Just click on the banner to listen to the podcast and review the interview notes.
Dixie Dixon had already started to hone in on her dreams of becoming a successful professional photographer when she won the WPPI Scholarship approximately ten years ago. However, none of us knew the career we were about to watch take off, would become one of the most recognized young photographers in the fashion world today.
I won't deny for a second that I'm a wannabe President of the Dixie Dixon Fan Club, but it's a combination of her humility, spirit, creativity and skill set that's made me such a believer. In addition, I'm always able to track her down, no matter where she's shooting. In fact, accessibility may well be one of Dixie's key ingredients to her success.
Here's a prime example. The year is probably around 2007 and I was at the PPE show in NYC. At the time Graphi Studio used to do a "Day in the Life of WPPI" album each year, typically with 3-4 photographers documenting the event. Well, they needed one more photographer and they wanted two things, somebody relatively new and a skill set that had a strong fashion look. I immediately thought of Dixie.
Not knowing if she was at the show or not, I took a long shot and texted her. Twenty minutes later she met with the team from Graphi and had her assignment for the next WPPI convention. Dixie always follows up with potential clients.
I have a lot of fun doing these Weekend Wisdom podcasts, but it's because of the insight we all gain with each conversation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did catching up to Dixie. And, if you're not totally familiar with her work, check out the behind-the-scenes video she did for Magpul, which I recently posted here at SCU.
Last week I wrote a post about your "About" page with some pretty solid advice, at least that's what I thought. I still stand behind all my suggestions, but David Bock disagreed with me in one of the Facebook forums. I started to get a little defensive, but totally understood his point when I read what he and Cathy have on their site. I have to admit I like the way they've presented their "About" page.
In my post I had suggested you stay away from personal information that's not relevant, especially awards, camera gear, how long you've been shooting etc. Well, David and Cathy went totally personal, but they stayed consistent, sharing facts about themselves that were funny, light-hearted and painted a picture of a great couple to trust your wedding with. When you look at the entire "body of work" it's very clever and through humor, they're doing the same thing I had suggested, built trust with their clients.
They've done their story in two parts, "Us" and "Our Style" and while I personally like shorter pieces, I love the way they've covered both topics. It reminds me in part of the qualities in Justin and Mary Marantz's "About" video, still considered one of the very best in the industry.
Here's one more approach...
A few years ago my good buddy, Scott Bourne, shared his artist's statement in a blog post and I want to share it with you again, in the hopes that it will give you some stronger direction in writing your own. Scott's focus at the time was all about wildlife art photography, but it doesn't matter what your specialty is. Work to develop and share the kind of passion that Scott shared below.
For me, wildlife art photography is about two connecting themes: extraordinary craftsmanship in terms of technical mastery of photography and a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of the nature behind the image.
At a deeper level, however, I pursue this art form because of its almost religious qualities.
One day, I can have a vision in my mind that represents a photograph I want to make. This vision exists only in my head and my heart – it’s a silent vision which has the power to bring me out into the field, month after month, year after year, for a chance to turn that vision into something tangible that I can share with others.
The other religious aspect of my work is focus and devotion to an idea over which I have absolutely no control.
I learn all that I can about the natural factors behind each photographic opportunity, but I never know how they will play out. My artistry focuses on the beauty of things which are random. Wildlife operates within its own free will. The bird flies its own path.
It’s different than working in a photography studio where I have control over the set, the model and the lights. As a wildlife artist, my gift is to know how to “show up prepared” to interact with beauty that I do not control. I must learn to be at peace with my subject on their terms, not on mine.
I struggle with finding the patience and the path. But when that struggle becomes the hardest, I remember my calling. I speak for the creatures which have no voice. Perhaps this is why the experience is so emotional for me.
Each time I get a perfect moment and capture that with my camera, I experience joy and sadness. I am joyful because the finished work provides me with a lifelong memory of a successful vision. But I also feel sadness that the pursuit is over.
After that moment, the cycle begins again, and I launch the pursuit of the next creative vision. I hope to share that vision well enough that others may someday wish to help speak for the animals too.
No matter how you choose to tell your story, remember, this is a time for you to show your heart, not your credentials.
Video has added a whole new dimension to enhancing your About page, bio and artist statement and this is the perfect time to remind you of the new contest we just launched with Photodex. We're searching for the ultimate self-promotional video with a terrific grand prize. Checking it out is just a click away!
