Project Lunacy is coming up this fall and they're down to less than fifty spots left. Watch the short video below as Sal Cincotta fills you in on what it's all about.
Project Lunacy has gotten even better than what Sal shared above - they're limiting attendance to 150 people! Imagine the benefits of a small conference like this, especially with time to interact with the instructors and other photographers.
In the last couple of years Sal and his team carved out their own little piece of photo industry history. They started with Shutter Magazine online, then brought Shutter Magazine to print. They created one of the most beautiful high quality magazines in imaging today. Then they added ShutterFest with great programming, hands-on shooting and a networking experience unlike any other conference.
When Sal said he wanted to do another small conference this year, everyone told him he was nuts! Well, if you know Sal, then you know he loves a challenge and *poof*, Project Lunacy was born.
It's coming up November 8-9 in Tucson and promises to be a solid educational experience, not to mention "fun". Remember "fun" ? It's one of those words that's too often lost beneath all the baggage of running a business.
So, click on the banner below to find out more information and register. With the program already two thirds full, this a you snooze you lose scenario! If you can make it to Tucson in November than make it a point to register today!
It's Throwback Thursday and wandering through some old files on a remote drive I found these images from a trip to Japan in 2005. Like every throwback post, these images bring back an extensive collection of old memories about my most favorite country to travel to over the years.
I made a half dozen trips to Tokyo in the 80's for Polaroid, and there's something hard to explain. The short version is simply, from that very first step off the plane, I always felt like I was finally home. I always wanted to believe that maybe I was a Samurai or at least a Samurai's stable boy in a previous life. LOL After Polaroid the trips to Japan ended and I wasn't back again until 2005 in my WPPI/Rangefinder role.
The trip was sponsored by Asukabook and my good friend Taka; then VP was the host. While it's a Japanese trait to be great hosts, nobody's ever done it like Taka did. This was relationship building at its very best, and even though he's no longer with Asukabook, and I'm no longer with WPPI/Rangefinder the friendship we built is still very much intact. Email and Skype help make the world a smaller place and we've managed to stay in touch.
So, welcome to a mini travel log from eleven years ago. Had I known about Panasonic's LUMIX cameras back then, my images would have been even better, but considering these were captured with a $200 FujiFilm point and shoot, they captured everything I needed for memory-makers. Also, nothing has been retouched - these are right out of the camera.
One of my most favorite things to do on every trip was wander into any local market. I love the presentation quality of fruit - often packaged in a gift box like an expensive bottle of champagne. And, they should be! Those cantaloupes below at 6000 yen come out to just under $60 each at today's exchange rate. Back then they were a bargain at just over $50!
Japan is all about color, especially in the markets. I had a lot of fun setting this little camera into close-up mode. Even clusters of scallions and radishes become interesting.
Sooner or later bar games become universal and Taka took on my challenge one night coaster flipping. Sadly, or not so sadly, it's a lost art, probably replaced by beer pong.
Japan is also about contrast. What struck me was the scale of the high-rise office buildings versus the traditional teahouse on the pond in the image above. Remember, I'm shooting with limited capabilities with an inexpensive point and shoot. Still, it's a classic shot of Tokyo and the relationship between new technology and thousands of years of history.
It was always top shelf in everything Asukabook hosted. The hotel we were at had a small garden courtyard with a short walking trail, waterfalls and ponds loaded with Koi. The path actually led behind the waterfall on the far right allowing you to stand behind the water.
Japan is also about contrasts in perspective. For example, the elevator in the Asukabook home office is the smallest I've ever been in. I was close to feeling like the Hulk. In contrast, Taka and I are dwarfed by the height of this old castle.
I'll wrap up today's post with one last experience, and it's one that most people notice on trips outside the US, but it seems to happen more in Japan. Things often don't translate.
If I had known enough Japanese, I would have asked the guy wearing this t-shirt what Dog's Mania was. It just made no sense, and yet you can decipher he's probably a dog lover, but that's about it. Whatever the artist was trying to say when designing the shirt it just didn't translate.
