by Skip Cohen
Note: Everyone know's Murphy's Law...but there's Murphy's Second Law: "Murphy was an optimist." I had this post all ready to go this morning and Weebly had a bug in the system. Checking in a few minutes ago, they got it fixed - and since I think I've only missed two Sundays in many years, I decided to post it now. I hope everybody had a great day today!
It's Sunday morning, and it's certainly nothing new for me to run amuck from business and marketing topics. It's also holiday time and, without question, my favorite time of year. I'm guessing that the brain waves in my head if transferred to anything visual, would look like spin art! When that happens, and I can't focus, Melody Beattie comes to the rescue.
I found a short paragraph that I loved...
We trudge the road searching for power, learning about our own. Somewhere on the journey, we begin to see the truth. It awakens quietly within us, shaking our soul, transforming our vision, teaching us what we knew all along. The power that lasts, the power that stays in the power of the heart.
Stillness. Faith. Gentleness. Kindness.
Compassion. Joy. Forgiveness. Comfort.
Vulnerability. Honesty. Courage.
And love. Now we're talking power.
And here's my point. What I love about this time of year is that it's all about those twelve words above. It's about joy and appreciation for being here at this point - right now. And no matter how tough or insane the year has been, there's something in the air - a unique form of kindness that simply has a calming quality...sort of a Xanax for the soul.
It all boils down to gratitude. I won't apologize for getting sappy and sounding pretty hokey. I so appreciate all of you who support me...your feedback...and simply the time to share the scrambled mess inside my head every Sunday morning.
Wishing everyone a day ahead filled with family, friends, or whatever makes your heart soar. It's holiday time, and nothing tops that special energy all around us. As always, go for those long therapeutic hugs with the people who mean the most to you.
Happy Sunday or Monday on the other side of the world.
Images copyright Cecil Holmes. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
Think about your favorite restaurant - the atmosphere, the food, and most importantly, the staff, especially the chef. My wife and I have one of our favorites where we've gotten to know the chef. His cooking is remarkable, but his style and personality are part of what keeps bringing us back. Tamron Recipes isn't just about the images but the personalities of the "chefs" who create and capture them. The analogy between chefs and artists works all the time. Each one is different in the way they capture/create images (or cuisine) that, in turn, capture us!
Cecil Holmes is in the Tamron Kitchen, and he's the perfect guest chef to bring the 2022 series to a close. It's not just his images that have appeal, but spend a little time with him, even just a phone call, and you'll meet an artist with an unmatched passion for the craft. Nothing complicated - just a great guy in love with his family and friends first and his camera second!
I wanted to share a statement in his bio that describes his love for the craft, far better than I can:
Rather than list a "resume" of every accomplishment I have had or received, I would prefer you to look at my art to determine my qualifications. I do put a lot of work and pride into it, after all. I am up really early on some days, out really late some nights, and some days I do not sleep at all when I am in search of a photograph. I also spend quite a bit of time behind the keyboard in an effort to further perfect my art. I can only hope you see this dedication and pride in each of my photographs. If you truly need a list of accomplishments, feel free to reach out to me via email and I'll gladly send one over.
Cecil is all about sharing what he captures - and I find myself living vicariously through his travels. So whether it's wildlife in Alaska or hanging out in the Grand Tetons, there's always something to make me smile. We shared two of Cecil's images this month for two primary reasons. First, they're at opposite ends of the range of focal lengths, starting with Tamron's 50-400mm and then moving to a shorter zoom. Second, landscape and wildlife photography have become two of the most popular genres over the last few years.
Coming out of the pandemic, more of us are staying within the US and traveling to all those bucket list parks we've had visions of for many years. And then comes Cecil, right on target for places so many of us want to visit!
Cecil loves hitting the parks in the West. After dozens of phone calls and even a few guest appearances on the SCU blog, I finally got to meet him LIVE at IUSA several years ago. What a kick to meet both Cecil and one of his sons on the convention floor.
