Category Archives Guest Blogger

We came to Norway chasing the night light. Laura and I have been planning this trip for months. This was more than an assignment, this was a quest. We wanted to make a time-lapse video showing the Aurora Borealis–the Northern Lights.

We thought the light we sought would be green and dancing, and there was some of that. Mystical, almost spiritual waifs.

There is science behind the swirling bands of green. During large solar explosions huge quantities of particles are thrown from the surface of the sun into deep space. When the particles hit the Earth’s magnetic field they are drawn to an area around the magnetic North Pole creating the celestial green streaks of light.

But the real beauty to me was watching the bright full moon travel across the sky illuminating the mountains and fjords.

The night sky above the arctic circle is different. Rich and blue. Dark clouds racing across the night. Peaceful, tranquil, calm, and then the next minute massive amounts of snow and wind pelting us and the gear.

In Northern Norway this time of year the nights are long and the days are short. The sun is up for at most 4 hours a day, but you can only see it shining brightly for 10-15 minutes, if you’re lucky. It’s always night.

We had this well sorted out. We are on the road most years around 300 days and so we are fairly well organized, and certainly accustomed to packing for all kinds of contingencies. But seldom have we had to be concerned with keeping cameras and fingers warm enough to work in temperatures that can quickly drop to 20 below. Did I mention that we are from Florida?

We brought 5 tripods, 7 Nikon bodies, 9 lenses and a bunch of hand warmers. 6 extra batteries per camera. Rain covers to protect the bodies and lenses against the blowing snow. We learned after the first day that snow storms come quickly, sometimes when you are least expecting it.

The bag guys at Kata made some special cold weather pouches for us to protect bodes and more importantly batteries–I’m not sure if the bags made the difference or if the Nikon batteries just function perfectly in the temperatures, but I do know this: we didn’t have any issues with camera power. Even during 5 hour time-lapse captures.

Our buddy Andy Hancock was with us. Being a Texan he always does things a little, different, than we do. We were making most of our exposures for between 2 and 4 seconds, at f 2.8, ISO 1600. Andy decided to try 30 seconds, at f 16, ISO 1600. His images resonated with me–they had a blurred feeling that just worked. Since we had so many cameras running we had plenty of room, and time to experiment. We switched two of ours to 20 and 30 second exposures and loved the results for the time-lapse. As independent still images they are too soft for my use.

We fought the weather the first few nights. Dense clouds dropping heavy snow made it very tough to see the green lights we  came to find.

It would have been easy to be frustrated and depressed. It’s not easy to get to Tromso–we traveled for almost 24 hours, and we had been planning this shoot for months. But it didn’t go that way. The calm, serene beauty and the light from the moon was enchanting. We had the best time, and made gorgeous images.

It’s what makes this job so difficult and so rewarding at the same time. When you are dependent on mother nature to produce, you are subject to her whims. It just reinforces what I have always said, you never know when the muse will strike, and when the stars will align to produce the best images in the toughest conditions.

Our next trip out to nature will be in March when we travel to Nebraska to host a workshop photographing the sand hill crane migration. We are excited to see what the weather has in store. Rain, shine, warm or cold, we are sure to be amazed and humbled.

You can see more of Bill’s work at and, and follow him on Twitter

Shooting the Olympic Games: The preparation, challenges, and the advantages!

Hundreds of millions of people have watched the Olympic Games on their televisions or seen the countless images being transmitted online from this epic sporting event, but far fewer have had the opportunity to experience the Olympics first hand. Trust me, being there is truly an amazing experience!

I have been lucky enough to photograph three Olympic Games (Beijing, Vancouver, and London) and I am already preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Since you are reading this on Scott's blog, chances are you have an interest in photography, and maybe even sports photography. I thought you might like to know what it is like to be a photographer at the Olympics.

Photographer Dave Black says that "shooting the Olympics is like photographing three Super Bowls per day for 16 consecutive days." And he is right. At the Olympics, the pressure is huge and the competition is fierceâ”and I am just talking about the photographers!