However, those mistakes in language go both ways. After my first trip to Japan working for Polaroid in the 80's I loved the country so much, I went and took Japanese lessons. On my next trip to Tokyo in what I thought was perfect Japanese, I asked the cab driver to take me to the Hilton Hotel.
Well, he took me to the Tokyo Prince Hotel and I didn't know enough Japanese to explain it wasn't the right one. I let the doorman take my bags, and it took me all the way to the front desk to find somebody who knew enough English to help me get back on track to the right destination.
As Americans we seem to think if we talk louder and slower, we'll be understood. NOT!
That wraps up this Throwback Thursday, but have some fun and follow my lead. Take the time to dig out some images from old trips or vacations and just watch the way the memories fall into place. And, that's the true power of photography and something we so often take for granted.
Image copyright Bob Coates. All rights reserved.
I started "Why?" as a new feature on the SCU site to help more photographers understand the stories behind the favorite images of some of the most respected artists in our industry today. I can't turn back the clock and chase down photographers who are no longer with us but stay tuned. I'm sharing new images every week along with short sound bytes about the images from the artists themselves.
Every image has a unique back-story and this portrait by Bob Coates is no exception. I've followed Bob's work since we first met back in my early WPPI days. What started out as simply respect for his skill set and never-ending quest to capture the ultimate image, has grown into a terrific friendship. We've spent a lot of time with Bob, and he's never without a camera.
In this new "Why?" Bob shares a powerful back-story making this so much more than just a beautiful portrait. Bob should be on your radar. Just click on the image to visit his blog, which is always loaded with terrific content. And, you'll always find more of Bob's work in the Lumix Lounge.
Image copyright Roberto Valenzuela. All rights reserved.
You don't take a photograph, you make it.
"Why?" is all about the back-stories behind an image. Sometimes the stories are emotional, other times they're about the degree of difficulty or how the image was captured. However, the images being shared all have a common denominator - they're always important to the artist.
I started this series to help you get to know some of the most respected artists in the industry today. "Why?" is about their passion for the craft, for quality, education, and often pushing the boundaries of creativity and technology.
In this new episode of "Why?" Roberto Valenzuela shares the background on the image above and why it represents an important moment. Known almost exclusively as a wedding photographer, there's virtually nothing he can't shoot, and this opportunity working with Canon USA is a prime example.
Roberto needs to be on your radar. Check out more of his work by clicking on the image to visit his website. And, take a look at "Picture Perfect Practice." Roberto is regularly teaching and speaking all over the world.
Sunday Morning Reflections has become one of my most favorite things to write each week, mostly because you've supported me when I go off track. Well, this morning is pretty typical. I've got a little soft music playing in my office*, and the house has that beautiful Sunday morning silence.
Last week I had a vendor who was relentless in trying to pitch me to utilize his services for this site. Then, a day or two later, a photographer who I don't know chased me down and insisted I allow her to guest post for SCU. Without going through my archives or looking beyond a couple of days of posts, she decided she knew what you wanted to read about.
Last week I shared this quote on Twitter and it's perfect right now:
"Don't judge my story on the chapter you walked in on!"
I know we've all had people, including friends and family members, try and tell us how to live our lives and what dreams we should chase. How many times has somebody said, "You know what you should do?" The issue is, you didn't ask for their opinion. Don't let people "should" on you!
It's a short point this morning. We're all masters of our destiny. We have choices to make every day, and they're our choices. There's nothing wrong in asking for advice, help, and direction - but it's the unsolicited advice from all the Monday morning quarterbacks that sometimes can drag us down.
I found another great quote to wrap this up...
"Don't judge my choices without understanding my reasons.
And on that note, it's time for me to wish all of you a terrific Sunday. Share the time with those people most important to you. Always leave eleven seconds free for a big hug with that person you love the most. And, in keeping with today's theme - don't let anybody tell you what to do with your dreams!