One more thing about Cecil - it's his love for his family, and it comes out loud and clear on his about page:
I live in Huntsville, AL with my family that consists of my wife and 4 boys. They are all awesome. I have heard people smarter than I say you take on the personalities of people you spend a lot of time with. So either I made them awesome, or they made me.
Cecil needs to be on your radar. Click on either of his images in today's post, to link to his website. If you're hitting IUSA in January, swing by the Tamron booth (#823) and they should know where he is too!
It's holiday time and Tamron has some outstanding savings going on right now - including the 28-75mm G2 lens Cecil talks about in the short podcast and used in the landscape image above. Tamron is manufacturing some of the finest glass in imaging today - but they don't stop there. Check out their scheduled programs - all designed to help you raise the bar on your skill set!
I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us...
If we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice,
it will tell us the right thing to do.
by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday, and we're definitely in the final stretch of 2022's seasonality. At the same time, some of you are still trying to make key decisions regarding promotions, partnerships, community involvement, and more things to bring the year to a solid close.
Here's my point, and it's all in the quote above - stop second-guessing yourself and, like Nike's tagline - JUST DO IT! That little voice inside us gets drowned out by all the noise, stress, and confusion in our lives. And while it's simply the way life is - we all wear too many hats, and that little voice in our hearts - the one we should be listening to most often, disappears in silence.
It's just a short thought this morning. Listen to the voice in your heart and let yourself be proactive instead of reactive.
by Skip Cohen
It's Sunday morning, and I couldn't be more off-track from business and marketing. I'm not sure where my topic today would fall, but it's between admiration and sarcasm. So, consider yourself warned.
The topic is Publix Supermarkets...I consider the staff at our local Publix #1639 completely "top-shelf". It's a smaller store filled with the most wonderful group. They've only been open a few years, but they're just a mile from our house and they never miss a day. They got us through the pandemic, a hurricane, and the craziness of day-in-day-out living. They never do anything halfway and have supported the community with the same dedication of first-responders.
When the pandemic hit, I did all the shopping because I had fewer issues should I get Covid than my wife. So, no big deal - I'd shop early in the morning. I got to know the store, the inventory, and all the staff. From Nancy, "Boston," "Colonel Bill," Tony, Jack and the list goes on and on - It's simply a great team.
Now, let's move to their marketing department and wrap it up with one bizarre product.
Yesterday I got an email congratulating me on my "Half-Birthday." Entering my phone number at checkout, I'll get a container of their frozen yogurt or a cake. While it's a nice gesture, at some point in our lives, we reach an age where we don't need to be reminded that time isn't slowing down! And if I'm trying to watch my sugar, which also goes with aging - don't give me a free cake.
I don't want to celebrate my half-birthday, let alone even know about it! LOL If anything, give me senior parking like Walmart in Bozeman...or just send me a note wishing me a great holiday season and a certificate for a fully loaded death-defying, artery clogging, Italian sub.
But here's one more great mystery from Publix...my favorite Thanksgiving feast is a leftover sandwich. It starts with the cheapest white bread, then turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and mayonnaise on both pieces of bread. My wife is Celiac, so there's no gluten in the house except for my loaf of bread.
The loaf from a year ago is still perfectly fine - no mold, and it's not stale. It's been in the back corner of the pantry. It was never frozen, and it looks just fine. So, that leaves me wondering how much preservatives go into a loaf of Publix-branded bread. The expiration date is December 2021!
So, whatever is in the bread, I'm suggesting to Publix they bottle it and, for my half-birthday, give me a spoon or two of the amazing elixir and help me slow down the aging process. They say a Twinkie is good for 100 years...we'll let's add Publix bread to the list and then bring the chemistry into our own lives. Ron Woods doesn't have to be the only one to have chemistry in his veins!
Remember, I warned you when this post started!
Wishing you a fantastic day ahead - not just a great day, but one of those where you crawl into bed at night and just say, "Wow!" Make some memories, do a little shopping for the holidays, and think about all the people in your life who you love and who love you! Most important of all, think about the ingredients that went into that smile on your face.
