Tag Archives: Philly

How I Continue Learning Photography

I believe education is one of the most important assets we have.  Perhaps why I work in higher education.  But I think it is important to have a laser focus when it comes to your education.  I spent 4 years as an undergraduate that lacked focus and it’s still impacting me today.  Certain areas don’t need formal education styles to learn.  I think photography is a prime example of that.  In formal photography education they teach you about the history, the foundation (this is important), photo journalism, and fine art photography.  Well hate to be that guy but very few people make money in photo journalism and fine art photography these days.

So I set out to build a business from my photography as many people do.  It can be intimidating to build a business, know what insurance is right for you, LLC, finding clients, marketing all of that.  But there are thousands of people that have gone through those experiences and have been kind enough to share them so we can avoid some of those paint points.

Here are my learning resources and why I use them.

Lynda.com 
This is an amazing resource for all types of things.  Many employers even offer the subscription to their employees for free.  If yours doesn’t you can get a free month then decide if you want to pay $20 or $30 a month after that.  They’ve got an app for all mobile platforms include Apple TV and one of my favorite parts is they allow you to speed up the videos up to 2x so I can take more content in faster.

Six Figure Photography Podcast
Ben Hartley from Style Story Creative launched an extremely successful podcast and hosts different photographers, lawyers, accountants, and more all around how to improve not just your technical knowledge but more importantly the business side of photography.  After discovering him I binged 40 hours worth of his podcasts in just two weeks and I’m learning so much from his catalogue.  Listening to podcasts is such a simple way to absorb information on the go.  I don’t think I’ve opened Spotify in weeks because of them.

Improve Photography
Jim Harmer and his crew have developed a fantastic website and a wonderful “Master Photography Podcast“. The diverse group is always bringing guests onto the podcast to help develop new ideas and content.  Improve Photography’s website offers a TON of great free content as well as premium content containing Lightroom presets, photography contracts, and more.  They also offer a free trial I highly recommend.  And if that’s not enough Jim built RGPS “Really Good Photo Spots” iOS app that allows you to find some great places to photograph while you’re traveling.  Also free.

Jared Polin FroKnowsPhoto
Jared is just part of a trio that delivers amazing content on the newest gear, photography news, and tutorials.  Jared’s got an energetic attitude that constantly keeps you interested.  He’s also fantastic at keeping up with his following on Instagram so go give him a follow.  He’s got a great studio here in Philadelphia know as the Fro Factory that you’ll see feature in much of his content.  I’ve learned more from him in 30 second segments than anything else.  He’s also worked to develop a great app called “Gear Vault” for iOS and Android that helps you keep track of your gear and even insure it.

So these are a few ways that I keep learning and keep teaching myself.  It’s also worth noting that I carry a camera with me almost everywhere all the time.  Sure a DSLR is k kinda bulky but I’ve learned you never know when you’re going to capture a great image plus it’s a great way to master the ins and outs of your gear.

If you have any great resources you use to keep up on your photography please leave them in the comments below!

Life is Short. Live Your Dream and Share Your Passion.

Realizing that I purchased my original domain and webspace one year ago today it felt appropriate to reflect on why.

Social media quickly became a place to share every thought, cup of coffee, and/or photo of your pets/kids.  That is a fine way to get a quick fix of dopamine but that’s really it.  When you reflect on your “On this day” featured on Facebook, does it tell an accurate story about who you were at that time?  Probably not.

If you know me at all, you know I’m a sucker for nostalgia.  Over the years I’ve curated videos compiled of the moments that helped make unforgettable years but even that to me wasn’t enough.  Written word seems like the best way to record the specific details.  Each word and phrase carefully premeditated.  (For the most part when I’m not botching spelling and throwing grammatical errors like confetti)

That’s what brought me here.  A place of my own where I can elaborate share thoughts, ideas, passions, phots, videos, and more.  Regardless of how 9 to 5 your life might seem at times you are interesting.  Social media has made it mandatory for us to keep up with “Friends”.  Their news is blasted on what they call “news” and we addictively scroll through for the latest nonsense and memes.  We rarely encounter original content let alone interesting stories about the people we associate with.  Well if you want to hear my nonsense, I might share previews on those very social media platforms but I’ll make you take the extra step.  If you’re truly interested you’ll know where to find me.

In the short year since I purchased the website, even shorter than that since my first post and 13,669 visitors later I’m still kicking.  Over the next week or so I’m going to give the sight a major facelift, improve it’s mobile viewing, and the user interface.

