Wednesday
Jun
2013
05

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Miller Mobley!

by Brad Moore  |  12 Comments


Photo by Jana Mobley

Very honored to be able to have this platform today. Great thanks to Scott and Brad for giving me the opportunity.

It was about 6 years ago that one of my good friend’s dad loaned me his Nikon 35mm film camera. I had decided that I was going to major in Studio Art at The University of Alabama. One of the required classes for that specific major was a black and white darkroom photography. I can remember like it was yesterday; learning to expose film properly, develop it with chemicals, and then print in the darkroom. This had not been my original plan. Not at all.

When I was 15 my step father gave me a video camera for Christmas. That camera really changed the way I saw things. I was always making videos of friends and family. It might have been that I was trying to recreate a scene in a movie or I was just filming my friends doing highschool type of stuff. Nonetheless, I really became attached to the motion camera. Because of my interest in motion and cameras I started watching as many movies as I could and studying the camera moves, the composition, the blocking, the lighting, colors, etc. At a friend’s recommendation, I watched the film, “American Beauty” directed by Sam Mendes and DP’d by Conrad Hall.

That movie had one of the greatest impacts on me as far as drama and lighting go. It really opened me up to what the possibilities of filmmaking could really be. From that point on, I decided that I wanted to be a feature film cinematographer. So I of course started to apply to all the great schools of cinematography. I was pretty naive at the time. I was an 18 year old kid from Alabama who barely passed high school. Who was I kidding thinking that I was going to get into USC. But I gave it a shot anyway.

Well, a few months later I opened the mail and to my disappointment I could not get into any of the schools that I thought would be the best for my “career.”

So I ended up going to the school in my hometown’s backyard, The University of Alabama. Unfortunately, there was no cinematography or film program being offered at the time at UofA. That’s where we come back to my story about borrowing the 35mm Nikon. Because I could not study cinematography, I decided the next best thing would be photography. So once again I gave it a shot.

I soon fell in love with photography so much that I decided I should make it my career path. One of my teachers shared with me a book by photographer, Richard Avedon, called In the American West. It was a book of portraits that Avedon took over a period of several years every summer out west. He traveled with his assistants by car through the west and photographed complete strangers that piqued his interest. After seeing Avedon’s book it really changed everything for me as far as photography goes.

His portraits had this drama, authenticity, and power to them that really tugged at my heart. They moved me in a way that nothing else did at the time. That’s when I realized how powerful a single photograph could be.  Before that I had no objective with my camera. I was a young 20 year old kid shooting everything from flowers, to buildings, to railroad tracks. I was just a guy with a camera that did not have a voice or vision. But after seeing Avedon’s book I became literally obsessed with portraiture.

At this point I had no idea how to exactly make a career out of photography, but it didn’t bother me.  All I wanted to do was photograph the people that I would encounter. I started driving hours outside of my hometown to rural southern towns. I would walk up to complete strangers and ask to take their portrait. At first it was scary asking someone you didn’t know if you could make their portrait. Most people did not understand, but usually always said yes. I ended up shooting lots of people and making a true foundation for my portfolio. I was never being paid to create any of this work. I really had a true sense of commitment and passion to be constantly making portraits.

After a few years, I started to think about how I was going to turn this into a career. I started showing the work that I had created to magazines and advertising agencies around Alabama. I did a lot of studying and reading on the internet about what kind of people actually hire photographers. Before I knew it, people started hiring me for jobs. It was nothing too glamorous, but I was having the time of my life actually getting paid every once in a while to take pictures of people. It was almost like I was so naive at the beginning of my career, not knowing exactly what to do and showing work after I had only been shooting for a couple of years that it worked in my favor.

Fast forward 4 years later, and a lot has happened. I got married, tooks lots of pictures, showed lots of pictures, hustled all over the south trying to meet people, got an agent, hustled more, took more pictures, got a few breaks in Alabama shooting some big ad campaigns, left it all and moved to New York, started over again, hustled even more, took even more more pictures, and now I’ve been living in New York for two and a half years still shooting.

