Hi Gang: Lots of live presentations coming up, so I want to make sure you guys especially are in the loop. Here’s what’s coming next:
Keynote at the Photo Expo 2016 It’s not only my first time speaking at the Photo Expo, it’s my first time ever to Arkansas, so I’m really looking forward to it. On there on behalf of the fine folks at Canon, and my keynote presentation is at 7:00 PM on the 19th. Details here.
I’m in Nashville next week. Indy the week after Hope you can come out for Part 2 of my “Shoot Like a Pro” seminar. Details here.
Let’s Go Shooting Portraits in New York City! I’m doing a special “Shooting Portraits on Location” session at Photo Plus Expo this October (they call it a “Photo Walk,” but it’s different than my photo walks [btw: official date to be announced shortly], in that this is actually a training class and not just a social event).
We’re photographing models with New York City as our backdrop (I teach the techniques, then you do the shooting), and the whole thing is sponsored by Lexar (I’m one of their “Lexar Elite Photographers” – have been for years, but this is my first time presenting for them, and I’m psyched). Very limited number of spaces available, so sign up soon. Details here.
Lightroomapalooza Next Wednesday! Well, it really should be called “Travel Photography with Lightroomapalooza!” because that’s what we’re doing next Wednesday in a live, free public Webcast with Adobe’s own Terry White.
We’ll be showing all sorts of cool Lightroom techniques for you travel photographers out there, and we’ll be taking your Lightroom questions live as well. Everybody’s invited.
Hi Gang: This is a quickie, but it’s important if you’re a Photoshop user and you stitch your panos in Photoshop CC, because if you’re using the “old” way, you’re missing out. Watch the quick video below:
What’s next? Lots of stuff. On the 19th I’m up in Little Rock, Arkansas (my first time in Arkansas in my whole life) at the Photo Expo 2016, (on behalf of the fine folks at Canon) – doing a keynote presentation. Really looking forward to it (thank you Canon for the opportunity) and I hope I get to meet some of you there. :)
I’m teaching my full-day seminar (part 2 of my “Shoot Like a Pro” day up in Nashville on August 15th, and then in Indianapolis on the 25th. Come out and spend the day with me.
I’m in NYC late next week. Let me know if you have a cool place I should shoot (not the standard places. It has to be someplace really cool, really unique, you can get special super-secret access, etc.). Hit me up here in the comments.
I’m headed to Iceland at the end of this month, just to take some photos and see Iceland for the first time. My buddy, the awesome Terry White is coming with me, and if you have any tips, good hotels to stay at, etc., drop me a line here.
Do you dig Photoshop? Me, too! Want to get really, really good at it? Go take the free trial at KelbyOne.com – go to the Learning Tracks; choose the one that’s right for your skill level (beginner, intermediate, advanced), and you’re off and running. Here’s the link.
That’s it for now… Have a great weekend, and I’ll catch up with you on Monday.
Streamline Your Workflow with the Adobe Lightroom Mobile APP with Josh Haftel Streamline your mobile photography workflow with Lightroom Mobile! Join Josh Haftel, senior product manager at Adobe, as he teaches you how to use Lightroom Mobile to import, organize, edit, and share your mobile photography, as well as how you can synchronize it all with Lightroom on your desktop and Lightroom Web.
In Case You Missed It Your photography is going places. Now you can finally free yourself from the desktop with on-the-go, pro-grade photo editing. Take Lightroom Mobile anywhere, and master your skills with KelbyOne. Unlock the App’s full potential with Lightroom expert Matt Kloskowski and learn how to view, organize, edit, share and sync with useful tips and tricks so you can start using Lightroom Mobile right away.
I’ve been working surviving as a freelance artist since 2010.
I attended Kutztown University and was enrolled in their Electronic Media program. Going into my final semester at Kutztown, with 12.5 credits remaining to graduate, I had (what I thought was) my ‘golden ticket’ to becoming a true freelancer.
I can remember the night like it was yesterday. I was in upstate New York filming a live concert for a singer-rapper duet on my winter break. I got a phone call from one of the artist’s managers who was also a film director/producer in Texas. He offered me an opportunity to direct/film a behind-the-scenes documentary that was going into production that April, which happened to overlap with finals at school. After returning from New York, I approached my professors about the opportunity and they insisted that I should take a leave of absence from the university to pursue my dreams.
At 21, getting my professors approval to just leave school and being offered $15,000 to shoot a documentary without a degree, gave me this overwhelming sense of entitlement. Not good, considering my work at the time didn’t show that kind of value.
That was the death of my life as a college student.
After filling out the paperwork to take my leave of absence, it became a waiting game. The waiting game then became a game of cold calls and being ghosted by the producer that was offering me this once in a lifetime opportunity.
This was single handedly the best lesson I learned as a freelance artist. Sometimes, the only person you can trust is yourself.
The film never ended up going into production.
I spent the following year refusing to go back to school, but instead trying to make a way for myself, and ‘survive as a freelancer’ without a typical day job. I did a lot of free work that year, slept in my car and on a lot of my friend’s couches. It was not glamorous.
When you’re first getting started, sometimes you need to do free work just to get your name out there and let people know that you exist. There is a time and place for everything. It would be foolish to expect $15,000 without a single completed project to your name. Do you see where I’m going with this? I played the fool. I played the fool and learned a lot from it. So instead, I made it a point to get as much work under my belt as possible to a point where I could put a demo reel together and give people a reason to pay me to do work for them.
