by Skip Cohen
It's Throwback Thursday and now and then I like to step away from the memories of old photographs and instead find early concepts I've shared in blog posts.
Seven years ago, my good buddy Scott Bourne wrote the post below about using your phone. At that time, picking up a phone and making a call was in the shadows of texting, email, and social media in general. Many of you didn't have a phone number even listed on your website. Well, the new norm has changed all that and made the phone one of your best tools for helping your business.
Talking to a client directly is second only to the benefits of meeting with them in person, which these days can be minimal. And a phone call, especially when you're not hard-selling anything, is perfect for helping maintain relationships important to sustaining your brand and reputation.
So, why not start today and set a goal of ten clients or friends a day you're going to call and just ask, "I'm just checking up on people I care about - how are you guys doing?" It really is that simple, and the phone is a great way to keep in touch!
Scott Bourne should be on your radar. Check out more great content and wisdom by visiting his blog, Picture Methods.
by Scott Bourne
This may come as a shock to some of you, but in the old days, not one single professional photographer on the planet had a Facebook account. Nor did they have a Flickr account, a blog, a website, an e-mail address or anything else that involved being "on line." Yep I know, I know, hard to conceive. But it's absolutely true. And in keeping with my status as "older than dirt" I know this is true because I was actually there!
Truth be told, I've spent more of my life operating without the Internet than WITH the Internet. I've sold more photographs, licensed more images, booked more shoots using the telephone than the Internet. Now here's the good news. The telephone still exists. Oh you don't hear about it very often, but yep, I checked. It's still there. You can get one just about anywhere. And you no longer need to rely on a lady named "Ma Bell" to pick one up.
Yes, the magical telephone still works and in my opinion, still has great value. So today's Marketing Monday tip is short and sweet. Get a telephone number, plaster that puppy everywhere. Use it. Share it. Actually answer it. Talk to people. It's an amazing thing. You can hear the happiness or sadness or joy or suspicion or whatever in the other person's voice. You don't have to rely on emoticons! You can just ask people how they are feeling, what they need, and they will tell you! Crazy right?
You should put your telephone number on every single piece of marketing material you hand out. And you should put it on your website, your blog, your social media accounts (at least the ones you use for business) and you should do so today!
People still use the telephone. They really do. Maybe not ALL people. But enough to warrant you investing in one, promoting the number and responding promptly to every single call, period.
I know what you're thinking. "But Scott if I put a telephone number on my website people will call me!" Yes! Isn't it wonderful? Clients and prospects will call and try to give you money. It's like magic. Give it a try. Really.
As always, Skip and I are rooting for you.
by Skip Cohen
Every day, something comes along that reminds me how much the pandemic has changed our lives. It's especially true with imaging. The post about JP Elario doing Facetime portraits for clients works through a small part of the challenge with physical distancing. In contrast, Steven Gotz's idea of converting family portraits to coloring book pages for young children provides an easy way to keep in touch with clients while utilizing archived images from your files.
Well, here's a new one and the need is enormous - outdoor seating at restaurants!
Every restaurant is working hard to reopen. One ingredient to bring back business is outdoor seating, but most restaurants, especially those that haven't typically offered table service outside, could use a little help in the decorating department.
It's a perfect application for Bay Photo's Performance EXT Metal prints. I wrote about my own experience almost two years ago, and the print I shared is as beautiful today as it was when I took it out of the box. While under a microscope, there might be some deterioration - there's nothing visible with the naked eye. It's been outside the entire time in the sun, heat, and rain of South Florida.
Now, let's take the idea of outdoor prints one step further, and instead of thinking outside the box, let's think like there's no box. Just about every client you've photographed over the years has a back porch or patio, some area outside their home or apartment. And because of the pandemic, everyone is home-bound. Let's get people to think about artwork outside their home.
Here's an opportunity to offer something new to your existing audience and start to plant a few marketing seeds with a new audience. The concept is also perfect for developing some great content for your blog. So, from restaurants needing a stronger presence outdoors to helping clients bring photography to a new location of their home - it's time to look at Performance EXT Metal!
