“This is what I like about photographs.
They're proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect.”
by Skip Cohen
I've used that Jodi Picoult quote at least a dozen times over the years, but there isn't a better one to describe what photographs mean to us.
Like a combo at Taco Bell, today's Throwback Thursday turns back the clock and, at the same time, is combined with a lot of love for a great guy who the industry lost recently, Rob Logan. We've all lost friends over the years, and while I don't do eulogy-like posts very often, here's one I really want to share today.
We often lose touch with friends and so many people who come into our lives. But, when someone we care about does pass, there's this incredible flood of memories, and most often smiles. We relive moments from the past as if we were in a time machine. We start the clock; however, far back, we want to go, and then watch life roll by repeatedly thinking, "Where did the years go?"
Rob was one of the all-time great people in our industry. I met him in 1987 when I joined Hasselblad. He was our sales manager in the south, based out of New Orleans. There isn't a person who ever met him who doesn't smile when you mention his name. He was simply a good guy!
I lost touch with Rob a long time ago, but that doesn't change the love or respect I feel about him. When I heard the news yesterday, my only response was, "Aw shit." Seriously, what else could I say over the sadness? But that sadness took me on a quest to find old photographs, mostly prints. Each image I found made me smile and pass on a story to Sheila, who met Rob only once.
The bottom line isn't so much about life being too short, but going by too fast. When we're in our teens, we can't wait to grow up, and when we're finally a big kid, we do our best to slow things down - both of which are impossible. So, the best thing to do is not waste our most valuable commodity...TIME.
The pandemic has given us all an opportunity to appreciate old friendships and take those looks back to times that made us smile. It's also a great time to get back in touch with old friends and even new ones from the last year or two. And best of all, with all of us spending more time on the Internet, everyone is pretty easy to find!
And to "Mr. Rob," we're all looking back on so many great moments shared with you, all the laughs and here and there even a few tears. You'll be missed from this industry, but if there's a way to find immortality, you did it with your smile. We'll miss you buddy!
by Skip Cohen
One of the best things about this industry is the diversity of the friendships that have all come out of our mutual love for the craft. From photographers to vendors, just calling it a diverse group would be a dramatic understatement.
Brian Campbell and I first met at WPPI 2009, my last show in my role as president of Rangefinder Publishing and WPPI. He's the president of PhotoFlashDrive, and their products are outstanding. (And I want to clarify my position on his company too - they do not pay me, and they're not an SCU partner.) They just have GREAT products to help you exceed client expectations.
Right now they've got a monster outlet sale going on and here's why you need to take a look.
The pandemic has changed everything in our lives, especially in the business of imaging. More than ever before, your presentations to clients are in the spotlight. And PhotoFlashDrive manufactures hundreds of products to help you raise the bar on whatever you're delivering as a photographer.
From flash drives to wine and print boxes to branding material and everything in between, Brian has spent his life listening to what photographers need most. Don't take my word for it - take a look for yourself. You have a unique opportunity to deliver your products in a way that dramatically elevates the quality and perceived value!
Click on any image in this post to check out how PhotoFlashDrive can help you elevate your image and your brand!
Image copyright Rhonda Coe. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
Chamira Young and I started this series because we wanted to introduce you to artists who were incredibly passionate about the craft. We wanted to share great images and, at the same time, the insights and backstories by the artists who created them. Working together with Tamron, we started the Tamron Kitchen. Like so many of our favorite reality food shows, we chose to play off the analogy of each artist being a fine chef.
If you think about a chef's skills to create something in the kitchen, the analogy to a photographer's creativity is almost identical. Years ago, the legendary portrait artist, Don Blair, used to refer to using a hair-light as the "garlic light." Like cooking with garlic, you want just the right amount, but use too much, and you'll ruin the dish.
This is a little different kind of Tamron Recipe this month. Rhonda Coe from Ohio joins us, and she has a full-time job outside imaging. But, one conversation with her and I'll match her passion for the craft with anybody.
