It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Jessyel Ty Gonzalez!

by Brad Moore  |  9 Comments

Many thanks, Scott – an honor to be able to write here.

I’ll be all over the place here (I’m no writer, so my apologies), but I’ll try to be quick, sprinkling little nuggets of wisdom you should probably ignore. (Seriously, the only real tip here is SHOOT. Always be shooting.) I’ve been through highs and lows as a photographer, and have learned a thing or two in the process. Hopefully the below will help one day.

-You can’t get better if you don’t continuously practice. That’s really the big secret. Keep shooting all the damn time.

-You have to love photography. I mean, really love it. Photography as a hobby is much different than photography as a profession.

-Surround yourself with smart, humble, and hard-working people. Try to be the same.

-Also, be nice.

-Respect your crew and keep everyone well fed. You’ll be amazed at what can be accomplished after one eats a delicious burrito.

-Try to shoot with film every once in a while, especially if you never have. And not just because it’s the cool, hipster thing to do, but because it’s truly magic on earth. (Seriously, darkrooms changed my life.) It will also help your photography – constraints, non-immediacy, and knowing each shot is costing you a pretty penny does wonders to your work.

-Appreciate the gift that is being given to you. What an age to be alive. To be able to capture an image before your eyes, forever eternal based on your choosing. Wow.

-Photography is great. It can also be horrible. It has provided lifelong joys and struggles; the brightest of highs and darkest of lows. There’s something so beautifully human about this. I can’t keep away, and realize this is the life I’ve chosen. Know if you can handle that.

-Photography is in oversupply. Those who are creative problem solvers and who can adapt are going to win.

-Balance your life. I recently became a father for the first time. My job demands a lot of hours and travel, and it’s been a lot of work to balance that and being able to be there for my daughter and wife. Every parent goes through this, and it will always be a struggle, I’m thinking.

-This is a stressful profession. Fun, but stressful. Develop strategies to keep the stress low.

-Enjoy the ride. Photography provides access. I’ve traveled to many places and met many amazing people, and feel blessed to be in this position. For all the craziness this career provides, few professions provide experiences as unique and great as photography does. If you’re one of the lucky few making it, know you are indeed lucky.

-Luck favors the bold and hard working. (My father told me this when I was young. It’s always stuck with me, even though sometimes I believe you truly do get just lucky sometimes.)

-Watch films with great cinematography. Get shamed at how bad you are. Get inspired at how great you can become.

-Stare at the stars every once in a while. Imagine all that’s been and all that can be. (You’re looking at the past in the present. How beautifully strange is that?!)

-I have never taken a truly great photograph. This haunts me. I can’t stop until I get a shot I’m happy with. I’m afraid it may never happen. Try to have something that both drives and scares you.

-The key to great photography is not letting anyone see your bad shots.

-I’ll get some flack for this, but the equipment does matter. Doesn’t mean buying the latest and greatest guarantees great shots, but it means getting the right tool for the right job, and knowing your equipment inside and out. Speaking of…

-Know your sh*t.  I cannot stress this enough. There is no excuse with the limitless (free) resources available to you. Photography is simple, but it’s also mind-numbingly difficult. You don’t want to be fumbling around a set – people can smell the fear. Know your equipment, the science, the software, the techniques, the styles, etc. Learn as much as possible and don’t stop learning.

-Fear and nerves can ruin a shoot. Each person deals with this in different ways, but overcome any way you can once you’re on set.

-Talk to people. I consider myself an introvert, but the world is different when you’re in charge and a camera is present. Let those social worries melt away.  Learn to talk to people, to relate to them, to know their trepidations and what makes them unique. Go out and take some street portraits of strangers – it will do wonders to your other work. Relationships, y’all.

-I have found that you have to stop and smell the roses. We live in a fast-paced world, and we ignore the simplest of beauty around us. Stop and smell those roses.  Hang out with your son or daughter at sunset, seeing the golden light hit their face. See the patterns and chaotic randomness of nature. Hear the rain. Turn off your phone. These seem silly, but believe me – they’ll help your photography. You’ll see light and compositions in new ways if you just stop and see the beauty of the world.

-Get in front of the camera. Let people photograph you for a change. Know what bothers you, what makes you uncomfortable, and use that when you’re finally back behind the camera.

-Learn post-processing. It’s becoming a must. Shooting for post is very important nowadays, as well. This part of the process can’t be ignored.

-Of course, don’t shoot with an ‘I’ll fix it post’ mentality. Jiminy. Get your shot in-camera; shoot for post as a prepared strength, not as a way to polish a turd.

-Out of camera does not equal a retouched photo.

-Everyone is using the same equipment. There is no ‘magic’ lens or camera that makes someone better. Although the gear is expensive, we’re technically all on a level-playing field. Don’t get discouraged by others’ gear – get encouraged by their skill.

-I’m still trying to make it. I’m still learning. Still making mistakes. Always will. Take what you can from above. If you have any nuggets of wisdom you’d like to share, write them below in the comments – would love to see them. Also, some obligatory photos I’ve shot. Shrug:

Jessyel Ty Gonzalez is the Manager of Photography at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, an ad agency in Boulder, Colorado, working as a photographer in the process.  You can see his work here, and also follow him on Twitter.


