An Excerpt From New E-Book

bri-in-beam-of-light 2

Chapter Eight

Becoming Exceptional

As we move toward the beginning of our business plan, I want to take this time to
discuss becoming exceptional. Being exceptional means you are a cut above.
Maybe two. Being exceptional means you do things differently, and better. Your
business is better, your work is better, your relationships are better and the clients
who expect the mundane are always surprised by exceptionalism.

Unfortunately too many of us shy away from being exceptional. We keep hearing
people telling us that being that good is the same as being conceited or
egomaniacal. The movement all across the land is to denigrate the exceptional in
lieu of the mundane. No hurt feelings, or truama of having to deal with the fact that
you may not be as good as that other guy. The exceptional one.

What a load of crap. The ones who make it to the top of the mountain ARE the
exceptional ones. And anyone can go up the mountain, they just have to put one foot
in front of the other and not quit.

Not. Quit.

Never quitting is one of the prime ingredients in being exceptional.

(I feel I must state that sometimes one must withdraw, whether temporarily or for a
longer time. Withdrawing to regroup for a myriad of reasons is not quitting. When we
quit, we emotionally destroy any link to the goal we were chasing. And a little part of
us dies in the quitting. Withdrawing can be a strategic decision that leads to a
different path. Only you will know whether you are indeed quitting or withdrawing. I
just implore you to be honest with yourself if you have to make that decision
regarding anything that is important to you.)

Sure – some will get there in record time, and others may arrive late to the party and
exhausted. So? The feeling that only ‘special’ people are allowed in will be one of
the most debilitating thoughts we can ever have enter our mind.

And exceptional people are not conceited, they are good at what they do. That
others may INFER that they are somehow elitist cannot be helped these days. The
striving for centerline mediocrity seems to be surrounding us on many fronts.

I simply believe it is a ruse to keep people from trying to do the hard work. And
without the work there is no success. And without success there is no exceptionalism.
And without exceptionalism we can all experience the fairness of lowered
expectations.

Recently a photographer published a ‘manifesto’ on becoming a great photographer.
It was full of ‘don’t bother learning’ and ‘just spray and pray’ and ‘sure, you’re good
enough if you think you are’ crap. I hardly think that the words contained within that
piece were helpful. To be fair, there was some good advice mixed in with what is
such a terrible hi-jacking of the ‘becoming a professional’ meme, but it was mostly
overshadowed by the silly, faux new agey approach.

The point is to be a stand out in this business, you must stand out. In all ways – from
your work to the way you treat your staff and even to how you follow up with those
you may NOT have to ever follow up with.

When we establish a pattern of exceptionalism, that pattern follows us into other
areas of our personal and professional lives.

I think our goal setting exercises from the previous week’s assignment must now be
tempered with some cold hard facts on how we will do those things with
exceptionalism.

And the cool thing about being in the ‘exceptional’ mode is that it is really pretty
easy, and it flows so smoothly. I think it is because being exceptional is the normal
state for us humans. The extraneous forces that push it away from us are quite
powerful. From pop-culture to politics to entertainment to where we get educated, to
stand out and work to be better is seen as a problem. “Go along to get along” can be
the prevailing process. Striving is seen as too ambitious, too ‘full of themselves’ – too
‘arrogant’ to think that they could actually do something cool.

Something big.

Really big.

So for this exercise we are going to look at being exceptional and then we can take
this exercise back to our goals and further make them real in our minds. How? By
envisioning each goal as being something we will achieve with exceptionalism. We
will also define some exceptional tactics to help get those goals off the ground and
into the air!

It’s time to fly.

(excerpted from Chapter 8 of my new book – as yet untitled)

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Camera Phones and the Future

Photography:

“Everyone is now fully aware that professional Dslr are going to be replaced by mobile phone cameras. It is just a question of time. Already, this year, there has been more phone cameras sold than point and shoots. One main reason: Phone cameras can now do pretty much what any point and shoot delivers but are less bulky to carry, have multiple other useful functions and we carry them all the time. While Dslr cameras offer much more than point and shoots, they are already threaten by the high quality files delivered by phones.