Early in this series, I started adding a quote that seemed to fit each guest chef. I had never met Rhonda before our first phone conversation, but her enthusiasm is infectious, along with her quest for quality and sharing great images. With Rhonda, I found two that seem to describe her love for photography.
You don't need a reason for doing everything in your life.
Do it because you want to. Because it's fun.
Because it makes you happy.
You can't find your passion, thinking about it in your head!
About "Chef" Rhonda: "My goal in photography is to give people a glimpse of places they have never been, an appreciation of the nature that surrounds us, and a different view of the wildlife that lives amongst us."
The first line on her about page says it all. At the end of her about page she wrote, "And it's still the "hobby" that gets me up at 5am for sunrise, and keeps me up until 2am for Milky Way shots, and still makes me head into a patch of poison ivy (which I'm highly allergic to!) just to get a better shot of a bird."
Earlier I commented about Rhonda's love for the craft. Remember, like so many photographers in our industry, Rhonda's a serious hobbyist who never slows down, trying to learn as much as she can. With a full-time job working for the State of Ohio, she takes full advantage of her available time to go off in search of new subjects.
Take the time to visit Chef Rhonda's website. She's regularly proving a point about how much there is to photograph, no matter where you live!
About the Image: Rhonda used Tamron's SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD lens to capture both of the images shared in today's post.
Every now and there's a connection with a critter that almost seems like they know they're being photographed. Well, "George," the jumping spider hung out with her long enough to get a name! I hope you'll join us on August 25, when we'll air our podcast with Rhonda who shared backstories about both images.
Tamron's reputation has grown to be one of the finest manufacturers of camera lenses in the world. They never slow down on raising the bar on the quality of their optics and giving artists more creative tools for the craft. They're one of the industry's most favorite suppliers, and whether online these days in virtual workshops or live at their booth at any convention, they're always busy.
Tamron's website is loaded with outstanding content, as well as their YouTube channel. And their tech team is regularly teaching online with workshops supported by Tamron retailers all over the country.
Click on the banner below to check out a one-week "FLASH SALE" on two of their most popular lenses.
The pandemic has slowed down business, but not your ability to keep growing as an artist. This is a great time to expand your gear, and take full advantage of the downtime getting to know a new lens, and boost your skill set.
by Skip Cohen
William Innes and I have been friends for many years, thanks to meeting through Panasonic. He's a LUMIX Ambassador, and right now, there are a lot of us living vicariously through his travels. A couple of months ago, William and his wife Cora hit the road on a two-year tour of the US and Canada.
He's been posting to his Facebook page regularly, and virtually everything he shares is captured with a member of the LUMIX family of cameras. While the professional community knows the quality in the LUMIX interchangeable lens line, we often forget the smaller cameras.
The three photographs in this post were captured with the LUMIX LX100 II. You can click on the thumbnail banner below for more information about this remarkable camera.
William shared these images in late July when they were in Oregon. These images are from Shore Acres State Park on the Oregon coast (near Coos Bay). The gardens are incredible - click on any image to enlarge it in the SCU Lightbox. Keep in mind these are screenshots from his Facebook post, and they're still sharp.
Check out the LUMIX Ambassador team. This group is one of the most diverse and creative teams in photo, and all the ambassadors should be on your radar. Check out the LUMIX Photographers Facebook page too - there are always great conversations and images being shared.
Intro by Skip Cohen
Sadly, that image above is the equivalent of the attention too many photographers put into the final packaging of the products they deliver to their clients. Okay, maybe it's a little extreme, but it hopefully will help make my point!
It's Marketing Monday, although EVERY day in your business should be about marketing. And, while the pandemic has changed many things in our lives, the need to continue to market yourself has never slowed down.
Yesterday I did a run to "Total Wine" - we were low on two pandemic survival necessities, tequila, and vodka! (Actually, neither of us are big drinkers, but we were out of both.) I was blown away by the packaging of one of our favorites, Milagro.