Photo Credit: © tashatuvango - Fotolia
I was watching a couple of short videos this week from SPTV at WPPI and I noticed I'm no longer a kid. Hey, I look in the mirror every day, but never notice a few more gray hairs, a new wrinkle or an extra chin hiding just under the beard line. I even said to Sheila, "When did I get so old?"
Well, in trying to find something to write about on a typical Sunday morning, I found this quote from Elizabeth Taylor:
"You have to be at peace with yourself. I love to laugh. I think laughter can cure.
You can see it in a person's face.
Around age forty, when your face has lost the glow of youth,
what you are inside starts to form on the outside.
Either the lines go up or they go down. If they go up, that's a good sign."
I honestly don't feel older and Sheila tells me regularly that I have yet to honestly mature. I notice I creak for ten minutes when I get up in the morning, but my ability to stop taking life so seriously has definitely changed. Most days start out smiling and more and more, I've noticed it's getting easier to practice what I preach.
The truth is, we're each only as old as we want to be. Over the years I've met a few photographers who were coming up on 80, even though their licenses said 45! Old souls with even older issues!
It all comes down to the choices we make. Every morning, just like today, the real "weather" is completely up to us! Just like me, you've got a choice to make - a day of smiles or a day when those lines Liz Taylor referred to are headed downward.
Make it a great day everybody. Hug somebody special...stay focused on things you love about your life and not things that raise the roof! And for those jackasses who don't get it - give them a hug too. After all, they need it more!
Wishing everybody a wonderful Sunday!
I'm stepping away from industry throwbacks this week, having just run across this classic photograph. My best guess is that I'm about six years old and yes, you guessed it, a fashion statement even then - that's me in the black and white stripes. Besides my sense of style or complete lack of it, I'm impressed that whoever took the shot printed it and gave us a copy. While I recognize a couple of kids, I have no idea who most of them are or why we were all in one location.
However, besides my usual point about having fun with throwback images, here's a new one - dress your kids so they at least look cool. Seriously, my shorts are the longest ones there and they're too big. My shoes look like new sneaks or white bucks and I'm not sure where the shirt came from. I'm one step away from a photograph of the bunny suit on the kid in Christmas Story!
So, today is a plea - years from now you don't want your kids coming after you because you had no taste! You don't want to get a call like the one I'm going to make to my Dad this morning and simply ask,
"What were you thinking?"
Happy Thursday everybody - make it a great one!
Working together with Rich Harrington of Photofocus, I'm really excited to co-host tomorrow's episode of Mind Your Own Business. Rich and I will be talking with good buddy, Kevin Ames, about today's marketing challenges in the professional photographic arena.
"Join Skip Cohen and Richard Harrington and special guest Kevin Ames. We’ll explore practical advice for professional and emerging professional photographers. We’re going to offer strategies on how to market your work and build your brand. Even if you have a tiny budget, you’ll still learn useful tips to build awareness and attract clients.
We’ll also explore practical advice for photographers who are looking for new opportunities. This is a great chance for anyone hoping to make photograph a career to get some practical free advice. This Google Hangout is interactive and you can post questions to the experts during the event.Join us for our newest Google+ Hangout for photographers — Mind Your Own Business. This event is produced in partnership with Skip Cohen University, Drobo, SongFreedom and Adobe." (From Photofocus.com)
Just click on the banner to be connected to the link.
See you at 3:30 pm EST, tomorrow, March 26th!
Every now and then I find a quote I want to share that becomes the foundation of a blog post, because it's just too long for Twitter...
"Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock,
perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it.
Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two,
and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before."
Jacob A. Riis
This is a very short post this morning and perfect for the middle of the week and the upcoming close of the first quarter, the slow season for most photographers.
I know it sounds trite, but we're all like stone cutters. Sometimes we need to be reminded that all the hammering away we're doing to build a business, even though it's slow, is still always moving forward. Each step of the way in fine-tuning your skill set, developing a marketing plan or interacting with somebody in your network is still progress, no matter how insignificant it might seem at the time.
There are a hundred different quotes we've all heard from parents and grandparents...Rome wasn't built in a day...No pain - no gain...Patience is a virtue...and the list goes on and on. Since we were little we've been bombarded with life lessons all packed into one-liners, expressions and even stories like the race between the tortoise and the hare.
So, here's the point this morning and I'll apologize now if I'm sounding too basic and just restating the obvious...being a success in this industry is about passion and believing in yourself. Don't get wrapped up in worrying about how much you still have to learn or do, but instead give yourself a big pat on the back for how far you've come! You can't rush the process, just appreciate and enjoy the journey.
"An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox."