We also all know that print is dying. Slowly, we see print publication number’s dwindling and there is no sign of that trend changing. Everyone is moving to screen-based publishing, with various success. There is less and less need for large image files. Online, everything is 72 dpi with 1024 pixel wide on average. Some phones today deliver already much bigger files than that.”
Thoughts of a Bohemian

I think there is SOME merit to this, but I also think this is skewed toward the journalist photographer. I agree that the bigass DSLR will become a ‘professional only’ tool in the not too distant future, but I do not think it will be replaced by a camera phone. Too many photographers like knobs and controls and the feel of a camera in their hands… both younger and older shooters. The smaller hybrid and mirrorless cameras will become far more popular with many pros and pro-ams in the very NEAR future and of course the ubiquitous camera phone will continue to get better and better.

On printing. For magazines… well, there are a hell of a lot of magazines out there. Hit Barnes and Noble for a taste… and that doesn’t cover trade and business specific journals and magazines. I think that there is most definitely a move to the digital, that is not even a question anymore, but the idea that print will not be around in the near future seems a bit over the top.

Prints for walls and art… well, here is where WE photographers are dropping the ball. WE DON”T PRINT, so we cannot share the joy and art of a print with people. And if WE don’t value it, how do we expect others to value it?

The screen resolutions already make it feasible to make amazing images with even an entry level camera, and if that is where we as a group are going, then explain to me why we need 32MP’s and 24MP’s – hell, anything over 8MP’s is extreme overkill for online publication… including PDF’s, iBooks, Kindle Books and more.

This thing we call photography will have another big shake out coming – perhaps two – before we can see through the mist to what lies on the other side. Fortunately – or unfortunately for some – we may not have THAT long to wait.

Indeed

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What’s Wrong With Photography? Nothing… Its Photo Writers We Should Question

What’s Wrong With Photography? Nothing… Its Photo Writers We Should Question

A review of an article written for F-Stoppers by Lee Morris.

The Nikon DF Represents Everything Wrong With Photography

Or does it?

I have a bad distaste for the bullshit club. The elitists who sit on the sidelines telling others what ‘should be’ without getting in the game. I have never held professional critics to high acclaim either… once it becomes a profession there is a compelling NEED to slam artists as the critics greatest fear is to be thought of as going ‘too lightly’ on someone who was less than stellar.

Add to that the need for the critic themselves to be thought of as far more sophisticated, and far more in tune with the art than the average schlub and you get film critics hailing slop like “Gravity” while passing on films that do well because they  were loved by the ‘masses’ – or to critics – ‘the dirty unwashed…’

Enter this terrible article by F-Stoppers written by a photographer named Lee Morris. It was a bitter, mean spirited article that sought to place Mr. Morris as that ‘on high’ photographer passing the judgement wand over those who didn’t quite ‘measure up’ to his high, high standards.

A NOTE FROME ME (EDITED IN)

Look, let me be clear. If you have a camera, and you like that camera, you can keep that camera. No one will be taking away your camera and forcing you into another camera.
Thank you.

“The Nikon DF Represents Everything Wrong With Photography”

We could wonder at this statement as something to marvel at, but really – what does it mean? What is wrong with photography anyway? I did not know that the wheels were off the rails in photography, did you? But – hell, it’s an online journal and we all know the importance of link bait. Pulled me in – guess it works, eh?

“Are we excited about this camera because of the photography we will be able to capture with it or are we excited because we will look trendy and fashionable holding it?”

Reading a little further in the article, one wonders who ‘we’ is. Clearly not him.

And the question asked begs another question… Why are you so concerned? Does it matter to you what the reason is for another’s interest?

Motive is now a point of contention when wanting to buy a camera?

Really?

