Posts By Brad Moore

Success in wedding photography and especially in performing on the wedding day is more about your communication skills and your listening skills and knowing how to read people.  That will go a long way in making you a great photographer rather than focusing on how technically brilliant you are. The ability to have an endearing and attractive personality and the ability to work under pressure while still being technically proficient is especially important.  You almost need to be like a chameleon. In the sense that you need to know how to be relaxed and more down to earth at a casual wedding and at the same time be able to carry yourself professionally when you're at a high society wedding.

I also believe that assisting at weddings is the best training for any photographer. At the very first wedding that I assisted, I probably learned more than in all of the time I spent in school.  And that was because I was getting on the job, real world training.  At that first wedding I was taught about the direction of light, how to use flash, interacting with clients, working under pressure, working under time constraints.

I literally just carried bags and assisted a photographer for a year and half with no pay while I was working at a camera store selling cameras.  I did all of that just so I could be involved in the industry.  And that's because when you're photographing a wedding, you're actually shooting much more than that. You're shooting a wedding, portraits and fashion, you're shooting photojournalistically, shooting product (all the details that you need to document), landscape, etc.

So you're photographing in all these different genres and under time constraints, weather constraints, different cultures and dealing with different personalities, so I truly believe that a really good wedding photographer can pretty much shoot in any genre.  Artistically, don't be safe or stay in your comfort zone by going to "pose number 23 in location number 37".  Comfort zones have never been synonymous with artistic expression.

I encourage new photographers to be as passionate about their business as they are about their photography. Consider yourself a businessperson first who happens to be a photographer.  As a business owner ask yourself, "Am I working in my business or on my business?"  Surround yourself with great people – your studio is only four walls without good staff. Stop being a control freak and get some help.  Educate yourself.  Seminar and workshops can literally change your life.  After all, knowledge is power.  Don't be too precious about the work.

When it comes to marketing your new business, you should work on marketing that costs you nothing by first asking your clients and vendors for referrals and maximizing relationships with people who can help you.  Also, try a same day slide show at the reception.  It's the best direct marketing you will ever do and you can also charge good money for it. If you are going to invest in advertising, don't think about the advertising dollars you are parting with and think instead about the return. Whenever an advertising opportunity presents itself ask yourself, "Is there a better way I can spend this money?" And finally, don't forget to consider yourself a brand.  Build it and they will come.

One of my favorite mantras has always been that I don't focus on being the best; I just focus on being better than last week.  I believe this is one of the keys to being successful and consistently creating beautiful images.  By doing that, you become the best that you can be - you realize your own potential.

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

What The Plus! from Guy Kawasaki
Our friend Guy Kawasaki has made his latest book, What The Plus!, available as a free download for 500 people! Just click this link and grab your copy for free until supplies run out. If you don’t get it in time, you can get it in your preferred e-book format for under $3 from Guy’s website.

Douglas Sonders Nik Webinar
Douglas Sonders will be presenting a free live webinar on Using Nik Software To Step Up Your On-Location Photoshoots on Tuesday, April 10 at 1:00pm EDT. If you’ve seen Douglas’ Kelby Training class, or if you happened to catch one of his classes at Photoshop World a few days ago, you know this is something you won’t want to miss. This webinar is limited to 1,000 people, so make sure you sign up soon!
Check out Bill Fortney’s latest class, Learning To Shoot Photographically, over at! In this class, Bill takes on photography from an artist’s point of view and covers some of the basics of shooting to get you thinking differently about creating photographs.

David Ziser 5 Day Digital Master Class
David Ziser’s 5-Day Digital Master Class will be held April 16-20 in the Greater Cincinnati area. This class covers everything from flash techniques and posing, to marketing and print critiques. You can get all the info on schedule, registration and pricing at And leave a comment for your chance to win one of three copies of David’s Captured By The Light DVD!

Kelby Training Live
We’ve got dates for Matt Kloskowski’s Lightroom 4 Live seminar tour up over at! You can register for the seminars in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Chicago, all happening near the end of April.

And, you can sign up for the finale of Scott Kelby’s Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. Live! Tour in Islington, London, UK on April 28!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to these seminars (make sure you say which one)!