But let's back up for a second and talk about the planning, since well before shooting the Olympics, there is a ton of preparation involved.

The Preparation
The first and most important part is getting the ever-coveted Olympic photographer credentials. Since most countries only get a handful of these, this is rarely ever a "given" and must be earned.  It took me years of work and building relationships to get my first chance. Now that I have photographed numerous Games and proven myself, this process is a little easier than trying to break into this from square one, but still never a "given."

Then, assuming that I get my credentials, there is the challenge of travel and lodging. I need to find airlines that make it easy for me to carry on lots of gear, since I have no desire to check my expensive camera gear. Before my first Olympics, I lost weeks of sleep just trying to figure out what gear to bring with me. How many cameras? Which lenses? How many memory cards? How many bags?

And, this is the Olympics, which means that hotel rooms are hard to find and expensive. It's imperative to find a place to stay that is close enough to the Olympic Park, with easy access to the press buses, but not crazy expensive. Access to the press buses is key, since this helps me avoid crowded public transportation. Did you know that they have special "Olympic lanes" on the roads? The press buses are allowed to use the special lanes en route to the park, which saves more time, and time is at a premium.

Before leaving for the Games, I need to be "in the know."  I need to know everything I can about the sports I'll be photographing. Having an intimate knowledge of the sport helps me predict the key moments and best shooting locations. I also need to know about the venues. In London I spent a lot of time at the Water Polo venue, so I arrived there four days before the competition started and walked every inch of the building. I learned the allowable shooting positions, the restrictions, possible remote locations, pressroom details, and much more. And, of course, I need to know my camera inside and out. At the most recent 2012 Summer Olympics in London, I was using the newly released Canon 1DX. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a prototype of the camera a month before I left for London, so that I could become familiar with the new user interface and button layout.

The Challenges
Before shooting my first Olympics, I looked at the schedule and mapped out a plan of events to shoot. It was not until I got to the visiting city that I realized that the distance between venues and extended travel time meant that I could only shoot two or three sports per day. Not only are the events in many different locations, but their times often overlap, as well. There were many times in Vancouver when I could not photograph both USA Hockey teams (men and women) because their games overlapped and the arenas were an hour apart. I found a new tool while in London that was a real game-changer for me. For the first time ever, there was an iPhone app for the Olympics, which listed out the events for the day. If my schedule changed for any reason, I could look at the app, see what other events might be upcoming, and change my plan right there and then. It was awesome!

It's also very important to get into a shooting position early. It's not possible to show up last minute to the swimming pool to shoot a medal event. There will likely be hundreds of other photographers there, taking the best spots. It also helps to understand how many others will be shooting with you. The Summer Olympics, for example, might have 2,000 photographers onsite, while the Winter Olympics averages only 800 of us shooters.

Oh, and this is the Olympics. You can't just shoot from anywhere. Most of the time, shooting locations are limited and mapped out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This makes it even harder to find a unique shot.  Often times, I will walk into the spectator area to try to find a unique perspective, but when shooting up-close to the action, you are generally lumped in with all the other shooters. Each venue will have their own restrictions, so before shooting there for the first time, I stop by the venue press office and ask about their setup. They let me know when I can enter the playing area, where we can stand, if remote cameras are allowed, etc. If I have never photographed that particular sport, I might even ask advice for optimum lens choice. Some events, like the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and certain gold medal matches, are what they call "high impact events" and those require tickets, even for us photographers. For those tickets, you must apply to your National Olympic Committee (NOC, or in my case the USOC). Believe it or not, there are many photographers who go to the Olympics who can't get tickets to the Opening Ceremonies.

I mentioned that time is at a premium at the Olympics. This is really an understatement. The typical hours of an Olympic photographer are 9 a.m. until 2 a.m. every day. This is the one time in my life where I eat to survive, not to enjoy the food. For me, just about every waking moment is taken up by prepping, shooting, downloading, moving from one location to another, editing, posting, and blogging. I was under contractual obligations to go through my images from each game and get them back to Team USA within two hours of the completion of that event. That means that I am going through thousands of photos, finding the best 10 or 15 shots, adjusting them (exposure, white balance, croppingâ”no cloning is allowed), and then sending them through ftp back to the U.S. Most nights in London, I was eating a quick dinner at midnight while posting a blog or the last images from that day.

