by Skip Cohen
Technology and trends in demand NEVER slow down. Now add in the "new" normal created by the pandemic, and there are so many opportunities for photographers to raise the bar on their skills and expand their business. Here's one example:
Thousands of restaurants all over the country are serving outside. At the same time, carry-out has become a significant part of their business. Most of them have little in terms of visual assets to show their menu.
But there's one more factor playing a role in your potential to grow your business - most of you have time on your hands. As we come out of the pandemic and things return to a little more normalcy, while business is picking up, it's the perfect opportunity to fine-tune your skill set.
Aaron van is an accomplished food and beverage photographer. The video below is only eighteen minutes, as Aaron goes through the technique and tools he used to light and capture the image above. In addition, he shares a lot of great "how-to" content.
So, whether food photography is typically part of your business or not, grab a coffee and take a few minutes to follow his process. Then, start thinking about the restaurants in your community that could use a little help in sharing their menu beyond their physical location!
Interested in seeing more of Aaron's work? Visit his website, and you'll see galleries of stunning work from one of the industry's very best. And check out KelbyOne for Aaron's most recent online workshop.
by Skip Cohen
I'm almost always off-track from business and marketing on Sunday morning posts. And it's most often in the same general area - something that hit me and usually took my spirit to a great place. These days, anything that makes me laugh is a quick charge for my "battery."
Nick Vedros sent me a chuckle this morning, and I'm sharing it because so many of us can identify with the sentiment. What makes me laugh is my love for coffee but my inability to handle caffeine. But, of course, that doesn't stop me each morning from the great smell of coffee when Sheila puts the pot on.
I grew up drinking my coffee black because that's the way my grandfather drank it. It started when I was fourteen, and we went to this little hole in the wall down from his hardware store. I wanted to show him I was no longer a kid, and when he ordered a black coffee, I proudly said, "Make it two!"
Well, those days are long gone, but not the fun of the memories and sitting at "Kitty's" in Fairport Harbor, Ohio with my grandfather and two cups of coffee...black.
Fast forward to today, and I'm blown away by the cars lined up at the drive-through at Starbucks. And I'm trying to figure out when did $5 for a coffee become the norm, plus everything that's put into it. I also love it when I witness one of those knuckleheads described to the right.
And while it's not Throwback Thursday, I'm suggesting you find a memory and simply have some fun. Pick a moment from when you were a kid and just run with it. Then, share the story with your family, like I just did with Sheila.
Wishing everybody a terrific day ahead. Whether it's over coffee or not, take the time to count your blessings. I'm so tired of people looking at everything we've lost over the last year rather than appreciating what we still have...and what's waiting for us in the future! And ALWAYS go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with the people you care the most about.
Happy Sunday...or Monday on the other side of the world.
by Skip Cohen
In 2009 I left Rangefinder Publishing and WPPI to start my own company. One of the very first projects was "Skip's Summer School." Besides old friends who joined me on the journey, a new friend brought his skills to the party - Ron Dawson.
Relatively early in his career, he was a talented film producer, artist and videographer. Ron came to Ohio and spent an afternoon with me creating the video below. Today, he's doing some exciting things in the media and tech industries with brand and content marketing.
I had forgotten all about the video, until Greg Schrader, also a new friend back then, sent it to me yesterday attached to an IM. Greg's based in Michigan and we've stayed in touch over the years thanks to Facebook.
I know it might seem like I'm on an ego trip to share a video of myself, but as I listened to my own pitch, I realized how much I've strayed from recognizing when I need to recharge my battery. I'm betting most of you are the same - we've all gotten so caught up in the challenges of the pandemic and business that we've neglected our most important client - the face in the mirror every morning!
One more fun aspect to today's post - Throwback Thursday is about savoring memories. We lost Molly the Wonder Dog two and a half years ago. While two pups have filled the hole in my heart, the fact that Ron worked her into this video makes it that much more special. So, take the time for a look in your rearview mirror today and find a memory or two that simply makes you smile.
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Click on the image above for more information about the new 11-20mm lens.
