Monthly Archives April 2019

From sunny South America, I’m Dave Williams and today is #TravelTuesday, which means I’m here on Scott’s blog with something for you on travel, photography, Photoshop, or life. Today, a little on business in photography!

I’m currently in Rio de Janeiro where, together with Lonely Planet, I’m on my never-ending quest for the world’s best coffee, and I’m hunting the best views the rainforest city has to offer. It’s all over on my social media—you can find me anywhere hiding behind the alias @capturewithdave. :)

All the times I can remember shooting, I remember the “last shot” has, in fact, never quite been the last shot. When I shot weddings, as part of a tandem outfit with my best mate and business partner Peter Treadway, we often joked that we wanted to take “just one last shot,” and we both knew that whenever the other uttered those words, we’d have at least another 15 minutes shooting. But, why was that? Why were we, on one level, keen to finish, but at the same time, carrying on with the shoot in search of that “one more shot.”

Perhaps it was something relating to confidence. Perhaps we knew there was still a shot there, which would stand out above the rest, but we didn’t quite have it yet, owing to either our ability or simply to the absence of that shot. Perhaps we already had the shot but had such competitive determination that we simply didn’t want to stop because we were chasing a shot that just wasn’t going to happen. I mean, we certainly had the tenacity to know where to start and, when it wasn’t happening, when to stop. Maybe that was why—maybe when it was happening, we wanted it to keep happening. But, maybe it was something else altogether.

Good enough isn’t good enough. 

Maybe we both knew this. Maybe we already had, in our subconscious, the knowledge that good enough wasn’t good enough and in order to stand out, we actually had to excel, not just settle. In a crowd, it’s the one who has a little something special, the one who sticks their neck out—that’s the one who gets noticed.

Sunrises get noticed.

Proper lighting gets noticed.

Personality gets noticed.

Concentrate on these things and others, which will make you get noticed, and don’t settle—good enough isn’t good enough if you really want to go far as a creative.

Much love
Dave

You can do this one in either Lightroom or Photoshop’s Camera Raw. It just take five seconds, but it can make a world of difference in your skies.

STEP ONE: Here’s the original image, and as you can see the sky is kinda “meh.” Go to the HSR/Color panel and click on the Luminance tab up top.

STEP TWO: In that Luminance Tab (in the HSL/Color Panel) drag the Blue slider to the left (as seen above) to bring out the blues in the sky. The farther to the left you drag, the bluer the sky gets. That’s all there is to it.

Above: Here’s a side-by-side before and after. Told ya it was a quick tip!

Here’s wishing you a blue-sky week! :)

-Scott

P.S. Today over on my other blog, LightroomKillerTips.com I have a beginner’s tip for Lightroom users on how to unclutter your screen to avoid distractions while you edit. Here’s the link if you’ve got a sec.

I’ve got a lot of fun stuff lined up for the next couple of months, and I’m hoping you’ll be able to come out and catch me at one of these events. Here we go:

The Ultimate Photography Crash Course

It’s my new full-day seminar (and it’s so going to rock!), and it kicks off in a couple of weeks:

Indianapolis on Tuesday, May 7th
Minneapolis on Thursdays, May 9th

Tickets and details at KelbyOneLive.com – More cities and dates coming shortly.

Photoshop World Conference 2019: Orlando, FL

It’s the most exciting, fun, engaging thing I get to do all year — I love getting to meet everybody, and the whole event is a blast from start to finish. Teaching some cool sessions — can’t wait to share ’em with you.

May 31 – June 2, 2019 in Orlando

Details, travel info, class schedules, and tickets at photoshopworld.com

“The Essence of Paris” Travel Photography Workshop

This is location travel photography workshop, taught with my dear friend and colleague, Mimo Meidany, and we’re both so excited to shooting in such an amazing city, with a group of awesome students. The workshop is sold out (we had someone who couldn’t make it, and we had a spot open, but last night somebody grabbed that last spot, so we’re sold out again.

