by Skip Cohen
I'm online virtually all day, every day. Now and then, somebody shares an image that's so stunning it deserves to be seen by more people. Often, I'm not even out in search of an image to share, but this one, especially when it came up full-screen on my monitor, just hit me!
Clay Blackmore is no stranger to SCU, or for that matter, many of you, especially if you're a wedding or portrait photographer. There's nothing Clay can't photograph, but it's his people work I've always loved the most. He shared the image above on Facebook yesterday.
Clay shared the following advice on his SCU faculty page when we first started this blog:
"More than ever, today's photographer needs a strong foundation in posing and lighting, along with a keen sense of business acumen to navigate a path to the better customers. When I was in Japan a few years ago I saw these signs about service that's so appropriate for the way we have to think about the business:
It's hard for me to believe Clay and I have been friends for over thirty years, first meeting after I joined Hasselblad. It's proof that time flies when you're having a good time.
Check out more of Clay's work with a visit to his website and Facebook page. And if you see him scheduled to speak at an upcoming conference or in the Canon booth, run, don't walk to grab a seat!
by Skip Cohen
One of the very best podcasts in imaging is Behind the Shot, hosted by my good buddy Steve Brazill. Steve's no stranger to SCU. We shared one of his favorite images on a past episode of "Why?" and he was also a guest on the Beyond Technique podcast last year.
He's a talented artist, author and he's got one of those stellar easy to listen to voices made for broadcasting. He was also a vital member of the team when we did the F64 Lunch Bunch during the early days of the pandemic. But one of his most outstanding traits in terms of photography is his pure love for everything under the imaging umbrella.
Steve recently tested the new Platyball Ergo and Elite ball heads and released the video below yesterday. If you don't know about the product, he does an outstanding job going through the features, benefits, and the fun of hands-on use in the field. And, let's not forget the job his camera operator did - kudos to Steve's wife, Debbie!
Behind the Shot needs to be on your radar. Steve's always sharing great content and conversations with some of the most respected artists in imaging, as well as his product reviews and information to help you raise the bar on your life as an artist!
As I've written so many times in the past - the best thing about this industry has very little to do with imaging but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft!
by Skip Cohen
Now and then, a book comes along that, no matter what your specialty, needs to be on your bookshelf! Well, here's one you need in your collection, and it may well be the finest, most detailed book on macro photography that's ever been published.
Don Komarechka's new book, from the cover right through to the last page, is jam-packed with stunning images, helpful illustrations, and material to help you raise the bar on your macro and closeup work. Even better, it will help you see the world just a little bit differently.
As an artist, educator, writer, and "mad scientist," he's created a 384-page collection of just about everything he's discovered in his passion for macro. This book is a guide to a world we never see, yet it's all around us..."the universe at our feet."
Completed during the pandemic and with all Kickstarter pledges and pre-orders fulfilled, Macro Photography: The Universe at Our Feet is now available for sale, shipping immediately!
Just trust me on this - you won't be disappointed. The book is stunning and represents an incredible amount of work, knowledge, and everything you need to help you raise the bar on the quality of your images regardless of your specialty!
Click on any image in this post to link to Don's website and the new book!
by Skip Cohen
As a kid, I know I'm not the only one who dreaded bringing home a report card every six weeks. While there were moments of brilliance when I applied myself, most of the time, there was something I had to explain. LOL Then, as a parent, the process returned, only now I could hear my folks saying, "You'll understand when you're a parent someday." Well, now fast forward to today, and the closest thing to a report card you get is feedback from a client now and then.
With ClickCon right around the corner, then WPPI, Photoshop World, PPE, and IUSA in January, if you're going to make the very most of the time you put into the events, let's look at your "report card."
Here's my point - your time and funding for attending conferences is limited, even if they're online. So take the time NOW and do your own report card. The goal is to walk through the door (or portal) for each event ready to get the most out of it.
by Skip Cohen
Technology and trends in demand NEVER slow down. Now add in the "new" normal created by the pandemic, and there are so many opportunities for photographers to raise the bar on their skills and expand their business. Here's one example:
Thousands of restaurants all over the country are serving outside. At the same time, carry-out has become a significant part of their business. Most of them have little in terms of visual assets to show their menu.
