Wednesday
Dec
2011
21

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring John Keatley!

by Brad Moore  |  20 Comments


Myself, my daughter Isla, my wife Nichelle, and Oliver the Pomeranian in our 2011 Christmas family portrait

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.

Four years ago, my friend Jessica asked me to take a picture of her and her boyfriend Brian to send out to friends for the holidays.  This was not really the type of thing I typically do, but Jessica is a good friend and a really creative person, so I agreed.  It would be fun.  Jessica happens to be an amazing producer with a great sense of humor, so I knew it wouldn’t be your typical family portrait.

When the shoot day arrived, the studio was filled with bags of old sweaters, tights, tutu’s, suspenders and some pretty funny props.  It looked like tacky Christmas threw up all over the studio.  It was awesome.

It didn’t take long until I was laughing so hard I was crying during the shoot.  It was a completely new experience for me.  I have had some laughs at photo shoots before, but never to the point where I was crying.  When it’s personal work, and you have total freedom, you can laugh so hard you cry.  Who knew!?  That shoot got me thinking about photography in a different way, and really opened up my eyes to something new.  Humor, and laughter have always been a big part of my life, but learning how that can be integrated into my photography was an exciting thing.  It was also a good reminder of why I like photography so much, and why it is so important to shoot what you enjoy.

I took so many pictures that day, it was hard to narrow them down.  But eventually I landed on a few selects I liked the most.  After thinking a little about the shoot and how much fun it had been, I really wanted to do something similar with my family.  How fun would it be do do something like that every year.  Especially when you think about 20 years from now, and how great it would be to have a collection of amazing family pictures.  It would be a really great way to look back and not only see how people have grown and changed, but also how I have developed as a photographer.  And also to see how my interests and style adapted over the years from picture to picture.

Over the next few years, I continued to take a Holiday picture of Brian and Jessica, but we also did a shoot with my family.  The first year of our family photograph, we went the Christmas sweater route,  but I wanted to add some additional subtle plot points. I decided to be in a wheel chair with a sling and a neck brace, which came about from a sledding accident with my pomeranian Oliver, who also had a bandage on his leg. And my sister Allison is holding him.

It went over really well, and it was fun to see the picture up on walls and refrigerators when I visited friends and clients. The next year, I put a lot more thought into our picture, and came up with the idea to do a snow scene with yeti.

Having mostly been a portrait photographer at that point, I had been developing a new interest in environmental images, and that interest ended up working its way into our family picture.  Our annual Christmas pictures are not only becoming a fun family tradition, but they are a great way to show potential clients my style, as well as who I am as an artist.  Photography is not just something I do for work, but it is literally an extension of who I am and how I think.  I am already looking forward to next year’s shoot.

The pictures of Brian and Jess from our very first shoot have gone on to heights I never imagined.  TV shows, magazines, billboards, posters, Holiday party invites.  I wish most of these uses were legal and approved by me, but that’s the power of the Internet I suppose, and a story for another time.  As I look back on 2011, I am happy to say I am enjoying photography more than ever thanks to fun personal projects like this.  Each year is more fun than the last, and I look forward to taking on new challenges and ideas in the new year.

So what new things are you interested in?  Who are you as an artist, and how does your personality influence your work?  In the coming year, I encourage you to look for new ways to challenge yourself and try something new.  I never would have thought family pictures would be something I could tie into my commercial work, but as they say.  You never know until you try.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you are able to finish out 2011 laughing in a cheesy Christmas sweater.  It’s the best way to end the year.

You can see more of John’s work at KeatleyPhoto.com, follow him on Twitter, and “Like” him on Facebook

Tuesday
Dec
2011
20

“Light It Magazine” App News Update

by Scott Kelby  |  52 Comments

Just a quick update for the folks that have been having a hard time downloading either issues #2 or #3:

(1) What’s driving us crazy, is the download problem is only happening a few users which makes it harder to track down. In our offices, all of our employees that downloaded issue’s 2 and 3 had no problem except one woman. She has an iPad 2, she downloaded the free update from the App store, and everything seems to be set perfectly, but for some reason she still can’t download issue #2, but she can download issue #3 no problem (uggh!). Either way; we’re working on it.

(2) One fix that has worked for a lot of people is to do this: Go to settings, and turn Restrictions ON.
Under Allowed Content make sure In-App Purchases is ON. (If it is already, then toggle OFF, then back ON for good measure.) Then try the download again.

(3) If the download didn’t work after trying it a few times, try it again today. For some reason, people who couldn’t download it two days ago now are suddenly able to download it even though nothing has changed.

It’s Slealthy
Big bugs apparently are easier to fix then problems that just a few people are experiencing, but if you’re one of the people it’s happening to, it doesn’t make it any less frustrating, so please accept my apology for the problem and know that our developer is working on it daily. We’ll get it sorted out (we have to), but in the meantime I wanted to just let you know that if you’re having a problem downloading either issues #2 or #3, we’re working on. Thanks for your patience (and believe me, nobody wants you to get your issue more than we do). :)

I’m having a flash back
This reminds of some of the problems we’ve had with our print magazines over the years. Sometimes, the magazine just doesn’t arrive in the mail. We put a stamp on it. Carefully address it, and send it to the post office, but with each issue we hear from subscribers whose issue for some reason never arrives. They’ve gotten every other issue, but this month—nothing, and for no obvious reason. But with Apps, I think we (you, me) expect that delivery isn’t going to be the problem. I guess some things never change. Double-uggh!