* I've mentioned music in my office a number of times over the years and somebody recently asked about my set up. I'm all about easy low tech solutions - I've got my phone on bluetooth. I love Pandora and FreeWill. Right now Pandora is playing a favorite station - "Classical for Studying Radio." Also, I bought a Samsung sound bar a while back that sits on top of a book case. The sound in my office is terrific for this application. At the time it was on sale for $88, making it an even better choice.
'You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks!"
I shared the above quote earlier in the week on Twitter and then I realized how guilty I am of losing my concentration and chasing every "barking dog" that comes along.
Yesterday, between the phone, email and a few of life's challenges, I couldn't seem to focus on one thing for more than a few minutes. I pride myself on being able to multi-task, but instead I became a master of mediocrity as very few things were completed.
I realized several things in the process, which might help you on those days where you just can't seem to get anything done:
Nothing earthshaking in any of this, but here's what's different today.
As with everything I share in my blog posts, I'm always sharing things to help you build a stronger business. Today is a reminder - time is our most valuable commodity. Once gone, we never get it back. It takes work to be more efficient, but a nice steady pace is critical to everyone's sanity! Don't waste time on things that don't matter.
So, I'm wishing everybody a terrific Friday, a great weekend, and a reminder to stop throwing stones at every "barking dog" that comes along!
The year was 1998, and Bert Behnke was President of PPA. I was in my third year as the Association's industry advisor. The tradition each year before the awards banquet was to get a group board shot and then a formal family portrait of the President of the Association.
In my previous life, I was doing a significant amount of travel. My kids used to joke around about me having another family. Well, Michael Taylor was doing the portrait of Bert, Cindy and their kids and I had what I thought was a brilliant idea. I talked Bert into stepping out and let me borrow his family.
Well, when I got the print and shared it at home, it wasn't as funny as I thought it would be. As Kenny Rogers used to sing, "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em..." The two prints were filed away, never to see the light of day again until last week when I was going through a box of old papers.
Even better is this image that Bert posted yesterday on Facebook of his daughter and her fiancé. His daughter Morgan is getting married this weekend. It sure doesn't feel like eighteen years since Morgan was my "daughter" for five minutes in a family portrait. Although talking to Bert today, since she was part of my family that evening, he is expecting me to pick up part of the cost for the wedding!
That's another fun thing about throwback images - you can't help but catch up with old friends!
Like every Throwback Thursday, take the time to look for your throwbacks, because there are few things more fun than a trip down memory lane. But there's a second valuable reason to chase down old images - use them in your blog as a way to remind your clients of the importance of great images. Remember, women make 98% of the purchase decision to hire photographers in the portrait/social category. Since most of those women are also in the role of "Mom", a great blog post can be the perfect reminder for a new family portrait.
My Dad passed away last November, but that doesn't change how much he's always going to be with me. So, while I don't have a postal address to send a card, I have a boat-load of wonderful memories. Since it's Father's Day, it seems like the perfect time to share a blog post Dad wrote for my first blog in 2010. I've run it a couple of times since then, but with readership always changing and growing, I'm betting most of you have never read it.
The standards in running a consistent business never change. Dad's experiences, going back to the 1940's, along with a quote from my grandfather at about the same time, are just as relevant today as they will be ten years from now!
When I was a kid, and you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always the same. I only wanted one thing, to be a Dad. I worked hard to be one of the best, and nothing changes the joy of watching my kids grow up. They did fulfill my dream of being a Dad.
So, to all of you Dads out there...Happy Father's Day. It's the perfect day to give somebody an eleven-second hug and remind them how important a role they play in your life. And, to my own Pop - I miss ya, but nobody can take way all those great memories from days gone by and the significant role you played in my life!
As Much As Things Change, Some Things NEVER Change
by Ralph Cohen
I have been happily retired for many years, and unemployed for almost twenty. I am not a plagiarist, but I must quote my father who spent the last months of his life writing advice to his children:
“Conduct your business in an upright manner and remember, the most important thing in one’s life is to be honest with one’s self. Maintain the high standard and dignity that your business requires. Do not go into deals hastily and be visible in your business as much of the time as is possible. If you take time to play, do it away from your business, because your livelihood needs all the attention you can give to it.”
