Posts by Larry

Help Me Reach MY Goal

As many of you know, I am part of a team that started a new blog last week.  We are competing in a very cool blogging competition (read more here) and need your help. We are trying to get the word out about our new blog and could use your help!  We are even willing to offer a little incentive… Tell Me More! We have put together a contest that only runs this week.  I’m donating one of my signed prints as a prize, so I hope you will stop by and check it out. TheNextGoal.com Promotion  
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Outside Your Comfort Zone

The great thing about challenges is how they push you outside your comfort zone.  Sure- sometimes they end with terrible crash landings, but sometimes they end with a huge feeling of accomplishment.  To me the reward really does outweigh the risk. For starters, we really use the word challenge very loosely.   Columbus sailing around the world with no idea where he was heading- THAT is a challenge.  Trying to reach the moon in a spaceship – very much a challenge.  Chances are, the challenges that you and I attempt are not quite as adventurous.  That’s why it is a no-brainer to give things a try. A couple of weeks ago, I threw my name into the hat to compete in the WeBlogBetter “Survive The Blog” contest.   It is basically a blogging contest based on the hit TV show, Survivor.  The organizer, Kiesha, was kind enough to choose me – now here we are.  I was placed on a team with four very different bloggers – two from the U.S, one from England and one from India.  Hey- we’ve got three continents covered!!  The downside is trying to communicate since we are all in very different time zones. Our first week’s
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Want To Be A Better Photographer?

Are you trying to get your photography skills to the next level?  If not, you should be!  The advances in photographic technology have been incredible over the past decade, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be improving your skills along with them.  A combination of working Photoshop skills and a willingness to stretch your creativity are required components if you want to compete in today’s photography field.  The good news is – there is help out there! Last year, I put together a YouTube channel that focuses on photography education- the aptly-titled, Lourcey Photography Channel . It has proven to be quite an adventure.  Up until that point, I had not done a whole lot of video – so the learning curve was rough.  However, the feedback I got from fellow photographers was overwhelming and I pressed on.  Over the past year, I’ve touched on everything from creativity to new Photoshop plugins . If you haven’t checked it out yet, I hope you will.  It really is a labor of love. Got something you have always wanted to know about photography?  Let me know and I just might use it for a future episode.  I’m always on the lookout for
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Changing Your Perspective

Sometimes photography is all about perspective.  A slight change in your camera angle can change an ordinary image into something memorable.  It is these fine-tuning adjustments that help us to grow artistically. Last month, my wife and I spent a week in Hawaii and I planned to create a ton of new images.  Now landscape photography is not really my thing.  I’m just too impatient to sit and wait for the sun to be just right and take 50 shots of the exact same scene.  I’m much  more interested in portraits or illustrative-type images.  That’s just how I’m wired.  Since we had rented a convertible for the week, I thought it would be fun to try and incorporate it into an image. I came up with the concept of creating a shot of us driving along the coastline.  The tricky part was the setup. I strapped my tripod into the back seat, raised it up high and put a fisheye lens on the camera.  Then I set the camera to take 10 bursts of 3 shots – spread out 10 seconds apart. We would pull into a rest stop, start the camera  shooting and just drive to the next rest
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The Fatal Flaw Of Photography Websites

Is your website helping your business or hurting you?  Could it be bringing in even more clients than it is now? One of the things I like most about speaking at photography conventions is getting to meet photographers all across the U.S.   The crowd usually has everything from seasoned veterans to brand-new beginners.  By the end of the convention, I’ve usually gathered up a big stack of business cards from people and end up browsing their websites.  What amazes me is how people will put up a website with images that are not their best.  Your website is often your first impression with potential clients – and you know what they say about first impressions. OLD TIMERS Long-time photographers are not exempt from this- in fact, they can be some of the worst offenders.  They will have an image that won an award for them 25 years ago – so they keep using it as a representation of their style.  Unfortunately, it gives their work a very dated look.  Sometimes painfully dated.  The problem we have as artists is that we grow attached to our work and sometimes can’t be objective.  The right images can make the difference between you
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Can I Survive The Blog?