Happy Sunday...or Monday on the other side of the world.
by Skip Cohen
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but it's also Throwback Thursday. So I decided to combine the two and also give myself the day off tomorrow. That means I want to make sure I wish all of you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday TODAY!
Thanksgiving has always been one of my most favorite holidays. It's been a special time for family, and one of the best times was our first Thanksgiving in Florida. We moved down here in 2011. My Dad was coming up on ninety and dealing with my Mom's Alzheimer's. We decided to give him a hand and move to Sarasota that October.
A couple of weeks later, just two weeks before Thanksgiving, Album Epoca hired me to come to Italy to record a short video about the importance of the wedding album. We accepted the invitation but wanted to be back in time for Mom and Dad's first Thanksgiving at our house in Florida. Nobody in their right mind makes a five-day trip to Italy, but the focus was on time with my folks too. We were back in time to put the turkey in the oven!
Both of these grab shots are from Thanksgiving 2011.
My mother was always afraid of dogs. We had dogs when I was a kid, but always adopted an older dog, already trained, and Mom rarely went near them. But Molly the Wonder Dog stole her heart.
Molly knew she was fragile. Those of you who have dogs know how they can sense something wrong, or you're not feeling well. Molly knew how to read Mom.
Thanksgiving dinner that night was our first holiday dinner outside. It was a beautiful night and perfect in every way. The memories from eleven years ago have never faded! Even Alzheimer's took a break that night, and Mom was so into the day.
I know that Thanksgiving is an American custom and many of you are outside the U.S., but that doesn't change my wish to everybody for a happy, healthy, and safe holiday. Remember, the memories you make this holiday season will be future throwbacks...and there's very little that beats a great look in your rearview mirror!
I'm so thankful for your support, feedback, and your friendships. As I've written so many times, the best thing about our industry has nothing to do with imaging directly but the great friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft.
Creativity is the ability to see relationships where none exist.
by Skip Cohen
At the risk of sounding like a Jack Handey clip from old SNL shows, when I read the quote above, it got me thinking about how it applies to our industry. As pros and aspiring professional photographers, you're all in the business of capturing relationships.
And here's one last big one I see every day when I'm wearing my Platypod hat. Eight years ago, Larry T. had a vision of being able to travel without the bulkiness of a tripod but have the necessary gear to capture images that could never be handheld. In fact, the recent Platypod Pros feature on the website highlights forty of the most respected artists in the industry who, every day, create and capture relationships where none previously existed.
So here's my point - so many of you undervalue what you bring to the party with your skills, business, and ability to help your target audience. You worry about the timing of getting more involved and reaching out. You've got the passion for the craft, and you've spent plenty of time fine-tuning your skills, but taking that jump into the public eye and building relationships is risky.
Here's one more thought based on an old proverb:
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago.
The second best time is now.
by Skip Cohen
It's November 21 and the end of the year is just 40 days away. While there's still time for plenty of business, you're down to the wire. While 2022 has been better than the "pandemic years," anybody who tells you "it's been easy" is lying. Still, there are a lot of success stories out there - business is back.
With less than six weeks to go, and Thanksgiving just a few days away, here's a different way to look at the year: Years ago, I used to share wisdom from the Walk the Talk books. I was looking at Finish Strong and found a great quote:
"To finish first you must first finish!"
Here's my point: No matter what you didn't accomplish this year, you're still in the game. The ending of the year is only a fiscal measurement, not a rolling average of your growing passion, skill set, ideas, customers, or promotions.
Every day you grow a little more as an artist, and if you've been up nights worrying about your choices, you still have your passion. Nobody can steal that unless you give it to them. You can only do your best! As trite as that sounds, appreciate what you've learned and how far you've come instead of worrying about how much you still have to learn!
And for those who like to procrastinate, over-think, and ponder instead of taking a few risks...
"People who take risks are the people you'll lose against."
by Skip Cohen
What I love most about Seth Resnick's Facebook posts is they're always so relatable. This past week, he shared the post below about losing his Dad. Just to say it "hit home" would be a huge understatement.
