Oct 22, 2011

Rick Sammon Explores the Light - Day 2

Rick Sammon's Skype interview with Hal "Bull" Schmitt was definitely a highlight today. But I think I most enjoyed Rick's social media marketing segment during Day 2 of his live online Exploring the Light workshop on creativeLIVE. It's incredibly easy to get overwhelmed by the massive number of social media outlets, as I often do. Yet it's a key part of our jobs as photog solopreneurs. Very key. At times social media seems less important than editing images or emailing clients, etc etc. But as Rick taught us today, "not enough time" is not an excuse - it's a matter of choice. As with everything in life. So I'm going to heed Rick's advice and carve out at least half an hour a day for social media marketing for my business. Yes, that's above & beyond my personal social media. Social media takes time, just like responding to emails, post-processing images, calling clients etc., etc. Perhaps I'll try setting a timer and then cut myself off - it's so easy to get sucked into the vortex of social media. What are your tips for managing social media for your business?

Here are more behind the scenes photos from today's fun filled workshop with Rick Sammon!

Today was my first Google+ Hangout. As we were about to go to lunch, creativeLIVEr Jason Bafile suggested in the chatroom that we do a G+ hangout. I've been wanting to start joining in G+ Hangouts but I hadn't yet. THANK YOU Jason for kicking us off on creativeLIVE Hangouts! I expect a lot more to come! ; )

See my full set of behind the scenes photos on Google+!

Join me tomorrow from anywhere around the world with an internet connection as Susan Roderick and I host the final day of Rick's FREE online live workshop on creativeLIVE. We'll pass your questions and comments along to Rick from the chatroom!

Behind the scenes with Rick Sammon on creativeLIVE

The man's energy is contagious. Walk in a room with photographer and educator Rick Sammon and instantly you feel ALIVE! Join Susan Roderick and me as we co-host Rick's free live online Exploring the Light workshop on creativeLIVE. We have a blast asking Rick questions on behalf of all of you watching around the world. Thank you Rick for teaching us today about exploring the light and SO much more - setting goals, using speedlites, working with models, photographing people and more.

My favorite part of today was how you pushed each of us to think about the question What Does Your Photography Mean to You? Yes, there were some tears. I'm so touched by all of the stories our creativeLIVE community is sharing on our new creativeLIVE forum. Thank you everyone for engaging with us - you are what makes creativeLIVE so special. Check out more behind the scenes photos here on Google+.

Want to know what this workshop is all about? Watch Susan and my pre-show interview with Rick Sammon as he walks us through the studio and talks about everything he's going to teach.

Tune in to the live stream on creativeLIVE Saturday & Sunday for SO much more learning! Thank you!

Oct 5, 2011

Sneak Peek: J's Senior Portraits

At the end of a very smooth photo shoot, I told high school senior J what a cool guy he is and that I find him to be super chill. I asked if other people tell him that too and he said "pretty much everyone." So THANK YOU J for being so relaxed, agreeable and making my job easy! I'd love to hear you play the guitar plugged in the next time - I am always inspired by self-taught musicians. Best of luck with those college apps! Here is a sneak peek of our photo shoot. Many more to come for your full set of online proofs!

Rock on J!

Oct 4, 2011

Sneak Peek: Maternity Shoot with S & S

Photograph a belly with a henna mandala? YES! Thank you to S & S for a wonderful maternity photo shoot in your warm and welcoming home. I loved rearranging furniture for lighting, yoga poses and creating outfits with lovely fabrics. I am so excited for your little bundle of joy coming very very soon!  Here is a sneak peek from our shoot! What a lucky baby to have you two nurturing souls as parents!

Sep 30, 2011

Back to Photos of the Day

So..... I took the summer off of my photo of the day project. You forgive me, right? My little brother Luke was in town for Labor Day and he's really digging photography these days. I challenged him to join me in doing a 365 project. Told him I needed some accountability and that if we're both checking in on each other, then perhaps we'll both do it! I'd like to think that I don't need to be accountable to others to accomplish projects I've set out for myself. But I'm human. So thanks Luke for getting me back into photo-a-day shape. I love spending my days looking for "that" image. Now that I have an iPhone with Instagram and Hipstmatic - well, the project got a lot easier!