Click to enlarge and view in the SCU Lightbox
by Skip Cohen
I've worked with the team at Tamron on different projects for many years. While it's their never-ending quest for quality in their products that's made them a leader in optics, the passion and enthusiasm of their staff sets the standard. They never slow down in working to help photographers raise the bar on their skillset.
Check out the short intro on "Tammy Talk" about their new 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD Lens for Sony E Mount cameras in the first video and then watch pro photographer Glynn Lavender in action with the second. And besides the information about the new lens, pay attention to the way they tell the stories - short, sweet, and to the point. While I know it's a lens they're talking about, think about how you'd tell the story of your business, and all in two minutes or less.
Tamron's entire product line continues to grow. Check out the complete lineup of Sony E-mount lenses now available with a click on the banner below.
by Skip Cohen
It's Sunday morning, and I'm trying hard to stay away from my usual topics related to photography. Still, the anticipation I'm feeling for upcoming events is making that impossible! I've been working on my presentation for ClickCon in Chicago, and after a year and a half of Zoom presentations, the excitement of being with old and new friends LIVE is almost overwhelming.
As I wandered through Adobe Stock looking for a fitting image to accompany today's post, the snail above became the obvious choice. The finish line represents anything we've been trying to do through the pandemic and the snail's pace - well, that's obvious.
What am I most excited about? Bumping into people, literally! I want to be around photographers, vendors, educators. I want to hear noise that isn't coming out of the speakers on my computer. I want to listen to the chatter in the air. I want to enjoy that unique vibrancy in everyone's voice as we appreciate the relentless pace we were on to get to where we could share our mutual passion for the craft again.
It's been one hell of a year, but on August 9, a group of passionate, enthusiastic artists are going to be together to keep the momentum going. It might sound sappy or even hokey to say, but I've missed you guys.
And there you have it - the excitement of stepping out of cyberspace and into the real world. Of course, it'll be a smaller show than 2019 was, but it's all relative to the new normal. And there's that old line from Mark Twain:
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog!
It's been a snail's pace to get to today, but we've stayed focus on the prize - growing together! And if you're headed to ClickCon - make it a point to pat yourself on the back. Despite all the challenges, you never let the flame of passion for the craft burn out.
Wishing everybody a day of heart-pumping anticipation of working back to a new normal. Even with the restrictions we still have, it beats being hunkered down alone! Have a great day - go for those eleven-second hugs with those people most important to you and give yourself credit - you held focus!
Happy Sunday...or Monday if you're on the other side of the world.
See you in Chicago!
This is a unique opportunity that I hope you'll check out. And since a picture's worth a thousand words, there's no reason for me to write anything more!
by Skip Cohen
One of the first projects for the new company I started when leaving Rangefinder/WPPI in 2009 was Skip's Summer School. It took place in Las Vegas every summer for the first three years, and then we moved it to Chicago.
In July of 2013, my buddy Adam Sherwin, who was then with Resource Magazine, did a post on Facebook that said, "Resource Magazine is giving away four scholarships to the Skip Cohen University Summer session in Chicago." The composite above was with the post of all our speakers that year. It was an incredible program.
Sadly, it was the last year for the series. It became incredibly labor-intensive, and there was more and more to choose from in online education. Plus, the economy was stronger, and hotel shows were getting more and more expensive to do.
But the fun of Throwback Thursday is always about the smiles and memories old photographs bring back. And to all the instructors over the years, including the ones pictured above, thank you for your help and support. It's great looking back, but it's even better being in touch with most of you today. What a kick!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
by Skip Cohen
Remember, it's Sunday, and I do my best to stay away from business and marketing. It's my day to share whatever's bouncing around in my head, and it's therapeutic. I'm not sure whether it's my way of recharging for the upcoming week or cleansing my palate from last week's events.
While thinking about what I wanted to share this morning, I picked up a classic book a neighbor gave us as a joke, "Zen as F*CK" by Monica Sweeney. The book is hilarious, not for the faint of heart when it comes to profanity, but loaded with wisdom.
As we come out of the pandemic and so many of you are working hard to refocus and rebuild, I've been a little surprised at the number of photographers still bitter and stuck in analysis paralysis. If they were there by themselves, it wouldn't bother me, but the fact that they want to drag everyone else down with them does. Then there are those moments when we do it to ourselves - we allow the gremlins in our head to sap our energy and hold us back!