It’s “I forgot to post any news until just now” Tuesday

by Scott Kelby  |  17 Comments

Chicago, here I come!
I’ll be there this coming Tuesday with my “Shoot Like a Pro Tour” and if you’re anywhere in the Chicagoland area you’re invited to come out and spend the day with me (the short video below explains the tour). There’s already over 450 photographers signed up for the day, so if you want to come, reserve your seat right now (it’s $99 for the full day of training; just $79 if you’re a NAPP member). Here’s the link with more info or to sign up. See you on Tuesday the 30th! 

P.S. My next tour stops are Seattle on May 23rd and Los Angeles on May 24th.

Review of Photoshop World
It was my buddy Mike Olivella’s first time to Photoshop World, and every time I saw Mike he was like a kid at Christmas. Mike sent me an email yesterday with a link to a review he wrote on his BaseLineShots blog with his full review, lots of photos, and stories. Here’s the link if you’ve got a sec.

If you’re into aviation photography, this is for you!
The International Society of Aviation Photography (ISAP) is holding their annual conference next month (May 16-18) in Seattle and I’ve got to tell you, they put one of the best photography conference anywhere! The shooting access they get, and the quality of instructors (Matt Kloskowski is teaching there this year), and the camaraderie between the attendees makes it really a blast (I’ve been to three of their conferences so far, and I’m an ISAP member as well). Can’t recommend their event enough — absolutely a steal at $275 (if you sign-up before the 26th. Afterward it’s still just $300). Here’s the link with more info.

A big thanks to everybody who follows me on Twitter!
Last week I was psyched to hit 100,000 followers on Twitter, and I wanted to thank everybody there for the follows. I answer a LOT of questions there because the answers can be so short and sweet, so if you’re not following over on Twitter, come on over (here’s the link). Many thanks for the follows everybody!

This weekend? It’s Hockey Workshop Time!
Oh yeah! Hockey baby!!! Our professional hockey photography workshop is on again this weekend! Looking forward to hanging with Scott, Mike, and photographers from all over the world. Can’t wait! #kickice!

My Portfolio Update Continues
I’m still working with portfolio consultant Stella Kramer (link) on my portfolio — will be for a while now (by the way, people like Dave Black and Jack Reznicki had nothing but great things to say about Stella when I saw them at Photoshop World  — they had worked with her when she was a magazine photo editor). Tweaked the Sports portfolio some more and I updated my regular portfolio so the background color is white (seen above); then I consolidated Football and Sports into just one category; I consolidated Travel & Landscape into one category (yes, I greatly lowered the number of images in each); and I got rid of the personal category (it lives over on the Sports site). Still lots of work to do, but it’s progressing.

Taping an online class with Peter Read Miller
Late next week (after I get back from my Chicago seminar), I’m spending a day taping an online class for Kelby Training Online with a legend of Sports Photography, long-time Sports Illustrated shooter Peter Read Miller.

I asked Peter to do a very specific class which I think it going to help a lot of shooters out there. He’s going to go sport-by-sport and show exactly “what makes a great sports photo!” For example, if you’re shooting tennis, where should the ball be in the frame (and does it need to be in the frame). If so, what makes the best position; which angles are best, what should your shooting position be, and exactly what are you aiming for during the shoot? (and so on). I took his workshop up in Atlanta and he had some amazing insights into exactly this type of stuff — so much so I thought it would make a brilliant online class, and I can’t wait to hear what he has to share.

I’m pretty much heads down right now on a book project
I know, like always, right? When I write a book I really have to kind of shut everything off and just focus, so if I don’t respond to emails in a timely fashion (or later than usual. LOL!), or I’m about impossible to reach by phone, or if my blog posts go up late for a few weeks (ahem), well, at least you’ll know why.

Thanks everybody, and here’s wishing you a fantastic Tuesday!


A Quick Look-Back at Photoshop World Orlando

by Scott Kelby  |  11 Comments

(Above: Here’s a peek at “Pre-Conference Workshop” day, the day before Photoshop World begins).

Wow — What an incredible week! I’m gonna skip the 1,000 words and just let these short videos tell the story. Our video crew (led by Erik Kuna) produces these each day during the conference, and then at the Wrap Up Rally at the end we show them as part of our closing ceremonies and it really gives you a wonderful day-by-day insight into what happens during the Photoshop World Conference & Expo.

(Above: Here’s a look at “Day One,” including the opening Keynote [Top-Gun Theme] and our party at B.B. Kings).

My personal thanks to everyone who was a part of our East Coast Photoshop World Conference & Expo — can’t wait to see you all again in Vegas in the fall. Hope you enjoy the videos till then. Cheers, —Scott

(Above: Highlights from “Day Two,” and a peek at Midnight Madness!).

(Above: Here’s our look at the final day, ”Day Three,” and the wrap up of an incredible week!)

Lastly, here’s a few of my favorite photos from the week, (Photos by Brad Moore and Anthony Newman):





A Few More Photos Before We Wrap Photoshop World Orlando

by Brad Moore  |  1 Comments

Hey everyone, Brad Moore here one last time this week before we wrap up the last day of Photoshop World Orlando. Yesterday was another eventful day of classes, the expo, the Art of Digital Photography panel, and Midnight Madness!


More Photos from Day 1 – Expo and After Hours Party

by Brad Moore  |  2 Comments

Hey everyone, Brad Moore here with another update from Photoshop World Orlando! Yesterday was the opening of the Photoshop World Expo and our After Hours Party at BB Kings with Big Electric Cat, and we had a blast! Here are some shots from the afternoon and evening:

The Expo is open to the public today and tomorrow, free of charge! Get your expo pass right here and come check it out.

Check back again later today for more shots from Orlando!

Photos by Anthony Newman and Brad Moore

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