Wednesday
Nov
2014
12

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Drew Gurian!

by Brad Moore  |  7 Comments


Photo by Jason Ryan

Hello!  It’s been quite awhile since my last guest blog, and I’m excited to be back here. Brad and I were just talking about a shoot I did over the weekend, and he thought this may be a good place to share what i’ve been up to.

To start with a quick introduction, here’s my backstory…

From 2008 to 2013 I was Joe McNally’s 1st assistant. I spent the majority of that time on the road traveling hundreds of thousands of miles all over the world with him. It was an absolutely incredible life experience and has made a huge impact on my photography and life to this day. As of September 2013, I embarked full-time into the freelance photo world, and like most New York photographers, moved to Brooklyn.

Since I first picked up a camera at the age of 14, I’ve always pointed it at musicians, and I’m very happy to say that just about all of my work to this day is in the music/entertainment industries.

What started as lots of live concert shoots over the years has transitioned into primarily portraits, backstage candids, and in-(recording) studio reportage for commercial and editorial clients like Red Bull, The Associated Press, Rolling Stone and The New York Times.

Instead of giving you an overview of my work, I’ve decided to share with you a real world shoot that just happened this past Sunday for The Associated Press…

The freelance world, as we know, is entirely unpredictable. I can’t begin to say how many weeks I’ve had without a single shoot booked, and then within hours, I’ve gotten absolutely slammed and am struggling to keep my head on straight.

This past weekend was certainly that case, and as of 3PM on Friday, I had plans to attend a photo festival in Pennsylvania. At 3:30PM, I got an email from AP asking if I had an interest in shooting a quick group portrait shoot on Sunday morning.

The legendary producer, T Bone Burnett was given access to a box of Bob Dylan’s hand-written, unpublished lyrics from the time of the original “Basement Tapes” recordings, and he tasked himself with putting together an all-star lineup of musicians to write songs for these lyrics, and release what is now called “The New Basement Tapes” (released on November 10th). The band he put together is comprised of Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), and Jim James (My Morning Jacket).

As a freelancer, when you get an email like this, no matter what your plans are (with very few exceptions), you very quickly write back and say “yes.” To have these five musicians in one room is amazing, and to have the opportunity to photograph them is an absolute honor that you can’t take lightly.

A shoot like this involves a lot of prep work to pull it off well. Researching the artists, the location (luckily, I had shot Roger Waters at the same venue last year), pushing to get there as early as possible, pushing to have the talent for as long as possible, planning out the setup, prepping gear, etc.  At the very least, it was a full day’s work to piece this all together, and that’s before even getting to the shoot itself.

Posing five people well isn’t at all an easy thing to pull off, especially when it’s a crew like this. We got there with plenty of time to set up and test out some ideas, and here’s a very loose comp of what we had planned out. We had to plan for six people, as we were unsure until the last minute as to whether or not T Bone Burnett would be showing up for the shoot (he didn’t make it).


Thanks so much to Nick Rapaz and Erik Ellingson for all the help in pulling this off!

I knew I wanted Elvis to sit on the trunk, and had plans for the rest of them as well.  I also knew that I had to be assertive as soon as they stepped on-set, or I’d never get what I needed.

As soon as they walked in, “Elvis, I’d like for you to sit right here on the trunk.” Elvis: “I’d really rather stand than sit.” Marcus: “Yea, we’d like to stand.” They walked right past the trunk, and stood behind it, right against the backdrop, which was clearly not going to work.  We ended up moving it out, replacing it with an apple box, and then taking that out all together.

While I was shooting, I had thought about getting something usable, then bringing the trunk back in and asking them to humor me one more time. I thought that they may entertain the idea if I promised them it would look great, but I also know I could possibly get a flat out “no.” Also in the back of my mind was the fact that I had been outside a few minutes before the shoot and saw some beautiful light on the building. I really wanted to get them out there as well, and knew that if I pushed them too hard inside, I’d outright lose them and never get to photograph another setup with them.

Sure enough, we spent almost ten minutes inside (which is a lot of time with anyone notable), and I convinced them to come outside for a few quick photos.

After the 2+ hours of setup, tweaking and shooting the indoor photos, I actually much prefer the more candid feel of the photos shot outside— which were shot in under 90 seconds and lit by the sun. Go figure.

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, and if you’d like to see more of what i’ve been up to, you can find me here:

DrewGurian.com

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Thanks so much for reading!

-Drew

Tuesday
Nov
2014
11

My New Photoshop CC Book is Here! Yay!!!

by Scott Kelby  |  19 Comments

Hey gang – it’s finally here! (yay!). If you’ve got a quick sec, check out the really short video above for why this version of the book is so different from previous editions.

