Why I Have Decided to do Project 52 One More Time

This will be year 5 of Project 52. It has matured and seen many alumni start businesses going from weekend warrior to full time shooter. P52 has helped many more photographers find their creative voice and look at the world in a different way. It has formed lifelong bonds of friendship between photographers for whom geography is simply a challenge, but not a barrier.

To tell you the truth, I was happy as hell how it had turned out and five years is a while. I thought that the class that ends in August would be the last one and I would move on to other things.

But it kept calling me back. I knew it was good, and I wanted to make it better. I wanted to make it THE best place for emerging commercial photographers online. And I wanted to make it into a class that people could take on their own time. So a little over a month ago I sat with my wife and discussed it… the time commitment, the evenings at the computer… and we decided that since I love doing it so much – and felt it needed one last go – I decided to do it again.

One last time. (My wife thinks that I will do it again because I do love doing it, but that is definitely not the plan at this point.)

This time I am using a member management tool (www.memberful.com) and Stripe to take the payments. Really looking slick and very happy with the way it is going.

Look…if you are thinking about becoming a professional commercial photographer, or adding commercial work to your consumer business, this class is for YOU. You can see how it works at  www.2015Project52Pros.com and find out a lot more about how it can work for you.

There is a lot of chatter on the interwebs designed to take your dreams away from you and stuff them in a dufflebag with bricks, but that is horse doo. There are professional photographers working out there. Building businesses in areas that you would normally think too small for the “guru super-stars” and you may be right. But then I never wanted to be a guru superstar, do you?

I want to work in photography, making images for clients that love me and pay me and provide a good life with time to pursue my other photographic interests. Shooting a garage opener catalog pays enough to spend a week in Alaska AND pay my bills… hey, that works for me!

If that sounds like it may work for you too, and you are ready to do something that could easily be the hardest thing you have ever done, then take a look at this course. At this writing there are only 22 spots left and they will be gone soon. Ii was over half filled on pre-register alone.


Member’s Sites

Go to this page to get links to current and former Project 52 alums.


We can answer a lot of questions on this FAQ page.

How it Works

This page has some examples of real world assignments.

Want More Info?

If you want to contact me with any P52 questions, use this form. Thanks.

Oh… and if you want to just get out there and register for the most intensive, real world based photographic training available on the internet, go here and make the commitment. To your photography and your future.

Off Topic Sunday: Gadgets, Gizmos, and Music

Every once in a while I get so many little things going on that I decide to share them with you all. I call them Off-Topic Sundays and they are always fun for me.

So here we go:

2015-06-14_1023First… ever have your phone die on location? Not good, and since so many of us USE our phones for business and for making BTS photos and videos, they have become indispensable. Here is a nifty solution.

The Anker Astro E7 Ultra-High Capacity 25600mAh 3-Port 4A Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank with PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad, Samsung and More (Black)

Giant Capacity: Charges the iPhone 6 ten times, the iPhone 6 Plus or Galaxy S6 over six times or the iPad Air twice. Safely recharges with a 2 amp or higher output charger (please note most phone chargers only have 1 amp)

Available at Amazon (Affil)


iPhone Tripod Mount

I have just purchased one of these iPhone Tripod Mounts… slick as can be. Great for making videos without that iPhone/Android camera shake. You will make more movies… :-)

RetiCAM® Smartphone Tripod Mount – Metal Universal Smartphone Tripod Adapter – Standard Size, Black

Are you a wedding or consumer shooter?

Ya gotta love this… heh.

Bill Evans at his finest.

Looking for some quiet, but quite modern jazz for those long hours processing? Try this very mellow album out.


Like old lenses? Like alternative processes?


Image © Geoffrey Berliner

Check out this article with some amazing images taken with old Russian lenses.

“Geoffrey Berliner is the Executive Director of the Penumbra Foundation and the Center for Alternative Photography in New York. As the head of an organization whose goals are ‘to be a comprehensive resource for photographers at any level’ and ‘to continue to publicize the impact photography has had and continues to have on culture, history and the arts,’ his exposure to photographic materials -from 19th century gems to modern equipment- is so extensive, one cannot even begin to fathom just how much knowledge and experience this man has acquired. His collection of over 2000 vintage Petzval lenses is unparalleled, and the object of envy of both traditional and contemporary photographers. Although such lenses are reputed to require a certain level of skill to be used, Berliner seems to manage them with so much ease, producing splendid results.”

I am looking into some alternative lenses as well. Possibly going to try to adapt a few old enlarging lenses for my digital cameras.

A friend of mine, Moses Wilson, sent this very cool idea of using old projector lenses and the results are pretty darn cool.

I am working on getting a lot of props together for a TinType shoot I want to do, and also building a ‘quick-setup’ darkroom for processing sheet film and prints I shoot in the Deardorff.

Shooting paper is quite interesting. A rough ISO of 6 means a long exposure or lots and lots of light. It also shoots in reverse so the print is a negative, and backwards. No problem since I then shoot or scan the print and reverse it in Photoshop.

I am looking forward to sharing some of this stuff with you later in the summer.


