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 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.
by Skip Cohen
One benefit of having a blog is the opportunity to vent when the world goes mad. We broke down this week to watch the news, something we had managed to avoid for several weeks. We're keeping up with everything we can read - just avoiding the spin too many of the broadcasters put on things. We've self-quarantined for three months, heading out only for necessities at the market or CVS, and now and then a safe ride in the car.
It was no surprise that the numbers had spiked again, sending the stock market spiraling down as the reality of a second wave of the virus hit home. And as the government argues, we don't have a spike with new cases, because we're doing more testing, can somebody tell me what the hell difference it makes?
At the very beginning of the crisis, I read a great article written by a credible doctor/expert who talked about the bell-shaped curve of any pandemic. He went on to say that if the peak at the time was 70,000 deaths, then the back half of the curve would result in the same number, bringing the total to 140,000.
Last night's news unveiled the "surprise" forecast of 140,000 deaths by July 4! And as politicians around the country, including the governors, argue over how to open each state back up, we're hitting new highs...oops, sorry, they're not really new highs, just increases because we're doing more testing!
And that brings me to my point...while I wish everyone would act like we're all in this together, the reality is we're all on our own. There are too many people who don't get it. New cases are on the rise, although, at least here in Florida, deaths from the virus are headed downward.
By the way, most states have the same format for coronavirus data available online. Just Google your state and "coronavirus statistics." I'm following a report for Florida that takes me all the way down to information by county and even zip code.
It's going to take longer than any of us would like to feel safe again, but in the meantime, we all need to be smart. Social distancing has a sound foundation, along with masks, washing our hands, and taking care of yourself and your family.
A month ago, my good buddy Nick Vedros sent me an email with the subject line, "Share this with someone who thinks wearing a mask is a political statement." Here's the artwork that was attached.
So, as the politicians argue over whose crystal ball is more accurate, and clueless people wander through the community arguing this is all a hoax, we're staying hunkered down and learning to deal with the new normal.
And while a part of me feels I should apologize for my rant, the truth is, I don't want to. I'm tired of too many politicians, democrat and republican, who can't see anything beyond their own interests!
by Skip Cohen
For most of us lately, every day is the same, and today is a good example. I rarely post on Saturdays, but something came up yesterday, and it's perfect for many of you during Downtime 2020.
Looking through my emails, I read the online newsletter from my high school, Riverside H.S. in Painesville, Ohio. One of the bullet points they shared was this one:
"Instead of the Prom: In past years, the alumni association has always donated some funds to help support the RHS prom. This year, the prom is uncertain. Instead, the association is donating those funds to a project to give each graduating senior a lawn sign to celebrate his or her graduation. The signs will be handed out to the seniors as they drive through a set- up that will pass out their cap and gown for graduation. This is still in the planning stages but certainly will help the graduating seniors celebrate their success in this unusual year."
That got me thinking about things we can all do to support not only the Class of 2020 but high schools across the country. There isn't a school in America, even before the pandemic, that had all the funding they needed, especially for art programs, including photography. So, here are some ideas to consider:
I'll be the first to admit there's very little I've done in regards to my high school once I left Ohio so many years ago, but right now, the schools need our help. Even if you've got no connection to the community you grew up in, the one you live in now has the same needs for support.
Basketball season, spring sports, prom, graduation - all the programs that created memories for your high school days have been put on the back-burner. But you can help find ways to bring photography into the mix, and many of you have senior portraits captured long before the pandemic. Even Marathon Press has a special BOGO on grad cards.
You owe it to your community and your clients to get off the sidelines and support the schools and the Class of 2020. And if any of you are doing something special, let me know in the comment section below, and we'll add it to the list above.
by Skip Cohen
With everything that's changed in our lives, the lines between great images, memories, and classic skill sets are all blurred. Technically it's Throwback Thursday, and the fun of the day is typically looking back at a moment in the past captured in a photograph. Well, I'm combining a little of everything this morning.
The image above is thanks to the outrageous passion of Erik Kuna.