Early on, I concluded that the best testimonials came from my many friendly competitors. We didn’t really compete with each other, in the true sense. True, we were in the same field of endeavor, but we all knew we were there to help each other. Happily, the “tough competition” fell by the wayside.
I remember giving Skip driving lessons and I told him, “Watch the left front fender…..the rest will take care of itself!” I’ve found this is really true of everything in life.
An old axiom says, “If you tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said.” That is all part of reputation-building. I found that, sadly, in the field of real estate, truth is hard to come by for many. In our case, it was a major building block in the reputation which we enjoyed, and helped us to thwart the competition.
Goodwill is all of the above, plus a lot of caring for your clients as well as your competitors. If life is a give-and-take situation, giving is the more important of the two. The taking will come with time and be far more appreciative. Just remember – you heard it here!
Ralph Cohen, Founder and 1/2 the Creators of Skip Cohen!
I'm usually so cynical over just about everything Facebook does. From making me fight to prove my name really is "Skip" to their belief that every question can be answered in their Q&A, they manage to redefine "frustration" almost every day.
However...drum roll please...today I actually enjoyed one of their features. I opened FB to an anniversary notice sharing what I posted three years ago today.
Your Memories on Facebook
Skip, we care about you and the memories you share here.
We thought you'd like to look back on this post from 3 years ago.
The "we care about you" is stretching it a whole lot, but I do love the post they pulled, and it's so relevant.
So many of you are still chasing success as if it was a competitor at a cross-country track meet, running just ahead of you. Then there are those of you who are just sitting and waiting. You're shooting the same way every day and doing very little to expand your skills. You wake up every morning and run to the door looking to see if the Success Fairy left you a package overnight.
Here are a couple points to consider:
What I wrote and shared three years ago is just as relevant this morning as it was then.
After all these years in the photographic industry I've got an amazing collection of signed prints and posters. One of my favorites is Steve McCurry's Afghan Girl. It's an amazing image and long before I met Steve, I always thought of it as one of the most incredible portraits ever captured.
If you know Steve or have heard him speak, nobody could be more down to earth. His passion for photography is only topped by his humility. The best part of the image is that we all know he wasn't trying to create one of the most recognizable portraits in the history of photography. It just happened - and, it happened on film, without any manipulation, major retouch work - nothing but a photographer who knew his craft.
So, as you photograph your next job, think about the traits that produced Afghan Girl. Steve wasn't trying to do anything except tell a story. He understands photography cold, so his understanding of lighting, exposure and composition were completely second nature. He didn't have hours in a studio to ponder how he would create one of the greatest portraits of all time.
And that's my biggest point - when you look for something too hard, it will continue to elude you. Relax your vision and learn everything you can about photography, hang on to every dream and just keep shooting - your own version of Afghan Girl will be in your portfolio sooner or later!
"The starting point of great success and achievement has always been the same. It is for you to dream big dreams. There is nothing more important, and nothing that works faster than for you to cast off your own limitations than for you to begin dreaming and fantasizing about the wonderful things that you can become, have, and do. "
Brian Tracy, Motivational Coach and Author
So, relax! As good buddy Matthew Jordan Smith says, "Always Dream BIG" and don't compromise!
Image copyright John Paul Caponigro. All rights reserved.
"Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world."
"Why?" is all about back-stories from some of the most respected artists in professional imaging today. This is our eighteenth featured artist. When I read the quote above I couldn't help but think about John Paul Caponigro. He's always sharing his "soul" with the world. He's an artist, a writer, an educator and an inspiration to so many of us in the industry.
As you listen to his back-story you'll get to know a little more about him. He presents and teaches with the same honesty and openness as he shares in this new "Why?" He never compromises on the quality of anything he's working on, especially printing. He's currently sharing a FREE download of his ebook, The Digital Printing Quick Start Guide.
Click the image above to visit his website. and put his blog on your radar too. John Paul is an X-Rite Coloratti and one click on the logo below, and you can find out more about him along with the rest of the Coloratti team.
What a kick recently finding a whole series of Throwback prints in a box in storage. This one is especially fun to share.