Through all these years I’ve learned a few things that I thought I would share today that have helped me in the photography industry.Hopefully not to disappoint, but there are no lighting tips involved, nothing about lenses and cameras, or the latest gear.

1.) Persistence/Hustle
This is probably one of my greatest strengths. It has helped me build the career that I’ve had so far and has led to a lot of amazing opportunities. Without persistence I don’t think I would be a photographer right now. When it comes to getting hired in photography a lot of this business is about relationships + talent. You have to have talent, but you also have to be good at getting to know the right people. I’ve always been very persistent in going after new clients. I have lists pinned to my wall near my computer that have my “dream” clients listed. I’m always looking at that list reminding myself of who to stay in touch with and who to be showing new work to. There are some people on that list that have never responded to one of my efforts, but I don’t stop trying. However, it is important to find a personal balance of being persistent without being too pushy or annoying. I’ve made a lot of work that was never seen or never appreciated, but I’ve continued to constantly produce new work and refine my skills.

2.) Focus/Vision
Knowing what I want to make photographs of is really important to me. I’ve always felt an attraction to making pictures of people. That’s what I’ve focused on ever since I fell in love with portraiture. I really try to hone my craft by always making portraits and pushing myself technically and creatively. There are sometimes where I feel that I get into a rut from a creative standpoint. I sometimes go into my default way of photographing, which basically means that I resort to what feels comfortable. That can be a trap. It’s always good to get out of your comfort zone and try something new – usually that’s when your best work is created. I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to be known for something in photography. In a sense, I wanted to become a master at something. I’m not implying that I’m in any way shape or form a “true master” at photography, I just simply strive to be one. My focus is making portraits and always trying to improve the way I work. I would much rather be great at one thing in photography, than be mediocre at a few.

3.) Show your work
Life’s too short to not give a go at something you love. Once photography became my passion, I have never stopped trying to make it my sole career. I would go to meet potential clients while I was still in college. I hardly knew anything about photography, but I knew that I wanted to make a living from it because of how much I loved it. Most people I hear from are always waiting to show their work when they think it’s perfect. That was not the case for me. I started early – I got out there and showed it to anyone that would give me the time – I still do. Anytime I’m traveling on assignment, I might stay in a city for another day or so and make meetings with agencies and magazines. Once I had built a successful career in Alabama, I left it all to start all over in New York. I knew what kind of photography I wanted to do and I knew that I needed to be in a place like New York to make it happen. From the moment I moved to the city I hit the subways and went all over the city lugging my portfolio. I still make an effort every few months to make more rounds of meetings. The point is that you can’t wait, you just have to get out there and show your work.

These three points have really been a foundation for the success of my career thus far. Without them I really don’t think I would be anywhere. As you know, there is obviously more to my work than these three principles. I think to be successful in the photography industry you have to find a way to stand out. Which is much easier said than done. I still don’t feel like I’m there yet, but I’m really enjoying the process of finding that path. Hope you enjoyed the post and maybe you can take something away from it.

You can see more of Miller’s work at MillerMobley.com, and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Tuesday
Jun
2013
04

5 Quick Tuesday Quickies in a Fast Speedy Fashion

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

(1) Photoshop World Vegas registration is Now Open!
What’s Photoshop Vegas like? Watch that video, and then come join us in September. LOTs of cool new classes, new instructors and new stuff to learn. Here’s the link with details.

(2) Cool new class on Lifestyle photography from Erik Valind
This new class  is getting lots of great feedback (Erik is a really great teacher, and he’s handling a really tough, but really common program and of course, he makes it easy and understandable). Erik explains the class in the video above.

Here’s the link with details on the class. (you can rent the online class for three days for just $9.99, but if you’re already a Kelby Training Online subscriber, of course it’s free).

(3) Thanks to everybody at Henry’s “Exposure Show” in Toronto
Man, what a great show! A big thanks and shoutout to everybody who came out to my Keynote Presentation at the Exposure Show in Toronto last Sunday. Just had such a great time! Really great event from top to bottom. Super diggin’ it!

