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!

Wednesday
Nov
2014
05

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Serge Ramelli!

by Brad Moore  |  19 Comments

SHOOTING PARIS LIKE A PARISIAN PHOTOGRAPHER

First I want to thank Scott Kelby for having me as a guest blogger.

Scott has been so important in my life as a photographer. I have learned all my photography basics with the use of Scott’s books back in 2005. His books were the easiest and funniest to understand.

We later on became friends and he has helped me a lot to grow as a teacher and a photographer through the years. He has such a big heart, you don’t feel small around him; this is a quality that is very rare nowadays.

I got the idea of making this article because most of the emails I receive daily are people asking for advises on where to shoot in Paris. Paris is a big city and there are tons of photo opportunities. It is one of the most visited places on earth with around 27 millions visitors per year.

I have been taking photos of Paris for 10 years now and wanted to give you some locations where you can look at Paris from a Parisian’s viewpoint, places you might not come across if you are just on a regular tourist visit and I also wanted to advise on a couple of cool restaurants in Paris!

Warning: This list is very incomplete; I’m in the process of making a photo book of 160 photos on Paris with Teneus Publishing http://www.teneues.com/
These are just a few places I really want to share with you.

The Eiffel Tower (map link)
If you come to Paris and you don’t take a photo of the Eiffel Tower, no one is going to believe you went to Paris ☺
The most classic shots of the Eiffel tower are taken from the Champs de Mars, the Eiffel Tower itself and the Place Trocadéro, you will find thousands of tourists there taking similar shots!

The frame in the frame of the Eiffel Tower (map link)
There is a small street located in the 16th arrondissement where you have a very original view of the tower. The Eiffel Tower is framed by very nice Haussmannian buildings, (Haussmann is an amazing architect that reshaped Paris from 1853 to 1870 and built thousands of buildings).

The Bir-Hakeim Bridge (map link)
The same Architect that built the Eiffel Tower, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, built the Bir-Hakeim Bridge. This bridge gives you a very unique viewpoint of the tower; this is probably the best place to make nice compositions.

The Eiffel Tower Itself (map link)
I remember being with Scott Kelby right at the base of the Eiffel Tower and we were wondering how we could get an original photo that no one had shot. I got the idea of shooting very wide, with 3 photos to make a panorama. The structure itself is so amazing that I’m sure you will come up with original views.

The view from the Alexandre III Bridge (map link)
This bridge is for me the nicest in Paris and has amazing city lights, sculptures and a structure. You can get some really cool compositions with all these elements:

The three bridges in Paris you must shoot
Paris has many bridges, but for me the nicest and most interesting ones to shoot are:

The Alexandre III Bridge (map link)
I mentioned earlier you have a great view over the Eiffel Tower from here but you also have two more views that are amazing.

The first is the composition of the bridge itself with the Grand Palais behind it:

The second is a similar composition but from across the bridge with Les Invalides behind:

The Pont Neuf (map link)
This one is very close to the Pont des Arts. I think this spot is one of the most fruitful locations you can find to see the beauty of Paris.

Square du Vert-Galant of the Pont Neuf (map link)
This area is not very known, a couple of weeks ago I brought some friends that have been in Paris for years and they did not know about this place. It is where you go down close to the Seine if you want to visit Paris by boat, but it will give you a unique view on the Louvre and the Pont des arts. Here is a wide and close shot I got one night when there was an amazing sunset:

Same view with a different sky:

Close up:

Le Pont Neuf shot from la Samaritaine, will give you a great composition of the bridge itself leading to the Ile de la Cité and it’s old buildings.

A black and white version of the same photo during gray weather. When the natural lighting is not great I like to make my photo in black and white.

Pont des Arts (map link)
If you go on the Pont des Arts itself and look at the Pont Neuf, you get this amazing view:

Le Louvre (map link)
The Louvre is hard to shoot as there are lots of tourists. However if you go there during the week (except Wednesday) and you go behind the pyramid, you can get this shot.

Tip: go there right before the city lights go on (sunset) on a clear day and shoot 35 mm and make panoramas, you should get something like this:

Some high vantage points
There is nothing like seeing the City of Lights from a high vantage point, here are the 4 best places for me:

The roof of the Tour Montparnasse (map link)
It cost around 10 Euros to go to the top, but it’s worth it and it’s the only place where tripods are allowed, I recommend shooting from 35 to 150 mm, wider you will have trouble with the windows that have been installed:

The rooftop of the Arc de Triomphe (map link)
There are lots of stairs to go up so you need to be in good shape and unfortunately tripods are not allowed.

Tip: if you take a half emptied bag of rice you can use it as a ‘tripod’ by positioning the bag of rice on the edge of the monument (after the barrier) to take a beautiful night shot which is great as the Arc de Triomphe is open late!

View of the Eiffel Tower:

View of La Defense:

The roof of Notre Dame (map link)
This is another sporty location, lots of stairs and no tripods allowed. It is very narrow up there and tourists move fast.

