Posts By Brad Moore

Hi Gang: I asked our team for as good a deal as we’ve EVER offered on our annual online training subscription plan and this weekend only (until this Sunday night, July 1st at 12:00 Midnight ET), you can take $50.00 off.

That’s right — hundreds of online classes on Photoshop, Photography, Lightroom and Lighting taught by the best instructors in the world (from Joe McNally to Ben Willmore; from Joel Grimes to Cliff Mautner, from “The Photoshop Guys” to Jeremy Cowart and a who’s who of the industry’s best teachers), all for around .50¢ a class. That is just insane!!!

Here’s the link with all the details and where you can get started learning online.

Just use the code KTSKB712 at the checkout to subscribe for only $149.00.

Psst… Hey NAPP members… You still get an extra $20 off, so you can subscribe or renew for just $129.00!! Remember — this is one of  my blog’s “This weekend only deals” so….it’s for this weekend only!

Dave Black’s Lightpainting: Illuminating Models
“Light will set you apart.” That’s what Dave Black said when I asked what advice he had for up and coming photographers a few months ago. Fittingly, he was in town to film his latest Kelby Training class, Lightpainting: Illuminating Models.

In his latest class, Dave walks you through the steps and technical details of lightpainting with people to help you avoid common mistakes and create unique, captivating images!

Photoshop World Las Vegas
Starting this Sunday, look out for the NAPP/Photoshop World “Big Bang Blowout Deals!” We can’t divulge too much yet, but we’ll have some great offers related to NAPP and Photoshop World Las Vegas.

Also, just in time for the 4th of July, we’ll be bringing back our Gimme 4! promotion, with four great registration offers for Photoshop World!

Joe McNally’s One Light, Two Light Tour
Look out Canada, the magical unicorn of lighting is invading! That’s right, Joe McNally is bringing his One Light, Two Light seminar tour to Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal next week.

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

GoingPro with Scott Bourne & Skip Cohen – Coming To DVD!
For a limited time, you can pre-order GoingPro – The Podcasts with Scott Bourne and Skip Cohen for just $29.95 (plus $8.50 S&H)! Scott and Skip have put over 28 hours of their popular podcast with guests like Matthew Jordan Smith, Tamara Lackey, Joe Brady and more on DVD.

The DVD should be ready to ship on or before August 1. After the special intro price, it’ll be $49.95 (plus $8.50 S&H), so order your copy now! Or, leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy :)

Last Week’s Winners
These lucky five people won copies of Ben Willmore’s The Fine Art of Painting with Light:
- R. Ruiz
– Allen Butte
– Scott Purdin
– Marilyn Jeffers
-  Crangel02

Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson in Portland, Maine, via disposable camera

Under a fire escape in Brooklyn across from Prospect Park, looking up at what seems to be unending row of century-old brownstones â” this is where I come to think, to reflect, to rest â” to imagine.  I guess I'll never be able to have that thumbing through B&H Catalogs or lusting through the aisles of Calumet.

This is not a post about gear or Photoshop tricks or a wide angle lens for your iPhone. In fact, I actually avoid gear talk unless absolutely necessary. I want to know how to create compelling images, how to properly capture beautiful scenes and portraits, but ultimately, I don't necessarily want to know how someone else did.

I want to know that you made something beautiful; that you contributed to the collective whole, that you are spending your time to make a difference â” to enlighten, to edify, to redeem, and to make the world more whole. But I don't necessarily need you to ruin the mystery of the process that preceded it. I know this is a place I potentially risk a credibility loss, but I'm a bit more comfortable with that than I once was.

When more of my time was occupied by making music than anything  visual, I loved gear. I loved to think that a hand-wired Class-A Greenback AC30 was my access point, finally, to my secret garden of personal sound. That it would give me my particular  "voice."

To disrupt the idiom, hindsight isn't 20/20 â” it's somewhere closer 20/16 (if glasses taught me anything). And when you have enough separate creative processes (print design, some web work,, photography, videography, writing, music, sound) interrupting your professional career like I have in the last half-decade, an objective, comparative study is much easier to initiate. Of course there's a technical competency (and years of sweat and blood in practice) involved in creating anything of value, but I'm reacting against the idea that the argument goes both ways.

Music has always been an important part of my life. Mom sang in the choir when I grew up, and early on had me doing the same. Dad was a trumpet player and had studied performance at the university. In 9th Grade, he taught me how to play a G chord, along with the sustained hammer-on Bob Dylan adds redundantly under his harmonica drone.

