Monthly Archives December 2019

Happy New Year’s Eve! And, of course, happy #TravelTuesday to you all! I’m Dave Williams and, on this week, I just want to explore a couple of ideas for photographic New Year’s resolutions, so let’s do it!

Firstly, what is a resolution? Apparently, it’s a tradition in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behaviour, accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life. We can improve our photography and tick this box!

Here’s the easy one: – learn more! We all learn differently and there’s a way for each of us to learn more photography in 2020. Take a look at KelbyOne and consider signing up for any of the awesome membership plans to learn from the best instructors in the industry—it’s a guaranteed win! Or how about finding a book that suits your field and interests.

Maybe your photographic New Year’s resolution could be to spend less time on social media or to spend more time on social media. Maybe you will decide that you will not hesitate in taking the photos you want to, or that you won’t leave home without your camera. Maybe, and this is a big one, you’ll stop comparing yourself to others and start comparing yourself to a past version of yourself!

There are apps and project ideas out there that maybe you can use to help you achieve a goal, such as the 1SE (1 Second Everyday) app or a 365 project (or a 52 project if you’re feeling a little less ambitious.)

Furthermore, in the interest of enhancing our photographic eye, how about a resolution that incorporates a smartphone? We all have an amazing camera in our pockets nowadays, so we don’t necessarily need to focus on a project which requires our “proper” camera, but could instead use our smartphone camera.

Whatever it is you decide to do for your New Year’s resolution, do it with all your heart and inject it full of passion. Us artists have plenty of that, so let’s use it! If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing with all that you have.

Now, it’s nearly tomorrow, so get to thinking about what your photographic New Year’s resolution is, then head over to my Instagram and tell me what it is in the story!

Much love

I had such a great time yesterday shooting with the Falcons (such a great crew to work with). The game was in Tampa, and it was hot! You’d think by nearly January it would be at least in the low 70s, but it was hot as blazes, especially in the first quarter, but even so, it was still so much fun.

Deion Jones celebrates as he crosses the goal line securing the win for the Falcons in overtime with a pick-six off Bucs QB Jameis Winston.

I was definitely rusty not having shot all year, but my knee held up nicely (I babied it), and I just had a ball. I got to see and spend some time with my dear friend Rob Foldy (who now leads the photography team at the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United & Mercedes-Benz Stadium).

This is why I don’t take selfies. Of course, Rob looks great. He looks like a model. I look like…I dunno but it’s not good. Perhaps I shouldn’t stand so close to Rob in pictures.

I also got to shoot once again alongside the Falcon’s own Kara Durrett and sports photographer Mark Brown (both real pros, great shooters, and really awesome people), along with Adler Garfield (just met him — seems like a cool dude). Also, I met Jordan and Max who were part of the Falcon’s crew working the game (very cool, super helpful guys).

I’m just going to share a few shots and then head off to bed. I’m pretty whipped (that Tampa heat takes it out of you. So do all those interceptions).

The big man celebrating after taking it to the house for six.
Everybody goes airborne once in a while.

It case you were wondering if I got that shot where the ref walks right in front of my field of view and draws my camera’s focus point….well, you would not be disappointed (see below). I wish I only had this one.

Referees: Friend to players and the photographers alike

Yup, that ref is sharp as a tack. Too bad he had nothing to do with the play.
Here I was able to stay locked on the players, but as soon as one of the refs saw I had a clear shot during a fumble, he immediately raced into the scene, as shown above.

Shooting In Pick County!

This guy threw no picks. He’s from out-of-town. Georgia, I believe.
This guy is setting records for throwing picks, including one on the first play of overtime to lose the game for the Bucs. I don’t know how Bucs fans feel about him, but the teams the Bucs played this season absolutely love him, and badly want him to get a contract extension.

It was so great to be back out there shooting football again. Thanks to Rob, Kara, and the Falcons for asking me to shoot with them — I really loved the opportunity and congrats to the Falcons on the win.

I believe I can fly….

Gear Info

I took two camera bodies (as always); both Canon 1Dx’s. On my main body I used my 200-400mm f/4 (which is currently for sale by the way) with a built-in 1.4x tele-extender; supported with a Gitzo monopod. On the 2nd body, I had my 70-200mm f/2.8. I also had my Hoodman Loupe, which is worth its weight in gold during day games like this.