Click on my metal print of Nokomis Beach at sunset for a closer look then read about Bay Photo's metal prints below.
Intro by Chamira Young
Given the beautiful weather during these summer months, one of the most rejuvenating activities you can do is photograph the great outdoors. And whether you're a golfer or not, we can all be fans of picturesque golf greens, especially when you have the right lenses in your camera bag! Beauty is everywhere, and it's more important now than ever to stay creative and inspired.
Today we highlight the work of photographer Channing Benjamin as he uses a trio of Tamron lenses to capture the beauty of America's expansive golf courses. Specifically, he's using the the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 VC G2, the SP 70-200mm F/2.8 VC G2, and the 18-400mm VC to essentially capture the various aspects of the sport. In the article below, Channing discusses his creative process, how he scouts out spots to shoot, how he uses light, and more!
We also made sure to include each of the three lenses he discusses in the article. Click on any of them below!
Photos on Par With None
Channing Benjamin uses his trio of Tamron lenses to show America's greens from a golfer's perspective.
By Jenn Gidman
Images By Channing Benjamin
Before he was photographing golf courses around the US, Channing Benjamin was playing them. "I was a golfer in the mid-2000s, and I'd take a lot of pictures of the courses with my cellphone," he says. "My friends saw I had a good eye and encouraged me to get a real camera, and when I started posting photos taken with my DSLR, I got a really great reaction on Facebook and Instagram."
Because he was a concert video director at the time, Channing quickly learned to appreciate the more relaxed pace of photography, especially on the golf course. "Directing shoots for live concerts is intense," he says. "With photography, I was able to control my environment more and mellow out a bit. Combined with my personal passion for golf, it seemed natural to end up taking photos of golf courses."
Channing, a licensed golf course photographer for Pebble Beach Company, is also certified as a drone pilot, which diversifies his client offerings. "You can be somewhat limited on what you can see on the course when you're on the ground," he says. "I had taken a ladder out to some courses and captured some photos from a higher perspective, but then I saw some drone work others had done and was intrigued. To be able to take a drone photo from 40 or 50 feet up is amazing. I like to keep a balance, though, between my drone photos and those taken on the ground."
When he's on the green, Channing relies on a trio of Tamron lenses: the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 VC G2, the SP 70-200mm F/2.8 VC G2, and the 18-400mm VC. "My go-to lens is the 70-200," he says. "I purchased that lens first because, from what I'd read and seen of it, it seemed to offer terrific bang for the buck. Now, thanks to its versatile focal-length range and optical quality, I get many of my best shots with that lens. And once I had the 70-200, I wanted to be consistent, so I picked up the 24-70 and the 18-400. The 24-70 serves as the perfect portrait lens when I photograph the golfers themselves, and the 18-400 is a convenient travel lens due to its light weight, and it offers me a wider perspective when I need it. Plus, because I shoot completely handheld on the courses, the Vibration Compensation (VC) on all three lenses is critical for me."
Channing's photographic mission on the courses is to reveal the unique details of each site. "Every place is different, in both geography and history," he says. "And, because I'm a golfer myself, I try to approach many of my photos from a golfer's perspective, showing things on the course that would resonate with those who play. That's why having this arsenal of Tamron lenses is key for me, so I can capture all of these various perspectives."
When Channing does his scouting, he'll often play the courses himself. "That's my excuse to get out there, to know what I'm getting into," he says. "On the flip side, it can sometimes be good not to know too much about a course. If I know a place too well, I may not get that first-impression perspective that often gives me some of my freshest, most exciting photos. It can be fun to stumble across a scene rather than know exactly what I'm going to get ahead of time."
That golfer's perspective Channing mentioned earlier is why he took the two photos seen here of a golf bag and golf balls on the green at the Quarry in La Quinta, California. "The Quarry is on Golf Digest's top 100 golf courses list," he says. "For these two photos, I wanted to show what golf is all about. That bag doesn't have a stand on it, because it's a 'walker's bag,' which is more tied to the roots of the game—a lot of people these days ride golf carts and don't walk the course. For the golf balls photo, meanwhile, I shot it wide open, focused on the ball on the tee, and let the lens do the rest."