The color combination of black and silver suggests high perceived value with both men and women. Black and gold, also repeatedly score high in packaging tests. The package itself, along with the bottle design, is eye-catching and contemporary. And the story about Milagro is printed on both sides of the box.
That got me thinking about professional packaging in photography, which I've written a lot about over the years. Even though business for most of you is down, the importance of your final presentation hasn't diminished. It's probably more important and noticeable than ever before.
Whether you're giving a client access to images online or physically delivering an album or prints - don't underestimate the value of professional packaging!
A few years back, I found the post below in Marathon's blog archives, and the timing couldn't be better to share it again. We're coming up to the fourth quarter, which will still represent the busiest time in seasonality for photography...even with the pandemic.
As you start to send out orders for the 2020 holiday season, remember the impact professional packaging can have on each shipment's perceived value. And don't think of packaging as just for your hard products, but the artwork involved in online deliveries as well.
Every order is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your professionalism. Use professional packaging and elevate the perceived quality of your products. If you don't send them out with an elevated level of respect, nobody else will do it for you!
How important is the packaging in which you deliver portraits and other photographic products to your clients? When you consider the majority of photographic purchases are either initiated or entirely controlled by women clients, then the answer is clear: Packaging plays a huge role in enhancing your studio’s brand! Smart marketers know that women are influenced by packaging that pays attention to these key elements:
Research shows that color palette preferences of women are decidedly different from those of men, and the psychology of color—how it influences moods and feelings—is something that every marketer should take into consideration when developing key branding pieces such as business cards, websites, brochures, marketing cards, and packaging.
Women are known to be attracted to packaging that has appealing physical profiles, such as shape and size. These two elements are sometimes key to the functionality of the packaging, which has a definite impact on women consumers; women typically are concerned about how products can be safely and easily transported.
Who doesn’t like to unwrap a package? Women certainly do, so when packaging has pleasingly interactive qualities, such as luxurious ribbon, artfully designed bellybands, deluxe tissue, and eye-catching stickers, each item adds a layer of anticipation to the process of receiving the photographic product.
The fact that attention to detail is important to women, the addition of decorative bag tags, bellybands, ribbons, and even charms, elevates product value in the mind of sophisticated consumers.
Whenever a transaction results in an emotionally satisfying experience for the client, he or she becomes more likely to return for additional sessions and to refer clients to your business. Personalized packaging, such as the addition of a session image used as a bellyband closure or to adorn a shopping bag, is just the kind of gesture that creates a positive emotion which adds significantly to the success of the client’s experience with you.
Artfully coordinated packaging materials support the kind of positive image building that defines and adds meaning to your business brand. Extending your innate creativity to creating packaging that attracts you ideal consumer is well worth your time.
As the holidays approach, there’s no better season to create imaginative packaging. By advertising that “all gift portraits include custom gift wrapping,” you’ll be adding value to your product, and you’ll be all set to conclude future sessions with style!
by Skip Cohen
It's a typical Sunday morning in what's become the new norm. Sheila and I get up together and get the pups out; then, on either Saturday or Sunday, I hit the market with the shopping list. They open at seven, and I like to be there ahead of the idiots who think wearing a mask restricts their freedom. A mask isn't a political statement, it's an IQ Test, and fortunately, these fools like to sleep in! LOL
I've noticed through five+ months of the pandemic that I've become more aware of my own mortality. Not in a morbid way, just concerning not wanting to waste time.
We're down to watching the news one day a week, but we still read a lot. The stories that seem to jump out the most often are about people who have lost the battle to Covid-19. My frustration with all of these stories is that's what the media wants us to hear most. That's the panic they want to keep creating. I'm not minimizing any deaths due to the virus or the growing number of new cases, just the way they're presented.
Sheila and I take turns helping each other stay focused. But that doesn't change the fact I'm aware time is flying by. I don't want to miss a second of any day and hate it when I let everything get to me. But I have noticed a huge change in the values of things I appreciate.