Camera Settings

I shot at f/4 all day on the long lens (except for times when I kicked in the tele-extender, then it automatically jumps to f/5.6), and I left my 70-200mm at f/2.8 all day. I shot in Aperture Priority mode with Auto ISO turned on and set to a minimum shutter speed to 1/1000 of a second. I used focus case 1 and shot in RAW (I usually shoot in JPEG for football, but the Falcons requested RAW so RAW it is).

Next stop — Orlando for the Alabama vs Michigan bowl game on New Year’s Day. Not shooting — just watching — for Christmas the wifey bought my son and me great seats for the game (#rolltide!), and we’re both super psyched.

Have a great week everybody — I’m chillin’ till after the first of the year, and then I’m back hitting it hard for 2020!



Happy Christmas Eve #TravelTuesday to you all! I’m Dave Williams and I’m here with another sparkly nugget of wisdom for you, as always, fresh from England but inspired by the North Pole!

Today, rather festively, I want to discuss something we can do as photographers to spread love and cheer. This Christmas I’ve given the gift of photography in two ways. To loved ones I’ve given prints of mine, and to friends and family with children I’ve given a letter from Santa along with two photos from him, one of Rudolph and the lads, and one of his house high up on the hillside in Lapland.

As it’s Christmas Eve, let me share the story here with you, too. In deepest Lapland, high up on a fell amongst the reindeer and the snow, is a little, wooden cabin. They say Santa lives at the North Pole, but that’s just to cover up the truth so he can have a peaceful year in Lapland getting ready for the big night. High up on that hillside in the deepest snow is the cabin Nicholas grew up in, and Nicholas became Father Christmas, spreading cheer and delivering toys to all the boys and girls around the world as thanks for his upbringing. To find his cabin there are no signposts, all you have to do is believe. Well, kind of… there’s also a ski lift at the Levi ski resort in Finland which will take you there, and then when you ski down slope 13 you’ll see the cabin just off-piste to the right. The cabin was actually built as part of a movie set for the Finnish Christmas movie Joulutarina (which translates into English as Christmas Story.)

Anyway, back to the point. Us photographers can share our creative talents by gifting our photography, not only in the way that I have here and in gifts to our friends and family, but also to help us advance in our industry by showcasing our work to prospective clients. There’s something very different about a printed photograph in comparison to one on a screen, and that extra element of tangibility alone is one of the awesome powers that print has to help us. Having a photograph printed on a wall or in our hands to hold and to feel, and to look at with awe, is that extra step which we’re losing in our digital age.

Gift your photography. Trust me, it works.

Much love


(PS. Here’s the shot of Rudolph… Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!)

The Reality of Switching to Capture One

Matt Kloskowski, Serge Ramelli and me tackled ‘The Reality of Switching to Capture One” as our topic this week on The Grid and we had a really great discussion, with so many people thanking us for helping clear up a lot of confusion and clarifying a lot of the bad info out there. I’ve embedded the episode below — you can just let it run in the background while your’e editing photos, but I know a lot of folks found this really helpful — it might clear up a lot of things for you, too.

Thanks to everybody who commented and got involved in the discussion. It was really a lot of fun, and I think we shared a lot of eyeopening info.

My new ‘Natural Light Portrait Book’ made Top 10!

I was very psyched to see my new ‘Natural Light Portrait Book’ made top-10 picks for 2019 Educational Photography Books. Here’s the article (honored to be in the company of some really great authors and titles).

The book is in-stock at Amazon right now (Prime shipping, too) if you want to grab the printed version before Christmas I’d go order your copy right now. Of course, it’s available as an ebook for Kindle and the Nook, too!

If you’re looking for a great podcast, here’s one I highly recommend:

It’s photographer, and Photoshop author Glyn Dewis, and Design Guru, British Supertar Dave Clayton. It’s so great — you’ll love it and you’ll thank me for turning you on to it. The get really great guests; you’ll laugh, you’ll learn, you’ll dig it. More info at

Have a great Holiday weekend!!! :)


From Taking To Making: The Secrets To Great Photographs with Ibarionex Perello

Learn to see in a new way and rediscover your joy for photography! Join Ibarionex Perello in downtown LA for an exploration of the principles used to make great photographs. While this class uses street photography as the vehicle for seeing differently, the lessons learned can be applied to all types of photography. As you follow Ibarionex through the streets he’ll share his perspectives on gear and camera settings, how your mindset affects what you see, and how to see the world graphically so that you can use those graphic elements to build stronger photographic compositions.