(4) The New issue of Lightroom Magazine is now available
Issue #5 of our fastest-growing magazine, Lightroom Magazine, is now available on the App Store. There’s a very cool tutorial on portrait retouching in Lightroom, Matt has a great article (and video) on combining images; Rob Sylvan shows you how to use Target Collections (and why they’re so handy), plus a whole lot more. Hope you check it out.

(5) Into Flipboard? Into Photography? Check out my Flipboard magazine “Cool Photography Stuff”
I curate a Flipboard 2.0 magazine called “Cool Photography Stuff” and each day I update it with exactly that. I search a bunch of different online photography resources and when I see something cool, interesting, helpful, or just a really beautiful image, I ‘flip” it into the mag so it’s always very up-to-date (I often update it numerous times a day). Anyway, it’s free, it’s fun, so just search it on Flipboard App (for IOS and Android) When you search, look for a mag from “skelby” — that’s me!

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,

-Scott

P.S. Don’t forget to join me Thursday at 7:00 pm for our “Beginners Start Here” free Webcast with a ton of photography tips, giveaways and fun stuff to launch our biggest online initiative yet! See you then. 

 

Monday
Jun
2013
03

How I Built That Audi R8 Poster Using Lightroom

by Scott Kelby  |  17 Comments

Over the weekend I posted this photo of me holding up a poster I made for the owner of the Audi R8 I shot a few weeks ago. I mentioned I made the poster using Lightroom (and a tiny bit of Photoshop — just for the type at the bottom), and a lot of folks asked how I put it together so I did the quick tutorial you see below.

The image was printed on our Epson Stylus Pro 7900 printer on Epson Exhibition Fiber paper.

Hanging Prints In My Office
After I ran this video on my Facebook page and on Twitter, I got a new set of questions: “How are you hanging those prints on the wall of your office” so here’s the scoop on that: Those are actually thin shelves that screw into the wall from IKEA called RIBBA that are perfect for clipping prints to. They’re about $10 a section (cheap!). Another option from IKEA is the DIGNITET wire — very hip looking, easier to install (slightly more expensive), but there’s one downside to both: you can’t order them online — you have to go an actual IKEA store to get them.

UPDATE: Hanging clips
Since I released this post this morning, had a few questions about which type of clips I used to hang these. I wish I had some cool thing to turn you on to, they are just metal clips from Office Dept (link). See below. 

One More Thing:
If you missed my behind-the-scenes video of the actual R8 Shoot I ran here on the blog a few weeks back (using the cool new Priolites that are getting a lot of buzz), I embedded it right below so you can check it out (just click play).

Anyway, hope that helps, and here’s wishing you a “kick-butt Monday” (even though you know and I know, that’s an oxymoron). Cheers everybody!

Friday
May
2013
31

New to DSLR photography? Beginners Start Here.

by Scott Kelby  |  9 Comments

Next week Kelby Training is launching our biggest online training initiative yet, and it’s all aimed at people brand new to DSLR photography. It’s called “Beginners Start Here” and it’s a complete custom-designed online training curriculum based on your brand of camera, your specific camera model, and what type of photography you’re interested in (portraits, landscapes, sports, travel, people, etc.).  You can see a little of it in action in the short video clip above.

We launch next Thursday with a free live Webcast packed full of cool photography tips and tricks for beginners, so if you know anybody just getting into this, make sure they tune in. Plus we’re giving away a Sony DSLR kit live to someone watching, and we’re giving away a free DSLR basics class to anyone who tunes in to the show, along with drawings for lots of other cool prizes. So, it’s a free show with loads of photo tips and prizes. What’s not to like? ;-)

Here’s the info (jot it down on your calendar now):

Who: Me, Matt, RC, Mia, Larry and friends live
What: Lots of cool photography tips for beginners, back-to-back for 90 minutes!
Where: Follow this link to register for free
When: Thursday night, June 6th starting at 7:00 pm ET (New York time)
Why: To show the type of stuff beginners will be learning through “Beginners Start Here” and to launch this new Beginners Curriculum with a bang!