The key to shooting the Olympics, like so many other photography assignments, is to tell a story. For this reason, I'm always acutely aware of what is happening in front of me as I capture my images. Who is the star? Who just made a game-changing mistake? Who is the most interesting person to the audience back home?

The Advantages
Along with all of the challenges of shooting the Olympics, come the big advantages of being there. First of all, I am at the Olympics! Even though I have photographed three of these events already, I still get chills thinking about the next one. There is a very special vibe at the Games, with most people very excited to be there, and lots of geographic pride. This leads me to the next advantage: I get to represent my country. Not as an athlete, but as a professional who is there to do my job and do it as well as possible. Heck, I'm competing to get that "gold medal shot" that nobody else captured.

As a fully accredited photographer at the Olympics, I have the best seats in the house and often times get a chance to mingle with the athletes. And every shot that I take is another piece of history being captured.

While one of the biggest challenges is dealing with hundreds or thousands of photographers vying for the killer shot, it's also one of the best advantages of being at the Olympics. I get a chance to meet amazing photographers from all over the world, and see them again at the next Games. Spending time together in this pressure-cooker environment makes you a close-knit family in a short amount of time.

Another great advantage of shooting the Olympics is that I get a chance to photograph unique and varied sports. Trust me, there isn't a whole lot of bobsledding action in the San Francisco area! I love the challenge of shooting something different, and often find that my favorite images from the Games are from sports that were new for me.

Shooting the Olympics does provide one large business advantage for me. It helps me to build my reputation within the photo community. And I won't lie; having the Olympic credentials definitely impresses potential clients. In this competitive environment, if this helps me differentiate myself from the other photographers in my area, that's a good thing.

Lastly, and most importantly, shooting the Olympics is fun! Sure, it is a ton of pressure, endless work, and crazy long hours, but it is a blast nonetheless.

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

Photo by JerSean Golatt

A big thanks to Scott for his leadership and for the tremendous effort he puts into designing incredible resources that sharpen artists all over the worldâ¦You rock man.

You may know me as a travel photographer and story teller for change⦠most of the client work I do is in effort to improve quality of life for people in material poverty. I work a ton in Africa & Asia and love to create & shoot campaigns for initiatives like clean water projects, education, church expansion, clean wood-burning stoves and more. I feel strongly that we are called to use what we’ve been given to invest in others and up to last year, I did that mostly with my camera.

In northern Kenya with Paradigm Project, on assignment to capture the experience of cooking indoors over an open fire.

In 2011, I changed sleeping locations nearly 150 timesâ¦just about every other day. I loved it — I got to see some incredible things happening all over the world and make friends in some really cool places.

Philemon, my new friend and host in Fiji.

The Need & Dream
At the end of the year, I was sitting at a deli with my Dad dreaming about 2012⦠how could I use what I’ve been given to broaden my impact? One thing was certain: I wasn’t going to move faster or shoot more⦠but what if I shifted my focus a bit?

I've always really enjoyed enabling others as best I can⦠being behind the scenes feeding them knowledge and tools (usually geek stuff) to help them to succeed. It’s gotta be my favorite thing in the world. As we sat there, we began to dream about a a whole new way to accomplish that.

At that point, I saw (and still see) freelancers & independent creatives conducting business at home or at coffee shops all over the country⦠Some people are happy with working from home and others aren't⦠but happy or not, lack of access to inspirational people and tools to create inhibits our ability to run with the creative muscles we've been given.

For my own career, the single greatest thing that has and continues to enable me is connecting with others. Talking with them. Learning from them. Being sharpened, inspired & encouraged by their complimentary skill-sets.

Years ago, photographers would hang out at the lab together as they developed photographs⦠there they would build friendships, working relationships and businesses together. It's there that they would be inspired to spontaneously create, dream new ideas and find food for their creative soul.

