Image copyright Erin Zahradka. All rights reserved.
What a kick to launch a whole new year of "Why?" episodes with a photographer who's not only become a great friend over the years but is someone I admire as well. Erin Zahradka joins me in this first episode of 2019, and she's no stranger to SCU.
Remember why I started this series - it was to share the work of the movers and shakers in contemporary photography, and at the same time help you meet artists you should know. Well, the concept took off, and we're starting the new year with today's episode at 110 artists featured in the series to date.
While boudoir photography is where Erin's heart is, she's an award-winning family and lifestyle photographer. She's the founder of AIBP (Association of International Boudoir Photographers), a group of incredibly talented artists sharing support for each other and their creativity through their facebook forum, as well with a well-attended annual workshop/conference each year.
One of my favorite guest posts in the SCU archives was thanks to Erin about a summer photography day camp she started several years ago. It's a great idea, and you can read more about it with a click on her campers to the right.
In the meantime, you can check out more of Erin's work along with the members of AIBP with a click on her "Why?" image above.
Boudoir photography is one of the most challenging disciplines in professional photography because it involves so much more than just photographic technique. It's about trust with the subject, building self-esteem, communication, and incredible listening skills.
If you've got an interest in learning more about the true art of boudoir photography, AIBP has a great blog that's worth following as well.
Image copyright Kim Ackerman. All rights reserved.
I started this series to introduce you to the movers and shakers in contemporary photography. I completely underestimated how much insight each artist would share about life, their careers, marketing, and often technique. It's been an incredible experience, and with each new episode, there's something different being shared, not to mention some outstanding photographs.
Kim Ackerman joins me in this new episode. She's best known for her creativity in the world of boudoir, fashion, and glamour but she’s also an educator and talented motivator and mentor. Photographing professionally for the last seventeen years, it's only been the last few that she's been teaching. Her passion for the craft is infectious, and it comes out in every workshop she teaches.
Part of her "secret" is that she doesn’t just capture stunning images, but is directly involved in designing many of her own looks for concept shoots including gowns and headpieces. Being involved in every shoot is part of the story she and I talked about.
I love her backstory and how she's made a concept shoot a regular part of her relationship with her daughter. And, there's a bonus in this new "Why?" as I hit Kim with her feelings about the importance of exceeding client expectations.
To see more of Kim's work click on the image above. And, check out her blog! She regularly shares some great information about her upcoming workshops, speaking engagements, and retreats.
Images copyright Pye Jirsa. All rights reserved.
We started the "Why?" series to introduce you to some of the most respected artists and educators in professional photography but with each new episode the dynamics keep expanding. Mark Toal, one of our past guests on "Why?" compared the challenge of picking one of his favorite images to being asked, "Which of your children do you love more?" It's an impossible task.
Pye Jirsa shares two of his favorites in this new episode, and right from the beginning, he comments on the images not being his "most dramatic, epic or impressive", but at the very top of the charts because of the reaction from his clients. And, that's what makes the "Why?" series, so special and fun to share.
Great images aren't just about technique but the reaction from the client. Being a professional photographer is about building relationships, not just capturing memories. With these images from Pye's favorite list, he not only captured a memory, but he also created one.
Based out of Southern California, Pye is part of the award-winning team of Lin and Jirsa. He's no stranger to SCU and over the past two years, thanks to Profoto, we've shared at least ten different posts and videos featuring Pye as one of the industry's finest educators. Even with this short podcast, you'll pick up more tips on lighting.
Looking for outstanding educational content? Check out the SLR Lounge with a click on either of Pye's images in this post. And, take the time to look at the Lin and Jirsa galleries featuring dozens of beautiful photographs. Their galleries are a blueprint demonstrating one of the most important aspects of building a successful business as a professional photographer - they know how to tell each story!
Pye captured the images with Profoto's Off-Camera Flash System. Just click on the banner below to visit Profoto's website, and then get yourself into a Profoto dealer or rental house, and take the finest gear in lighting today for your own test drive!
Images copyright Annie Griffiths. All rights reserved.
In the Spring of 2016 I was teaching a workshop and mentioned one of my favorite artists, Mary Ellen Mark, and nobody knew who she was. Although she passed away in 2015, she was an inspiration to so many of us in the industry and to say it bothered me that my class didn't know of her work would be a huge understatement.
