For years I've talked about the best thing about this industry - the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. And, thanks to social media those friendships that get started continue to grow, even when we don't see each other that often.
Meet Fran Ruchalski, a photographer who I first met at an evening program in Jacksonville in 2012. The evening program I was doing at a local library had to shut down early when a tropical storm flooded the area all around us, and we needed to evacuate before everyone's cars floated away.
Fast forward six years and he and I have stayed in touch through Facebook. He left Florida in 2014 and today is in Logansport, Indiana, but the Internet keeps making the world a smaller place. A couple of weeks ago Fran posted some fun news about a recent award.
That hits one more fun aspect of social media - being able to share news with each other. Fran's shooting for the Pharos-Tribune and recently won first place in the HSPA contest for sports action photography. So, being one of Fran's fans I made the request to see the image and permission to share it in a post.
I know most of you aren't sports photographers, but what a kick to share an image that's completely out of the norm from what most of you shoot. A big congrats to Fran - sure is a kick to be following your career! You can check out more about Fran with a visit to his Facebook page.
I've written this many times before: I feel like I'm trapped in an old movie and the hands of the clock are just spinning by! Well, this week seems to have gone by in a flash, and I'm trying a little experiment.
I'm involved in a lot of different projects, companies, podcasts, and products. At the same time, it's tough for me to keep up, let alone remember what we're sharing in posts and tweets. In fact, just this morning I found an outstanding guest post from Kevin A. Gilligan about finding an artist's collective to help get your work out in front of more people. Kevin sent it to me last year, and it wound up lost in my email!
So, welcome to The Saturday Summary and links to a few of the week's highlights. Click on any of the images below to connect to the original post.
Six Photographers Share Their Experience with Excire Search Pro
Everyone Needs to Meet John Isaac
Albert Watson's Iconic Portrat of Alfred Hitchcock
Moving Your Photographs Outdoors
Tamron in the Blog and the News
Just for the Fun of It!
As always, thanks for being a reader. I sure do appreciate the support and the feedback. And, we've got a new week coming coming up that's going to be filled with some great content, all thanks to so many of you and the industry we're all passionate about!
Happy Saturday everybody!
Intro by Skip Cohen
I know this sounds like an infomercial, but on Monday, ProfotoUSA, in celebration of the launch of the B1's new Air Remote TTL-N for Nikon, launched a special video featuring the work of NYC photographer, Brian Marcus. There are tons of promotional videos out there for you to watch, but only one with Brian.
You know an artist's work is solid when you can do screen grabs and still have images with the "wow factor". However, what I love most about the short film is the educational value. Brian takes you through a lot of his thought process as he wanders around NYC shooting in at least four different primary locations.
If you haven't seen it yet, it's definitely worth your time. In fact, it's pretty hard to believe how much is packed into just three minutes. Don't believe me? The video is posted below and as always I love to ask, how would you tell your story?
Yes, I'm a SmugMug fan and they're also a partner in the SCU project, but nobody asked me to share this with my readers. I'm doing it, because we don't laugh enough anymore and this is all about a bunch of good friends of mine who refuse to take life too seriously. We're so wrapped up in dealing with our businesses that when a company comes along with a sense of humor we miss it! We walk right by it.
Well, I caught this video yesterday and it simply cracked me up. First of all, I've got goggles for Molly the Wonder Dog, just need the bike and the side car! Second, it's a great idea and in an industry that's buried in contests with only a few winners, here's a chance for everybody to win.
It's a great idea and even better is to think about how you'd do a promotion of your own to a target of clients in the community. We're a business run heavily on referrals and it's a service related business too. What could you do with your own referral program?
So, check it out and then hit the button for the promo page at the end of the video or below and get yourself signed up, so you can benefit from SmugMug's Refer a Friend Promotion!
This post ran on Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep's Facebook page on Friday. It's one of the best posts I've ever read, hitting hard on a most painful topic. If Baby Milo could have told his story, this probably is what he would have shared. Thanks to an incredibly creative writer and the spirit of a NILMDTS photographer, Baby Milo's spirit and the hope and dreams of his parents will be around for years to come, remembering in a series of incredibly powerful images.