Monica Sweeney, in a section of the book, wrote:
Boredom and access to sharp objects are not a fantastic combo. While not everyone is a danger to society by running through life with miniature swords, there are times when you can feel like you're making haphazard decisions, running amok, and generally being a pain in the ass to others.
USE THOSE SCISSORS FOR THE BETTER! What are the things you can cut out that don't add anything positive to your world?
The last few weeks have been incredibly stressful. I sat here this morning pondering why. I've been running with scissors! If I learned nothing else through the pandemic, it's that all of us can get through anything with the right attitude. And we've all got the strength to walk away from the fights. From the battles with companies like Comcast to the news media to politicians and people in our lives who never put their scissors down - we're sometimes surrounded by too much negativity.
We've all got the power to use those scissors and cut out everything that doesn't matter. From annoying telemarketing calls to the nightly news to the battles on Facebook over things that in the long run are meaningless! Stop fighting with idiots with scissors because they didn't like one of the images you shared. Remember my favorite line from my old buddy Dean Collins, "Beauty is in the eyes of the checkbook holder!"
And there you have it - let's all stop running with scissors. Some of you NEVER put them down, and the result is crumbling self-esteem, a lack of confidence, and a creative spirit that's flatlined! It's time to get it all back. I know that's easier said than done, especially in a blog post - but the opportunities ahead to grow and change our lives are endless!
Wishing everybody a day that's loaded with good friends and moments that make your heart soar. After what we all experienced over the last year, it's not hard to create times loaded with more smiles. Always go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with the people in your life you cherish the most.
Happy Sunday...or Monday if you're on the other side of the world.
by Skip Cohen
One of the fun aspects of Facebook is the way photography keeps us connected. In 2014, Anselmo Rascon shared this image on Facebook of Frederick Van Johnson, Bob Coates, and me doing a live broadcast. We were in the Panasonic booth. It's not my best moment, as Anselmo caught me on a blink - I wasn't dozing through the discussion. LOL
However, there's an especially poignant moment that stands out in my memory. We talked about fine art photography, which led to a discussion about image manipulation and the challenge with filter junkies who think they can clean up a bad image with lots of manipulation. I took the opportunity to share one of my favorite quotes, "Remember, you can't buff a turd!" It took Frederick and Bob a minute to regain their composure, but it was well worth sharing.
I made that statement in a workshop years earlier about the importance of getting clean images "right out of the can." Then, a week later, I received a link to this MythBusters video, where they proved you could polish poop!
It's Throwback Thursday - so take a few minutes and turn back the clock and share an old image that brings back great memories. We all need to be looking forward these days, but a quick peek in your rearview mirror helps keep you grounded.
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Intro by Chamira Young
As our economy opens up across the nation, it's fun to see music concerts come back. There's nothing more thrilling than the vibe and energy of people coming together to unify behind a great musical artist. And if you're the photographer, you get the extra thrill of documenting the event! That's why we get such a kick out of sharing photographer Andrew Dobin's work today. You'll get a glimpse into how he takes stunning concert photos that are downright breathtaking. You'll feel like you've got the best seats in house!
Using his trio of lenses - the SP 45mm F/1.8 VC prime, SP 70-200mm F/2.8 VC G2, and SP 15-30mm F/2.8 VC G2 wide-angle - he's able to capture crisp, dynamic photos. Click on any of lens images to learn more about them. Check out the post below and learn about his evolution as a visual artist, as well as his creative process. You're sure to be inspired!
By Jenn Gidman
Images by Andrew Dobin
Andrew Dobin’s entry into photography was a somewhat unusual one. After studying earth sciences at the University of Minnesota, Andrew went on to work in software support. “I enjoy the challenge and helping people,” he notes on his website. But five years ago, while listening to a motivational speech one day during a run, Andrew was suddenly inspired to take the photography he’d dabbled in to the next level.