For example, we discovered that as an Amazon Prime Member, we can go back to our favorite shows and watch old episodes without a single commercial. So, we're on season 2 of Chicago PD - each episode without a single interruption. Come on, admit it, this is BIG!
See what I mean about appreciation levels? Here are a few more...
And there you have it - a life of simplicity demonstrating exactly what I'm talking about - continually changing priorities and appreciating the simplest of things.
But there's one more I've noticed - my friendships, both new and old, have never been more important. Catching up to somebody on an IM can be magical, even when I'm busy. And phone calls are astounding. I'm more in touch with people than before the pandemic. Now and then, my mother hen gene makes me worry when I don't hear from somebody I've been chasing down, but that doesn't change my appreciation when I find them. I also use the words "love ya" more often with great friends - because more than ever I realize how plain my life would be without them.
Wishing everybody a safe, healthy, and uncomplicated Sunday. Appreciate all the little things and just like the button in Luminar to "enhance the details," pay attention to how your love for so many things you barely used to notice has changed.
Sending everybody a long therapeutic virtual hug and hoping you can stay focused on the big picture - getting through the pandemic and being together at the next LIVE convention. What a celebration that's going to be!
Happy Sunday...and Monday to all my friends on the other side of the world.
"The greatest technology in the world hasn't replaced the ultimate relationship building tool
between a customer and a business...the human touch!"
by Skip Cohen
There was a long window of time when talking on the phone seemed to be on its way to extinction. Everyone was texting and emailing. And as a consumer, if we called any major company, we were put through a barrage of defaults, often in menus that made little or no sense. You know the drill, "Please listen closely because your menu has changed. If you're calling about ______ press 1, and I always wanted to hear, "If you'd like to talk to somebody who cares, call another company!"
Okay, maybe it wasn't always that bad, but the pandemic came along, and today, excellent communication skills are more critical than ever. We're a word of mouth industry, and personal contact with clients will be restricted for some time. That puts how you handle yourself over the phone at the top of the list of critical marketing tools.
I remember when the phone company, "Ma Bell," used to do classes for business clients on phone etiquette. As I look back on it today, those classes were really about how to have a conversation - so, the same way you carry yourself with somebody face to face or (mask to mask today), is a foundation for how you communicate on the phone.
And it's all just as much about Customer Service as it is verbal communication. NOW is the perfect time to strengthen your communication skills with the phone.
The phone is one of your very best marketing tools. How you communicate is all under the umbrella of great Customer Service. Being a great communicator is just as important to build your business as meeting client expectations with the quality of your images!
by Skip Cohen
The fun of Throwback Thursday is finding old photographs and memories that simply make us laugh. The less than fun part is admitting you have no idea, whatsoever, when or where the memories were made! And to all of my old friends in the image, if somebody remembers why we were all together, please share.
I know it was captured in the mid to late 90s, and on film with an Olympus Stylus. It was always a signature moment at Hasselblad when we'd all be together, and one of us would put the Stylus on self-timer and place it on the ground - everybody knew to huddle around.
We've all got time on our hands these days, and I've found looking at old photographs, especially the ones I find from the film days, bring back so many smiles. It's also a great way to keep in touch with friends who have slipped away over the years.
And for those of you who don't want to fool with rotating the image, here it is in the other direction.
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Intro by Chamira Young
Need a break from watching the doom and gloom of current events in the news? We've got you covered! Today we bring you a fun, constructive way to develop your artistic eye and vision with outdoor photography. It's a versatile genre that any photographer with a camera can get out and explore. Whether you consider it your business specialty or not, there are always countless opportunities to capture the beauty that awaits around you.
It's especially effective when you have the right lens for it. Professional outdoor photographer David Johnston brings us this video review about the the Tamron 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD for Sony Full-Frame mirrorless cameras. David shares why he loves this tip-notch glass and features it in a variety of outdoor situations. I love how he demonstrates its versatility in wildlife photography, landscape photography, travel photography, and even night photography!
