by Skip Cohen
Roberto Valenzuela joins Chamira and me on this "Beyond Technique" podcast. If you've ever had the opportunity to watch Roberto teach, you know he never holds back. In fact, one of my favorite lessons I picked up from attending one of his programs many years ago was, "Practice doesn't make perfect. What if you're practicing it wrong?"
Roberto never slows down, working to expand his skillset. He's constantly experimenting and stepping outside his comfort zone to capture unique images for every client.
We covered a lot of ground in this podcast:
The "Beyond Technique" podcast is thanks to Platypod
Platypod's presence in social media just keeps growing. You'll find a never-ending stream of great content on the Platypod blog, and then check out the images being shared on Platypod's Instagram and Facebook pages.
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. Just click on the banner to the right to sign up.
The inventory blowout of the Multi-Accessory kit at 50% off and Free with the purchase of the mainline of primary products is coming to an end, and will only be available while supplies last. Click on any of the thumbnails below for more information.
by Skip Cohen
This is another page from the Graphistudio "Day in the Life of WPPI" project I've written about before. It's definitely the gift that keeps on giving. After a year of hunkering down, nothing beats a quick look in your rearview mirror combined with a few smiles and the faith that we'll get back to days of being together at LIVE conferences!
For the 2007 book, Victor Sizemore, Calvin Hayes, Catherine Hall, and Jim Garner were the featured four artists. What a kick to go back and see the event through their eyes!
by Skip Cohen
I'm not sure there's ever been a time in recent years when outdoor photography was more popular, but it goes beyond that. After a year of being conditioned to social distancing and creating individually, being outdoors with a camera in your hands is safe. It's also therapeutic, and I know for me is a never-ending reminder of why I fell in love with imaging in the first place.
If you haven't checked out the KelbyOne conference on Monday and Tuesday, now's the time. Just click on the banner above. And check out the instructors for this two-day event. There's also a unique program on Wednesday with the dynamic duo of Larry T. (inventor/founder of Platypod) and Larry Becker. Together they'll share one idea after another to help you boost your creativity and explore new perspectives with your camera.
Over the last year KelbyOne has launched some of the finest online programs in the industry, with some of the industry's most respected artists and educators. Put KelbyOne on your radar so you don't miss their ongoing series of online conferences!
Click on any image above for more information!
By Chamira Young
It's no secret that we're big fans of the work of macro photographer Rhonda Coe, and for good reason. Her photography is as stunning as it is creative! Her body of work draws in the viewer's eye with her technical knowledge, as well as her attention to every detail.
In today's post, we offering a fascinating glimpse into Rhonda's macro world as she describes her creative process during this past spring. Her lens of choice is the Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 VC macro lens, with one of the big reasons being its vibration control feature, which allows her to shoot handheld much of the time.
Read the full post below, and take note of how she seeks to find the unusual no matter where she is. She also describes some challenges she's had to overcome while shooting. So whether you're in your own backyard at home or traveling across the state, remember to look for inspiration everywhere! We love the inspiration the team and Tamron is constantly bringing to the photography industry.
How to: Shoot Backyard Macro
Rhonda Coe’s Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 VC macro lens helps her create extraordinary photos in the most ordinary of places.
By Jenn Gidman
Images by Rhonda Coe
This past winter seemed especially long, and no spring has ever felt so welcome. For macro photographers like Rhonda Coe, one respite during the long season was the ability to keep taking pictures, whether it was in her driveway, out in her yard, or in her kitchen at her Ohio home. “The goal I set for myself while shooting macro, no matter what time of year I’m shooting, is to seek out the unusual—the things you don’t usually see people taking pictures of, like weeds or ugly insects,” she says.
For the past several years, Rhonda has relied on the Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 VC lens to compose her macro creations. “It’s difficult to shoot macro on a tripod, because I’m climbing into the bushes, chasing after bugs, and getting down low, so most of the time, I shoot handheld,” she says. “The 90mm’s Vibration Control (VC) feature ensures I get the compensation I need for any camera shake. I also appreciate the focus limiter switch on the side of the lens, which helps me achieve focus more quickly when I know the distance of the subject I want to have in focus. Another bonus with this lens: I don’t use it just for macro. I’ve taken landscape photos and portraits with it as well. I can keep the 90mm on my camera all day and take so many different types of pictures. It’s very conducive to getting my creative juices flowing.”