Today, Andrew shoots everything from engagement sessions and weddings to senior portraits, family photos, and sports. But concert photography has become his passion, and you’ll often find him at the Armory in downtown Minneapolis, where he’s taken photos of such artists as Katy Perry, Lizzo, singer-songwriter Anderson East, and Dutch DJ Martin Garrix. “Truth be told, even though I love music, I’d only been to two or three concerts in my life before I started photographing them,” Andrew says. “I didn’t know what to expect, which in retrospect was a gift—I didn’t fully realize how much work would be involved, so it didn’t scare me away.”
Andrew uses a trio of Tamron lenses for his concert photos: the SP 45mm F/1.8 VC prime, SP 70-200mm F/2.8 VC G2, and SP 15-30mm F/2.8 VC G2 wide-angle. “The 45mm is the workhorse I use when I’m at stage level or right up in the pit,” he says. “I know what my framing is going to be with that lens. When I want a closer, more intimate shot of a performer’s face or the drummer seated at the back of the stage, I’ll pull out the 70-200mm, as it has the reach I need. The 15-30mm lens, meanwhile, helps make some of my images look more epic by allowing me to capture the crowds, or the entire expanse of the stage all lit up. The fast apertures on all three lenses also help me shoot in the low-light situations I often find myself in.”
Before he heads to a show, Andrew will watch clips on YouTube and other social media platforms of recent performances by that particular artist. “That helps me get a sense of what they might do during the show I’m photographing,” he says. “And I won’t just watch the lead singer—I’ll check out what the members of the band are doing, too, because maybe there’s a point in a song where one of them does something unique, like a jump in the air, that would be terrific to capture.”
If he has some leeway on where he can stand, Andrew prefers to be off slightly to one side of the stage, rather than smack in the center in front of it. “There are only so many straight-on images of someone singing into a microphone that you can capture,” he says. “By positioning myself on one side, it allows me to see more of who and what is on the stage, as well as to capture movement. In terms of distance from the stage, I tend to favor about halfway between the soundboard and the stage, or maybe a bit further back. From that sweet spot, the 15-30 lens allows me to capture most of the stage, if not all of it, but still get all the detail that I want.”
Read the rest of the post.
by Skip Cohen
My mother used to use the line, "Shoemaker's children need shoes," about me being in the photographic industry and never getting her enough photographs of her grandchildren.
Recently I was asked to write an article for my high school alumni newsletter about the importance of photography and capturing memories. It was published at the beginning of this month, and as I read it, I realized professional photographers are often the guiltiest of all when it comes to capturing memories for their most important clients - their own family!
I'm hoping the article below sparks some ideas to help you become a better historian of your own family. Don't miss capturing memories so that everyone can enjoy a long look in their rearview mirrors down the road!
This is what I like about photographs.
They’re proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect.”
I’ve been active in the photographic industry my entire adult life, which kind of makes me a one-trick pony when it comes to career paths. But there’s that old line about if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Well, that describes my career and the incredible experiences I’ve had over the years in photography.
When the pandemic hit, photographs (videos too) became an essential component in fighting off the frustration and depression of hunkering down. For example, “Throwback Thursday” became a weekly endeavor, not only sharing images in my blog and social media stream but often just enjoying them for me and my wife, Sheila. Every fun old photograph we’d find became an opportunity for one of us to share the backstory.
While I’ve always been an optimist and prefer to look forward rather than back, regular looks in my rearview mirror helped me stay focused on getting back to the good old days. I suppose that’s why Jodi Picoult’s quote above has always been one of my favorites.
When things are tough, whether, in life or business, we all get proactive and start making changes we should have been doing all along. So, before another day passes and you miss out on capturing special memories, here are some suggestions.
“My Journey” videos: The Senior Friendship Centers here in Sarasota has a program where for a small fee/donation, you can have a chapter of your life recorded to pass on to family members.
Everyone’s journey is a story. Through the years, you’ve accumulated a lifetime of knowledge and wisdom. Now, thanks to My Journey, a new initiative being launched at the Friendship Centers in Sarasota, you can record and preserve your story, in your words, to share.
ALL of you have aging relatives with stories to share. You also have cameras and phones that capture video. Get together with your oldest relatives and capture those stories. It couldn’t be easier – set up the camera and sit down with them and ask them to simply tell you their story.