Read the full article here.
by Skip Cohen
If you follow me regularly, you've probably noticed a change in my suggestions on dealing with marketing challenges. It's the pandemic result, which has shifted so many things we simply took for granted. But it's not all negative. There are some unique opportunities to explore new and different paths to being a professional photographer.
As you expand your skill set to meet the new demand better, you need to modify your website. You may even need to build a second website that focuses on the new directions you're taking in your business if your target audience has changed.
Your blog also has to change. Done right, it can become even more valuable. Your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what's in your heart. It's often your heart for your audience that can open just as many doors as your skill set.
Here are some suggestions to consider as you take on the challenges of the new norm:
Remember - What you show is what you want to sell. Now is the time to clean up your galleries and prioritize the categories of your skill set.
Shakespeare said it best:
"To thine own self be true!"
Stay true to your skill set and whatever new direction you've decided to take your business. Diversity is essential, but going with what your heart's telling you will give you the most satisfaction, not just another element rebuilding your business. Most importantly, be flexible, and if something isn't working or just doesn't feel right, then make the changes you need and keep putting energy into moving on!
And, you know where to find me if you just need an objective sounding board!
by Skip Cohen
Between technology and the challenges created by the pandemic, we're all doing things differently. In fact, many of you have shared talked about techniques you've developed during "downtime" to expand your skill set. And diversity in your business and how you market yourself have all been at the front of the line too.
"Vlogging" wasn't a word even in my vocabulary a year or two ago, but it's about to become a fun and important component of my skill set. And as usual, Panasonic is at the forefront with the new G100. Besides the features and benefits, here's the importance of this new camera - it's hitting a hot button in the needs of the market - which is most of us!
Most of you know I consider myself the low-tech poster child of the industry. I need simplicity in both an application and the benefits. But what excites me the most is, even through there are thousands of vloggers out there already, here's a piece of technology I can get into relatively early on, develop and add it to my skill set for things I'm sharing in the future. I've got a chance to get in earlier than usual in learning something new.
Take a minute, and watch the video below. Like me, I'm sure you'll be struck by the features of this new gem in the LUMIX family. It's small, lightweight and feature driven. And each feature has been carefully thought out and built in to expand our skill set with enhanced video, sound performance and the image quality we've grown to expect from LUMIX.
I pulled two screenshots of features I'm excited about...image stabilization and sound control, but these are only the beginning. In the almost 200-year history of photography, artists have never had more creative tools at their fingertips than today. And Panasonic just gave us more!
Click on any of the thumbnails below to find out more and then visit your LUMIX retailer!
Panasonic LUMIX G100|4K Mirrorless Vlogging Camera|12-32mm lens
by Skip Cohen
It's Sunday morning and almost typical, at least it would be if we didn't have puppies afraid of loud noises. The combination of July 4th fireworks in the neighborhood, combined with rolling thunder, created a unique evening resulting in minimal sleep. But I'm not complaining really...nothing beats puppy bonding. I'm tired and way off the topic of photography as usual, but I'm fighting to keep it light.
I've noticed my list of things that make me happy has changed because of the pandemic. Hunkering down for four months has clearly changed my values, but as you look at my list, what's on yours?
We're all dealing with a new normal, and while it's incredible how much I miss getting out to dinner with friends and having friends over, we've learned to make the best of it. But there's no question my standards are different. By definition, I guess we've become physical recluses. Until Florida's numbers slow down, we're staying home...but thank God for the Internet and our phones!
Wishing everybody a Sunday filled with moments that make you smile. If you're like us, you've already realized how little it takes to put a smile on your face, but sometimes you have to work to let the smile come to the surface. Remember, it really does take less muscle work to smile than it does to frown.
Happy July 5th, everybody!
Life is short, live it.
