Archives for Personal

Get Your Learn On

I’ve had the privilege of speaking at several state photography conventions over the past couple of years.  I’ve met lots of great people and answered many questions about photography and Photoshop.  A few months back, I decided to put together a website that would offer educational videos, lessons, etc to help people take their photography to the next level. As part of this, I’ve started doing a bunch of video tutorials.  You can access them via the Photo Education Website or by visiting YouTube . I’ve got a long list of suggestions people have made for future photography or Photoshop lessons – but I’m always looking for more.  If there is something you would like to see me discuss in a future tutorial, just let me know! In the mean time, I hope you will take a minute to jump over to the Education site and check out a few of the latest videos.  I think you will enjoy them!
Read More

Back From Disney

I just returned from spending a week at Disney World with the family.  While I was there, two things really stood out to me. First off was my amazement at the brand Disney has built.  It really is unlike any other theme park in the world – from the rides to the the employees – there are so many small details, it is impossible to soak it all in.  If you can get past the fact that it gets pretty expensive, you can really get lost in the atmosphere of the place.  Being there during the holidays was cool too – because we got to see holiday decor that went a bit beyond the Griswalds (see the castle above). The second thing is the side effect of all that Magic…. people.  Lots of them.  Lots.  We were there the week after Thanksgiving, when most schools were in session – so you would think there would be a big drop off in attendance, right?  Not so much.  A 15 minute ride on the Disney shuttle will sap the magic right out of you.  (Do these folks look happy?) . Now, don’t get me wrong – it is still a fantastic place. 
Read More

A Must-Read Book

Recently, I stumbled across a blog entry somewhere about this guy who supposedly traded a paperclip for a house.  It seemed crazy, so I researched it a little more.  I eventually ended up at the website and realized I HAD to have this book. After Amazon dropped it at my doorstep, I started into it right away.  Next thing I knew, several hours had past and I was 3/4 of the way through the book.  Its one of those kinds of books. Basically, it chronicles the quest of a guy named Kyle MacDonald in his attempt to “trade up” from a paperclip – all the way to a house.  Like most things in life, the trades themselves are not the most interesting part – but rather the people he meets along the way and how the whole incredible project unfolds.  It is a great, uplifting book and well-worth adding to your holiday reading list. If you’d like to read if for yourself, here is the LINK to Amazon.  Enjoy! I’ve also added it to my list of recommended reading on the website.
Read More

Snap The Whip

As photographers, we often have a tendency to become technicians vs artists. I think it is important that we study the work of the great painters – in addition to the great photographers – to keep ourselves well-rounded. I decided I would periodically post a blog entry about a painter or painting. I’m starting with one of my favorite American artists of the 19th Century – Winslow Homer and his classic “Snap the Whip.” As photographers, we are often hoping to tell a story with our images. This painting, done in 1872, is a fantastic example of storytelling. The children are playing a game called “snap the whip” where they try to keep their hands connected while they spin and snap the “whip” at the end. The painting came out at a time when little red schoolhouses, like the one in the background, were slowly starting to disappear across the country. It captures a slice of life that tells us how things were. This type of sentimental storytelling is a key component in creating an image that will stand the test of time and be admired for years to come. Although we have technology that allows us to capture more
Read More

Social Media For Photographers

Is social media something a photographer needs to be concerned with these days? Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to groups of photographers all over the country. One common thread I have seen is that people are very undecided on social media. Most people are doing Facebook, some are doing LinkedIn and a very small few are doing Twitter. They aren’t sure if it is something they need to do and don’t want to waste a ton of time and energy on it. I’ve bounced back and forth on the topic myself, but have finally settled on the side of “yes- you should do it.” There is no doubt that social media is here to stay – at least for the next several years. Remember when Facebook first started and none of your friends were on it…. now EVERYONE is on it. Because it takes such a relatively low amount of time to get started, there is really no reason to wait. At the very least, you can setup an account and have your name out there. When people are in need of a service, they aren’t running to the Yellow Pages anymore –
Read More

Opening Night at the Courtyard

Thought I would post a few images from tonight’s opening of my 40@Forty Show at the Courtyard Theater in Plano. I was worried the rain would keep people away, but was thrilled to see we still had a great crowd. Hanging out at the refreshment table! Such a great venue for a show. Hanging out with the Westwood gang. A shot with my friend and mentor Gail Nogle, in front of the portrait she inspired. —– It was so nice to finally see all the images enlarged, framed and hanging in one place. The best part was find out each person’s favorite image. It was so interesting how everyone seemed to have a different favorite. The show will be on display through the end of the summer, when it moves to the Goodrich Gallery in Dallas. If you are in Plano during July or August, I hope you will stop by and check out the images.
Read More

Setting Up

Just got back from setting up my exhibit at the Courtyard Theater in Plano. The show contains 25 images from last year’s 40@Forty Project. It was quite an undertaking – trying to figure out where to hang everything and getting them spaced out properly. Luckily I had a couple of helpers available to assist! The show officially opens next week with a reception Thursday night. Click HERE for the details. Also, its not too late to be a part of the show. Wanna know how?
Read More