Enjoy some recent macro photos Rhonda has shot with the 90mm, as well as her explainers on how she compensated for some of the challenges that popped up during her sessions.
Dandelion seeds can be challenging to photograph, as even the tiniest breeze can cause your picture to go out of focus. I’d taken photos of the entire dandelion shown here, but it looked a little chaotic, so I started focusing more on the core. I liked how you could see how all of the seeds were attached in the middle. In post-processing, I gave the image a more bluish-orange tone and cropped it real close so you couldn’t see all of the grass and other stuff behind it, which would’ve been distracting.
This paper wasp was flitting about with the bumblebees I was photographing. These wasps are somewhat aggressive, so I had to stand about 2 feet back. Luckily, even though the wasp wasn’t feeding on the nectar, it hung out on that flower for a few minutes, giving me enough time to fire off several shots that I was then able to focus-stack.
Epalpus signifer is a species of bristle fly, and one of them was flying from flower to flower on the holly bush in my yard. He was pretty big, about an inch long. Because it was timid and seemed afraid of me, I took this photo from about 4 feet away, then cropped the image. I love how the 90mm macro was able to pick up each tiny hair on its body.
Read the rest of the post here.
by Skip Cohen
We're right in the heart of spring seasonality, and although Mother's Day has passed, you've still got proms, graduations, and Father's Day ahead. That leaves some terrific opportunities to pick up a little momentum for your business.
As we slowly come out of the pandemic, there are so many ways for you to start to regain some of the business you lost. Plus, there are some unique opportunities to raise the bar on your skillset.
If you're a senior photographer, Marathon's program on grad cards increases your profitability by 50% with their buy-one-get-one offer. Think about the Class of 2021 and what they've been through their senior year. They need all the help they can get with ways to celebrate, but this is also your chance to start building brand awareness with the Class of 2022. Click above for more info!
Need help with your skillset in photography, videography, marketing, and business? Check out the upcoming Visual Storytelling Conference. The VIP Package is on special for $99, and the free software alone is worth almost $200. And if you don't want to spend any money at all - you can sign up for the FREE pass. Just click on the banner above.
Father's Day is right around the corner, but there's plenty of time to get Mom thinking about the need for a new family portrait. And it's the perfect gift for Dad! Use your blog to plant the seeds for ideas. And Throwback Thursday posts are perfect to help remind your target audience it's time for a new portrait.
Stuck on ideas for new products to offer your clients? Pick up the phone and call your lab. All you have to do is ask, "So, what's new?" Then kick back and listen. Technology didn't slow down because there was a pandemic, and there are so many products to offer.
I'm a huge fan of metal prints, especially when they're hung outside on a porch or patio. It's unique and becomes a conversation piece when people are together. Check out Bay Photo's Performance EXT Metal prints.
Here's my point - the pandemic created a greater sense of family and also heightened our awareness of our friends. Most of us hunkered down and kept in touch with Zoom, Skype, Facetime, phone calls, and email. But now it's time to get back to capturing memories, and nobody can do it better than you!
There are only two significant stretches of seasonality in imaging, the Spring and the November/December holidays. Don't miss the opportunities around you right now...you snooze, you lose!
And if you're stuck on ideas, you know where to find me. I'm happy to help you take those steps to get your business back on track.
by Skip Cohen
I'm always off the topic of marketing and business on Sunday mornings, but today is so appropriate. It's Mother's Day, and while my mother passed away seven years ago, three things don't change - how much I miss her, how much I love her, and the value of every photograph I have of her.
It's that last thing that so many of you miss. As photographers and videographers, you're magicians. You turn intangible memories into something people can look at and cherish for a lifetime! Think about that the next time you're feeling frustrated over the challenges of running a business today.
