Well it was planned for a long time. We put it on the calendar back in December I believe. I couldn’t speak to it until it went “live” so to speak, and the marketing push started.

So I simply alluded to a certain three days that my friends and LE followers should bookmark.


And now it is Sunday morning, Easter, and the wonderful days of the workshop are behind me. The hours planning and working on exactly what I would say have been spent and now I am sitting comfortably in my hotel room watching an amazing sunrise coming along in the eastern skies over Seattle.

Simply beautiful.

I want to take a few minutes to talk about the creativeLIVE experience. I think it is really important to discuss.

creativeLIVE is a disruption in the status quo. It is a change agent. It is publishing and education stood on end and twisted into something far better. And it is a boon to the artist and artist-to-be. It is a new way of presenting the information for the new realities of learning.

Traditional education is in trouble. It was designed for the masses by industrialists in order to create more worker-bees. When schools realized there were so many vertical channels to use to market to the masses, we found university art departments, philosophy, music and fine arts educations in narrow, easily sold, niches.

That cost $100K. In “Guaranteed” student loans. No worries how much we charge… we will always get paid. The banks loan more so the schools charge more and then the banks loan more and then… well – you get the drift.

And we have students leaving schools with a debt load of tens of thousands to enter a market that neither asks for or demands any formal education at all.

(Now, look – there is nothing wrong with learning 14th Century Art. It is a fine and noble study. But if you have been convinced it is somehow worth the tradeout of your future earnings to the tune of $90,000 then you have been totally misled and most probably caught in the tired old last century approach to education that is not making much sense anymore.)

creativeLIVE smacks that old model. They twist it back on itself and ask what education NEEDS to be. What do the people NEED in order to become creative thinkers, individual entities, and entrepreneurs in the most personal of terms.

They bring instructors that are working professionals, and good teachers, into a small classroom situation, and broadcast that information exchange  to the world. And the world is better for it. It is entertaining, interactive and instructional. It’s all the “good parts” synthesized into the new way of learning brought to us by an expanding network of information points.

The tuition is free for the live exchange, and extremely affordable for the archived material. A typical creativeLIVE show is $149. I have seen textbooks going for that price.

As a working photographer I can tell you how disappointed I usually am when a University photography graduate comes to me for an assistant position. Yes, they have some wonderful historical perspective, and their arty/strange/weird/wonderful (pick two) work is fun to look at.

But they don’t have much of an idea of what I do.

And they owe $75K.

The old model of assisting (apprenticeship) has been slashed by the entry of digital. I don’t need a darkroom person anymore – and that was a big part of assisting. The changes in budgets have been a factor as well. And when someone has a huge student loan, it is a bit difficult to figure out how to get that apprenticeship thing going. Maybe more prudent to get a gig at Kinko’s and keep the hounds at bay.


Enter creativeLIVE… real world, real down-to-earth information delivered by industry professionals with a desire to teach and inspire and lead.

For a price that is so far less than a ‘formal’ educational experience that it doesn’t even register.

I am a commercially oriented photographer, not a wedding or portrait shooter. And I can tell you that there is an entire course of material to get any photographer who wants to study and work it hard to a new level in their work. I can say with certainty that a well schooled creativeLIVE student would fare far better with me than a traditionally schooled student would.

The information is there. What you do with it is your choice.

And choices are a bitch. They make us commit. In a world where commitment means nothing, and is sorely lacking, committing to action can be a bit un-nerving.

It shouldn’t be.

If you want a full on, apprenticeship understanding of the world of professional commercial photography, you keep your mouse pointed at these creativeLIVE folks… its there, and it is free or nearly free. (18 hours of education for less than $10 per hour is nearly free in my book.)

If I may be so bold as to make a few suggestions:

Jeremy Cowart’s Portraiture Program

Penny De Los Santos’ Food Photography Workshop

Zack Arias’s Fundamentals Course

Matthew Jordan Smith’s Fashion/Beauty Course

John Cornicello’s Home Studio Program

Sue Bryce’s Glamour Course
(Even if you are not a glamour shooter… the Sunday portion of this class is worth about $10K on its own… and I am not kidding)

That’s about $800… less than $8 per hour of instruction. I will let you do your own math on how much less that is than traditional, spend all year learning Photoshop while the world moves past you education costs.

Thank you, creativeLIVE.

I started writing this to thank them for all the wonderful things we did these past four days, but first I wanted to thank them from my position as an educator. They are providing photographers with an incredible new paradigm of learning. And they do it well.

So now to the personal thanks:

Celeste and Craig were supportive beyond imagination… LOL. Consummate professionals with warm and welcoming smiles and were always there to help me figure out what I was doing. No muss, no fuss… just great assistance. Big thanks to the wonderful Kate as well.

Kenna and LaRae are just what you see on your screen. Fun, excited and incredibly interested in the instructors… and always a huge supportive smile when one was needed. And that happens once in a while when you are talking to a bunch of cameras… heh.

The crew. Adam, Niko… all the camera guys… wow. That level of professionalism and good humor is really something. Thanks so much to you guys and gals. To say you made it seamless is an understatement.

John Cornicello is… well, a talented, helpful, fun and very knowledgeable guy who is also just as much fun as you think he would be from watching. Thanks John.

Bret Doss took one of my workshops a few years ago here in Seattle. I have watched him grow from weekend warrior with little idea of what he wanted to do to a professional part time shooter who is doing work for major corporations. Thanks for joining me up here, Bret. (Bret and I are headed out in an hour or two… we are off to make photographs… who knew?)

My students were so much fun (and yeah, we partied all over Seattle – even venturing down to the tourist mecca of the Crab Pot. I had a Salmon burger with bacon… LOL).

Thanks to Kimberly, Lori, Tracey, Ian and Moe… wow. That is all I can say – wow.

Briana was someone who I worked with during a particularly strange year of deciding what I wanted to do, and she has been such a big part of the whole LE thing that I had to bring her along as well. She did wonderfully and is having a blast in Seattle. Thanks Bri. (oh and that’s @briana_model for those who would like to follow her on twitter)

And thanks also to Claudine, Isabel, Natalie, and  Alyssa who also doubled as our makeup artist.

And of course a big shout out to my incredible, talented and wonderful family over at Project 52. You were so wonderfully supportive… I saw the tweets and checked the forum each evening. The gift of the poster was one of the most unexpected, and awesome gifts I have ever received. And I don’t use that word often.

Big shouts out to my buds who happily gave their stuff away to viewers:

Thanks Tony Kuyper: Tony’s Site
I use Tony’s actions on nearly every shot. Digital is flat and Tony’s actions let me add contrast to specific ranges of luminance without affecting the rest of the image. Amazing and cool.

Thanks Steve at Standbagger: Standbaggers
I discovered Standbaggers a few years ago and absolutely love them. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Scott Forman and I have a product we call GalleryPro.
GalleryPro lets a photographer, designer, illustrator or artist show their work across multiple platforms while managing it from a single online page. What does that mean to you… check us out at www.gallerypro.me

And of course to Selina Maitreya who will be giving away an entire Clarion Call series to the winner of our “Jump Start” contest, my deepest thanks. Selina can help you with your goals as a photographer. From portfolio guidance to full vision consulting, she is amazing. Selina is here: http://www.selinamaitreya.com

To the viewers and the well wishers and the tweeters and the folks over on the Flickr forums (Lighting Essentials and Strobist) thanks so much. Your kind words were welcomed.

And to Marian, Shanna, Michaila and Alissa… thanks for being my support at home. Love you and I will see you tomorrow.

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