, Red Bull, National Geographic, Outside, Men's Journal, and Sports Illustrated. I have crafted an adventurous lifestyle that has allowed me to witness and document some truly remarkable feats of physical prowess.

The cover of my latest book, “Exposed: Inside the Life and Images of a Pro Photographer"

In this blog post, I want to encourage you to â˜embrace risk' and invite adventure into your life and your photography. I am not advising that anyone take huge risks physically, but a â˜willingness to go down the uncharted path' and explore those things that make you uncomfortable will open up a whole new world. As an example, I will share a bit of my story and how taking on a new sport changed my life in a way I never could have imagined.

In my last year of studying physics at the University of Texas at Austin, I took a weekend rock climbing course through the outdoor recreation program. I was a shy kid. I lacked self-confidenceâ”and I was a little afraid of the risks involved in rock climbing. But I hadâ”and still haveâ”an inclination to run headlong into situations I find challenging. Little did I know at the time, but that rock climbing course would be the start of a whole new career.

Over the next few years I became obsessed with climbing in all its forms: rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering. As I gained confidence in my skills as a climber I also gained confidence in myself. When I was a teenager I had explored photography as part of my art studies. It was climbing that brought me back to photography and it was the confidence I gained through climbing that gave me the courage to pursue a career as an adventure sports photographer. I started out shooting rock climbing, then branched out into just about every other adventure sport.

In this image, Chris Sharma is hanging from the biggest hold on this very difficult climb while "Deep Water Soloing" in Mallorca, Spain. This image was shot early on in my career while on assignment for Men's Journal. And yes, he is not wearing a harness or a rope. Deep Water Soloing is a form of rock climbing where you climb solo without a rope and if you fall the water catches you. I am hanging next to Sharma on a rope to get the shot.

In the beginning, I shot everything "on spec," meaning I went out and created the images and then licensed them to various magazines and climbing companies after the fact. This was, and still is, a risky way of doing business. I never knew where my next paycheck was coming from or when it would show up. My first big break was an assignment for Men's Journal shooting rock climbing in Mallorca, Spain. That came to me about five years into my career. My second big break was an assignment to shoot freeriding (a cousin of mountain biking) for the first version of Adobe Lightroom. After that assignment, advertising and editorial assignments started to come more frequently and with increasing regularity.

I don't want to give the impression that my career was a joyride on easy streetâ”just the opposite, it was a constant struggle to make it work. Working as a freelance photographer involves an insane amount of hard work, stress and risk. For me, that risk was both physical, as an adventure photographer, and financial. Many of my early climbing trips were sponsored by VISA and MASTERCARD, both of which were stored safely in my wallet. It took me years to pay off those climbing trips and my camera gear but to this day I don't regret it one bit. I certainly don't recommend using your credit cards to fund your business adventure but at the time I had no other options.

Above is an image of YouTube superstar Danny MacAskill that was shot for Red Bull. Working with Danny was a supreme pleasure and his story is incredibly inspiring. His story is a perfect example of a motivated, and extremely talented individual, showing what they are capable of and reaping the benefits of being able to show that to the world, via YouTube.

Even now, sixteen years later, I can't tell you exactly where my income will come from six or more months from now. I have to have faith that, like the last sixteen years, the assignments and the work will come to me. This certainly isn't the job for anyone that wants some vestige of financial security in the form of a steady job. But for me, the rewards of this job are that I am able to see and create images of stupendous feats of bravery in the outdoors. My life of risk has also allowed me to follow my passions to places I never thought I would ever visit and being able to share these adventures with the world, through my clients, is a great pleasure.

It is only by pursuing risk on a continual basis that my career has grown, and blossomed into what it is today. I still seek out challenging assignments, new sports and even new genres of photography. I still long for that next adventure. If I don't have an adventure on the horizonâ”something to look forward toâ”I start to get a little stir-crazy. I am not an adrenaline junkie, as so many "extreme" athletes are labeled. I am just addicted to having adventures.

One of my latest passions is capturing the dynamic sport of surfing. This image of pro-surfer Dylan Longbottom surfing a barrel at Teahupo'o was shot in Tahiti specifically for my book Exposed.

When I wrote Exposed last year, I had serious doubts about the topics covered in the book and if they would be of interest to anyone at all. The idea to write about the realities of working as a professional photographer, the stories behind the images and detailing how a handful of my images were created was hashed out prior to starting the book with Ted Waitt, an editor at Peachpit. I wanted to be extremely open and honest about my experiences as a pro photographer including all of the embarrassing moments so that the reader could see how I got from A to B to C.