Time does heal wounds, but the scars don't go away, and they shouldn't. Like Seth, I lost my Dad seven years ago this month. While we lost my Mom, physically a few years earlier, Alzheimer's robbed us many years before. But Dad never slowed down being by her side and fighting to savor each random lucid moment of joy.
And with me, through all of life's challenges, he was always my best buddy. He was always there for me, and I miss the conversations, stories and especially the laughs. I love those memories of him laughing. Something would hit him that was so funny, he'd laugh until the tears started to roll. I have so many wonderful memories that bring the smiles and the tears.
Just like Seth, there are things that catch me off guard and a tear appears...usually it's something outrageously simple. For example, seeing the snow storms back east on the news this week, got me thinking about our gas grill when I was a kid.
We had a hard-wired gas grill. With that first snow storm in November, Dad was surprised. "Look at that - there's a 12 foot circle around the grill where the snow didn't stick!" It was then he realized the grill had been on low since Labor Day! Remember, this is back when gas was cheap and I don't think he ever noticed the tiny spike in the bill.
It's the memories, combined with those old photographs that gives those loved ones we've lost their immortality. And to quote Seth...Tears and a smile.
Wishing everybody a terrific day ahead. Take the time to appreciate not only the people you love who are here for you, but those who are no long around for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs. But here's the thing, they are around in your heart, and they are watching over you. The tears are simply gateways to memories and smiles.
Happy Sunday or Monday on the other side of the world.
My heart and mind are in a myriad of thought pointing back to Japan. It was 7 years ago that I was teaching a workshop in Japan and received a call that my dad who was healthy died in his sleep. When my father died, I tried so hard to be strong and show everybody how resilient and tough I was but that act doesn’t last. Pushing the pain below the surface so no one can see it is exhausting. We take a lot of strength from our parents, so when you lose one of them, it’s crushing.
Sometimes, you will be doing OK and managing your grief, when something catches you off guard. And then suddenly a surge of powerful emotion hits you like a tidal wave.
For me I think the most challenging times have been when something has reminded me of my dad. The difference seven years later is my tears well up but so does a smile. It is a beautiful experience and I think about both my mom and dad and then I am OK until it happens again.
Someday’s I think I should be past this by now and I don’t know why I still cry at random times, all these years later but it is ok. As I am writing this it becomes one of those moments. Tears and a smile.
I miss my parents so much but I am I’m grateful they both touched my life in such a powerful and beautiful way.
Love you DAD!
Images copyright Shiv Verma. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
Here are two 2023 workshop/photo tours that should be on your bucket list...hanging out with Shiv Verma in Tanzania or Namibia!
I'm sharing this post as more of a public service announcement (LOL) because there are only two spots open in Tanzania and four in Namibia. They'll all be gone within the next few days. It's an incredible opportunity for an experience of a lifetime.
But it's not just the wildlife or the beauty of the two locations, but doing a tour like this with Shiv. Shiv and I have worked together on so many different projects and events. Every time I've learned a little more about imaging. He's an outstanding artist, educator, and tour guide!
Click on any image in today's post to link to Shiv's tour/workshop schedule. Both trips currently open are in September, and I can guarantee they'll be more than just memorable!
by Skip Cohen
A comedian once said, "It'll be my luck when my ship comes in; I'll be at the airport!"
It's a funny line, but sadly the way some of us feel at times. But it's just a one-liner and doesn't have to be your reality. We're down to the wire with minimal time for you to remind your target audience that you're in the business of capturing memories. And as sappy and overused as that expression is, you've still got time to put it to work before that last wire snaps!
The $100 billion pet industry is poised to nearly triple to $275 billion by 2030, creating potential tailwinds for pet-friendly stocks...The pandemic has upended the lives of humans, but for pets, it's been a bonanza: Their owners have been home all day, showering them with attention and treats...Morgan Stanley's housing strategists estimate that the growth trend of US pet ownership more than tripled during the pandemic.
Here's my point - that last wire hasn't broken yet. There's still time for you to keep building relationships with your clients. Just remember, this holiday season, there's a renewed sense of family and the potential to make this a solid final stretch for holiday sales in 2022.