Last Week’s Winners
Here are the lucky winners of last week’s DVD giveaways:

Scott Kelby’s Crush The Composition DVD
Tom Shoopman

Drew Gardner’s Location Lighting DVD
Bob Cooley
Andrew Petti
John Adkinson
Bob Burns
Steve Wetzel
Bill Munder
Vivian Frerichs
Nicole W
Don Townsend

Congratulations everyone! We’ll be in touch soon.

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

“Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.”
– Leonardo da Vinci

My name is Matt Adcock and I am lucky to have found my dream partner, Sol Tamargo. Together we run Del Sol Photography in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and we are always in search of “something else.” Since 2005, we’ve been using water and climate to create original, fun, and artistic wedding photography. I’d love the opportunity to share some of that with you and also wanted to thank Scott Kelby and Brad Moore for giving me the chance to do so.

For Sol and I, as I’m sure is the case with so many talented artists and artist teams, finding ways to stay fresh and creative, break out of routines, and chase that “something else” is a labour of love. It takes patience (which we don’t always have), it takes dedication (which is sometimes hard to muster), and it takes an ability to embrace the unknown to be ready to take advantage of it – which is so hard to see coming!

For Sol and I, we have a few areas that are the keystones of our efforts in our attempts to chase that “something else…”

Photo by Juan

Make Epic Photos About Them
If you allow yourself to daydream a little, it’s pretty magical where you can go with a creative mind. After listening to and understanding our clients’ expectations, we try to figure out the perfect shot for them. We brainstorm and sometimes even make sketches (when necessary) to see the frame. Our favorite clients are always dreaming and picturing “what if”… so it’s important that our imagination is in tune with theirs.

Imagine carrying 2 Underwater Housings (and all of the accoutrements) more than 500 miles from home with 3 packs (full of gear) by car, plane and boat to reach your destination. Imagine further, 5 more boats on the wedding day and a tiny strip of sand in the middle of nowhere – San Pedro, Belize. A solid example with one of our craziest executions making photos of them happened a when our studio received this inquiry:

“My fiance Lara and I are planning a wedding in Belize…. picture it… A white sand beach that crests just above the water not more than a few inches… no trees, no dirt… nothing but sand… water so clear it magnifies the ocean floor for miles around and skies so blue and perfect that the odd cloud only enhances every scene…”

Photo by Matt (more from this event here)

Equipment + Environment – Use it and Abuse it!
Ever look down a windy beach and see that mist that travels off the ocean with the wind? In Spanish, the word for this misty salty mash is “Bruma.” We are always surrounded by it – whether we like it or not!

During one session, I wanted to feature the “Bruma.” I knew a creatively used flash would add the dimension to the frame I was looking for. Basically we sculpted with light creating shadows with a little back lighting using a small speedlight at full power, full CTO Gel on my flash and my WB set to 10,000 kelvin.

Photo by Matt

While the toll is high… Imagine changing lenses or having anything with metal contacts in this environment, don’t even think about sensor gunk – it’s unbelievable. Tropical climate for sure means a reduced shelf life for electronics – but when you get an image like this, it’s all worth it. Our suggestion is to invest in sealed camera bodies and buy the professional lenses to increase usability if you plan on working tropical.

Inspire and be Inspired
The late Steve Jobs quoted Picasso: Good artists copy and even greater artists steal! The idea is that nothing is really original, everything we produce as artists is a reflection from something or someone that we were influenced by. While I think the word stealing is heavily laden with sometimes negative connotations – I love to be inspired, I love to give credit where credit is due, and I love to take ideas to new levels.

I would like to thank Tony Hoffer (again) for stopping me dead in my tracks and reminding me to take risks with weather. A few years ago, my bags were packed and I retreated when rain occurred. Seems like the intelligent thing to do right? Ever since that first time I laid eyes on Tony’s engagement image, I’m excited when mother natures throws me a curve-ball. Tony didn’t invent the rain, but he certainly had a thing or two to share and I think we’re all the better for it!

Photo by Matt

Did I steal this image? No, I don’t think so. Did I glean inspiration from Tony s original creation? Absolutely, and I worked hard to push it further in a very different setting, and was quick enough to recognize a great set of circumstances were aligning when I captured this moment (somewhat lucky too). The reflection / bounce on this all black umbrella caused this amazingly soft down light. I didn’t plan that :). Also, her toe kick and the little trickle of water being lit by the flash really gives an additional movement feature to this frame…

Personal Projects as a Lifeline to Creative Freedom
Trash the Dress (TTD) has become a real source of creative freedom for Sol and I as it started as a personal project. Although it’s hard to reinvent yourself each shoot, we find ways to trip the imagination and come up with something else. The fun comes in the challenges we face, rugged locations, hikes, mosquitos, and almost anti-gravity underwater. The real kicker, these people aren’t models, and quite often they can’t swim! Its a bit cold as well, 62 degrees, so we really only have 30 -45 minutes of shooting time underwater. There are many risks, but the payoff is monumental.

