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Few things are more exciting for a photographer than when a B&H Photo shipping box arrives at your door, and today was that day! I had been shooting a Canon EOS R6 for the past few years, and I wasn’t really planning on updating when I heard the R6 Mark II announcement, but then I made a fatal mistake.

When I was out at the OPTICWEST Conference in Monterey last month, I stopped by the Canon booth, and they had a pre-release model, and I held it and played around with it (huge mistake), so my next step was the B&H Photo booth (which happened to be directly next to the Canon booth) to arrange to sell them my used R6 (they buy used gear) and upgrade to the R6 Mark II, and well…it arrived today and I’m giddy (a term used by old folks. No me, mind you. Actual old folks).

I was actually inspired by a buddy of mine, who had gone to Mirrorless but was still hanging on to a bunch of his old DLSR gear and lenses, and while we were on the phone, I convinced him to go to B&H’s Used Dept and see what they would give him for the old gear (you get an instant online offer on their site). I kid you not – he got over $5,000 for gear he hadn’t used in years. Well, that inspired me, and I’m about to ship them a bunch more of the DSLR gear I don’t use anymore so I can get a new R-mount 70-200mm (and I’m probably going with the f/4 instead of the f/2.8 because I hardly ever get to shoot it at f/2.8, and it’s lighter and cheaper and still sharp as anything).

Here’s my current loadout

OK, so the new R6 Mark II is my main camera body. I don’t really carry a backup body, so my iPhone is my backup camera unless I’m shooting something critical, like a wedding or a sporting event. I use three lenses (seen below):

  1. A Canon RF-mount (for mirrorless) 24-240mm lens (my favorite all-around travel lens) below left.
  2. A Canon RF-mount 14-35mm Lens (mostly for shooting interiors when I travel) below center.
  3. A Tamron 150-600mm lens for shooting aviation (I use an adapter, so I can use this on my mirrorless)

I have some other gear, but mostly for shooting sports (I still have two 1Dx’s and a 400mm f/2.8, and some other various lenses, like an F/1.2 85mm, but that’s one I’m probably selling off as mentioned above).

I am super digging having a simplified loadout, and most of the time, especially when I’m traveling, I’m just using that 24-240mm anyway. One body, and one lens….awwww, yeah! :)

I’ll let you know more once I’ve had a chance to shoot with the Mark II, but I’m just so excited I had to share it with you. Have a great weekend, and hope to see you back here next week! :)

-Scott

P.S. Next Wednesday at 1PM ET on ‘The Grid,’ it’s our annual Holiday Gear Guide show with my special in-house guest, the one and only Vanelli. Lots of great gift ideas for the photographer on your holiday gift list. :)

Editor’s Note: We’re just a day away from December, so I wanted to bring back this fantastic 2019 post from Gilmar Smith about creating more exciting holiday cards. Enjoy!

Holiday 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 Holiday Card an epic one every year. Who wants to receive another boring Holiday card anyways?

Our Holiday 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 Holiday Cards sessions even before Halloween. 

As the song says, Holiday 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 Holiday Cards to their family and friends. A big part of that group prefers to send family pictures instead of store-bought Holiday Cards. 

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

What I look to capture on Holiday 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’ Holiday 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 Holiday Card, there’s no going back. They will be expected every year.

This family recreates a rock album cover every year for their Holiday 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!

(more…)

I’m not talking about your data connection! It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always with something from the world of photography! This week, it’s your network!

Networking is huge. I cannot stress how huge. We can interchange a couple of words here: – clan, community, group… they all end up the same – network! As photographers it’s incredibly important to build a network and be in a network. Facebook is a great place for this with the sheer volume of people active on the network (there’s that word again) and the ease of being involved in a Facebook Group. I have one where I share a lot of 360º photos and experiences, and there are plenty out there that cater to almost any audience or hobby. A new one on the scene is the Platypod Users Group, for example. They can be very niche or very vague, but they’re all a community.

