Monthly Archives November 2010

Hey everyone, Brad here with the latest news:

The latest issue of Costco Connection, the magazine for Costco members, features an article called “May All Your Pixels Be Bright” with easy tips for getting better holiday photos written by Scott. You can jump straight to the article to see how to make the most of those holiday family photo ops.  And if you’re a Costco member, keep an eye out for Scott’s Digital Photography Book Books, Volumes 1, 2 & 3 next time you’re in the store.

Dave Cross is bringing his Maximum Photoshop Seminar to the South San Francisco Conference Center this Monday, November 15.  You wouldn’t believe the amount of amazing feedback we’ve been getting about this seminar, so sign up now to see the Canadian Boss in action!

Photoshop World instructor Chris Orwig will be featured on Peachpit’s Photo Club webcast Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.  Chris is an amazing instructor who has a knack for inspiring your creative side, so I can’t wait to hear what he has to say. You can register for the webcast here, and watch previous ones you may have missed. has launched their new and improved website. You can now rent gear for any number of days you want (minimum of 4) instead of weekly, the site is easier to navigate, and, most importantly, they’re continuing to add more products to their inventory! They’re also having their annual gear sale starting Monday, so head on over and take a look.

Scott Kelby's Lightroom 3 Book for Photographers

Scott’s Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers is now available in a very limited spiral-bound edition! All the details, including a coupon code for NAPP members to receive the book for free when they renew their membership for two years, are over on the store.

Speaking of Scott’s Lightroom 3 Book… After reviewing three different books on the program, new Lightroom user Daniel Bailey chose Scott’s book to help him quickly get up to speed with the software and blogged about it. Thanks Daniel!

This is the latest episode of DTown TV, the free weekly show for dSLR users that helps them get the most from their cameras. In this episode, Scott and Matt share tips for people who’ve just gotten their first dSLR camera…

– Which lenses you’ll want to purchase and why
– Which lens filters will help improve photos (and keep your glass safer) in certain situations
– Larry Becker is back with a Cheap Shots tip on a cheap remote flash
– Matt shows the Lens Pen Pro Kit, which will help you keep your lenses clean
– You’ll also want a memory card holder to keep your cards safe and in order
– An UpStrap will help keep your camera from slipping off your shoulder
– You’ll need a camera bag to keep all this stuff in
– Lastly, you’ll want a decent tripod and ballhead
– Check out the work of fashion photographer Liz Von Hoene!

If you’re not a regular viewer, you can catch every single one of our episodes at and subscribe to automatically download each episode in iTunes.

And if you’re interested in getting better sports photos, you definitely won’t want to miss the next two (or three, or four… we’re not really sure yet) episodes where Scott and Matt cover all sorts of gear and share tips for shooting sports.

If you are a fan of the show, you’re familiar with Larry Becker’s Cheap Shots. Keep an eye on for even more tips on getting the most bang for your buck!

Photo by Frank Rubio

Ready For A Jersey

One of my favorite quotes on this blog is from guest blogger Larry Becker – “Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely believe in luck and good fortune.  But I don’t believe the ‘Law of Attraction’ works in isolation from preparation and work (usually hard work). You have to get off your butt and do something.  You have to be prepared for ‘luck.’”

November 4th was my 22nd birthday, and I believe that I’m an extremely lucky/blessed person. Hence, I’m a guest blogger today on one of the best blogs, if not the best blog on the internet for photographers.  No pressure at all.  There are many topics to blog about here today.  I can blog about workflow in my pre-production, production or post-production; in fact, when I was invited I was told I’m able to talk about whatever I wanted to today.

First things first, I want to make clear that I’m not a “big shot” photographer, and I’m not claiming to be; I’m in the hustle just like many of you. When I say big shot photographer, I’m referring to the well-established ones in this industry.  The ones with photographs and advertising campaigns that are impacting the market and inspiring the industry.  I don’t have a ton of followers, I don’t have a huge fan base of my work, and my photographs are not in advertising campaigns influencing your thoughts.  But, what I do have as fuel for this mission is a hustler’s spirit, a business-mind, and skill with my camera. My goal here today is to share my story with you.  To inspire you to get your hustle on and work towards your dreams (really doing so).

Even though I’ve appeared on this blog a few times before, many of you don’t know me. So before I share with you how I got into photography and close with the current point of my journey, please allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Dwayne D.C. Tucker II and I’m a commercial photographer for lifestyles and sports. I’m from Nassau, Bahamas; now I live in Miami, Florida and I’m in love with photography.  I want to put it out there that nothing would be possible if not for the love and continuous support of my lovely mother and my Godfather.  Mentally and financially they’ve placed me in a better position than most people.

About eight years ago I saved up enough money and bought my first point and shoot camera.  I fell in love with the idea of being able to take a photograph digitally.  A friend got me a copy of Photoshop 7.0 and I used it because it made my images cool.  I photographed my friends at school during lunch breaks at my high school, St Andrews School – The International School of the Bahamas. My senior year I become the president of the yearbook club.  I joined the club because the school banned bringing digital cameras to school; I knew if I joined the club I would be able to photograph.  I took photographs at the school events.

