Photography Workshops

Dec 8


So if you’re someone who shoots in color, you should totally watch this video.

Color is something that intersects every part of our life, and is a crucial element in photography! Understanding how it works can really improve your work. 

Watch This Video > Understand Colors > Take Better Photos! 

via Reddit


Chris Ozer is the greatest! The popular Instagramer and star of our second #NoFilter video shared his secrets on @thedailyphotos feed this weekend. Here are his helpful tips and tricks for taking better Instagram snapshots: 


50 Quick Photography Tips in Less Than 15 Minutes

Kai over at DigitalRev put together this video that offers photography advice in burst mode: 50 (or 49) short and sweet tips in less than 15 minutes. If you take yourself too seriously, be warned: the tips are presented in Kai’s trademark “infotainment” style.

If you’d rather not watch the 13 minute video, here are the tips in text form thanks to Reddit user blufox4900:

  1. UV filters are a waste of time
  2. Lens hoods aren’t a necessity
  3. If you’re not using the hood, put it away
  4. Don’t treat your DSLR like it’s your baby
  5. Stop hating on others
  6. Get cheap lens caps
  7. Pack light
  8. Use a zoom for convenience
  9. Prime will make you think more
  10. The 35mm is the most practical one lens setup (on the 1.5 crop)
  11. The 50mm looks better
  12. Better cameras don’t make better photos
  13. Know how your camera works before you go out to shoot
  14. Always be ready for the shot
  15. P-mode isn’t just for beginners
  16. Bump the ISO if needed
  17. Auto ISO is your best friend
  18. Rely on the Rule of Thirds
  19. Take lots of shots
  20. Don’t take photos of any old sh*t
  21. “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” — Robert Capa
  22. Contemplate your shot
  23. The best equipment doesn’t help if you’re not standing in the right spot
  24. Sharpness is overrated
  25. Concept is king
  26. Don’t look like a wrongun (i.e. a creep)
  27. Don’t drink and shoot
  28. Shoot when you’re full of energy
  29. Sometimes it feels great to wake up really early and shoot
  30. Think about what light you want
  31. Emulate the style of the greats to get started
  32. …but don’t keep doing it
  33. Photography is as much a reflection of the person taking the photo
  34. Shoot to please no one apart from yourself
  35. Discreet or direct — it isn’t all that important
  36. Setting themes keeps you focused
  37. Change things every once in a while to keep things fresh
  38. Everyone has creative blocks
  39. Be critical of yourself
  40. “Seeing is not enough, you have to feel what you photograph” — Andre Kertesz
  41. You need to be there with the camera
  42. The relationship is about you and the subject, not you and the camera
  43. Stop chimping
  44. Be brutal when it comes to deleting awful photos
  45. Show only your best work
  46. Changing photos to B&W doesn’t make an uninteresting shot interesting
  47. Look at other people’s work
  48. Post your work online, let others critique your work
  49. There is no easy way
  50. ???

via anythingphotography; DigitalRevReddit

(Source: bobbycaputo)

Apr 3

Marco Grob for TIME
The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) today announced the finalists for the 2012 National Magazine Awards. We are thrilled that our feature, Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience, was acknowledged under the Feature Photography category. (read more about the awards here)
Pictured: Dick Cheney, former Vice President of the U.S. From “Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience,” Sept. 19, 2011, issue. 


Marco Grob for TIME

The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) today announced the finalists for the 2012 National Magazine Awards. We are thrilled that our feature, Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience, was acknowledged under the Feature Photography category. (read more about the awards here)

Pictured: Dick Cheney, former Vice President of the U.S. From “Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience,” Sept. 19, 2011, issue. 

Apr 3


It’s finally here: Instagram for Android.

Rocks features similar to the iOS version, include:

  • 18 filters, including the sweet Lux option.
  • Option to turn photo frames on or off.
  • Front-facing camera use.
  • Instant photo-sharing to like social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, & Tumblr.
  • Rad look, & easy to use.

Have any of you Android snappers tried it yet? What do you think of it? Attach some Instagrams below if you have! 

Don’t forget to also follow @photojojo on Instagram—now that you Androiders can! :)

via Gizmodo

A guide to doing the damn thing aka get where u wanna go part 4 of 4: Small commissions


Hey girl.

Welcome back to the program. The program of making it. If you’re just joining, I’m writing a large 4 piece post on what I think are the four most important things you can do to become a professional photographer. They are (follow the links back as the parts appear):

Today will be about the last piece of the puzzle-y pie, which all is about dipping your toes into commissioned work, no matter how small, boring, or lame it appears on the surface. If you have specific followup questions, drop a line and I will answer them.

Repost this, too, if you want to share it. Liking it won’t get it too far. It’s like giving a thumbs up from really far away.


