It’s and honor to be back on Scott’s blog, and if you’re here reading this, I hope you are as big of a fan of Scott as I am. “Thanks” is never enough for someone I have learned so much from.
As we are all hopefully sitting safely and healthy in our homes, it is my hope that we all are taking time to reflect on the people and work that helped us get to where we are today. Scott is certainly on that short list for me. If you take nothing else away from reading this, be kind to people, regardless of who they are.
Here is a throwback to 2009 when I first met Scott and was literally a nobody just trying to take pictures of some sports. The story of how this photo even came to be is great, but that is for some other time.
I have been a sports photographer for almost 15 years (what?!), and I just finished up my first season as a staff photographer for the Tennessee Titans. No job is without its bumps and issues, but this is truly a dream job. I dreamt of working for an NFL franchise since the day I picked up a camera and its crazy to sit here thinking about how wild the journey has been to get here.
This first year took me with our team to the AFC Championship game and was one of the most challenging and most fun seasons I’ve had. And this offseason will certainly go down as one of the most memorable of my life, but that is probably the same for all of us.
I would love to impart some wisdom or share something that will be helpful to everyone who reads this, but my truth is probably not much different from many of you with everything going on in the world right now… I’m afraid of the future, I’m afraid for my job, I have been told to work from home but I’m not sure if I am doing it right, or that I am being as helpful to my coworkers as I would like to be.
I’m a photographer after all, I should be making pictures right? I have made some pictures and have plans for some other things to help, but it’s a strange feeling not being able to leave your house and go create.
The joy I have felt in this strange time is the community of photographers around me. As a whole, sports photographers have a reputation as being a curmudgeon-y group of grumps who are somehow always mad about something.
But the truth I have discovered is that while those people exist, they don’t speak for all of us. There are so many great people who help each other in times of need and want to see each other succeed. No other time have I seen it more than now when most should be grumpier than ever, but they are not. So I salute our industry as a whole, especially in these times of uncertainty.
I don’t have much else to say or add to this week, but if you have some time and have some questions, shoot me a message over on Instagram or email me and I would be happy to catch up with any of you!
Intermediate Lighting Setups with Profoto with Scott Kelby
Take your location lighting skills to the next level! Join Scott Kelby in an iconic theater for an intermediate level class on lighting setups. With a talented ballerina as the model, Scott takes you through the process of telling a story with photographs. From the cramped dressing room, through the cluttered hallway, to the beautiful stage, Scott shares his process for working through the challenges each location presents.
You’ll start the class with a brief look at the gear, but then it is on to one shoot after the other, with six unique shoots in all. Throughout each one you’ll learn about the lighting settings, the process of positioning lights, the importance of camera angles, how to make the best of what the location presents, how to work with your subject, and so much more!
In Case You Missed It: Lighting Portraits On Location
Take your location lighting to the next level with Scott Kelby! In this KelbyOne Community inspired class, Scott gives you more of what you have been asking for, which is demonstrating a variety of lighting setups you can use on location. Whether you are shooting with strobes or speedlights, you’ll be able to learn the camera settings and lighting placement needed to recreate these awesome looks.
Scott starts off the class with a discussion of gear and settings, and then he’s off doing shoot after shoot in a variety of locations with both male and female subjects. By the end of the class you’ll be ready to light your next portrait session in new ways.
I met Lyrah (Kathleen Warner) on twitter. Honestly I forgot when exactly. She thought my videos were cool and I liked her music. She asked if I’d be down to direct a video. I’m not sure if she knew I hadn’t made one before, but I said yes. My skills directing product and brand videos could translate right? Plus I have friends that have made music videos and I occasionally volunteered for WDMV which connected me with plenty of talented directors I could ask for advice. Plus there’s always YouTube right?
We had our first official meeting about this video on November 9th 2019. The single and video dropped last week on March 18th 2020. Hella great response so far. It made it to COLORSXSTUDIOS Song of the Day, was featured in the Nightcap Apple Music playlist and the best part – friends and strangers have told us so many nice things. Also as of writing this, zero dislikes on YouTube. Now that I’ve said it though someone will probably just dislike it out of spite. Oh well.
We started with a meetup in NYC to talk about the project and outlined the details on Dropbox Paper. We started with her overall aesthetic, vibe of the song, and narrative in the lyrics. Over the next couple of weeks we added moodboards, references, and outlined a storyboard based on the lyrics. Also iMessage. Hella ideas and references exchanged back and forth. I was a lil afraid but just went for it and asked lots of questions and showed her things I found interesting. This helped us narrow things down for the video and get on the same page. Even though we never worked with each other before this we understood how to project manage the hell out of this because of our respective professional experience. Then we settled on a date in LA for the shoot and worked backwards from there.