In this digital age where we develop images isolated on our Macs and everyone is satisfied with Twitter follows and Facebook likes, what if there were a REAL PLACE, a physical hub that facilitated camaraderie? What if there were a place designed specifically to enable creative people?

I looked and found nothing quite like this⦠so about a year ago, I decided to put my travel photography work on hold and take a somewhat scary leap of faith into creating what we now call WELD.

Thanks to my cousin Brandon, co-founder of WELD, we had an awesome space in no time. I can remember sitting in the 10,000 square feet of white walls and concrete floors for hours on end dreaming about what this place could be.

The fun thing is, even before launch we began seeing beautiful collaborations taking place. Talented people came out of the woodwork to bring their gifts to the table and help make it happen. We all worked together to dream about the space, build it and shape it⦠all along the way shooting fun little art projects on the side. We began to discover the magic of being together, of creating together and of constant collaboration.

WELD's communal workspace aka the bullpen. 

We opened in June and today WELD is a collaborative work & shoot space that exists for one reason: to enable creatives to create. WELD does this by connecting them to like-minded people, equipping them w/ tools and giving them a place to hone their craft within a community instead of alone.

From the moment we opened our doors, people at WELD began to dream with the abilities of their peers instead of just their own — and beautiful things have come out of it.  Member collaborations continue to flow and every day I'm more excited to go in and see what's being dreamed up.

The Creative Struggle
All these things have been incredible and I'm so proud to be a part of what WELD is and will be but it hasn't been without it's challenges. I'm up here writing this at 4:01 AM because there's a billion things to be done, very few of which directly relate to things I'm most passionate about.

I'm constantly navigating the unexpected, inventing solutions, executing mundane tasks, troubleshooting problems⦠but something keeps relentlessly fueling my fire: vision.

I see so many people give up when their creative project doesn't go as planned. QUIT DOING THAT. If you're project is worthwhile you will always encounter a force against you and you'll never get anywhere if you don't passionately stick to your vision.

Don't give up when it's tough⦠by it's very nature it will be tough. If achieving your goal was easy, someone else will have already done it and it wouldn't even be vision, it'd be reality.

There will always be Resistance, working against youâ¦to discourage you, to deflate you, to tell you your stupid, to distract you. Don't accept that. Dominate it.

If Scott had given up on Photoshop when he couldn't figure out the Pen tool in the early â˜90s, you wouldn't be reading this. If FedEx had given up when they had $5K left in their bank account, global courier service wouldn't be the same today.  If George Lucas had given up when everyone told him his film was too wacky, we wouldn't have Star Wars.

Do I put myself in the same class as these guys? Not for a second. But you know what kept them going and pushed them past the Resistance? Vision. Vision for the possibilities of digital image editing. Vision for the first ever overnight delivery service⦠vision for a beautifully told story of galaxies and lasers and love.

The WELD Vision
The vision for WELD is pretty simple: to help creators achieve their vision.

Whether that's a single image, a film or a full-blown business, WELD is a streamlined hub to help artists create something from nothing. It exists to reduce friction in the creative workflow to grow your vision and get you there faster. It's a place to feed starving artists and rejuvenate the plump ones. To thrust freelancers into previously unchartered frontier.

Above: One of WELD's fully equipped studio spaces where members have collaborated to create visions like this piece below: 

Created by Chris Titze

WELD is designed to be an environment where the first scene of Star Wars could be conceived, written & shot. Even now, creative businesses are thriving here⦠we've already seen feature length films, international non-profit campaigns, iOS apps and more born at WELD. I just can't wait to see what's in store for this place.

I hope and pray WELD will continue thrive here in Dallas but also grow across the country and impact thousands of artists and millions more through their work.   I can't stop dreaming about the possibilities.  About the ideas conceived, the relationships built, the business strengthened, the stories told and the lives changed through the visions achieved by WELDERS.

Whatever your vision may be, don't accept not trying⦠and when you try, refuse to quit. Don't give in to Resistance⦠focus on what you were made to do and do it — if you persevere, there will be no end to the beauty you will create.