And if you're stuck for ideas - you know where to find me.
by Skip Cohen
I'm hoping most of you are busy starting to fulfill holiday orders – but that doesn't mean you can't still think about your immediate future. All I want this Marketing Monday is to get you thinking about one of the most essential building blocks you can have for your business…diversity in your skill set.
Think back to the height of the pandemic – when events were all canceled, people were paranoid about virtually everything – and we all hunkered down. Now, think about your plans if God forbid we ever have to deal with this kind of crisis again.
It's a short sound bite today, but worth thinking about. With IUSA coming up in January and more conferences and workshops on the horizon, whether LIVE or online, what will you do to expand your skill set? Growth only happens outside your comfort zone. In today's ever-changing environment, one-trick ponies miss so many opportunities!
by Skip Cohen
Yesterday in Bozeman, Montana, there was a memorial tribute to one of the industry's greatest, Duncan MacNab. I wanted so badly to be there, but today's isn't about missing Duncan's Memorial or, for that matter, losing one of my very best friends. Instead, it's about something I've noticed in how many of us express ourselves lately.
I've noticed good friends, both male and female will end a phone conversation with, "I love you." At first, I thought it was a spin-off of the pandemic and a way to express one's appreciation for another, but it's far more than that.
For me, it's wisdom that's come with aging. There are people who I simply want to know are important to me. This is far more than two buddies saying, "Hey, I love ya, man!" It's a well-defined statement that means my life is better because you're in it. It's a commitment to being there for each other and watching each other's backs.
The photograph above, which I've shared before, was the last picture ever taken of Duncan. Taken during the visit Bob Thompson and I made to Spokane just a few days before Duncan passed away, we had no idea it would be his last time in front of a camera - a cell phone held by a nurse in a hallway.
It doesn't matter how the picture was captured; it reminds me how much Duncan meant to me and how much I loved the guy. It's a testimonial to the importance of great friendships and to never take time for granted.
A couple of times in the last week, I noticed my phone conversations ended with "I love you." Of course, it wasn't used the same way I say it when I hang up talking to Sheila - but it does carry a similarity in one regard - it means you're part of my family, and we're all there for each other.
Many people will walk in and out of your life,
but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
And that brings me to my point - those friends who leave footprints in our heart. Don't be afraid to let your friends know you love them. Don't be shy; wishing you'd said just a little more about their importance to you. It's a pretty amazing time when so many of us seem to appreciate the little things in life just as much as the milestones.
Wishing everybody a day ahead to tell somebody you love them. This isn't about romance; it's about commitment to good friends, support, and simply not wasting time. Always go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs, especially with friends who mean the most to you.
Happy Sunday...or Monday on the other side of the world!
“We can’t all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they walk by.”
by Skip Cohen
It's Veteran's Day, and while I've written about HonorFlight.org many times in the past, today is the perfect time to connect you to the Honor Flight website again. Most WWII veterans have passed away, but so many of us have family and friends who served in Korea and Vietnam, and nobody's getting younger!
In 2013 I took my Dad on one of their flights to D.C., which was incredible - one of the best father-son things we ever did together. That's Dad in the blue hat above with a group that was almost entirely WWII veterans. Dad never really talked much about the war but put together with his peers, and the stories flowed non-stop. Most of the guys on this trip were Navy. While Dad was the only Army Air Corps veteran, that didn't stop the stories they shared.
If you've got a senior who's a veteran in the family, then click on the banner below and check out this amazing organization. Even with the pause due to Covid, they've flown almost 250,000 veterans and 183,000 guardians (family or friends accompanying the veteran).
And to all our friends who served, families who have members serving now, our son, Brian, Uncle Randy, and Father Tim - thank you for your service.
"If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read this in English, thank a veteran."
From Honor Flight
by Skip Cohen
The best thing about our industry is the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Platypod and the KelbyMedia team have an incredible relationship extending well beyond friendship. Both companies have a solid focus on education and helping artists raise the bar on their skill set as well as having fun.