“Cameras look the way they do today because they have been made to fit comfortably in your hand. I’ve never heard a professional photographer complain that a camera was too big or too heavy.”

What? Cameras look the way they look today because some designer built them that way based on design points that were measured and specced based on lots of reasons. Ergonomics is only one… And really? If you wanted an ergonomically created camera, it would most definitely NOT look like a DSLR. They are built to look like film cameras. They even have a ‘film chamber’ style – box/back/lens to them.

I take from the statement about weight that he doesn’t remember the very successful campaign that Olympus did with the release of the OM and the OM2… all about weight. The Nikon F3 was smaller than the Nikon F2 – and lighter – and those were features.

That apparently no one wanted – at least in Mr/ Morris’s world.

Personally I have heard many a photographer – me raising hand – that would like to see a less bulky camera, although I do love the feeling of my motor driven old F2′s. Manly men type of machines.

And things change.

“It’s always been really strange to me that this whole micro 4/3 explosion has happened because I feel like I have a pretty decent camera built into my cell phone.”

OK. What do we do with this information, sir? You don’t get it, much of the rest of the photography world does. I guess you… don’t. Feel free to not purchase a micro 4/3 camera. It’s allowed.

“If I want to take a professional picture, then I’m going to grab my professional camera.”

No such thing, Mr. Morris.

Define a “professional” image.

Define a “professional” camera.

Really cannot be done. Professional photographers have been making images on everything from home-made pinhole cameras to the most expensive one-off’s ever created (think the massive Polaroid machine). There simply is no definition of either that makes any sense at all.

But what Mr. Morris is saying is that he feels more “professional” when he has his big DSLR in his hand. Fine – but isn’t that what you are telling the rest of us is ‘wrong’ with photography? That need for ‘show’?

“So please don’t try to tell me you need a DF because it’s so easy to travel with and then strap a 70-200mm to it.”

Ummm… OK… no, wait. I have to tell you that I won’t be finding it easier to travel with and then strap (strap?) a bigass zoom to it. I don’t use bigass zooms. I use really small primes. Don’t tell ME what lenses I have to use… fair?

And really, what if I did? Would that diminish your photographic experience or  life in any way… at all? Have you ever seen a 600MM on the front of a D4? I have… that massive lens makes the camera seem terribly small – and holding it quite a challenge.

So what?

“There is also no way that holding this camera with your fingers will ever be more comfortable than a full-handed grip on today’s cameras.”

So you are an expert in my fingers now? I shot with an F3 for nearly a dozen years. I am perfectly capable of knowing how my hands grip that camera… with love and affection. And no, they never got tired or irritated or – whatever.

So to that statement I simply say – “way”.

“I think it’s safe to say that this camera’s buttons were not chosen with ergonomics or speed in mind, they were chosen to make it look like an old camera.”

Hmmm. maybe. Why do you think speed is important? Not every photographer is into ‘speed’. You want to see speed, use “P”. Lots of photographers – me for one – like the idea of slowing down the process. I never had a winder for my Hasselblad… I LIKED cranking it. It made me pause between shots for a breath. I had motors on my F3′s and would fly through film – a roll in a few seconds in a lot of shoots… only to be handed a second camera from an assistant frantically rewinding and loading the first. And I would choose the large view cameras when I wanted to make sure that things slowed way down.

Those choices were important to me. They were important to a lot of photographers. In fact, up until the F4, whether to motorize the advance of the film was a choice we made as well. And lots of shooters like Eugene Smith chose lighter cameras over the weight of those early motors. Yeah – weight and size did matter to them as well.

“Do you know why older cameras had a mechanical shutter release cables? Because they hadn’t invented better technology like self timer, infrared, or radio triggers.”

Better? Never had the battery go out of my cable release, never had any interference issues with my cable release, and I never had to make sure I had the right frequency on my cable release.

Better sir, is a term not suited for this discussion.

(And the self timer is quite old in camera construction… makes me wonder how much the author really knows about this stuff.)