So, that kicked off an idea to launch this series, and John Sexton was the first to be a part of it. Since then there have been 105 more artists who have shared a favorite image together with the backstory. Each photographer has brought something different to "Why?" While the original purpose was to introduce you to some of the most respected artists in imaging, it's now become a substantial body of work reflecting the passion and dedication of many of our industry's very best.
Annie Griffiths joins me on this new episode, and what a kick to catch up to her. She's a photographer, author, speaker and educator with a signature for being warm and approachable. She was one of the very first women photographers hired by National Geographic and has traveled all over the world.
She's also a firm believer in being involved, using her skill set as a photographer to help raise awareness for a variety of issues and make the world a better place. Annie is the Executive Director of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of artists who document programs empowering women and girls throughout the developing world.
There's one other fun aspect to this episode of "Why?" Annie is a LUMIX Ambassador, and the two images she talks about in this episode, photographed with a LUMIX G9, will be available as posters which she'll be signing in the Panasonic booth (829) at the upcoming PPE show in New York, October 25-27.
To see more of Annie's work and visit her website, click on either image above. And while you're there scrolling through her galleries, check out her books. Annie Griffiths needs to be on your radar!
Click on either banner for more information
Image copyright Robert Vanelli. All rights reserved.
Over two years ago I started this series to introduce you to the movers and shakers in professional photography. The idea was to keep it simple - share an image from each artist and include a short podcast talking about why the picture was one of their most favorite. Well, I completely underestimated the information each photographer would share and their ability to not only help us understand their mind's eye visions but how they define their passion for the craft.
Robert Vanelli, AKA "V" and for many of us "Vanelli" is one of those artists, writers, and educators who never stops giving back. He joins me with a great backstory about one of his favorite images.
His career started in Karate as a three-time Triple Crown champion in the mid-80's, but lucky for all of us he had a love for photography and today is a contributing editor for Photofocus.com, a speaker, and educator for Skylum and a great photographer. I heard somebody say, "You don't just meet Vanelli, you experience him!"
It's a kick to have him join me on this episode of "Why?" and if you see him at any upcoming conference, go over and introduce yourself. You couldn't ask for a better new buddy and somebody who needs to be on your radar.
Click on any image in this post to link to Vanelli's posts on Photofocus.com - He's always sharing great content!
Images copyright Jamey Price. All rights reserved.
This series is a perfect example of that old expression; time flies when you're having a good time. This is the 105th episode of "Why?" And, in all honesty, I'm amazed how fast two years have gone by! "Why?" is about the favorite images of some of the most respected artists in photography, and while you might not recognize their names, so often you'll recognize their images.
Jamey Price joins me today on "Why?" and he's the first artist whose work I've shared who specializes in motorsports. He shares a lot of insight in this new episode with the backstory about one of his most favorite images. While motorsports is his passion, check out his website. Jamey's made it a point to keep his skill set diverse and stay focused on relationship building with his clients. As a result, some of the most respected names in motorsports trust Jamey to tell their story.
Jamey's images have been published around the world by Top Gear, MAXIM, Car & Driver, CycleWorld, Road & Track, RACER, MotorTrend, Autosport, F1 Racing, Motorsport Magazine, Blackbird Automotive Journal, Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and many more.
I wanted to share a couple of additional images of Jamey's, and he sent me the two below. They're perfect examples of his passion as an artist and the diversity and pure joy he has with a camera in his hands! And, if you think it's all glamour watch the video on his website, Frames, as he shares the challenge of photographing a 24-hour endurance race!
Check out more about Jamey with a click on any of these images. You'll see an amazing body of work on his website. And, stay tuned - Jamey was our guest recently on "Beyond Technique" sponsored by PhotoShelter and well be sharing that new podcast later in August.
Image copyright Moose Peterson. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is all about artists who should be on your radar. Think about many thousands of images we all see every day and never know the stories behind them. Each episode of "Why?" is about one artist, one of their favorite images and the backstory behind the shot.
When I started the series, I had no idea what it would grow into. Today, with 104 artists involved. it's become an incredible example of insight, education and the passion of some of the world's most respected photographers.