"Fun" is one of those words too often lost in business today, but not with these guys! And if you've ever hung out with any one of us in the shot above, then you know it's a work-hard-play-hard scenario.
Tomorrow at 1:00 PM EST, I'm on The Grid joined by photographer and educator Dave DeBaeremaeker. We're going to be talking about getting the most out of workshops and conferences, the importance of diversity in your skill set and we'll have some fun looking at some of Dave's most favorite images. I'll also be sharing a fun announcement wearing my Platypod hat and kicking off the holiday season.
See you on The Grid at 1:00 PM this Wednesday, November 9, 2022.
It's not the strongest of the species that survive,
nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
by Skip Cohen
When I was a kid, several times a year in school we'd have a practice fire drill. At the risk of giving up how old I really am, I also remember emergency drills during the Cold War and the craze for a need to have a home bomb shelter. Today's kids have even more to deal with because of school shootings. And right up to present day, we're in tune with hurricane, tornado, flood and fire threats.
But so few of you are truly prepared for the "what ifs" in your business!
Think about the pandemic. It was March of 2020 and professional photography came to a screeching halt! If you were a one-trick pony exclusively devoted to a single specialty, most artists were dead in the water and might still be working at Home Depot! It was horrible, as the world around us shut down.
We grew up on stories like the three little pigs - but we still built our houses of sticks and straw. So, what have you set up for your business to make it more secure? If a disaster like the pandemic rolled back in tomorrow, what would you have in place?
And you can drill this down as much as you want. For example, who's your back up if something goes wrong, short or long term and you can't make an appointment? Who knows all your procedures and passwords? Does somebody have account information, including your bank account and the ability to write a check or pay a bill in your absence?
Most of us know the safety drill from the airlines by heart. From the exits, to the life jacket to the oxygen masks we can lip sync every flight attendant's speech. But we've got nothing in place for the one thing we do the majority of every single day - run a business!
Don't downgrade your dream to fit your reality.
Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.
by Wesley Simpson
The Perfect Sofa.
Manifesting the life you want is like ordering the perfect sofa. You can choose to have a cheap one fits all next-day delivery or you can choose to understand that if you want your dream bespoke sofa that matches your perfectly designed interior and vision, things might take a little longer, and you might have to focus and work a little harder.
The same applies to your life, work, health and relationships.
Remember, when things are falling apart, they might be falling together. Sometimes you lose, and sometimes you learn. But keep going.
by Skip Cohen
It's Sunday, and I'm getting a little help from a good buddy in the UK, Wesley Simpson. And while I did try and track him down on the other side of the world to ask permission, I decided to go ahead and share it anyway.
He posed these three shots yesterday on Facebook with his post above, and I loved how to the point he was. Then, I did a little fishing on my own for the two quotes.
Most of us need to spend more time visualizing our dreams. But then, things get busy, life gets in the way, and suddenly a front and center goal is on the back burner with the heat on low!
Wesley and I have never really met. We've been following each other on Facebook for years. In February, he won Wedding Photographer of the Year 2022 and Wedding Photographer of the Year North West at The English Wedding Awards. We catch up on short IMs now and then, and I'm hoping one of these days, he shows up on my doorstep here in Florida.
And here's my two-part point this Sunday morning - First, never let anything or anyone stand in the way of chasing your dreams. Take some time today and dig a few of those dreams out of storage - we've all got them, often allowing time to bury them under what we think is reality.
Second, the world has become a tiny place thanks to social media. It doesn't matter that Wesley and I have never had a beer together - the friendship is built on a foundation of respect and admiration. And today, when I needed a little help, his post was right there for me!
And for those of you who are part of the more senior crowd...
You're never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.
Clive S. Lewis
Wishing everybody a perfect day ahead. The kind where you get time with the people most important to you. And make it a goal to find time for the most important person in your life...YOU! You need time to feed your soul in order to be there for everyone you love. Always go for those eleven-second hugs with those special people - you'll feel the therapeutic action right around the seven-second mark!
Happy Sunday or Monday on the other side of the world.
by Skip Cohen
It's Throwback Thursday, and if you've followed me for even the shortest time, you know it's one of my favorite days. It's not just about old photographs but the memories they bring with them.