As an example of hard work, creating this image of professional rock climber Timy Fairfield involved lugging over 200-pounds of lighting gear and equipment up into the cave in 98-degree heatâ”not to mention that fact that Timy still had to climb this difficult route in very tough conditions.

When the first few reviews of Exposed came in a few months ago I was amazed. The reviews were well beyond anything I had imagined. Yet again, taking a risk paid off.

It is my hope that this blog post will at the very least make you sit up and think about how you can add some adventure to your life and inspire your photography. Embracing risk may not be easy, and it may not be pleasant, but it will certainly make life interestingâ”and interesting often makes for phenomenal photographs.

While shooting an assignment for Men's Fitness with the Henry 1 Search and Rescue team in Santa Rosa, California, I saw the opportunity for this image and had only twenty minutes to create it. This image was only possible because of the digital preview available on the rear LCD of my Nikon camera, which allowed me to refine the lighting in a matter of minutes.

Thank you to Scott, Brad and the gang at Kelby Media for asking me to write a guest blog post. It is a great honor to be included among the wonderful photographers here on Scott's blog. And thank you for taking the time to read this guest blog post.

If you would like to read more about the adventures behind my images and how they were created please check out my book, Exposed: Inside the Life and Images of a Pro Photographer.

You can see more of Michael's work at, keep up with him on his blog, and find him on Facebook and Twitter. Michael also produces a quarterly newsletter, which is a mini PDF-magazine that details his latest adventures, and includes news updates, equipment reviews and other articles on various topics related to the photo industry. If you would like to sign up to receive the newsletter send him an email. You can check out back issues of the Newsletter on his website here.

You can also get 35% off Michael’s book by using the code KMCLARK at the Peachpit Store!

Photoshop World
Photoshop World Vegas is less than two weeks away! I can almost see Joe McNally’s speedlights firing, hear Alan Hess’s shutter clicking as Big Electric Cat rocks his pre-con, and hear Jay Maisel dropping f-bombs as he wows the crowd with his beautiful work and sharp sense of humor… Don’t miss this opportunity to hang out with the instructors you love!

This will be your last chance to win a full-conference pass from Free Stuff Thursdays, so leave a comment for your chance to be the lucky winner!

Kelby Training Live
All three of the Kelby Training Live tours are on the road this coming week!

First up is the Lightroom 4 Live seminar with Matt Kloskowski TOMORROW, August 24 in Seattle! It’s not too late to register, which you can do right here.

Then, Joe McNally is bringing his One Light, Two Light tour to Portland on Monday, August 27.

And last but certainly not least, is Scott Kelby’s Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Tour on Wednesday, August 29 in Denver!

You can get all the details for these and upcoming dates at
Head over to Kelby Training to check out the latest class from Rick Sammon, LIGHT: The Main Element in Every Photograph! In this class, Rick discusses the importance of knowing light and using it to make the most impact in your photographs. He even discusses how our cameras and lenses react to and record light, then talks about controlling light in our images.

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

Last Week’s Winners
One Light, Two Light Seminar
– David Pino

Photoshop World Pre-Conference Workshop
– rjhoughton

Photoshop CS6 Seminar
– Gordon

We’ll be in touch soon regarding your prizes. And keep scrolling down to the next post for an announcement/guest post from Bill Fortney!

Having It All!

How can I have it all? Well, you must first determine what "all" is! For many of us, as photographers, we want to be successful! But then again, what is success? The first thing that comes to mind is fame and fortune; you are well known and respected as photographer, and you make boat loads of money with your images! Please allow me to pull rank on you. At 66 years of age, I've learned a great deal about these questions, and more importantly, the answers! Let me share some thoughts with you.

Let's start with fame. I hate to burst your bubble, but there are no famous photographers. Now I didn't say that some photographers are not well known, some certainly are, but mostly among other photographers. It's what is called positional fame. If you were an auto mechanic who has been named America's Top Mechanic three of the last four years, you certainly would be well known among mechanics, just not to the general public! It is the same for us, we may reach a measure of recognition among our peers, but the general public has no idea who we are. Elvis was famous, the Beatles are famous, Brad Pitt is famous. As photographers we can never hope to get that kind of attention, and I say great! Would you really want to wear a disguise to go out to dinner to keep from being recognized and hounded by the paparazzi? I bet you're saying no!

O.K. so we have settled the fame business, how about fortune? Well if you find a way to become incredibly wealthy being a photographer, let me know!! Can you make a good living as a photographer? Sure, but only a handful of photographers have ever gone on to become millionaires on the strength of their work. So it would seem that both of those are goals not worthy of our time and effort. That leaves us with the task of redefining success.