I didn't take guitar lessons (save a few jazz chord introductions years later), on a blind effort (even the blindness itself was blind) my own sense of direction, my particular taste, and really what I could accomplish with a few triads.

My vision for making music was of course constrained by the parameters of physical ability and mere mental understanding of music theory, but what didn't propel me was a desire to remain within parameters and discover new meanings insideâ” what propelled me was the desire for the dissolution of parameters, and to know what could be possible outside the walls. Parameters kept me moving forward because what exploration meant was overcoming them. It was about imagining new musical worlds â” worlds that were specifically mine.

What I don't have is any tips about upgrading your lens arsenal (i.e. whether the II series is better than the I), Manfrotto vs. Gitzo, my 35 foot Profoto Octabox, firmware updates, or even how much I love photography, because honestly I love photography a lot less than what led me into using a camera in the first place.

I also have no intention of providing anything profound or revolutionary or subversive as advice. What I hope to provide is why I do what I do (regardless of whether or not you even know what that is), and how it is one of the few static pieces of my life. The methods change, the parameters always move with the process, but the motive is what I hope to show as the highest importance.

Why is our world beautiful, and what are we supposed to do about it?
Why is our world ugly, and what are we supposed to do about it?

"We need imagination to cope with that." –N.T. Wright

What is higher in our value system? Is it the ability to technically light, execute, and digitally process a photograph, the ability to illustrate with the pen tool in Illustrator, the capacity to assemble a complex 30-minute Final Cut Timeline in a half day?

Or is it more important that we have inability?  To admit that struggle is real, and must be overcome somehow â” and to allow that to be fuel for what we create.

I've been thinking quite a bit about imagination lately, and what it is I'm doing to actually strengthen my own, and, what it actually exists for. A big question I have is, am I becoming more human â” more whole â” and adding anything to the collective consciousness â” by using my own brand and cultivating it and, begging it to grow.

The inverse question is this: am I only watering it down by consuming information, things, and buying into the myth that more makes more; as, finally, an entry point into success; believing that success is not about imagination or concepts or my family but about money and getting published and having a cool portfolio and rubbing shoulders.

I read a book called War of Art by Steven Pressfield not too long ago. My reaction to it was as crippling as everyone else's: I was convicted. I was mad at myself. I was guilty. I was guilted into wanting to become better because I was apparently far too lazy for anyone's good. I was so ready to do more stuff. Into typing more words into an email. And I was creating in the way that I consumed. And my work was more prolific, but it was getting worse qualitatively.

Although innocent and motivating as literature, it was compounding what prevented me from doing my best work, and from seeking the one thing that actually is uniquely me, and my vision: imagining.

I posted the question I've been thinking about the last month on Twitter a few nights ago. "What disciplines are you cultivating to strengthen your imagination?" The question was multi-faceted, as most things are. Here's how I would break it down this way into its hierarchical forms:

Do you believe imagination is important?
Do you have a vision for the world as it ought to be?
Are you scared of what's not completely apparent and in need of discovery?
Are you imagining anything at all?
What is it like to imagine?
How are you working to imagine better â” more fully?

Of course the spirit in which it was said was rhetorical, and ultimately I have been asking myself these things, and hoping others would as well.

This is the starting point for why any of us do what we do. This work is not about who can wield a camera better than another. The point is, are your ideas original? Are they repeated concepts? Are you making anything new? Are you working to make the world new? How can we imagine that new world, and what opportunity do each of us individually and collectively have in it?

Why is the world beautiful, and what do we do about it?
Why is the world ugly, and what do we do about it?

We need imagination.

The past five years have been characterized by a certain healthy struggle that I think any freelancer can describe, and that description is that this entire thing is paradox. The ultimate freedom of it and the complete necessity for self-erected boundaries; the need for cosmos and the need for chaos and how they duel and how they go hand in hand. The war of Chronos (sequential time) and Kairos (appointed time), and how both are needed and both are enemies and both are allies and they are enemies and they are allies and so on.

Long story short, I began my time as an adult in New York as a musician, which transferred into a broader role doing a confluence of visual and aural creative projects, back into print design (where I developed the love for the creative process not too dissimilar from music), on into photography (I began freelancing in 2007), and now into film, which I think closes the circle of my love for narrative, for imagination, and how to express that in ways that actually makes a difference in the lives of people, and leaves the earth a more whole place. I have no mislead awareness that I'm actually achieving that high thing, but it doesn't elude my thoughts.

