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
In this new "Mind Your Own Business" podcast, photo-journalist and author Riley Arthur joins Chamira and me to talk about her new book, photo-journalism through the pandemic, her relationship with National Geographic, along with a lot of great sidebars.
As primarily a documentary photographer based out of Michigan, Riley shared a lot of great insight into the importance of special projects. She's a National Geographic Explorer, Fulbright Fellow, and her work has been featured in numerous magazines, as well as on display in the permanent collections of seven different museums.
Her new book is currently available for pre-order at Amazon. Just click on the thumbnail to the right for more information.
Because so much of Riley's work is documentary and editorial, between her website and Instagram, there's a wide variety of images shared from many of her various projects. I pulled a few of my favorites but visit her website to see a broader selection of her work. Click on any of the images below.
By Chamira Young
“Growth only happens outside your comfort zone”
With February behind us and spring right around the corner, there's still plenty of time left to make the most of this year. If there's one thing we should be all doing, it's making strategic plans for our photography business. Given the challenges of the pandemic, it's more important than ever that we remain proactive - not reactive - in the practical actions we can take to build our network, serve our clients, and build our skillsets. It's for this very reason that Skip and I recently had a detailed discussion on the Mind Your Own Business podcast about what photographers can do to make 2021 (and 2022, actually) better than ever!
You can listen to the full podcast episode here. We covered a ton of ground, so I advise you have to have paper and pen ready to take notes!
Here are the main points we discussed:
Listen to the full podcast here!
By Chamira Young
We love the Mind Your Own Business podcast because it helps photographers improve their lives, while at the same time giving you an in-depth look at how your fellow creatives are making their businesses work. It's one thing to memorize hypothetical theories behind running a successful business, but it pales in comparison to the lessons gleaned from real life experience. That's why we're so grateful for the amazing photographers who are willing to chat with us on the show and share what they've learned over the years!
Recently on the podcast, Skip and I chatted with Jerry and Melissa Ghionis, the dynamic duo behind Jerry Ghionis Photography. You can listen to the full interview here. There are numerous helpful takeaways from the interview, so be ready to take notes!
We covered the following topics:
Listen to the full episode here!
Click on any image above to listen to the podcast.
by Skip Cohen
When we started this series six years ago, we had no idea the number of talented artists and content-rich interviews we'd be sharing.
Kelly Brown joined us on this new podcast. She's a talented artist with an eye not just for stunning creativity in portraiture, but a great understanding of business as well. She's a photographer, an artist, an educator, and business owner. At the recent WPPI convention, I spent some time talking to her, and she couldn't walk two feet without being stopped by a fan!
But sometimes the fun of these podcasts is elevated even more because we've got a guest I know personally. A few months back, Kelly and her husband Rob joined several of us in renting a house while in California. Nothing beats getting to know somebody when you're outside the industry and just hanging out together. Both Sheila and I found ourselves feeling like we'd known both of them for years!
In this new podcast, Kelly shares a lot of good insight into her career as an artist. Her passion for the craft is unbeatable. I always like to pull some images from our guest's website to share in this post. A few of my favorites are below.
Click on any image to connect to Kelly's website and pick your own favorites.
Now's the opportunity to take advantage of fine-tuning your skillset and make the most out of the downtime we're all dealing with. If you're interested in learning more about newborn, maternity, family, or portrait photography in general, make sure you check out Kelly's online educational programs. From posing to lighting to editing and just about everything in between, including tips on business, you'll never be disappointed in time spent with Kelly!
by Skip Cohen
The more of these podcasts Chamira Young and I host, the more we realize the incredible depth of passion and creativity in this industry. Every month, since March of 2017, we've had a new guest join us and talk about their journey as a professional photographer.
Eddie Tapp joins us in March. We've been friends going back to my early Hasselblad days in the late 80s. He's one of the most diverse artists in the industry on land, sea, and now in the air! He's covered it all, and I'm not sure there's anything he can't photograph.
When I started SCU, we had fun playing off the university concept. Eddie was one of the first members of the "faculty." Everybody was asked the same question, "What advice would you give a photographer just starting out today?" Eddie's answer couldn't have been more on point and perfect to show how he's walked the talk throughout his career:
"Vision...have vision...study vision...and become visionary. Photography is an imaging media and it is embedded unconditionally in vision. Start your vision at the point you want to be at, and in a season of time, bring your vision into focus deciding on the type of equipment, client, quality of work, and bank account that your vision reveals to you.