But there's one more factor playing a role in your potential to grow your business - most of you have time on your hands. As we come out of the pandemic and things return to a little more normalcy, while business is picking up, it's the perfect opportunity to fine-tune your skill set.
Aaron van is an accomplished food and beverage photographer. The video below is only eighteen minutes, as Aaron goes through the technique and tools he used to light and capture the image above. In addition, he shares a lot of great "how-to" content.
So, whether food photography is typically part of your business or not, grab a coffee and take a few minutes to follow his process. Then, start thinking about the restaurants in your community that could use a little help in sharing their menu beyond their physical location!
Interested in seeing more of Aaron's work? Visit his website, and you'll see galleries of stunning work from one of the industry's very best. And check out KelbyOne for Aaron's most recent online workshop.
This is a unique opportunity that I hope you'll check out. And since a picture's worth a thousand words, there's no reason for me to write anything more!
by Skip Cohen
My mother used to use the line, "Shoemaker's children need shoes," about me being in the photographic industry and never getting her enough photographs of her grandchildren.
Recently I was asked to write an article for my high school alumni newsletter about the importance of photography and capturing memories. It was published at the beginning of this month, and as I read it, I realized professional photographers are often the guiltiest of all when it comes to capturing memories for their most important clients - their own family!
I'm hoping the article below sparks some ideas to help you become a better historian of your own family. Don't miss capturing memories so that everyone can enjoy a long look in their rearview mirrors down the road!
This is what I like about photographs.
They’re proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect.”
I’ve been active in the photographic industry my entire adult life, which kind of makes me a one-trick pony when it comes to career paths. But there’s that old line about if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Well, that describes my career and the incredible experiences I’ve had over the years in photography.
When the pandemic hit, photographs (videos too) became an essential component in fighting off the frustration and depression of hunkering down. For example, “Throwback Thursday” became a weekly endeavor, not only sharing images in my blog and social media stream but often just enjoying them for me and my wife, Sheila. Every fun old photograph we’d find became an opportunity for one of us to share the backstory.
While I’ve always been an optimist and prefer to look forward rather than back, regular looks in my rearview mirror helped me stay focused on getting back to the good old days. I suppose that’s why Jodi Picoult’s quote above has always been one of my favorites.
When things are tough, whether, in life or business, we all get proactive and start making changes we should have been doing all along. So, before another day passes and you miss out on capturing special memories, here are some suggestions.
“My Journey” videos: The Senior Friendship Centers here in Sarasota has a program where for a small fee/donation, you can have a chapter of your life recorded to pass on to family members.
Everyone’s journey is a story. Through the years, you’ve accumulated a lifetime of knowledge and wisdom. Now, thanks to My Journey, a new initiative being launched at the Friendship Centers in Sarasota, you can record and preserve your story, in your words, to share.
ALL of you have aging relatives with stories to share. You also have cameras and phones that capture video. Get together with your oldest relatives and capture those stories. It couldn’t be easier – set up the camera and sit down with them and ask them to simply tell you their story.
A few months before my Dad passed away, a friend who’s a professional photographer set up her camera and sat down with Dad for stories about a little of his journey in life. I regret that I never did it myself – so, learn from my mistakes and capture those stories, while there are still family members around to share them.
Old Photographs: Everybody has old photographs, some in albums, others in shoe boxes. I get that it takes time to put them all in albums, but at the very least, clean out those drawers, along with every place else you’ve stashed prints. Please keep them in one dry place. Don’t let them take a beating, discarded, and stuffed in some obscure place in your home.
Write down who’s in those photographs. There’s nothing more frustrating than looking at an old picture and not knowing who it is, where it was taken, or when. This comes up repeatedly when people share images in one of my favorite Facebook groups, “If You Grew Up In Painesville, Ohio You Remember…” People share photos all the time with question marks.
Your Family Shots: Digital photography is a kick, but how many pictures are on your phone right now without any information, never to be printed or shared? I’ve started regularly uploading to my computer and often take advantage of special offers on Shutterfly to get them printed.
Photographs and Therapy: When my mom was fighting Alzheimer’s, one of the most fun activities was pulling out old albums. While her memories of contemporary events were fast disappearing, we could pull out old photographs, and she was non-stop energy and accuracy. She might not remember what she had for dinner, but she knew everybody in those old pictures.