A few months before my Dad passed away, a friend who’s a professional photographer set up her camera and sat down with Dad for stories about a little of his journey in life. I regret that I never did it myself – so, learn from my mistakes and capture those stories, while there are still family members around to share them.
Old Photographs: Everybody has old photographs, some in albums, others in shoe boxes. I get that it takes time to put them all in albums, but at the very least, clean out those drawers, along with every place else you’ve stashed prints. Please keep them in one dry place. Don’t let them take a beating, discarded, and stuffed in some obscure place in your home.
Write down who’s in those photographs. There’s nothing more frustrating than looking at an old picture and not knowing who it is, where it was taken, or when. This comes up repeatedly when people share images in one of my favorite Facebook groups, “If You Grew Up In Painesville, Ohio You Remember…” People share photos all the time with question marks.
Your Family Shots: Digital photography is a kick, but how many pictures are on your phone right now without any information, never to be printed or shared? I’ve started regularly uploading to my computer and often take advantage of special offers on Shutterfly to get them printed.
Photographs and Therapy: When my mom was fighting Alzheimer’s, one of the most fun activities was pulling out old albums. While her memories of contemporary events were fast disappearing, we could pull out old photographs, and she was non-stop energy and accuracy. She might not remember what she had for dinner, but she knew everybody in those old pictures.
Social Media: I’m a huge fan of many of the forums on Facebook. The Painesville, Ohio group I mentioned above has been one of the best experiences. Sharing old pictures of my grandparents, I connected with people who knew them both. They’ve both been gone at least forty years! Posting an old family photograph, I heard from the daughter of a woman who used to babysit for my sister and me. And sharing a 1930s shot of my grandmother at their summer cottage by the lake in Painesville Township, the woman who lives in the house today, responded.
Sharing photographs in social media, especially when they involve old memories, puts the “social” into social media. They bring us all closer, and often it’s like the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game when we learn how so many of us are connected.
Don’t Miss Memories: When was the last time you did a family portrait? Obviously, I’m a fan of professional photography, being in the industry, but it’s so important for somebody in your family to be the family historian. Whether hiring a pro or getting your family together for an updated portrait, don’t miss the opportunity to capture memories.
For the first time in history, all of us went through the same horrible experiences because of the pandemic. Coming out of the challenge, there’s a renewed sense of family. Along with that renewal come opportunities to turn intangible memories into tangible photographs and videos to cherish for the future!
by Skip Cohen
It's Sunday morning, and I'm staying off the topic of business and marketing, but not the importance of something I've written about so many times in the past - taking a break when you need one. I've written so many times about recognizing the signs when you're on overload. Yet, when following through on my own advice, I do a horrible job of walking the talk.
So, I disappeared for a week and just had a great time with Sheila, the pups, and absolutely no agenda. A few odd jobs around the house, relaxing and just enjoying wasting time. No big goals, only one post during the week, and for the most part, just a "slug-fest." Seriously, a garden slug had more profound thoughts than I did over the last week.
However, this morning I wanted to get out and just play with a camera for a little while and test out a pre-production sample of the new Platyball Elite. So, I went to the community day-dock with a LUMIX G9, the 14-140mm lens, a tripod, and the new ball head. The bottom line - what a kick! Even with the sky not cooperating much, I was blown away by the ease of use, the ability to level, and the technology built into this industry-changing new piece of gear!
The image I'm sharing won't win any awards, but it represents a lot for me. I was the client, and all I wanted to do was have a little fun with no particular plan except to be outdoors for a little while and enjoy life. It was that simple. I even grabbed a shot of neighbors headed out on their boat for a little fishing before the storm comes in today or tomorrow.
And here's my point - recognize when you need a break. Catch yourself before you crash and burn, even if it means wasting time.
Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted.
Wishing all of you a terrific 4th of July weekend and time to kick back and enjoy everybody and everything in your life. And however long you need to recharge your battery - take it! Don't forget those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with those people you cherish the most!