“When I saw a picture of this camera being used with a physical shutter release cable it was proof that my theory was correct: so many people don’t care about pictures anymore, they just want to be “photographers.” “

Another whiner. Soooo concerned about how many people are photographers… You know what, Mr. Morris, it is exactly that point that makes me excited. I LOVE that there are lots of photographers. I LOVE that others have found the absolute joy of image making, and are finding ways to express themselves. I don’t find it an abomination, nor do I think there is something ‘wrong’ with photography because of that newfound expression.

I genuinely feel a bit sorry for those photographers who seem to be so put out by the fact that their art is enjoyed by many others. And, Mr. Morris, we are ALL photographers now. Get used to it.

When I saw that cable release, I thought about the tactile thrill of holding that shutter button and pressing it at the exact moment when all came together in my viewfinder. I had a physical connection to the camera that was real. I do not feel that when connected by wireless – and there are most definitely a time and place for that wireless connection.

We get to make that choice. Choice is good in my world.

“Using an outdated/obsolete device to take a picture makes you more of an artist today.”

No, sir. It simply is a choice my hands and heart makes. You may feel free to not ever use these old, antiquated tools. I would like to make the choice TO use them if I wish. That OK with you? If I ask nicely?

“This product exists to appeal to the same people who have gone out and bought film cameras recently because they are “too artistic” to use digital like everyone else.”

(I promised myself to not go to my usually outraged voice, but this statement pushed me to the edge of that promise. Deep breaths…)

That statement is so arrogant, so self-centered and so desperately out of touch with the subjects he is talking about that it brings into question his bona-fides. “Like everyone else…”

Does he know about artists like Richard Rinaldi, or shooters like Jennifer Boomer?

Wait… no, he doesn’t. Never mind. Let’s move on.

“You may not shoot video, you may not care about video, you may hate that still photography and video are merging. It doesn’t matter what your opinion on video is, the fact is that removing features from a product does not make a product “revolutionary.” “

I have not seen that term used with this camera. Have you? We call that a “straw man” argument. And maybe the ‘revolutionaly’ approach is the size and the way the features ARE laid out – even though not to the liking of Mr. Morris.

I am glad I do not have to worry about my opinion on video while reading HIS opinion on this camera. So many opinions… I would get lost.

“If Nikon had a logical reason why this camera couldn’t shoot video then I would be fine with it but we all know with a simple software update the camera could shoot amazing video like every other DSLR.”

More arrogance (unfounded I am afraid) on display.

It doesn’t have video. I don’t want the camera to have video. I want the camera to be the camera. I have video on nearly every other camera, and I simply do not want it.

I still have the right to NOT want something, don’t I Mr. Morris? Is there a form that I need to submit to be allowed to want what I want?

“When I first saw this camera I have to admit that I was excited, and for many reasons I still am. But I had to ask myself why?”

No. Really. You didn’t.

“Is this camera going to help me take better pictures?”

An interesting question, Mr. Morris. Does any camera in your opinion help make a ‘better’ photograph? I am not in that group. I think that the photographer makes the image, and the image is all I care about. A crappy photographer with a Rebel can get a 5DMKIII and guess what – still shitty photographs, just sharper a bit.

And online it makes no difference anyway. And so many photographers are simply shooting for online delivery that the idea that a Rebel cannot compete with a 1D in a 900 pixel wide image is laughable.

But I am not laughing.

“Is my photography business going to improve if I buy it?”

Nope. Would your photography business improve if you bought a Hassy? If the answer is yes, move heaven and earth to get it. I simply cannot imagine what piece of gear could improve one’s business. Dollars for marketing, or a studio in a better neighborhood – maybe. But a camera?

“Am I only excited because this camera looks different than other current cameras, or does this product only appeal to me because it reminds me of the first camera I ever owned?”

I don’t know. If it was, is that wrong?

Are the people who lovingly restore their vintage cars everything that is wrong with transportation today?