The advantage of having or being involved in a community is the constant education and inspiration that comes from others, and that we can contribute to, as well as the abundance of potential clients that we can market to. Education and inspiration are things I’ve talked about a lot before and they continue to be important. We should always be looking to grow and develop, to make ourselves stand out from the crowd, and we’re killing two birds with one stone if we network in the process. The age old saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is something well worth bearing in mind. Having a network of friends and colleagues within the creative industry will solve so many problems and afford mutual growth. Think about it. We’re one big team!

In other news, I’m getting closer to my crazy adventure spending 80 days in the Arctic this winter. I’m documenting the journey on YouTube and while we’re talking about community, I’d love you to get involved and let me know what you think of my videos. Please do let me know what you want me to talk about and what you want to see.

We’re all on the same side – competition in photography and creativity works differently to many other industries. We can achieve more by working together than by seeing one another as competitors.

Much love
Dave

For Cyber Monday, we go to our partners and ask them to give just a crazy low price on something, but only for 1-hour, and sometimes these deals are so incredible it crashes their servers. Today is that day! , Starting at 10:00 am ET and running until 5:00 pm at the top of every hour we’re doing another LIVE Screamin’ Deal Webcast where you’ve got to watch to get the Discount code. They’re short, right at the top of the hour, we give you the deal and the code, and you’re off and saving! :)

Here are the details:

Who: Join host Larry Becker LIVE from our studios
What: Unbelievable Cyber Monday deals that only last 1 hour
Where: Here’s the link
When: Today, starting at 10:00 am and at the top of every hour until 5 pm ET.
Why: Cause we always do something cool on Cyber Monday!

Next up: Killer Deals On Our Online Conference replays

You know about our fantastic KelbyOne Online Conferences, on everything from Landscape photography, Lightroom, Photoshop, travel photography, making money from your photography, and even iPhone photography – well, we have some incredible deals for you to watch any (or all) of our conferences replays on demand for an entire year. The best instructors, our most popular topics, now at the lowest price of the years.

Lastly, check out this Cyber Monday deal on a KelbyOne Pro Membership

Today, Cyber Monday is your last chance to get our absolute best price of the year on KelbyOne Pro annual membership, and 2023 is going to be an amazing year of training! (check out that video above for more about KelbyOne and why you should join today).

Here’s the link to save BIG! (Save $90)

Happy shopping, everybody. It’s going to be an incredible year of learning. :)

-Scott

If you’ve always thought of becoming a part of the KelbyOne Online Educational Community, this is the best time ever; thanks to our Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal –  we’re offering our best price of the year. Just $149 for a full year of our ProPlan, with full access to everything (including over 900+ full-length training courses with thousands and thousands of lessons, plus a subscription to Photoshop User magazine).

PLUS (cool feature coming up), when you purchase a KelbyOne Pro Annual Membership at this special cyber sale price, you will renew at this rate for as long as you remain a KelbyOne Pro Annual member. Your membership price doesn’t go up at the end of a year. Pretty sweet, right?

Here’s the link – it makes a perfect gift, too (giving the gift of education for an entire year).

Have a fun Black Friday shopping day today, everybody. :)

-Scott

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always, this week from Glencoe in Scotland.

You may remember when Scott (and Team Epic) visited Scotland a few months back and we stopped in Glencoe for a few shots. I posted it all on my Instagram story at the time. One of the magical locations saw us shooting straight up a valley with a cascading waterfall. Well yesterday I decided to follow the waterfall and explore into the Hidden Valley.

This rabbit hole shot shows what i found at the top. What I actually want to talk about is how I got this shot.

I’m sure you’re aware of 360° camera tech, but did you know that at a consumer level it’s come on leaps and bounds from where it was just a few years ago? For this shot I was using the Insta360 X3 and it was edited entirely in Insta360 Studio. the amount of tech packed into the Insta360 cameras is insane. The images can be automatically levelled, reframed, and the HDR and PureShot capabilities always impress me.

Heres how this entire 360° shot looks: –

With Black Friday approaching, it’s only right that I point out the offers from Insta360. I’ve made a list of my favourite Black Friday deals over on my blog.

360° camera technology is in our future. Our near future. If you’re on the fence about it, I assure you it’s great fun and these cameras are an action camera alternative that will blow your mind!

Much love

Dave

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