The pandemic took a lot away, but it didn't touch the value of memories or the need to keep creating and capturing them. Yes, business disappeared for a while, but it's coming back fast, and you can either watch the parade go by or be in it!
I've said or written this hundreds of times: Except for modern medicine, no career field has given the world more than everyone in the imaging world.
Wishing all of you a spectacular Sunday and Mother's Day. This is definitely a day to hug your Mom for at least eleven seconds. And if you're like me and your Mom is no longer around - close your eyes and hug her anyway - she'll get it.
Happy Mother's Day!
by Skip Cohen
The fun of Throwback Thursday is always in the hunt! The series above was from Graphi Studio's "Day in the Life of WPPI" book for the 2007 convention. Jim Garner was one of four photographers whose work was featured in the album for that year.
That's Charles Maring teaching a portrait class above, and there were probably 500+ people in the audience. And the image on the right, since it was his birthday yesterday, is Mike Colón, also teaching that year.
I'm not totally sure, but I think Mike's program was part of the Champagne Shoot-out series, an evening event we did in one of the larger ballrooms each year. They usually started around 9:00 pm and one year went almost to midnight. We had four different photographers, one in each corner doing live shoots and teaching at the same time.
Then, in the middle of the room, rather than cheap champagne, we had $10,000 of Häagen-Dazs ice cream with a sundae bar. Nothing beats the combination of great education with decent ice cream!
I remember one year two young photographers complaining to me about no champagne. Champagne was the original plan until the hotel hit me with their prices for the really low end stuff. My answer, "Which would you rather have, a hot fudge sundae or cheap champagne you won't like?" His buddy smacked him and said, "Shut up and get a sundae!"
I started with WPPI/Rangefinder in 2001. With an incredible team, the show grew to be the largest professional photographic convention in the U.S. And while there were always challenges in matching the right size rooms to the speakers, terrific hands-on education was a common denominator with so many of the programs.
Don't let Throwback Thursday go by without your own hunt for great memory-making images. It's a great feeling to look back and appreciate the growth of the industry and the friendships we all made together, starting so many years ago!
Intro by Chamira Young
One great way to learn more about photography is to listen to in-depth interviews featuring your fellow photographers. There's nothing like taking a deep dive into how they create their images, as well as why they love doing what they do. That's why we're excited to feature a fascinating interview with nature photographer and Tamron ambassador Alyce Bender. David Johnston from Outdoor Photography Guide serves as the gracious host as they discuss how Alyce got her start in photography and developed her passion and technique over time. Personally, I love when they discuss her creative process and how she decides on the type of image she wants to create, and how her various locations effects her decision-making process. David is an outdoor photographer himself, and so he asks fantastic questions!
One thing you'll notice is that Alyce has plenty of patience when out on the field. Her lens selection is paramount, and she always carefully considers which lens is best to capture what she sees. She typically carries five Tamron lenses in her bag at all times. For landscapes, she generally uses the Tamron 10-24mm lens and the Tamron 18-400mm lens. For wildlife, she favors the Tamron 100-400 lens and the big Tamron 150-600mm zoom lens.
Check out these great lenses below, as well as the full interview!
by Skip Cohen
There's nothing new to write about or share following everything I've written over the last few weeks about seasonality. So this is just a you-snooze-you-lose reminder!
Every year in imaging, there are two stretches of seasonality - the Spring starting with Mother's Day and November, starting with Thanksgiving and running through the December holidays. Slowly coming out of the pandemic, the timing is perfect for you to be focusing on Mother's Day, graduations, proms, and Father's Day.
This will be a short post, but think about what parents and grandparents have missed the most. Got it? The answer is family! That makes this the perfect time to remind your clients it's time for a new family portrait!
And that's only the beginning. Think about what the Class of 2021 has had to deal with this year. Think about proms and the fact that many communities will have limited events. Then, Father's Day rolls around.
All it takes is a call to your lab and asking the question, "So, what's new?" Then kick back and listen. You've got a rare opportunity to be creative and help your clients create an incredible memory of Spring 2021.
