Category Archives Photography

helpp1On Saturday morning, Brad, Matt, RC and I were very fortunate to be a part of the amazing Help-Portrait movement put together by  photographer Jeremy Cowart, and it truly is something special. I didn’t realize how special Help-Portrait was until I actually participated this weekend.

We were part of a group of photographers and retouchers that did portraits at Operation PAR, a women’s drug abuse treatment center. There are about 70 women and their children that live in a ‘village’ operated by the center, and we had 17 photographers and assistants shooting, but just Matt, Brad and I doing all the editing, retouching, and output.

We decided to do the printing as well, so we could deliver a finished 8×10 and a sheet with a 4×6″ print and four wallet-sized prints, right there on the spot. The day really had it’s ups and downs, as your heart just so went out to these women (many with young children, and a number that were pregnant), but then when you saw their reaction to the finished images, it just lifted you right back up.


That’s Matt and I retouching (above) as photo assistant Pam Hazelwood waits for us to finish up a retouch or two late in the day.( iPhone Photo by Brad Moore).

The moment that it really hit for me how special Help-Portrait is, was when a mother tearfully told me that this was the first photo even taken of her two-year-old son. There were a lot of tears on both sides of the lens, but luckily there were some real tears of joy, too as they got their photos, and beautiful photos of their children.

Of course, we were just one small link in a very big chain that reached around the world as photographers and retouchers were doing the same thing all over the US, and all over the world, touching the lives of so many people who otherwise couldn’t afford to have a professional portrait made. Please take a moment to share in this day, and visit the Help-Portrait Website, right now, and then next year join in yourself and become part of something very special. I promise you, it’ll be one of the most enriching and important things you do all year.


P.S. A big thanks to my assistant, photographer Brad Moore for all he did so we could be a part of this very special movement, and to Jeremy Cowart for having the idea, and taking the initiative to make a real difference in the world.



If you’re looking for a really unique holiday gift for the photographer on your list (or you just want a really cool t-shirt that nobody else will have), AND you totally love the idea that 100% of the profits go to feeding and caring for kids in a orphanage in Kenya that you guys helped to build (see below), then man have I got a holiday gift idea for you!

I came up with the idea for these off-camera flash t-shirts earlier this year, and with the gracious help of the folks over at, you can order yours today in different colors and styles (men’s and ladies’ versions) , and sweatshirt and hoodie designs, and if you don’t want the t-shirt, there’s even a coffee cup for the off-camera flash geek on your holiday gift list.


There are four different shirt designs:

  • Group A, Channel 1
  • Group B, Channel 2
  • Group C, Channel 3
  • Group D, Channel 4

and the coffee cup, and you can find ’em all right here.

Note: The Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage was built this year from the ground up with financial help from the readers of this blog who have adopted this orphanage as their own. The orphanage is now fully open (they finally got electricity, which was a big hurdle), and they are housing and feeding some really wonderful kids, including their latest orphan who is HIV positive.

This is one of two fund raisers I’ve got planned for the end of the year, and I’m very grateful for your continued support of these very deserving children. If you’re not a t-shirt person, but want to help feed these kids, you can make a PayPal donation to Springs of Hope right here.

Remember last week when I did that post about a better option from IKEA for hanging your unframed prints on the wall, that I got from Ed Loziuk (one of my blog readers)? Well, although I was able to show the actual IKEA parts (the rail and the clips), some people posted comments asking for images of what it actually looks like in use. Well, Ed was nice enough to take a couple of shots, and he let me share them here with you. Thanks once again Ed—you’re a good man! :)

Asker 1rsm

Asker 2rsm

light it

The 2nd online class in my three-part series called “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it” went up live last week at Kelby Training Online, and this one shows how to shoot and retouch a beauty-style headshot like the one you see below left (in-house we call it the “Oil of Olay” look).

I show how to create the exact same beauty-style head shot that I took which wound up being featured in FJ Westcott’s 2009 lighting catalog (seen below), and you see the entire process from start-to-finish including setting up all the lighting, the shoot itself, and the retouching in Photoshop afterward.

I just got incredible feedback from the first one in this series, and I hope you’ll give this 2nd one a look now that it’s live. Here’s a link to the online class.