Social Media: I’m a huge fan of many of the forums on Facebook. The Painesville, Ohio group I mentioned above has been one of the best experiences. Sharing old pictures of my grandparents, I connected with people who knew them both. They’ve both been gone at least forty years! Posting an old family photograph, I heard from the daughter of a woman who used to babysit for my sister and me. And sharing a 1930s shot of my grandmother at their summer cottage by the lake in Painesville Township, the woman who lives in the house today, responded.
Sharing photographs in social media, especially when they involve old memories, puts the “social” into social media. They bring us all closer, and often it’s like the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game when we learn how so many of us are connected.
Don’t Miss Memories: When was the last time you did a family portrait? Obviously, I’m a fan of professional photography, being in the industry, but it’s so important for somebody in your family to be the family historian. Whether hiring a pro or getting your family together for an updated portrait, don’t miss the opportunity to capture memories.
For the first time in history, all of us went through the same horrible experiences because of the pandemic. Coming out of the challenge, there’s a renewed sense of family. Along with that renewal come opportunities to turn intangible memories into tangible photographs and videos to cherish for the future!
sweet spot - the spot on a club, racket, bat, etc., where a ball is most effectively hit. a point, range, or particular set of conditions that will achieve the most desirable or effective outcome.
by Skip Cohen
Now and then, a great educator in photography, just like in sports, finds the sweet spot! Here's a seminar that's live and online with one of the best educators in imaging - Moose Peterson. Even if aviation photography is a long way away from your specialty, here's a chance to grow your skillset and be unique. Even better is being able to apply what you'll learn from Moose to the images you capture and create for your current clients or yourself.
Click on any image in today's post to enlarge and view in the SCU lightbox, and then check out the seminar with a click on the banner to the right.
It's taking place LIVE in Tulsa on July 31 and online, with a minimum of 4 1/2 hours of outstanding education. And before you say to yourself, "I don't do aviation photography," check out the images I chose to share in today's post. Pay attention to the way Moose composes each one and turns them into art!
A few years back, I was hanging out with Scott Kelby before his show The Grid. In the gallery of rotating artists at Kelby Media was a collection of Moose's aviation work. Each print was stunning. I had no idea one of the industry's finest outdoor wildlife photographers was also an artist with a love for aviation.
Don't miss the opportunity to learn from one of the very best.
Images copyright Moose Peterson. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
Jonathan Thorpe shared this image on Facebook this morning, and it's the perfect post to wrap up the week! The point he makes is just too good to only be on his Facebook page.
His comment below says it all.
I’ve said it a million times, LIGHTING IS A GAME CHANGER. Before and after from last nights live stream. Happy to say no editing on right shot aside from the smoke. This is what you can do with lighting to your photos, creating drama and story. The left side is just using the natural light provided in the studio, the right has 5 strobes on it. Make photos, don’t take them.
Jonathan should be on your radar. Follow him on Facebook, and check out his website too.
Click on any image in this post for information about the specific educational opportunity coming up!
by Skip Cohen
I've commented several times over the last two months about opportunities to demonstrate leadership as we come out of the pandemic. Well, here are a few perfect examples!
Everyone is looking for ways to make their work look different. At the same time, technology never slows down, and there are more people on the Internet than ever before - many of them potential clients checking out your work. So, from understanding infrared to outstanding portraiture to flash, are your skills as good as they could be?
Nobody does it better than Bobbi Lane and Lee Varis, and yes, I'm a little prejudiced because they've been good friends of mine for so many years. But the friendship grew out of getting to know them and the respect I have for their skills as artists and educators. Plus, they're FUN to hang out with. Remember "FUN?" It's a word that got lost a little over the last year, and it's time to get it back!
The first stop: Coming up this Sunday, June 13, on Cape Cod - Bobbi and Lee are teaching an infrared workshop.
Next stop: Check out their new online portrait lighting course.
One more stop: In Los Angeles on June 26/27 at the Los Angeles Center of Photography.
Confused about your flash? Then this is the class for you. In this two-day workshop, participants will learn how to control and modify their portable flash units. Portable flash is a wonderful and sometimes intimidating tool and it will be explained step by step on how to choose the correct settings and modifiers.