Here are some images from the last few days - check the rest out on my blog's  Photo of the Day tab or add me to your Circles on Google+!

30 September
29 September
28 September

Aug 25, 2011

Baby O {Baby Photography Seattle}

Yesterday I photographed Baby O at his home. Oh how I love the challenge of walking into a new client's home to create a studio on the fly. That's why I enjoy shooting on location so much more than a studio. Yet this time it was not much of a challenge! O's mom is an interior designer and I instantly fell in love with all of their decor - a perfect set for O's 9-month photo shoot. I might just have to ask O's mom & dad if I can rent out their home as a studio sometime! Did I mention the gorgeous natural night, textured blankets and fuzzy pillows? Heaven. Baby O was a sport the entire shoot, even after a little spill in the first few minutes of the shoot! Mom and dad - I'll hire you as my assistants when I rent your home - you both rocked it! Thanks for a super fun shoot. Enjoy this sneak peek!


May 14, 2011

It's About More Than The Plate

Granada, Nicaragua
Talk about inspiration. Talk about AHA moments. In day one of her food & culture photography workshop at creativeLIVEPenny De Los Santos described her realization that she had been shooting food already for 10 years before actually calling herself a food photographer. AHA! Cultural travel photography IS food photography. When you are a photojournalist and story teller interacting with people around the globe, food & drink is almost always included in the first meeting. Come in for a cup of tea. Let's meet over coffee. Whether that is on the steps of the Ganges river in Varanasi, in a hut in the mountains of Nepal, or at your local coffee shop in Seattle - people meet and share life around food.  Plain and simple - Penny uses food photography as a vehicle to express the human condition.

Culture HAPPENS in the markets worldwide, you just don't see it as much here in the US. I'd argue that the closest we get is Farmer's Markets, which we are lucky to have in many Seattle neighborhoods. Food is all around us. We need it to survive. What I realize from Penny yesterday is that it's photographing what goes on around the food is what we need for our souls to survive. As humans we are connected to every other living being on this planet. As Penny said, food photography is about more than the plate.

While the focus of my business today is portrait photography - bellies, babies & beyond, my personal work is cultural photography. Co-creatliveLIVE-host Susan Roderick and I traveled around the world for a year together, experiencing and photographing cultures (and markets) in over 20 countries along the way. Peruse my images & stories on the blog at your leisure! Penny - I'll be your assistant anytime!

Old Delhi, India

Want to see a SNEAK PEEK of today's FREE: Food Photography with Penny De Los Santos? Check out this video from creativeLIVE. Today will be HANDS ON shooting, seeing Penny and the in-person students in action - there will even be bacon! Tune in - it's Free Live education for the world to see. Talk about inspiration.

Apr 7, 2011

Humbled by Lighten Up and Shoot

I am sincerely humbled by Andy & Mikey of Lighten Up & Shoot's blog post today - see here. Ok, let's be honest - I am jumping up and down excited with glee too! It was watching Mikey & Andy's videos that inspired Susan Roderick and I to make our own. To think that a month ago Susan and I had never made a video in our lives, and now we're on Lighten Up & Shoot's blog - it's kind of unreal!  I couldn't have summed up what Susan and I are creating with our behind the LIVE community better than Andy:

"Their plan, bring to the world what happens when the creativeLive camera's are off! They get in a little further, more personal, more real and more...well fun! I really love the idea they have for so many reasons! I mean think about it people, they are in a position where they get to not only meet but interact with the best photographers/teachers on this planet! Instead of them being all selfish and keeping it to themselves, they share with the world! Now that's brilliant!" 

We have been blessed to be volunteer chat hosts at the coolest creative school EVER - creativeLIVE. As Andy says, we want to share our experiences with YOU - because that's what it's all about. When everyone shares, everyone wins. There are no losers in the creativeLIVE philosophy. Right? creativeLIVE co-founder Chase Jarvis is an open book with his blog and Chase Jarvis Live. I love the concept.

No time like the present to sign up for Lighten Up and Shoot's creativeLIVE workshop - July 29-31. It's FREE - and that's downright amazing. No doubt they will take us all on a wild ride, gringos-who-also-said-adios-to-the-Man-and-live-in-Columbia style!