Moose Peterson joins me in this new episode with a great backstory about an image that helped to launch his career. He shares some great insight, and his backstory is a perfect example of a quote by John Burroughs, "Leap, and the net will appear!"
Moose is a wildlife/outdoor photographer based out of California. Moose and his wife Sharon set the standard for passion about wildlife and imaging. In fact, their tagline says it all, "The Endangered Species Folks." You'll find more of Moose's images on his website and blog with a click on the photograph above.
His website is one of the most educational in photography and loaded with great advice and information to help you raise the bar on your skill set. And, don't miss the Moose Peterson Podcast - click on the thumbnail to listen to the most recent, episode 91. Great insight and solid content on every podcast!
Images copyright Andy Marcus. All rights reserved.
One hundred and two artists ago I started this series because I was teaching a workshop and frustrated by the fact that nobody knew who Mary Ellen Mark was. That got me thinking about the importance of more photographers knowing the people who like the early pioneers have blazed a trail in this industry. As the project progressed over the last two years, I expanded the series to include young contemporary artists who are setting new standards for imaging.
Andy Marcus joins me on this new episode of "Why?" I consider Andy covering both profiles of a trailblazer and a contemporary artist who is setting a standard for quality and creativity.
Fred Marcus Photography was his father's dream. Andy took over the business, and today Fred Marcus Studio is over seventy years old and still in the same NYC location. While the business of photography has changed a lot in seventy years, nothing has changed in the importance of building relationships and delivering an outstanding product to the client.
Andy's been a leader in the industry throughout his career but now let's take it a step further. He never slows down in adapting to new technology, and that's where I consider him a contemporary artist setting the standards of service, quality and exceeding customer expectations.
"Why?" is typically about one artist, one image, and one backstory but knowing the diversity of Andy's business I wanted to share a couple of additional images, which are below. Click on any of the photos to see more of Andy's work along with the talented team of artists and videographers who have helped build Fred Marcus Photography!
Images copyright Dave Frieder. All rights reserved.
I was teaching a workshop at ShutterFest a couple of years ago when nobody in my class knew who Mary Ellen Mark was. Out of that frustration came the concept for this series. "Why?" is about introducing you to some of the most respected artists in photography. Some are relatively new to the craft, but doing amazing work, while others represent the veterans who have blazed a path of creativity and set so many of the standards we most respect.
Every artist has shared a piece of wisdom related to their journey thus far. What started as a way for you to meet the industry's movers and shakers has grown to be a significant body of work thanks to their willingness to share.
Dave Frieder joins me in this new episode. Dave and I go back a lot of years to my early Hasselblad days. His work centered around one unique passion, climbing and photographing all the bridges of New York...from the top! Over the years he's built a significant body of work, and currently is working on a fine art tabletop book anticipated to be published in the very near future.
Click on either image to visit Dave's website. Check out more of his work and the detail of each of New York's famous bridges.
Images copyright Fuzzy Duenkel. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is all about the favorite images from some of the most respected artists and educators in photography today. I started the series almost two years ago after teaching a workshop and being surprised how many attendees didn't know so many of the leading artists in contemporary photography.
Well, here we are, 101 artists, later with a new episode each week. With every backstory has come your introduction to an artist you may not have known before, along with some terrific insight.
Going back to my Rangefinder Magazine publishing days, one of the most powerful cover images we ever had was a senior shot of "Fuzzy" Duenkel's. It was a high school senior holding her violin with half of her face vertically cropped. It was one of the strongest portraits I'd ever seen, and it's still clear in my mind all these years later.
Fuzzy joins me in this new podcast to talk about photographing seniors. Although there's probably nothing, he can't photograph, his passion is clearly in portraiture. Click on his image above or a few of my favorites I pulled from his website to see more of his work.
And, if you're looking for help to raise the bar for your portrait work, check out Fuzzy's section for photographers where he offers both private tutoring and small group sessions.
Images copyright Lewis Kemper. All rights reserved.
I launched the first episode of "Why?" because I was teaching a workshop and nobody knew who Mary Ellen Mark was. So, I went off on a quest to feature the movers and shakers in contemporary photography. Well here we are almost two years later, and we've not only learned a little more about each artist, but there's always been great insight and lessons being shared. These lessons have been as diverse as the artists themselves.