I guess that’s the pre-stage making of my lifestyle and sports title.  After high school I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design for advertising design.  I took a photography class my second year of SCAD with professor Timothy Keating, right before I transferred closer to home, at Miami International University of Art and Design where I continued my advertising degree.  I don’t think he realized how much of an impact his teaching had on me at the time.  His style was different than my other professors. Keep it on the ‘low-low’ but I ‘digged’ his class because he used to let us out really early.  Mainly because it’s hard to truly learn about compositions, f-stops, shutter speeds, ISO etc. If you’re not out and about shooting to train your eye/applying the knowledge.  Even though he used to let us out early, if we wanted to stay and talk to him about our work he would stay and discuss our work with us one on one longer than the session was suppose to be.

From there on I began to make photographs instead of taking pictures. (more…)

After I did that post last week about my shooting the Notre Dame vs. Tulsa game, and I showed that commemorative poster I was making for my buddy Jim who went with me (Jim’s a long time Notre Dame fan), I got a number of comments and emails asking how I did it, so I put together this short video, which starts with just the image, goes into Photoshop for the layout stuff, and then lastly to to turn it into a framed print (I show the final framed image in the video). Hope this helps. :-)

My post last Friday about US Airways pulling my 81,000+ frequent flyer miles and the ensuing customer service disaster (link) got a lot more attention that I had ever expected. The story circulated around Twitter, Facebook, and even wound up at a number of blogs (including the mega-popular “Consumerist” blog). Since then, three big things have happened:

(1) 358 people had posted comments with their own US Airways customer service nightmare stories.

(2) On Friday, a number of US Airways representatives had contacted me by email, via Twitter (as seen above), and they even telephoned my office. I’m currently working with US Airways Director of Customer Loyalty & Marketing Programs who has offered to reinstate my miles, and credit me for the flights that didn’t get credited, which is more than fair, since after all, it was my fault.

>> Note: the first US Airways representative that contacted me was the wife of a photographer who reads my blog and saw what had happened. She works in the Dividend Miles group and offered to help me right away.

(3) In researching my flights, I learned that I had actually taken at least two US Airways flights this year—in 2010 (again, my travel agent apparently did not include my Dividend Miles number. I would call to complain, but that agency moved to a different state, and now a different agency handles our corporate travel). By the way, Matt Kloskowski did the math and figured that our company buys nearly 1,000 flights each year.

In the normal course of business of running an airline as large as US Airways, I’m sure this was all barely a blip on their radar, but I do hope those at US Airways who took the time to read my post, and/or respond, they keep these things in mind :

(1) If we don’t want to do business with a company, that company will never hear from us again. However, if we call, and we’re trying to work something out with you (like I was in trying to get my miles reinstated), that means “We still want to use your service.” This is a decision point for the company —“Our customer is upset, but obviously still wants to use our service. Should we make a sincere effort to try and keep him, or hand deliver him to our competitors?”

(2) Everyone I’ve dealt with at US Airways since that post on Friday has (of course) been great and very helpful, so obviously not everyone at US Airways is as unhelpful and unfriendly as the woman I originally dealt with. That’s a good thing.

(3) US Airways still has a problem. It’s one of two things: (a) US Airways hasn’t empowered their customer service reps to do anything other than read a script. Even if the customer gets upset—they can’t call a supervisor and get them involved to resolve the customer’s issue, or (b) they have empowered them to do more, in which case this was a broken customer service rep, who wanted to be right more than she wanted to help the customer or her company. In which case, I hope they have a record of who I talked with, and I hope they show her the door, because US Airways shouldn’t be paying her to lose their customers.

(4) US Airways has a computer system that shows a history of all the flights I book with them, and they know I’m a member of their Dividend Miles program. It’s 2010—If a customer books a flight and they forget to enter their Dividend Miles number, can’t you have the computer apply it to their record automatically? This would have saved us all a lot of time and frustration.

(5) I am well aware that the only reason I’m getting my miles reinstated (it’s not done yet, of course) is because of the power of social media. If I didn’t have this blog, a Twitter following and Facebook fan page, I’d only be flying Delta and United from here on out.

I’m grateful for all my reader’s comments, for everyone who contacted US Airways on my behalf, and for everyone who retweeted, “liked” it on Facebook, or otherwise spread the story. I also realize it’s not fair that I got my miles reinstated, when so many others who posted similar horror stories didn’t. I think in this case it was a matter of the squeaky wheel getting the grease, and you guys helped me make a lot more noise than I ever could alone, so a sincere thanks to you all.

This is what it comes down to:
How many times have you taken a flight and heard the Captain, or the Flight Attendant say, “We know you have a choice when it comes to air travel, so we thank you for flying [insert your airline here]?” That what’s this was all about. Choice. It’s clear—I was wrong—I didn’t properly manage my Dividend Miles account, but this wasn’t about who was right or wrong (because we know, I was wrong). This was about me making a choice about who I choose when it comes to air travel, and part of that decision was going to be based on how I’m treated, even when I mess up. Do you “nail me” or forgive me? Do we move ahead and still do business, or do we part ways forever?

It’s about respecting us—your customers
If you want us to use your products, treat us like you want us to use your products. Sometimes exceptions to policies have to be made to keep a customer, and companies need to empower their Customer Service reps to use reasonable judgment when dealing with their customers. Don’t read us a script. Listen to us. If we’re complaining, it’s because we’re still want to use your product or service, but you’re making us think twice, or driving us away entirely.

Business is too hard to come by right now. Every customer matters. Just treat us like we do, and we’ll send you money. It’s as easy as that.