Start small, cause you’re gonna need it: I’m going to start off with a story. About blowing it. It was my first time. It was so awkward and embarrassing… I’ll never forget it.

The shoot was for I.D. magazine. If you’re unfamiliar with I.D., it was a high-level design magazine with fantastic visuals, content, and photography. Tragically, I.D. quite suddenly folded the month after my shoot; I believe that my horrendous photo was in the last issue, I’ll never know because I could never bring myself to look at it in print.

The year was 2009. The assignment was to photograph a very very high-up Nike exec at their HQ outside Portland, OR. The subject headed up Nike’s ambitious sustainability program. It was my first assignment ever out of school. Not a bad shoot to get somewhat off the bat. I was pumped, I remember getting the call while walking along 34th street while I was in NYC, after the Photo Plus Expo. I had recently gotten an iphone 3 and remember furiously and excitedly typing in details into the phone’s Notepad, afraid everything relayed to me from the photo editor would slip from my memory the moment we hung up.

Once I got back to Portland a couple days later, I started communicating with the PR lady in charge of this woman. Let’s call her Gail (60% chance her name was Gail). The PR lady emailed me, “OK, you have 15 minutes to set up, and 10 minutes to photograph Gail”. Being totally green and eager to please, I wrote back something like, “great!”. Total and utter mistake #1. I did have the tact and foresight to ask her about options where the shoot could take place. A library/research space was settled upon. I didn’t ask many other followup questions, we just planned on a time and a date.

The time and date then arrived. I was ten minutes early and super nervous. I brought a 5D, a 24-105mm lens, and a 580EX flash. The big guns. Also known as everything I owned at the time. Depending on how necessary you view gear preparedness, this could be mistake #3, but at the same time, I would feel highly comfortable with this kit if I were to redo this shoot tomorrow, knowing what I now know.

Anyway, I check in with the receptionist at 2:20. I was to liaison with the PR lady at 2:30, begin the shoot at 2:45, be done by 3. The receptionist is sweet, tells me to have a seat on one of the 1,000 black leather chairs Nike bought for their headquarters. I check my email. 2:27. I try to think about shooting ideas. 2:30. Totally got off topic in my head. 2:33. Now I realize that I was cutting into my prep time. 2:36. Getting really nervous. 2:38. A nice british lady comes up, introduces herself as the PR goddess, we small talk up the elevator. She apologizes for being late yet still asks if it’s still ok to start in 6 fucking minutes. I’m not even really present by that point, I’m just trying to not spazz out on the fact that I have so little time to prep, or scout, or even put the lens on my camera. But I still say I’m ready. Totally awful.

We get to the library, and it’s not the airy, bright space I’d imagined (most of Nike public spaces are… so I just kinda… assumed). No. This is a fluorescent-lit, ceiling-tiled, 1950’s Academia meets just-the-tip of IKEA type of library. Grey carpet, beige metal bookshelves. 2:41. I put my camera together and hurriedly attempt to “scout” the space. I fire some test shots sans flash, and they look (tonally) flatter than plain cardboard. I put on my flash and attempt to bounce it into the ceiling. It looks like slightly brighter than plain cardboard.

I feel like a floundering fish at this point. I’m so overwhelmed that I haven’t addressed anything tactfully, I haven’t solved any problems, I haven’t locked down even one good location in this library to shoot. 2:48. Gail arrives. We talk for 3 minutes because I can’t just sit her down and start shooting, I need to establish some sort of rapport. This was good. I don’t think she could tell I was utterly unprepared or nervous.

I begin to shoot, except what I’m shooting, ostensibly, are test shots, which I should have already done. Except I didn’t give myself any time. So now I’m just experimenting on the fly with the subject, which sounds edgy and awesome, except it wasn’t. Because what I was shooting was awful. I remember looking into my LCD and just having this total sinking feeling, like I couldn’t salvage the shoot, 6 minutes in. 5 I felt like a Red Delicious apple had been shoved down my throat.

Eventually, I sat Gail on this hideous circular chair, put a couple of these new Nike enviro-friendly shoes around her, and with the PR lady counting down the final couple minutes, ended the shoot at 3:00. I thanked the PR lady and Gail, and walked out with my camera on my shoulder, which at the time, began to feel more like a murder weapon.

I remember, SO vividly, how the second I stepped outside, I was able to step outside myself, and how I was flooded with a thousand ideas of how I could have made that shooting situation work so much better. So many solutions. That is why, to this day, I try to step aside from a shoot for at least 30 seconds, sometimes 5 minutes if I have the time, sometimes several times during a shoot, to clear my head and re-approach things with a fresh perspective, as opposed to getting so wrapped up and bound by tunnelvision.