Happy July 4th!
sweet spot - the spot on a club, racket, bat, etc., where a ball is most effectively hit. a point, range, or particular set of conditions that will achieve the most desirable or effective outcome.
by Skip Cohen
Now and then, a great educator in photography, just like in sports, finds the sweet spot! Here's a seminar that's live and online with one of the best educators in imaging - Moose Peterson. Even if aviation photography is a long way away from your specialty, here's a chance to grow your skillset and be unique. Even better is being able to apply what you'll learn from Moose to the images you capture and create for your current clients or yourself.
Click on any image in today's post to enlarge and view in the SCU lightbox, and then check out the seminar with a click on the banner to the right.
It's taking place LIVE in Tulsa on July 31 and online, with a minimum of 4 1/2 hours of outstanding education. And before you say to yourself, "I don't do aviation photography," check out the images I chose to share in today's post. Pay attention to the way Moose composes each one and turns them into art!
A few years back, I was hanging out with Scott Kelby before his show The Grid. In the gallery of rotating artists at Kelby Media was a collection of Moose's aviation work. Each print was stunning. I had no idea one of the industry's finest outdoor wildlife photographers was also an artist with a love for aviation.
Don't miss the opportunity to learn from one of the very best.
Images copyright Moose Peterson. All rights reserved.
Intro by Chamira Young
Today we're proud to present an inspiring glimpse into the world of wildlife photography. In the fun video below, watch professional photographer Ken Hubbard as he captures stunning images of birds of prey with the ultra telephoto 150-500mm zoom lens for the Sony FE mount.
There's no question wildlife can be dramatic (and tricky!), so using the right lens to capture these stunning creatures is essential. Featuring super-sharp optical design, vibration compensation, and high speed autofocusing, this lens gives you the freedom to take hand-held long lens shots of your favorite distant images while out in the field.
This top notch lens can bring your creativity to the next level! We love the great products and inspiring content the Tamron team constantly brings to the industry. Check out the video below!
by Skip Cohen
One factor that makes the photographic industry such an incredible career field is people who simply give back - all the time! In this new Beyond Technique podcast, Bobbi Lane and Lee Varis joined Chamira and me for a conversation about surviving the pandemic, continuing to grow your skillset through education both online and off, getting your business back on track, and even a little about the challenge of working with your spouse.
Bobbi and Lee have made it a point to be the very best in their individual areas of expertise, as well as being a couple. They're proof that hyper-active kids grow up, get married and get jobs! LOL Actually, having spent a lot of time with the two of them, it's like hanging out with Peter Pan - they won't grow up! And there's the secret to their success as artists - they never stop experimenting.
There's an expression I've shared a few times in the past, "Growth only happens outside your comfort zone!" In the podcast, Bobbi talks about things she started doing in the pandemic, especially experimenting with macro photography and flowers.
Last week she shared the image on the right on her Facebook page. Remember, Bobbi and Lee never do anything halfway. With the image, Bobbi wrote: Dahlia, this morning. Fujifilm XT4, 80mm macro, f/2.8. Sigh...they are so beautiful!
Bobbi and Lee need to be on your radar. Follow them individually at their respective websites: Bobbi at bobbilane.com and Lee at varis.com. Looking for a one of a kind travel and photography experience? Join them with a click on the banner below.
The "Beyond Technique" podcast is thanks to Platypod
Platypod's presence in social media never slows down. Check out the Platypod blog for a never-ending stream of great content and wander over to their Facebook page, and check out Instagram too.
Sign up for the FREE newsletter every month too. Chamira Young is the Editor/Publisher, and every issue shares stories featuring at least three artists and how they're using Platypod.
The inventory blowout of the Multi-Accessory kit at 50% off and Free with the purchase of the mainline of primary products is just about over, and will only be available while supplies last. Click on any of the thumbnails below for more information.
Are you a GoPro user? Then check out the new Ultra Action Cam Bundle! The bundle pricing gives you additional savings with some terrific accessories to help expand your creativity. The star of the accessories is a super solid and sturdy aluminum GoPro compatible tripod mount (with comfortable plastic handled locking bolt) featuring a unique tool-free 12-click-stop turntable to allow repositioning even when used without the micro ball head (see video).
by Skip Cohen
One of the things that make professional photography such an incredible career path is the way we watch each other's backs and the support that's out there from so many talented people. That old line about "It takes a village" couldn't be more appropriate in describing our industry.
