Wednesday
Nov
2012
28

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Brian Matiash!

by Brad Moore  |  28 Comments

I, Photographer

I believe it was last summer when I was having dinner with Brad Moore at City Fish in Oldsmar, FL when he asked me to write my first post for Scott’s illustrious Guest Blog series. I was humbled, giddy, and nervous. As a longtime follower of Scott’s work, being asked to contribute marked a milestone in my career as a photographer. I fully admit modeling a lot of how I teach and relate with our users at onOne Software based on Scott’s practices, so you can imagine my surprise when I got an email from Brad a few weeks ago with the subject, “It’s that time again.” I am truly honored to reprise my role as guest contributor and I’d like to thank Scott, Brad, Matt, RC, Corey, Stinky Pete and the rest of my good friends at Kelby Media for doing so much to help so many of us reach our own milestones as photographers.

<Cue the Wayne’s World wave dissolve and smoothly segue to the post>

I will always remember the first time I admitted to actually being a photographer to someone. It was in late winter of 2009 and I was photographing the beautiful and frigid coastline of Provincetown, MA. At the time, I had a full time job at a software company that created products for the financial sector and I was also starting to make inroads with my own little commercial photography business. I already had a few solid gigs under my belt and had been lining up some more. Things were looking good and my goal was to move into doing this full time at some point in 2010. While I was photographing the Provincetown coastline, an elderly woman saw what I was doing, walked up to me, and asked me plainly, “What do you do?”

And to that, for the first time in my life, I answered, “I’m a photographer.”

Prior to that, I would have likely stumbled and stammered to justify what I was doing and I’m sure that more than a few of you can relate. For some reason, there is this layer of self-doubt that we have when owning up to answering this particular question. It’s almost as if we are trying to justify it to ourselves as we answer it. Before I move on to how this memory spurred the point of this post, let me clear the air. We are all photographers. Whether you are a casual hobbyist, an avid enthusiast or a part/full time paid professional, just by virtue of picking up a camera with the intention of freezing a moment in time, you are a photographer.

So why is it that so many of us get defensive when someone calls you an amateur photographer? It’s such a beautiful word, so appropriate for so many of us out there, and yet in the same breath, it is seen as a form of denigration—a lower rung in a caste system of photographers. Have you ever actually looked up the definition of amateur? While there are different interpretations of the word, the definition I wholeheartedly subscribe to is ‘a person who engages in a pursuit.’ Doesn’t that sound so lovely? It almost has a romantic feel to it. And it’s true after all, isn’t it? Aren’t we all actively engaged in the pursuit of our photography? While I consider myself a working photographer, I also wholly consider myself an amateur. Photography is my life and I will dedicate my time here to mastering it in my own way and helping others find their own paths.

But let’s go back to the issue at hand—namely, the consternation that we feel when we have to justify whether we are photographers. It was in thinking about this that I realized what I should write about. The problem lies in this pervasive need to seek the approval of as many people as possible in order to justify whether you are a photographer, and worse, whether you are even a good photographer. For many of us, the quality of an image has been relegated to the response rate and engagement percentage of a post you made on your social media outlet of choice. Good, honest, quality feedback has been supplanted by mindless Likes and +1s. Our entire scale of artistic growth has been commoditized whereas the clear voices of a small group of mentors and trusted friends have been replaced by a cacophony of fleeting words and phrases left as comments. And then there are the trolls and the flame wars. Small-minded people getting off on slicing and dicing anything that you share with impunity, no matter what the nature is.

The culmination of investing your emotions and tying your growth to all of these things can be terribly destructive and stifling for those photographers out there who are doubtful of themselves and not sure whether they feel like they can contribute anything meaningful to the world with their work. All of this static may serve to turn someone away, making them gun-shy to share their work or even pick up a camera in the first place. I am saying this because I know it to be true. I have friends who are impacted in this way and it truly saddens me and that is why I wanted to bring it to light here. Photography is only what you make it out to be for yourself.

Understand this: photography isn’t easy. There are no shortcuts. It’s laden with frustration and disappointment, but it’s also a labor of love. Yes, the barrier to entry for creating an image is extremely low—just pick up any device capable of capturing an image and press a button. If that’s as far as you want to take it, then by all means “snapshoot” away. I’ll support you 100%.

There is one lesson I’m hoping you take away from this: true growth in photography, or in any craft or vocation, requires confidence in yourself and confidence in your ability to dust yourself off when you do fail, because you will. It also means that you have confidence to weed out the static and confidence to pursue meaningful growth from those you trust and who will give feedback that is both constructive and supportive and not laced with anything else.