In Case You Missed It: An Expert Guide To Street Photography with Zack Arias

Street photography is about a moment; a slice of unscripted life. It’s about getting in close and getting the shot. Join Zack Arias, an editorial and commercial photographer, on the streets of New York where he shares his tips and techniques for blending into the scene and candidly capturing the people and places around you. Even if street photography is not your thing, you can transfer the techniques and philosophy of street photography into any other genre of photography.

Christmas Cards Don’t Have To Be Boring…

For the last few years, I have made a goal of mine to create the most amazing memories with my kids, both in real life and photography-wise. Of course, it is a mission of mine to make our Christmas Card an epic one every year. Who wants to receive another boring Christmas card anyways?

Our Christmas Cards and my Bad Santa series were personal projects I started doing for fun, and they turned out to be the greatest marketing tool for my business during the Holiday Season. 

This year, I started booking Christmas Cards sessions even before Halloween. 

As the song says, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and it is also the perfect time for you as a photographer to make money. 

Mostly everybody I know sends Christmas Cards to their family and friends. A big part of that group prefers to send family pictures instead of store-bought Christmas Cards. 

I am sure you usually receive pretty much the same version of a Christmas card from different families. Matching outfits, fake smiles, all of them in front of a Christmas Tree. But not all Christmas Cards have to be like that! 

What I look to capture on Christmas Card sessions is a little bit of everyone’s personality in one image. For me to be able to do that, I make sure to collect as much information as possible from my client’s family. Some of my clients have already a concept picked by the time they book the sessions, and some others need a little help choosing a theme. That’s when the info I collect from them comes handy. I go ahead and customize inspiration boards for them and even draw a few sketches. 

Then my job is to escalate their concept to the epic level!

Having shot multiple clients’ Christmas Cards through the years, I can also say it’s a very competitive time between family and friends, but the fun kind. Once you send out your first fun Christmas Card, there’s no going back. They will be expected every year.

This family recreates a rock album cover every year for their Christmas Card… Can you guess which one is this?

This family wanted a portrait of the chaos that goes behind doors… I can relate!

Kitchen portraits are always fun!

This lovely classic portrait:

Here’s a beach theme without having to pray to the weather Gods for good weather or having to spend a few days getting rid of the sand.

Our Christmas Card this year was inspired by our beloved state of Florida and its fumbling superhero, the Florida man. Who every year gives us the most embarrassing, outrageous, cringy, dumb, awkward, funny, infuriating, and even sometimes, inspiring news stories.

I built up the set in my garage with a ton of Props I got from Spectacular Themes. I really wanted to have a wooden fence as a background, but I couldn’t fit anything like that in my car. After giving it a little thought, I remembered I have laminated wooden floor that I sometimes use on portraits, so I put it against the garage door and BAM! Instant wooden fence!

I didn’t have to spend money on outfits; we used what we had, and of course, I had to wear my Santa suit like every year.

After setting all that up in my garage, I wasn’t going to shoot just one picture. We created a fun little series, and my kids made sure to stamp their personalities on them. 

Since I managed to get all the props I wanted, I only had to Photoshop the sky, and I added a little bit of my personal retouching style.

All of these images were shot with my Nikon Z7 and a 24-70mm Z mount lens on my 3 Legged Thing Leo (except for Christmas car one, that was shot with my camera on my Platypod Max). I used two Elinchrom BXRi 500 strobes: one with an octa on camera right and the other one with a strip light set horizontally on a background stand for fill. I also had a Vflats from V-Flat World on each side of the set to bounce light.

This is my busiest time of the year, but it is also the most fun because I get to be creative doing the kind of work I love. 

I hope you have a fantastic Holiday Season!

Here are our Christmas Cards from the previous years:

You can see more of Gilmar’s work at, and keep up with her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.