Encouraging Budding Shutterbugs

In addition to soccer camp, t-ball and swimming, this summer my 7-year-old will be enrolled in a photo workshop for kids. The opportunity presented itself last month and I jumped at the chance to sign-up. Fortunately, my daughter is as excited about the workshop as I am. She loves to take pictures and having someone other than mom giving her instructions on how to snap frame worthy shots is a golden moment in my book. This is not to say that parents make bad teachers. Rather, in many cases, having an expert in the field of photography work with a … Continue reading

More Inspirational Shutterbugs

Long before I started to shoot photo subjects with a true passion, I studied the works of famous photographers, such as Francesco Scavullo. When I was a tween, I used to pour over spreads taken by the famous American fashion photographer in Cosmopolitan. It wasn’t until I graduated from high school that I stumbled upon a copy of the magazine that included the now infamous centerfold shot of a near-nude Burt Reynolds. Back then I didn’t concentrate on the individual elements that made Scavullo’s pictures stand-out; rather, I simply focused on the overall image. He had a way of drawing … Continue reading

Who is Your Inspiration?

Ansel Adams has long been an inspiration to me. Despite six moves in less than a decade, three of my favorite Adams’ black-and-white photos taken at California’s Yosemite Valley remain unscathed. I protected those pictures like they were the Queen’s jewels. While I don’t get many chances to experiment with natural landscape photography as much Adams did, I still try to incorporate his techniques in my everyday shooting. El Capitan, Sunrise, Moonrise over Hernandez, Winter Sunrise, and Clearing Winter Storm are some of Adams’ most popular prints. The guy was a master at what he did. What’s more, he shot … Continue reading

Frame It Up

It’s curtains for Nate Berkus. The spawn of Oprah is an incredibly talented interior designer, but his daytime talk show just got axed. I didn’t get the chance to tune in regularly, but when I did catch a show it was always one that included tips on creating a photo wall. No lie. I’ve watched the show maybe a dozen times and every single one provided tips on how to showcase your favorite frame worthy images using any available wall space in your home. Despite following Nate’s advice, my photo walls don’t look nearly as eye-catching as his. Still, his … Continue reading

Dealing with Unpredictable Photo Subjects

Young kids and hungry giraffes; you can’t get much more unpredictable. I learned this first hand during a recent trip to the zoo. My second grader loves animals and can’t resist the urge to feed the giraffes whenever we visit our local zoo. However, trying to capture the moment with my non-Nikon D800 camera proved to be next to impossible. I blame my camera, but there were a number of other factors that contributed to my lousy shots, including poor lighting and my bad vantage point. In addition, I was forced to deal with two very unpredictable subjects. Whereas I … Continue reading

Green is the Color of Success

When you are just breaking into the world of professional photography, constant rejection can lead to some real blue days. However, if you stick with your passion and keep shooting, one day your blues will turn into green. Cold hard cash can be a real motivator to photographers seguing from amateur status to pro level. The key to collecting all that green is to remain focused on the end goal. If you are dreaming of making a living off of your photo skills, then you need to think before you take aim at a subject. This is especially true if … Continue reading

Accidents Waiting to Happen

While my cellphone is capable of snapping pictures, I don’t dare use it to capture monumental moments. For example, there’s no way I would document my daughter’s birthday or kindergarten graduation with a mobile phone. Granted, the iPhone and other wireless devices come equipped with sophisticated built-in cameras, but the truth of the matter is I struggle to keep my grip on my modest-sized digital camera. I can’t imagine how often I would fumble trying to keep my hands on a palm-sized picture-taking device that isn’t set-up like a traditional camera. I’m not a career butterfingers, but I’ve had my … Continue reading

Looking for Photos in All the Wrong Places

(I took this photo.) Do you ever wonder where your favorite websites find the amazing photos they display online? In some cases, the pictures are snapped by the site’s employees or professionals that are paid for their services. However, many times, individuals pilfer images from random sources without reading the terms and conditions of their use. For the record: Unauthorized use of a copyrighted photo is illegal. If you are in need of a picture to use for a term paper or to showcase on a personal website, public domain pictures are your best bet. However, keep in mind that … Continue reading

Learn From Your Mistakes

Last month my friend called to say she won tickets to a local Jingle Ball concert. It wasn’t the huge one held in New York City, but she told me that she was still going to be able to see live performances by Pitbull, Demi Lovato and The Script. Long story short, she and her husband went, danced and snapped a bunch of photos with their smartphones. I don’t even know if it was legal for them to take pictures of the acts, but at this point it doesn’t matter because none of the images were worth displaying—-in a frame, … Continue reading

Photographing Special Spots

The mega-popular South by Southwest (SXSW) shindig is just a few weeks away. The annual music and film conference and festival held in Austin, Texas, has grown exponentially in the last few years. These days it attracts A-list celebrities and hundreds of thousands of fans from around the world. In addition to featuring amazing tunes and fabulous flicks, the event places the city of Austin in the spotlight. The capital of Texas is home to stunning architectural wonders and an amazing array of natural beauty. If you are planning to attend SXSW, consider taking some time to explore the historically … Continue reading