Images copyright Elizabeth Gadd. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
As I've written so many times in the past, the fun of this industry is about the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. But, another aspect of imaging makes it exciting: the quality of work and the common denominators in the company connections we share.
Lizzy Gadd needs to be on your radar. I met her thanks to Platypod. With each new image she shares, I'm repeatedly in awe of her work. She's taken self-portraiture to an entirely new level. Each image represents another piece of her heart and vision.
Our home is filled with photography with prints from artists all over the world. However, it's not very often I consider a portrait of somebody else so stunning that I want it on a wall in my home.
Well, Lizzy Gadd's work is about to be available through her online gallery launch this week. The excitement kicks off with a 48-hour 50% off launch celebration starting on May 6.
In her email to me she wrote: I'll also be donating 10% of everything towards Canadian forest conservation initiatives, to help give back what nature gives me, since my art wouldn't be possible without it.
I know it sounds pretty sappy, but looking at the body of work Lizzy's put together, simply makes me proud to consider her a friend!
Whether you're in the market to purchase a limited edition print or not, I hope you'll take the time to view the catalog. It's a pretty remarkable body of work. Click on any image in this post to link to Lizzy's pdf catalog.
Alone we can do so little,
Together we can move mountains!
Sarah Petty and Family
by Skip Cohen
Sunday Morning Reflections is always about something completely off topic from the business and marketing of photography. However, getting yesterday's holiday card from Sarah Petty got me thinking about one of the coolest relationship builders so many of you could be using right now.
Here's the short backstory: Sarah was late getting her holiday cards out and mailed them in February. On the front of the card, she printed "Better Late than Never." So, the card was lost in the holiday shuffle and got to my PO Box in late March. I don't use the box that much and picked the card up yesterday.
That's the front of her card above with Sarah and her family. There's something about opening a card like this in April, months after it was meant to be sent. It simply made me smile. I won't deny for a second I'm one of Sarah's biggest fans, but the idea of sending a holiday card out of the usual timing sequence is remarkable.
I've written a lot about relationship building being your top marketing tool, but this takes it to a different level. This past December holiday season, everyone was scrounging for a bit of faith in the future. While we're still not out of the woods, things are better for most of us today. We're slowly returning to a level of normalcy, and little by little, every day, things improve.
So, why not send out a card to your clients and friends to celebrate? Why wait until December to wish people peace and prosperity? I've shared the idea of holiday cards in July in workshops in the past. Still, this year the idea has a little more strength. There isn't a better way for you to remind your target audience you're there for support and to be their number one resource for all their imaging needs.
Wishing everybody a Sunday filled with things that help you bring back a new level of normalcy. And let's not forget those eleven-second therapeutic hugs I used to write about. They've been on hold for the last year, and they couldn't be more needed or important right now.
Happy Sunday...or Monday if you're on the other side of the world!
by Skip Cohen
I apologize for this sounding like a rant, but while so many of you are working hard to get business back on track, there are still too many of you bitching, moaning, complaining, and whining about what the pandemic took away. So, this email is addressed to those of you stuck in analysis paralysis trying to figure out where to start.
I keep sharing links to various programs coming up, and the response is minimal. Yet, when I wander into many of the Facebook forums, there are threads of conversations from photographers who are still procrastinating about ramping back up! It's time to put your energy into relationship building with your target audience.
I've grabbed the banners of a few of the great programs coming up, but don't forget about support through the blogging community, including Photofocus, who's always sharing great information to help you raise the bar on the quality of your images!
Click on any of the banners below for more information and put them on your radar.
by Skip Cohen
It's 2010 or 2011, and Jerry and Melissa Ghionis came to Ohio to teach as part of the Akron Photo Series. While living in Ohio, I put together several of these programs to help raise money for Akron Children's Hospital while at the same time bringing some excellent education to the area.
That's Brent and Teri Ann Watkins on either side of us, along with the Sylvart Photography Studio team. We did an evening program the night before and then a whole day of hands-on shooting at Brent's studio. But while the image above is a fun one, the image that really makes me smile is the outtake when Brent just wasn't fast enough to beat the self-timer!