It's a 9-minute long exposure streak of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching across the sky and the booster turning back and landing on earth. It was taken from an abandon launchpad from the '60s at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, with a Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon in the Foreground, since Elon Musk actually named the Falcon rocket after this iconic Sci-Fi Spacecraft.
Erik captured it with his camera set up on a Platypod Max, but that's not where the story about the image ends.
Here's where the "throwback" comes in...
For so many of us, the fun of a throwback image only requires turning back the clock a few weeks!
Erik shared the image on The Grid last month. I was a guest on that show and arrived much later than usual because I was stuck in traffic. (There's a throwback all its own - traffic!)
I remember joking that it might be our last time all seated together for awhile. Even then, we didn't really understand the full impact of the "social-Tsunami" headed our way.
The image of the three of us is actually my last photograph taken while being with other people outside my home/office. Right now, it seems like it was so long ago.
But there is a brighter side to all of this, or maybe it's better described as an enduring side. Social distancing makes it tough to spend direct time with friends now, but it doesn't stop the support available or the willingness of so many people, like Erick and Scott to help us through the challenges.
Start with all the support you'll find at KelbyOne, including ongoing articles and great online educational programs. Then, tune in The Grid and catch up on past episodes. Follow Scott Kelby's blog for more good solid content.
Last but certainly not least - check out Erik's website. It's jam-packed with incredible images. And while some of you will think they're a long way from your specialty of weddings, portraits, etc. they're right in line with the passion so many of you share for having a camera in your hands! I love the way Erik describes his passion for space:
Driven by a passion to create images that inspire, I work with artists and media focused on creating photos, animations, motion art and videos that communicate the story and capture the beauty, wonder and amazement of space exploration.
"The value of beauty and inspiration is very much underrated, no question." - Elon Musk
The greatest gift we can give humanity today is to look beyond our current generation to the future of space exploration. Democratizing space for everyone, the next frontier for all of us to explore.
by Skip Cohen
It's time for the third installment of photographers finding joy while hunkered down. It's not easy to keep things in perspective, but it isn't impossible either! We'll make it through this if we can all remember we're not alone, watch each other's backs and turn off the news once in a while!
This has always been an industry of artists who worked together - don't be shy. Send me your images ( skip (at) mei500 (dot) com ) of things that are bringing you joy and creating a little light through the pandemic.
I'll make it even easier - just attach a low res image to your comment, wherever you're reading this, and we'll add it to the list of photographers who've been sharing photographs and videos.
And here's mine for this week...Lucy and Belle simply make us smile! They're both nine months old next week, and they definitely keep us laughing.
The Story - From Nick Vedros In the garden I noticed we had a mouse problem. They were eating in to bags of everything in our outdoor storage container. So I decided to catch the little devils and drive them a few miles down the road and release them into a nice field.
Each mouse I catch I pick a new destination to divert my mental state while this Coronavirus pandemic is going on. The creative mind needs constant fresh input. This is number 3 of mice being captured. Wait for it.
My 10 year old terrier instincts kick in and you can see how fast she can move to keep up with the mouse. The poor dog for the life of her cannot figure out why I let the mouse go and not give it up to her.
Levi Sim - I was out hunting hiking the other day when I had a close encounter that most life-long adventurers only dream about. I discovered a mountain lion -- a cougar, a panther, a catamount, a painter, a wildcat -- sitting in the sun 80 yards down the hill from me. He had killed a deer that morning, gorged on the tasty bits, and was now lolling about in the sunshine digesting.
He was like a house cat, rolling on his back, scratching his head, grooming his fur -- until he yawned and I realized just how large his mouth and teeth were. I watched him for 2 hours, fascinated. A magpie landed on his deer and he suddenly went into full prowler mode. His eyes grew large and he stalked toward his kill to pounce on the scavenging bird. The muscles in his back and legs were taught. It was amazing. Nothing like a big cat in a zoo. The bird flew off and the cat laid down and rubbed his back in the grass.