Hope you can make it (and please tell everyone who calls you and bugs you with endless questions about their camera, that now there’s a place where they can learn all that stuff fast).  See you Thursday night.

Cheers,

-Scott

Thursday
May
2013
30

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  20 Comments

Introducing Beginners Start Here on KelbyTraining.com
Join Scott Kelby next Thursday, June 6 at 7:00pm ET for a live webcast where he will introduce the latest initiative from KelbyTraining.com, Beginners Start Here. This is a program for beginners that starts them off with classes to learn the basics of their camera, then help them master their photographic interests!

Register for this free webcast right here and you’ll be entered for the chance to win a Sony A58 DSLR! Plus, on the day of the webcast, you’ll be able to get free 3-day rentals of the Canon, Nikon, and Sony DSLR Basics classes and take advantage of discounted subscriptions!

Capturing The Moments People Share with Cliff Mautner
Cliff Mautner is not only one of the Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World, he’s also considered one of the most inspirational instructors as well! In the latest Art of Photography class on KelbyTraining.com, Capturing The Moments People Share, Cliff sits down with Mia McCormick to discuss his approach to creating inspiring photographs that, well, capture the moments people share! Over the course of an hour, Cliff talks about getting started, finding beautiful light, capturing emotion, and staying out of the rut.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free rental of this class!

Scott Kelby in Toronto This Weekend!
This Sunday, June 2, Scott Kelby will be the keynote speaker at Exposure Show presented by Henry’s Camera in Toronto, Ontario! Don’t just go on Sunday though… Make sure you also check out Dave Cross, Dixie Dixon, James Schmelzer, and all the other presenters the entire weekend, Friday through Sunday!

The best part? As far as I can tell, tickets are FREE when you sign up for the Henry’s newsletter! Or, if you just really don’t want to sign up, tickets are still only $20. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with RC Concepcion? Check out these seminar tours!

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers with RC Concepcion
June 12 – Nashville, TN
June 17 – Ottawa, ON
June 19 – Toronto, ON
June 21 – Calgary, AB
June 26 – New Orleans, LA

Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Winners
The Digital Photography Book Part 1 – Second Edition
- KC
- David Gould
- Andrew Petti
- Gordon
- Katie

Kelby Training Live Ticket
- Kevin Bays

Hollywood Film Tools for Photographers Rental
- Cody Ash

That’s it for today. If you’re one of the winners, we’ll be in touch soon!

Wednesday
May
2013
29

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Guy Kawasaki!

by Brad Moore  |  6 Comments

Many people ask me how I manage my social media accounts (and others make stuff up rather than figure out what I do). Here are the gory, inside-story details of what I do. Perhaps you may find some of my methods useful to help you get the most out of social media, too.


TWITTER
On Twitter, I’m @GuyKawasakiMy Twitter practices defy the recommendations of social media “schmexperts” (schmuck + experts) to manually post a limited number of tweets and not use automation, repetition, contributors, and ghostwriters.

I have never been on the Twitter Suggested User List, and I have more than 1.2 million followers. I attribute this success to providing a lot of interesting links that people retweet. These retweets expose me to many people who then follow me. There are five (yes, five — count ‘em) sources that feed my Twitter account:

1) HolyKaw
I co-founded a website called Alltop. Half of it is an aggregation of 30,000 RSS feeds organized into 1,500 topics ranging from adoption to zoology. The other half is a website called HolyKaw. HolyKaw provides a continuous flow of interesting and diverse stories that should elicit the response, “Holy cow!” (Holycow.com was taken but since my name is pronounced “Cow-asaki,” I figured that HolyKaw would work.)

The posts on HolyKaw are short summations of stories, a picture or video to illustrate the story, and a link to the source. Approximately twenty people/organizations have contributor-level access to HolyKaw.