Love is rare, grab it.
Anger is bad, let go of it.
Fear is a mind-killer, face it.
Memories are sweet, cherish them.
by Skip Cohen
I'm in one of those sappy moods, so don't give up on me until I'm done with this post.
Thirty-three years ago this weekend, I was sitting in a hotel room nervous about starting a new job on Monday. It was my first day as President of Hasselblad USA. I'd been in the industry for almost twenty years at that point, but I look at that Monday as the real start of my career in photography.
We had a fantastic team at Hasselblad, and I'd experience so many incredible memories over the next twelve years. Many of my very best friends today came into my life during those early years. While I've always loved the imaging world, it's thanks to so many of you today that make getting out of bed such a kick every morning.
The pandemic has created a new norm we all have to deal with, but I can't think of a more incredible industry to weather the storm and help the world stay focused on what's most important in life.
Over the years, I've been accused of being the industry cheerleader, wearing rose-colored glasses too often. Well, maybe more people need a pair of those glasses! I love this industry, and if I can help you find a new direction to help rebuild your business, you know where to find me.
Together we can make it through any mess the world throws at us - and I know what a simpleton I sound like when I say that. It's tough right now, and even worse, it's scary. I find myself worrying about Sheila, family, and friends who are all vulnerable. That fear, if not controlled, would turn into procrastination, complacency, and depression. It's a roller coaster of emotion these days, and it takes work to smile from the inside out. Anybody can smile on the surface, but you have to dig to stay happy.
Ironically, it's Independence Day, and we're all fighting to be free of the pandemic. So, stay safe, listen to the doctors, NOT the politicians, cherish your skill set, and ability to help people continue to capture memories. Last but not least, my offer to help is in the foundation of virtually every post I write. But I'm not alone - I'm joined by hundreds of other community members who all share the same love for the craft.
Last but not least, thank you for being a reader, an artist, and for many of you, a great friend.
by Skip Cohen
One cure for the pandemic blues is a trip down Memory Lane. Going off in search of old photographs always makes me smile. And these days you don't have to turn the clock back very far to get to the good old days.
It's 2009 at PPE and my first convention after leaving RF Publishing and WPPI. That's me, Tony Corbell and Nick Vedros in the always popular Vedros superhero pose. It was a great convention, and Sheila's first really big introduction to the industry.
But the best part was being in NYC with nothing to do but play tourist. We walked the show, caught up to so many good friends, and then snuck out to see New York. Think about all the conventions you've ever been to - rarely is there time just to enjoy the sights.
Times Square at night, the top of the Empire State Building, walking Fifth Avenue, a carriage ride through Central Park - you name it, we were tourists! We had a blast because it was my first time in New York for several days with minimal business to do.
Take the time to take your own trip down Memory Lane. Look for those moments that make you smile, and then be as patient as you can - memory-making days aren't over, just buried under today's stress in dealing with the new norm.
Happy Throwback Thursday!
In Javits with Matthew Jordan Smith and out on the streets of NYC with Tony!
You can't be the kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it.
You have to go down the chute.
by Skip Cohen
In the last few months, I've talked with hundreds of photographers online, through emails, and IMs on Facebook, or live on the phone. If there's a common theme, it's centered around getting business back on track.
Many of you already had challenges in your business before the pandemic you needed to address, but you procrastinated and put those issues on the back burner. After all, there was nothing you could do to change the dynamics of the new normal.
Well, Covid-19 isn't going to disappear with one dramatic "grand sweeping gesture." Masks, hand-washing, physical distancing, and being smart about protecting yourself and your family is all part of the new normal.
What's NOT part of the new normal is running your business the same old way. You need to adapt to the needs of your clients and, at the same time, respect the health parameters important to both them and you.
So, you're at the top of the waterslide, and it's time to leap into a new level of diversity for your business. You still need to fine-tune your skills, but there are still some strong imaging needed by your clients.
Just because the new norm requires physical distancing and has prevented most photographers from getting out of the slow season, doesn't mean there aren't things you can do to rebuild your business. You know how to focus your camera. Now it's time to refocus your career.