Check out the video below. Also, be sure to check out a Tamron dealer near you!
by Skip Cohen
Paul Mango is a LUMIX Ambassador and posted the image above on his Facebook page and Instagram a few weeks ago. Besides loving the shot, it hit me how many times I've done just what Paul did - take a long look in the rearview mirror.
While we're all looking forward and impatiently waiting for things to improve faster with the pandemic, our past photographs offer a soothing return to normalcy. It's those archived images of places we've visited, something we've photographed, and friends we've shared time with that help, so many of us stay focused. With this image, Paul wrote: "Missing our National Parks this Summer - New Moon over Balanced Rock in Arches National Park last Spring."
Just over a year ago, my wife and I decided it was time to see another part of the country that was new for both of us. We spent ten days in New Mexico, starting in Albuquerque, then Santa Fe and Taos. I brought a full backpack of camera gear but wound up using the LUMIX G-9 exclusively with the LUMIX 14-140mm lens. The combination gave me everything I needed, and the image quality was remarkable!
Paul captured the image with a LUMIX G-9 and a Rokinon 12mm F2.0 lens. Exposure triad was: ISO 2500, F2.0, 25 second exposure using the 2 second self timer to eliminate camera shake.
Click on any thumbnail below for more information about this incredible camera!
I met Paul through the LUMIX Ambassador team. Thanks to social media, I've been able to enjoy the images he shares. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram. And check out the LUMIX Ambassador team. This group is one of the most diverse and creative teams in photo, and all the ambassadors should be on your radar. Check out the LUMIX Photographers Facebook page too - there are always great conversations and images being shared.
Always remember, your focus determines your reality.
by Skip Cohen
With all the challenges in our lives these days, it's often tough to stay positive. From the pandemic to politics, there seems to be something new every day, adding to the struggle to stay focused and on track. Even the most confident of us feel the pressure to second guess everything, from maintaining our health to rebuilding business. The result is most often a little damage to our self-confidence.
It's Marketing Monday, and this is going to seem simplistic, but maybe it's time we developed a check-off list of things to do to help stay focused. You know how to focus your camera, but do you know how to hold the focus on the passion for your career?
This is only a partial list, and I know there are a lot more things you can do that I haven't included here. So, feel free to let me know what I've missed. Most important of all, if you're feeling discouraged or frustrated, there are a lot of us willing to help.
Don't get sidetracked by people who are not on track!
by Skip Cohen
This is anything but a regular Sunday morning, but it gives me a chance to share a fun aspect of this industry.
I've been asked to kick off ClickCon Nation's first segment of a nine-month series in less than an hour, which will hopefully lead up to Chicago and ClickCon 2021. The challenge is that I wasn't scheduled to be the opening act. Joe McNally was supposed to be the kick-off keynote speaker today, but the hurricane last week took out power in his area, and they're not likely to have power before Tuesday.
Well, I got a call late yesterday, to ask if my program, "My Business Has Disappeared. Now What?" could be presented today. I obviously agreed, and while I'm a little nervous, I would never miss an opportunity to help this team. And there's the keyword, "TEAM."
I look at our entire industry as a team. We have a history of working together, helping each other, and watching each other's backs. And just as ClickCon Nation has asked for my help this morning, they'd be there for me...and you...if the situation were reversed.
Now, being asked to be Joe McNally's stunt double borders on overwhelming, but Joe's stuck on generator power in Connecticut. Once power is up and running, and life is back to normal, he's asked to do his keynote later in the conference. Tune into ClickCon Nation for more information. We all have our heroes in this industry, and this is a perfect example of why Joe's one of mine. He never walks away from a commitment!
So, I'm on at 9:00 am CST, 10:00 am EST, with my program. And while I'm definitely not Joe McNally, I'm excited to share some old and some brand new ideas to help photographers rebuild their business. Just don't ask me about anything to do with lighting ratios or specific techniques that Joe's become known for over the years!