Are those who ride the older style motorcycles, the retro Triumphs and BSA’s and Indians everything that is wrong with motorcycling today?

Are those who listen to music on vinyl, preferring it to the CD everything that is wrong with recorded music today?

Or are they folks that make a choice. They choose something that may remind them of a time when the camera was an extension of their eye, and did only what we wanted it to. When part of the process was to choose the film type, the ISO, the processing baths… when the camera was simply a tool for the eye to look through and the brain to calculate… the heart to feel.

Perhaps it is something that brings them closer to a time that they remember and love… like a sentimental Hallmark card, or watching Costner plow the field waiting for someone to come.

That is isn’t what is wrong with photography today.

What is wrong with photography is everybody getting all vexed over what someone else is doing. What is wrong is that we have a whole new crop of people TELLING us what is good, what fits our hand, what will not be worth it to us.

TELLING us instead of allowing us to make choices based on our own needs, wants and desires.

“I’m honestly really excited that Nikon is doing something “different” but at the same time I would hate to see this camera, which I believe in many ways is a massive step backwards, become the best selling “pro” camera simply because it looks cool. We buy things every day because of the way they make us feel and that’s fine. I believe this camera will bring a lot of people a lot of joy. I just don’t want you to forget that we are supposed to enjoy photography, and not just being fashionable photographers.” (And yeah, I left out the link to the author’s workshop in the Bahamas… will let you go there on your own.)

I am staggered by the arrogance and the fake humility on display here. He is trying to ‘save’ us from the pitfalls of buying a camera because we like it, or how it looks, or because we can stand around with it and a bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon listening to our AM radios and singing DooWop? It’s OK… we don’t really need saving. We are capable of making a $3000 camera purchase without being totally, you know, clueless.

Seriously.

No, there is nothing wrong with photography today. The problem is with photographers.

And possibly photo media… ya think.

Always has been.

EDIT… I was accused of removing a comment that was not favorable to me. I assure you I did not. Here is the screen shot for those of you who may have been told that I did. You can scroll to the comment on your own, but I thought this was really a cool way of adding a little graphic to the fun. Heh.

chuck

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Just How Easy Is It To Be a Photographer?

Just How Easy Is It To Be a Photographer?

(Originally Published in “In The Frame” my weekly Sunday Dispatch. If you are not subscribed, there is a place to do it just to the right of this article.)

I recently received an eamail that made my day. It promised me a six figure income in photography and with nearly no effort. I would be able to accomplish all my dreams by understanding the secret. Or should I say, “SECRET”. And by knowing this secret, my career in photography would be easy.

I was not to share this information with anyone else, as that would make it less of a, you know, secret.

I wasn’t even tempted to open the link. Not a bit.

Because there is no ‘secret’. There is no ‘easy’.

To be a successful photographer (food on the table, bills paid, savings accumulating) takes hard work, perserverance and a lot of commitment.

Easy?

Not in this day of quick answers, quick solutions… I want it now, so give me only what I need to be superstar material.

Not gonna happen.

Continued after this small promotion for a friend of mine who has a very cool new book – and an offer for you all.


A Special Price for the readers of this blog. Use the coupon code – LIGHTINGESSENTIALS40 – and save some dough.

wedding-photography-lighting-ebook

Comprehensive Ebook Guide for Multicultural Wedding Photography Lighting Techniques
Andy Lim of Emotion in Pictures reveals how he uses speedlights to complement available light at multicultural wedding ceremonies or wedding receptions, to create amazing wedding photography.

Unlike portrait photography where you have the luxury of time, wedding day photography is fast-paced and unforgiving to beginners, because events happen very quickly and you only have one chance to get it right.

multicultural-wedding-photography-lighting-ebook

Click Here for the book.

One of the things that I like so much about Andy’s books is how he uses very clear text and very clear illustrations to show you – teach you – how the light works.

I enjoy his work and endorse this book. If you are a beginning wedding shooter, take a look at how he defines the subjects at these weddings using lighting gear that is simple and fairly easy to use.