Over the years, mostly on Twitter, I've shared a lot of great quotes. While I'd like to take credit for all of them, it's thanks to two authors, Kathryn & Ross Petras, who put together a book of motivational quotes in the clickable thumbnail on the right. Tina Fey's quote above is from their collection. But my all time favorite is, "Age Doesn't Matter Unless You're a Cheese."
Whether you like to share quotes online or not, this little book is loaded with inspiration!
Intro by Chamira Young
If you're anything like me, the thought of a versatile lens useful for various situations simply makes your mouth water. When you're out in the field shooting, it can be a hassle to constantly have to juggle multiple pieces of glass...all while possibly missing the magical moment! That's why we're excited to share this beautiful new video from Tamron showcasing a new lens that is the epitome of performance.
In the video below, photographer Kurt Gardner takes you on a journey as he heads to The Adirondacks. The new 28-200 F/2.8-5.6 Sony full frame mirrorless lens is the epitome of flexibility when you're out in the field. As you'll see in the video, this new lens performs well in multiple situations, including nature and night photography, and is rugged enough to handle extreme outdoor conditions.
If you want to learn more about this amazing new lens, click on the image above. Check out the video below!
by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday and the perfect time to redefine being a pro in photography. The pandemic and physical distancing with various levels of self-quarantine have reduced some of the more prominent tools of a pro. But the Internet has expanded the playing field for so-called professional artists to jump into the market. You've got to make yourself stand out from the rest of the "herd."
Years ago, my buddy Dean Collins used to say, "All you need to be a pro these days is a roll of duct tape and a Yellow Pages ad!" His sarcasm still rings true today with too many photographers calling themselves pros, simply because of the gear they own.
I've written a lot about this topic, and it's time to update some of the qualities that make an artist a professional. And it's sure not your gear! Every time you're in public, especially in cyberspace, there's a chance to show your skillset, not just as an artist but as a business owner.
Here's the bottom line: Professionalism is obviously defined by your ability to exceed the expectations of your clients. But your technical skills in producing beautiful images mean absolutely nothing if you don't have a sense of service, listen more than you talk, and build a brand based on being helpful. Make working with you an experience beyond the click of the shutter.
"Customers don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."
"I've never had so many options in one camera!"
by Skip Cohen
Most of you know I am not a professional photographer. I don't make a living as an artist because my passion is the business and marketing side of imaging. But that doesn't mean I don't love and respect the craft. And, hanging out with so many of you for so many years, I've learned a lot. As a result, I know more than I let on.
I've been shooting with LUMIX cameras since the GH3 almost six years ago. Every camera I've worked with has been a stellar tools, often making me look more talented than I deserve. But it's not just LUMIX gear that's spectacular, but the dedication of Panasonic to live up to the LUMIX tagline, "Changing Photography." They never slow down in developing tools/features to help artists raise the bar on the quality of their images.
If you haven't checked out the LUMIX channel on YouTube, find the time. There's so much great content from videos like the one I'm sharing today with Annie Griffiths to mini webinars with some of the most talented photographers in the industry.
Annie Griffiths needs to be on your radar. As a LUMIX Ambassador, she's also part of the LUMIX Ambassador team. This group is one of the most diverse and creative teams in photo, and all the ambassadors are sharing great content. Check out the LUMIX Photographers Facebook page too - there are always great conversations and imaging being shared.
Happy Mirrorless Monday!
Finding out more about the LUMIX S Series cameras is just a click away on the banner below.
by Skip Cohen
It's a typical Sunday morning. If you're new to Reflections, be warned: I always go off track, typically writing about something other than business and marketing in imaging. This morning is too good not to share, and if you have fun with this and get involved, then I'll take credit - if you hate the idea, it's all Glen Clark's fault! LOL
Glen and I have been friends since a meeting at Kodak in the early nineties. We've worked on different projects together, caught up at various shows/conferences, and shared a bunch of meals together. And we grab a phone call with each other regularly. We've had a lot of great ideas and laughs over a twenty-five-year friendship, and we're not letting the pandemic slow us down.