One last thing
If you’re having any problems, make sure you follow us on Facebook as it’s the first place fixes (and announcements of updates, and new issues) are posted. Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/LightIt 

 

Tuesday
Dec
2011
20

Looking for a last-minute Holiday Gift Idea? I’ve got just the book!”

by Scott Kelby  |  7 Comments

I just got my first copy of “Navigating Life,” a book written by my dear friend Douglas Poole, who originally wrote the book for his children—-passing on the lessons he learned as a father raising four children. Now he’s sharing his stories with other parents so their kids can sidestep some of the pitfalls, heartaches, and challenges that can get in the way of leading happy, fun, and fulfilling life.

I helped Douglas produce the book (I did the layout and cover design), and my book editor Kim Doty did all the editing, and well… it came out better than any of us had hoped.

It’s only $14.95 and totally worth it. Here’s the link (just in case): http://bit.ly/uCCTT4 [Congrats Douglas---you did it!!!!]. :-)

Monday
Dec
2011
19

Thanks to Rob Jones, and Photo Walkers Around the World, we raised $10,000 for the “Springs of Hope Kenya” Orphanage

by Scott Kelby  |  47 Comments

Rob Jones pulled off a Christmas Miracle, and he doesn’t even know it. First, a quick background: Rob runs Towner-Jones Photography based up in Washington DC, and when I started my Worldwide Photo Walk a few years back, Rob contacted me asking if he could help by setting up and running an t-shirt shop with the proceeds going to “Springs of Hope Orphanage” in Kenya (which was built from the ground up in part by donations from some of the wonderful people who read this very blog).

Anyway, Rob’s idea was a hit, and last year alone we raised more than $7,000 to feed and cloth the wonderful kinds at Springs of Hope Kenya. This year, Rob set a goal of $10,000, but we got the store up a little late (my fault) and we were at around $7,000 once again, but Rob wouldn’t settle for that, and he personally kicked in another $1,500 and he got a good friend of his, Troy Breidenbach (president of IGT America (igtamerica.com) to donate the remaining $1,500 to reach our $10,000 goal for the orphanage.

Timing is everything
Here’s where Rob’s Christmas Miracle kicks in. Last night my family went to our church’s annual Christmas Play, and at the end our Pastor asked if the folks there could find a way to kick in a little that night to help the Springs of Hope because there had been two recent break-ins at the orphanage, one of them being a violent break-in (he didn’t elaborate), but they wanted to add more security, including a security system, to help protect the children and staff.

Molly Bail, the director of Springs of Hope in Kenya, was visiting our church last night, and she was out front selling hand-bags made by the children and staff to raise money for the orphanage. I hadn’t seen Molly yet (didn’t even know she was there), but I saw her after church and was able to tell her that $10,000 was on its way (even more than they needed), and she was just overcome.

I have a favor to ask
This never would have happened if not for Rob, and for Troy Breidenbach, and for those of you around the world who brought the official Worldwide Photo Walk t-shirts, and I am just so very grateful to you all. That being said, I have a favor to ask. Could you join me here in thanking Rob for working and managing this t-shirt project for years now, so at the end of it all, we don’t just have photos to show for it—-we have something that makes in a real difference in the lives of some very deserving children’s lives. Just leave Rob a quick comment here, or visit his blog and thank him there , or I’m sure that Rob would even appreciate it more if you visited SpringsOfHopeKenya.org and sponsored a child, or you could pick up a holiday gift for them (shown below) that won’t cost you very much, but these gifts of food mean more than you can ever know.

Merry Christmas everybody!
Thanks to Rob and Troy, and even my friend Janine who sends a donation to Springs of Hope every single month, and thanks to you all for coming to the rescue once again, and being a part of a little Christmas miracle.

 

Friday
Dec
2011
16

Believe it or not, Issue #3 of “Light it” is already here!

by Scott Kelby  |  35 Comments

 

NOTE: Whatever you do, stop right now and get the FREE UPDATE from the App store. This is an important bug fix so download it right away. Now, onto our story:

After taking what seemed to be 5 lifetimes to approve issue #2, issue #3 is already here and ready for downloading! (Whoo Hoo).

It’s an awesome issue, which includes a very cool article from Jason Groupp on “Lighting for Weddings,” plus Frank Doorhof’s “Studio Techniques,” My “Photo Recipes” column, Tom Bol on “Location Lighting,” Erik Valind with “Little Lights, Big Shadows” and our feature story is “Visualizing Lighting for a Composite Image” is from James Quantz, Jr. Don’t wait—-go download that puppy now!

P.S. Did I mention that you need to download the free update from the App store?  :)

 

Friday
Dec
2011
16

“This Weekend Only Deal” – Animoto Pro + NAPP = $249!!

by Brad Moore  |  4 Comments

Animoto Pro has joined with NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) to create a very special combo offer – now you can get both for the price of one!

From December 16-18, just sign up for one year of Animoto Pro at $249 and you’ll also get a one-year membership to NAPP (good for renewals too).

Act now and tap into the power of these two amazing resources that will forever change how you approach your photography and your business.

What is Animoto Pro?
Animoto Pro is the tool photographers everywhere have embraced to turn their photography and video clips into custom HD videos injust minutes. Animoto Pro lets you spend more time doing what you love – shooting and editing amazing photos.

What is NAPP?
You don’t have to be a Photoshop pro to join NAPP, but you’ll become one when you do. No other training resource offers a how-to magazine like Photoshop User (10 annually), thousands of online tutorials, hundreds of money saving discounts, three online Help Desks, and more.

GET STARTED at Animoto.com/napp

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