Good news — it should be shipping by this weekend, and you can get yours first if you preorder your copy at Barnes & Noble or Amazon  or wherever shiny happy new books are sold.

My thanks to everybody who has supported this book over the years — I hope you find this latest version the most helpful yet.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’d like me to sign and personalize your copy of the book (and I would love to!), you can order it direct from us at this link.  

Tuesday
Nov
2014
11

A Day To Honor Our Military Veterans

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

Today is Veterans Day here in the US, and I wanted to take a moment to honor and thank the men and women who have served in our country’s military, and who fought to defend the very freedoms we enjoy today.

America owes you a debt of gratitude for your service and sacrifice, and I just wanted to join in with a heartfelt thanks.

Monday
Nov
2014
10

Reaction to “50 Brides Reveal What Their Photographers Could Have Done Better”

by Scott Kelby  |  33 Comments

Last week on my Facebook page I pointed to an article I found  on a WPPI Forum called “50 Brides Reveal What Their Photographers Could Have Done Better” (the original article was posted on BrideBoxPro.com) and I thought it actually provided some interesting points and feedback directly from the folks wedding photographers are trying to make happy, so that’s a good thing, right?

Well, while it was widely viewed (it reached over 510,000 people on my Facebook page alone, and was reshared there nearly 1,000 times), it sure wasn’t widely embraced. A lot of wedding photographers seemed to blame the brides themselves for ‘not hiring better wedding photographers in the first place.’

Here’s a reader comment from Ross Mealey that garnered 83 likes from other readers:

“While I only shoot weddings for people I am close with… I have to comment and ask the REAL question… how many of the people who commented of the 50 things shopped around, read photographers reviews, and spent more than a couple hundred dollars and even then tried to cheap out of paying… everyone wants something for nothing… so they hire sub-standard photographers and expect the world when the product is delivered…”

Whether you find some information in that “50 brides post” that will help you better meet future brides’ expectations, or if you agree with the general feeling that these brides “got what they paid for…” I think perhaps the best learning opportunity may actually come from those Facebook comments posted by the photographers themselves. A lot of pro wedding photographers did a nice job of sharing how they handle or deal with some of the very same issues the brides pointed out, so you might find it helpful to see how other photographers are dealing with these topics by reading the 140+ comments on that Facebook post (here’s the link — scroll down to my post from November 6th).

Now, let’s turn the tables
While you’re here, if you had the opportunity to tell 50 potential brides what would help you, as a wedding photographer, to create the type of wedding images they’ve always dreamed of, what would it be?

I’ll get the ball rolling with one
I would insist if they hire me that it is an “unplugged wedding” where the Bride and Groom ask the guests in advance to leave their cameras at home and their cell phones in their pockets or purses, and just enjoy the wedding day as guests. Rather than having them experience the wedding through a glass screen, let them know that you have hired a team of photographers who will make sure everything is covered, and so they won’t have to come as journalists, they can just relax and be a part of a moment instead of trying to chronicle it. The bride and groom at the last wedding I shot agreed to do this, and it really made the day a pleasure for everyone and the guests actually got to be guests again.

I’d love to hear what ideas you’d have for those 50 potential brides (imagine that you’re speaking to them in a small ballroom at a bridal show and you have the stage sharing advice to help them out). Maybe if we get enough great responses we could create a post with ideas which we could share with potential brides?

Best,

-Scott

Friday
Nov
2014
07

This is an Amazing Guitar, But That Night I Got Something So Much More…

by Scott Kelby  |  85 Comments

Friday before last, my company threw a big party for me to celebrate my being “The #1 Best Selling Book Author in Computers or Photography for 10 Consecutive Years.” 

My awesome wife Kalebra organized the event (she is the queen of incredible events), and since my wonderful Publisher Peachpit Press had already presented me with a beautiful award during Photoshop World, she wanted to do something really unique to commemorate this milestone. So she called my whole family up on stage and presented me with the amazing Paul Reed Smith Custom guitar (you see above), with a personalized plaque right below the bridge (a close up of the plaque is seen below).

I have a few PRS (Paul Reed Smith) guitars but they are all “SE” models, which are their much lower-priced kind of “entry-level” models, and I dearly love mine (they don’t play like entry level models). But when my wife handed this one to me, I didn’t (at first) realize it wasn’t an SE model — this was the ‘real deal’ — my first real PRS! Well, as blown away as I was, I was not at all prepared for what was coming next…

What came next…
So I’m standing there holding the guitar, and everybody’s clapping, and my daughter and son are there and I keep saying to my wife, “This is a real PRS!!!” and the whole thing is kind of surreal. Then my wife says, “Your son wants to say something,” and she hands him the mic.