Yesterday he sent me the images below and wrote:
Oh thank God...I finally got a haircut today. I still think you should do some "before and after"
Covid looks on your blog. I think it'd be hilarious (and eye-opening).
So, I'm running with the idea. Let's start our own gallery of photographers with BP (Before Pandemic) and AP (After Pandemic) images of haircuts, beards, anything fun in the grooming category. Everyone has been forced to let their hair grow through some part of the mandatory or voluntary quarantine.
Here at our house, I finally trusted Sheila to cut my hair. As Florida's Covid-19 numbers spike again, we're not going to the barber/salon. But I have to admit, she's cut my hair twice, and she's getting good at it. And if she screws up - who cares? Nobody's close enough to see it anyway!
Then I remembered a month ago another great friend, Melissa Ghionis shared her "BP" and "AP" hair. She wrote on Facebook:
About 14 weeks without a haircut (since WPPI!!!) made for a very rough "growing out stage"!
Thankfully Jerry doesn't love me for my looks.
And also thankfully Todd White is an amazing man and made me look like me again.
Sadly, Lucy didn't do quite as well as the rest of us when I bought a dog grooming kit. Fortunately, the mirrors are all too high for her to reach and see herself. Otherwise, we'd have a case of puppy PTSD on our hands. I definitely took too much off the top, but she seems to have forgiven me so far.
So, how brave are you? Let's have some fun with this and share your before and afters...and if you're still in the before mode, share the image anyway. Send it to me in an IM on Facebook. Let's get an industry gallery going, with no other purpose than having fun.
Remember, "fun?" It's a word that's too often lost, especially over the last few months. Time to get it back!
Wishing everybody a day filled with a few laughs and simply having fun. We'll get through this crisis, and while we'll never look back and laugh, that doesn't mean we can't have a few chuckles NOW! Thank you for following me; thank you for your support and, most importantly, thank you for helping me stay focused on what's important - this morning, a little laughter!
Stay safe and healthy!
by Skip Cohen
Jay P. Morgan knocks another one out of the park with this new video about raising the bar on the quality of your online presence in video. I found his video so helpful that I've duplicated Jay P's set up right down to a plexiglass stand to raise my laptop. Working closely with Platypod, I was already using the goosenecks with two LitraTorch 2.0 lights on an Ultra, but I decided it was time to upgrade everything.
The pandemic has created the new normal, and we're all on video calls more than ever before. Plus, we're part of an industry that prides itself on great visual presentations. Whether you're involved in online meetings, a presentation, or just talking with friends and family - looking good should be part of your profile. You're online live presence is no different than having a good headshot on your "About" page!
If you're looking for great educational support by one of the best educators in imaging, follow Jay P. Morgan on his YouTube channel, The Slanted Lens. There are over 500 videos, and he's always sharing terrific content with never-ending support to help artists raise the bar on the quality of their work.
And if you're looking for the latest in great gear from Platypod? Just click on the logo below to check out the current kits on sale along with the rest of the product line. Platypod also sells the LitraTorch 2.0s, but check out Litra. com for more information about their other lights and accessories too.
by Skip Cohen
I shared this on my wife's birthday a few years ago, but our tenth wedding anniversary is coming up on Monday. And it's Throwback Thursday, so it's the right time to wish my honey Happy Anniversary a few days early.
This is the third grade at Clyde C. Hadden Elementary in Ohio. We went all through grade school, junior high, and high school together but were never friends. She was a cheerleader, and I was a nerd - just didn't travel in the same circles. The friendship kicked off at our 40th high school reunion.
Surprisingly, at least one notable event made history, besides being right on top of Don Shula's hometown. When JFK ran for election, Painesville, Ohio, was a stop on the tour. He spoke from the restaurant's rooftop next door, and we were all gathered outside the school to watch and listen.