It's photographs like this that remind me of what I love most about this industry - the friendships. Yeah, photography is a kick, and it's great working with people we all respect, but it's the mutual love for the craft that builds the bond that keeps all together. Even through the pandemic, we've all kept in touch.
You should be following Brent's Mentor.photo group on Facebook. He started QuaranCon early in the pandemic and just did another online conference last week. And Jerry and Melissa are always out there, both on their own and helping WPPI. They should ALL be on your radar.
Meanwhile, use Throwback Thursday as an excuse to focus on memories and friendships. As I've written before, you don't have to turn the clock back very far to find the "good old days!" Those looks in your rearview mirror are energizing and will definitely help you focus on the importance of keeping in touch with friends and associates!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
"We're not happy until you're unhappy!"
Suggested new slogan for Frontier Communications
by Skip Cohen
I'd love to take credit for that quote above, but it's thanks to a good buddy who suggested it for one of the airlines many years ago. Here's the saga and short backstory:
So, there are a few lessons here.
Lesson 1: Don't get caught without Internet access! Part of my problem has been my new computer and not being able to get online. For whatever reason, using my hot spot on my phone wasn't working, but our daughter-in-law is visiting and had a Netgear wifi base that saved a little of my sanity. But me working without a net, is like any of you shooting a wedding without backup gear.
Lesson 2: How's your sense of Customer Service? The frontline staff at Frontier are all nice people, but they can only be as good as the team backing them up. So, how's your Customer Service set up? Even if you've only got one other person working with you, do they have the authority to make decisions and not make customers wait for a solution?
Lesson 3: Are you easy to contact? Getting to a live body at Frontier almost requires an act of God. They've become so focused on numerical defaults that you wind up going through recording after recording to get to the right person, and even then, you're likely to need to be transferred. On one call, I had at least eight numbers I had keyed in to finally get to somebody.
Lesson 4: When you've got an upset customer tell your staff what's going on. I just got a call from the technician, who should be here within thirty minutes. "Can you tell me what's wrong with your service - there's nothing here on the ticket?"
I like trying to learn from my mistakes, one of them going with Frontier Communications, but at the time they were the only choice. There's a great quote I wish this shipload of fools would learn:
The true test of business's customer service fitness is not when things are going right-
but rather what is done when things go wrong.
Frontier spends a lot of time doing surveys and telling us how much they care on their website, but when it really comes down to it - I'm not sure they could be more out of shape when it comes to customer service fitness!
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass,
but learning to dance in the rain!
by Skip Cohen
The pandemic changed so many things in all of our lives, but one of the biggest challenges has been social distancing. But that sets the stage for the perfect guest chef this month, outdoor photographer Lewis Kemper. He shared a lot of terrific information in this podcast, including the background on his long exposure shot of the night sky from Mono Lake, which we featured last week.
Chef Lewis was shooting with Tamron's SP15-30mm F.2.8 lens. Just click on the banner below for more information about this remarkable piece of glass!
Even though things are slow to get back to normal, being outdoors with a camera can be incredibly rewarding, as well as safe. And Lewis never slows down working to help photographers raise the bar on their skills. Long before the rest of us were learning to use Zoom, Lewis was out there teaching.
Check out his website, galleries, and workshop schedule. I especially like his galleries because they're truly meant to be works of art on display and for sale. Each image is matted, framed, and signed, giving the viewer a much more realistic collection to appreciate. Visit Lewis Kemper Photography with a click on any of the images below. Viewing his galleries, you'll understand why I had such a hard time picking my favorites!
Looking for an incredible photography trip in 2022? Travel with Lewis on his 2022 Eagle tours to Washington State and to Alaska and on his Africa tour.
And while the pandemic didn't slow Lewis down from capturing and creating beautiful images, Tamron never slowed down either. 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 Mother's Day Savings promotion going on right now!
Remember, "hunkering down" is about your health, not about your business, skill set, or your creativity!
Images copyright Lewis Kemper. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
Coming up there's a very special conference you need to know about!