Recently I finished the largest project I've ever taken on alone. When I moved back to New York at the beginning of the year, my vision was in film (or really simply, video) and in the broader/specific (more paradox!) way film allows you to explore every facet of human experience like no other form allows (not a bad mark on any other trade).  I decided in March to take on a series of eight commercials for a company based in Manhattan specializing in a type of boutique bags, 8 in sum, featuring a number of New York creative professionals, all who use a camera to accomplish their unique, storytelling vision.

It was a monster of a project that took months of pre-production and scheduling and rentals and permits and cars, and even now the pieces to me aren't incredibly stunning, and I often question the difference they make for society. However, it reminded me that imagination must be cultivated, and that the parameters for it are real, and the choices we make daily to work and create something new and interesting and affective must be rooted in hard work, consistency, and rhythm.

Wake up at 5:30am. Make a french press. Sit down and write for hours. Make a French Press. Sit down and write for hours.

Any author will tell you the importance of force in work. Inspiration doesn't arrive with consistency. Inspiration doesn't build itself under your fingers into a wall of bricks. It's wind, and we have to be like flags.

One of the most difficult aspects of being a freelancer is the decisions about how to best use the time commodity. What is it for? Who is it for? The ultimate question being, What is actually valuable and noble, and how do I, in this particular context, with these particular social, historical, creative, and technical skills embody that?

Via Media is a particular line of thought I hope to subscribe to consistently.

At the University, we learned about the concept in the context of Christianity â” that in all the dissension and splits in the church history, that certain sects  held to a philosophy of the "middle way" or "everything in balance."  I do believe everything about our existence is intended for balance and harmony, but it wasn't until I began this solitary journey into a freelance creative professional (or whatever language category is needed to feel comfortable) that I really began to understand its necessity.

Freelancing really is about paradox, choice, and value, and the balance of those things alongside people, and time. And without that understanding, I wouldn't be able to ask the question about how I'm supposed to imagine a better world â” particularly a better me. I would be tossed and turned by the thousands of impulses and external factors that effect each day (especially in New York â” phew). Without my own choice each day to wake up, turn on the coffee water to boil, and get my hands dirty with work, no work would be done, and I would not afford rent, and I'd be fishing somewhere on the coast of Texas (which sounds pretty great until about week three I imagine).

I think it's very important to understand our own fears, our own struggles, and how they are opportunities for imagination.

I tend to have a fear of being one-dimensional. Of lacking balance; of becoming too focused on one thing that all the others lose their importance in my life. Of not understanding the beauty and complexity of a person, a situation, or an idea. I can let myself decay in it, leading to a low self-esteem and admittance to the ultimate inability to achieve that perfect ideal, or I can use this to work hard to understand, to represent, and to create things that are multifaceted that not only help others, but that work to make the world whole.

My final thought is not a thought as much as it is a question I ask myself every day â” what am I doing to make the world better (I know it sounds lofty), and what can I practically do in my own rhythms and practices to work toward that?

How do I work to strengthen my imagination so that I can better perceive of a world that ought to be, and what role do I have in that as a person â” whether or not I'm a photographer?

Being creative is about being more fully human, and imagining is about incarnating that.

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

Photoshop World Las Vegas
This summer, take advantage of this special offer for Photoshop World Las Vegas… If you register now and sign up for pre-conference workshop, you can get a free Kelby Training DVD! Plus, by signing up now, you save $100.

Don’t miss out on all the exciting fun (like you see in the video above), sign up now!

Fay Sirkis Webcast
Fay Sirkis is back for the second part of her Portraits with Passion webcast, Senior Portraits. This is only available to NAPP Members, so head over to to check it out!

Sallee School Live
Check out JB Sallee and Joe Buissink LIVE on tour for Sallee School this Summer! They’re heading to Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and a bunch of other cities. And, just for readers of this blog, you can use the code Kelby to get in for only $49!

Rick Sammon’s Social Media Marketing for Photographers App
Rick Sammon has released his 10th app: Social Media Marketing for Photographers! For $9.99, you get 60 minutes of advice on growing your business through social media.

If you’re an early bird, use one of these four codes to get the app for free from the iTunes store!