In this new episode PPA CEO, David Trust joined Chamira and me for a conversation about the challenges photographers face today, and most importantly, things everyone needs to do to get business back on track. It was such a great conversation. David shared so much good insight that we simply gave up on the usual thirty-minute podcast and went a little longer.
The other thing special about this industry has nothing to do with imaging directly but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. David and I go back to when he first started as Director of Marketing for PPA in 1998. I was then Industry Advisor on the PPA Board, and I remember David's first day on the job.
From talking about leadership opportunities to maintaining a positive mindset to a few highlights for the upcoming IUSA show in January, we covered a lot of ground. But what Chamira and I appreciated the most was David's sincerity in his love for the industry, especially sharing ideas on how we can all help get things back on track.
It's a great podcast, and we so appreciated David taking the time while on the road to talk about one of his favorite subjects - keeping our industry healthy and focused!
Click on the banner above to listen to the podcast on Photofocus.com.
by Skip Cohen
It's Throwback Thursday and this is a fun post to share. I've been blogging long enough to share a favorite backstory from my own archives. I originally shared this story on a Sunday Morning Reflections post in 2014, but Ansel Adams has lately come up in a few different conversations about my Hasselblad days. So, it seems appropriate to show you his camera gear through the eyes of my good buddy, Nick Vedros.
That's Ansel Adams' camera gear on the right. It was loaned to him by Victor Hasselblad. In later years, Victor passed away, and then sometime before Ansel died, he gave it to his assistant, Rod Dresser, and told him, "It's consigned to me, just use it and keep it in good shape. When Hasselblad wants it back, they'll ask for it."
The years went by, and nobody knew the gear was out there. Rod called me one day, probably around '94, and told me about the equipment. He didn't feel right still having it.
We replaced it for him with newer gear as long as he'd help us promote it for charity. In the end, we raised $100,000 for The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Center for Creative Photography, when shock jock, Don Imus, put in his bid...and later wrote me a check!
But the fun of Throwback Thursday images isn't about the photographs themselves, but the memories and stories that come bubbling to the surface when looking at an old photo. They become catalysts to memory launches, and through the pandemic and losing touch with so many friends, they've never been more important!
Today's backstory is a perfect example: I wanted to run an ad for the fund-raiser, and Nick Vedros offered to help us with an image. His concept was to create something that looked like part of a shipment of artifacts to a museum. He wanted to establish historical value with one shot. Remember, this is all in the film days with no chance to play around on a computer!
Nick built a box and stylized the shot, finishing with a little light painting to give it the intense look of a shipment of valuable relics. The idea was brilliant, and it worked, but the most fun as I look back on those days is my cherished friendship with Nick.
Today's Throwback Thursday post isn't really about old photographs but friendships. I've spent my entire life in this industry and, along the way, met some amazing people - one of them, Nick Vedros. I've repeatedly described him as one of the finest and most creative commercial photographers in the world today. But his success isn't just about his creativity and skill set. It's about the commitment he makes to his friends, the integrity he puts into every client relationship, and his unmatched passion for life.
I've written this a few dozen times and just mentioned it in a podcast recently: the best thing about this industry has NOTHING to do with photography directly, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft.
I consider myself one of the luckiest guys in the industry because I keep getting opportunities to work with some of the most creative artists in the world! Through the pandemic especially, I did my best to stay in touch with old friends, but I met a lot of new people through the three podcasts Chamira Young, and I do, along with my role at Platypod.
In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.
It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.
We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
To my buddy Nick on this Throwback Thursday, thanks for being a pyromaniac and setting so many "inner spirit" fires over the years. My head is jam-packed with Vedros stories. But, we're overdue to make some new ones!