Click Here for the book.


(Continued…)

So I came up with 10 Non-Secrets for you. Ten really important things to consider. You have heard them before, but you will hear them again here… and I hope you hear them again somewhere else.

Because they are important.

1. There is no “Easy Button”. Anyone who tells you there is is either lying to you or trying to sell you something.

2. Set your bar higher. Becoming the best you can be takes more work than becoming better than the other guy/gal. Sure you can watch the perky photographer, take a bit from here and a bit from there and make cool images like them. Even better than them. But is that the best YOU can do?

3. You are unique. What brings you to photography and the desire to make images is known only to you. Find a small, quiet place and think about who YOU are. Then make photographs like YOU do. Finding your style is more about opening up to what you already have than looking outside for inspiration.

4. Buy only what you need. Not what you want, what you need. Save money like a monk… cause there is indeed going to be a time when you NEED something expensive. Rent what you can, purchase only what you absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt need. B&H will survive if you do not purchase that 300-400MM f4 zoom lens that you may shoot twice in a year.

5. Stop comparing your work to other people’s work. Sure, look at other people’s work, but stop comparing the work to your own. They have a different tool set, a different reason to be in photography, and a different time frame as well. If you are starting out, you will not have as many photographs as someone who has been in the business for 30 years. Unfair comparisons are not only limiting, they are also debilitatingly repressing your own creative endeavors.

6. Set goals. Short term, long term, way long term. Make them just out of reach, worth fighting for, and measurable. Write them down… on paper. Read them every Sunday morning… and every time you are feeling a bit creatively cramped.

7. Love the word YES! Be open to new things and opportunities. Take chances. Take risks. Be as cautious as necessary, but no more. We do not move up the mountain by being cautious and timid. Embrace the incredible possibilities that confront us nearly every day… and go get a few.

8. Love the word NO! Do not become a negative person, but know when to call time out. Know when you are being taken advantage of or not being appreciated when the appreciation is ALL you are really looking for. Don’t take crap from anyone. Ever. Stand up for your rights, your work and your vision. Own it.

9. Learn from every mistake. Do not put the images away until you KNOW everything you could do to make them better. Critique the hell out of them. Write the critiques down. (Yeah, I tell you to write it down for a reason. Studies have shown it is retained more than typing it into a computer screen. Don’t argue with me, I know stuff.) Next time you shoot, don’t make that mistake again. And do not worry, there are a ton of them waiting to be made, so there is no arrival point. Shoot, critique, adjust. Shoot, critique, adjust. Shoot, critique, adjust.

10. Take pictures like you will never have the chance again. I’m serious. What if next Wednesday you were leaving earth to go on a mission to a distant planet. You had a minimum of room and weight, but they said you could bring 20 photographs with you. Only 20. What would those images be? The only answer is in your heart, and I can’t say what to take or not to take photographs of.

But take them like they were part of the set you get to take to space with you. Believe in your images… own them and own your vision.

(My EBook on “Avoiding Internet Scams for Photographers Who Should Know Better Than To Be Scammed by Buying This Book” will be published soon. I am only asking $97 for it and it comes with a video of me telling you how dumb it was to buy my book… cool, eh? Only $97… Think of the possibilities… :-) )

steve-headers1-sm-B

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My Neighborhood

My Neighborhood

I have been recovering and walking… lots of walking. The immediate neighborhood is of course the most logical place, so I traverse the streets around my home a couple of times per day.

When my friend Antony Northcutt asked to see some images from people’s neighborhoods and towns, I thought what the heck. I’m in.

At first I thought I would get some shots of Phoenix, but that idea went out the window… Phoenix is too vast a place to cover in a few images. I thought instead of shooting the things I see on my walks around my little part of this desert community.

So here you are Antony… a little slice of a little slice called Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Arizona.

(Technical: All images taken with a Nikon V1, 10-30MM lens and processed in Silver Effects. No further Pshop manipulations.)