Recently I had a phone conversation with a relatively new photographer from the Midwest, who needed some help with a challenge in his family's business. He started out the conversation with,
"Look, I know you don't me and I'm just a little guy in the industry, but I need help with..."
So, this is just a short post this morning reminding all you "little guys" out there that without you there'd be no photographic industry! Even more important is the contribution you "little guys" make to new ideas and solutions for the industry every day. You're the ones who, like little kids, keep asking, "Why?" And, when you don't get a decent answer you look for a better one.
There's a great business anecdote about the bumble bee. Aerodynamically, the bumble bee is designed all wrong and his body is way to big for his wings. He shouldn't be able to fly, but nobody ever told him that!
You guys have that same passion to fly. You're working to perfect your skills, starting a new business and dealing with plenty of cynics who think you've made the wrong choice, but that doesn't slow you down.
So, to all you "little guys" out there - thank you for your never-ending enthusiasm and the challenges you keep bringing to an industry I love dearly. Don't stop asking questions. Don't stop going to conventions and workshops. Don't stop working to perfect your skill set. Most important of all, challenge everything you do, because so many of you "little guys" will soon be the movers and shakers of the next generation of artists to drive this industry!
It's Marketing Monday and time to bring back a favorite topic one more time...
I've written a lot about this over the last two years, but there are a whole bunch of you who still don't get it. It's March 23 and in theory anyway, you've still got a few weeks before professional photography is officially out of the slow season. It's only one small component of your website, but it's so important to do it right!
Your About page is one of the two most valuable pieces of real estate on your website, the other being your galleries. Stop wasting the space with information that could put a rock to sleep! Share your heart, your passion and show your potential clients why you're their best choice to capture and protect those memory-making moments.
Illustration Credit: © bahrialtay - Fotolia
It couldn't be a more typical Sunday morning. I'm up first, the house is quiet and even Molly the Wonder Dog is more interested in sleeping than playing with me. What a lot of you don't realize is that Reflections is a luxury I've made sure I can always afford - finding the time to just kick back and think about the week ahead or the one behind.
During the week my schedule varies from getting done exactly what I planned to do, to days when I seem to do nothing but answer the phone, put out little brush fires and work on everything except what I'd like to be doing. It's simply the nature of the business and not just mine, but all of yours as well.
I found a quote this morning that not only made me smile, but got me thinking about a few of the times I should have moved a little faster on something.
"Be willing to make decisions....Don't fall victim to what I call the "ready-aim-aim-aim-aim" syndrome.
T. Boone Pickens
Every now and then I've got an idea about something I want to try and I'll take too long to follow-through on it. While it doesn't happen that often, it represents a lost opportunity. I'll think about what I should have done and before the words even leave her lips, I'll hear Sheila say, "Don't should on yourself!"
So here's the bottom line on this wonderful Sunday morning. If you've got an idea and the power to decide on its fate, then appreciate the fact you're an entrepreneur and make the decisions you need to. Nothing has to be forever and if you've done your research, then believe in yourself, trust your gut and take a shot. You'll never realize your true potential if you just aim, aim, aim, aim, aim...
Wishing everybody a terrific Sunday and one filled with smiles, laughter, a minimum of tears and plenty of hugs from somebody you love and care about.
Illustration credit: © kantver - Fotolia
Fashion and Magpul products just don't go together...at least not until Dixie Dixon gets involved!
Yesterday we recorded the next episode of Weekend Wisdom, scheduled to air on March 29. My guest was good friend, Dixie Dixon, who over the last few years has become very well known in the fashion world. Keeping within the format of all the Weekend Wisdom programs we stuck with one topic, Dixie's amazing non-stop effort to build her brand in the fashion world.
During the interview she mentioned two of her favorite projects to date, one of them the calendar for Magpul Industries.
So, here's what makes it such a kick - Magpul is one the leading manufacturers of firearms accessories/enhancements. Fashion, unless it's camouflauge green, just isn't normally in their vocabulary. On their site they explain the name...
Magpul was founded in 1999 with the intent of developing a simple device to aid in the manipulation of rifle magazines while reloading under stress. The company’s name comes from this original product called the Magpul®. Over the last decade Magpul has continued to grow and develop using much the same mission and process with a focus on innovation, simplicity, and efficiency.
Dixie's creativity knows no bounds, especially when she's having fun. If you've met Dixie you know she's rarely not thoroughly into whatever projects come her way and that might well be one of the leading keys to what's built her reputation in such a relatively short time. She loves the journey that started close to ten years ago and never misses a beat to take it another step further. This is one artist who ALWAYS has fun!
