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I was overjoyed to be asked by KelbyOne to be this week’s Guest Blogger! Kelby Training/KelbyOne has been a fantastic help to me over the years, and it has always inspired me to improve, setting a benchmark for where I would like to be in the future.

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This got me thinking about the past five years and where I began, where I hoped I would be by now and where I see myself going from here. Reflecting on your career history makes you stop and think about past achievements, failures and what you can do to keep pushing ahead to reach your next goals.

If like me you always want to achieve more, sometimes you pass over the goals you reach because you have already set new ones. I always said five years ago that as soon as I became a published photographer I would feel like a success, except, my work got published and I still wasn’t happy and felt that I could improve.

It seemed that as soon as one goal was met, it was already surpassed with a new one – a harder one – to continue to push myself and to try and stay in the forefront of people’s minds.

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Recently, I was approached to be sponsored by a brand but I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted, so I turned it down. “Is she crazy?” I hear you ask… Maybe! The fact was, even though they have great products, their business goals didn’t match with mine and I could see there being conflicting interests later on down the line. I could have said yes, and who knows where this may have led? But my instincts were telling me to hold off and continue under my own name, not someone else’s.

After nearly six years in the industry, I am at a point now where I can choose what opportunities I feel will be best suited to me individually and my personal development and growth, and that is exactly what we should all be doing.

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We all have our own journeys and each path we take is our individual decision and shapes our future accordingly.  We have all been guilty of taking below average offers because we thought that was all we were worth at the time. When you first start out, there is a necessity to do unpaid work to gain valuable experience – but the key is to not let it stay that way!

Thankfully, we all improve quickly thanks to technological advances in equipment and software, but especially with online learning platforms such as KelbyOne and seminars and hands-on workshops.

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You should be able to see the improvement in your work, even if it might take you longer to see it than others.  A great way to track progress is to keep a separate portfolio of your best 5-10 images each year and just explain a little next to it why you chose those images. They don’t have to be the ones that you were paid for or that someone else liked – this is for YOUR own development.

I found that once I looked back and saw how far I had come, it gave me a sense of self-success, a feeling I hadn’t stopped and appreciated before.

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We all get down days, and in this industry there are many. This is why we need to stop and look at our own achievements, however small they might seem at the time, and notice our own incredible abilities and self-worth.

Plans and goals are important to make but I got so wrapped up in trying to always achieve the next goal that I forgot about just enjoying the here and now and really taking it all in.

Photography is horrendously competitive and can be exhausting at times to maintain, especially keeping up with social media too. Your online presence (both website and social media) is incredibly important and that is an area I am working on improving this year.

My next goal will be offering workshops in Beauty and Fashion Photography after my ‘test’ workshop days went wonderfully well. Teaching is something that has always interested me but has taken a little time for me to feel confident and ready – now that I am, I am excited what the future will bring!

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Lastly, please remember that we shouldn’t measure ourselves against others; we should only measure against where we were, where we are and feel excited about where we will be next.

So take a moment today, look at your amazing portfolio of work and remember, we all are continuously learning on our own individual journeys- just make sure you enjoy every moment of yours!

You can see more of Sian’s work at SianRobertson.com, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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It’s actually two little things to do; the first one is a no-brainer, the second one (the main one) you’d kinda have to know the secret handshake to make it work, but chances are it’s going to fix whatever is messing with your copy of Photoshop or Lightroom, and get you back up and running right.

It’s short, sweet, and to the point. Hope you find it helpful.

Hope I get to meet you at my seminar here today in Seattle, or on Friday in Portland. 

Have an great Tuesday everybody. :)

Best,

-Scott

Hi Gang and Happy Monday. I’m on my way out to Seattle today for my seminar tomorrow, and then I’m off to Portland, Oregon for my seminar there, Friday, but before I head out here’s a little tip for a more readable, better-looking Instagram feed, and this tips works about 70% of the time (see below for more on the 70% thing).

Adding Line Breaks to Your Captions
This tip is for when your caption is a little long, or for when you want to separate your hashtags from the rest of your caption (of course, you can post all your hashtags as the first comment, but that’s a different tip). Anyway, it’s a little hidden how to do this on an iPhone, so that’s what I thought I’d share today.

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Above: Notice those two glorious line breaks above? Sure makes reading your caption easier. 

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Above: To add a line break; on an iPhone; tap the “123” button on the keyboard (shown circled above in red).

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Above: That brings up the number keyboard, and with it a “Return” key (circled in red above). Place your cursor where you want it; tap the Return key, and it creates a line break. 

NOTE: Remember the 70% thing I mentioned before? Well, when I went back to older posts and added these line breaks to make long captions more readable, it didn’t work in every case — even though it appeared to work while editing the caption; sometimes when I tapped the “Done” button the line breaks which it just showed, completely went away (by the way — adding line breaks doesn’t just make the text more readable — by taking one long caption and breaking it into shorter blocks of text, the chances of people reading your caption at all go way up because little blocks of text make the time it takes to read the caption seem shorter to people, so they’re more likely to read it in the first place).