The Fine Art of Painting with Light from Ben Willmore
Ben Willmore
just released his first eBook which is called The Fine Art of Painting with Light. This 94-page $9.97 PDF eBook is available at along with a free sample PDF that has enough information to get you started on your first light painting.

Leave a comment for your chance to win one of five free copies!

Last Week’s Winners
Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Seminar
– Scott ONeal

Lightroom 4 Live Seminar
– Steve Saragian

One Light, Two Light Seminar
- Thomas Elthom

Photoshop World Las Vegas
– Miriam

NAPP Membership (1-year)
– Joe Crusso

Greetings & Salutations!!!

Scott’s blog is a great repository of inspiring stories written by creative professionals, and I’m honored to be here on guest blog Wednesday. Thank you to Brad for inviting me, and thank you Scott for letting me share with your readers.

A few months ago I attended Photoshop World in Washington DC. It was great to have so many folks approach me, tell me how much they enjoyed my workshops, and that they appreciated my style as an instructor. It’s crazy the things people wanted to talk about such as why I go by my initials instead of my name, or how I shot a particular photo of my daughter. People seemed excited that I brought my family to PSW, and it was shortly after introducing folks to my wife that they would stop me and say, “Wait! You mean you’re not RC?”

Nope. Just another Photoshop guy with dark hair, a goatee, two letters for a name, and much love for his only daughter & beautiful wife. *chuckle*

He’s RC, you can call me AJ

But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. How are you? Are you having a good morning? Did you tell someone you loved them in the past 24 hours? Did ya throw it out there like a hi-five or did you reflect on it for just a moment? Have you been productive this week? Why or why not? Did you take five minutes selfishly for yourself today?

A while back I read somewhere that “Success = Happiness”. I think the writer had the equation reversed. I say work on being happy, and you’ll redefine your vision of success. Happiness should be easy, and maybe it is for some people, but I’ve found plenty of folks–myself included–could use more joy. Hopefully, if you can find some inspiration, motivation, and put in a little work, you’ll find the happy more often.

Inspiration is a wonderful feeling. It’s the spark that kicks off a creative idea, or a smile that leads to a beautiful photograph. It’s a good cry at the end of the movie Rudy when the football team hoists him up on their shoulders after that last play⦠uhm⦠not that I cry at movies. Hopefully, there are people you come across who leave a lasting impression you keep with you. Two people that inspire me daily are Joe & Heidi Hendricks. Imagine your wife coming down with Stage 2 Breast Cancer, undergoing two lumpectomies, then radiation & chemotherapy; treatments that continue for roughly a year. Life goes on and three years later a new diagnosis of Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer has found its way into the bones & lungs. You would probably do all you could to support your wife, and be there for her, even after you discover you also have cancer. In 2004, they were told they would only have a short time with each other, and eight years later Joe & Heidi Hendricks through their faith in God are still fighting cancer together, one day at a time.

What inspires me are not the facts of their circumstances, but how they’ve shared their experience with family & friends on Facebook.

In Joe’s images I see the beauty of the world, the challenges in the moment, and a peace I hope to one-day find. Do they have bad days? Yes. Do they have doubts, anger & frustration? They’re human, how could they not? But they have the conviction of their faith in the Lord, which grants them courage beyond my comprehension, and a passion for living life that’s demonstrated every day–even the bad ones.

The key takeaway from Joe & Heidi’s experience is they’re not waiting for inspiration to come to them. They actively seek it. It’s not uncommon to see an image from the day’s hiking adventure after hospital treatment, or a post that talks openly about the challenges they’re experiencing. When most people are still in bed, or lounging on the couch, Joe & Heidi are living in the moment and growing closer to God.

If inspiration is the spark, then motivation is the call to action. The trouble with motivation is for many of us it’s temporary, a fleeting moment. You might be inspired by an infomercial to purchase that $99 set of fitness tapes, but once they arrive the motivation wears off after the first video workout. It requires an inherent primal dissatisfaction with current conditions to truly change. Just ask Justin Seeley. At his heaviest he weighed close to 420lbs–at 27yrs old. A fellow Photoshop guy, Justin is no stranger to blogs & the Internet. As someone who makes his living training & speaking in front of people he shared his weight loss experience online. Over a year later, he has gone through an amazing transformation to better health, and reached a reasonable weight around 185lbs.