In the meantime, Lighten Up and Shoot are touring the world teaching workshops - check out the schedule here. But the beauty of Mikey & Andy is that they bring FREE photography education to each and every one of you in the comfort of your own home. They have hilarious and yet incredibly educational videos on YouTube with hours of content about not just lighting, but so much more. I dig their style, and that's an understatement! Kindred spirits? Creo que si!

Check these gringos out on www.lightenupandshoot.com! Subscribe to their YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/mikeyorange?blend=2&ob=1!

Mar 17, 2011

behind the LIVE takes off on a helicopter ride with Vincent Laforet

Okay, so before you get too excited, my helicopter ride with director/filmmaker/Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet was of the metaphorical kind. Vincent is known for hanging out of helicopters with souped up camera rigs, capturing the beauty of the earth from above. He gets to see things in a way that most of us might not have a chance to and then shares that with us through his art and storytelling. I really like that concept - it's what living life is all about. It's what creativeLIVE is all about. What fun or satisfaction is there in keeping an experience or knowledge all to yourself?

A few weeks ago Susan Roderick and I gave birth to our behind the LIVE project. I feel incredibly grateful to be a volunteer in-person chat host representing all of you out there on the internet who are watching creativeLIVE from the comfort of your own homes, asking your questions and passing along your comments to instructors. It's like I win the lottery over & over with each creativeLIVE workshop. Susan and I love getting to know the instructors, students, cast and crew of creativeLIVE courses and workshops and we thought it would be super fun and fabulous to bring the interwebs behind the scenes too! We've done this in the past with stills, but what better way to enhance your behind the scenes experience than moving to video? And what better time to move to video than during Vincent Laforet's workshop teaching still photographers like us how to take the leap to video? 

So we're in, and we're doing it despite not really knowing what we're doing. I have a little HD Flip video recorder and Susan has her new 5D Mark II. Match that up with iMovie on my Mac and we're ready to roll! We figure 6 months from now we'll be sitting back laughing at how incredibly amateur our video skills were. But that's how everyone begins. It takes practice and a willingness to make mistakes and learn from them. We thought it would be cool to show you what happens right after the creativeLIVE workshop ended, when producer Celeste Olds announces "clear!" When the creativeLIVE cameras stop rolling, behind the LIVE cameras start rolling.

Want to see more of what went on behind the LIVE during Vincent's workshop? Check out our YouTube channel for more behind the scenes footage, follow us on Twitter @behindtheLIVE and "Like" our Facebook page too! 

This week I had a another fun idea. I realized that while Susan and I have some interesting questions of our own, there is WAY more content and power in the questions all of you might have. What if Susan and I ask YOU for ideas and inspiration for our behind the LIVE videos? What do YOU want to ask Bambi Cantrell or Jasmine Star or Penny de los Santos that we might not ask during the actual creativeLIVE workshop? As creativeLIVE chat hosts, Susan and I are just a vessel for all y'all out there. So why not do the same for behind the LIVE?! We are excited to gather YOUR ideas and juicy questions to ask instructors, students, crew behind the LIVE in future workshops. Inquiring minds want to know, right? We're not looking for the standard "Canon vs. Nikon," "Lightroom vs. Aperture" or "What's your greatest tip for photographers just getting started?" We're talking reality TV here. How do you ask questions? Well, feel free to send us tweets (@behindtheLIVE) or leave your questions, thoughts and ideas on our Facebook page

While my video skills are in their infancy, still images speak a thousand words in the language I am most fluent. I love the intensity in which Vincent teaches and guides his students, whether in person or around the globe. Enjoy!

Thank you Vincent Laforet, Chase Jarvis and creativeLIVE for a stellar ride! Next up - this weekend (Mar 18-20) world renown photographer Bambi Cantrell takes us on a different kind of ride in her free free 3-day Posing and Lighting workshop at creativeLIVE. Bambi will be covering important fundamentals and showing how to apply those techniques in a range of wedding, boudoir, and portrait environments. Don't miss this one - it's bound to be juicy and incredibly spirited! Enroll here for free. I'll see you there!