This is such an eye-opening video from ‘Studio Builder’ (a full-time working pro photographer), and he’s got some eye-opening takes on Vero for all those photographers who are thinking of moving there as an answer to Instagram’s recent changes (SPOILER ALERT: where Instagram is designed around photography, Vero clearly is not – as you’ll see, but there’s much more to it).
I even went back and started posting on Vero again myself, but this video is making me rethink investing time and energy there. Check it out:
Also, when Vero started back in 2018, with its promise of no algorithms and no ads, a lot of photographers did grab a spot over there (myself included), but then everybody kind of left in a hurry (Google it for the reason), but this video (above) doesn’t go into all that – just why it’s not what you think (or hope) it is, or would be. Give it a look – he did a LOT of research, and it makes a lot of sense.
OK, we’re off to a kind of a chippy Monday. Let’s turn it around and make this a kick-butt day!
Two separate topics that taste great together. First, check out what we just announced – our last training conference of the year – ‘The Travel Photography Conference.’ Check out the trailer below and why this is the perfect time for a conference like this, which covers the shooting, traveling, gear, the post-processing, and more:
You can sign up right here (and don’t forget – you get the entire conference, all the classes, archived for an entire year, so you can stream any session again, or any missed, on demand.
Burger King Totally Blew It!
Chicken Sandwich Wars Important Update: Burger King had it. They had one of the top contenders in the entire Chicken Sandwich war in their “Ch’King” chicken sandwich. It was pretty incredible. So much so that it made me actually go to Burger King, perhaps my least favorite restaurant anywhere. Never been a fan, but the Ch’King changed my mind. It made me a believer, and a customer. Until last week, when I was at the Burger King drive-thru near me, ordered a Ch’King, and they told me it had been discontinued. What? That’s right – it’s no longer available. Apparently, a lot of people loved it, but there was a problem. Here’s how a top exec at Burger King explained the problem:
“The Ch’King “was a great product that was difficult or challenging for teams to execute on.”
So, they didn’t replace the Ch’King with something that tastes better. They replaced it with something easier to make. It’s not about their customers. It’s about how easy it is for them to make.
But I gave them the benefit of the doubt since they’re running TV ads non-stop for their new “BK Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich,” so after ‘The Grid’ last week, I bought one to give it a try (even though one of our viewers commented that they had already tried it, and it was totally “meh”).
I tried it, and I can tell you this: It’s misnamed. It should have been called, “It’s our old boring chicken sandwich back again,” and their TV campaign could have been, “You didn’t like it before, and now it’s back.” It was completely ‘meh.’ Super ‘meh.’ They quit. They gave up. Save your money.
We Have a New Champ!
I mentioned this on The Grid recently, but we have a chicken sandwich that finally (finally) beats the famed Popeye’s spicy chicken sandwich (and it’s close 2nd place entry from Zaxby’s), and I am crowning it the new reigning champion of all Chicken Sandwich wars contenders. It is from the Outback Steakhouse’s new fast food chain called “The Aussie Grill,” and their ‘Crispy Sriracha Chicken Sandwich” is remarkable. Truly. It is the new ‘king’ and Burger King…well…they totally blew it.
Have a great weekend, everybody. Hope your chicken is crispy and spicy!
Ask Me Anything!!! with Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna | The Grid Ep. 529
Want to ask Scott and Erik a question?? Well, it’s too late this time, but maybe someone else asked the question you wanted to ask! Tune in to find out what the guys discussed, and keep an eye out for your chance to ask them a question in the future!
New KelbyOne Course – Portrait Photography: One Prop, Unlimited Possibilities with Frank Doorhof
Maximize how you use a single prop in your portrait photo shoots! Join Frank Doorhof as he demonstrates how he uses several different props to create a wide range of looks and effects. From room dividers to lightbulbs to the common chair and fabric, you’ll be amazed at the possibilities that can be achieved from a creative approach with the props you may already have on hand.
A while ago I posted the following online: When you look at carpenters, you will not see them laughing at each other because of the brand of hammer they use. They know it’s all about the work they create, the end result.
Still in almost every workshop I teach, I will have attendees who think they can’t do something because of the camera (or even the brand) they use. In essence it’s all about the work you do, it’s just a tool.
