The 2019 WPPI Photo Expo, Revisited...

The 2019 Wedding and Portrait Photographer Expo in Las Vegas is now behind us.  Two and a half days of non-stop opportunities to gain knowledge and networking with professionals and avid hobbyists is a description that could be given to summarize the event.

That would be an extremely short sighted statement that barely touches the surface of an event like this.  All of the major equipment manufacturers of cameras and lenses, as well as major vendors and accessories have large displays, live seminars, and plenty of equipment for you to hold, shoot, and experience unlike anywhere else you could imagine.
As if that is not enough, consider that you are given many opportunities to take photos of models that are there for your use.  Weddings, portraits, family portraits, wedding receptions, all set up with their own studios just for you!
And after three days of miles of aimless wandering, you might want to change shirts, they make sure you have something clean to wear by handing out at least…

Photography Guru Millionaire?

What is a Guru? Fair question!  According to Google, gu·ru    ˈɡo͝oro͞o/ noun
(in Hinduism and Buddhism) a spiritual teacher, especially one who imparts initiation. synonyms: spiritual teacher, teacher, tutor, sage, mentor, spiritual leader, leader, master;  swami, maharishi "a Hindu guru and mystic" each of the ten first leaders of the Sikh religion. an influential teacher or popular expert.
synonyms:  expert, authority, pundit, leading light, master, specialist;                      informal whiz "a management guru"
Okay, so a photography guru must be a Master of Photography? That makes sense to me.  Apparently, it also makes sense on the website GuruShots.  Here's how they describe themselves -
GuruShots is a platform for people who love taking photos.  It’s fun, motivating and helps you improve
Started just over 4 years ago, they set out with the following Core Beliefs - ANYONE CAN TAKE GREAT PHOTOS
At GuruShots, we believe that i…

One House and Two Photography Gurus!

The last half of 2017 brought many challenges, but getting everything back on track for 2018 was the plan.  As many of you know, Julie Everhart, my wife, and I have been competing on Gurushots for almost 4 years,  We actually got involved with their third challenge, and each began building portfolios of highly competitive photos.

Beginning in December of 2016, Gurushots began holding exhibitions in various major cities around the world.  Both Julie and I were chosen to provide a photo in the first exhibition, and have both been seen in print and digitally in exhibitions all over the world.  At the time of this writing, we are both currently being shown in Belgrade, Serbia during a "Nightlife" exhibit.

Julie competed hard and fast, and worked her way up to the rank of Guru, the highest honor on the site, over 2 years ago.  Since joining, we have both won competitions, been published in numerous articles, and seen many exhibitions.

This past month has brought two of the final…

Are photographers competitive?

When two photographers live in the same house, you have to wonder - are they competitive?

DUH!  Of course we are!  If you are not aware, my wife is Julie Everhart.  She is an artist in every way!  I support her endeavors and projects completely, as does she mine.  So if we are so supportive, how is it that we say we are competitive?

We challenge each other all the time to perform better.  One of our favorite means is through photo competitions.  Gurushots is an excellent forum where photographers from all over the world compete in themed competitions running for 18 days where the photographers vote in a blind format on the photos of their peers.

Four days into a competition themed "From a Distance", you can see that Julie is currently 20 votes ahead of me (although I currently hold one of the top photos in the competition).  She is in 7th place, and I am in 9th place.  This is out of nearly 7000 photographers and over 25,000 photos.

In the "City Streets" challenge,…

Shoot the Moon?

No, this is not some college prank post! 😁  Have you ever wanted to go out and take that perfect shot of the moon, but no matter how hard you try it just doesn't want to work?  Of course you have. We all have!  You even resort to the dreaded "P" mode, and this is what you get...

And yet, you know that people are out there getting shots that look something like this...

These were taken of the same moon, the same night, within minutes of one and other.  What's the secret?  
First off - USE A TRIPOD!  Even though both of these were shot on the same tripod, there's still more.
Second item of business is manual mode - across the board.  NO auto-ISO, NO auto-focus, No auto-aperture, and no auto-shutter control.  Yeah, I know - FULL MANUAL?  Absolutely.  And there is more.
Third item - get your shutter release and set it up.  If you have live mode, use it.  You are going to be shooting a long exposure, and these are essential to remove camera shake, even from the shut…

More than photography...

Many people think of photographers for weddings, special events, or even that "Required" family photo.  They think of that book that sits in the hallway closet or maybe even on the coffee table that showcases that special time.  They may even have a large framed print or canvas hanging on the wall over their sofa to honor that individual or group that holds such meaning in their heart.  Is that all there is to photography?
Of course not!  Sure, we all see those ads in magazines or online showing that perfect product placement to promote whatever.  We see billboards and newspapers daily - all filled with photos.  Surely that is what photographers do.
Sure, some - no, make that most - make their living providing the services mentioned above.  But there can be so much more to photography than that!  My wife, Julie Everhart, and I believe that these are all great ways to make a living as a photographer - they're just not "Our Way".
We don't work for large advertis…

Organize Your Photos? Why Bother?

The worst problem a photographer has, even at a casual level, is finding that ONE photo that you know you have, but can't remember where you put it.  Sound familiar?

You can, of course, just dump all your photos into one or even many photo folders, but unless you really think through how you want them organized, that can still be cumbersome.  I just did a quick check, and see that I am currently sitting with 31,020 photos organized that I can cull through in moments to find the image I want.  Check out this screenshot of my "Pictures" folder.  Yes, over 6 TB of photos in almost 600 folders! How quickly could you find that one special photo?

There are many schemes that people use to try to organize.  Years ago, I organized my music collection.  OH MY!  Was that ever a nightmare!  Let's just say I really like my music, and have either purchased digital or digitized all my old vinyl.  The project of organizing it took far more time that I would want to invest today.  So…