Perfecting The Shot: Photographing Babies & Toddlers
Portrait photography with babies and toddlers might be one of the most challenging subjects you'll ever face. Capturing cute expressions or perfect poses requires just the right balance of patience and persistence. Leading lifestyle and portrait photographer, walks you through easy, but useful tips on how to catch those "keeper" shots. You'll follow Tamara, along with two different families in multiple locations, as she teaches her time-tested techniques that are sure to help you respond to shifting moods, feelings and expressions from your smallest of subjects.

Leave a comment for your chance to watch this class for free!

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

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
June 17 - Nashville, TN
Aug 26 - St. Louis, MO
Aug 28 - Kansas City, MO

One Flash, Two Flash with Joe McNally
June 19 - San Jose, CA
June 27 - Seattle, WA
July 24 - Milwaukee, WI
July 28 - Boston, MA

Photoshop Down & Dirty Master FX with Corey Barker
June 25 - New Orleans, LA
Aug 1 - Miami, FL
Aug 13 - Austin, TX

Photoshop Creativity with Ben Willmore
May 28 - Sacramento, CA

You can check out the full schedule for seminars through August, and we'll be updating it with more dates soon! Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winners
Capturing The Wild with Rick Sammon
- Michael Schuermann

KelbyOne Live Ticket
– Katie O

If you're one of the lucky winners, we'll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Photo by J. Tom¡s Lopez

"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
â”Martin Luther King

I have come to treat this, my annual installment on the anniversary of Scott's "Guest Blog Wednesday," the same way I treat my birthday. I try to spend my birthday the way I want my year to be. For this annual blog post I endeavor to write it the way I want my heart and spirit to go for the rest of the year.

Change takes but an instant. It is the journey to change that often takes a long time. The moment of change, the defining instant, when you are at your core different than you were the moment before. It is as if in comparison to all other moments in your life, it feels like you have just had a momentary lapse of reason. An island of understanding in the sea of confusion.

So I want to tell you about the momentary lapse of reason that occurred when this picture took me.

It eventually came to be chosen for the cover of Asian Photography magazine. (Read the article here)

I was asked to come to India to teach Indian photographers how to "see" their country differently. It was an amazing experience, more for me than for my students, truth be told. I was interviewed about my work for the article in Asian Photography after having done a radio show interview on Mumbai's Radio One 94.3 just before we left to travel to Varanasi for the workshop. But that's not the story I want to discuss. What I want to talk about is the moment that this picture took me.

The journey began a few years back when I photographed Aung San Suu Kyi.

To get the opportunity to photograph her as part of the American Photography feature on Burma that I did for the 2012 January issue, the promise I made was to do "right" with my pictures. It was not until over a year later I discovered what that meant. (You can read the guest blog I wrote about the experience here)

Journey As The Destination
It was early January, just before sunrise, a very long way outside of the city of Mandalay. It was myself, Kyaw Swa Minâ”"Joe" for shortâ”and our driver. It was a chilly 85 degrees (it was January after all), and we had spent three and half hours driving on what the locals affectionately refer to as the "Burma Super Highway," which is a dirt and gravel road so full of pot holes and cliff-like ruts that you are frequently thinking that Columbus was actually wrong and the world is indeed flat. We arrive at 5 a.m., half an hour before first light and about an hour before sunrise.

How we wound up here is because Joe said he knew this placeâ¦. FYI: for the 12 years I have known Joe every one of my great Burmese adventures starts with him saying, "Vincy⦠I know this place." This time "the place" was just outside a village that makes bricks. The village was located next to a bend in a river that had a huge clay deposit.

The reason I was told I wanted to be there was because of the profound lack of motorized vehicles and the amount of morning fog that happens on the river that time of year. So off we went and there we were. After shooting the moments just before sunrise and the sun rising, we are now faced with having traveled three and half hours and having basically  captured two "pretty" shots. Which means we have three and half hours to get back to where we started and I have two shots. Parts of my backside still hurt from the ride there and the thought of going the same we just came was not exactly something to be looking forward to. Which is when I saw smoke that was now coming up from over a hill, which means fire, so I followed the smoke.

What was over that hill was a village that makes bricksâ”bricks upon bricks upon bricks as far as the eye can see to a perspective point. Keep in mind that it is 6 a.m., and the brickyard is in full swing. They have been up for awhile. Making bricks, stacking bricks, "firing" bricks (baking them), gathering clay. I even watched a boy and a girl in the process of falling in love.