The year is 2001 and our good buddy Terry Deglau had fallen off the roof of his house while cleaning gutters. He broke his hip and his arm and was in the hospital. So, in came three great friends - that's me, Steve Sheanin and Don Blair. We all flew in specifically to get some quality time with Terry. He was just lying there in his hospital bed when his three new doctors came prancing in, rubber gloves, surgical gowns and all!
I called it "Operation Deglau" and had baseball hats made up for the trip. Trips like this always demand a commemorative souvenir to dig out of a drawer years later! It couldn't be a funnier memory. The only thing even close to as funny as this trip was, would be one of the original ThreeStooges episodes.
It's Throwback Thursday, but I've got a little different point to make this morning, especially for those of you relatively new to the industry. Never forget the most valuable commodity in this business is about relationships. Make it a point to be involved in the industry. Join the local guild or PPA affiliate. Spend time getting to know other photographers and let them know you. Get a few pictures here and there in the process - they'll become your throwbacks in ten years!
Time simply passes too quickly, but great memories and relationships become a solid foundation for you to draw from whenever you simply need a smile. And, as sappy as that sounds, it couldn't be truer!
Happy Throwback Thursday! Take a few minutes today and look for at least one old image that gives you an instant smile and helps remind you why you became a photographer in the first place! As always, share it on your blog, especially if your readership is your client base. You've got to remind your clients of the importance of photography and the skill set you bring to the party - helping them capture memories!
By Skip Cohen
Over the next week or two we're going to add an exciting new feature on SCU, the X-Rite Photo & Video Support Center. We're going to be sharing new content from some of their Coloratti; podcasts to help you raise the bar on the quality of your images/business and the latest in calibration technique in both photo and video.
Plus it's the 40th Anniversary of the ColorChecker! Since it's introduction in 1976 the ColorChecker has set the standard for the color demands of serious hobbyists and professional photographers. No matter what your skill level, ColorChecker is a necessity for establishing accurate color in your images regardless of what device you're using for viewing. Just click the banner above for more information and to get into the 40th Anniversary contest.
I'm proud to be working with the Coloratti team. Yes, they're a sponsor/partner, but those of you who know me also know the companies involved in SCU are all manufacturers of products I believe in. They also share another common denominator. They're all companies who believe in education!
X-Rite Photo & Video never slows down when it comes to helping you raise the bar on the quality of your images and helping strengthen your business. Here are two prime examples, FREE webinars and how-to tutorials. Just click on either banner below. Stay on top of the very best in online education featuring some of the very best educators/artists in imaging today.
Stay tuned - there's a lot of great content coming your way, all thanks to the team at X-Rite Photo & Video.
Image copyright Justin and Mary Marantz. All rights reserved.
From guest posts to their Profoto series, "Walk Through a Wedding" and "Walking the Talk", Justin and Mary Marantz are no strangers here at SCU. As artists, writers and one of the industry's strongest couples in education they're always on the leading edge of not only technology, but the way they work with their clients and have built their business.
We're in prime wedding season and getting either of them to stand still for very long is a challenge, So, I'm especially appreciative to have been able to connect with Justin to record a new segment for "Why?"
My purpose in starting why was twofold. First, every image has a story behind it and I wanted to add a new dimension to a blog post. I wanted you to be able to hear why the image was a favorite from the artist directly. Second, "Why?" features some of the most respected and recognized photographers in our industry. They need to be on your radar and what better way to introduce you to their work than through their own words?
Interested in finding out more about Justin and Mary? Just click on the image above to visit their website. Also check out their educational site for help to raise the bar on your skill set.
I had an experience yesterday that was so overwhelming and wonderful; it’s the perfect topic to share in a Sunday Morning Reflections post.
We’ve all heard the expression, “You can never go back!” I’m here this morning to personally challenge that statement, because yesterday I did go back. Sheila and I are in Ohio, where we both grew up. I was out doing some errands and drove by my old house. Seeing cars in the driveway, I decided to knock on the door.