June 7-10, 2019 | Paris, France

The World Modeling Convention, London

I’m really excited to be a part of this event. Here’s how they describe it:

“The World Modelling Convention is a ground-breaking event with a strong ethical side that helps models, photographers, fashion designers, makeup artists, and hairstylists to collaborate together in just one weekend. It offers a unique experience with thousands of photo shoots, fashion shows, paid advertisements, educational programmes and, job interviews.”

How cool is that!!! Plus, I’m really tickled to be teaching in London, England again where I have so many friends and folks who follow me on social and watch The Grid. I’m teaching portrait retouching techniques and can’t wait to share my latest techniques. Plus, Joe McNally will be there, so that makes it even more awesome!

June 15-16, 2019 | Business Design Centre, Islington, London

Tickets and more info at WMCLondon.com

Lots more to come…

There our West-Coast Photoshop World in Vegas this August at our new Vegas home — the Mirage Resort & Casino. Plus, there’s my China Workshop in September, and more dates for my seminar tour, and well…there’s lots more to come, and I am lovin’ it!!! I love getting to teach live and meet new people, see new places, and find the best burger in those places. ;-)

Have a great weekend, everybody and I hope to see you someday soon, somewhere awesome. :)


Uncovering The Magic of the Rainforest: Costa Rica with Rick Sammon

Pack your virtual bags and join Rick Sammon in beautiful Costa Rica as he shares his tips, tricks, and techniques for getting the most out of a trip to the rainforest. In this class you’ll learn what gear to bring and how to care for it, how to photograph everything from wildlife to seascapes, how to use accessories like polarizers, ring flash, and macro lenses, along with a ton of tips for enhancing your rainforest experience. In every lesson Rick shares his approach to getting the shot while sharing useful information that you can easily apply to other types of photography too. So whether you are heading to the rainforest or just dreaming about it, you’ll be sure to learn new information that will take your photography to a new level.



In Case You Missed It

Join Rick Sammon and learn how to get the most out of photographing Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. These parks are close together, and a must-see destination for landscape and wildlife photographers. In this class Rick shares his favorite locations within both parks, and teaches you how to prepare for your trip, tips for creating powerful compositions, overcoming exposure challenges, how to shoot time-lapse and HDR, and a host of tips, tricks and techniques for landscape and wildlife photography.

I like to think I’m a regular guy; a husband and father who loves traveling, food, movies, and music. But of all my passions, photography sets my soul on fire, and I always wanted to turn my biggest passion into a career. 

I took my first steps into the industry working as a second-shooter for other photographers, but after a while, I wanted to go my own way. 

It took me some time to find my own style and identity as a photographer. It was a steep learning curve, and there was a lot of trial and error, but eventually I settled on my signature style – candid, cinematic, and deeply emotive images.

I took the plunge and launched my own brand, Weddings by Qay in 2017, with only one wedding on my books. Nowadays, I shoot along with my wife since last year. 

The first wedding I booked.

Because my style is so different from a lot of photographers in my native Malaysia, I got a lot of criticism from the local photography community when I first started out. I was told I’d never make it, and that the tone of my images was so dark that you’d need a torch to be able to see them. When I wanted to do my first photography workshop, they dared me to show my work to people beforehand.

Even now, I still get negative comments, and some of my critics have even claimed that I buy awards and recognition. I don’t let myself get too affected. This is my journey, and I know that I would never be happy if I wasn’t being true to myself, and taking the kind of photos that I want to take.

Being a creative photographer is different from being a businessman, and I learned about that side of things from some amazing photographers who I consider to be my friends and mentors.

I learned about marketing from my friend, Marko Marinkovic, and I jumped at the opportunity to do a mentoring session with the amazingly talented Eric Rene Penoy when he was shooting a wedding in Kuala Lumpur.

I was lucky enough to be able to second shoot for Eric in Scotland and Finland, and that’s when my career as a destination wedding photographer really began. From then on, my career has gone from strength to strength.

I did my first local workshop last year with Merve and Nils from Dirty Boots and Messy Hair, and following that, I established my own photography community, The Rebel.

Couple session during Rebel workshop

I’m passionate about photography, and I work so hard, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the accolades and recognition I would receive.