I found myself lost in these moments, witnessing moments happen in front of me at the speed of life. All of which was happening in beautiful light. When you have moments like these, who needs coffee to get your heart racing and your mind to wake up?

As we started moving into the city of never-ending bricks and light, there were children everywhere playing in the bricks. Keep in mind it is 6 a.m. And the morning is filled with the laughter and giggles of children.

So as I am blissfully clicking away in snot-encrusted child photography heaven, Joe starts talking to the adults who are amused by the big tall goofy "hello person" playing with the children. (The reason the Burmese refer to Americans as "hello people" is because Americans always wave and say "Hellooo" no matter where, what, or when. So the Burmese wave and say "hello" back. If Burma is anything it is a polite society). During the course of his conversation, he finds out the reason why there are so many children about at 6 a.m. There is no school, not because there is a holidayâ”there is no school in this village. So the children play amongst the bricks while the parents work. What this also means is that most of the villagers do not know how to read and write well, if at all. It is also the responsibility of the older children to look after the younger children.

The highest anyone was paid in the village was $3.00 a day for a 12-hour workday. The factory ran 7 days a week because of the demand for bricks, which was due to the lifting of sanctions and the growth happening in the urban areas of the country. If you think about it, we spend more for a cup of coffee than these highest paid workers make in a day. The life expectancy age of a Burmese man is 57 and the life expectancy age of a Burmese woman is 62. The life expectancy age for men and women in this brickyard is 50.

5 years old

15 years old

35 years old

As Joe was telling me all this, the moment that the picture of the girl who became the cover of Asian Photography magazine took me. It was that moment that I realized what Aung San Suu Kyi meant when she said to "do right with your photographs." Her request was not about putting your money where your mouth is, it was about putting your art where your heart is. At that time I experienced a momentary lapse of reason. I was changed. At that moment I decided that I am going to build a school. I had no idea how; I just knew I had to do right by these people.

"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try."
â”President John F. Kennedy

We have traveled in different ships to get to this moment in our lives, but we are all in the same boat now. At this moment, if you have read this far, you and I are literally on the same page. The issue I'm about to discuss is not an issue of liberal or conservative, or the religious belief you hold. This issue is about the one defining thing we all share. We are all humans that live on the same planet. Whatever affects one directly, ultimately affects all of us indirectly. Are there many things that need fixing in our human experience? There surely are. Can you fix all of them? You surely cannot. But the best you can do is fix the things you can. So do that. If everyone did that at least once, just think where we would be today? Tomorrow? A year from now?

So my goal is this: I want to use the power of the camera to build a school in this village. I want to use the power of the camera to create something that will take the experience that affected one person directly and use it to affect as many people as directly as possible.

The etymology of word "photography" means to write with light.  Thomas Jefferson (among others) said, "The pen is mightier than the sword." Wellâ¦TJ did not have a digital camera. Because the camera is mightier than the pen. Which means that a photographer wields a light saber.

I have started the site The first goal of the site is to build a school in this village, using art to do it. My plan is to first create a limited edition set of four 17×22 portfolios, then to create a book from the 137,000 captures I have of Burma to help keep it going.

What I need is help.

I am asking for help from the collective all of you. From straightforward legal advice, to help and ideas about book layout, to ideas of how to expand the thought of fixing things that we can with our art, creating a forum to show the things that take us. If you have an idea, send an email to
. If you want to help the school project send an email to

In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, Martin Luther King said, "I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits." Next time you drink a cup of Starbucks there is someone in this world we all live in that has to toil all day to make what you spent in a moment.  If not for them, take pause for a moment and think of their children playing in a brickyard whilst they work. That you, one person, have within your power to make a difference in life. All you need do is try.

You can see more of Nikon Ambassador Vincent Versace’s work at, follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, and find out more about his latest venture at

This one (above) really is like a movie trailer, and I’m in a pirate suit, so I’m not quite sure what to say hereâ¦..anyway, we have a Pirate theme for the Vegas Photoshop World Conference & Expo this year, and this little trailer gives you a taste for what’s in the opening keynote movie that kicks off the three-day training event. It should be Arrrrrrrrr rated! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

Anyway, Steve Nicolai, Daniel Bryant and our crew over in KelbyOne video land do some really clever, amazing, and often funny trailers for our online courses and I thought I’d share 10 of my favorite’s here (you can watch them below — they’re all pretty short — usually 30-seconds to a minute each). Here goes (in no particular order):

1. Peter Hurley’s “Mastering Headshot Photography”
I love how real Peter is throughout this trailer, but it’s the very end that just cracks me up!