Let me share with you my definition of success:
"To love and be loved, to have a purpose, goals, and aspirations that lead to a better life for those around me. To laugh a lot, smile even more, and enjoy the greatest gifts God has given me; faith, fellowship, peace, and joy!"

In the summer of 2012 I find myself smack dab in the middle of that definition. As I prepare to retire from my full time job, I'm starting another stage in my life, that of being a full time, servant of Christ! What does this have to do with photography!?

Photography is my vocation and avocation, and I love to share it. I love to teach and fellowship with others that have a love for this craft. I also have given my life completely to Jesus Christ, and my service to Him is to love others as He loves them!

I'm so excited because the rest of my life will be dedicated to sharing these two great passions with those that will allow me to be a part of their lives. Now I've actually been doing that for a long time, but with a new workshop company I've started, it will have an official home. A couple of years ago I started a company called His Light Workshops, and soon after took on a great friend, and wonderful photographer, Jim Begley as my partner in the venture. Jim is not only a world class photographer specializing in HDR, he's also a great Christian brother with the same goals as mine, to reach out in His name.

His Light Workshops will be a place where people who want to learn how to become a better photographers, can do so, in a faith based environment. I've run photography workshops for many years, eleven of those years as the director and founder of the Great American Photography Workshops. I'm very proud to say that the GAPW had one of the highest approval ratings from our customers of all the workshop series of it's time. The formula was simple, give people great instruction, from gifted leaders, in beautiful locations, have a lot of fun, and make the workshops a great value!

His Light starts where the GAPW ended, except we now have added the most important component, sharing Christ's love!  We've now run workshops in a half dozen locations and the big difference is not only do we get calls and emails from our Guests thanking us for a great learning experience, we also get a lot of messages that say, "It was a life changing experience!" That has been Jim's and my goal from the start and with each new workshop, more and more people are finding not only increased photographic skills but also a stronger, deeper, and more meaningful purpose for their lives.

We've been joined by such great photographers and leaders as Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and RC Concepcion. Many other wonderful photographers will be joining us in the future to share their vast knowledge and faith. Next year, Dr. Charles Stanley, well known pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, will join us for a fall workshop, and Country/Bluegrass Legend, and 14 times Grammy Winner, Ricky Skaggs will be our guest leader when we do a His Light Americana Workshop in Nashville, Tennessee! I'm so excited because we've met so many great people at our workshops and many have become fantastic friends, and new brothers and sisters!

For the eleven years I headed up the GAPW, I drove over 70,000 miles a year to every major national park, many, more than once per year. It has made it so easy to plan and run these great new workshops after such a wealth of experience around the national park system. What a blessing that has been!

The next workshop will be in Page, Arizona and will feature RC Concepcion as our leader!  RC will teach on social media for photographers, how to create stunning websites, (he created mine!) and will also teach from his great book on HDR! He will be joined by myself, Jim Begley and our field team, John "Snake" Barrett and Chuck Barnes. We will shoot in such great locations as Lower Antelope Slot Canyon, Horseshow Bend, Toadstool Rocks,Paria Wilderness area and other great locations around the beautiful Lake Powell and  Escalante Basin. We'll also have a dinner at the famous Paria Wilderness BBQ camp! Limited space is still available for this workshop November 7-11. It will be preceded with a optional 4 day whirlwind tour of  Monument Valley (full day with Navajo guides), Lower Antelope Slot Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park! *Very limited space still available in the tour.

So back to where we started, I've got it all!  God has provided a wonderful way for me to help support my family, have a blast in the company of great people, learn daily to be a better photographer, and more importantly to deepen my walk with Him!  You can have the fame and fortune,  He has made me a very wealthy man already!

Bill Fortney

For more information about His Light Workshops and Bill Fortney please visit and

I’d love to start by saying thanks to Scott and Brad for the opportunity to share. Its quite an honor to be in the midst of such great people on this blog,but also a great challenge because so many great things have already been said here!

I never planned on being a photographer. I never went to school for photography and never really spent much time assisting. Its still sometimes shocking to me that this is where I ended up. I grew up with a heavy fine art background so it was not rare to see my brother and I spending time on the weekends or after school, painting, drawing or creating. In college, I majored in painting and honestly had no clue where it would lead me career wiseâ¦. but I loved it. I was obsessed with art. The culture, the history, the respect. It wasn’t until my senior year studying that I stumbled across photography.