We will do demos using TTL and Manual settings and explain why to choose each, and give easy instructions for making beautiful Fill Flash. A variety of lighting techniques will be covered with the emphasis on understanding the three main aspects of light: direction, quality and depth.
One last stop: Bobbi and Lee have only one opening left in their Iceland Tour this September. Just click on the banner below for more information. Then, make sure Bobbi and Lee are on your radar all year long!
These are two educators and artists who never slow down, and they ALWAYS exceed the expectations of their students and clients!
by Skip Cohen
For those who never shot with film, the expression "right out of the can" meant everything was done in camera. The "can" referenced a roll of film. According to Google, today, that's "Straight Out Of Camera," simply meaning that an image can be good enough to print straight from the camera without further processing.
Jonathan Thorpe shared the image on Facebook yeterday with the following "how-to" explanation:
Portrait I shot last night of my good friend and talented Daniel Duffin The cool part about this shot it it’s all done in camera! How? It’s actually fairly simple, the background is a Westcott FJ400 in a large parabolic umbrella, gelled with a mix or orange and yellow. The key light was another FJ400 into a beauty dish camera right. The affect you’re seeing is called dragging the shutter. I’m shooting at 1/10 of a second here and also using rear curtain sync. Rear curtain means the flash fires at the end of the shutter movement, not the beginning. So it is exposing, you move the camera, causing the background light to bleed into the image, then right before the exposure is done, the flash fires, freezing the face. Viola! Shot with the Fuji GFX 100 and my Tamron Lenses USA 85/1.8VC
Click on either banner for information on both of these outstanding products!
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 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
Lately, what I love most about this industry is the challenge of how much I have yet to learn. With each challenge comes a new set of lessons. Yesterday it was practice makes perfect - but as my good buddy, Roberto Valenzuela, reminds his students, only if you practice it right.
While there were a few things I did right, the more significant mistakes were what I did wrong. I was so focused on doing a time-lapse series for the first time that I missed the big picture and should have just shot video. It's only 5-10 minutes once the action starts.
I was down to the wire on this chrysalis attached near the underside of a concrete bench in our backyard. I had problems setting up the camera, but three calls later, another good buddy, Shiv Verma, came through.
I shot in "P" mode because I was in between doing a podcast and a conference call and didn't have time to think through the journey I was about to embark on. However, the Platypod set up with the goosenecks, and two Litra Torch 2.0s was perfect. I was able to get under the chrysalis.
It was a complete failure as a time-lapse video - but learning from my mistakes, I still managed to capture one of nature's most incredible moments!
And like any proud papa - it's a girl!
by Skip Cohen
Long before the pandemic, we'd all experienced online education, but safety and social distancing has created an entirely new level of quality programming over the last year. "E-learning" is a buzzword regularly in our vocabulary. Coming up on April 16-18, circle the dates for CanAm Expo - three days of intense opportunities to help you fine-tune your skillset and raise the bar on the quality of your images.
Sometimes it's tough to figure out which programs are going to meet your needs best. Well, here's one that's destined to be outstanding - great instructors and a platform designed to allow you to raise the bar on your imaging skills with excellent presentations.
I've written a lot over the years about the best thing about our industry being the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. It goes deeper than that because it's also about respect for each artist's skill set, which is often the catalyst for kicking off the friendship in the first place.
Besides teaching great photography, there are three instructors who are great friends of both mine and Platypod's - Rick Friedman, Don Komarechka, and Shiv Verma. All three are teaching at CanAm and putting their best into programs to help you become better at your craft! Click on their headshots below for more information
Plus, there's a special bonus program: Batting "clean up" and wrapping up the conference is Platypod's founder and owner, Larry Tiefenbrunn.
"Dr. T" will be presenting a ninety-minute program on the last day of the conference featuring dozens of photographers using Platypod in a long list of different applications. Together with Shiv Verma, they'll share dozens of "how-to" tips to help change your perspective in portraiture, landscape, wildlife, macro, closeup, and even working with flash.
CanAm Expo offers you an opportunity to learn from thirteen of the movers and shakers in imaging today, all in the comfort of your own surroundings. Great topics and perfect timing for you to sneak in more ideas to help you create even better images for your clients as we approach Spring seasonality.