If you have followed my blog for any time at all, you know that I am a big fan of pushing your limits and going outside your comfort zone.  To paraphrase Andre Gide, “You can’t discover new lands without losing sight of the shore.”  As I stumbled through the internet today, I came across a very interesting blogging contest – kind of a blogging version of TV’s Survivor.   Now even though I’ve been blogging for a few years – I am in no way a blogging guru.  Heck, I’ve got a long ways to go with my blogging skills – which kind of makes this an ideal challenge for me.  I also thought it was a brilliant idea and since I couldn’t steal the idea- I decided to do the next best thing and be a participant. If they will have me… THE SCOOP So here is the deal – the folks at WeBlogBetter.com are sponsoring this shindig.   To enter, you have to jump through a series of hoops including:  writing a blog post about the contest, Tweeting about it, posting it to social media and a few other things.  They will pick 10 competitors from all the entries and
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Ice Princess

One of my images that I get asked about frequently is “Ice Princess” from a few years ago.  I had recently had my camera converted for IR photography and started experimenting with using it on people.  The look it produced was very unpredictable and sometimes pretty creepy (as evidenced by my Week 10 portrait from the 40@Forty Project). The model was actually my niece, who was in town visiting.  We dressed her in a white, hooded coat and setup an entirely high-key scene.  I used the IR camera and overexposed the image a bit to create this shot. The infrared camera really gave her face and eyes an otherworldly look – almost like a young version of the White Witch from the Narnia series.  It was the kind of image that you either loved or hated. I entered it in competition and the jury was divided.  Luckily, the pros eventually outweighed the cons and the image received a Seal of Approval.  Certainly not the kind of image you want to sell to Mom – but a great way to stretch your creativity.
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Taking Senior Portraits To The Next Level

One of my favorite subjects to photograph is high school seniors.  In many ways, they are the perfect age.  They are still young enough to have a little of that childhood spirit left- but old enough that they can offer creative input.  By working with teens to plan the session, you can push the standards of senior portraits to the next level. Now every senior session still needs to include the traditional stuff – like smiling head and shoulder shots.  The parents are still going to want these, so you can’t skip them.  However, once you get the traditional stuff out of the way, you are free to get a little more creative and artsy.  Push the limits of lighting and try things out.  The great thing about seniors is that they are generally up for whatever you want to try.  I’ll often tell them, “This is either going to be the best shot of the session or you will never see it again.” For Dayton’s session, we played around with some very dramatic lighting, until we came up with this shot. It created a striking silhouette that added a punch of drama to the portfolio.  Is mom going to
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Broaden Your Photography Horizons

As artists, we are always looking to grow.  It is a constant struggle to find new sources of inspiration and flashed of creative genius.  I’m a big believer that you have to feed your creativity by soaking up as much art as you can – everything from photographs and paintings to a a great movie or interesting book.  By training your brain to recognize art, it somehow gets better at creating it. Don’t ask me why – but it works! Unfortunately, we all have limited time in the day.  We can’t always drive down to the museum and spend the afternoon browsing Impressionist paintings.  Luckily, there are plenty of online alternatives.  Need some suggestions? EARTH SHOTS I stumbled across Earth Shots recently and was blown away.  The photography is amazing.   People from across the world submit images of our great planet and the site posts one a day.  As a photographer, it is a great way of getting your name out there – if you’ve got the skills to make the cut.  The work is pretty top-notch, so getting an image accepted isn’t easy. I bookmarked this site and make a point to stop by once a week and browse
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Why Ignoring LinkedIn Is A Bad Idea

With the huge popularity of Twitter and Facebook, poor LinkedIn has kind of fallen to the wayside.  The question is… are you making a big mistake my not including LinkedIn in your social medial strategy? Last week, I wrote a post comparing Google Plus and Facebook.  Facebook is the king of the mountain, but Google is gaining ground.  Last time I checked, Facebook had over 750 million users.  Think about that for a second.  There are only 312 million people in the entire U.S.  If Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest country in the world!   Everyone is on Facebook, but not too many are on LinkedIn – so why bother? The biggest reason is the audience.  LinkedIn has a very different audience than Facebook.   Facebook is much more personal.  First day of school pictures, birthday announcements, divorce updates – whatever.  LinkedIn is more geared towards businesses.  You won’t find too many people playing Farmville on LinkedIn.   With over 100 million users, that makes LinkedIn a pretty big group of potential contacts for your business – so why not add them to your marketing efforts.  With programs like Tweetdeck, you can update Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all
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