Posts by Larry

Are You Missing Out On Google Plus?

  I’ll be honest- when I first heard about GooglePlus, I wasn’t that excited.  I already had plenty of social media outlets to occupy my time and effort.   Did I really need another?  Wasn’t this just Google’s version of Facebook?  My enthusiasm was further reduced by the fact that you had to be invited to even use the service at first.  Seemed like a lot of hoops to jump through for something I already have with Facebook. For some reason- and I can’t tell you why- I decided to give it a try.  Maybe I was just bored that day or had become frustrated with one of Facebook’s famous updates.  I setup an account, filled out some profile info and sat back to enjoy the show.  Unfortunately, nothing happened.  I found a few friends who had Google+ accounts and followed a few other interesting folks, but that was about it.  I logged out and didn’t return for months. Let’s Try Again! Recently, I decided to give it another chance.  I had read a few blog posts by people who were truly sold on the concept and seemed to be enjoying themselves.  I got back online, gave my profile page
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10 Tips For More Twitter Followers

As a photographer – or any business owner – it is important that you understand how Twitter followers work.  You want to find a way to add quantity, while still maintaining quality.  Otherwise, you are just spinning your wheels.  A strong Twitter following will be a great way to promote your brand, while meeting interesting people in your industry.  It is truly a win-win proposition if you do it correctly. Why Even Use Twitter? I used to ask the same question.  Twitter is probably the most misunderstood piece of the social media puzzle.  Most people think of Twitter as a bunch of people texting about what they are buying at the grocery store or how they are caught in traffic.  Sure- it CAN be that – but it can also be a whole lot more. The Problem With Followers For Twitter to work properly, you need to have people following you.  Otherwise, you are just talking to yourself.  When I first started out, I made the mistake of trying to get as many followers as possible.  My trials and tribulations are well-documented on my infamous Twitip post from a few years back.  If you have people following you who don’t
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The Vegas Getaway

Last week, I spent a few days in Las Vegas for my sister’s wedding.   There are few places in the world like Las Vegas.  It literally overwhelms the senses with lights and sounds.  There is constant activity 24 hours a day -which can be great or can drive you nuts.  It is also a wonderful place for a wedding – go figure! We arrived a couple of days before the wedding and spent the morning creating portraits.  With so many options available, we had to narrow our time to two specific locations. First stop was the Neon Museum – a collection of signs from the Vegas strip.  Now you have to reserve the place- so don’t just show up there next time you are in Vegas and expect to shoot.  If you can work it out, however, it is incredible. The signs make wonderful backdrops for just about every type of portrait.   From there we went about 45 minutes outside of town to this cool old mining town.  It was truly a photographer’s dream!  Everywhere you looked there were old buildings, old cars – even an old airplane! Although it didn’t have the Las Vegas feel that we
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What Michelangelo Could Teach You About Photography

When you talk about the best of the best, people always have their own opinions.  However, when it comes to discussing the greatest artist of all time, you would be hard-pressed to overlook the great Michelangelo.  This pioneer of the Italian Renaissance created some of the most well-known pieces in the history of art.  What is often overlooked are his words. One particular quote that has always inspired me is this: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” Take a second to let that soak in.  Think about how it relates to photography. As digital snapshots continue to flood the visual marketplace, our standards slowly start to dip.  What was once an unacceptable photograph is now a “fun, candid pic” or maybe even considered “photojournalistic”.   As a portrait artist, you have to aim higher.  The “nice” image cannot be acceptable anymore. COMPETITIONS One of the places that this really applies is in photographic competitions.  As a juror and competitor myself, I’m quite familiar with both sides of the print competition world.  I’ve seen what kinds of images
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Senior Portrait: Claire

This weekend, I ventured up to McKinney for a senior portrait session with Claire.  It was about 40 degrees out – and the building had no heat- but we pressed on.  Honestly, I don’t know how she survived the cold in her spring outfits, but she did it. We ended up with some fabulous images, so I thought I’d share a few here. The thing I love about senior photography is that you are capturing a very pivotal time in their life.  High school seniors are beyond the kid phase and racing toward adulthood.  They have their whole life ahead of them and the possibilities are endless.  A good senior portrait should go beyond what someone looks like and express part of their personality.  My goal was to try and get a wide variety of looks – from fun to serious. For this shot, I opened the camera up to really get a shallow depth of field.  It really made the eyes project out of the image.  We left just enough detail in the background to give it some depth.  It was definitely one of my favorite images of the session.   This image was at the other end of
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Rise of the iPhone and the Fall of Photography