This is an experience that most people will never have in a lifetime spent outdoors. I feel blessed and better for it. Levi Sim (Please note: Levi is a responsible hunter and strictly for consumption. The mountain lion was not harmed.)
by Skip Cohen
This will be one of the shortest posts I've ever written, thanks to Vanessa Joy. It's also one of the best buys of the year so far on lighting gear - again, thanks to Vanessa Joy, and a crazy deal she's promoting with Adorama on Westcott's Bicolor Solix lights.
I usually don't share information about promotions like this, but there's something to be said for the buying power that comes when a group of people with the same needs purchase together. Vanessa's made it almost as easy as a key on your computer to click and enhance your buying power and savings!
UPDATE: Vanessa just sent out an IM saying the program has reached it's highest discount tier at 30%. Watch the short video below, and then, more information is just a click away.
by Skip Cohen
Over the years, my buddy Nick Vedros has sent me dozens of links to stories he's found in cyberspace that were moments to stop and appreciate a piece of history, an artistic piece of work, or creativity in imaging. He never disappoints. Well, he sent me the link to the video below with a short comment, "This commercial is fantastic! It’s four minutes. So cinematic!"
I watched it; loved it and decided I'm probably not the only one who'd appreciate a break from business this morning. So, it's here for you to enjoy. Grab a cup of coffee and kick back for four minutes and appreciate this Mercedes Benz commercial for the cinematography as well as the story itself.
Bertha Benz was the wife of Carl Benz and the YouTube description says it all:
In a time when “car” was not even a word yet, and people relied on horses to pull their wagons, one woman challenged the status quo. To prove to the world that her husband’s invention was the future of mobility, Bertha Benz went on the first long-distance journey with an automobile, facing all kinds of challenges but stopping at nothing. The rest, as they say, is history.
by Skip Cohen
One of the biggest challenges these days is figuring out where to spend your time and money to get the most out of education. There are a lot of great programs to choose from, but there's nothing like ClickCon. Last year was their first show in Chicago, and it was an overwhelming success as 1300+ people joined in a quest to raise the bar on their skillset.
Here's the backstory on today's post.
I'm helping the ClickCon team with some of their programming, and I'm not sure I could be more excited about the show. However, in the last few weeks, I've been incredibly busy and just missed this exclusive offer. So, first thing today, I called Sherry Hagerman and requested an extension until midnight on Friday of this week, giving me a chance to help get the word out to my readers.
Here are just a couple of things that make ClickCon such a great show:
I can't deny for a second I get especially excited about any conference when I'm a speaker, but I'm doing three unique programs this year, starting with the first-day kick-off. I'm going to be doing a full brain dump on everything you need to do over the event to get the most out of the conference, maximize use of your time, build your business and get plenty of bang for your buck!
And it all starts with taking advantage of the 1/2 off promotion going on until midnight Friday, February 21! You snooze you lose - hope you can join us.
What a kick! See you in Chicago.
by Skip Cohen
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. It's a purely American holiday, becoming way too commercialized but still, a time of family, friends, and a reminder of how much we have to be thankful for.
Over the years, as my life has changed, the number of chairs around the table has gotten smaller along with the menu. However, that doesn't change my appreciation for my life. At the risk of being sappy and sounding like a bad acceptance speech at an awards show, a big part of that appreciation is thanks to all of you.
While I still have days when I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, the one consistency is how grateful I am to have all of you in my life. Whether we've met in real-time or cyberspace, I'm thankful for your support, feedback, and your never-ending passion for the business of capturing memories.
And, to remind you of the pure joy of the career path you've chosen, once a year, I share the video below. The quality is terrible, but it's good enough to listen to and watch. If you've seen it before, take the time to watch it again, and if this is your first time, just enjoy it! It's the singular greatest explanation of the importance of imaging.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving - Time with the people you love, and time to kick back and smile.
Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world.
A veteran doesn't have that problem.
by Skip Cohen
I feel like I'm trapped in an old movie, and the hands of the clock are spinning as time passes by. This year has gone incredibly fast, and I'm astounded that it's already Veteran's Day. Just for the fun of it, I looked up "Veteran's Day" on Wikipedia:
Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces (and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable). It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I.