“Hi, I’m Skip Cohen. My parents built this house, and I lived here. I wanted to take a couple of pictures out front and didn’t want you to see me and think you had some kind of whacko stalker.”
The owner, ‘Shane”, shook my hand and without one second of hesitation, asked if I wanted to come in and see it. For the next half hour, we wandered all over the house and the back yard. He couldn’t have been a better host, and I had a ball sharing stories about their home.
I was completely overtaken with one memory after another as I walked through rooms I haven’t been in for over thirty years. There wasn’t a single room I couldn’t completely reconstruct, right down to the pictures on the wall going back to my high school days.
Years ago I heard a friend use the word “neurochromes,” meaning what you shoot when you don’t have a camera or don’t want to interrupt the intensity of the moment with the click of a shutter. So, I shot several rolls of neurochromes and along with each image came a flood of memories.
That house when I was a kid was filled with love, family, and non-stop memories. Laughter was a family trademark and even in my Dad’s last weeks before he passed away last November, we were laughing and telling some of the stories I passed on to the current owner yesterday.
Here’s a classic example:
Dad put in a hard-wired gas grill. It was around 1965, and that was a pretty new concept back then. Well, it was January and Dad looked out back, and there was a perfect circle of grass, ten feet in diameter, around the grill with not a single drop of snow. Outside of that circle was at least 6-8 inches of snow on the ground.
Totally confused and with the curiosity of an archaeologist inspecting a rare find in the Himalayas he went out to examine the ground around the grill. I saw his face turn crimson as he discovered he’d left the grill on low since Labor Day! Back then it wasn’t that costly a challenge, but today, you’d be taking out a second mortgage to pay the gas bill!
So, for those who say you can never go back – it’s just not true. Maybe the expression should be, “you can never go back without help.” Thanks to the graciousness of the current owner I took an unforgettable walk down memory lane. I never shot a single image with a camera, but I filled my own personal album with hundreds of neurochromes.
Wishing all of you a wonderful Sunday, time with family and friends you care about and moments so filled with intense memories the only way to capture them is to shoot neurochromes. Go for those eleven-second hugs with those special people you care the most about. And, remember, when it’s something important to you, you can go back!
Lower Cascade, Roaring Fork River - Limited Edition Print
by Skip Cohen
I never realized it until a few years ago, but some time along life's path I became a collector of fine art images. Some of the prints in my collection were gifts, others bought over the years because, like many of you I simply love photography.
Well, I just caught this deadline yesterday from one of my favorite artists, John Sexton. After June 15, the price of this limited edition print almost doubles.
"As many know, most of my prints are issued as non-numbered "open editions," but over the years I have offered a small number of Limited Edition prints. I am pleased to say that nearly all of these previous Limited Edition prints sold out very quickly which, as you might imagine, has been gratifying.
I am pleased to announce a new Limited Edition print of a favorite image, Lower Cascade, Roaring Fork River, near Aspen, Colorado. This photograph accompanied Arthur Ollman's foreword in my book Recollections. I enjoyed the challenge of printing this negative when making the print for the reproduction in the book, and have included the print in two museum exhibitions, but have never offered the print for sale – until now. I enjoy the intimate feeling of this smaller – rather than larger – reproduction in Recollections, and decided to offer this Limited Edition print in 8x10" size to maintain that intimacy.
The print is offered in a Limited Edition of 100 signed and numbered silver gelatin prints, plus 10 Artist's Proofs. When the edition is sold out no further prints will be made for sale in any size. The introductory price of this Limited Edition print is $800 - a 20% discount off of the normal retail price of an 8x10" Limited Edition print. After June 15, 2016 the retail price for any remaining prints will increase to $1,500, and escalate as the edition sells."
John has become a great friend over the years and he recently did a sound-byte on "Why?" Listening to John talk about one of his favorite prints is a great way to get to know him as an artist.
Many of you may have met John at IUSA three years ago when he was recognized for his life's work. He's a remarkable artist, educator and writer. If you'd like more information on the limited edition print of "Lower Cascade" along with other prints and books, just click on the image above.
