Hi gang: I recently did three portrait shoots for the Coca Cola company and their “Journeys” project to celebrate Mother’s Day.
My idea was to feature three very special mom’s and to make a portrait of them in their home holding one of their most memorable Mother’s Day gifts, along with the person who gave them such a memorable gift, and the story behind it.
The Art of Digital Photography: The Inspirational Series with Dixie Dixon Join Mia McCormick for an inspirational chat with Dixie Dixon, a commercial fashion photographer based in Texas. Over the course of an hour their conversation touches on topics ranging from how Dixie got started shooting fashion to a behind the scenes perspective on some of her favorite images, and from the importance of finding sources of inspiration to the growth that can come from pursuing personal projects.
Leave a comment for your chance to see this class for free!
KelbyOne Live Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, RC Concepcion, Joe McNally, Corey Barker, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!
Some Things I’ve Learned Over The Years. In Order Of Importance. Six things I have learned over the years that are relevant to this increasingly common desire. In order of importance.
1. How you see the world and what you have to say about it (also known as point of view) is the single most valuable asset you have as a photographer. Often, developing a strong point of view has very little to do with photography and a lot to do with what you read, think, and have seen. What is you point of view? What you are doing to develop and expand it?
2. Be a nice person. Clients give work to talented people they want to spend time with. Its that simple. In the past 25 years I could probably trace every job I have ever gotten back to about 15 people. They would recommend me to others because I had put in enough hours to get good at my craft and they enjoyed my company. Its that simple. Solid Talent + Nice Personality = Third Person Referrals. Third person Referrals = everything. This also happens to be a much less icky way to think about marketing.
3. Walk before you fly. The curve of every successful photographer I know represents a slow and steady rise over time powered by passion. They started with small unglamorous assignments for small unglamorous publications and through dogged commitment and talent built their careers one picture at a time. Sorry folks, there is no fast track to success. For some reason people don’t want to hear this. I’m gonna sound old here, but this is especially true with some younger people. It takes 10,000 hours to master a craft. The sooner you accept this, roll up your sleeves, and start doing the hard work the better off you will be.
4. Find a mentor (and listen to them). I can trace everything that has ever happened in my career back to 4 mentors. Each of them helped me through different stages of my career in a very old fashioned way. Basically, they would give me advice and I would follow it. A lot of the time this advice made no sense but in retrospect it always did. None of them every told me I was great and all of them expected a lot of me.
5. It’s not about the gear. For every minute you research or think about gear/technology you need to spend 100 hours actually using it. Look at the greatest photographs ever taken, almost all of them could have been shot with a 35mm or 50mm lens. I’m begging you… shut down your computer get offline and shoot more. The real world can be so much more interesting and rewarding than the virtual one anyway.
6. Embrace business. You’re better off being a mediocre photographer who is an excellent business person than vice versa. I know, creatives are supposed to be above business. Here’s the key, don’t think of business as something that will turn you into a suit and tie. Think of business as nothing more than a way for you to enable your dream job and lifestyle. The better you get at the business part of it the more opportunities you will have. Business for photographers is really just a different application of the creative problem solving skills we already posses.
Here’s some cool free stuff from me that you might have missed, so I thought I’d share it here in honor of it being ‘Seis de Mayo’ and all. ;-)
(1) Download My FREE Lighting Recipes iPad App It’s an App dedicated to teaching different lighting set-ups — The cool thing is, it’s not just a couple of lighting setups… There are 13 lessons in all, showing you the finished image and production shots, a lighting diagram, and my own audio commentary so you can see how each one is set up. It’s been downloaded about a bazillion times — it’s has nearly 700 reviews on the iTunes Store and it’s rated 4-1/2 stars (Whoo hoo!!!). Anyway, it’s free from the App store (or you can use this link).
(2) Take my FREE online class on creating custom photo books in Lightroom That’s right — it’s my full-length class on KelbyOne.com where I take you through the entire Lightroom photo book-making process from beginning to end and you’ll see exactly how it’s all done (and learn lots of helpful tips and hints along the way.
Here’s how it works: Our online classes are also available as downloadable 3-day rentals (just like you’d download a movie rental), and that’s the case here, but you’ll notice that instead of there being a $6.99 rental fee, the rental button says FREE (well, technically it says “RENT NOW” but you’ll see that the rental price is actually $0.00, and $0 means F-R-Double-E Free!).
Here’s a link to the free online class, and I hope you find it helpful (photo books are easy to get hooked on — make one and you’ll fall in love).
(3) Watch my online class called “Crush The Composition” for Free! This is the free rebroadcast of my talk at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference about why so many of us struggle learning photo composition and I introduced a new way to teach composition that breaks with the traditional methods and it has just really struck a chord with a lot of people. In fact, I probably get more email from fans about this class than any I’ve ever taught. It’s been viewed over 200,000 times and you can watch the entire class free (I’ve embedded it right above).