Wishing everybody a day to simply kick back and appreciate everything you have in your life, especially friends and family who watch your back. The pandemic has been horrible, but after five months of semi-isolation, we all need to appreciate what we still have and stop focusing on what's been missing!
Happy Sunday, everybody!
by Skip Cohen
It's a very different Throwback Thursday post this week, but so appropriate.
Glen Clark and I have been friends since we first met close to thirty years ago through another mutual friend, Terry Deglau, then at Kodak. We've worked together on a long list of projects, and he's one of a small group of buddies who's high on the call list when I need a lift.
He sent me the post below, and I'm ecstatic he's allowed me to share it here. It's Throwback Thursday, and these days none of us have to turn the clock back very far for the fun of old photographs and a walk down Memory Lane.
During the last five months of downtime, one of the most popular activities for every photographer has been cleaning out our closets. As I look at my own collection of photographs over the years, I'm a perfect candidate for a show on hoarding. I have an attic full of prints, many of them framed that will never see the light of day - but we're out of wall space!
Glen's dealing with a challenge we can all identify with - letting go of the footprints from our journey to make room for new ones. And the reason it's so hard? Jodi Picoult's quote, which I've shared numerous times says it all:
"This is what I like about photographs.
They're proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect."
by Glen Clark
I am struggling through a sad reality…
As a photography professional, I've spent the better part of my life believing in and promoting that captured images represent memories, moments and milestones we will cherish during our lives and, in some cases, pass along as family heritage and precious treasures. And as an industry, we've promoted the value of large wall prints and decor items for home, office, and even commercial/business/public spaces. These "works of art" have enhanced our environments.
My wife and I have accumulated more than our fair share of photographic art pieces and wall prints, each representing moments in our lives we cherish. But, we're now at that stage when we are reducing, cutting back, and "lightening the load." Our cherished print collection has become a burden.
Our children and their children don't want the "Family Heritage" things we've collected (including our works of art). The sad reality is we need to let these things go. We've shared the few items wanted by family and friends.
Before our treasures are tossed, we're copying them, so we at least have digital memories. I'm now creating digital copies (another story in itself), followed by destroying the originals and throwing them in the trash. An hour after we grabbed the photograph above, the prints around me were gone. It was heartbreaking…but at the same time, it was a bit "freeing."
What advice would I share with my younger self if I could? Here are a few conclusions:
TRUTH – Having one readily available image when wanted is far more valuable than having multiples that need to be searched for to locate.
The one huge takeaway is this…
Cherish each moment for the beauty, friendship, love, etc. it contains and, if you want, keep a few things to remind you of the good times. However, remember that today is here and now, and therefore more valuable than yesterday and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Live well, enjoy each day, share your love with people, cherish those close to you, and thank God for it all.
Follow Glen on his Facebook page. You'll never be disappointed in what he's sharing!
Intro by Skip Cohen
For years I've written, the best thing about our industry is the friendships that grow out of everyone's mutual love for the craft. Since the start of the pandemic and being quarantined, the importance of those friendships has grown even faster and become more cherished.
Meet Erik Cooper. We've only been friends a few months, but thanks to Facebook and the phone, we've spent a lot of time talking. This morning we caught up on a great phone call, and he told me about a project he launched at the beginning of the pandemic.
Every week I've been sharing at least one post about something professional imaging artists are doing to make the most out of downtime. There are two aspects of Erik's project that I appreciate the most. First, he's bringing a group of people together who share a mutual love and respect for imaging. They've all helped each other raise the bar on their skill sets. Second, Erik chose to stand out from the crowd and implement a way to be a leader in education, but even more critical during these tough times, help everyone stay positive and focused. The Beatles' line of getting by with a little help from my friends couldn't be more accurate.
A big THANKS to Erik for writing something up about the project and especially to all the artists/models involved in the images in this post. The pandemic isn't slowing down, but for this group, neither is their positive attitude!
by Erik Cooper
We make choices everyday that determine just how positive we can remain during adversity. In March and April of 2020 our country moved into quarantine in order to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was indeed a trying time for the US as well as other countries involved around the globe. Being located in Colorado, one of the first states to deal with the virus, our new agency, ECP Talent, decided to stick to a positive outlook in dealing with the shutdown.