The definition of the day is to honor those who have served honorably. But, I like the fact the holiday has also morphed into respect for those who are actively serving now. And, I love the spill-over to thank the families who "serve" as well.
So, to our son who's a Colonel in the Army; Uncle Randy who rarely takes off his Marine baseball hat; our friends who have served, and so many families with members currently deployed and serving...THANK YOU for your service and your sacrifice.
A year or so before my Dad passed away, I took him to D.C., thanks to HonorFlight.org. It's a fantastic organization. If you've got a veteran in the family, don't wait to get them on an Honor Flight trip. Just click on the banner below to link to their website. They're a non-profit and need all the help we can give them!
"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people
by Skip Cohen
At least once a year, I write the same post about the rules of engagement. My feeling for the need to share it, again and again, is always the result of a battle in a Facebook forum that went off-track. It would be so great if wannabe-trolls just had a button on their computer to push before posting a comment.
I'm one of four administrators in one of the larger Facebook forums. A couple of weeks ago, I got sucked into being a playground guard with "kids" who weren't playing nice. I commented on the thread and suggested they grow up, but we all know that isn't going to change their behavior.
So, I'm going back to a post from a few years back and suggesting we work just a little harder on what should be the rules of engagement. The original post was more about personal attacks on other photographers, but I want to expand it to Facebook and social media threads too. And, while most of you don't need to be reminded, give me hand with people who just don't get it.
And whether in social media or live in ANY industry:
I know this post doesn't apply to most of you, but feel free to share it with somebody who's forgotten! Or as my buddy, Levi Sim has said, "Act as if your grandmother's watching!"
I don't usually quote Queen Latifah, but I got a kick out of this quote. I guess it's a matter of your priorities:
A lot of people are crazy, cruel and negative. They got a little too much time on their hands to discuss everybody else. I have a limited amount of energy to blow in a day.
I'd rather read something that I like or watch a program I enjoy
or ride my damn motorcycle or throw back a couple of shots of tequila with my friends.
"Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams
than you are to your comfort zone!"
Just about every morning at 7:30, I tweet a quote to kick off the day. While I hope my followers find them inspirational, the search for a great quote is as much to start my day as it is yours. So often, I find quotes that get me thinking about the day/week ahead. It's like stretching before working out.
The quote above was shared this morning, and it got me thinking about so many different aspects of education, networking, marketing, business, and life. Yeah, all that coverage from just one sentence by an unknown author!
Here's my point to this short post. When we were kids, we all had dreams of what our lives would be like when we were older. Then, over the years, experience and our perceived reality put limitations on our goals. We let go of some dreams and hung on to others. Now we're adults, and our visions for the future are often limited by other responsibilities and the many hats we wear. We prioritize what we're going to do next.
Well, we all still have our dreams. At the same time, we let our comfort zones limit ourselves. In photography, it becomes especially apparent when you're headed to a conference, convention, or workshop. We all like to stay in our comfort zone, whether it's our skillset, new products, applications, or meeting other photographers.
This week is PPE in NYC. Then, in two and a half months, the convention season explodes with IUSA, WPPI, and a long list of state conventions and conferences. Give your dreams priority and step out of your comfort zone into areas to help you grow as an artist and business owner. Take the time to meet the staff at vendors whose products/services you use, but also get to know companies who are new to you. Make it a point to walk every inch of each trade show.
And when classes are offered, attend a couple of programs completely outside your expertise. Here's a great example: When I teach, I'll often ask for a show of hands of anybody who does tabletop work. Very few hands ever go up, especially if the audience is mostly wedding photographers. Yet, the hardest tabletop shots of all are great cake and ring shots. Imagine how wedding artists could expand their skillset, taking a few macro classes!
In the history of photography, there have never been more creative tools at your fingertips than today. They're in new products, techniques, and services. They're all supported by people excited to introduce you to new ideas and directions to help you grow as an artist!
Plan each trip to every convention you can attend. ALWAYS step out of your comfort zone. Don't be a you-snooze-you-lose artist when there are so many opportunities to grow!