2. Joe McNally – Making Great Photos in Bad Weather
This is just so Joe. Dig the Twister reference, and Joe’s inappropriate arm gesture.


3. Dave Black – High School Football Photography
Our crew did such a great taking the images Dave made during the live class and giving it a real big-time sports theme. The graphics, type and treatment are just great (and Dave’s class is killer, so it really fit).


4. Exposing HDR — What Happened to RC?
This was our first teaser trailer, andâ¦wellâ¦it’s just creepy. I wouldn’t have shot there.


5. Frank Doorhof ‘s “The Art of Dance Photography”
I love this one simply because of the shots Frank was able to pull off during this class (seen in the trailer). He is just amazing.


6. Bill’s Fortney’s “Close up: An introduction to Macro Photography”
I like the twist and reveal near the end of the trailer.


7. Bill Frake’s Environmental Sports Portraiture
Bill just flat out does some clever stuff and you get a peek at some of it in this trailer. One of my sports photography heroes.


8. Glyn Dewis’ Character Composite
Just like McNally’s trailer is so “Joe,” Glyn is just so “Glyn” in this trailer. The funny thing is, the mechanic in the trailer is a real mechanic who works right down the street from our studios.


9. Dave Black Horse Racing
I love the historic feel and look of this trailer. Really well done, and it makes you not only want to watch Dave’s class, it’s make you want to grab your camera and head to the track.


10. Tim Wallace — lighting cars with just one flash
I think what I love about this class is the final shot of the car, completely lit with one hot shoe flash, and I’m still like “dude, no way!” but yes. Way!


10.5 Matt’s Compositing Secret’s Book
OK, this technically isn’t a class, but it’s one of my all-time favorites, and one of the first one’s Steve did when he came on board with us as our trailer superhero and man he just won our hearts with this clever, funny, and really well done book trailer.

I know nothings worse that seeing a cool trailer and not being able to see the feature (or in our class, the online class), so if you want to watch any of these classes, and you’re not already a KelbyOne subscriber, you can get a free 24-hour pass and check them all out (as long as you don’t have anything planned that day, right?). Anyway, here’s the link just in case.

If you’re already a subscriber, if I were you I’d still watch all 10 — even if the topics aren’t what you normally shoot. Maybe today’s the day you fall in love with something new because these instructors are so inspiring, so amazing, and so information it just might open a whole new world for you. Hey, ya never know. :)



P.S. Tomorrow on “The Grid” it’s our “Blind Photo Critique” episode and if you’d like your 3 or 4 of your  images considered to be critiqued during tomorrow’s 4pm live show, submit your images at this link. Good luck! 

Hi Gang: Here’s just a quick collection of stuff I thought you find interesting (well, I thought they were interesting, anyway):

(1) I wish I had thought of this
I saw this (below) over on Digital Photography School and this is way cool! I love the portrait and I like how the photographer (Rey Vladyc Mangouta) got there even more (that behind-the-scenes shot is awesome!). Here’s the link to the article at DPS.

(2) Matt Hernandez is crushin’ it with his portrait series of McDonald’s All-Americans
You can see more of Matt’s series (and his other work) at this link. Super-diggin’ his work.

(3) “Around the World in 360° — I love how this photographer is living his life!
I know I’m not the first to share this video (below), but if you’ve already seen it, you probably want to watch it again — really fun and inspiring. Wish I had the guts to do what he’s doing when I was his age. Talk about “going for it!”

(4) Another “Matt” is making some awesome landscapes!
My buddy Matt Kloskowski was in Portland last week (just a few days before I got there for my seminar) and he took quite an amazing hike, which including hiking down a stream in a wet suite in freezing neck-deep water and traversing a huge Beaver dam to get the shot you see below (my favorite from shoot), but make sure you see his whole story and his other images. Very cool stuff (here’s the link). Also, congrats to Matt — this image on make it up to the #1 spot the same day he posted it!