Most of our model and talent team were locked up in their houses and looking for a new spin on time with their families or by themselves. As a photographer, I thought it a good idea to teach them lighting principles they could use for their postings.
We had six instructions on side, flare, butterfly, clamshell, low level and GOBO lighting. All of this with the design of staying positive during the lockdown. The response was amazing from the team as well as the public when we would post the resulting collages. The members were then able to apply these principles to future posts and the impact on their pages was notable.
I receive requests often to continue in this effort from the team. Staying positive is so important.
Note: Check out more of Erik's work with a visit to ECP Talent on Facebook, Erik Cooper Photography on Facebook and on Instagram, ECP Models on Instagram
Intro by Chamira Young
One of my favorite activities right now is to check out the work of my fellow photographers from around the world. In a time where it's vital for us to stay inspired as image makers, the internet is a wonderful resource for seeing what creative mischief others are making. And as an added bonus, it tends to have a trickle down effect: the more inspired you are personally, the more creativity you are able to incorporate into your own photo sessions and business!
That brings us to Philip Ruopp, a photographer from Germany who shares his travels with us as he captures beautiful nature and travel scenes using the F2.8-200mm F2.8-5.6. The Tamron team never compromises on the quality of their gear, and this great lens is no exception. As you'll see in this fun video, Philip vividly captures a wide variety of scenes, from up close shots of the vehicle ride, to breathtaking night time vistas.
Check out the video below. Also, be sure to check out a Tamron dealer near you!
Click on the above banners to understand what makes ClickCon and ClickCon Nation so unique!
by Skip Cohen
Last year ClickCon in Chicago kicked off its first conference and became the most successful launch of a new convention in the industry. Many factors were contributing to it being a great show, from the class selections, quality of the speakers, quality and enthusiasm of models and stylists to the involvement of the "Heart of ClickCon," the people involved in the planning.
This year we were all excited for the second show in their history when the pandemic hit. But nothing stops the Heart of ClickCon, and this weekend, ClickCon Nation kicks off a nine-month series of monthly classes and support for imaging artists.
The next ClickCon LIVE Conference is scheduled for August of 2021, but here's the best part - as part of your registration, you've got nine months of online educational programs from which to choose. Click on the thumbnail below to check out this Sunday's programming.
Everyone has different needs these days, but there are several common denominators - the need to share ideas, grow our skill sets and understand how to deal with the new norm. ClickCon Nation has five different levels of involvement - each one designed to help artists get the support they need most.
Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to catching up with many of you in cyberspace and then LIVE in Chicago next August. Registration is just a click away on the banner below!
by Skip Cohen
While there probably isn't anything Todd White can't photograph, his passion for imaging is definitely in still photography and video on the commercial/fashion side. We catch up to each other on Facebook a lot, and when he shared a few of his short commercial videos, I wanted to share at least one of them here.
Food photography (and video) is a challenge for so many photographers. Over the years in workshops, I've had artists continually tell me they don't photograph food, yet as wedding photographers especially, the challenge comes up at almost every event.
Pay attention to the way Todd put together the short video below. No lyrics, just great images, music and all in thirty-five seconds. As I've often suggested - how would you tell a unique aspect of your story in under a minute?
And the video is so well done, and the Cheesy Bread looked so good, I called 600 Degrees on a long-shot to see if they ship or might be found in the frozen foods aisle! *sigh* - they don't...yet.
Todd's a LUMIX Ambassador, and thanks to social media, our friendship has grown. I'm looking forward to the day when we can actually meet face to face. Check out Todd's website, along with the LUMIX Ambassador team. This group is one of the most diverse and creative teams in photo, and all the ambassadors should be on your radar. Check out the LUMIX Photographers Facebook page too - there are always great conversations and images being shared.