We've all heard the expression work hard play hard. In this past week on the Bubble Trailer Light Tour, Suzette Allen and Jonny Yoshinaga taught six classes in six different cities in eight days! I wasn't there, but knowing the two of them as I do, I can guarantee there was no loss of enthusiasm in any of the programs.
When they first told me about the idea of a tour like this, one of the things I loved the most was their ability to meet so many photographers across the country. We live in a too often impersonal world. We communicate most of the time via the Internet. While social media, texting and, email are all incredibly important, that human touch and meeting somebody face to face is lost.
The image above is a perfect example. Eric and Heather Anderson at Studio H Photography created the image. I called them for permission to share it. Eric posted it on his Facebook page and wrote:
I just want to say "thanks" to Suzette Allen & Jon Yoshi for making a stop in Minnesota last week with the Bubble Trailer Tour... It always so great to see you two and I always, always learn something new! Godspeed in the rest of the tour - you are in our prayers!
Suzette and Jonny are two of the best ambassadors professional photography has, and the tour still has miles and miles to go - approximately 8,000! While the recording above won't win a Grammy, it was fun to catch up to them yesterday. Suzette realized after we were done she forgot to talk about a fantastic experience she had with Nanlite - stay tuned because she'll be sharing some of the images next week.
Great programs like this can't exist without industry support. The Bubble Trailer Light Tour is all happening thanks to the enthusiasm of some of the very best companies in professional photography!
Where are they now?
Put the tour on your radar. Here's the schedule for next week, occasionally dates and locations are subject to change. The complete itinerary is available with a click on the button below!
by Skip Cohen
Yesterday was one of those days that simply flew by so fast I felt like I blinked and we were trying to figure out what we were doing for dinner. In the middle of the night like Homer Simpson, letting out a big "DOH!" I realized I missed my weekly post on the tour of the year - Ms. Bubble Trailer with Suzette Allen and Jonny Yoshinaga. Ms. BT is already getting top billing! LOL
When Suzette and Jonny told me about the concept, I loved it from the very beginning. Why? First, because nobody does anything like this anymore. And, I'm not sure a tour has ever been done like this - 13,000 miles around the US with a trailer that has personality! Second, because it's about education from two artists who live to help photographers raise the bar on their skill sets. Third, because it's supported by some of the most respected companies in photography, and we've all got the same goals - helping you thrive in 2019 and not just survive! Last of all because it's fun!
Suzette and Jonny are teaching throughout the country for another seven weeks. Keep tabs on their whereabouts so you don't miss their program when it comes to a location near you! This is one of those crazy ideas that's creating its own little piece of photo-industry history. It's jam-packed with great content and all along the way a lot of surprises!
Great memory-making programs like this don't happen without support from the industry! The Bubble Trailer Light Tour is supported by some of the most reputable and fun companies in professional photography! "Fun" becomes an appropriate word in business when the companies involved are helping to make you a better artist and business owner!
Put Ms BT on your radar and follow the tour. All the info is just a click away on the button below!
by Skip Cohen
OTR is for "On the Road" and with the schedule for this tour, I can hear Willy Nelson singing in the background every time I look at the map!
Last week two great photographers, Suzette Allen, and Jon Yoshinaga, hit the road with their "partner in crime" Ms. Bubble Trailer. In the tradition of "Where's Waldo," we're going to track and share their 13,000 nine-week journey each week and also give you a peek at where they're headed next.
It's an incredible undertaking in hands-on education and networking. It's going to give so many of you a chance to raise the bar on your images, pick up new techniques and see some of the latest products/services from some of the industry's most progressive companies.
Along the way, in between formal classes, this trip is about seeing America and sharing images. Suzette wrote about last week when hitting the Bonneville Salt Flats:
...We decided to invite our friends, the Chopstick Guys! They are a couple fo fun-loving, sushi-eating photographic educators and photographers and they did a fab class out there a few months back...Then we connected with Bry Cox in Salt Lake City and we had a creative photo party! Bry brought a couple models, Pamela and Addie, and we got some great shots with them and Ms. BT of course!