During that time, with the evolution of DSLR cameras, I was able to shoot both videos and photos. So I thought it would be wise to really attack both fields with full force. I would offer to shoot wedding videos, wedding photos, music videos, band promotional photos, concerts, senior portraits, commercials, and just about anything and everything that could be done with a camera. I didn’t consider myself a specialist in one particular field or another, in actuality; I was quite mediocre at all of them.
Exactly one year after I left school, I was approached by an agency that wanted to hire me for a freelance job in Indonesia. That opportunity is what truly got me started as a “freelancer.” The company I was hired to do work for was Mars Chocolate (M&M’s – Snickers – Twix – Skittles), and this gig in particular was a 9-day job; with 6 days of flying, 3 days on the ground filming.
Regardless how qualified or unqualified you think you may be, if people are approaching you to do work for them, you’re qualified.
After a successful trip to Indonesia, I continued to do freelance work for Mars for another year and a half, and I learned so many invaluable lessons during my time with them.
A common belief in freelancing is that there are rainy seasons and dry seasons. I don’t believe in the latter, in fact, as a freelance artist, the second there is a “dry season” – I think you’ve given up on yourself. There is and always will be opportunities out there for you, and they can be paid or unpaid. Unpaid doesn’t mean you’re not getting anything out of it. Those unpaid jobs will likely give you opportunities to show your value, open other doors, and give you the chance to network. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Give value. Give value. Give value. And then ask for business.”
The work with Mars slowed down, but I refused to let that slow me down. If there is one piece of advice that I could give to any aspiring freelancer/freelancer, it would be to have some stability in your life. By stability, I mean financial stability.
It is extremely uncommon for someone that’s just breaking into the freelance market to be able to make a living and survive as a freelancer, myself included. What I’ve seen work best is to have and maintain a stable 9 to 5 job in a field that you love and that you’re passionate about, and pick up freelance jobs outside of that. The goal, if things go well, is that you will be able to transition into being a full-time freelancer. One thing you have to understand is that it won’t happen overnight.
Sacrilege right? Working a full-time desk job in order to do freelance work? Well, that’s exactly what I did, and it’s one of the best career decisions I’ve made.
LIMBS – Behind The Scenes // Photo & Video
I moved from Pennsylvania to Michigan and started working full time at the University of Michigan as a videographer, photographer, and editor. That job afforded me the stability I needed to pay for my everyday expenses, like rent, electric, phone bills, and groceries. Consequently, I was able to be selective with the clients I was choosing to work with and it also gave me the headspace to be a little more creative with the projects I was working on.
I was no longer stressed about getting a gig, finding new clients, or even surviving. Without the life or death pressure, it allowed my freelance business to grow more organically. Client’s were finding me and approaching me, instead of me searching for jobs in desperation. You can stop chasing the money, but instead focus on following your heart and the things you WANT to create.
After years of freelancing, I’m still working a 9 to 5, but now in Tampa, Florida. I moved here blindly, not knowing much about the area or the people here. I did everything I could to dive into the community and into the culture here in hopes that I could create a name for myself, and my work.
It may sound silly, but one thing I chose to do was to challenge myself to post at least 1 photo a day to my Instagram account for 365 days starting December 23, 2015. This was one way I was hoping to get connected with the community and start networking. By taking and posting photos each day, I was able to curate a lot of photos from the St. Pete/Tampa area and turn around and sell them at a local market in Tampa. By selling prints and canvases at the market, it allowed me to network and create relationships with a lot of makers and doers in the area.
As a freelancer, networking is everything. So many doors opened from that single action of putting my work out there. Challenge yourself, take some risks, and let people know you exist.
I shared this a few weeks ago over on my daily Lightroom tips blog (LightroomKillerTips.com) and I thought you guys over here might find them useful as well. It’s three of my favorite, quick little Lightroom shortcuts. Nothing really earth-shaking here, but just really useful bread-and-butter stuff worth knowing.
Here’s what they are, and why I think they’re so handy:
(Above:There’s more here than first meets the eye).
Mornin’ everybody! I’ve been getting a ton of really great feedback on my “From Flat to Fabulous in Photoshop”course on KelbyOne, so to celebrate, I recorded a new segment just for you to give you an idea of what the class is all about.
Download The Practice File Plus, you can download the RAW file and follow right along with me (that’s the link, right below). BTW: in the online course, I make all the files available for download so you can do the same thing with every single project.
Now Watch The Video and Follow Along There’s lots of really useful Photoshop stuff in this short video, including a bunch of little tips and timesavers, which is what I love about teaching these types of projects.
Also, I don’t use any plug-ins, presets or actions in this tutorial. Just all stuff that’s already in Photoshop. OK, let’s get to it:
I hope following along with that made you interested in learning more, and taking my course (you can sign up for the free 10-day trial and watch the entire course right now). Here’s the link to my full “From Flat to Fabulous in Photoshop” course.
Here’s wishing you a great Monday, an awesome week, and starting off August on a high note!
P.S.Here’s the official trailer for my “From Flat to Fabulous in Photoshop” course (below), ya know…just in case. :)