Well, there ya have it folks — three free things from me! :)
Hope you find this stuff helpful and if it moves you even just a few more feet down the road, then I’ll be a happy man. Have a great Tuesday everybody. Hope it’s your best one so far this year! :)
OK, well I guess “technically” you could see a before/after in Camera Raw but it could not have been clunkier (just turning on/off the Preview checkbox wouldn’t do it — that only showed you a before/after of the particular panel you were currently using). But this is way beyond that as Adobe took the awesome before/after side-by-side, top-and-bottom, split-view and related stuff from Lightroom and finally (finally!) brought them over to the current version of Camera Raw (Adobe snuck these in the latest update for Photoshop CC subscribers).
You access these before/after views from right below the preview window (I circled it in red above). Better yet, although the Preview Checkbox is now gone from the Camera Raw interface, pressing the “P” key now actually does what you always thought it should — now it shows you a real before/after of ALL the changes you made in to the image anywhere in Camera Raw.
Hats off to Adobe who has been sneaking lots of new little features into Camera Raw in the past year, stuff like: Export Option Presets, Auto Levels (automatically setting your white and black points for you), Auto White Balance, Visualizing Spots (from Lightroom), ACR-toning for 32-bit HDR images and a whole bunch more (I did a whole class on it on KelbyOne — if you’re a subscriber make sure you check it out — even I was surprised how much has been added since Adobe doesn’t make a big fanfare about it anymore — they just release ‘em when they’re ready).
Anyway, that’s just a quickie for today in case you missed the new feature add — hope you all have a great start to your week!
Hi gang, and greetings from Knoxville, Tennessee. Brad and I are here for some shoots there today for the book I’ve been working on — it’s the fifth installment of my “The Digital Photography Book” series. This one is called “Photo Recipes” and it’s been quite an undertaking, but we’re on the home stretch now so it won’t be long now ’till this baby is off to the printer.
I’ve already turned most of the book into my in-house editors, and I’m just wrapping up the final few chapters, so it won’t be long now, but if you’re wondering why I haven’t been as active on social media these past few weeks, that’s why.
As we’re heading into the weekend, here’s a few things that are going on:
(1) I’m selling prints of this image to raise money for Eliza’s treatment Photographers from around the world are selling one of their prints to help raise money for the life-saving medial treatment for an adorable little 4-year-old girl who is suffering from a degenerative genetic disease called Sanfilippo syndrome. If you’d like to help (and I sure hope you will), could you stop by this site, choose any size print you’d like to buy, and the profits go directly to her treatment.
(2) The negative power of the Unsolicited Critique I know Brad mentioned this yesterday on “Free Stuff Thursday” but a number of people have been calling this week’s episode of “The Grid” our best ever because of the topic, which was “The Power of the Unsolicited Critique.” I posted the episode here and if you’ve got a few minutes, I encourage you to watch it (or just let it run in the background). It’s a message and a story I think anyone who shares their images online needs to here. By the way, I didn’t choose that thumbnail preview that you see above (thanks Aaron).
(3) The Art of Dixie Dixon Every Thursday we release at least one new online class over at KelbyOne.com (though this year we’ve been usually releasing more than one at a time) and this week we released an inspirational interview called “The Art of Dixie Dixon” and you’re so gonna love it. Dixie is an incredibly talented photographer and a rising star in our industry (she’s already been named one of Nikon’s Ambassadors). If you get a few minutes, here’s the link.
(4) Tamara Lackey named to Nikon’s Ambassador Program Just a quick shout-out and high-five to KelbyOne instructor Tamara Lackey for being named to Nikon’s prestigious Ambassador Program. She’s an incredibly talented photographer and teacher, and anybody that saw her closing presentation at the Photoshop World Conference in Atlanta knows why she is so deserving of this distinction. Our hearty congrats to Tamama (wild cheers ensue!).
(5) Photoshop World Vegas registration is now open If you’re looking to come spend three-days with us in Vegas at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, jump on it right now because you can save $150 but ya gotta do it now (plus, if you sign up now, you can still snag at room at the Mandalay Bay, where all the staff and instructors stay). Here’s the link with all the details. See you in Vegas!
(6) Are you in Portland? How about Nashville? I am (OK, well not right now, but on May 13th I’ll be there for my full-day seminar and annual Voodoo Donuts run, so I hope you’ll come out for the day (it’s just $99 or even less if you’re a KelbyOne member). Also, we just announced that I’ll be coming to Nashville with the tour on June 6th. Here’s the link with details on either one.
(7) Have you heard of this McNally guy? Joe is heading out on a KelbyOne live tour again, too! His first stop is San Jose and then he’s off to Seattle. If you haven’t had a chance to see Joe live, it truly is a day you’ll never forget. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll kiss $99 goodbye. Here’s the link. You will learn a ton!
(8) Finished another project for CocaCola I just finished up another project for Coke’s Website — this one is a special one for mother’s day — as soon as it goes live (probably next week, right?) I’ll post the link to the story and the images. Really excited to be working with them on such interesting stuff.
OK, that’s it for today — hope you all have an absolutely awesome weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday.