Monthly Archives December 2020

Hands-On with the Canon EOS RP: Everything You Need To Know To Get Great Shots with Erik Kuna

Get up to speed on the Canon EOS RP with Erik Kuna! If you’ve purchased the RP or are just curious about what it has to offer, then this is the class for you. Join Erik as he shares his experience with using the RP, discusses what type of photographer will benefit the most from this new model. From there, Erik takes you on a deep dive exploration of the buttons, dials, menus, and video functions to help you get the most out of this amazing full frame mirrorless camera.

In Case You Missed It: Hands On With the Canon 1DX Mark III with Erik Kuna

Are you interested in the new Canon flagship camera the 1DX Mark III, then this class is for you! Join Erik Kuna as he dives into the nitty gritty details of this beast of a camera. Whether you shoot video or stills or both, this is the ultimate hybrid camera providing rock solid performance for years to come. In this class Erik explains the new features, the key options and functions for configuring and customizing the camera for stills and video, as well as sharing his impressions after spending time shooting with the 1DX Mark III.

How I Made That Image


When I started in this incredible industry over 10 years ago, I hunted for inspiration. I really had to go out of my way to find images that made me say “Wow! How the hell did they do that?”

In 2020, we are bombarded by information and image overload, whether we search for it or not, with all of the exponential growth of social media, Google and AI. All we have to do is mention something to someone in passing and our smart devices will be listening, only to freak us out at the first opportunity with its findings in the form of posts, pop-ups and adverts the moment we look at our screens.


How is this relevant to the topic of this article you may ask? Today we face an onslaught of outstanding and awe inspiring images on social media that can leave many photographers feeling paralyzed with fear that they’re not capable or good enough to compete in a marketplace that has never been more competitive or fierce.

That said, there really is no need to worry; help is at hand! Particularly with amazing resources like Scott Kelby’s blog, its vast reservoir of knowledge and experience; there’s really no reason to feel like you have to go it alone, or indeed feel alone period.


In this feature I want to share how some of my award-winning images were created by breaking down my thought processes on the shoot, technical settings, and lighting setups to try and provoke thought and inspire ideas for you. The key here is to understand my thought process; after all, camera settings and lighting setups replicated in isolation are as good as knowing nothing about the image at all if you don’t understand what triggered certain ideas or decisions under the pressure of the situation.

This is the essence of authenticity, of provenance; using your vision, experience, expertise and ability to cope under pressure… basically you’re extracting the best of your personality and ability as a professional and as an artist and imbuing the image with something truly unique.

This is my approach with each of these images – I use what I know about my clients, their story, my equipment and my understanding and belief in my own tastes; I know what appeals to me and what doesn’t to create a solid start point.


Canon 1DS Mk3, 16-35mm f/2.8, 1/250 sec, f/11, ISO 50, 24mm, 3x Profoto Strobes

For example, this image was from the couple’s engagement shoot in London’s Hyde Park. They wanted an image that embodied their love, their cool relaxed demeanour, their style as a couple and their lifestyle which was achieved through the way I posed them alongside his car (which in this case says a lot about him) in an area of London in which they live. The emotion in this image is embodied in their pose, connection and expressions and enhanced with dramatic lighting.

I only had moments to set this image up because of the extremely tight security in London. Despite this, I used 3 lights to create this image because the impact of the concept demanded it. I used one gridded flash to camera left in front of the car set low down to illuminate the front of the Aston Martin and to provide a rim light for the bride. I used one unmodified bare bulb flash to camera right at a high angle to light the rear of the car and provide a rim-light to the groom. The third light had a quarter CTO gelled light on the couple to give them a soft, warm, comforting tone. I had to slightly underexpose for the failing light of the sky by stopping down to f/11 and setting the shutter to the cameras’ sync speed at the lowest possible ISO. The small aperture had the added effect of creating the star bursts from the light reflecting off the car in camera.


New KelbyOne Course: Speed-learning Advice for Making Awesome Images with Rick Sammon

Get ready to have fun and learn a lot with Rick Sammon! Join Rick for his 20th class on KelbyOne and learn the origin of Sammonisms; those easy to remember photo tips that he is so well known for sharing. Rick has a gift for distilling these important points down into bite size chunks that are easy to remember when you’re out in the field doing what you love. Get comfortable, and be sure to download the PDF he provided so you won’t even have to take notes.

In Case You Missed It: Improving your Creative Vision by Getting it Right in Camera

Learn how to improve your creative vision by mastering techniques to nail your in-camera exposure. Join Rick Sammon for an incredibly comprehensive class where you’ll learn about important camera settings, the exposure triangle, exposure compensation, white balance, the histogram, qualities of light, exposing for flash, creating compelling HDR, and so much more. Rick draws on decades of experience using an incredible diversity of visual examples to illustrate these important concepts, and all along the way sharing the tips, tricks, and easy to remember sayings that will help you incorporate what you’ve learned into your photographic style.

Not Your Average Christmas Card

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And I am super happy to be back here to tell you all about this year’s Christmas cards.

This year, I started booking Christmas Cards in August! Even with some cancelations due to the pandemic, I created lots of epic Christmas Cards with my clients, and I will show you some of my favorites. 

Of course, all of this started at home. I started making fun pictures Christmas pictures with my kids back in 2016, and it quickly became one of my favorite traditions. In the past years, I posted our pictures on social media and emailed them to our friends and family. This year, I decided to print and send our cards in the mail. It was fantastic receiving messages from our friends and family from all around the world when they received our card. It was so much fun; I am considering making cards and sending them in every holiday!

At the top of this post is the image I created with my kids to use on our Christmas card this year.

The main inspiration for the image was bumper cars. I took the pictures of these cars over a year ago, and I knew eventually I would use them for a composite. The background is a stock image from Adobe Stock, as well as the reindeers. If you look closely in the back, there is a sign that says “Orlando.” I thought that would be a fun touch, especially this year that I decided to mail the cards (we live in Orlando). Those two signs there are props I borrowed from my friends at Spectacular Themes.

After I built the background, it was time to take our pictures. Knowing the angles and perspective of the composite was crucial to understanding how to pose ourselves.

To finish, I added was a little bit of atmosphere and color grading to make the composite more cohesive.

There was another picture on the back of the card, because why would you have one picture when you can have two?!

The process of creating this one was pretty much the same as the previous one. I already had the sleigh picture on my Lightroom Library (I always have my camera with me, and I make sure to take photos of everything to build my own stock). Then I added the water in the background, the presents, and of course, created the story with my kids about us ruining Christmas and trying to save it at the last moment.

My kids are well trained when it comes to pictures. They have been creating with me for many years, but I am sure you are curious about approaching this kind of work with clients. 

So what goes into these sessions? You may ask. I take pride in offering one of a kind Christmas cards designed in collaboration with my clients. Before everybody gets in front of the camera, we have a brainstorming session to decide the theme and everyone’s role in the picture. Then I go on a quest for props if we need them and build a background or a set. 

Exhibit A:

This is Rachel’s family. Rachel is one of my favorite clients. I do her branding photography as well as her family photos. They are a super fun family, and if you read my post last year, you may remember their Christmas picture. It still is one of my favorites ever!

This year, she wanted to incorporate elements that reflect what we have gone through in 2020.


Team, we’re in this together. It’s me again, Dave Williams, here for #TravelTuesday and again, sadly, there’s no travel.

The good news is that it’s a month until the next epic KelbyOne Live Conference: the Travel Photography Conference. Together, with some of the best travel photographers in the industry, I’ll be teaching a couple of classes via live stream, and I can’t wait to join you all there. But, we need to pass the time between now and then safely. Here’s why: –

We’re at a tricky place in the pandemic journey. We have vaccines available on this side of the pond, and likewise in the States, but with this progress, we’re seeing a new strain of the virus. You couldn’t write this stuff! It’s taken all of us, globally, down different paths and affected us all. I reached out to Team Epic, the band of like-minded, awesomeness-exuding, pixel-processing legends. Here’s what they have to say: –

Peter Treadway, from here in the UK like myself, says: –

It goes without saying that this year has been tough for a lot of people and as a wedding photographer, my business has struggled like most. Even when weddings have been able to go ahead in much smaller capacities, problems for photographers have still arisen when they have found themselves coming down with an illness so close to the couple’s big day. I have to say, though, that this year has made me prouder than ever to be part of this incredible industry. Never before have I seen such camaraderie and selflessness with fellow photographers cancelling personal plans and travelling hundreds of miles at the last minute to save a couple’s most treasured day from going uncaptured, whenever the desperate request for cover has gone out from an ailed tog. 

It reminds me that we really are all in this together and as we move in to my favourite time of year (Christmas!!!), with an incredible, needle shaped light just starting to glimmer softly at the end of the awful tunnel that is 2020, these thoughts of ‘esprit de corps’ let me allow myself just a little smile as I look evermore towards 2021 with hopeful anticipation. 

And with that, I’ll wish you all the warmest, happiest and safest of Christmases and New Years. 