And if by some dumb chance of luck you recognize anybody besides the two of us, let me know. We've got a few faces in there neither of us can remember.
As always, take a look in your rearview mirror at least once a week. It helps cut a little of the insanity we're feeling with the pandemic. It's no fun being hunkered down, but now and then a trip down Memory Lane makes a difference.
And to my bride...Happy Anniversary! There's nobody I'd rather be stuck in a pandemic with. There's no boredom in this house.
Happy Throwback Thursday, everybody!
PS Feel free to share any shot of you age twelve or younger! Come on, gang, let's have some laughs with your old school pics. Besides, most of you know where they are, having found them while cleaning a closet during all this downtime.
by Skip Cohen
One of my longest time best buddies in the industry is Bob Coates. His work has been featured regularly on the SCU blog, most recently, last week with "Naked Bob" and a unique project he put together with a group of artists in Sedona.
Bob's always been ahead of the times. In fact, 2-3 years ago, after coming home sick after every major convention, he replaced handshakes and bro-hugs with an elbow bump. Within a year, so many of us had picked it up because it just made sense!
Bob is back with another idea and again ahead of his time. In a Facebook post, he wrote:
I would love for people to change the term from Social Distancing to Physical Distancing. Every time I read or see the first phrase it is like fingernails on a blackboard. We can be social at a physical distance.
Language matters. Social distancing imbues a fully negative connotation and reinforces a negative feeling vs physical distancing, a more friendly way to direct proper safety procedures.
Well, I don't know about you, but I like it a lot. The truth is, from a purely social perspective, the pandemic has brought me closer to a lot of people. I'm in touch through social media much more, and between Facebook, email, and the phone, I'm keeping in touch with friends more than the usual 2-3 times a year we'd catch up at a conference.
So Bob, as the James Dean of linguistic rebellion, who most readers will have to look up to see who he was, I'm with ya.
Images copyright Alyce Bender. All rights reserved.
We believe people with passion can change the world for the better. That's what we believe.
And we believe those people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world
are the ones that actually do.
by Skip Cohen
Ever meet somebody, and within an unusually short time, you feel like you've known them for years? That's the way I describe getting to know Alyce Bender. Two weeks ago, we spoke on the phone for the first time after she answered an email about being a guest "Chef" in the Tamron Recipes series.
When Chamira and I started the series, we thought we'd simply find creative ways to show Tamron's outstanding quality through great artists and beautiful images. However, what's happened has so much more impact, and "Bender" is a perfect example.
Every Chef has shared something a little different and always relevant to their growth as an artist. Alyce's skill set is outstanding, but it's her love for the craft and sharing her images that's even more impressive. She loves the outdoors, and while that's not in itself unique, sharing her experiences with her level of passion is.
"I believe the stronger the connection between people and nature, the easier it is to promote environmental awareness and to protect vulnerable species and their habitats."
With every image, you get a sense of that message, and when she crosses over from documenting nature to turning it into fine art, I was struck by the simplicity in the beauty of what she creates. Grabbing screenshots of my favorites from her galleries was not easy, especially when it came to her winter images from Japan. Click on any image to visit her Chef Bender's website.
Chef Bender's recipe is a click away if you missed it when it was posted last week. And for more information on Tamron's SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 lens, click on the banner below.
The pandemic has made this the most challenging time in contemporary history to be a business owner and especially a professional photographer. But Tamron's support team hasn't slowed down - just moved to cyberspace. Check out Tamron's programs for rebates, online education, and even some great contests to share your work.
As we all adjust to the new normal, the change in business makes this a good time to expand your skill set. Having to "hunker down" doesn't have to mean your business, skills, or continuing to build relationships with your clients. It's essential to stay involved!
by Skip Cohen
We're living with a new normal in communication. Face to face meetings are minimal, but phone calls, Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc. are critical in how we talk to each other. And even though a phone conversation allows two people to hear the inflections and emotion in their voices, there's still no visual anchor.