...We set up our new NanLites, which are super bright LED lights. that enabled us to do video as well. I loved the way we could separately light up the trailer and the model and have a perfectly lit look, making them pop on a cool blue backdrop!
Check out Suzette's complete post with more great images from the Salt Flats.
Great programming like this doesn't happen without strong industry support. What a kick and an honor to be part of the craziness of a 13,000 mile adventure and thousands of photographers who Suzette and Jon will be with in the weeks ahead.
by Skip Cohen
Next month Kevin A. Gilligan launches Developing Men, a solo exhibit comprised of still photography and a short film. The exhibition opens on October 5 from 4-9 PM PST at the Resin in Hermosa Beach, CA.
One of SCU's most-read posts was Kevin's in 2016 loaded with tips about doing an exhibition of your work. There was so much content that we ran it in three parts. Kevin has shared other guest posts over the years, including one of my favorite images in an episode of "Why?"
Developing Men is a contemporary examination of male friendship, masculinity, isolation, community and legacy through the mediums of photography and video. In his third solo exhibition, South Bay Photographer Kevin taps into the zeitgeist of the moment and asks what is going well with men, what is not going well with men, and more importantly, why?
“We are in the middle of one of the fastest periods of change in humanity, with new technologies, we are both more connected and more isolated than ever before. With increased feelings of isolation, communities suffer. At the same time, traditional roles of masculinity are changing rapidly. I am interested in how people perceive these changes and what are the effects on their lives. Why do some succeed when others do not? How do men think about these issues, and how does this affect the men, women and children around them?
What does it take to develop good men?”
Kevin A. Gilligan
But there are other aspects to Kevin's work that make today's post so much fun to share.
We first "met" in 2014 when I featured one of his images as part of a campaign for Tamron USA. Little did I know he'd become a great friend. Over the last five years, we've featured more of his work. As an educator and writer, he's always willing to help other artists.
Fast forward to March of this year. After five years of phone conversations and emails, Kevin and I finally got to meet in person when he asked me if I was willing to be a subject in Developing Men. Nothing beats the social in social media when you finally get to spend time in person.
And that brings me to my last point, which I've repeatedly written about - friendships. The best thing about the photography industry is the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. It's also a very small industry and Kevin, and I share so many common denominators like our appreciation for Tamron's quality; our love for imaging; mutual friends and the importance of continuing education in imaging.
If you're in the greater Los Angeles area, don't miss opening night. It's a free, private event, but RSVP is required. For your tickets, click on the South Bay Artist Collective link below and then be at the Resin in Hermosa Beach on October 5.
RESIN, workshop, creative space and home to South Bay Artist Collective has exhibited over 180 local artists including students in 12-15 annual events. Through RESIN, SBAC has provided emerging artists with an opportunity to display their art in a high quality space that does not take the typical 40%-50% commission, resulting in a huge financial benefit to emerging artists.
by Skip Cohen
Note: There are hundreds of posts published every year on the SCU blog, but every now and then we miss sharing one. This post was originally published in June, but never shared. All of you are looking for new business and creative products to separate your work from your competitors. It's time to take a look at Performance EXT Metal Prints!
I don't know about you, but being involved in photography my entire adult life, our home is like a gallery. We have dozens of photographs from great friends, and some of the very best artists in imaging, all collected over a lifetime in this industry. In addition to the framed prints on display, there are dozens in storage, hopefully, dry and packed correctly in my garage. We simply ran out of wall space.
At least that was the case until I saw Bay Photo's Performance EXT metal prints. It was eleven months ago I shared a post about the print above, displayed outside by our pool. Remember, I live in Florida, and we're out by the pool all year long. I even boosted the wifi so I could take my laptop outside to work.
Well, the print is just as stunning today as it was the day I hung it. There's no visible sign of any change in color, scratching, fading, etc. In fact, it's been bumped a couple of times by friends coming in through the back door of the pool cage.
Here's my point:
Note: Click on either image to view in the SCU Lightbox.
Interested in more information? Just click on the banner below.