Remember, hunkering down has been about your health - not about your business or building a stronger skillset!
See you at CanAm Expo!
images copyright Kevin A. Gilligan. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
If you're a beginner in landscape photography or if you know somebody starting out, here's a $99 investment to establish the right foundation to build on.
Meet my good buddy Kevin A. Gilligan. Kevin and I have worked together on several different projects over the years, and he's not only a talented artist but an outstanding skilled, and diverse educator. He's been a regular contributor to the SCU blog since the very beginning.
Kevin's an award-winning artist, but he certainly didn't start out that way. Over the last fifteen years, he's never slowed down on expanding his skill set, teaching, and capturing/creating stunning images.
In part due to the pandemic, landscape photography has become one of the fastest growing specialties in photography. It's outdoors, and you can work within the parameters of physical distancing and the appropriate health restrictions. The two short videos below will introduce you to Kevin and his work. Click to watch them full screen if you'd like.
As Kevin mentions in his overview, for somebody just getting started, this will help answer most of the questions, not only about having the right equipment but also how to use it. This is a no-brainer for a beginner photographer and an inexpensive investment to help make sure the basics are covered.
I pulled screenshots of two of my favorite images of Kevin's, but you'll find lots more on his website. Plus, bringing together landscape photography and portraiture, here's one of my favorite headshots he did for me a year ago at Redondo Beach.
Click on any of the three images in today's post to view in the SCU Lightbox. And for more information on how you can help somebody get started as a landscape photographer, click on the banner below.
by Skip Cohen
Think about how we share images today versus twenty years ago. From Facebook to Instagram and even LinkedIn, we share photographs as often as we like. No waiting for a convention to catch friends, carrying a portfolio case, or putting prints in the mail - we've got instant fulfillment at any time.
Marc Morris joins us this month, and it's thanks to
Facebook that we first saw his photograph above. From FB, I headed to his LinkedIn page to learn more about him, which led to a great phone call.
Besides a stunning image, there are two additional reasons to feature his work this month. First, we're still in the pandemic, and restrictions abound. However, it's not hard to physically distance when you're outdoors. Second, Marc's photograph crosses that line from landscape into fine art. I want to see his image blown up to a five by seven-foot print in an office or living room with a cathedral ceiling!
The pandemic has changed everything in our lives, but not the passion of our chefs. Chef Marc couldn't be more proud to be a photographer, as well as help other artists raise the bar on their skill set.
Finding a quote that relates to each chef became part of this series starting early in 2019. It wasn't hard to find one that fit Marc - in fact; he wrote a lot about the photograph and the feeling he wanted to capture when he clicked the shutter.
“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at,
then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”
About Chef Marc: Marc's based out of Denver, as a Sales Representative for Tamron USA. Members of the Tamron team don't often join us in the Tamron Kitchen, but the image was so powerful, it deserved to be shared. As Marc and I talked, it turns out he and I met a few years back at WPPI, and like so many people in this industry, we have a lot of mutual friends.
About this Image: "I was in Hawaii on a work trip. There are many misconceptions about road warrior gigs, and one of the biggest (and most understandable) is that it’s a constant vacation, tourism mode activated 24/7, being that we do indeed travel constantly. However, I had never been to Hawaii, so when I was asked to head out in support of a fairly large workshop being hosted by Pro Camera Hawaii, I certainly didn’t turn the opportunity down. The trip was tightly packed, with very little room for “extracurricular activities.”
Due to weather (a right proper morning to midday monsoon with flooding that the locals laughably took utterly in stride) and the workshop schedule, I was only able to find a few hours before my flight back to Denver to go exploring...I had never shot in a rain forest before...There were pockets of the trail that clearly had their own microclimate: rain would form and fall at random, and the oxygen-rich environment allowed me an energy and movement I’d not had for years. O’ahu. Island of eternal youth.
I’m a highly tactile person, and this translates to my photography. When I’m scanning a subject or an environment, not only am I watching the light and its fluidity, how it fills this well, how shallow or deep others may be in their shadows… but I’m also seeking texture. Texture is what sells depth, scale, and to a certain extent, authenticity. I like images I can feel. If I’m looking at a photo and my hands itch, I know the photographer got something right: it’s in the fingertips. And the rainforest is if you’ll pardon me, absolutely saturated with texture.