Some time ago, I wrote a post about the death of the point-and-shoot camera at the hands of the camera-phone.  We see it all around us – people hoisting their phones in the air to take a photograph.  When was the last time you saw someone under the age of 50 using a point and shoot camera?  It is rare. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those people.  When it comes to pictures of my family, the breakdown is probably about like this 10% DSLR, 10% point-and-shoot and 80% iPhone.  The scary part is… I’m a professional photographer!  I bet it is safe to assume the average family is 100% phone. My cell contract comes up for renewal in November and I can’t wait to get the newest iPhone.  Is it because of Siri or some of the other new features like the bigger screen?  Heck now- I just want to upgrade my everyday camera!  Apps like Instagram have changed the world of photography- but is it all good? The Decline of Photography As a society, we set our standards according to what we see around us.  Every day, we are inundated with images on Facebook, Twitter, texts, etc.
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My Three Hits Of The Summer

The Competition Every year, I participate in the Professional Photographers of America’s International Photographic Competition. The way it works is that you send them your four best images and if they are judged to be good enough, they are accepted into a collection of images that are displayed at the national convention the following year. Going LOAN! One of the biggest honors an image can receive is to go a step further and be accepted into the Loan Collection.  These images are the best of the best and go into a coffee table book each year.  It is quite an honor to get one of your images accepted into the Loan Collection – so I was thrilled to find out that I had THREE of my images “go Loan” this year!  Here’s a quick look at the three entries: School Spirit This image was created for a high school senior last year and I mentioned it in my post on senior photography at the time. It was based on my Week 1 image from the 40@Forty Project and proved to be a cool alternative to the traditional “letter jacket” use of the letter.  The image was painted in Corel Painter,
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Are You On The Right Path?

  “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” —Joseph Campbell   GOT ME THINKING I came across this quote a while back and it got me thinking – how do you know you are on the right path?  We’ve all been there at one point or another.  Either professionally or personally or maybe both.  In our quest to always be the best we can be, we are always left wondering about the path not taken.  Is photography the right industry for you?  If so, are you doing the right kind of photography?  Should you do more fine art work or did you miss your calling as a wedding photographer?  The bad new is – there is no right answer.   That is also the good news… YOUR PATH My interpretation of Campbell’s quote is that the uniqueness of your path is what makes it so great.  Trying to choose the “best” path is an impossible task.  Maybe you’d rather be jet-setting around the globe photographing celebrities in exotic locations – but
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Is Photography A Good Investment?

Some time ago, I wrote a post on the value of photography as an investment.  Honestly, I think a lot of people miss the true value of a timeless portrait.   These days, people are trying to make smart financial choices.  That makes it the perfect time to revisit the post-with just a few updates… Choosing The Right Investment A lot of times, you hear the word investment used very loosely. You have time investments, emotional investments, and of course – financial investments. Now everyone agrees that stocks and bonds are an investment, but is photography really an investment? I might be slightly biased, but I think it is a wonderful investment. Let’s say you had an extra $1000 sitting around the house and couldn’t decide how to spend it… I know, a good problem to have! Obviously, there are tons of options for you to choose from, but I’d like to just narrow it down to three. Fun With $1000 The first option would be something Dad would love – a 50” plasma TV for the den. Weekend football just got a whole lot better! Depending on how much television you watch, you could get a lot of enjoyment
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The Business Headshot Makeover

  “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”   We’ve all heard it before- and in the digital age, it is more important than ever.  When potential clients first locate your business, it will likely be done online – via your website, LinkedIn, Facebook page or other site.   Putting your face on the page helps give your business a more personal feel – but here’s the part that holds most people back:  they don’t like having their picture taken. I always say that updating your business headshot is a lot like going to the dentist – you dread going, but afterwards you are glad you went.   Think of it as “visual hygiene” if that helps.  You gotta keep it fresh. The Makeover I decided it would be a fun project to offer up a free image makeover for a couple of people – just to illustrate the difference a professional headshot can make.  The tough part, of course, was finding willing participants.  For starters, its hard to tell someone that they have a bad headshot on their website.  Also, people don’t like change – so they end up using the same shot for years
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