Hope you find that helpful (and I hope if you’re on Instagram you’ll follow me there — I post travel photography shots there daily). I’m @scottkelby on Instagram.

Hope you have a better-than-average Monday, we’ll catch ya here tomorrow.

Best,

-Scott

…you’re not really sure what the advantages are, if any, over using Photoshop and The Bridge, which you’ve been already using for years, so you’re comfortable with it, and can’t see why you should change now.

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That’s why I did an online class on KelbyOne called: “Why You Might Want to Switch to Lightroom” where I show exactly what the advantages are and why it’s so much better than the old Photoshop & Bridge workflow. Here’s the link.

If you’re not a KelbyOne member, take the free 10-day free trial and watch it immediately. If you’re a KelbyOne member, watch it this weekend — I think you’ll be amazed at what you’ve been missing.

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Then, when you’re ready to make the switch (which will be right after watching that class), go and watch my class “Learn Lightroom in One Hour” and that will get you up and running fast. Here’s the link to that class.

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Lastly, if you’re already using Lightroom and loving it, I want to invite you to come and join me (and a bunch of the world’s leading Lightroom trainers) for a three-day Lightroom learning love-fest out in Las Vegas this summer at the Photoshop World 2016 Conference. We have an awesome Lightroom training track, and in three days you’ll more than you have in three years (plus, you’ll have a blast). Here’s a link with details.

Hope you all have a Lightroom-learning weekend. I’m off to Seattle and Portland for my seminars there next week. Hope I’ll get to meet you there in person. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’re not following our YouTube channel, you oughta. We’re sharing a lot of fun stuff, tutorials, and tips over there every week. :)

LarrysGearSolutions

Inexpensive & DIY Photography Gear Solutions with Larry Becker
Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, there’s no getting around the fact that photography gear can be expensive. Join our own Larry Becker as he shares all kinds of cool ways you can save money on a wide range of photographic accessories. Larry is always thinking of clever alternatives to conventional gear and do-it-yourself ways to make the things you need at a much lower cost. Sometimes we can save money just by learning from the cautionary tales told by our peers. In this class Larry has gathered up a ton of his favorite tips, tricks, and projects to help you find low cost solutions for things all photographers need and use. By the end of the class you’ll be ready to head out to your local hardware store and start experimenting with your own solutions and alternatives, so that you’ll have more money to spend on the important things.

In Case You Missed It
Don’t forget to check out our class on Transforming Your Home Into A Professional Photography Studio from Rick Sammon!

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Hi, my name is Peter Treadway but I’m better known (photographically, at least) as Hybrid Peter, a moniker which derives from being the owner and one half of Hybrid Photography here in the UK (the other half being my buddy Hybrid Dave Williams). As Hybrid Photography, Dave and I are destination wedding specialists, traveling worldwide to capture our clients most treasured moments and it’s a job we absolutely love. However…

I’m not here today to talk about Weddings (I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief as I type that!). No, what I wanted to discuss is an issue that has been around for donkey’s years but has really started to become all too common in the photography community and it’s something that I really can’t abide. It’s the idea that only the most expensive pro kit will get you the results you want and that if you aren’t using said kit, then you can never be a ‘proper’ photographer.

And so whilst it’s true that you may need certain specialist lenses or equipment to fully pull off a select few types of shots, the vast majority of images that you’d want to capture can be so caught using the setup you most likely already have, with perhaps just a couple of other bits of very cheaply sourced kit that, once bought, could be used time and time again. Despite this, I’ve heard even seasoned photographers being fed the line by more ‘experienced’ pros that only the best, most expensive gear will do, but even more disappointing than that is that this ‘advice’ is almost always aimed at the younger generation of togs who, at that stage of their photography journey, have little other information to base their understanding on and so have no real choice but to believe what they’re being told. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s all rubbish!

I know this from personal experience, as I picked up my first entry level DSLR, a Nikon D3000, 6 years ago and within 6 months of buying it, shot my first wedding. Yes, I started shooting weddings on an entry level DSLR with only one lens (a Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3), no speedlight and after only 6 months of having ever pressed a shutter release with any purpose! I think I just heard an old school tog have a heart attack!

As you might imagine then, every website, every photography forum and every photographer that I consulted was telling me that there was no way my shots would be any good whilst using such a basic setup and that I couldn’t even call myself a photographer by shooting with a £400 body… and they were right! But only partly so, as whilst I’m still immensely proud of the photos from that first event, it’s also true to say that they are a world away from the polished and professional images I deliver to my couples these days. However, where the nay sayers were wrong is in suggesting that this had anything to do with my kit, as, in reality, it was everything to do with my lack of training and knowledge. Luckily though, being 30 years old at the time, and therefore slightly older than your average first time shooter, I had the confidence to largely ignore what I knew to be inaccurate information and simply carry on.

Knowing that weddings were absolutely what I wanted to shoot though, and that I needed to improve quicksmart, rather than fall in to the trap of believing that I had to buy ever more expensive gear, I buried myself in every training resource I could find (which is also when I discovered Scott’s Digital Photography set of books and which to this day I still refer to as my bibles) and quite simply practiced, practiced, practiced with my trusty D3000.