Earlier this year I was lucky enough to get a media pass to shoot Tiger Woods during the Tavistock Cup golf tournament, and after I posted some of the shots from the day here on my blog, a friend asked if I might send him a couple of prints of his favorite shots from the bunch. I used to send him two framed prints, and I’m honored that they’ve been hanging on the wall of his office ever since.

Yesterday I got an email from him, and the subject Line read: “Moral Dilemma.” He said he found Tiger’s recent actions dishonorable to his wife and family, and he was so disappointed in him, and had lost such respect for Tiger’s moral judgment, that he had taken the framed prints off his walls, and he wanted to know if  I wanted them returned or donated to charity.

Later that same day, I got another email with a similar subject line, but it was from one of my blog readers, asking how I could keep a photo of Tiger in my portfolio (it’s not the one shown above, though it was taken the same day). Then I got another email asking the same thing—-when would I be removing Tiger’s image from my portfolio. I could see a pattern developing.

Last night I called my friend to let him know I was as disappointed in Tiger as he was. We both looked up to Tiger not just as an incredible athlete, but as a role model—-a devoted husband, a sharp businessman, and a family man—a guy that had it all, yet still had it all together, but now we feel much differently. But I asked him to reconsider taking the framed prints down—not because they were photos I had taken, but for something bigger; an act of Forgiveness.

Tiger admitted his mistakes publicly, and took full responsibility for them. He admitted that what he did was wrong, and besides, this is between Tiger and his family. Even so, his entire life—his entire career—will forever be tainted, and impacted, by his transgressions. It will cost him sponsors, fans, and will cause him untold public humiliation for years to come. Now, if Tiger had come out and said, “Hey, it’s no big deal—everybody does it” that’s a different story entirely. In fact, if Tiger had in any way tried to justify what he had done, or downplayed it in any way, he’d be all alone on this one, but he did something most folks in his situation would never do—admit his mistake, publicly apologize, and recommit himself to his wife and family.

Tiger made a monumental mistake, but we all know people in our own lives, (friends, co-workers, perhaps even family members) that have not only done similar things, but in some cases much worse, and I can only hope their private and most humiliating mistakes aren’t paraded around to the entire world like Tiger’s have been. This is another case where people are all too happy to line up and sling arrows at a privileged person. Outside his celebrity, Tiger Woods is a real person, as are his wife and children. They are all real people dealing with a painful situation.

When I look at my Tiger Woods photos, I may never feel the same way I did about the man in the photos, but I won’t be taking them down. I forgive him, too. I’m also not deleting my photos of A-Rod that I took when I shot the New York Yankees, and if I had shots of President Clinton, I wouldn’t remove them either. I’m glad I’m not a celebrity photographer, or I’m not sure I’d be able to display any photos at all. However, I am happy to report that my friend had a change of heart as well and he’s re-hanging those images in his office today.

There is no shortage of people taking shots at, and severely judging Tiger Woods today, and I’m not saying he doesn’t have it coming, but if there’s one thing my Faith has taught me is that when a family is in trouble, we pray for them, and that’s exactly what I am going to do.



We’ve snagged another killer “this weekend only” deal—this time from Artistic Photo Canvas (the same people who did that five-foot long pano of St. Lucia on canvas for me—here’s the link to that post).

Here’s the deal: For this weekend only, they are offering you (the readers of my blog), a big 20% OFF your entire order plus you get a FREE microfiber camera lens cleaning cloth. The discount is applicable to all 102 standard size and finish combinations for gallery wraps, stretched canvases and unstretched canvases — as well as all optional techniques and add-ons including texturizing gel coats, dust covers and blind drop shipping.

When you place your order, you have to use this Promo Code to get the special discount:


If you’ve been thinking about getting a canvas print made—this is your chance!!!! (Here’s the link to Artistic Photo Canvas).

These canvas prints make fantastic Holiday gifts, and obviously they don’t just do panos—you can choose from loads of standard canvas sizes, and you’ll be tickled with the quality—these guys are really good!

Note: (The promotion does not apply to custom sizes and cannot be combined with other discounts.) Also, this special 20% off deal ends this Sunday at Midnight EST.

ONE MORE THING: The guys at APC told me this truly is a special deal, (one of the best discounts they’ve ever offered). From now on, I’m making sure that if a company offers to give my readers a deal, it has to actually be a special, unique killer deal for my readers or I’m not posting it, so a big thanks to APC for making this special discount happen.