Today is the last day for the Sevenly campaign wiht NILMDTS and your chance to raise awareness for NILMDTS along with the funding they need to grow and keep supporting the amazing charter they've taken on. Here's the link and your opportunity to help and I can't think of a better post for Sunday morning!
And, if you can keep a dry eye you're far tougher than I am...
My name is Milo Juniper Willer and my mommy and daddy struggled with infertility and miscarriage for five years before learning that they were pregnant with my twin sister Matilda Plum and me! They were both overjoyed and cautious about us; they hoped that we were finally the babies who would make it to their arms.
To their relief Mati and I made it through the first trimester. However, my parents traded in their reprieve from worry for heartbreak when they learned at our 18-week ultrasound that I had multicystic kidneys and as a result, had little amniotic fluid around me. The doctor told them that without amniotic fluid my lungs would not develop. I likely would be stillborn or would die shortly after birth. Despite my diagnosis, I was determined to be sure that my twin sister made it to the world safely and to give my mom and dad the chance to meet me. So that’s what I did.
On February 8th, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. Matilda was born and at 10:31 a.m. I made my grand entrance. Before she could get a word in, I let out a giant cry announcing my presence. She was as perfect as could be, and I was too in my own way. The doctors tried their best to help me, but as suspected, my lungs were not strong or fixable.
I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my family, so I hung around as long as I could. We cuddled, read stories, and our photographer from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep took hundreds of pictures of us. All of this love made me so tired and so at 1:31, three hours after I was born, I say goodbye. Even though I can’t be with them today, my spirit lives in the pictures around their house, in my twin sister, and in the hearts of all who hear my story. Thank you for listening.
With love and peace,
Everyone remembers the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Even if you forgot it, there was a movie released last year all about this story from our childhood. Well, here’s a spin-off of that same fairytale, only it’s real world…Salvatore and the Beanstalk.
Just like our mythical character Jack, Salvatore Cincotta, "Sal", as his family, friends and followers know him, had a bag of magic beans and again like Jack, a dream.
It was two years ago that Sal planted his first magical bean – Shutter Magazine. I remember getting a call and being asked if I wanted to be an editorial contributor. The answer was an instant "YES". Today, Shutter Magazine has over 83,000 subscribers and every issue brings together a group of industry educators who I couldn’t be more proud to be associated with.
But there were a few more beans in Sal’s bag of magic and he planted another one, ShutterFest. In fact, as I write this post I’m on my way to the first event in St. Louis. Unlike Shutter Magazine, which has had plenty of time to sprout, ShutterFest is just a seedling, but with incredible roots in education and again supported by a stellar cast of educators.
Talk about next year’s program has the industry already buzzing. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s Sal’s ability to grow a project and realize a dream. In 2015 ShutterFest is already anticipated to grow by leaps and bounds.
A look in Sal’s bag and another bean planted: Shutter Network has started to sprout. With the first broadcast reaching over 15,000 viewers, there’s no doubt it’s going to extend well into the “Land of Giants”.
Each idea seems to start out almost as mythical as Jack and the Beanstalk. Then, it’s executed with precision and an amazing staff of talented people. Suddenly it’s no longer a seedling of an idea that’s been germinating in Sal’s garden, but reality for thousands of artists to utilize.
But wait…check out Shutter Magazine. Sprouting to the “Land of Giants” it’s got a new shoot about to bloom – the magazine is going hard copy, in addition to its already successful online presence! While the “Land of Giants” is cutting back and their printed publications getting smaller and smaller, Sal’s going in the other direction. Dominating online education in photography, Shutter Magazine is about to have a twin with a completely different persona.
Okay, so enough of the parallel to a mythical universe…this is real. It’s now and you need to be a part of it. As countless leaders in publishing, education and the convention world have scoffed and thought, “Sal will never pull it off,” over and over again he’s proved them wrong.
Even more fun is wondering what Sal’s going to do next. This isn’t about toppling giants, it’s about creating a new way for photographers to raise the bar on their skill set and create a healthier industry.
And for those who’d like nothing more than to slow Sal down, be careful – the harder you push him to brake the more determined he’ll be to succeed.
As my own mantra goes…“I do it because I want to…I do it because I can…I do it because you said I couldn’t!”