Much to my surprise, some carpenters responded and told me that this was not true and that there are indeed (just like with photography) people that talk down to carpenters using a certain kind of hammer. To say my dream was destroyed goes a bit far but… Well I was actually a bit surprised.
Of course there are fields where gear is incredibly important like biking, racing, etc. that are highly depending on the gear. Fine tuning the car a bit more can be the difference between placing pole position and all the way at the back. The driver is also vital, but sometimes I wonder what the combination is; I think it’s mostly machine “helped” by the human driving it.
Now, with photography I won’t tell you that the gear isn’t important at all. I wish that were the case because that would make our passion a lot lot cheaper! But what I do want to tell you is that the human factor is incredibly important.
When my wife Annewiek and I were still living in our caves and I came home from the hunt with my dinosaur and could relax while Annewiek was preparing our meat on the BBQ, I couldn’t watch TV so I started drawing on the caves walls. I didn’t draw beautiful women in tiger skins (realize the women back then were also carrying weapons). What I drew were literally stories about my heroic adventures and how I discovered fire and later the wheel. Fast forward to our pyramids and we also used drawing/imaging for story telling.
For me photography is not only story telling, but I do like it if most of my images (if not all) have an element of story telling.
What Is Story Telling?
When you talk about story telling, for a lot of people this means letting the model/sitter do something. Add a REAL element of a story and this is 100% true. I would rather call this a concept shoot, meaning you really tell a story.
For me story telling is more adding some elements in a shot that make the viewer go, “Mmmm I wonder what he/she is thinking?” or, “What is going on?” It can be done with a simple element like a camera, but it can also be done with something like an expression.
Sometimes people ask me why most of my models look away from the camera. I think this is actually part of that story telling element. If a model looks straight into the camera, this can be incredibly powerful (don’t get me wrong). However it can be even more powerful when the model isn’t. Then the immediate question becomes, “Where is she looking, what’s going on over there?” Hence your story telling element.
It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always and this week I write from the NEC in Birmingham, UK, where I’m at The Photography Show. This is a huge event that takes place every year here in the UK. Up on the main stage this year is the worlds greatest dog photographer, the original, the one and only Kaylee Greer. Also speaking were Dave Clayton, Tony Harmer, and Sian Elizabeth, among others.
Today I want to talk about something I saw presented by Ian Sayers from XenceLabs which can be summed up as this: –
You need a graphics tablet!
I have always had a graphics tablet available throughout my photography career and it’s been incredibly useful to use such a precise tool when editing in Adobe Photoshop rather than the clumsy ‘hit or miss’ nature of using a trackpad or a mouse. It’s fair to say that sometimes it’s tricky to be able to use a graphics tablet when working out of the office and I often found this to be a hurdle that was sometimes impassable, but since my recent trip to Austin, TX, to hang out with Mark Heaps I have found the solution.
Ian was presenting several talks at The Photography Show, as was Tony Harmer, and I can also say that Dave Clayton also knows the solution – here it is: XenceLabs.
XenceLabs is a company made of people who have extensive knowledge of the inner workings of graphic tablets and they’ve come together to create a truly exceptional product. I’m trying hard to think about how to present this blog as a recommendation rather than have it appear to be a sales pitch, and it genuinely is a recommendation – I believe this tablet truly rocks. The Quick Keys are fantastic and are fully programmable, giving access to 8 buttons along with a dial (which has a ninth button itself) but the tablet itself along with the stylus just feel great. The XenceLabs tablets connect with bluetooth 5.0 which means the connection is secure and smooth unlike other tablets, and the 3,000 mAh battery lasts up to 15 hours. My favourite thing about these tablets is the way that using them feels good. It’s hard to explain, but the ergonomics are on point.
Using a graphics tablet as a photographer or graphic designer (or even a video editor) makes our lives so much easier and gives us a lot more creative control. My personal opinion is that XenceLabs have come up with the optimum solution, and with that….
Thanks for checking out that. I’m really excited about this one – I think it will help a lot of folks out there who are already using Lightroom. :)
Here’s to a kick-butt week! :)
P.S. I just released two new online courses for travel photographers: Part 1 is on shooting interiors when you travel (places like palaces, cathedrals, museums, opera houses, theaters, etc.), and Part 2 is on how to take those images and post-process them from start to finish. Details over on LightroomKillerTips.com today.