Update: We are hosting a free happy hour on Friday (Feb 8th) at WELD. We are live screening of one of Kelby Training’s in-studio lighting workshops with Joe McNally (huge thanks to Scott for permission to do so!) Wine & cheese provided. Come out, pick up some studio tips and meet some awesome creative people just like you⦠hope to see you there.  details here.

Thanks again to Scott & Brad for this opportunity to share — hope to see you at the upcoming happy hour!

– Austin Mann

Learn more about WELD and the artists here.

Keep up with Austin via Twitter & Instagram. And he’d love to hear from you! Shoot him a note about anything at

Photo by Bruce Heavin

My name is Chris Orwig, I'm a photographer, author, teacher and on the photography faculty at the Brooks Institute. Thanks for reading and let's dive in!

"A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is in a word effective."
-Irving Penn

Actress Isabel Lucas photographed at Gaviota Beach.

Penn was right, good photographs have a dynamic force that affect us and sometimes even bring about change. And the photographs that I like most, are those that help me to celebrate and savor life. These are the photos that capture fleeting moments that would have otherwise been lost. They make me feel, think, remember and thrive.

Surfer and rock climber Jeff Johnson photographed with large format camera and expired film.

You see I'm a photographer because I was once hit by a car (you can hear more about that in my TEDx talk, Finding the Magnificent in the Mundane). A few years after the incident, while I was still in bad shape, my Dad gave me a camera which changed my life. The camera helped me to shift my focus from pain to something else, and looking through the viewfinder gave me new resolve and new life. It literally helped me to heal.

Even more, the camera became a passport to go out and experience the world in a deeper and more wonderful way. And so that's why today, I'm a photographer who clings to his camera and who sees photography as a gift. It's not something I do because it’s trendy and cool, it's something I do because it renews who I am. Photography is a lifeline that deepens and enriches my life. The French photographer Marc Riboud was right, "Photography is savoring life in 1/100th of a second."

Broadway performer Jarod Mason on the NY Brooklyn Bridge.

Well that's my story, yet what is yours? Why do you make photographs and what qualities do you look for when striving to make an image that is good? Obviously, we all have different answers to those questions and we all have different taste. Yet, what unites us all is that making good photographs is something that fuels our life. We make photographs because of a passion that runs deep. So how then do we make better photographs? How do we get beyond where we are today?

Surfboard shaper Danny Hess in his San Francisco workshop.

What I've discovered, is that it's not just about the composition, gear or even how the photograph was lit. What makes it good, is that it is illuminated from within…. like true wisdom and beauty which wells up from the inside. Good photographs get beneath the surface of things and reveal more.

World champion surfer Tom Curren looks out to sea.

The art and craft of photography, it's a mix of the inside and out. Photography requires learning to see, arrange and compose the external appearances of life. Yet, often it's this side of photography that gets in the way, good photographs are about more than all of that. The best photographs help us to see what isn't even there. As photographers, we know this is true because we have experienced this first hand. Like in those moments when you hold your camera up to you eye, and its like looking through a microscope that magnifies our vision to see what otherwise would go unseen. In those moments, the camera deepens our senses, clarifies our focus so that we can capture something unique, intriguing and strong…. something that that goes beyond visual clich©.

Isabel Lucas photographed just a moment after the first image in this post. Sometimes it's the slightest changes that help make an image come to life.

Yet, this doesn't happen all the time. Sometimes our cameras work against us, like a cumbersome curtain that blocks out the light. Sometimes, inspite of our best efforts, our photographs fall short. Why is that? Just like in other forms of art, like music …. why is it that one musician can take a guitar, three chords and the truth and write a global hit? Surely, it's not about the quality of the instrument or the notes. Then what is it? What's the secret sauce? I think it's the mixture of technique (three chords) and a passion to convey what we believe and what matters most (truth).

One day I was in the front yard testing out a new camera. I looked up and saw my daughter Annika walk through the front door.  I quickly asked her to pause and I captured this frame. Capturing authentic moments like this feeds my soul.