Illustration Credit: © matamu - Fotolia.com
There are dozens of different workshops and programs for you to choose from, but every now and then one comes along that's pretty remarkable. The video is only a minute long, so kick back and just watch it. Even if you're not able to attend this year, it's worth the time just to understand what it's all about and help us spread the word.
It's only a week away: April 27 - May 2. Click the link below for more information!
Profoto Releases First Firmware Upgrade for the B1 Off-Camera Flash and AirTTL System Enabling TTL Metering With Canon's EOS-1DX
While most of the content on the SCU site is about business and marketing, we're big fans of changes in technology and especially Profoto's new B1 flash. In fact, we were one of the first blogs to be able to share the original introduction video along with a podcast with Richard Walch, the photographer and filmmaker, who's work is featured in the introduction. Watching him light an entire quarry with a couple of B1's is pretty remarkable.
This morning's announcement on the B1 is another example of Profoto's intent to simply NEVER stand still and it's just one of many new additions coming in 2014.
When launched in November 2013, the Profoto B1 off-camera flash caused such a buzz in the photographic community that the company's website crashed. The words "game changer" have appeared in reviews and forums ever since!
The TTL metering is made possible with Profoto’s patent-pending AirTTL system. Already at launch Profoto promised to continuously upgrade the AirTTL system. One of the most frequently requested features is TTL metering with Canon's flagship model: the Canon EOS-1D X. Today, this feature is made available free of charge through an easily installed firmware upgrade. But note that it is not the B1 off-camera flash itself that needs to be upgraded; it is the small radio transmitter that is mounted on the Canon camera’s hot shoe: the Air Remote TTL-C.
The complete announcement, including the process for installing the upgrade, is just a click away!
Most of you who know me are aware that I'm all about easy technology. In fact, I'm a poster child for "Low Tech". So, when Matt and Josh, two good buddies at X-Rite asked me to be part of the beta test on ColorTRUE, after telling them they were nuts, I agreed to give it a shot.
Just a few minutes ago the ColorTRUE site went live and for one of the very first times in technology, I'm ahead of the curve! This is an amazing product and so perfect for today's applications.
In the "old days" photographers would show me their portfolios, but today it's all on an iPad or their phone. What amazes me is how few photographers have thought about color calibration of the device itself. It's the old equivalent of fools who spent a fortune on great speakers in the 70's, but played an album on a cheap turntable with a ten dollar stylus - I'm counting on at least one of you to know what a turntable is! LOL
Well, if you're showing images, especially to a potential client or sponsor, you've got to see them with the very best quality they deserve! Why would you consider any compromise?
I decided to start out completely from scratch, using my MacBook Air which has absolutely no calibration software. I got a cup of coffee and just sat down and read the instructions, which I never do. The process of getting started couldn't have been easier as X-Rite's software for my ColorMunki Display seemed to know the system was talking to a technically-challenged moron!
Once loaded and calibrated, I hit the button to calibrate my iPad and everything started talking to each other. I had previously loaded in the Beta software. I had a minor challenge when the iPad couldn't find my MacBook, but even that was easily resolved by hitting x-rite's trouble-shooting guide and simply fixing my the specs on my firewall.
Through color calibration and then black and white - x-rite, ColorMunki and the software did it all.
Here's what I love most about the process - THE RESULTS! I now have the ability to see what the image will look like calibrated and uncalibrated. I've got the ability to adjust my iPad for the lighting conditions around me that I'm viewing in with "Ambient Compensation". I can see what my image will look like using "Print Simulation", which allows me to preview how an image will look printed on various output devices. Anything I show now is being shown with the very best quality of light and color.
If you still have doubts on how amazing this is, don't take my word for it - just watch the video!
We're still in convention season and many of you have some serious shows and workshops coming up. Don't compromise on showing your images. Get your device calibrated before you start sharing your work. The application download is free and just a click away!
You're working so hard to capture and create the ultimate images, give it the presentation it deserves!
My career started in Boston at Polaroid. I've got a lot of close friends and family in the Boston area and it's one of my most favorite cities. Now there's something else that's a kick...my buddy Brian Malloy just sent me the link to this video and some of the images from his studio were used.