Lewis Kemper joins me as the 100th artist in the series. He's a photographer, printer, writer, educator and never slows down in his passion for wildlife and the outdoors. In fact, he's been teaching and helping photographers capture/create better images for over forty years.
Click on his "Why?" photograph to visit his website. And, if you've got an interest in attending one of his workshops click on the collage to the right.
The story he shares about his "Why?" image reminds me of a quote about patience:
"Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action;
it waits for the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way."
Fulton J. Sheen
Image copyright PhotoJoseph. All rights reserved.
"Why?" started as a series to introduce you to some of the most respected artists in photography, but as we approach two years, one hundred artists and their backstories, it's become so much more. Every artist has shared a piece of wisdom related to their journey thus far. What started as a way for you to meet the industry's movers and shakers has grown to be a significant body of work thanks to their willingness to share.
PhotoJoseph joins me in this new episode, and while every "Why?" episode has been fun to do, it's even more fun when I've spent time working with the artist. Joseph and I met through Panasonic. He's a LUMIX Ambassador in addition to being an artist, educator, author, podcaster and creative motivator.
Click on the image above to check out more of what PhotoJoseph is doing with a visit to his YouTube channel. And, you'll also see his work shared with the other members of the LUMIX team on their Facebook page. This is one of the most diverse groups of talented artists in the industry!
Images copyright Hannah Couzens. All rights reserved.
As the "Why?" series comes up on its first hundred artists, I continue to be amazed at the diversity behind each story and the passion each artist has been willing to share about the image, and their philosophy about their journey as a photographer.
Hannah Couzens joins me on today's new episode, and she's a perfect example of the fun of the Internet and social media. I "met" Hannah thanks to Profoto. She's one of three online educators who helped launch the Profoto Academy, a series of webinars designed to help you raise the bar on your skill set.
Looking at Hannah's work, I knew right away I wanted to talk her into doing a "Why?" episode. Thanks to Facebook, I tracked her down with an IM, and finally thanks to Skype, we recorded this new podcast.
While there are days when the interruptions social media creates sometimes make us crazy, and we all wish we weren't so accessible - nothing changes the fact that it's made the world a much smaller place. Hannah is based near London and not only did we have a great conversation about the image, but the best part of the industry is all about the friendships we make along the way!
Check out more of Hannah's work with a click on either of her images in this post and then wander over to the Profoto Academy - you won't be disappointed!
Image copyright Cecil Holmes. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is always about introducing you to some of the most respected photographers and artists in the industry, but it's evolved into so much more. Every backstory has been a little different, giving us an opportunity to get to know the artist in a way that looking at just a photograph would never accomplish.
Cecil Holmes is in the "Why?" spotlight today and he's a perfect example of how social media helps us meet other artists and expand our understanding of everyone's passion for the craft. I first "met" Cecil watching a short video from Tamron USA about their 100-400mm lens. He was out in the cold of the Grand Teton's with my buddy Ken Hubbard, and I loved the way he captured images of horses in the dead of winter. Well, that took me to his website and in turn a good old fashioned phone call to talk about his work and hope that he'd join me on an episode of "Why?"
There's another phenomenon that's unique to our industry that's been apparent in so many episodes of "Why?" We all share so many mutual friends. With Cecil, just like playing the degrees of separation with Kevin Bacon game, the core link is Tamron USA.
During the podcast, Cecil told a story about a double rainbow and being patient when the weather is less than perfect. I asked him if we could share it here as well.
Click on either image to visit Cecil's website and see more of his work, and follow him on workshops through Nature in Focus. And, click on Tamron below to check out some of the finest glass in photography!
Image copyright William Innes. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is all about photographers and the backstories behind their favorite images. Often, as with today's story, the photograph is more than just the artist's favorite, it's an image that kicked off a journey into a new career.
William Innes joins me in this new episode, and it's always fun doing a podcast with somebody I've spent a lot of time working with. William is a Panasonic LUMIX Ambassador, and I've shared a lot of his images, as well as some of his Photodex slide shows. While his core specialty is wedding photography, he loves to travel, and over the years a lot of his images I've seen have been well outside the typical bridal category.