Tip: you should shoot between 60 to 100 mm to get parts of the city, especially try to get the view of the 7 bridges, (this is the only spot in Paris where you can see the 7 bridges), I call it the Ratatouille photo:

The view from behind is cool as well:

The Terrace of l’Institue du Monde Arabe (map link)
This is probably the most confidential of all four, but you will get a breath taking view over Notre Dame:

Tip: Credits go to Scott Kelby. At the opposite side of this view you will see there are very tiny round windows, there you have the sun that sets and if you go down on your knees you can get this one:

Montmartre (map link)
Montmartre is one of the oldest parts of Paris and is an endless source of photography ideas. It is also full of tourists, however here are some spots that are away from the tourist trail where you can take beautiful photos.

The Dalida Plaza (map link)
This place is almost always empty and has an amazing path going up to the Sacré Coeur.

Le Lapin Agile (map link)
A very old and cute restaurant that looks like it comes out of a Disney movie. There is a good chance that you can get this shot as it is outside of the tourist zone.

Tip: try shooting it like a panorama at 35 mm by taking it in 4 photos. There are rarely any cars there because they are not allowed in that street!

Behind the Sacré Coeur (map link)
What amazes me is the amount of people you will find at the front of the Sacré Coeur and how little there are behind the Sacré Coeur. It is really nice mainly after sunsets.

The Montmartre stairs (map link)
There is lots of stairs in Montmartre, but these ones are the only ones that are oriented towards the west so you can be in luck if there is a nice sunset!

Some More “Confidential” Locations

The old Odéon buildings (map link)
Hidden close to the Place de l’Odéon you have this amazing building, with no one around. You can just put your camera down and start shooting a musketeers type movie photos as nothing has changed in years.

The Saint Martin Canal (map link)
I worked in front of these stairs for many years and I love how they are arranged, it feels like the countryside in the middle of Paris:

The Sénat at the Luxembourg Gardens (map link)
In the middle of the most beautiful Paris garden you will find the Senate, a great building, most of the time the sun sets right behind it, but you have to be fast as they close at sunset, tripods are allowed.

It was really hard for me to not cover so many places, but these are my favorites that I wanted to share with you. I’m sure that everybody that has been to Paris has his or her favorite spots. These are mine; feel free to share yours in the comments!

RESTAURANTS
Most of the restaurants in Paris are really good, even the tourist restaurants. These are really some of my favorite ones I’ve come to know over the years:

Mangetout
The best 25 Euros menu I ever had.

Sud-Ouest Monceau
This is the restaurant of South West cuisine, foie gras, duck and snails. Very French food, away from the tourists.

Chez Georges
I have personally never been but my brother keeps saying it is the best restaurant in Paris and he loves good food.

Le Comptoir
This restaurant was famous for being booked weeks in advance and they changed the system, first in first served.

Le Relais Saint-Germain
Tip: be there around 11:30 to have lunch.

Itadaki
Very nice Japanese restaurant, you have to try the brochette boeuf/fromage (beef with cheese).

L’Ecurie
This is a very cute old French restaurant.

El Palenque
This is a great Argentinian restaurant, the meat is simply amazing.

Lux Bar
A good place for cheese, saucisson and wine.

Le Bistrot des Dames
From outside this place doesn’t look like there is a secret, calm and beautiful garden you can dine in. The food is amazing. Come early for lunch or dinner, as it’s often full. The garden is open during nice weather.

Le Relais de l’entrecôte
This place has amazing steak and their secret sauce recipe has great reputation.

You can see more of Serge’s work at PhotoSerge.com, and follow him on YouTube, Facebook, and 500px.

Tuesday
Nov
2014
04

Announcing The Winners from my 7th Annual “Worldwide Photo Walk”

by Scott Kelby  |  37 Comments

Every year it’s a big challenge. Looking at images from more than 1,000 walks all over the world — ones that have already been selected as the best from each local walk — and then trying to narrow things to just one grand prize winner, and 10 finalists. There’s just so many great shots that it makes the process really tough.

The Process
I take this judging role very seriously — I put a lot of thought and careful consideration into each selection. Every image gets viewed, and reviewed and considered and reconsidered to death because you can make a great case for so many of them. Think about it — this is a group of photos from every corner of the world, and there are a lot of captivating, fascinating, cute, fun, and very serious images, and so I view every image full screen size, and then tag the best of the first round.

A lot of images actually make this first cut. Then I look at just those tagged images, and narrow things down to just the best of that group (this year I got down to around 79 images at this stage). Then I do it again and again until I have just 11 left. One of those 11 will wind up being the winner. That’s when it gets really tough. It takes a lot of time, and I sweat every decision, but in the end a decision has to be made.

Even though this round of judging is over …
You’ll still get to make your own picks in our People’s Choice Award, and we have a Leader’s Competition, and I always list my ‘Honorable Mentions’ (images that are so good that even though they didn’t win a prize, still deserve recognition)  so while this is the official announcement of the Top-10 Finalists and the Grand Prize winner, the competition phase still has a few more components left.