If a photography and travel adventure with Bobbi Lane and Lee Varis isn't on your bucket list, it should be! They're two of the most recognized instructors in imaging. Traveling with them to places in the world loaded with incredible beauty, breath-taking landscapes and another culture is an opportunity for you to grow, expand your skill set and quite simply create memories!
Their trip is coming up in September, but the deadline to register is right around the corner. There are only two spots available, and this is definitely a you-snooze-you-lose scenario. Click on any image in this post to link to their website.
A week ago I announced a very special promotion in support of Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, and teaming up with Westcott. SCU is a Westcott affiliate, which means 10% of whatever you buy from Westcott when you go through the SCU gateway is our sales commission. But we're NOT going to take it.
With everything you buy, when you click on a specific product in a blog post or when you go through the door above, 10% of what you spend, for the rest of 2019, is going to one of the industry's best-known nonprofits, NILMDTS. I've been a NILMDTS Ambassador for many years and couldn't be more proud of the help their photographers have provided families having to deal with the worst kind of pain - the loss of a baby.
One of the most read SCU guest posts about NILMDTS was published in 2013, only a few months after SCU launched. I wanted to bring it back today because it gives such a strong perspective on the gift these photographers provide each family.
In response to Aurora Daley Olmstead's guest post about photographing baby Dora, the mother of the child responded directly as a comment. I'm not sure there's any higher honor than for a photographer to hear back from the client directly, especially when it's the mother of a child who's died!
Westcott is manufacturing some of the finest and most diverse lighting gear in professional photography. And, if you're headed to Chicago for ClickCon in August, swing by the Westcott booth and meet some of the crew. They're always looking for ways to help you through the challenges of capturing stunning images...and now we're adding support for NILMDTS to the focus!
The Real Definition of the Ultimate Image
by Skip Cohen
When I asked Aurora Daley Olmstead if she'd do a guest post about her experiences with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep several years ago, I had no idea the significance of my request. Typical of most photographers, Aurora got busy, and it was at least three weeks before she was able to find the time to send me something. Even when I first read her guest post, while it obviously touched me, I still failed to recognize the true impact. But read what the baby's mother posted as a comment to Aurora's blog just a day or so later:
When I asked Aurora Daley Olmstead if she'd do a guest post about her experiences with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep several years ago, I had no idea the significance of my request. Typical of most photographers, Aurora got busy, and it was at least three weeks before she was able to find the time to send me something. Even when I first read her guest post, while it obviously touched me, I still failed to recognize the real impact. But read what the baby's mother posted as a comment to Aurora's blog just a day or so later:
Thank you so very much for the beautiful blog. My tears are pouring reading it and reliving the most precious moments in our lives! I also want to take a moment to thank all the photographers from the NILMDTS who volunteer their time to help families like ours walking through the darkest moments of their lives.
I also want to let you know how much we cherish the pictures you took. I carry Dora's picture in my wallet everyday. It reminds me not only of her beautiful face, but all the wonderful people she brought to us, including her aunt Aurora. I know my little girl is just as happy as we are now to see her little brother grow everyday, and to see more people like you bringing light to other people's lives.
Love and kisses to your little princesses!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
The ability of the baby's mother to open her heart and publicly comment on the meaning of Aurora's work and NILMDTS as an organization represents the rarest of feedback and affirmation of what everyone hopes to accomplish as a photographer. There could be no greater "thank you" than to receive a comment like this from a subject, a client who has now become part of Aurora's life as a professional photographer.
I've said it at the end of virtually every workshop, class or program where I've ever spoken and in dozens of blog posts. "Except for modern medicine, no career field has given society more than professional photography! "
Everyone dreams about capturing the ultimate image - that one shot nobody else could get that becomes your signature. Sometimes the ultimate image is a moment in time when you're given an opportunity to use your skill set or as Weihau put it... "help families like ours walking through the darkest moments of their lives."
Aurora said it best in one of her comments on the blog, "...my life and my heart are fuller for having given what I can to these families - it always fills my heart to know I've been able to help them even in some small way!"
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.