Along with the video above, Magpul wrote the description of the shoot and it's far better than anything I could write this morning.
For this year's calendar we opened up the armory and hired best in the fashion industry to push the boundaries a bit of what is expected for a Magpul Calendar. To be honest we weren't too sure how it was going to turn out, but as the photo shoot progressed we started to realize that this calendar was something special.
The guns looked good and the girls looked great, but there was a sophistication to the photography that had broad appeal beyond the regular "girls with guns" calendars we had done in the past. From a gritty warehouse shot is a shady part of town with the Ronin Motorcycle to an ultra modern house with backlit plastic walls, all the photographs were shot on location. No studio shots with added backgrounds were used in this Calendar.
Even the cover photo, our model, wearing a designer dress while holding a vintage 1921 Colt Thompson sub machine gun, actually walked down a closed off downtown Dallas street to get the shot. The result is a calendar with some unexpected visual and artistic elements exhibiting the Magpul touch, presented in a package with broad appeal with timeless iconic photography.
Check back in next Saturday for Weekend Wisdom with my guest, Dixie Dixon. It's a terrific interview with a lot of great tips on brand-building, fashion and networking. In the mean time, Dixie needs to be on your radar. Check out her site and stay in touch with things she's working on.
There's also a Dixie section her at SCU. Her videos, which started out as purely a way for her to get clients to know more about her work, have now turned into a solid component of her product line. She offers a behind-the-scenes video, which every client now wants and uses to promote their fashion images. Great photography, contemporary music and cutting edge production values.
PS There's a terrific sidebar - a portion of the money raised from the 2014 calendar went to the USMC Reconnaissance Foundation. "The foundation provides assistance to wounded Reconnaissance Marines and Marine Reconnaissance families. Last year's calendar raised over $20,000 for charity. We hope to far exceed that amount this year. Calendars are availible for purchase from magpul.com."
I'm always surprised when I talk to a photographer after any convention and ask what they thought and I get an answer like, "I didn't really see very much to help me!" If you walked around this last WPPI for example and only looked at products for what they were, without thinking of things you could do to expand your own services, then you missed an opportunity.
In this short video below, Mallory and Glen from Bay Photo took me through a whole series of new products. Yup, it's an infomercial, but it's loaded with ideas for your business. In fact, Bay Photo isn't just a lab, but a marketing company designing products to help you grow. (Click on any of the product images to see more detail on Bay Photo's website.)
Here's a different way to look at their incredible range of products, especially some of these new items...
Glen made a comment in the video about Bay Photo's ability to print as small as a dog tag and as large as a wall. They're ready to tackle just about anything you've got in mind. Personally, my favorites from this video are:
Image Boxes for Albums and Prints - I love the wood look of these and they're practical too, especially if you've got prints you're sharing with potential clients at a bridal fair.
USB Drives and Wallet Boxes - No matter how much I believe in the importance of prints, you still will have clients who want images they can post on Facebook, their site/blog and share. Why not elevate the presentation?
Ornaments, Coasters, Magnets and Mini Books - From "save the date" communications to ornaments and chain pulls, each of these items are a way for you to keep in touch with great clients all year long. They're the perfect thank you and a reminder of your passion as an artist and storyteller.
Wood, Metal and Acrylic Prints - This was one of my personal favorites in Bay Photo's booth. You've got to make your work stand out from the crowd. You've got to show work that's new and exciting to your clients.
Here's the bottom line: Your road to success comes in three parts. The first third is about your skill set and becoming a true artist, never compromising on quality. The second third comes in your presentation to your client with products that are exciting, new and help you to exceed their expectations. The last part is about marketing and building a reputation that makes you habit-forming!
This is far more than a post to introduce you to BayPhoto's product line and some good friends from the industry. It's about marketing and hopefully planting some seeds for ways you can better meet the mindset of your clients and raise the bar on your brand. Let's make 2015 your best year yet!
Technology keeps bringing new creative tools to photographers, giving artists new, easier and better ways to express themselves. Working together with Photodex, we've put together a fun little contest to recognize photographers combining still images and video in their own self-promotional presentations.
My good friend, Amanda, at Photodex is quoted in a press release this morning:
"We're kicking off our efforts with a focus on self-promotional videos. While the technology of combining video and photography itself isn't new, thanks to so many manufacturers, it's easy than ever to do and becomes one of the best ways for professional photographers to tell their own story by creating a self-promotional video."