Out of college I got a job at a great design firm in Orange County. It was a new world to say the least. I approached ‘digital art’ in a very primitive way, letting my technological skills catch up to what I saw in my head and wanted to create. It was very foreign to me but I enjoyed the challenge and the pace. I picked up photography simply to aid in my design work. Doing what most do when they begin, I shot textures, abstractions and various macro types. After my time at the design firm I was submerged in a world of art meeting commerce. I fell in love with the idea that an image could be beautiful and help attract towards something⦠a brand or a statement. It was powerful and at that point I knew what I wanted to spend my time creating. The rest has been a wild ride.

I’ll keep it short and sweet but I wanted to spend the few moments talking about being an artist. I figure most people reading this are in the industry or wanting to break into it, so this is geared to all of us. There is no doubt that this industry is incredibly hard to break into and if you don’t keep creating, you will disappear in a sea of heavy competition. I know for some of us its daunting to think about. What I charge you with today is to be an artist. I know that seems silly but I hear too many people jump into this industry for the wrong reasons and spend their time focusing on the wrong things. My buddy Nick Onken has always said this so well. You have to “live your passion”. As working artists or some that hope to be making a living creating, we have to be obsessed with the art. You have to find what ‘fills’ you as an artist and fight to keep that. I do this in a few ways.

Coming from a painting background, I have spent a lot of time with 3 elements: Tone, Form and Light.

These are things that painters and photographers have in common and they are worth getting obsessed about. I often get questions about post production and editing and I wish I had fancy answers for everyone, but I simply use inspiration that is out of the photography world. This is a fun exercise and I encourage you all to try it.

For example, I was shooting a recent fashion story and was so inspired by the pigments of a recent Edgar Payne exhibit, that I found myself toning my images as if they were his paintings. Did the skies need more yellow? Did the skin tones need more greens? Is my lighting carving out the shadows enough?  These questions only came about because I was inspired by those simple things: Tone, Form and Light. I spend a lot of time and energy studying art because I think it makes a difference in my work. If we aren’t fighting for that creative ‘fill’ I have a hard time believing our work will be competitive enough in this industry. It takes that obsession I was mentioning. I want to encourage you to take an art history class or a painting class. You will be surprised how it affects your photography.

The last few years have been really fun. I work primarily in fashion and advertising so its always scratching that itch I have for where art and commerce meet. I am continually trying new lighting techniques, creating new personal work and learning the business of a modern day photographer. Thanks for reading⦠go create.

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

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally in Miami
Want to see the magical unicorn of lighting himself, live in Miami? Join Joe McNally this Monday, August 20 for five hours to see how to make the most out of one and two lights and get amazing results! Here are just a few of the things attendees are saying about this seminar:

“Joe was funny, entertaining and full of amazing insights and information. I would highly recommend his seminar to anyone!”

“I wish Joe could have had another day of training with us. I learned a lot about my speed light. I learned way more than I thought I would. I just wanted to keep it going.”

“Joe gives a lot of "why" behind the "what". His explanations are brilliant, honest, and effective.”

You can sign up at, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket! I’ll pick a winner tomorrow.

Photoshop World
We’re just three weeks away from Photoshop World Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino! Join us September 5-7 for an exciting, fun-filled, potentially life-changing event. Have you seen The Hangover? Yeah, it probably won’t get that crazy, but we still have a good time and learn a lot about Photoshop and photography!

If you register in the next week, leave a comment for your chance to get a free pass to a pre-conference workshop (that still has availability)!

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Seminars
Scott Kelby is bringing the Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Tour to Sacramento next Wednesday, August 22, then heading to Denver a week later on August 29! Join Scott for a full day of all the essentials photographers need to know to make the most of the latest version of Photoshop. But, don’t worry if you’re not completely up to date… You’ll be able to follow along just fine if you have Photoshop CS4 or later.

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

Win an Epson Stylus Photo R3000 from Kelby Training!
That right, Epson and Kelby Training have teamed up to give away a Stylus Photo R3000 printer to one lucky winner! All you have to do is go to and enter your information for a chance to win. Simple as that!

If you’re a Kelby Training subscriber, make sure you check out The Art of the Black & White Print, which features the R3000. And check out this review of the printer from RC Concepcion:

Last Week’s Winners
1-Month Kelby Training Subscription
– Gbeliera

Kelby Training Live Seminar Tickets
– Susan Koppel
– Rachael May
– Shawn Highfill

Photoshop World Pro Pass Upgrade
– Linsey

We’ll be in touch soon with details on your prizes. Congratulations!