This isn't a new topic; in fact, the quote above I've shared numerous times, but with the new normal, everyone needs a reminder about fine-tuning your listening skills. It all starts with slowing down and not being distracted. You've got to listen to the client and ask for clarification if you don't completely understand what they've said.
Listening these days goes hand in hand with your written skills as well. So let's fine-tune everything in how you communicate.
Your most influential marketing tool is about building relationships and trust. It applies to every specialty within photography, including commercial, boudoir, family, children, maternity, and the list goes on and on!
The biggest communication problem is that we do not listen to understand.
We listen to reply.
by Skip Cohen
Saturday on Facebook, LUMIX Ambassador Jordan Bunch posted the image above with one simple statement:
Amazing wedding tonight! So grateful to our clients for trusting us with their weddings
during this Wild time.
There are venues and then THERE ARE VENUES! The wedding was held at Hidden River Ranch in Lampasas, Texas. I love seeing a great venue getting back into the swing of business.
Click on the image to the right to link to their website.
Over the last week, at least six friends, who are photographers, told me they're starting to shoot again. Nothing major, just a nice trickle of business starting to flow. So, as much as I love the image Jordan shared above, I appreciated what he wrote even more.
The statement made through a photograph of a couple dancing in an open field is a story all its own. No big receptions, just proof of a couple's love, admiration and trust for each other...and their photographer.
Yes, that's a sappy way to look at it, but over the last few months, we've all had moments when hope and faith were buried under the stress of the pandemic. I also appreciated Jordan sharing the image on Facebook. Now, more than ever, social media is our best link to keep in touch. It's also where I spend the first hour of every day.
Jordan Bunch needs to be on your radar, along with the LUMIX Ambassador team. This group is one of the most diverse and creative teams in photo, and all the ambassadors are sharing great content. Check out the LUMIX Photographers Facebook page too - there are always great conversations and imaging being shared.
About the image above, Jordan wrote:
My new favorite way to shoot portraits is to use the long end of my 70-200 2.8 as a wide lens. So I rack the lens out to 200mm or near it and then scoot WAY back. This gives me amazing compression and gorgeous bokeh on a composition that otherwise 99% of photographers would take with a much wider focal length.
Interested in finding out what Jordan's shooting with? Click on either thumbnail below.
From twenty-six to ninety-three, my Dad was always my best buddy. Thanks to our profession,
I've got great memories and a story to go with each photograph!
by Skip Cohen
If you're a regular reader, then you know on Sunday mornings I ALWAYS go off-track and run amuck with my thoughts. There's no telling where I might go, but it's always miles away from the business of imaging.
We've all learned a lot through the pandemic. As we're hunkered down and often feeling isolated, that old line about life being too short couldn't be more accurate. I often wonder what my Dad would be saying as he watched the craziness in today's world unfold. He passed away almost five years ago, but I've got so many incredible memories I still enjoy thanks to photography. Intangible moments turned tangible - that's the magic of what's in your skill set.
So, to all you Dads out there - Happy Father's Day. Cherish your kids and your spouse, who played a significant role in making you a Dad! And to my own Dad, who I've missed every day since you passed away, I love ya. Thanks for everything you taught me, and so many incredible memories, and watching over us now. As I've written in the past, I couldn't be more proud to be Ralph Cohen's son.
Wishing everybody a day filled with love, peace, and respect for "the old man." Don't let the pandemic hold you back from making new memories.
"Life is too short. So, break your silly ego, forgive quickly, believe slowly, love truly,
laugh loudly and never avoid anything that makes you smile."
Happy Father's Day!
We've postponed the f64 Lunch Bunch for a few weeks. There's so much going on in everybody's lives right now in terms of help and education. However, we're all still here to help and just an email away.
And if you missed the May 6 lunch with Bobbi Lane and Tony Corbell - it's pretty amazing. The video is just a click away.
ClickCon 2020 Circle the Dates!!
The pandemic may have moved the dates for 2020 to August 10-13, 2021, but that's NOT slowing Team ClickCon down. Stay tuned for new programs online with ClickCon Nation! It all starts on August 11th.
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.