This "secret sauce recipe" isn't something new. A few thousand years ago Aristotle wrote, "The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." You want to take better pictures? Make photographs that are externally interesting and internally strong. And if these photographs are significant to you, there will be a greater chance that they will mean something to someone else.

World Champion surfer Kelly Slater is someone who I deeply admire and respect.

Too often we make pictures of things that don't mean anything to us at all. It's like we are afraid to fail and afraid to be ourselves so we use caution and create images that we know will be a success. Then we share these photos and all of the hits/votes/likes distract us from being original and we decide to follow the majority crowd. Yet, great art is rarely achieved by walking in the middle of the road.

Australian singer and songwriter Angus Stone creates music that honestly reflects who he is.

Great art and great photography require that we bravely challenge the status quo. And to be a great photographer, you have to tap into who you truly are. No one can compete with your uniqueness, claim that and use it as your edge. Veer from the well worn path and go out and make photographs for your self. Take a risk to create photographs that authentically reflect your vision and voice. And who cares if you fail. It's always better (and more fun) to fail while being original than to succeed at something that isn't authentically you.

Chris del Moro is a surfer and artist who is authentic through and through.

Next, come up with your own definition of what makes a photograph good. Then strive to make photographs that match your ideals. And along the way, constantly ask yourself, "What makes you come alive?" For what the world needs is photographers who are brimming full of life.

Chris Orwig

If you would like to experience this blog post in audio form, you can listen to it here or download a free audio mp3 version here.

For more about who I am and what I do check out the links below:
● TEDx Talk
● Framed Episode
● Portfolio + Blog


P.S. Resources/Ideas

Becoming a better photographer is a lifetime journey that never ends. Therefore I wanted to highlight a couple of ideas and learning resources that might help you along the way.


I am about to launch a creative inspiration resource I think you will really enjoy – it's called "IGNITE + THRIVE". This resource is series of audio programs that will help you ignite the creative spark so that you can truly thrive. Think of it like having your own creative coach.

If you're wanting to become more creative, curious and alive, click on the following link to sign up to be notified when it goes live:

There are many different ways to learn photography and grow: photo school, workshops, online courses, books, blogs, assisting other photographers and so on. If you're reading this, I assume you're already doing some of that.

Yet, don't underestimated the power of forging your own path. I love how Herman Melville put it, "A whale ship was my Harvard, my Yale." And because of that whale ship journey, Melville wrote one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time. Maybe what you really need to do is take a nontraditional path. Why not hop on a boat, go on a journey and get some more life experience under your belt?


Always be on the lookout for resources or workshops that are mainstream and some that are not. This will get you out of your comfort zone and help you stay sharp. On that note, it would be great to hear from you about what workshops, courses, books, etc. that have helped you in the most significant ways. Add your suggestions in the comments. To get the thread going here are a couple "off the beaten path" ideas that I recommend:

1. Celebrated photographer Rodney Smith is offering a unique workshop this spring that I am planning to attend. This one isn't cheap, but Rodney has a profound way of helping others find their voice. To learn more click here.

2. My friend and highly successful commercial photographer Erik Almas, has recently released a unique photography and photoshop training DVD – find more info here. For one of the bonus tracks on the DVD, Erik and I sat down and talked. Watch that interview for free here.

3. And of course, there are a ton of other amazing and affordable resources/workshops put out by some great people and organizations. The ones that I have on the top of my list that I want to attend are by: Jeremy Cowart, Zac Arias, Julieanne Kost, Tom Bol, Matt Kloskowski, Jeff Lipsky, Nevada Wier and David Robin… to name a few.


Thanks for reading and a huge shout of thanks to Scott and the Kelby crew for the honor of being a part of the mix – THANKS!!!