Today, it isn't enough to be a great photographer, wizard of light, or an impressive Photoshop expert...You must develop a vision, your own vision, get truly excited about it, and create a trail-blazing path."
In the podcast Eddie talks about one of his early clients, "Kansas." He shared their group portrait in an episode of 'Why" four years ago. The image and the backstory will help you get to know Eddie even better.
Eddie is an artist, photographer, writer, educator, and somebody, so many of us consider a good buddy! He should be on your radar. His website is just a click away.
Images copyright Eddie Tapp.; All rights reserved.
Click to view in the SCU Lightbox
by Skip Cohen
We're into our sixth year of "Mind Your Own Business," and what a kick it's been. Rich Harrington and I were the original hosts. Trying to come up with a name for the series, my wife, Sheila, jumped in with "Why not Mind Your Own Business?" and it fit so well. Each podcast seems to get better and better, with more great content and guests who are willing to share their insight and experience with our listeners.
Deb Sandidge joins Chamira Young and me for this new conversation. She's a professional photographer, Nikon Ambassador, author, educator, and a great friend to so many people in the industry. Her specialty is travel and artistic creativity. One look through her galleries, and you know Deb is somebody you'd love to hang out with. Her signature is creativity with techniques like long exposures, time-lapses, and capturing images during the blue hour.
Her episode on SCU with her "Why?" image, on the right, was a four-minute exposure! She shares a lot of great insight into the process of how she captured the photograph.
It wasn't easy deciding which images I wanted to grab for today's post, but I did my best. Click on any image below to visit Deb's website.
Just recently, Deb was a guest on Steve Brazill's "Behind the Shot" podcast. She shared more ideas on creativity and her love for imaging. And, there's nobody who can help you raise the bar more on your travel photography than Deb.
Steve does a terrific job in every interview. So, put his website on your radar and follow his posts and podcasts!
Deb's also a great supporter of products she believes in, like Platypod. She recently posted the image below on Facebook. But, every image she shares in social media always has a mini-lesson to go with it! The other images I pulled are all from her Facebook posts.
Follow Deb on Facebook, her instagram page and her website. You'll never be disappointed.
Images copyright Deb Sandidge. All rights reserved.
Click on any image above to listen to the podcast.
This year we're celebrating five years of incredible guests on the "Mind Your Own Business" podcast. It started in the spring of 2014 when Rich Harrington at Photofocus had an idea. We launched the first program in April of that year. A year or so later Scott Bourne joined me as co-host, and when Scott moved on to other projects, Chamira Young and I kicked off the expanded series in March of 2017.
To date we've done 70+ podcasts together, including "Beyond Technique," "Tamron Recipes," and at least two on Pro Photographer Journey. Through all of these guests, we've only had two previous episodes with sports photographers.
Terrell Lloyd joined us on this new episode. Terrell's the Senior Manager of Photography Services and Lead Team Photographer at the San Francisco 49ers. We not only talked about the challenges of being a sports photographer but many of the milestones of his journey. Terrell's all about relationship-building and he shares a lot of good insight in his story from starting out as a pro-bowler to today.
As I've written so many times over the years, the best thing in our industry isn't really about photography but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Terrell and I go back to my early WPPI days and maybe further. When the 49ers played Tampa Bay a few weeks ago, we were able to get to the game and watch him in action.
Knowing how many stadiums and events have restrictions on DSLRs and often interchangeable lenses, I took the LUMIX FZ300. It was close to 100°, and we were ten rows down from the top of the stadium. I dropped an arrow into the shot on the right pointing to where Terrell was in the image below.
I needed a camera that could handle the challenge without the weight. With its 25-600mm fixed zoom most of the time it's perfect for what I need. There's a lot of horsepower packed into this camera, and at 1.5 pounds, even with a smaller sensor, it's great to travel with.
A big thanks to Terrell for joining us on "Mind Your Own Business," and for working in the time for dinner the night before the game. While social media is fun for staying connected - NOTHING beats quality time face to face!
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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.