You'll never be disappointed in anything with John's name on it!
The year is 1994, and we're all at Viscomm '94, previously known as Photo East and today it's PPE (Photo Plus Expo).
One of the things about Throwback Thursday is the way you time-travel back, often to the very moment the image was captured. I was president of Hasselblad USA from 1987 through part of 1999, and this was a pretty amazing group of people. The team above is a combination of sales managers with some of the home-based team.
Top row starting on the left, Jim Ritter, Tom Woods, Skip Cohen, Chuck Gutierrez, Stefan Junel (Worldwide President from Sweden), Bob Thompson, Don Snyder, Mike Bowen, Rob Logan. Bottom row: Cor VanderBeek, Tony Corbell, Dave Kohler, Rudy Guttosch, Peter Power, Carl Claesson, Jim Morton.
Jim Morton, who many of you not only know from Hasselblad but Dynalite, for many years had responsibility for setting up the booth at every trade show. I always thought it was cool that he included me in the team for setting up, until a few weeks after I left the company when he said,
"I always knew there was no way to keep you out of being involved in the booth. I always left a few prints for you to hang, so you'd stay out of my hair!"
LOL - and I still consider him one of my very best friends in the industry! We had a lot of laughs and with his help we always had a substantial presence at every convention.
At the time, Hasselblad University was the company's major educational arm. I talked Tony Corbell into coming to New Jersey and giving up his office overlooking the ocean at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara for an office with a window facing a parking lot. He was the first and only Dean of Hasselblad University. I had a leather varsity bomber jacket made up for him which was stolen while he was on the road teaching. So, if you ever see anybody wearing one - email me! Yes, I'm serious.
I could share stories about the Hasselblad crew for days on end and never repeat myself. A few of the team have passed away, a few I've simply lost touch with, but nothing changes the smiles that a throwback image brings out.
Go ahead - try it for yourself. Take a few minutes and find one of the oldest photographs you have of you with friends and then enjoy the trip down memory lane! Now find an old image to post in your blog. It's a terrific way to remind your readers of the importance of photographs and the role a professional photographer can play in capturing memories.
I hate writing about Muhammad Ali, only because everyone has said it all already. However, maybe that's part of the definition of a hero - everybody has a story or a moment they remember. One of my most favorite portraits now hanging in our home was a gift from photographer, Steven Katzman, many years ago.
I shared the screen shot above from Steven's website because it deserves so much more than what I was able to grab with the reflection and the lighting in our hallway. The image on the right is a definite argument for non-reflective glass.
The portrait is part of a series Steven did called "Reflections of the Spirit." It's well worth a visit to his website and reading what he wrote about the project.
Besides being an incredible portrait, Ali, like many of you, was one of my heroes. It was probably close to twenty years ago I got to meet him at a PMDA dinner before the PMA convention. It was only a two-second handshake, but memorable nonetheless. That night, Howard Bingham, photographer and close friend to Ali was receiving the Photographer of the Year award and Ali was there just to show his support.
Over the years I've shared some quotes from Muhammad Ali, my favorite used to be on the NILMDTS website a few years back:
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."
While Muhammad Ali may have passed, the memories and inspiration he left behind is an incredible legacy for all of us to share.
To the public, Denis Reggie's best-known image was the iconic shot of Carolyn Bessette and John F. Kennedy Jr. It ran in just about every magazine in the world. In fact, Denis recently shared the grab-shot on the right on his Facebook page.
"I was a bit surprised to see a very familiar photograph in the window display at a bridal gown boutique in Rome today and I innately reached for my camera. Nearly 20 years after I captured that wedding photograph, it's gratifying to know that people around the world still have such a reaction to that moment. And that's precisely why I do what I do."
But in the professional photography arena, Denis' focus has been on far more than his clients. In the early 90's Denis became known as the Father of Wedding Photojournalism. He also fought hard to help photographers realize the true value of what they were providing. He was the first photographer I ever heard speak about what a wedding album really represented as he'd ask:
"Why are photographers the last one's to get paid, when we provide the longest lasting element of the wedding?"