Here's a mini-example of my own self-promotional piece. I'm sharing it, not to suggest I'm a shooter, but to give you one idea of the approach I took with my own images.
On February 23, Panasonic asked me to be the emcee at their annual LUMIX Dealer Meeting. As an introduction to my love for imaging and to share my experiences shooting with a GH3 for the last year, I pulled some of my favorite video clips and still images and put them into a two minute piece using ProShow Web Premium.
I shared this clip here in my blog shortly after the meeting in Luminary Corner, but wanted to show it again, because it shows so many different enhancements, thanks to Photodex.
This first contest for 2015 is all about self-promotional videos. The contest submission period is March 1 - May 1, 2015 with the grand prize winner to be announced on May 30, 2015. All entries must include a combination of still images and video.
Here's your chance for some great recognition, along with one of the biggest grand prizes we've put together yet!
You'll find more information on the Photodex site at the Ultimate Story link below, but here's the real point we want to have fun with.
We want to recognize your skill set in telling your own story. Technology has given you the tools to take self-promotional information to a new level. A solid self-promotional video, showing examples of your work, you in action with a client or some of your most spectacular images is a great way to share a little of that special passion that's made you an artist.
It's a great addition to your website, blog, "About" section or as a stand alone promotional piece to share when talking with a client or just promoting your work in the community. We've done three contests previously and couldn't be more excited about this new launch of contest number four.
A big thanks to our partners, judges and so many of you who keep pushing the edge of the creative envelope, taking imaging to new heights!
It's a short post this morning, but on a stellar topic...TIME. While it's Vince Lombardi's quote below that got me thinking about it, the truth is, as a business owner, if you run out of time, you might really lose the "game". Too many of you rationalize with a thought process of..."If I only had more time!"
"We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time."
How about these scenarios?
Over and over again, no matter how you cut it, time is our most valuable commodity. Pay attention to deadlines; keep your promises to clients; get back to people quickly and don't squander what you can NEVER get back.
When a client goes with another photographer, simply because you didn't respond quick enough, no matter how you rationalize, you still lost the game. Build your reputation on exceeding everyone's expectations and turn time into your biggest asset!
Photo Credit: © Sergey Nivens - Fotolia
It's Marketing Monday and for most professional photographers the slow season is winding down. Just like the old "got milk" commercial, how's your involvement in social media or, better put, are you using it wisely? This is a pretty cut and dry post today, but no one blog post on the topic could ever be all inclusive. So, I've only hit a few of my favorite suggestions.
We're all involved in social media today, whether it's through a website, a blog or how we use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Linkedin etc. However, I've talked to a lot of photographers in the last few months who don't seem to fully appreciate the importance of paying more attention to a few of the key details.
Here's the fun of social media - it's so effective when done right. Your website is about what you sell, while your blog and just about everything else is about your heart. Done right, you have the reach that only magazines and newspapers had ten years ago. Done wrong and you'll sink faster than the Titanic!
Take the time during these last few weeks of the "slow season" and think through your social media strategy in the year ahead. Lay out a game plan that involves good content, consistency and showing more than just your images.
If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.
This is a Reflections that requires very little copy. Read that quote one more time and then think about it. We all get so wrapped up in our own personal priorities and often miss what's most important.
Here's an example:
I was president of Hasselblad USA for twelve terrific years and left on great terms when I was given an opportunity to be involved in a startup. During those twelve years it used to drive me crazy that come July 1st every year, the factory in Sweden shut down for an entire month! It didn't matter what kind of orders we were waiting for; how many hundreds of thousands of dollars hadn't been shipped or what promises we had made to the US retailers about deliveries...the factory was simply shut down.
Looking back on my frustration at the time, who was really crazy? It took me years to respect the fact that the Swedes recognized the importance of time off...QUALITY time off.
Here's another scenario from motivational speaker, Ed Foreman. I heard this years ago, so my apologies for paraphrasing, but you'll get the point.
You say to your spouse, "You know, when I get that promotion at work, we'll have a little more money and then we're really going to have some fun."
A few years later it's, "You know when the kids are out of school, we're going to get some time together and really have some fun."
Then it's, "You know, once we get the kids through college and have the house paid off, we're going to have some fun."
Then comes, "You know, once I retire, we're going to be able to travel. Maybe we'll get that RV we've talked about and see the country."
A few years later you're in your coffin on your way to the cemetery and you realize, "Oh my God, I forgot to have fun!"
So, on this Sunday morning in March...spend some time with friends or family today. Shut off the business. Take time to plan a real vacation this year. It doesn't have to be extravagant, just give yourself time to define what's really important in your life...HAVING FUN! You know how to photograph memories, but do you know how to make them?