The shot of the band above was the cover of the invitation we did for my Dad's 70th birthday party in 1992. Dad played trumpet throughout high school, in college in the University of Illinois marching band, and in WWll in one of the Army Air Corps bands. This shot was from Patrick Henry High School in Cleveland. I'm guessing it was around 1936.
But there's more to the fun of this image. It was 1992, and digital imaging was new to all of us. So I needed an expert to help with the artwork for the invitation. Hasselblad's Electronic Imaging Manager, (we didn't even call it digital imaging yet) Rudy Guttosch, had the skills to take the group portrait and remove the faces...all except Dad's. Later we created a new shot of the band and replaced them all, but with Dad's face, referring to him as our favorite one-man band.
And one more story this all brings back. Dad served in the Asia/Pacific in WWll. He was a navigator until a perforated eardrum grounded him to the tower. They were looking for musicians to volunteer one day, and Dad got excited. He figured he'd pull some light duty and pull out his trumpet. Well, not quite - he and the rest of the musicians spent two days moving pianos for an upcoming USO show, probably with Bob Hope!
Make the time each week to find at least one old photograph. Throwbacks are about the memories they bring back, and these days, we could all use a few more fun looks in the rearview mirror!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Intro by Skip Cohen
This post by Seth Resnick yesterday really hit home! It's got absolutely nothing to do with imaging directly, but it has everything to do with the quality of life we all want.
A good buddy used a great line many years ago in talking about his health challenges: "You can't hide from bad genes!" Well, I'm right in that category with a personal history of hyper-tension, as well as with my Dad. There are days when I'm wound a little too tight, and those ups and downs Seth talks about take a toll.
I'm sharing his post because it deserves to be read by EVERYBODY. Very few people ever learn to truly chill out and "roll with the punches," as my Dad loved to say. Ironically, it's not something he ever figured out how to do!
Whatever pressures/challenges you've got in your life, Tylenol won't cure everything. Staying mellow is a team effort between your heart, brain, and family. And when you feel like you're about to crash and burn, take a break and chill!
by Seth Resnick
We all experience ups and downs in life and when the roller coaster of life delivers that emotional pain we believe it is purely emotional but research shows that the pain is indeed very real. So many people use the term roller coaster but technically it is more like being hit by the roller coaster rather than the ride.
The concept of heart ache, heavy heart, pain etc. are not that different from real pain. Brain scans of people who experienced emotional pain have revealed that social pain experienced share the same neural pathways as physical pain.
In a recent study 60 people who had recently been through an unwanted divorce had their brains scanned while they looked at pictures of their ex and thought about the breakup. As they stared at the photos, the part of the brain associated with physical pain lit up.
Research by Kross concluded, ‘We found that powerfully inducing feelings of social rejection activate regions of the brain that are involved in physical pain sensation, which are rarely activated in neuroimaging studies of emotion.’
Based on the concept that emotional pain and physical pain may not be that different in terms of the pain centers of the neural pathways led to another study on relief of that pain. In a controlled study it was shown that taking Tylenol for three weeks resulted in less hurt feelings and social pain on a daily basis than those who took a placebo. A further study showed the effect was also evident in brain scans. When emotional pain was induced, the part of the brain associated with physical pain lit up in participants who didn’t take Tylenol. Those who took Tylenol showed significantly less activity in that part of the brain.
The human brain loves happiness and when there is happiness, new love for example there is a release of dopamine and oxytocin and the brain smiles…. When however there is loss or other emotional pain there is a release of cortisol and epinephrine.
Too much cortisol in the brain sends blood to the major muscle groups. They tense up ready to respond to the threat (fight or flight). However, without real need for a physical response the muscles have no opportunity to expend the energy.
Muscles swell, giving rise to headaches, a stiff neck and that awful feeling of your chest being squeezed.
Getting through emotional pain is as much a physical process as an emotional one but the answer isn’t Tylenol as that can lead to liver and stomach issues. Just know that emotional and physical pain are not all that different and not really just in your head.