I have to mention a lot of music videos don’t operate on this long of a timeline. I heard if Gucci Mane has a song Wednesday night he wants a video for then the video will be done and out Saturday night. This was a completely indie production between me and the artist Lyrah so we made up our own process and rules. Also we both worked our respective jobs while making this project happen.
In hindsight our storyboard was very ambitious. We had two different worlds, choreography, freestyles, scenes with extras, performance scenes, and several locations we wanted to shoot in. Also styling, props, make-up, art direction for everything. All in one day. I’d like to think I was optimistic and planning well but perhaps there was more naivety and a big ass cup of Dunning-Kruger effect.
Since Lyrah already had the song recorded I found references from movies and other music videos that generally fit the storyboard and put it together. This served as our template for making the video.
My brother’s name is Green – yes we are named after colors. I enlisted his help in making the choreography for after the chorus. He’s hella dope, just check out his Instagram or Tik-Tok. He can move. He filmed himself doing all 3 parts and then cut it together and did hella masking to plan out the blocking. What a pro.
The crew would be myself, my brother and my friend Carl. Green worked with and for a lot of YouTubers in LA so he knew how to operate on set. My friend Carl also came on as DP and gaffer. I met him partying in Hong Kong during study abroad almost 10 years ago. I don’t know why but I remember he had a bowtie and suspenders on. He’s the only one that actually went to film school and that made a huge difference on set. My friend John also showed up to take BTS pics and hang. He’s the one to thank for the beautiful non-iPhone images you get to look at while reading this.
Hands On with the Nikon D780: Everything You Need to Know to Get Great Shots with Larry Becker
Get a hands on look at the Nikon D780 with Larry Becker! The D780 is an amazingly powerful performance camera that’s packed with features. In this class Larry gets you started quickly with a few need to know items before digging into the buttons and dials, metering modes, white balance, focusing controls, important settings, customization controls, and rounds it out with an explanation of the features and settings every D780 owner needs to know.
In Case You Missed It… Hands On with the Canon EOS R: Everything you Need to Know to Get Great Shots
Join Larry Becker to learn the ins and outs of the amazing Canon EOS R! Whether you just picked one up or are thinking about adding one to your kit, you’ll want to learn all the hidden features and pro tips that set this camera apart. From features such as programmable controls to flexible priority mode to shooting video, Larry teaches you how to set them up (and more!) and get the most out of them.
Larry wraps up the class with three interviews with professional photographers, Joel Grimes, Roberto Valenzuela, and Rick Sammon who have a lot of insights to share from their early hands on experience with the EOS R.
Welcome To The Endless World Of Photo Manipulation
I started my creative journey 20 years ago, when I got my first copy of Photoshop as a birthday gift. It was a time of no YouTube, really slow dial-up internet connection, and not so many places to learn Photoshop from.
So, I needed to learn it on my own.
I practiced a lot, experimenting with the tools and having fun with Photoshop.
The first tools I learned how to use were the Magic Wand Tool and Lasso Tool. With those two tools I was able to select and extract objects from scanned photos. And that was how I made my first photo manipulation. My father standing in the mountain near the camp fire with a rifle in his hand.
That was the time when I opened a door to the world of endless possibilities.
The photo manipulation world is such a great place to be, because you can do whatever you want. The only limitation is your imagination, and the knowledge to use the tools necessary to turn your imagination into reality.
Today I will walk you through the process of making a photo manipulation. I will tell you what is important to know to be able to create a realistic result, and how to make your life easier by following some general rules.
Join Erik Kuna on location at the historic Launch Complex 39A, the epicenter of the space program, and learn everything you need to know to tell the story of a rocket launch. In this class you’ll learn about the history of space flight photography, the essential gear and camera settings you’ll need to use, how to capture breath taking streak shots, pad shots, and telephoto shots, the importance of pre-production, as well as tips and techniques for post processing all of your photos when the launch is over.
In this class you’ll learn the basic terminology needed to use the planner, how to use the app to plan a photo shoot based around the position of the sun, the moon, or the milky way, how to discover when the next eclipse will occur at a given location, how to perform useful calculations, and so much more! Erik even breaks down all the steps he used in planning for a variety of different photographic scenarios. By the end of the class you’ll have a whole new appreciation for the ability to plan around celestial events using PhotoPills.