It would be fun to watch if I didn't know any of the participating artists, but it's even more fun when you know a couple of the people involved! What a great way to wind up the week.
Last October I spoke at Hasselblad's Shoot NYC event. With PPE going on just down the street, the fact that they had over 3000 people register is a testimony to their focus on great content, education and support for the industry. They've had a piece of my heart since I started there in 1987, but going back even further...
When I was in the Photo Service Club in high school I used to dream about some day using a Hasselblad. Little did I know that the day would come when I'd have an entire warehouse of Hasselblad gear at my finger tips. Yeah, that's me, the geek in bottom left corner.
I found this short clip on You Tube that I hadn't seen before. If you're going to be in NYC this Fall, put Shoot NYC on your calendar. It's an outstanding program loaded with great content. Just follow what's going on at Hassselblad and you'll be in the loop for the latest information on great programming and terrific products!
Here's another familiar face from Shoot NYC...
by Skip Cohen
There's been a lot of nice feedback on the SCU podcasts and some really great suggestions. A common request has been to make them more "how-to" in their core content and that's just what we're going to start doing.
This first podcast in the new direction is with Matthew Jordan Smith. Matthew shares his experiences so far on his book project, Future Presidents and includes thoughts on using Kickstarter for the funding, the challenges of photographing in all fifty states, balancing his time and the pure joy of turning a dream into reality.
It's a great podcast with a lot of helpful suggestions for taking your own special projects to the next level.
The book is anticipated to be out in October of 2014, but in preparation for the official launch he had some fun creating this short video. What a kick it is to be a part of this project and watch Matthew's vision unfold! Interested in checking out more of Matthew's work? Visit the project site, Matthew's own site or Matthew's extensive Profoto videos here at SCU.
Okay, so while many of us whine about what's happening with consumer trends in imaging and wishing more people would use a "real camera", nothing changes the fact that we're all taking more and more images on our phones. Knowing that's the case, why not make them the best images they can be?
If you're not up to date on Camera Awesome, check out this short video posted just a few months ago. Now it's available for Androids!
Here's the link to today's hottest announcement and it's from SmugMug - all about Camera Awesome - just click below!
...and now for something completely different!
by Skip Cohen
Hopefully I'm not the only one old enough to remember that quote from the Monty Python series...
Two weeks ago we announced the first one day workshop in the 2014 series, THRIVE. You've got a lot to choose from when it comes to education. This is the perfect time to explain what we're doing our best to accomplish. What makes THRIVE different from all the other workshops out there?
I'm tired of programs you look forward to, attend, then return to the challenges of life and business with pages of notes that never seem to get read again. So, instead of a one day program, March 2, THRIVE actually has four segments. On December 9, January 13 and February 10 we're going to do three online interactive webinars exclusively for the attendees registered for the March 2 event. These programs will NOT be the usual one way presentations. In fact, we're going to do our best to keep the presentation part to just 15 minutes for each session and spend the next 45 minutes answering your questions. You'll have a chance to submit questions in advance and we'll take a few live questions during the session.
THRIVE Online will take place from 9:00 - 10:00 PM EST on each date and attendees will receive information on how to join before the end of November. Speakers for each online program will be me and Scott for at least one of them and then depending on the nature of the questions submitted, we'll bring in some of the best experts on business and marketing in the industry.
This is about marketing and building your brand and we're going to concentrate on as much custom programming as we can work into each event. By March 2, when we meet live in Las Vegas, attendees will already have a solid foundation to build on. We want each attendee to leave with a starting blueprint for their marketing plan for the rest of 2014.
We'll be discussing cross-promoting with other vendors, expanding your reach in your community, building a more effective website and blog, pricing, closing the sale and self-promotion. We want to role play and help you through some of your toughest challenges and help attendees build the confidence they need to be a success.
The challenge in building a successful business has a lot to do with the strength of your network and we're going to be part of your team to help you THRIVE - not just survive!
Register now and take advantage of the $79 early bird registration.
There are some exciting updates to this year's program you need to know about!