If there is one concept that I am vehemently passionate about, it is sharing of work. I share my work because I believe that is how I infuse the last piece of soul into my image. I also share the anecdotes and technical details surrounding the creation of my images because I absolutely love teaching my techniques and giving away the farm. I don’t share to get comments, +1s or Likes. They are most certainly appreciated but please understand that they aren’t any sorts of driving forces for me. I share because I am a photographer and sharing is the elemental outcome of being a photographer.

I’d like to leave you with what my hope is that you’ll take away from this post. Do you remember when I defined the word ‘Amateur’ up above? It is a person who engages in a pursuit, and in this case, the pursuit is photography. What I’d like you to think about is ‘who are you pursuing photography for?’ By determining the true answer to that question, I suspect you’ll find your individualized path to artistic growth appear a bit more clearly.

And always remember: never stop shooting.

Thank you for your time.

You can see more of Brian’s work at BrianMatiash.com, and find him on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

Tuesday
Nov
2012
27

Apple’s look into the Future (from back in the 1990s).

by Scott Kelby  |  26 Comments

I actually saw this video back when it was originally produced at a meeting at the local Apple office in Tampa (long since closed), and I remember thinking, “I wonder if we’ll ever really have stuff like this in our lifetime?”

Of course, there was no way for anyone to know back then that what we were looking at was a version of what would eventually be released as Siri. :)

Start from the 1-minute point for the demo of what they envisioned as “The Knowledge Navigator.” Now, I just mentioned Apple, which means this will quickly turn into a comment war, so to divert your attention briefly from that, how about people who shoot HDR photography, huh? That’s not “real” photography, right? ;-)

Tuesday
Nov
2012
27

OK, We Totally Got Crushed on Cyber Monday

by Scott Kelby  |  13 Comments

It’s a blessing and a curse — we had the biggest single sales day in the history of our company (yay!!!), but at the same time, having all that took down our network, half of our sites, our customer service phone lines, and well…you name it. It was off-the-chains (whatever that means. I hear kids say that).

If you couldn’t get through to us for any reason yesterday….
…we will still gladly honor any of our Cyber Monday deals today (see yesterday’s post for a listing).

Although I’m making a joke (to keep from crying…)
We take our customer service commitment very seriously, and although we thought we were fully prepared to tackle the Cyber Monday crunch, it went way beyond our wildest dreams and we were digging ourselves out all day (until late into the night). Thanks to everyone who took advantage of our deals, and to everyone who couldn’t get through (or struggled to get their order in online) I hope we get the chance to make it right for you today. Thanks for your patience, your support, and for hanging in there with us.

Monday
Nov
2012
26

Our Hourly Cyber Monday Videos

by Brad Moore  |  10 Comments

BREAKING: The Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. LIVE Tour Lighting Kit is $100 off at B&H today only!

As mentioned this morning, we’ve been doing a short 5-minute broadcast at the top of each hour today starting at 10:00am Eastern. In each one, we’ve shared some of the best Cyber Monday deals for photographers we could find, including some great ones from KelbyTraining.com and NAPP :-)

Here’s the first video of the bunch (with links below it), and the rest after the jump:

Topaz 50% Off ALL PRODUCTS
https://www.topazlabs.com

500px.com
Cyber Monday Awesome account just $37.95 (normally $50).
https://500px.com/upgrade

B&H with LR 4 at $99 plus Matt’s DVD
http://bhpho.to/TqF5Dj

Kelby Training Online – $40 Off with promo code CYBERMON12
http://kelbytrainingonline.com

40% off SmugMug – must use code cybersmug
http://www.smugmug.com/

Tether Tools – 20% Off Wallee Gear for iPad
http://conta.cc/UXhWp3

Gelakins 20% off EVERYTHING
http://bit.ly/V2B9Wy

Kelly Moore Bags: $25 off any bag (use the code BLACKFRIDAY25).
http://kellymoorebag.com

Continue reading

Monday
Nov
2012
26

Five Killer Cyber Monday Deals From Us (well, mostly until #5)

by Scott Kelby  |  22 Comments

DEAL #1: Save $40 on our kick-butt Online Training for photographers
You get it all —- unlimited access to all our online training courses for an entire year (literally hundreds of classes by the best teachers anywhere) for just $159 for a full year (or $139 if you’re an NAPP member). Here’s the link. 