(5) This is a really fascinating Time Lapse called “India within – Mumbai & Bangalore”
I’m not really big on Time Lapse stuff, but when you see a really good one, they’re really good! Well done to photographer Pierre Ogeron (saw this originally on

Well, there ya go — just some cool stuff I ran across this weekend. Hope you enjoyed it, and here’s wishing you a better than average Monday. :)



For years now I’ve felt that Joe McNally is literally one of the best photographers on the planet, and I know there’s probably a lot of folks that share that very seem feeling, but for years now I’ve also felt that Joe is one of the best people on the planet, too. He genuinely just loves people, and you can see that in his work and they way he lives his life.

A couple of days ago Joe sent me an email and the subject line was “The Reach of KelbyOne” and he’s what Joe wrote:

“Was in Prague recently, and had been contacted by a young man and his family. High school kid, very passionate photog, wondering if they could meet with me. They drove 4 hours, with an interpreter to Prague, and Annie and I bought them dinner, and had a wonderful meal, and talked about his pictures. I gave him an impromptu PF critique at the tables outside the restaurant. He was very thankful for Kelby Training, as they use it in his school. I did a little (vertical) video of him which is coming to you via my acct. at YouSendIt. Just thought you’d enjoyâ¦.

While I honestly think it’s awesome that this young man (his name is Luk¡Å¡ Kala) is using our online training in his high school in Europe (he attends SSPOS Brno [] High School Food Trade and Services). I think it’s way more awesome that Joe, one of the busiest guys in the world, took the time out of his schedule to not only meet with this young man, but that Joe and his wonderful wife Annie (who is the perfect match for Joe, because she is one of the most awesome people I know) took them to dinner. Joe does stuff just like this all the time. He helps photographers along their path, and he genuinely wants the best for them personally and in this career. Joe honors the people that helped him along the way by helping so many others along their path, and by passing his knowledge, his passion, and his heart to anyone he can and he touches people’s lives in ways that go way beyond his incredible photography.

I know many of you have met Joe in person, and I know many of you have been touched, helped, guided or inspired by Joe along the way, but for everyone that hasn’t, I wanted to share this small glimpse into another side of Joe and the grace he shares with others. I could fill a hundred posts recounting the kindness Joe has shared with others, but I’m happy that today I at least got to share this one.

Luk¡Å¡ recorded a video message to me on Joe’s iPhone (I’ve embedded it below), and it’s really sweet. He seems like a great kid, and Joe told me Luk¡Å¡ has a really good eye, so I imagine we’ll be hearing a lot about him soon as he makes his mark on the photographic world.

Have a great weekend, everybody, and here’s to the Joe McNally’s of the world who help make this all a better place. :)



Capturing The Wild: Safari Photography
Join Rick Sammon, a Canon Explorer of Light, and discover tips, tricks, and techniques that can apply to anywhere your camera might take you. Rick draws on his experiences leading photo safaris in Africa to teach you how to prepare for your own safari, consider what gear to bring, the importance of developing a daily routine, and how to get the best photographs of the people, wildlife, and places that you will encounter.

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

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
June 17 - Nashville, TN
Aug 26 – St. Louis, MO
Aug 28 – Kansas City, MO

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
May 20 - Hartford, CT

One Flash, Two Flash with Joe McNally
June 19 - San Jose, CA
June 27 - Seattle, WA
July 24 - Milwaukee, WI
July 28 - Boston, MA

Photoshop Down & Dirty Master FX with Corey Barker
June 25 - New Orleans, LA
Aug 1 – Miami, FL
Aug 13 – Austin, TX

Photoshop Creativity with Ben Willmore
May 28 - Sacramento, CA

You can check out the full schedule for seminars through August, and we'll be updating it with more dates soon! Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Win A Free Year of Crashplan from Terry White!
Looking for a cloud backup solution? Head over to before this Sunday, May 18, and leave a comment letting him know why you think backups and offsite backups are important to you for your chance to win a free year of Crashplan!

On Taking Pictures with Bill Wadman
Previous guest blogger Bill Wadman hosts a weekly photography podcast called On Taking Pictures where he and his co-host, Jeffery Saddoris, talk about the ‘why’ of taking pictures, the creative process, writer’s block, growth, and similar philosophical stuff. Imagine the conversation you a few friends have sitting around some couches late at night after the party thins out, except the conversation goes on for 106 ninety minute episodes. If you’d like to check it out, head over to and browse the episodes, or subscribe on iTunes.

Last Week’s Winners
The Inspirational Series with Dixie Dixon
– Al

KelbyOne Live Ticket
– Marcel Bauer

If you're one of the lucky winners, we'll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!