First, let’s reveal this year’s Top 10 Finalists (in no particular order):

By Macbeth (Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea Photo Walk)
This shot just looks happy — even though you can’t see the expressions on the people walking down the hill, the vibrant colors, and sun beams, and the whole thing makes it look like a scene from the Teletubbies, and I just loved it. I love the placement of the people on the hill, and just the overall vibe of the shot.

By  Jean-Christophe (Lyon, RA France Photo Walk)
This shot has a lot of graphic appeal on its own, with its angular lines in either direction, but the placement of the man on the stairs really made it all come together. Very simple, but very cool.

By Tinnakorn (Chiang Mai, จ.เชียงใหม่ Thailand Photo Walk)
What a great scene! I just love the juxtaposition of those three large hero photos above with this gentle looking man just having a beer — it really caught my eye right away. I love the colors and how it all works together. Makes me wish I was at the next table over having a cold one myself. Nicely done.

By  Joseph (Charleston, South Carolina, USA Photo Walk)
OK, I know this isn’t a technically perfect shot, and that plant on the far left is distracting…but it’s still a great shot. It’s so simple, and casual, and I like the post processing and it was so different than any of the other entries that it really stood out to me. It’s not the typical type of shot I’m drawn to, but I sure do like it.

By Phongphanich (Bangkok Thailand [Rattanakosin Island] Photo Walk)
This is just a wonderful combination of color and composition, and I love the post processing on this shot. It makes me want to know more about the shot — what’s the rest of the story. Who is the guy in that picture? There’s a lot going on here for such a simple photo.

By Sonata (Kaunas County Lithuania Photo Walk)
The first time I saw this shot, it was like looking at a still shot during a movie. It has a real cinematic feel and I love the way our subject, and the birds, are all back lit, and I love her position in the frame. Really makes you feel like you came upon a moment in a movie and that was all I needed.

By Eman (El-Gamaleya, Cairo, Egypt Photo Walk)
What captured me about this shot was the light. From the light beams streaming behind our subject, to the soft light on his face, to how the overall scene is lit — the lighting is just really wonderful. Plus, I really like the subject’s expression and care that’s being given to his work. Very nice capture.

By Mark (Hoover, Alabama, USA Photo Walk)
This is another one of those shots where the first time I saw it, I loved it, and of course what I loved the most is how the mushroom is lit. It just stands out so beautifully in the otherwise dark scene. I wish that little spot of white wasn’t there at the top of the frame, because it does draw my eye a little, but it’s such a lovely shot that I’m willing to look the other way on that, and just enjoy the beautiful scene. Nice!

By Andrew (Seoul, South Korea Photo Walk)
This shot just cracked me up, only because it’s such a real scene. I love how the women are in very traditional outfits, but they’ve got a cell phone up on an “extender for selfies” pole and they’re flashing peace signs. It’s kind of surreal, but at the same time, you’re looking at something very real. Great shot!

By Daniela (Haarlem, The Netherlands Photo Walk)
First, there’s the subject — a young girl on stilts, which is something you just don’t see every day, but the lighting in this shot is so subtle and beautiful without the scene being dark and dramatic. I feel like I walked in upon a quiet moment and I want to know where she’s going, why she’s wearing stilts, and how she’d get so lucky to be learning to walk on stilts in such gorgeous light. One of my favorites for sure.

———————————————————–

AND NOW…THE GRAND PRIZE WINNING IMAGE IS:

By Michal (Warszawa, Mazowieckie Polska Photo Walk)
There is just something about this shot. I kept coming back to it again and again. I love the overall tone of the image, and how you see these individual drops frozen in time like that. There’s not enough water so that it looks cheezy (which can happen when freezing water in a fountain), and I love the composition with that wide open area to the right. I wish I could give you a better technical reason why I like it, but I think it’s 100% an emotional response. If you keep coming back to it again and again, then you just know there’s something special there, and I think this is a very special shot.

A Big Thanks!
A special thanks to Canon, our Premier sponsor (and provider of amazing Canon prizes) and to flickr, Adobe Systems, Peachpit Press, Tamron, KeepSnap, B&H Photo, and Wacom — thanks for all your support and for offering such awesome prizes to our winners (we are very grateful).

Thanks to our Walk Leaders who did such an outstanding job once again of giving of their time and talents to make their local walks happen, and to the wonderful photographers from around the world who created such inspiring, creative, and beautiful work.

P.S.: We still have the unveiling of the Honorable Mentions (images that didn’t win a prize, but that are so good that I felt they needed special recognition), so make sure you stop by on Friday for that. Don’t forget: Although this phase is over, we still have the People’s Choice Award to pick, and a special competition for your Walk Leaders, so there’s more to come. :)

 

Monday
Nov
2014
03

Looks Like The WWPW Winners Announcement Will Be Tomorrow

by Scott Kelby  |  4 Comments

Hi everybody. I’m so sorry the judging is taking so much longer than usual.  I feel terrible that the results aren’t going to be posted until tomorrow, but I know you don’t want me to rush through the selection process (it’s a LOT of images to consider, and a lot of tough choices to make), so thanks for understanding and for the time extension.

If all goes well, I should have the winners posted in the morning. :)

All my best,

-Scott

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