 

DEAL #2: Join NAPP, get cool stuff 
OK, that’s our next deal (above) — on joining the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). Join today and get 3-extra months added, plus our “What’s new in Photoshop CS6 Training DVD” (usually $49.95) for free. This includes a subscription to Photoshop User magazine by the way (sweet!). Here’s the link.  (there’s also deals for member who want to renew their membership).

DEAL #3: Save money on the Photoshop World Conference & Expo (coming in April to Orlando)
There are two deals here for Photoshop World (see above): One is a “Bring a Buddy” deal, where if you sign up you buddy can get a full conference pass for only $299 (pretty sweet), and the other deal is if you register for Photoshop World online today you can $50 plus you get a free Speed Pass (you have a reserved seat right up front in most every session). Here’s the link. 

DEAL #4: Get a Bundle Deal: Kelby Training Online & NAPP membership together for just $199
This may be our best deal ever, since it’s $100 off the price of both. This way you get the best Online photography training bundled with the world’s best Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom training (includes a subscription to Photoshop User magazine) for just $199. This is nuts. Somebody should be fired. Maybe me. Hopefully not, though. Anyway, it’s crazy and I’m glad it’s only for one day. Here’s the link.  (NOTE: This will take you to the NAPP sign-up page — just choose an individual membership and enter this code at checkout: CYBER60 and you’ll automatically get the Bundle deal of NAPP and Kelby Training Online.

DEAL #5: We’re going to help you find everybody else’s killer deals on Photography and Photoshop Stuff

Ok gang, we’re doing something we’ve never done before for Cyber Monday (in fact, I haven’t seen anybody do this yet). Here’s the plan:

We’re going to scour the entire Web to bring you the best Cyber Monday deals out there on photography and Photoshop-related gear, LIVE every hour, on the hour, all day Monday!

It’s just a quick five-minute live broadcast from me and the gang at the top of every hour starting at 10:00 AM ET Today!!! (and only for today, Cyber Monday!)

I just came up with this idea this weekend, so can you help me spread the word Twitter, Facebook, your blogs, etc.? Also, there are just so many great deals out there we can’t keep up with them all, so if you find a really great deal and you want us to share it, leave me a comment right here (make sure you include a link to the deal).

Thanks everybody and we’ll see you starting at 10:00 am at this link.  It’s gonna be a fun, money-saving day!

Friday
Nov
2012
23

Cyber Monday Deals from Kelby Training & NAPP!

by Brad Moore  |  17 Comments

Just a reminder… We have a ton of crazy deals going on today through Monday, November 26! Check out everything below to score huge savings on KelbyTraining.com, NAPP, and Photoshop World and our Books and DVDs:

Kelby Training Online (Our world-class online training for photographers)
NOTE: check out the free sample video above with sample clips from our online classes

> DEAL: $40 off Annual Subscription
(That’s just $159 for a full year, unlimited access. Just $139 for NAPP members)

> Use the Promo Code: CYBERMON12 

______________________________________________________________________

Kelby Training Books
(My Lightroom 4 book, my Photoshop CS6 book, Matt’s Photo Compositing Secrets, Corey’s Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers, RC’s The HDR Book, and many more).

DEAL: Take an additional 15% off + FREE Shipping

Use the Promo code: FREESHIP

______________________________________________________________________

 

Kelby Training Tutorial DVDs
(Matts Lightroom 4 Crash Course DVD, my Crush The Composition DVD, Matt’s Tack Sharp DVD on how to sharpen your images in Photoshop and many more).

 

DEAL: Take an additional 15% off + FREE Shipping

 

Use the Promo code: FREESH12

______________________________________________________________________

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS BUNDLE:
1-Year membership to the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP)
PLUS a 1-Year membership to Kelby Training Online BUNDLE DEAL

BUNDLE DEAL: You get BOTH for just $199 

> Use the Promo code: CYBER60

OR…..

New Member Deal: National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP)

> DEAL: You get 3 extra months + What’s New in CS6 DVD [retail $49]

> Use the Promo code: CYBERNEW

OR…..

> Renewal Deal for Existing NAPP Members

> DEAL: Renew now and get 6 extra months free

> Use the Promo code: CYBERRENEW

> A Full Conference Pass to the Photoshop World Conference & Expo
(Orlando, Florida —  April 17-19, 2013)

> DEAL: Call in ONLY deal: Buy your conference pass and “Bring a Buddy” and their pass is just $299

> Use This Promo Code: CYBERPLUSONE

> Call (toll free) 800-738-8513 or 813-433-5005

OR….

> Online DEAL: Register now and Save an extra $50 + a Free Speed Pass

> Use This Promo Code Promo Code: CYBEREXTRA

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