I was the Rangefinder Magazine Rising Star in 2017, US Brides Magazine named me as the Best Wedding Photographer Abroad, LooksLikeFilm awarded me Best Wedding Photographer 2018, and I also became a mentor myself, at the Rise & Shine Program at WPPI 2019 in Las Vegas.

The issue of Rangfinder Magazine where I’m featured as one of 30 Rising Stars.

I’m always excited to see where my career is going to take me next, and my next stop will be speaking at the El Cosmico Workshop in Mexico this November. Among the speakers are Oscar Castro, Pablo Laguia, Froydis Daisy and many more. More info at ElCosmicoWorkshop.com.

But whatever comes my way, I know that I wouldn’t have achieved even half as much if I didn’t have the constant support and encouragement from my wife, my close friends and the desire to give my kids a good life. They are my motivation to keep going, and I will.

To anyone who wants to chase their dream, I’d say never give up, even the journey is rough. Work hard and earn it. Don’t be afraid to set big goals and be true to yourself, whether or not other people like it. Work on your mindset and use it to deal with the negativity that’s always going to be around. What other people think of you is none of your business, your job is to push yourself to be a better person.

Qay Majid is a destination wedding photographer from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia who travels around the world photographing weddings. You can see more of his work at WeddingsByQay.com, and keep up with him on Instagram and Facebook.

It’s a funny old thing, photography. There’s a bunch of photographers who are keen to share, but there’s a larger group who aren’t. But why?

It seems to me that a lot of photographers really don’t want to share their ‘secrets’ with others, as if they’ll lose out because of it. Is there actually any real chance of loss through sharing ideas and creative processes with others? Let’s tackle that first: I certainly don’t think there is, and here’s why.

When you share an idea in, say, the field of real estate photography, what would have to happen for you to lose? Basically your idea would have to be put into practice by your nearest competitor. That is to say the competitor in your town or area, attracting your clients, hunting your target market, and shooting the same style as you would have to be the person causing you a loss owing to you sharing your ‘secrets.’ The offs of that very specific set of circumstances becoming a reality is extremely slim, as I’m sure you’d agree. In sharing your idea you’re helping other photographers in your field but (noteably) out of the scope of your target market to grow and to develop their skills, knowledge, understanding, and creative abilities. I don’t see any loss there at all! So as they say, sharing is caring. 

Photography is challenging enough already as an industry with the pressures and nuances coming from the outside, with a completely unnecessary spanner sitting in the inner works that we need to lose. We need to grow as individuals in this industry, and also as a community. We all started somewhere, and we all grow from that place. In order to achieve that growth we need to take some chances, show some vulnerabilities, and from that foundation we need to move onward and upward. The vulnerable side of us in that growth is the side of us which is taking chances on releasing what is becoming a progressively better portfolio, where each image is better than the last. Retrospectively this makes the last photo worse than the current and so it shows those “bad shots” in broad daylight. This cycle never really stops – we’re always showing this vulnerability because we’re always releasing better shots and thus, through time, revealing those same shots as getting progressively worse as the next good shots come to the surface. So here’s the next thing: –

That cycle links in to the need for critique. Not heavy, harsh criticism, but creative, objective critique. It helps us to grow and it helps our community to grow. It leads us to achieve better things, better shots, and reveals new talent. We all started somewhere, as I said, and we’ve all needed guidance whether we sought it or it came unsolicited to us. It’s done from groups, communities, and from more experienced photographers. We’ve all been helped and as such we should all pay it forward. 

Help people. Show strengths rather than pointing out weakness. Encourage growth, offer solutions, and add value to work that needs improvement rather than devaluing and discouraging through focusing on negatives. We’ve been in positions in our own growth, be it in photography or otherwise, where we’ve felt like throwing in the towel, and a little skill sharing and positive contribution to steer us back on course always helps – let’s make sure it’s strong in the photographic community and remember where we started, and as I said, that we lose this fear of giving away too much. There’s actually nothing to lose. 

Much love

Dave

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