We pay several as editors — they are not “interns” in the sense of unpaid students. Organizations such as Futurity and National Geographic also have contributor-level access because they consistently post great stories.

The headline of a HolyKaw post — for example, “Compilation of stories about introverts, outsiders, and loners” — automatically generates tweets that go out through a custom app called GRATE, for “Guy’s Repeating Automated Tweet Engine.” These slightly modified tweets appear four times, eight hours apart.

The reason for repeated tweets is to maximize traffic and therefore advertising sales. I’ve found that each tweet gets approximately the same amount of clickthroughs. Why get 600 page views when you can get 2,400? Like CNN, ESPN, and NPR, we provide content repeatedly because people live in different time zones and have different social media habits.

2) Repurposed Google+ Posts
Three other people also post to HolyKaw via Google+: Peg FitzpatrickTrey Ratcliff, and me. (I explain this in the Google+ section below.)

3) Repurposed Facebook.com Posts
Peg Fitzpatrick manages the Facebook.com/guysco brand page. When she posts stories there, they automatically appear as tweets.

4) My Comments and Responses
I use Tweetdeck to respond to @-mentions of @Guykawasaki, as well as to direct messages. If you see a response tweet, it is always me — never anyone else.

5) Promotional Tweets
Finally, if you see a tweet that is promoting my books, appearances, or investments, it’s almost always one that I posted with Tweetdeck or that Peg Fitzpatrick has scheduled using HootSuite.


GOOGLE+
On Google+, I’m GuyKawasakiand Google+ is the core of my social media existence. It is the Macintosh of social media: better, used by fewer people, and often condemned by the experts. Unlike other social media profiles I own, no one else ever posts, responds, or comments on Google+ as me.

My orientation toward Google+ (and social media in general) is what I call the NPR Model. My role is to curate good stories that entertain, enlighten, and inspire people 365 days a year. My goal is to earn the right to promote my books, companies, or causes to them just as NPR earns the right to run fundraising telethons from time to time.

My posts range from first-person accounts of being a black tourist in Chinawhat happened to Allen Iverson after his NBA career, and gifts from Air New Zealand. I use five primary resources to find stories to post:

1) My Alltop Account
This is a custom compilation of the RSS feeds of websites such as In Focus, The Big Picture, YouTube, and NPR that are mother lodes of great content. This is my one-stop shopping cart for content.

2) HolyKaw
Yes, I post what my contributors post as me (i.e. under my name) because the HolyKaw contributors are often better at being me than me. Wrap your mind around that.

3) What’s Hot Feed of Google+
Think of this as crowdsourced story leads. The beauty of this feed is that you know that people have already judged the stories as good, though it tends to be heavy on Android news and inspirational quotations.

4) Most Popular Stories
When I’m checking out stories from the first two sources, I look at the “Most Emailed” and “Most Popular” listings on the right side of most websites. These often yield great material. I’ve also compiled a collection of most emailed and most popular feeds at Most-Popular.alltop to make this even easier for you.

5) Pointers From Various Friends and Family
Many people know that I’m on the hunt for good content, so they send me leads. These are almost always good enough to post.

Some of my Google+ posts pass the “holy cow!” test, and there is a plug-in to publish Google+ posts to a WordPress blog. This means I can cherry pick my Google+ posts for HolyKaw. (Look for the hashtag “HolyKaw” to see which will appear in HolyKaw and later Twitter.)

Peg Fitzpatrick, Trey Ratcliff, and I use this method to select some of their Google+ posts for inclusion in HolyKaw. They do this to gain additional exposure since these posts are tweeted to my 1.2 million Twitter followers four times eight hours apart through the HolyKaw GRATE machine.

Three Google+ Power Tips
I adore Google+, so let me provide these power tips for using the service:

1) Find anytime, but post when you’re cogent.
I often get up in the middle of the night and check Alltop and the Google+ What’s Hot feed on my Nexus 7. When I find something good, I share it to a Google+ private community with only one member: me. When I wake up in the morning, I go to this community to see what stories I found in a less cogent condition and write up a post.