Time to learn about the Visual Storytelling Conference. Check out the line-up of speakers, and early next week the speaking schedule will be posted. I'm proud to be doing two programs during the conference. Along with the team of speakers, we want to help you make 2021 a stronger year for revenue, branding and getting back to the fun of being an artist!
For information on your FREE pass plus how to get the very most out of the conference, just click on the button below.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but in building the new.
by Skip Cohen
As I've written so many times before, 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. One of the first photographers I met when coming over to the professional side of imaging back in the late 80s was Clay Blackmore.
He was an assistant to the legendary Monte Zucker, and over the years, I've watched him grow as an artist, business owner, and even husband and father. It's been a remarkable career to follow, but each step of the way is Clay's signature - the spirit he puts into everything he does. I'm sure there are times when he's stressed and less than fun to hang out with, but it's something I can't imagine.
He's always there to help, and no matter what the challenge or the difficulty, you can be sure Clay's going to find the silver lining. I know it's a little sappy, but this is a guy who always makes lemonade out of those lemons in life.
I don't usually add quotes to MYOB blog posts, but I found two that fit Clay so well. The one by Socrates describes how Clay is constantly building the "new." And the closing one below is simply why Clay is always so great to work with - it's his "positivity."
Clay and I have worked together on hundreds of projects and conferences together. While his passion is portraiture and weddings, there's nothing he can't shoot. Most important of all, he's always looking for ways to make his work look different. He never stops learning, experimenting, and pushing the edge of the envelope on creativity!
Clay shares a lot of great insight into photography, and especially about relationship building and networking. He should also be be on your radar. Click on any image below to link to his website and check out more of his work!
Positivity always wins...always!
Images copyright Clay Blackmore. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
My good buddy Steve Troup shared this in 2011 on Facebook, and I ran across it yesterday. With the image, he wrote:
Here is a real blast from the past. The PPA Industry Advisory Committee, photographed, I think, in front of Agfa Headquarters in maybe 1997. Good times, good friends.
I'm going with Steve on 1997, and we were definitely at Agfa. Mark Roberts from Art Leather was the chairman of the Industry Advisory Committee. He handed off the gavel to me for the next 4-5 years, and then I passed it on to Steve Troup.
Sadly, there are too many people in this photograph who are no longer with us, as well as a few no longer in the industry. However, the memories looking back on those days in imaging still brings a big smile to my face.
Don't let Throwback Thursday go by without enjoying your own hunt for great memories. Then share them on social media. It's especially effective when the image ties back into reminding clients it's time for a new family portrait!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Image copyright Lewis Kemper. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
If you've followed Tamron Recipes for even a short time, you'll notice a common denominator with every "chef," their absolute love for the craft. And the analogy of comparing great photographers to fine chefs keeps getting more and more accurate.
This month we're bringing in a new "cuisine" with Chef Lewis Kemper. Lewis is all about capturing beautiful images outdoors and often shares photographs that simply take our breath away. Although I doubt there's anything he can't photograph, it's landscapes and wildlife that seem to own the biggest piece of real estate in his heart. He's a photographer, educator, fine art printer, and author, plus a good friend to so many people in the industry.
The fun of having Lewis join us this month is the history my co-host, Chamira Young, and I both share with him. Chamira had Lewis as her guest on one of her first podcasts, and Lewis and I did an episode of "Why?" on the SCU site in March 2018. Then there's another element that made working with Lewis so much fun; we share so many of the same friends.
New photographers don't realize what a small industry we are. We've all been to many of the same conventions, rubber-chicken dinners, stuck in airports over the years, or just waiting in line for an event. We've worked with many of the same vendors, and when people use the expression, "It takes a village," we're all part of that team.
Every episode of Tamron Recipes starts with a phone call, and the conversation with Lewis couldn't have been more on point. It was easy to find a quote that fit his love for the craft and how much he wanted to share in the podcast as both an artist and educator.
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass,
but learning to dance in the rain!
About Chef Lewis: In the upcoming podcast, scheduled to air on April 27, Lewis was very open about the challenges through the pandemic. One of the benefits of focusing on the outdoors is not being restricted by social distancing. He was out every day in his kayak with his camera. That pandemic also gave him time to start working with and developing some new techniques in night photography. He definitely learned to "dance in the rain."