 

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Life: Rebooting and Re-Evaluating

Life: Rebooting and Re-Evaluating

I dodged the bullet and my health is steadily improving. I am beginning to get clear headed again, the recent fogginess resulting from lungs that were not sufficient to make oxygen for the brain.

The docs say the heart came through it with flying colors, even miraculously so, and I am getting stronger and stronger each day.

However, it has put me a bit “out of phase” and it is a bit difficult to explain what I mean.

Words do not seem the right vehicle for this roadtrip, but they are the only means I have to convey the thoughts.

When I remarked to my wife that I felt “out of phase” we both laughed and began recounting Star Trek episodes where someone was out of phase with the crew, or the universe, or time, or themselves.

“Well, kinda like that….” I laughed a bit and then we got quiet.

“My life feels different. I got another shot at something – anything… everything. When I was in the ICU, they brought in 5 more people. Three of them did not leave that floor.”

My wife smiled a wry smile and said she just knew I would be alright… “You are too tough to leave us”, she said.

Maybe.

I feel both lucky and perplexed. Alive is wonderful – perplexed at how the fickle finger of “you are most definitely screwed’ plays out.

So what now?

One of the things one thinks about when they are told not to plan for tomorrow, is what we did with yesterday. And the day before that.. and so on.

Was it worth something? To someone, somewhere?

I am a good dad, and a pretty good husband. And I have lots of friends all over the world. And for that I am most grateful.

But I want to do more, to see more, to meet more people and help as many reach their dreams as I can. I know I have lots to offer, and now I need to find the ways I can deliver it to the most people.

So I have plans.

Lighting Essentials is my flagship, although I may be the first to acknowledge it is less about “Lighting” these days as it is about the philosophy and action of photographing. I want that to continue, but I also know that there is more to do – more to teach – more to learn.

I have more plans for Lighting Essentials than I can execute by myself… but that is back to normal for me. I look forward to working with the site to make it more of a valuable resource to those who want it.

I read a couple of great essays lately, but one that has stayed with me is one from PetaPixel on the photography instructor no one wants… experience.

It made me realize how much I love doing Project 52, and how it delivers real world experience to photographers all over the world. No, it is not the same as actually assisting a photographer – but it as close as we can get with the limitations we have.

I also have two versions of the PRO group running and the work they are cranking out is exceptional, Project 52 PRO is one of our groups that started this summer, and they are ripping it up with exceptional work and creativity.

Recently there was a photo competition held on CreativeLIVE. Out of the thousands of images that were submitted, only twenty were chosen to be reviewed. Of that twenty, four were Project 52 members. That is pretty cool and I think a great testimonial to the work the photographers put into their images when they are in Project 52.

We will be doing it again next year, and will also be doing some “Business Talks” webinars for those who want to get the info quickly, find the clients and get to work. It is not easy, it is not fast, but it is a proven method. (In fact, Kyle Johnson who was recently on CreativeLIVE discussing the transition from amateur to professional pretty much laid it out. I go into more specifics, but it was very gratifying to see someone else extolling the methods and techniques needed to get out there and find commercial clients.

I have decided to do four workshops next year. After the grueling period a few years ago, I had to stop doing them. I was burned out on the curriculum and I was getting tired of the backend hassles to set them up.

These workshops will be quite intensive and not geared for the beginner, but instead to the photographer looking to get kicked in the butt and launched a few rungs up in both lighting and concepts.

Watch for more, and offer suggestions if you have any.

I am looking forward to posting more here – especially to other posts I find interesting.

Please consider signing up for the “newsletter” – In The Frame – it goes out every Sunday and is the kind of content you usually do not see in photographic newsletters.

Thanks for continuing to follow Lighting Essentials. And remember… Movement is Life. Remember to get up and stretch every hour or so, and get a good 5 minutes of movement in for every two hours you sit.

It can save you a lot of problems… heh.

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