Now, my son is a really good public speaker, and he started by cracking a couples of little jokes that got everybody laughing. But then he started into his speech—one that absolutely had me and everybody speechless.

I wish I had it on tape, but I’ll paraphrase as best I can. Here’s what he said:

“Dad, I was 7-years-old when you won this award for the first time and now it’s been 10 years in a row. This has been a tremendous amount of work for you, but when I was in elementary school, and we had presentations at school, you were always there.  When I played basketball or soccer in middle school, you were always at my games.  When we had parent/teacher conferences at school you were always there…”

…and he went on and on through all the times he needed me there, from dealing with a broken heart to cheering at his Crew races, and he listed them one after another in a list that seemed to go on forever, and he ended every single one with “…and you were always there…” By this time I’m in tears and everybody at the party is in tears, and he’s just describing this all so eloquently, and he’s on stage in front of this large crowd, and he keeps listing all these things and then he pauses for a moment and says…

“And you know what all this taught me, dad?”

And the whole place goes silent. And he says…

It taught me how to be a man.” 

That was it — tears just came pouring out, and I hugged him, and everybody cheered, and it was literally one of the most amazing moments of my entire life. There isn’t a dad out there that could have asked for his son to say anything more. I was so incredibly touched, and he did such a wonderful job presenting the whole thing (which of course, made me even prouder). Needless to say it’s a moment I’ll never forget, and as much as I love awesome guitars, this meant so, so, so much more.

As I write this post (which is very late for a Friday post I might add), I’m with my wife and son — for the past two days we’ve been visiting college campuses around the country (six flights in two days) and just having a ball. We’re about to head out for another campus tour, and I’m so excited for the adventures, learning, and fun my son will embark on next year. We’re a very close family, and he and I have always been very close, and it’s going to be really hard on me when he goes off to school in a different state, but no matter how old he and I get, I’ll never forget his words, or what it means to be his dad.

Here’s to all the dads out there, who know exactly what I mean, and how I feel. :)

Have a great weekend everybody!

Best,

-Scott

Thursday
Nov
2014
06

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  59 Comments

Scott Kelby on the Canon 7D Mark II
First sports photographer Peter Read Miller shared his thoughts on the new 7D Mark II, then wildlife photographer Adam Jones shared his thoughts. Now Scott Kelby shares why he thinks this camera is a game changer! Between the incredible high ISO quality, 10fps frame rate, autofocus system, and affordability, this camera allows photographers to shoot things that they previously would’ve needed a more expensive body (and much larger budget) to shoot.

The Canon 7D Mark II is now shipping, so if this camera is one you want to add to your camera bag, you can order it now from B&H Photo!

A Photographer’s Guide To Rome with Scott Kelby
Is a visit to Rome on your bucket list? Consider this your travel guide on where to go for the best photographs of this beautiful and historic city. On and off the beaten path, Scott Kelby shares his favorite locations along with the kind of veteran traveler tips that will help you capture images that you’ll be delighted to bring back home. Timing is everything, so you’ll not only learn where to go, but what times will yield the best chances for great photographs. This is strictly a travel guide for photographers, so there’s no Photoshop or Lightroom involved, just the kind of information that will aid you on your photographic journey and inspire you to get out there and shoot.

KelbyOne Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, RC Concepcion, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Dec 1 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The Power of One Flash with Joe McNally
Nov 6 – Washington, DC (today!)
Dec 9 – San Diego, CA

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Nov 7 – Los Angeles, CA (tomorrow!)

The Photoshop Creativity Tour with Ben Willmore
Nov 10 – Toronto, ON
Dec 12 – Phoenix, AZ

You can check out the full schedule for seminars through the end of the year. Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Did you Miss PPE?
If you want to see some of what goes on at PhotoPlus Expo, you can! Mia McCormick did some amazing field reports with Phottix, Epson, Manfrotto, Mylio, ExpoImaging and many more. You can find these reports and complete show coverage over at the KelbyOne Blog.

Light, Gesture, & Color by Jay Maisel
Light, Gesture & Color is the seminal work of one of the true photographic geniuses of our time, and it can be your key to opening another level of understanding, appreciation, wonder, and creativity as you learn to express yourself, and your view of the world around us, through your camera. If you’re ready to break through the barriers that have held your photography back, that have kept you from the making the types of images you’ve always dreamed of, and you’re ready to learn what photography is really about, you’re holding the key in your hands at this very moment.

You can order your copy of this book right here, get a free excerpt from the book right here, or leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy!

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Michael Glover

If you’re the lucky winner, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Page 3 of 48912345...102030...Last »
Advertisement