Wishing all of you a terrific rest of the weekend. Hug somebody special in your life.
PS That's a shot of our son fly-fishing on the Chattahoochee River and he just talked me into buying my first fly rod! There's hope for me yet! LOL
"Some people think that as soon as you plant a tree, it must bear fruit.
We must allow it to grow a bit."
Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra
It's time for so many of you to simply stop rushing the process. You know when you start to focus your camera whether or not you have the skills to create a spectacular image. So, if your concept of great photographs is still half-baked, then slow it down and practice, practice, practice.
You're rushing your education as if you can cram for the final exam, make the grades and move on. Imaging is an art form and there's no way to speed things up except to keep shooting, experimenting and building your expertise. At the same time, some of you think you can bluff your way through being a responsible business owner as well.
I apologize for this sounding a little like a rant this morning. It's too long a topic for just a blog post, but here are some random thoughts on the subject.
Here's the bottom line - Just slow it down. If you're on a scenic drive you don't want to be doing 75 mph! Enjoy the scenery. Get to know the people you meet along the way. Look at images from artists who set the trends. Buy a magazine and just look at the pictures.
You've chosen to be an artist in what I believe is one of the most incredible career fields in the world. You don't need to fly over the speed bumps!
Illustration Credit: © tang90246 - Fotolia.com
There's absolutely nothing that beats what you can learn in a small group with an outstanding instructor. Coming up in the Bahamas in May, my good buddy Matthew Jordan Smith, is teaching an incredible workshop with a max per class of just fifteen people.
Here's your chance to spend time and learn from one of the finest fashion and editorial photographers in our industry today, but there's something else important to know. Matthew is one of those educators who loves to teach, just as much as he loves photography. His students become his friends and taking a workshop with Matthew means he's in your network as a friend and resource for the challenges you face in the future. You're not just taking a class and then never having access to him again. He tends to stay in touch and always tries to be available to keep helping his students long after the class is over.
I remember years ago when I asked Matthew to teach a WPPI Plus program, two days of total immersion education prior to WPPI. To this day his class has been described as one of the very best in the series.
Matthew had a dozen photographers in his class and they refused to take a break unless he did. Even at lunch, they stayed together and literally wanted to spend every available minute with him. No question was off limit and there was no such thing as a stupid question. They were like his shadow for the two days and probably one of the closest groups to bond that I've ever seen in that kind of setting.
So, if you've got an opportunity to get away for a couple of days, consider time with Matthew. Regardless of your photographic specialty, I can promise you won't be disappointed. This is about pushing your creativity to a new level and getting to know one of the most inspirational artists in our industry today!
Matthew's upcoming programs are part of the Fstoppers Workshops for 2015 taking place in the Bahamas at the Atlantis resort. He's teaching two workshops on May 13/14 and May 15/16.
To find out more about the program, as well as Matthew, visit the Fstoppers' site and just click the link below.
If you're superstitious and worried about Friday the 13th - here's a terrific way to completely turn it around. Brian DeMint is going to be sharing some terrific technique, kicking off a weekend program that's FREE and unstoppable in helping you build your skill set.
Friday the 13th unlucky? Not even close!
J B Sallee and I share a lot of great history. I've watched him grow as an artist as well as a husband, Dad and great friend. There are four things I love about this image, which JB just linked me to yesterday on an IM while on Facebook.
First, JB never compromises on quality and technique. For this image he was having some fun with Profoto's off camera flash system, the B1. The image is stunning and one of those shots you only seem to get under the stars out west.
Second, cropping is so important to great images. The original is below and many of you wouldn't go for a panoramic feel and instead play off of that big sparkling night sky. I like the cropping because it brings the bride back in as the primary subject.
Third, check out his logo. It's there for him to advertise as well as protect his image a little, but it's not in your face. It takes only a little away from the image and it's not overly distractive. Too many of you brand your images with all the finesse of a cowhand in the old west!
Fourth, this was shot in Death Valley just before WPPI. JB took advantage of being on the road outside of his home state of Texas and utilizing the trip for one more thing, building his portfolio and expertise. You couldn't ask for a more effective use of his time, since he was headed that way for the convention anyway.
If a picture's worth a thousand words, then there's no need for me to bother to even write anything else about this image. However, JB is definitely somebody who needs to be on your radar...best place to keep tabs on him is on Facebook. He's just a click away.
Meanwhile...nice job buddy!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.