Last thing – Nikon Lens Junkies

… you are going to love this. All the major Nikkor lenses with the stories of how they came about. My favorite Nikkors were always the 35MM f2 and the 180MM f2.8. Both are stunningly beautiful to work with.

Anyway – if you have the time – this is really fun and informative article.


Project 52 – “NO FEAR” Edition.

Project 52 only has a few seats left for this one last season. If you are or have been interested in it, NOW is the time to take a look. I have built a lot of new and super cool stuff into it. Here is the site if you are interested.



Tucker Joenz, St, Augustine FL Commercial Photographer


Tucker Joenz was with Project 52 for a couple of years and in that time I watched him go from hobbyist to serious photographer. He works hard and creates wonderful pictures for his clients. Tucker also shoots self assigned personal projects that have garnered some attention.

He is making the jump from part time photographer and part time designer to full time photographer and I thought you may want to hear what he has to say. St. Augustine, FL is not a great market, but Tucker is finding his footing, and bringing in clients.

Tucker Joenz Website.
Tucker on Instagram.
Tucker Joenz Blog.

Images from his portfolio.

Interview with Tucker Joenz.



Stephen Collins: Fredricksburg VA Commercial Photographer


I first met Steve when I did a workshop in Baltimore. It was a hot, muggy day but Steve never tired. He shot and asked questions and seemed to be very interested in getting better… which was a good thing. I kid Steve about how far he has come, but it is true. His work was far from what it could have been, and he knew it.

When I offered the Project 52 as a fun experiment 5 years ago, Steve was there – every show, every assignment. And he began to grow as an artist and someone who understood the aesthetics of the commercial photography business. When he was downsized out of a job, we chatted on the phone and I told him that perhaps it was time to see what he could do as a photographer.

And he did. Slow going at first, but for the last couple of years he has gone on a growth trajectory that has him working 3-4 days a week, and handling everything from catalogs to hospitality, people to food.

Congratulations, Steve.

Stephen Collins Website
Steve on Instagram
Steve at Linkedin
Steve’s Tumblr

Images from Steve’s portfolio.


Eric Muetterties: East Bay Commercial Photographer


Meet Eric Muetterties, a working photographer in the East Bay area of San Francisco.

I met Eric 4 years ago at a workshop in North Carolina, and we shared a plane coming home. His attention to detail and love for the medium made me think he could actually do this crazy business. Adding that he really understood business made it all come together.

Eric started out wanting to shoot people, but has ended up as a studio still life / product photographer. Working mostly with direct customers, he has built an exceptionally strong client list and shoots 4-5 days a week in his Dublin studio.

Eric is still a relatively new shooter, but doing very well in a competitive market. I attribute that to his skills as both a photographer and a business person.

Eric feels he owes his success to an acronym he calls COPS.


Consistency | Opportunity | Persistence | Stamina

You will hear him discuss it on the video. I think that is a very solid set of traits for anyone considering this business, or any self employed business that you can think of.

Eric Muetterties Photography Website
Eric on Linked In

Some of Eric’s Images:

A video Interview with Eric Muetterties.

A big thanks to Eric for spending some time with us and sharing a lot about his work. Visit his site and drop him a note if you like what he does.

Eric reminded me that he would love to recommend this book for anyone considering becoming a photographer:

If you are interested in the “No Fear” last edition of Project 52, visit this page for more information. We will fill this group very quickly.


Finding and Keeping Commercial Photography Clients: Part Four, Staying Connected


If you are just coming into this series, I highly suggest you start at Part One, and then do Part Two and Part Three before starting Part Four. Links for all of them are inside the protected area, and you can access them easily.

A brilliant portfolio won’t get you work if no one sees it.
A full set of Channels and SubChannels means nothing if you have not implemented a plan to get the work.
Having an amazing list of possible clients is worthless if you are not contacting and showing and sharing your work with that list of clients.

This morning before I sent out this week’s In The Frame to subscribers, I received an email from Chris Brogan, someone I follow and admire. In it he asks if we are the “Sharpest Saw in the Shed?”

And we would all like to consider ourselves the sharpest around, right?

Then he pointed out the that sharpest tool in the shed is the one that is NOT working, or being used. It just sits there retaining its sharpness… and if that is the goal, then great. But the goal of a sharp saw is to cut wood, trim trees, build things.

So it is time to get dirty, so to speak. To take all that we know and have listed out and make a plan for getting in front of the clients we want.

It wont be easy – did you expect it to be?
It wont happen overnight.
It wont happen without extreme effort and deep commitment.
It may get messy.

But it is absolutely vital to your growth and health as a commercial artist with a camera.

No selling on this post. While this program is being finished up, I will be working on some marketing for it as well. I didn’t want this mini-program to be a huge selly-sell. It is designed to be real, positive, and constructive teaching on what you can do NOW to increase your viability in this great business. More will come later this summer. I expect the program to be finished around the end of July or first of August.

Subscribers to “In The Frame” have gotten this information already. Please subscribe to get access to this video, and the next two. They are full of information you can use right now to help build a strong client list. “In The Frame” comes out each Sunday, and we never spam you. We focus on the business and art of commercial photography. And please et me know if this series is helpful to you.

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