And to all of you - Throwback Thursday comes once a week - don't let it slip by without taking some time to appreciate all those great backstories that are part of your life. Then, get out and start making new ones for the future!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
by Skip Cohen
As we start getting back to a bit of normalcy, I feel like Julie Andrews running around the mountains singing, These are a few of my favorite things! Every day there's been something in a sort of "Back to the Future" moment that's new. Here's my list:
But the most significant underlying theme to everything is the pure joy of getting back in touch with friends, both old and new. As a guest on a podcast six months into the pandemic, I was asked, "What do you miss the most?" My answer: "Bumping into people, literally!"
We're social animals, and while the phone, Facebook, Facetime, Skype, and Zoom all helped us stay in touch, nothing beats being with people - LIVE!
So everybody - take it slow, get your vaccine and WELCOME BACK!
Images copyright Jonny Hill. All rights reserved.
You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.
Don't make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing
and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off of you!
by Skip Cohen
While we're all tired of talking about the pandemic and last year's challenges, there are some unique things to come out of the crisis. For example, within the photographic specialties, landscape photography was always accessible while still maintaining social distancing and health restrictions. And now, as we start to get back to normalcy, more photographers are traveling again, and capturing images outdoors and the landscape is more popular than ever.
Chef Jonny Hill, when he launched his career in imaging, simply loved the outdoors. While there's probably nothing he can't photograph, hiking, camping, and being an explorer, right after his wife and newborn son, are at the very top of his list of passions. Living in Utah, which he describes as a "gateway to the west" in the podcast, has given him a never-ending canvas to capture his artistic visions, especially the night sky.
Check out Jonny's website, Instagram pages, and YouTube channel, and you'll immediately meet an artist who walks the talk with every click of the shutter. Jonny was also very specific over why he chose the 35-150 lens for his first image shared in last week's post.
I made a statement many years ago about loving photography, "You can't create images that tug at people's heartstrings if your own heart isn't in it!" Well, Jonny's heart is completely in it, and he's committed to not only raising the bar on his own skills but helping other photographers improve theirs. He needs to be on your radar, and if you've got an interest in becoming a better landscape artist, keep your eye on his website for announcements of workshops next year.
And make it a point to follow Tamron's programs, because they set the standard for commitment to helping photographers raise the bar on the skillset. They're making some of the finest optics in imaging with the quality needed to help raise the bar on your images. Click on the banner below for their special savings program going on through July 4, 2021.
Click on any image below to visit Chef Jonny's website.
by Skip Cohen
It's Sunday morning, and while I try to be off-track from my usual daily post topics of business, it's photography that's the hero of Father's Day 2021. Looking back to my own early days as a father, along with missing my own Dad, it's old photographs that bring back memories. Put old photos together with "neurochromes," images you captured when there wasn't a camera around, and it's non-stop smiles all day long.
So, the fun of this morning is telling stories about my Pop. When I was a kid, he was the one dad who would tie a rope to the car's bumper and let us hook up our sleds as he pulled us around the neighborhood. Today he'd be in jail for child endangerment, but life was different back then. He was the pop who drove us around one July 4th, tossing cherry bombs out the window under bridges, alleys, and the arcade in the shopping center just to see how loud we could make them.
He was also that dad who, when something hit him as truly funny, he'd laugh until he cried. From the Three Stooges to watching Bobo Brazil and the Gallagher Brothers on Saturday wrestling, there was no better buddy to hang out with.
But most important of all, he was my best buddy. He was my best man for my first marriage, and he was the one person in my family to support me when Sheila and I got married in 2010. I remember thanking him for keeping an open heart through my divorce and later my relationship with Sheila. His answer? "When you love somebody, an open heart is your only choice."
And that was my Dad. While I miss him all the time, it's those photographs and videos we've got that keep his memory more than just alive. So often, I'll say to Sheila, "I wish Dad could see this," and her answer is always the same, "He does!"
So to all you dads out there, Happy Father's Day. Don't compromise on making new memories and capture them with more than just neurochromes. Nothing beats looking at old photographs and the memories they bring back.
And nothing tops Jodi Picoult's quote, which I've shared a few dozen times over the years:
“This is what I like about photographs. They're proof that once,
even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect.”
Wishing everybody a terrific Sunday, and time to savor your family, friends and those special moments that make life so worth living and remembering!
Happy Father's Day!
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.