Did I also mention that we find our way into caves to get this crystal clear water? They’re natural sink holes, called cenotes (se-no-tays), considered a sacred portal to the Mayan Underworld. The cenotes are part of the largest underground cave network in the world and exist only here in Mexico. Somehow we were able to merge daydreaming / fantasy photography and our brides into a business that is as far away from the “aisle” as possible. When was the last time a wedding photographer donned a wetsuit for anything wedding related?

I wanted to share a few TTD frames because this has been one of the most amazing things to happen to us. As you look through these TTD snaps, realize that we are always shooting for US and less worrying about client expectations.

Photo by Sol


Photoshop World DC is upon us, beginning in just a couple of days on March 24! The cherry blossoms are blossoming, and creatives are beginning to descend on the city already.

You can come check out the Photoshop World Expo for FREE on Sunday and Monday and catch tons of free classes in the NAPP and Kelby Training Theatres!

And, you know how Westcott always has those awesome setups for attendees to shoot? Well, Adobe has teamed up with them and will have a Lightroom 4 booth right beside them with 10 workstations set up for attendees to process their images right on the expo floor! That’s not all though…

Each day, the Adobe Lightroom team will give away three free copies of Lightroom 4 to the photographers of their three favorite images! That’s nine copies of Lightroom 4 in three days. Then, out of those nine winners, they’ll choose one Grand Prize winner who will receive a certificate for Adobe CS6 Design Premium!!

So, sign up for your FREE Photoshop World Expo pass, swing by the Westcott Shootout Booth and take some kick-butt images, then process them at booth #445 for your chance to win a copy of Lightroom 4 and Adobe CS6 Design Premium!

Crush The Composition DVD
Scott Kelby’s hugely popular Crush The Composition class is now available on DVD! Filmed under the stars in front of a live audience in Downtown Tampa, Scott shares the secrets to nailing your composition in a way no other photographer has done. Pick up your copy at the Kelby Training Store. Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy!

Jeremy Cowart’s LifeFinder Workshop in DC
The day after Photoshop World Washington DC, Tuesday March 27, Jeremy Cowart will be hosting his LifeFinder Workshop! In the workshop, he covers how he got started, his vision toolkit, his lighting, how he stays inspired, and lots more. $249 gets you and someone who needs a break into the workshop, plus his LifeFinder DVD. Get all the info and sign up right here.

Keep an eye out on his blog for more tour dates to be announced soon, and leave a comment for your chance to win one of three free tickets!
Tony Corbell’s Simple Lighting Techniques for Photographers is the latest class on Kelby Training. Join Tony in the studio and on location as he walks you through the basics of softboxes, speedlights, and using ambient light to create great images!

Drew Gardner Australian Workshops
Drew Gardner is heading down under to teach a couple of two-day workshops in New South Wales and Victoria! He’ll cover how he plans for his shoots, the techniques he uses to pull them off, and managing the other people involved in the shoot. And (fingers crossed) he’s hoping to have some cool gear on hand for participants to get their hands on. You can get all the details and sign up right here.

And, Drew is giving away 10 free copies of his Location Lighting DVD to some lucky commenters, so leave a comment for your chance to snag one of these!

Photoshop Quiz Game from Dave Cross
For Photoshop users who want to test their knowledge of Photoshop CS5, Dave Cross has released the Photoshop Quiz Game. Modeled after an 80s game show, the game features 3 levels of difficulty and more than 600 True or False, Multiple Choice and “Name the Dialog” questions. The game, which will be available for the iPhone and iPad also includes brief explanations of the correct answer (so you might even learn a little something along the way). Available “any time now” in the iTunes Store.

Leave a comment for your chance to win one of three copies of this app!

Last Week’s Winner
The winner of last week’s giveaway of the 1-Year NAPP Membership and Fay Sirkis DVDs is… Brian Bushong. Congratulations Brian!

That’s it for today. Have a great Thursday, and if you’re at Photoshop World, make sure you say hi!