Dave and I would head down to London’s Southbank, next to the River Thames, or just drive out to the middle of nowhere for whole days, any opportunity we got, and not stop shooting until our memory cards were full. Then we’d go and grab a bite to eat (usually a cheeky Nandos!) and process the images immediately on our laptops, reviewing what we could have done better, before emptying the cards on to the computers and starting over again, now taking different types of shots of city lights, light trails and playing with light orbs as the sun faded. We’d shoot architecture, street photography, cars and bikes and even model for each other to better understand concepts of lighting and posing and how different setups could completely change the feel of a portrait. I just couldn’t get enough of trying new things.

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Look, I was even adding a copyright back in those days… How cute!

And so it was that when the next wedding came around 3 months later, despite the only difference being the addition of a small budget speed light, there was a huge difference in the feel of the images. My composition was better, my understanding of camera settings was better and I had a greater idea of where I should be standing at key moments to fully utilise the light available to me.

Still the comments continued to be made though and they did stick with me but thankfully not in a way that had me brooding over them and worrying that I wasn’t good enough but rather reinforced my resolve never to become one of ‘those’ photographers as I continued my photographic progression. They also made me a firm believer in the notion that the only time you should look down on someone, is when you’re helping them up.

This is why, almost from the very beginning, Dave and I have actively tried to impart any knowledge and skills we had acquired to the next wave of eager photographers and have lead a number of educational photowalks and informal training sessions to this end over the years, including being asked to organise and run the Photofocus photowalk earlier this year, as part of The Societies photography convention here in London, where we were joined, amongst others, by Robert Vanelli, Richard Harrington and Eric Renno. On the point of helping people to learn, I’ve also found it to be a fantastic way of picking up tips myself, as strange at that sounds, because in the midst of a giving practical advice to a group of people, there is always some new information that can be picked up during discussion.

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As of now then, I am thankfully at a stage in my career where I have managed to surround myself with fellow creatives that share this belief of recycling knowledge and paying forward what they themselves have been taught, without looking down on people and telling them that they’re no good unless they have the latest and greatest stuff. However, having spoken to a number of newer photographers during various training sessions over the last few years, it’s clear that the same tired old phrases regards having to have the ‘right’ gear are still doing the rounds.

A few weeks ago then, while I was sat at home pondering a new photo project and how I could use it to tie in with this ethos of being able to shoot almost anything, almost anywhere and with almost any camera, I hit upon an idea that saw me shooting something I’d been wanting to capture for a while and something that was very dear to my heart… my car!

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Now, as a caveat to these images, I should point out that I’m clearly no automotive photographer and that these images would probably never grace the pages of any car magazines but that was never my aim (and besides, my Mum has seen them and she loves them, so that has to mean they’re good, right?). But seriously, what was I really trying to achieve here? Well, I wanted some moody, low key shots of my car, which is what I have ended up with and more importantly, they illustrate one major point:

You don’t need a huge studio, banks of lighting and mega expensive camera gear to take these kind of shots. Let me show you why:

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Yep, these were taken on the driveway outside my house and in broad daylight and could easily have been taken in a cramped garage or on the street. So ok, full disclosure (because I know the eagle eyed amongst you will have picked up on this already) I actually took these shots using a full frame Nikon D810, a 14-24 f2.8 lens and a 3 Legged Thing tripod, all of which come in at quite a pretty penny. But, and as Sir Mix-a-lot says, it’s a big but, before you go off espousing that I’m a charlatan of the highest order, let’s consider the settings I used.

All of these images were shot at around f10, ISO100 and using the wide end of the lens, which all means there’s absolutely nothing stopping anyone taking these shots with a baby DSLR, a kit lens, even the cheapest tripod and basic knowledge of your chosen photo editing software (I’ll be posting a full blog on my post processing for these shots over on my website soon, so keep an eye out for that, if you’re interested). As for lighting, I used a Yongnuo speedlight and trigger combo which allowed me to get the flash off my camera hot shoe and cost around £65 ($90) on eBay for the two and a cheap 24” softbox which cost around £25 ($35), again from eBay. So then even when extra bits of kit are needed, it’s clear that they don’t have to be the latest Profotos or Elinchroms to get the job done and it’s likely to be stuff that won’t simply see the light of day for one shoot but that you’ll able to use time and again.

And so with all of that said, I hope that now gives you the confidence to tell the detractors what they can do with their information and gives you the ability to see that the only limit to getting great results from whatever kit you already have, is how creative you’re willing to get with it and that if you think it’s time to upgrade your kit, make sure first that you don’t simply need to upgrade your knowledge!

P.S. I’d just like to say thanks to you all for taking the time to read my idle ramblings and that I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new fellow creatives at Photoshop World later this year (if you haven’t booked your ticket yet, really, what are you waiting for!), so if you’re going and you see me there, feel free to come over and say hello. After all, I’m English, so I’m bound to be polite, right? FInally, I’d also like to say a huge thanks to Scott for allowing me to grace his guest blog spot this week. It’s a genuine honour.

You can see more of Peter’s work at HybridPeter.com, and follow him on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.

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