Todd's shooting with the full-frame LUMIX S1R and the LUMIS S Pro 24-70mm F2.8 lens. Click on either thumbnail below for more information about both of these outstanding products.
by Skip Cohen
It's Marketing Monday, and here's a perfect way to build a content-rich post for your readers.
Last week, my good pal Suzette Allen wrote a blog post, which she also shared on Facebook about International Friendship Day. In all honesty, I didn't know there was such a day, but being self-quarantined for almost five months, I started thinking about it. Through the pandemic, most of us are missing people the most, especially social time with good friends.
That got me thinking about International Friendship Day - first, it doesn't have to be one day a year, and second, why not share images of clients and friends more regularly? It's what we miss the most, and for those of you who are professional photographers, it's a great way to keep connecting with clients and friends in your community. Even better, it highlights your brand as a photographer.
Maybe best of all, I set out this morning going through my archives, thinking about conventions and trade shows. I miss the contact and time to socialize with so many friends over the years. The hunt for old images became fun. "Fun" is a difficult word to find these days, but it's not lost.
For you, as a professional photographer, the collection of photographs becomes a great way to remind your readers what you do best - capture and share memories!
Suzette shared a stellar piece of advice at the close of her post that applies to all of us these days:
Celebrate your friends this day (which is almost over) this weekend, this week, this month. Make sure you tell your friends how much you love them. Make it weird. LOL !! Seriously, we all need a reminder of how much we are loved!
Hope can neither be affirmed nor denied.
Hope is like a path in the countryside:
Originally there was no path - yet, as people are walking all the time in the same spot, a way appears.
by Skip Cohen
Another Sunday and while I'm not lost for words like I was last week, I'm fighting for a good topic. I have this need to write about the pandemic, again.
Like most of you, I'm tired of the politics and especially the stupidity. But, I found the quote above in a great little book, Don't Forget to Sing in the Lifeboats. The title alone describes the situation we're all in. It makes a point that's pretty solid - the importance of having hope. We need to stay focused on being safe and healthy.
A few minutes ago, I was on an IM with my good buddy, Brian Malloy, in Boston. We were talking about the challenge of figuring out what to do today. We all have too much time on our hands, and it's getting harder and harder to come up with something to do that's fun and different.
Sheila and I have breakfast together every morning, and I always ask the same question, "So, what do you have going on today?" And after five months of being hunkered down, we both still laugh!
So, here's the question of the day...What are you doing that's fun, safe, and different? Feel free to share, because we're all in the same boat!
Meanwhile, wishing all of you a quiet, peaceful, and SAFE day. The pandemic isn't going away, but maybe together we can slow down a few more of the stupid people out there. That path of hope will get stronger if we can get more people on it!
by Skip Cohen
Throwback Thursdays are even more fun when your friends send you old images. I just got an IM from Clay Blackmore who found this image in his files, and it's a pretty special photograph.
He photographed five of us in the Hasselblad booth at what was then called Photo East, now PPE, in 1992. Clay sending it to me is a perfect example of the fun of the friendships we share in this industry, but something else makes the photograph special.
Bengt Förssbaeck, in the middle, was Hasselblad's worldwide VP of Marketing. We lost Bengt to cancer a year or two after I left Hasselblad in 1999. We were both incredibly passionate about marketing and the company. Over the years, the fights we had in Board meetings became legendary, but so did our friendship. We were the very best of friends, and there's rarely a week that goes by that something doesn't come up to remind me how much I miss him.
One more great thing about this photograph - in the middle of the pandemic, it's important to look in your rearview mirror and not forget the goal to get back to the good old days. We're all dealing with a new norm, but being self-quarantined makes those walks down Memory Lane even more valuable.
And, if you're a family photographer, use Throwback Thursday as a way to promote the importance of capturing memories. Share older photographs on your blog as a way to remind Mom the pandemic isn't slowing down the kids growing up, and the importance of a new family portrait.
Happy Throwback Thursday!
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.