The moral of this long story is that, as an emerging photographer, there’s a 98% chance you’re going to absolutely, terribly bomb some of your first commissioned assignments, but you’ll learn a million lessons, every one will stay with you because you were personally involved and invested, and you’ll apply everything you learned that day in every future shoot. And this cycle will repeat over and over again. And that’s how salty, legendary photographers are born.

I felt like I learned a million things on this shoot, here are a handful of them:

  • Prep and scout time: the more the merrier. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re rushing through either a scout or a setup. Give yourself the time you need. 15 minutes is a joke. It’s doable, and sometimes what you’ll get handed, but really, try to get at least 30-45 minutes for unlit work, to walk around, to get a good vibe going, etc. If you’re lighting, at least another hour. Time flies.
  • Scouting and having location options: I try to never get tied down to one location, like one room in this shoot. What if the room is awful? Again, sometimes you won’t have the luxury for several locations (it can be several rooms inside and outside a house). Don’t be afraid to take the subject into your comfort zone. My comfort zone is anywhere outside. I don’t so much enjoy dimly lit interiors. Some people love that control, I prefer the sun.
  • Stick to your guns when it comes to prep time, and if someone cuts into it, try to keep your bubble of prep. Obviously it can be a bit touchy if the subject is important, but it truly can’t hurt to ask, nicely.
  • Have ideas before you come into a shoot. Never come into a shoot blank. Have at least 2-4 solid concepts (it can even be as simple as “direct, tight headshot next to a window”) under your belt. That way, if you feel like you’re floundering, you have backup plans.
  • That said, don’t go into a shoot closed off to other possibilities. It’s a fine line. Leave yourself open to where the moment, the situation, the environment can take you. You’ll learn how to walk that line.

So if and when you bomb, do it on small assignments for regional publications that hopefully no one will see. Small commissioned assignments are going to be the way for you to earn your chops and learn how to navigate foreign situations, tricky environments, squeezed timeframes, and sometimes tough conditions. (Note: I don’t mean to imply that every shoot is an uphill battle. Sometimes, everything comes together so nicely. The light is perfect, the subject is down to try anything, the whole day is blocked off, it’s all good. You’ll come across both types of situations in your lifetime.)

Most everybody starts out small. Baby steps. Big national magazines aren’t going to call you right away, unless you’re awesome or lucky. In todays day and age, starting out small can mean the local weekly or city magazine (which can be admittedly dull), OR these days, it can also mean awesome internet upstart magazines that are all over the place, the forerunner being Self-Titled (in my opinion).

Regardless where you start, put as much care, detail, time, and focus into these small shoots as you would for a larger magazine. Don’t treat it as a throwaway. Treat it as if you’re shooting for your dream publication.

When you treat small assignments like they’re big assignments, you’ll get calls back from the client you’re working for, they’ll give you more latitude, more work, more money to pay your rent with, more responsibility. It’s like baby steps within baby steps. Additionally, don’t go in an treat a small job like it’s a hassle to scratch of the day’s to-do list. If you’re shooting a restaurant, try to give it your own style, try shooting food (I now really love shooting food), try dragging out some of the kitchen staff for a portrait session by the front window (you brought a seamless, right?). There’s absolutely nothing tying you down to take shitty photos, no matter the job. Make the job count. Commit to making some work worth putting in your portfolio. That’s how you find your style, that’s what will make you stand out from the crowd, that’s what will make you unique as a photographer. But above all, make  photographs you care about.


Well thanks, ladies and gents, it’s been fun. It’s nice to write, even if I’m sloppy at it. I ain’t no Dickens, but I ain’t no Paula Deen neither.

If you’ve got questions or want me to write on other topics (this isn’t an invitation for any topic, more of a voting process), drop me a message.


Remember Nadav’s Tim Burton-y insect macro photos?

Nadav explains in this interview just how he shot these macros at home with some behind-the-scenes pics!

(How badass are those knee pads, btw?)

Interview with At-Home Insect Macro Photographer

via Reddit


The Number One Celebrity Beauty Secret Revealed

“It’s you, perfected!” Jesse Rosten’s Fotoshop by Adobé is a pitch-perfect faux commercial for a foolproof beauty product: photo editing software. Contrasting before and after images from real magazine covers, the spot makes the point: “This commercial isn’t real, neither are society’s standards of beauty.


I’m obsessed with the story of Vivian Maier, one of the first great street photographers. More picture on my blog HERE. 

Photos from Vivian Maier: Street Photographer photographs by Vivian Maier, edited by John Maloof, published by powerHouse Books.


Is it just us or does the Fall make the golden hour feel way longer? The low sun makes for awesome shadows.
Portrait by Lukasz Wierzbowski


Is it just us or does the Fall make the golden hour feel way longer? The low sun makes for awesome shadows.

Portrait by Lukasz Wierzbowski