Marketing Boot Camp: Sunday, August 11, 10:00 - 4:00 PM
We had a number of requests from attendees for more marketing support. So, we've added a day of intense marketing. We're going to help with you with the challenges that haunt you the most. We'll talk about pricing, promotions, your website, social media, partnerships, blogging and branding. And if we've missed something in the list, just say the word and we'll do our best to cover it. Skip Cohen will be taking you through the bulk of the topics with help from Michele Celentano, Bob Coates and Adam Sherwin, just to name a few. Then, during the rest of Summer Session you'll have the support of our faculty to help answer more of your questions. Plus, Zach and Jody Gray's program that evening will add to our ability to help you strengthen your marketing and don't forget their half day program on Monday as well. We want to help you thrive, not just survive!
Networking Mixer: Sunday, August 11, 8:30 - 10:00 PM
Thanks to support from Panasonic's LUMIX team we're going to network the right way! You'll not only have a chance to meet other attendees and the faculty, but the LUMIX team will have a few of the new GH3's everybody is talking about for you to test drive for yourself. Mirrorless technology is changing the way we capture images and you're going to be blown away.
Hybrid 101 with Suzette Allen
Originally Suzette was doing a two day Intermediate Photoshop class, but the popularity of hybrid e-products is off the charts. Here's your chance to get introduced to a whole new product line to offer your clients. The potential for you to increase revenue is outstanding and explained in more detail in Suzette's program description listed on the Summer Session page. Plus, instead of one two day workshop, she's teaching two one day workshops with the same content, so you can now take her class along with another choice for your hands-on programming.
"Save Me a Seat"
We believe this is an industry first. With "Save Me a Seat" you can register for the program with a minimal amount and not have to pay the bulk of the balance until October 1st! That's sixty days after the program is over, giving you a chance to take what you've learned and actually put it to work producing revenue! It's all explained below!
The $100 Alumni discount has been extended right up to the program start date of August 11.
Illustration Credit: © DinoZ - Fotolia.com
by Skip Cohen
Ever missed somebody's birthday or anniversary and then find out about it months later? It's embarrassing. Well, that's how I feel this morning wandering through the Internet and catching my buddy Rich Harrington's post on Power to Create back in April about Drobo hitting a new milestone on storage - they've backed up an "exabyte"...and like most of you - I had no idea what an exabyte even was!
Since we're going to have a couple of Drobo 5D's to give away at Summer Session this year in Chicago, this is just the right time, if you don't already know about Drobo, to introduce you. Check out the videos, especially the intro to Drobo with Cali Lewis!
From Power to Create: Drobo just hit an impressive milestone... they've backed up a WHOLE lot of data. An exabyte in fact!
To understand how much an exabyte truly is, let’s put things in perspective. That’s 1 million 1TB hard drives. If backed up to standard DVDs, you’d need 245 million of them which if stacked to the same 5 ½ mile height as Mount Everest would require 32 stacks measuring 14 feet across.
That's an incredible amount of data in just six years! The first Drobo was released in 2007. Congratulats Drobo!
For those of you who know me personally, you know that it's rare I do anything half way. That's not meant to sound like a characteristic I'm bragging about, more a quality that I wish I could tone down a little. I don't seem to have a gauge on passion...when I get into something I love, it's all or nothing and at times downright obsessive. SCU has become that obsession and it's definitely a labor of love.
May just closed our fourth full month as a website and blog. It was another milestone month, but what amazes me is how the weeks simply fly by. This past week was one of those weeks and it was amazing. What I'm trying to express is how grateful I am to so many different people. It's my "network" of friends and associates who make my little corner of this industry such a kick, along with some amazing companies in SCU's growing list of partners.
The week started out with the launch of "Save Me a Seat" followed by BYOB (Bring Your Own Buddy) a program for SCU Alumni. Then came some great posts, the growing downloads of Cindy Harter's guest post and podcast. It all came together with great pick up on a press release on Save Me a Seat, Blog Talk Radio picking up the SCU Podcast as one of their featured programs in photography and new faculty joining the SCU team. Charity Fest launched with a request for guest posts and right out of the blocks there were two emails in my box. New videos joined the archives in the Profoto Theater and Ilford Showcase. It was even a great week on a personal note, catching up to Doug Box and Randy Kerr for a day on their way to teach for a week at the Florida School.