The key takeaway from Justin’s experience should be it took over a year. He didn’t find a quick fix, despite opting for a surgical procedure. The changes to his diet, the foods he can no longer eat, the daily exercise, and this new discipline he’ll carry with him for the rest of his life. I’ve known quite a few people who tried to “cheat” diet & exercise by surgical procedures and failed. It’s because they weren’t truly motivated to get healthy.

Once you’ve been inspired, and you’re motivated to act, you best be prepared to put in the work. My sister Lesli Wood knows something about perseverance. She wrote the following years ago, “i live by the concept that i can live my life exactly the way i want and i believe everyone else has this superpower, too. i have no patience for naysayers or those that settle for less than they deserve. doing what i want has led me into some really great adventures.”

It’s true. Lesli is one of those individuals who knew from birth who she was, and what she wanted to do. Music. No doubt about it. That was the easy part. The hard part was getting through Ms. Hunt who told my sister at the ripe age of five that before she could take piano lessons she would have to learn to read. It was in that moment Lesli grabbed our family Bible and as I recall read something along the lines of Psalms 98:4 “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Did I mention the part where she has an Einstein IQ?

I envy her focus. How she interacts with the world, every decision she’s made is thoughtful & deliberate. Sure, you might not know who she is, you may have never heard her music, but she’s been a working musician who's played for audiences all over the world for over 25 years. To look at Lesli is to see someone who has everything they want, because they’ve made it that way. To see her perform, you would never know she’s battled multiple sclerosis for almost ten years.

But enough about them. Let’s talk about you. I hope as a photographer, designer or other creative professional you actively seek out people, places, ideas that inspire you. I hope when you doubt your gifts, and your motivation wanes you’ll remember that at this moment there is someone smarter, more talented & better than you. However, in this very same moment, you are smarter, more talented & better, than someone else. It’s easy to envy the results and ignore the drive & dedication necessary to produce them. The people you admire? They’re fallible, they have problems, and they're human. They just show the world their best side.

Be Ambitious. Be Humble.

Call him a creative generalist or digital artisan, A.J. Wood talked so much about Adobe products they had no choice, but to hire him and put his big mouth to use. Catch his videos on AJWOOD.COM, find him on Facebook, or chat on Twitter


Scott, thanks for the opportunity to put a few of my thoughts down for your readers. Not exactly the circumstances under which I envisioned being your guest blogger, but now I have a goal to do this again under different conditions.

First of all, I'm of the belief that direct customer input (any kind) is good, so I don't mind all the comments and ideas - they are all part of the journey to keep improving. We constantly strive to deliver the best customer experience to protect data, and we take this very seriously.  Better to know than not knowing.

Regarding your case Scott, the bottom line is that we made a bad judgment - our agents are trained to immediately swap or upgrade (regardless of warranty condition) if they see what you saw on your video - but we made a rookie mistake this time. I traced the call logs.  100% our bad this time.  As I mentioned on the phone, my apologies and it should not have happened. By the way, if any of your readers (or their readers or colleagues or friends or whatever) experiences what you saw on your video, just contact us or ping me directly ( and we will take care of it immediately.

Just to clarify, we currently offer a standard one-year warranty, and many of our customers opt for the extended care package. We are, of course, working on much faster, "next-gen" Drobos that take into consideration all of the customer feedback we've gotten since day 1, and we've been debating the 1-year vs. longer standard warranty period as part of these soon-to-be announced new products. This is where there is (!) a bit of a silver lining as the timing of your input could not have been more acute - vote(s) recognized, taken, counted!

Readers, the only comments that I want to strongly dispute are the ones that suggest that I only followed up with Scott because he is Scott. I (we) call customers every single day - small, large, happy, frustrated, domestic, international. We have a couple of hundred thousand to choose from, and there's always someone who wants to talk about their Drobo and/or their challenges of data protection and management. I enjoy it, I learn a lot, and it is important that our customers know that there are real people out here trying to help them figure it out. I ALWAYS end my emails (and my guest blogs) with an invitation to send me ( your thoughts or to drop me a line at 408-276-8621 (I am hardly ever at my desk, but leave a VM and I will get back to you).

OK - thanks again - I'm glad to have the opportunity to meet you all "directly," despite the circumstances. My personal goal now (mark it down) is to re-appear as Scott's guest blogger the day after he writes the "Drobo - I'm BACK" post. It's on us. I know what is coming, and I like our chances.

Best regards everyone,