Images copyright Tony Shepherd. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
Like some of your favorite restaurants, the cuisine often changes along with the chef. And just like deciding whether you're going out for Italian, French, Mexican, or American, the comparison from photographers to fine chefs is always on point. In the Tamron Kitchen this month, we're mixing it up a lot and going to a "cuisine" we haven't visited in the new series - abstract fine art.
Tony Shepherd joins us in the "kitchen" with a well-defined foundation for "turning the mundane" into something special. And just like those favorite dishes by a great chef, each presentation is unique in what's being captured.
All around us is extraordinary beauty hidden in the plain sight of ordinary things.
Pixbyshep is a gallery that celebrates the dignity and beauty of the mundane in black & white
(sometimes with a splash of color).
Tony's another guest "chef" who left me feeling like I've been hanging out with him for years. In this short podcast, with some of his Instagram images going over 20,000 hits, he talks about the key ingredient - reaching out to every visitor. He's built his own community of followers just like a great chef.
Have you ever been to a restaurant where the chef comes around to the table at some point in the evening and asks how your meal was? It doesn't seem to happen as often these days, but from past experience, it always made us want to return to that restaurant again. That's the way I find myself visiting his Instagram page. Tony is all about building relationships.
Based out of Nashville, you'll find Tony out and about, just about everywhere, on regular photo walks. He's like a treasure hunter for the mundane, and I especially enjoy his choice to capture so much of it in black & white.
There's a quote in business that applies so much to Tony's approach to building his brand...
"The customer doesn't care how much you know,
until they know how much you care!
Tony's an artist with a passion for not only the capture of his images, but showing his appreciation to each follower. He's built a community around his love for simplicity. That quote above doesn't just apply to his philosophy with his followers, but I'm betting everyone he comes in contact with. From my first phone call with him through recording his short podcast - there's a wonderful feeling of a growing friendship.
Tony needs to be on your radar. Follow his website and his Instagram page. At a time in all our lives complicated by so many forces outside our control - Tony's trips to discover what seems so ordinary is a breath of fresh air and one that simply made me smile.
Tamron needs to be on your radar, too. They never slow down on manufacturing some of the finest performing glass/optics in photography, and the Tamron team is just as impressive. Obviously, they want to sell lenses, but their first focus is always on how to help you raise the bar on your skill set. And, if you're headed to Nashville in January for IUSA, wander over to Booth 823 and check out their complete product line while getting to know one of the finest tech teams in imaging!
by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday, and if this sounds like a rant...it's only because it is!
As a working or aspiring professional photographer, one of your best marketing tools is at your fingertips. Yet, so many of you will miss the boat and purchase a box of holiday cards at CVS, or you'll do nothing at all!
Here's my point - a holiday card is a perfect way to show your work and remind people what you do for a living. NONE OF YOU should be sending out any store-bought cards this year. A card featuring one of your own images is the perfect way to remind people what you do for a living. It's so soft-sell that it's really hard-sell without aggravating anybody!
At the risk of this post sounding like an infomercial, Marathon's got their annual BOGO going on right now. That means you're decreasing the cost per card and increasing your potential for more revenue this season. Just click on either banner in today's post to find out more.
There are two different applications for holiday cards:
First, create a few hundred cards to send to clients and influencers in your community. Put your image on the front of the card and a pre-printed message inside. Then, add a hand-written message for special clients/influencers to personalize it even more. On the back of the card, it's your contact information. Only, instead of "Hallmark," in the center at the bottom of the card, it's the name of your business, your phone number, email address, and URL for your website.
Second, let's get holiday cards into your mix for your clients. This is about increasing revenue. After the last few years of challenges in life, this has the potential to be a remarkable holiday season. Again, it's your work on the front of the card, and you're working with each client to help make their card unique.
This is going to be a record-breaker for holiday messages this year. Think about it for a second: We're at a point in history where we're all trying harder than ever to stay in touch. What better way than spreading holiday wishes this season?
So, stop procrastinating! And like the Nike tagline...JUST DO IT!
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.