Deanne Fitzmaurice, Pulitzer Prize winner and one of the founders of Think Tank, joined the faculty along with Ed ONeill and Dustin Meyer. A new podcast aired yesterday with one of the country's leading boudoir photographers and SCU joined the ranks for great photographic sites and blogs on Guy Kawasaki's Alltop site.
The bottom line is that no project any of us can do will ever succeed without great support from our networks. It's the old Hilary Clinton line that, "It takes a village!" For me that village includes so many amazing friends, associates and manufacturers. The common denominator is the obsessive quality I started talking about in everyone's passion for imagine and an industry we all love.
So, make it a great Sunday...enjoy your family, cherish every moment and fire yourself up for a new week starting tomorrow. It's going to be the best one of the year so far, but I can promise, not as good as the week after!
Illustration Credit:© bloomua - Fotolia.com
A few years ago, during the GoingPro Project, Scott Bourne and I started using Blog Talk Radio for our podcasts. For over a year I've done a new podcast, whether for GoingPro, my old blog or the SCU site, every ten days. Each one featuring another industry icon.
What's been amazing and simply fun to hear have been the stories of how different photographers got started, what advice they have for new photographers just starting out and comments they've made about various challenges in their careers. I'm far from being a strong interviewer or a great radio voice, but every interview has been from the heart and over and over again, the personality of each guest has made the show unique.
Yesterday BlogTalkRadio sent me an email that SCU's Building Your Network has become a featured program in the Photography category. Well, it couldn't have happened without some amazing guests and all our listeners. While I can't list all of our listeners, I can send out a big thanks to all my past guests...
For once the expression, I couldn't have done it without you, couldn't be more accurate! Thank you for your support and your willingness to share so many stories about your careers!
There are 36 podcasts in the archives of SCU's Podcast Center - each one with a little different focus on some aspect of being a professional photographer. We're all part of an amazing industry and the information shared by so many of my guests is a prime example of people believing in education and giving back.
by Skip Cohen
Those of you who know me personally understand how much I believe in continuous education to build your business. In talking with a lot of photographers over the last few months, I’ve heard so many stories about the challenges in the economy and the difficulty of deciding where best to invest both your time and money in educational programs.
SCU’s Summer Session started with Skip’s Summer School four years ago and as sappy as it sounds, it’s been life-changing for so many attendees. This program is definitely considered one of the very best investments you can make in your education as a professional photographer and that's coming from feedback from many of the attendees over the last few years.
This isn't just about helping you elevate your skill set, but building a community. Today on Facebook there's an amazing group called Skip's Summer School. It wasn't started by me, but one of the attendees two years ago, Brent Watkins. There are almost 300 photographers involved who literally work to help each other every day.
Save Me a Seat
We want to show you how much we believe in helping you “Thrive – not just survive!” We just set up a new billing option called “Save Me a Seat”…all it takes is a $100 deposit to reserve your seat and two payments - $150 charged to your credit card on August 1 and the balance of $350 due on October 1.
We believe so strongly that we can help you grow your business, we’re giving you time to implement some of the things you'll learn at SCU’s Summer Session and start to THRIVE before the last payment is even due.
Remember, no hands-on workshop will exceed twenty people, giving you maximum learning power and the experience of building your network and getting to know your instructors.
Illustration Credit: © Carsten Reisinger - Fotolia.com
by Skip Cohen
A month ago I did a post about my buddy Matthew Jordan Smith and his Future Presidents project. It was the day it all launched on Kickstarter and he was looking to raise $30,000 to fund the project. Well, he made it, but now with less than 30 hours left, we want to help him exceed the goal, but you need to understand why.
Exceeding the goal on a project like this doesn't mean any profitability for the author. What it does mean is the project has a chance to expand its reach. Stronger funding means Matthew has the ability to reach more children, more families and create a stronger project.
If you're not familiar with it, here's the press release that dropped a few weeks ago.
So, this morning's post is a call to action and we're down to the wire. You can guess how many projects over the years I've been involved in, but none with the potential to inspire and involve so many children and families. Matthew's got until the end of the day Sunday - whatever you can do is going to be so appreciated and give you your own little piece of a project destined to be historical.
Thanks for your support!
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.