From Ireland, Cathy says: –

As a Wedding and Newborn photographer, Covid meant stopping half of my business completely due to the close proximity required when photographing babies and with weddings either cancelled, brought forward till next year or pared down to a max of 24 people, the other half had to be hugely scaled down too. 

Looking back now to when the National lockdown began here in Ireland, it would have been so easy to put my camera down, step away from my computer and take up baking and DIY to try and pass the time. However, I was determined not to let Covid ruin my passion and so rather than giving up, I decided to spend the time learning a new photography related skill and got myself a copy of Victoria Pavlov‘s book on digital painting and bought some digital brushes from Aaron Blaise.

Although it might be a while before I’m proud enough to show off any works from this new pass time, I’m absolutely loving the process of learning this new skill and how far I feel I’ve progressed in such a short time. 
So with that said, I pray to God 2021 will bring hope and new beginnings for everyone and to those of you who sometimes feel like giving up is the only option, I urge you all to stay positive and to push on, as I just know good things are waiting around the corner. 
So as the tattoo on my arms says, Live, Laugh, Photograph and hopefully by the end of next year we can hug, kiss, dance, be merry and most of all just be close to each other again x 

Merry Christmas to you all and I hope 2021 will be kind to each and every one of you

Cathy Baitson Weatherston

Over in Portugal, Nando says: –

This is going to be a different holiday season, so make it important. Grab your camera, a speedlight, a softbox and a background. Now go make an awesome portrait of each of your loved ones, those who you’ll be spending Xmas with. Extend that to all family members throughout 2021 as life slowly returns to normal. Sometimes we forget to photograph our loved ones. Do not be that one. And while you are at it, make a self portrait too! (Dave, a selfie does not make it! It must be a real portrait). Love and hugs from Portugal!

From Italy, Pisco says –

Christmas this year will be different. We will be far from our loved ones. It’s sad but it is definitely the right thing to do. We look to the new year with hope, tenacity and love, and when this pandemic ends we will return to hug each other stronger than before. Merry Christmas to you all.

Siân on the Isle of Wight says: –

This year has challenged us like never before and so looking after our mental health has never been so important.  

Being able to go outdoors for exercise and to meet people has been a luxury that I think no one will ever take for granted again.  But it’s also given us the chance to stop and reconnect with nature and learn more about our environment and the impact that it has on us and our health. 

It’s about seeing and appreciating the little things that are right in front of us, and as photographers, we are blessed to be able to capture those. 

So next time you head outside, really take your time and look at what is around you, for Mother Nature is truly inspiring! 

Mimo Meidany, the beautiful Iranian enigma himself, says from Canada: –

Endure this suffering
The day after the pains
Sun will shine again
wound will heal and you will laugh again
Just last. 

So again, we’re in this together. We need to knuckle down and get through this so we can all safely come out of it on the other side, together. Personally, I can’t wait for Photoshop World 2021, the 2021 Worldwide Photo Walk, and everything else we’ve missed out on this year. To get there we need to work together to beat this virus. We’re a very strong species. We can achieve anything if we put our mind to it, even in spite of all the challenges presented to us to overcome. I thrive on travel and that’s my end goal—once all this is passed I can travel again, exploring the world and showing it the way I see it. For me to do that I need to follow the rules and play my part in preventing any further spread, as well as saving lives along the way. I hope you’ll all join me so we can have a normal Christmas next year along with the freedoms we can thank our ancestors for.

Between now and then, let’s show what we see and keep practising. If you’d like to, I’ve attached a link to a handful of RAW files of mine. I’d love to see your interpretation, with full creative control and the allocation of any and all Photoshop techniques you’ve learned during 2020. Feel free to tag me on social, and KelbyOne, so we can see your edits. Add anything you want, do anything you want, and have fun forgetting about this mess for a moment while you mess with my photo. It’s art—you can’t get it wrong.

Much love

(We’re in this together!)

You know it’s a holiday, when I’m posting on a Monday at 10:50 am. As you might have guessed from the headline, I’m taking this week and next week off to enjoy some time with my family, watch lots of football, play Call of Duty Warzone and record some songs in the studio. Might even take a picture or two. :)

Here’s wishing you and your family, all the joys of the season — I hope you got lots of awesome Christmas Presents (and that there’s a mirrorless under the tree or a really great lens), and here’s wishing you a far better 2021 than we shared in 2020.

Brighter days are ahead, and I hope you enjoy great health, prosperity, and happiness in the New Year. It’s going to be a great one!

With much love and thanks,

The Holiday Break guy