Seriously, I used to be able to lip-sync Denis' complete presentation on the subject. He helped to change the way wedding photographers thought about their work; their interaction with their clients and even the way they captured the images of the wedding day.
I was ecstatic to catch up to Denis for this Weekend Wisdom podcast and once again, he's sharing a lot of insight into things photographers today need to think about. He starts early on talking about the importance of the wedding album, the History, Volume I for a young couple and the important role it might play in the future.
Denis as always presents a lot to think about in the way you position your work, the value of your creativity and the importance of understanding your clients. While I normally wouldn't share a second component on a Weekend Wisdom post, I wanted to share a clip from an Australian television news show which recently interviewed Denis. It will give you a little more insight into his dedication to being the very best photographer he can be.
As always, a big thanks to Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell, the founders of SproutingPhotographer.com and SproutStudio. I consider them very good friends and there's nothing more fun than watching them carve out their own piece of history helping photographers grow their business skills.
And last but not least, as you can tell from the beginning of the podcast, Denis I go back a long way. I've watched him change the path for so many photographers. He's raised the bar on their thought process, their marketing, the way they value their work and the services they provide. A big thanks to Denis for taking the time to join me on Weekend Wisdom!
Image copyright Peter Hurley. All rights reserved.
When I started "Why?" I never anticipated how open each artist would be about the stories they'd each share about a favorite image. I also underestimated how much my readers would enjoy adding another dimension to a blog post by way of a sound-byte. Every image has a story behind it and Peter Hurley does the perfect job in sharing the pure passion and enthusiasm that went into this photograph.
You can find out more about Peter with a visit to his website, but here's a little more from my perspective. The only thing more impressive than Peter's images is his love for the craft. I usually catch him in between programs at a convention or conference, moving one step faster than the Energizer Rabbit!
Click the image above to visit Peter's "Headshot Crew". Even better pick up his new book and attend one of his workshops. You'll never be disappointed.
Last week Marathon Press sent out an email blast announcing it was the last day for non-MAP members to register for their July MAP Getaway. I started thinking about the program and called them to request an extension, which is now June 24. I only get involved in something like this when it's something I believe in - so, give me two minutes to explain.
MAP stands for Marketing Advantage Program. It's an affordable fee based program which essentially gives you your own marketing department. Participating members are assigned a facilitator. The job of the facilitator is to help you strategize, design and then implement marketing programs throughout the year. In addition, what you spend on the program is credited to your Marathon account and can be used towards the purchase of any of Marathon's other services, especially printed marketing material, business cards, Bella Albums and Art Prints, etc.
Each summer Marathon does a MAP Getaway for it's members However, this year FOR THE FIRST TIME THE MAP GETAWAY IS OPEN TO NON-MEMBERS.
The program is July 11 - 13 in Norfolk, Nebraska and includes not only a great platform of speakers but lunch and dinner on the July 11 and 12 and lunch at the program's end on the July 13. The hotel is nice, clean, modern and actually pretty cool, and $83 a night includes a small breakfast buffet each morning.
ADDED BONUS: Marathon on my request implemented a $50 bonus, bringing the cost from $299 to $249. Plus, if we get ten people coming in a day early, I'll come in early as well. We'll spend the day at the hotel on July 10 talking about marketing and business. I'll be available to help you directly with promotional ideas, cleaning up some of your website challenges and maybe even help you rewrite a more effective about page. Plus, dinner that night is on me and Marathon, helping to keep your costs in line even more.
I know how many emails, postcards and posts you read about regarding different programs, but this one is unique. The timing is perfect to help you recharge your battery; prepare for the last quarter seasonality; pick up new ideas to thrive - not just survive; and learn from a series of excellent presentations in a boutique conference environment.
Plus, you're in Nebraska in the middle of the summer - and unless you're completely absorbed in watching the corn grow, there's nothing to do but focus on your business!
If you've got an interest, call call Jen Weinrich to register and get the $50 discount off the $299 price. Her direct number is 402-844-2977.
Looking forward to being with some of you in Norfolk in July!
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.