2) Schedule Google+ posts.
There are multiple ways to schedule Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest posts using various tools. However, Google+ makes it harder than those services. There are two ways to do this, however. First, there’s Do Share, a Chrome extension. Second, if you have a HootSuite enterprise account, you can schedule to a Google+ Business Page (as opposed to a personal profile). Since my Google+ focus is on my personal profile, I don’t use the HootSuite method.

3) Get rid of trolls.
Be a hard-ass: Get rid of people who irritate you. Think of your Google+ posts as your swimming pool. If people pee in it, throw them out. There are some people you need to get out of your social media life. A Chrome extension called Nuke Comments is a lovely solution because it enables you to delete a comment, block the person, and report him/her with one click.


FACEBOOK
I have two personas on Facebook: Facebook.com/guy and Facebook.com/guysco. The first is a personal profile, and the second is a brand page. I operate them differently.

First, a virtual assistant monitors my Google+ account and manually adds most of my Google+ posts to Facebook.com/guy using Buffer. (Disclosure: I advise Buffer.)

There are plugins that can automatically publish Google+ posts to Facebook. However, every Google+ post is not appropriate for Facebook, and there’s no way for me to tag the ones that are appropriate. Thus, a human has to make the decision, download the photo or YouTube embed link, make minor edits such as removing the “+” in Google+ +mentions, and post to Facebook.

I monitor comments at Facebook.com/guy and respond to them as much as time permits. My virtual assistant never acts as me, so either I answer or there is no response at all.

Second, for Facebook.com/guysco, Peg Fitzpatrick, whom I mentioned earlier, makes all the posts to this page, and these stories automatically become tweets. This Facebook Page is a branding effort for “Guy’s companies,” which are primarily my books.


LINKEDIN
On LinkedIn, I am Guy Kawasaki. The virtual assistant who takes my Google+ posts and publishes them to Facebook uses the same process for LinkedIn using Buffer. One of the cool things about Buffer is that you can post to Facebook and LinkedIn at the same time, so this is easy.

There are seldom comments on my LinkedIn posts, so I seldom visit my posts to respond — of course, this may be a self-fulfilling process. But I have to draw the line somewhere, or I’ll never play hockey during the day, which is a key component of my happiness.


PINTEREST
On Pinterest, I’m GuyKawasaki, but Peg Fitzpatrick manages my Pinterest presence. There are two reasons: First, I don’t have enough time to do a good job with more than three services (my priority, in order, is Google+, then Twitter, then Facebook).

Second, I don’t have Peg’s magic sauce to manage Pinterest as well as the Pinterest community deserves. Part of doing social media well is knowing what you don’t know and what you can’t do well, and then finding someone who does.


CONCLUSION
Don’t get the impression that there is a huge team of people doing what I described above. The total of all resources, excluding my own activities, is approximately one full-time equivalent. In addition, I spend three to four hours per day creating my own posts and commenting and responding.

To summarize, here’s quick wrap-up to review my social media methods:

Twitter: Mostly generated from the headlines of HolyKaw stories, four times, eight hours apart; contributions via Google+ and Facebook; and manual promotional tweets.

Google+: Me only. Think of me as the Mike Rowe of Google+ — I’m willing to do the “dirty jobs.”

Pinterest: Peg Fitzpatrick acting as me.

Facebook and LinkedIn: Virtual assistant reposting some of my Google+ posts.

Again, no one responds as me (for better or worse, as I’ve sometimes learned) on social media, though many different people may be behind a post.

This is how I manage my social media presence as of May 2013. I hope there are techniques here that you can use. Stay tuned, because my procedures are ever-changing.

Guy Kawasaki is a special advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google. He is also the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. HubSpot invited Guy to reveal the secrets behind his incredibly active and popular social media profiles that enable him to reach millions each day. You can find out more about him at GuyKawasaki.com or click any of the links above to follow him on social media.

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