About the Image: I have been taking night images for quite some time, but recently have gotten more interested in trying new techniques. In the past, I had done all my images as one exposure, but that is very limiting. Now I am experimenting with stacking images and also with using a star tracker. I am learning new things every day!
Take the time to visit his website and especially his galleries. And if you've got an interest in outdoor photography, check out his workshops. Between his teaching modules and live workshops, there are already eight programs on the calendar for the rest of 2021 and an extraordinary trip to Kenya in 2022.
Even through the pandemic, Tamron has never slowed down in their efforts to help photographers raise the bar on the quality of their images. Check out their listing of local events, all within the appropriate safety and physical distancing guidelines.
The lens Lewis used for the image above was the SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2. Click on the thumbnail to the right for more information, and join us on his podcast next week when he'll talk about the challenges with doing long exposures of the night sky.
He also used Starry Landscape Tracker. Knowing many of you have an interest in the capturing the night skies, here's the link.
While I'm looking forward to the day when I don't feel the need to mention anything about the pandemic, some of you still are missing the point -
Hunkering down is about your health, NOT about growing as an artist and expanding your skillset. Growth only happens outside your comfort zone. So, stay active in social media and spend time with your camera in your hands every day, capturing images for your most important client...YOU!
There are eight different lenses featured in Tamron's Spring Rebates - going on now through May 2. Click on the banner below for more information.
by Skip Cohen
Sometimes the most fun of this industry has nothing to do with having a camera in my hands but the pure pride and enjoyment of watching friends in action. Kevin A. Gilligan is in the spotlight this morning, and he's no stranger to SCU. One of the best "how-to" pieces I've ever shared was Kevin's three-part guest post on all the ingredients you need for your own exhibition.
Noreen Wenjen, the subject in the images, is an accomplished pianist, author, educator - but she's also Kevin's other half, his wife. They've got two kids and live south of Los Angeles, and two years ago, after a five to six-year friendship, he and I finally met in person. Looking back over these last few years, he's become one of my very best friends, and we recently did a program together for ClickCon Nation.
As you watch the short BTS video below, you'll also pick up on one of the most important ingredients of a shoot like this - teamwork. There's that old line about "teamwork makes the dream work." While the images of Noreen at the piano are beautiful, one of my favorites is at the very end - and it's the team, (masks and all), it took to produce the images.
Kevin's backstory on the image is below, but I want to share my own Steinway moment. In my previous life, we were looking to buy a piano for our two kids who were taking lessons. We wandered into Boston Piano in Natick, MA. As we looked at pianos on their showroom floor, I sat down and plunked a few keys on a Steinway. The manager of the store came over and commented on the quality of a Steinway. After hearing that our kids were taking lessons but not serious musicians, he said, "Well, for what you're looking for now, you'd need a Steinway like you'd need a Hasselblad."
The look on his face was priceless as I handed him my new business card. I had just accepted the position of president of Hasselblad USA a few weeks earlier! I totally understood his point, but it was one of those moments that became priceless for both of us.
Kevin is a landscape, portrait, and sports photographer from LA's South Bay. Check out more of his work on his website, and follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
A stunning flowing red dress, a big stage, dramatic lighting on a Steinway piano and a beautiful model - These are the components of a portrait shoot that have been burning in the back of my mind for months.
Noreen Wenjen is a classically trained pianist, piano teacher, author and entrepreneur. She wanted to capture dramatic images of her passion, having played piano since she was five. She’s performing on a 9’ Concert Grand Steinway, a gorgeous, hand-crafted instrument that takes a year of meticulous work to build. We wanted to capture her incredible love for music as well as the beauty of the instrument.
Thanks to Steinway of Beverly Hills for opening up their showroom to us. I love the way these turned out, I can see the joy on her face, and love the way her red flowing dress looks by the piano.
Kevin A. Gilligan
CLICK BELOW FOR YOUR FREE PASS!
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.