About three years ago, I was noticing a new trend in photography, that of photo collectives, like Luceo, MJR, Prime, and Raz³n that were making their way onto my various news feeds through social media. I thought it was quite clever how they used their collective social networks to share the work of their various members in a way that didn’t seem pompous or overly self-promotional as it can often seem when when an individual ‘toots their own horn’ and continuously posts only their work on their personal accounts. It was then I thought, ‘why not create a similar resource for all freelancers like myself? I’ll call it “The Photo Brigade.”

It all started on Facebook where I began sharing links to great blog posts from many freelance bloggers with anyone who was interested in following our feed. Rather quickly we had over 1000 followers, at which point I felt it was time to turn Photo Brigade into an actual blog. Fortunately, over my short career I’ve become acquainted with many amazing photographers who also thought it would be a great way to get extra eyes on their recent work and agreed to participate in this concept. With the help of my super-talented, graphic designer wife Laia Prats, we built the blog and thus The Photo Brigade was born.

We live in an age where a vast majority of photo editors, image buyers, and art directors use both social media and general google searches to find the content they’re looking for, so it’s incredibly important for photographers these days to keep their work online and searchable so that they and their work can be easily found. One of the best ways for photographers to be found organically on on the web is to have their websites search engine optimized (SEO). One of the best ways to make that happen is by blogging. All that text that is written within a blog is crawled by search engines like Google, resulting in higher placement in web searches.

Blogging isn’t easy. It’s a labor of love. In fact, both Scott and Brad can attest it’s taken me many months to finally get my ass to write this very post, which I’m typing on a flight to Barcelona. I’ve run my own personal blog for years and there’s been some months when I was very regular with my posts and some months when I’d neglect it altogether. I’d noticed the same trend among my many peers and also noticed many talented individuals who didn’t blog at all, which I felt was a great disservice to them. My inspiration in starting The Photo Brigade was to not only share and promote the amazing work of my peers, but also to encourage and inspire my fellow freelancers to get their ass in gear and hop on the blogging bandwagon.

Since I graduated college I’ve only ever been a freelancer. Among many other responsibilities, that means I’ve had to purchase my own gear, worry where my next paycheck would come from, think about health/gear insurance, my retirement plan, deal with tons of administrative work, and most importantly promote myself by getting my name out for the world to see. So in building The Photo Brigade, I wanted to turn it into resource that I personally would love to use. There were many websites I used for inspiration, such as Sports Shooter where I got my first social exposure through their message boards in the days before Facebook.

Beyond all the stellar work I’ve seen and the amazing photographers, editors, and industry professionals I’ve connected with through The Photo Brigade, what I love most is the ability the blog has to adapt and grow. While we started simply featuring blog posts, we’ve since begun working with a long list of contributors to create great content like product reviews, contests, gear guides, guest posts, and other various industry-related content on the business of photography. Some of those contributors are personal friends of mine and many are those who’ve reached out expressing a desire to be part of what we’re doing, which has been the ultimate driving force behind our desire to continue this labor of love.

I’m excited to see where things go in the coming year. Along with cool contests and great features in the works as usual, we’re also working hard to expand our columns to take a deeper look into the photo industry all in hopes to become an even greater resource for working professionals and enthusiasts alike.

It’s important to mention The Photo Brigade wouldn’t be possible without the tireless work of my wife, Laia, who spends many hours/day scouring the web and editing blog posts, tweaking the design, and putting up with me. Additionally, that of our sponsors who have helped us in many ways by supporting us, providing awesome gear for reviews and prizes for our contests. To our contributors who have guest blogged and provided material for us to share, we tip our hats and give great thanks. Most importantly, thanks to you, our readers, who regularly visit our site, follow our social networks, and/or participate in any way by liking/sharing/commenting on our Facebook posts, tweets, and so on. The more we see your interaction, the more we know what we’re doing is useful and good.

If you’re interested in being part of The Photo Brigade in some capacity; guest blogging, being featured, or simply just visiting to enjoy our content, I hope you would send me an email, bookmark us, and follow us on your favorite social platform. Can’t wait to see your work and interact with you all moving forward.

Thanks Scott for the opportunity to guest post on your awesome blog and share our community with yours!

You can see Robert’s work at and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, and check out The Photo Brigade