I appreciated the way he described how relentless his wife was in pushing him to share the photograph that started it all. So often we've chosen a path in our life thanks to a spouse, good friend or another family member. It's that encouragement and support that's so important in pursuing any dream!
I don't usually share additional images in these episodes, but while William's backstory is about the image above; I want to share one of my favorites from his galleries. It was captured with a LUMIX GH5 and 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 Leica lens.
Click on either image to see visit William's website and see more of his work.
Image copyright Clay Blackmore. All rights reserved.
"Why?" started as a way to introduce you to some of the most talented photographers in the industry through their favorite images and backstories. Along the way we've picked up some incredible insight and ideas to help you build a stronger business and become a better artist. Thanks to all the people involved this feature just keeps growing and there are a lot more images and stories to share!
Clay Blackmore joins me on this new episode. We go back just short of thirty years ago when he was just getting started, and I had just joined Hasselblad. Through all these years, while his skills as one of the leaders in professional photography is always growing and changing, his humility, and love for the industry has never wavered. His ability to combine classic portraiture with contemporary imaging is a testimonial to his experience and ability to see the world through his client's eyes. Clay ALWAYS delivers.
Click on Clay's image to visit his website. He needs to be on your radar!
Image copyright Jamie House. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is all about images and backstories from some of the most respected artists in photography, but that doesn't mean you'll always recognize each name. Jamie House joins me on this episode of "Why?" We share a number of good friends, but I really hadn't seen her work until I was looking at images for a book I'm working on for Panasonic's LUMIX Ambassadors.
Jamie is an artist, educator, business owner and speaker. She's one of Panasonic's newest LUMIX Ambassadors. When it comes to her unstoppable love for imaging and the craft - even her Facebook profile shot is typical of the way she interacts with students and customers.
Note: This episode was recorded just before Christmas, and got caught in the challenges of year-end and Jamie doing an update on her website, but her message is timeless.
To see more of her work click on the image above to visit her website.
If you haven't stayed in touch with all the great products creating the "buzz," just click on the banner below to connect to Panasonic's Facebook page for the latest in special events.
Image copyright Stacy Pearsall. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is all about photographs and their backstories from some of the most respected artists in contemporary photography. While the series started as a way for you to meet more of the movers and shakers in the industry, each backstory has been from an artist who should be on your radar. With each episode they've shared a little piece of their heart and their passion for photography.
Stacy Pearsall joins me in this new episode. She's a photographer, author, educator, military consultant, veteran and the only woman to earn the NPPA's Military Photographer of the Year Award twice! She shares a lot of great insight into her passion for special projects, especially the Veterans Portrait Project. Click on Stacy's image above to visit her website.
To date she's photographed over 6500 veterans in 27 states. With 23 left to go and thousands more veterans to photograph, finding out how you can help is just a click away.
Image copyright George Lepp. All rights reserved.
"Why?" is all about the favorite images from some of the most respected artists in contemporary photography. Many of the images we've shared have also been gateway images to the start of some of the best known careers in imaging.
George Lepp joins me in this new episode with one of his earliest and most favorite images. He's a photographer, educator, author, and admired by so many of us for his never-ending passion for the outdoor world. As the Field Editor for Outdoor Photographer magazine, his monthly column will keep you in touch with nature photography.
George was one of Canon's first members of their Explorers of Light program. If you're looking for help raising the bar on your skill set in capturing nature photography, check out his six hour seminar, available for streaming.
To see more of George's work click on his image above and visit his website.
Image copyright Michele Celentano. All right reserved.
"Why?" is about introducing you to the movers and shakers in photography, but in the process, since we started in April of 2016, I continue to be amazed at the images and the backstories.
Michele Celentano is best known for her family portraiture, but there's nothing she can't photograph. She's also an educator, author, Mom, wife and a great friend. She's been involved in many of the SCU workshops over the years helping thousands of photographers raise the bar on their portraits.
But best of all is her passion for imaging along with her love for printed images. Michele shared a terrific post a few years back called "I Believe." She gave everyone the right to plagiarize and steal what she shares with her clients about the importance of printed photographs. Just click on the image below to read "I Believe."
To check out more of Michele's work and visit her website, click on the family portrait above. And, stay on top of her workshops and programs by putting her Facebook Group on your radar!
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.