The image you see here is an expanse that opened up off a corner of the trail, and its dimensionality was so overwhelming I was rooted to the spot. A floor above the floor. A sky below the sky. It was unlike anything I’ve ever personally witnessed in nature, and I simply had to try to capture it to see if I could translate its depth to print. It took about 20 minutes of working that corner, about forty feet up and down the trail, changing lenses for perspective studies before I settled on the 17-35 at the wide end. It was the only lens that was truly able to fit the scene, corner to corner, at the points where I needed the photo to end while also keeping that world within a world feel I wanted to come across."
Take the time to visit Chef Marc's Instagram page. He regularly shares great content and photographs that will tell you more about his love for the craft.
In the world of photography, the first quarter of each year has always been a series of "reunions," as we all attend the various key conventions around the country. The pandemic has changed that for 2021, but it hasn't slowed Tamron down. Online and off, in small programs around the country, they support imaging artists as best they can. Check out their listing of local events, all within the appropriate safety and physical distancing guidelines.
The lens Marc used for the image above was the 17-35mm F2.8-4 Di OSD. Click on the thumbnail to the right for more information, and understanding why he made this choice for the coverage of the scene he wrote about.
I write the same reminder with so many posts - hunkering down is about your health, NOT about growing as an artist and expanding your skill set. Nothing grows if you stay in your comfort zone. That means the downtime you're experiencing now is an opportunity to raise the bar on the quality of your images.
Stay active in social media and spend time with your camera in your hands every day, capturing images for your most important client...YOU!
by Skip Cohen
We're all dealing with the same challenge, downtime with minimal things to do, but maximum energy and often creativity. So, wandering through cyberspace, I caught a post from one half of one of my favorite couples in imaging. If you know Bobbi Lane and Lee Varis, then it's hard to imagine what they'd be doing in life that wasn't related to something in photography or the arts.
Bobbi posted the image above with this caption:
Best of 2020 FLOWERS! I had a wonderful year photographing flowers in my house (got me out of the rut), in the yard and on location. I shot everything on the Fujifilm XT 4 using three lenses: 80mm f/2.8 macro, 50 mm f/1.0, and the 16-55mm f/2.8.
While all the images she shared were beautiful, I loved this one the most. But it wasn't just the image, but her "Best of 2020" approach. Bobbi isn't known for a lot of still life, but she's also not known to compromise on turning her visions into reality. (I found out after this post was published - She started out her career in large format product photography!)
There's a great line about growth only happening outside your comfort zone. While I doubt Bobbi had any thoughts about stepping into close-up work with flowers, it's great to see one of her projects that burned up the clock a little during downtime.
Remember, "hunkering down" is about your health, not about your business, skill set, or creativity!
by Skip Cohen
It's a new year, and more and more, I've come to realize the control we all share in pushing things back to a level of normalcy. The need to capture memories and the potential demand by consumers for the "magic," only a professional photographer can provide hasn't changed. Sure, it's been buried under a lot of stress, frustration, and fear through the pandemic, but it's still out there.
Just recently, Charles and Jennifer Maring shared this stunning family portrait on their Facebook page. While it was taken last fall, it was done during one of the pandemic's most restrictive phases. But it was still captured and created while maintaining physical distancing and exercising the necessary health precautions.
It might be too cold today in various parts of the country for a family portrait like this now, but that doesn't limit your ability as a portrait artist. Your creativity gives you the potential to create something just as stunning - the challenge is that it's up to you to plant the seeds of ideas with your target audience. This is where your blog, a personal letter to your clients, or a direct mail piece can help.
It's still going to be a while before the vaccine really makes a difference, but you don't have to wait! Hunkering down is about your health - NOT about your business.
Charles and Jennifer captured this image with the LUMIX S1R, LUMIX 70-200mm f/4 lens and a Profoto B10 (off camera for fill light). The exposure triad was: 1/80 @ f/8 ISO 100 in Manual.
Panasonic technology is "changing photography," and giving artists some of the most creative tools in the history of imaging. Click on either thumbnail below for more information about two of the Maring's most favorite tools!
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.