I’m excited to get this baby revamped during the busiest time of my life with my 9-5, photography, grad school, etc.  Wont be easy but I see value in the art of self reflection and what better way than to paint it all over the internet in permanent ink.

I hope that people will read this and start to tell more of their stories.  I know a ton of interesting people, many of which I’ve called out in previous blogs.

If you think this might be something you’d be interested in I’d be happy to help you get it off the ground.  I use WordPress for everything and it’s pretty simple one stop shop.

There are also millions of tutorials online to get a site started.  Here is one I’d check out.

Live Your Dream & Share Your Passion.

2017 XPONENTIAL MUSIC FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY SUBARU

This last weekend I was invited to come shoot the Marina and River stages of the XPONENTIAL Music Festival hosted by WXPN FM out of Philadelphia, PA.

Unfortunately due to some scheduling conflicts I couldn’t make the full festival but I’m still very excited about the acts I did get a chance to shoot.


Foxygen
Sure I had heard of this band from the Google Home commercial so my interest was peaked.  To put it short the absolutely blew me away.


Dave Hause & The Mermaid
Philadelphia locals absolutely killed it.  I was new to these guys but I am so stoked to follow them as they make their way back to the Theater of Living Arts on December 2, 2017.  Please go check them out.



Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Jazz isn’t my specialty but good lord do I appreciate it.  These may be some of the most talented musicians I’ve seen live in a long time.  They played two sets the same day and brought a ton of energy to both.


Rhiannon Giddens
What a captivating voice singing some of the most emotional and thought out lyrics.

 

I’m always looking to shoot more live music.  Please contact me if you’d like me to come shoot your show.

Brackish Record Release at Ortlieb’s in Philadelphia, PA

Brackish released their new record “Coming Down” at Ortlieb’s in the Northern Liberties Neighborhood of Philadelphia.

I was stoked to asked to come get some shots of the show.  Lighting was a bit difficult but we made it work and the show was fantastic.

Make sure to check out some songs from the new record here.

Brackish at Kung Fu Necktie

Had the opportunity to check out Brackish this week at Philadelphia’s Kung Fu Necktie

It was a bit challenging as the lighting was very dim so I had to bring some flash into it which I hate to do for live music.  Also the Canon 6D was really struggling to focus in such low light so everything was shot manually.  Here are all the shots from the show.

Check out the latest WXPN article on Brackish.

 

My Journey into Street Photography #HelpPhillyHomeless

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Recently I’ve been getting into Street Photography.  Surely, there are a number of ways to define street photography but as I’m learning more and more about my particular style I really prefer the most candid of shots.

Now some people are exactly the opposite and will seek out strangers in the moment to model for them because they appeal to them in one way or another.  I’ve seen some amazing work in that sub-genre but it’s really not for me.  But really what that means is that it’s not in my comfort level.

Philadelphia is full of culture and natural history.  It should be a photographers dream to live here.  Street photography for example can be a bit stressful.  What would you do if a stranger walked up to you asking to take your photo?  I’m not extremely interested in asking strangers to model in the streets for me just yet.

So I set out shortly after getting my Canon 6D and thought I’d take a nice long walk of the city and fire from the hip.  Firing from the hip refers to a term of shooting a gun without aiming down the barrel.  Same can be said with photography.  For me to get my level of comfort in street photography I wanted it to be truly candid.  That’s not always easy when you’re carrying around a large DSLR camera with a noisy shutter.

Who was going to be my first subject?  I’ve always had a large level of sympathy for the homeless.  Homelessness in Philadelphia is a huge problem.  One that is incredibly difficult to overcome.  One thing is undeniable is that these individuals have a ton of raw emotion.  Remember not every homeless person has a drug or alcohol problem.

I thought to myself that perhaps a photo series of showing the raw emotions of the homeless in Philadelphia would help spark a larger awareness and sympathy for the less fortunate.  So I started shooting.

I quickly learned that firing from the hip isn’t easy and I didn’t really have a telephoto lens to capture from the distance where I wouldn’t be noticed right away.  I was able to leave that day with a couple of shots I was pleased with but more importantly the motivation to do this project right.  I went ahead an ordered a proper telephoto lens in hopes to capture some more of this raw emotion on the streets of Philadelphia.

What I hope to accomplish is some wonderful images that will help tell the stories of these less fortunate individuals.  Perhaps next time we won’t ignore them as we walk by because a simple “Hello” can go a long way.

If you want to help spread the awareness of homeless I invite you to share you own photos all over social media use #HelpPhillyHomeless.

(Click to enlarge) (Updated 5/16/2017)