There’s a wonderful street photographer and super awesome fella named Paul Griffiths who does a webshow call “Live and Uncut”. In it, he talks about street photography, cameras (he’s a Fuji guy) and, y’know, all things photography. He interviewed me before I went to France, since I was going through my whole DSLR to mirrorless drama and testing period… and had just landed upon Fuji. You can see that first episode here.
When I got back, Paul wanted to follow up. See what shooting street was like for this landscape girl… see how Fuji had been for me… and generally welcome me back. I always love talking to Paul over in London and this was no exception! You can check out the blog post here… and below is our fun video interview.
Fun fact: He got that Fuji banner in the background of his studio JUST for this episode! Heehee.
I’ve been friends with the indomitable, completely awesome Jan Kabili since the early days of Google+. She’s part of the gifted group of photographers, artists, teachers and inspirers that I was privileged to meet when we all leapt into the great unknown of that fledgling social platform. Jan has the energy of a thousand, a ready, infectious smile and you may know her from Lynda.com where she’s one of the top instructors of Photoshop and Lightroom.
Jan now has a fabulous new podcast called “TheFIX” over at This Week In Photo dot com, where she talks with a variety of wonderful photographers about how they do their magic in-camera and in post-processing.
I was THRILLED when she asked me to join her! She asked me to share a bit about how I think about my photo processing, what tools I use … and as always, we laughed a lot and had a ball in this visit about creating art and inspiration with photography.
I think up names to entertain myself. Like the title of this post: “Ibarionex & Mini Cooper.” Doesn’t that sound like an awesome kid’s book? You read it and think “Who the heck ARE these characters? I must read it to find out!”… and you dive into the exploits of these two as they duck, bob and weave their way through a plethora of wild adventures.
I should probably write that book.
But for this reality selection, Ibarionex Perello is actually a wonderful photographer, workshop leader and podcaster. He’s also a lovely human being and he interviewed me for his Candid Frame Podcast this week. You can click the link and scroll down to listen. We had one of those “life is light” conversations… as much about the esoteric side of art and photography than hard core tech. OK, a lot more! I loved chatting with him – hope you enjoy having a listen!
The Mighty Mini
As for Mini Cooper… well, we have a Cooper’s Hawk. I say we “have” a hawk (even thought it’s more like he has us) because he’s taken to spending a fair amount of time on top of our 2-story house, hunting. He’s excellent at catching moles and voles with his (or her) incredible vision. That’s awesome for us, since we’re just about overrun with them! Our house is next to a small lake, which is rather like hanging out a bright, underground, neon sign that screams: “Rodents and Vermin Welcome Here!” They tear up the ground so badly we could hardly walk across certain sections without falling through to our ankles. At least until our hawk showed up. Grin.
He’s not as big as the other birds of prey who frequent the ‘hood: the red tailed hawk and Osprey are much bigger. But I love our little Cooper’s Hawk… especially the day he was hunting in the rain and stopped to shake off the water. Hawks always look so intense to begin with. Then the moment right before he shook he just looked so… Angry Bird. Hahah! So late one night, I just went there with the whole idea – just to entertain myself.
I share it on the chance you’re easily entertained too. 🙂
Last week while I was at Photo Plus Expo in New York City, I did a series of fun interviews. I decided to call them “Quick Chats”. Cause, well, that’s what they are!
The premise: Grab whomever I could for a couple of minutes and ask ’em a bunch of questions, man-on-the-street style. I was going for super impromptu, very real & authentic, fun – even silly. I just wanted to know what would happen if I said “Hi What’s new?” and let it rip.**
We kick it off with Alan Shapiro, who’s a dear friend and unbelievably creative and talented photographer. Alan resides in a world of creativity that is just rarified. I love how he thinks, love his work… love him!
He’s working on a book project called “Among Us’, which he explains. Of course, we horse around on our way to the point. Heh.
My fabulous friend and photography partner in crime Laurie Rubin shot the video… THANK YOU LAURIE! She did this on my Sony NEX-7. The video is organic, real and intended to feel kinda like standing right there.
** Note: No one I asked turned me down. It was really just an experiment… now I want to do more!
Being interviewed is fun – and always a bit surreal. Especially when an entire 1 hour show is dedicated to YOU!
But photographer Paul Griffiths makes it easy.
Recently, he asked if I’d join him on his video podcast (is that a “vlodcast”?) titled “Live and Uncut“, which he publishes on his blog: “One Camera, One Lens.” I was happy to do it. even though it’s a whole hour talking about myself – something I don’t always feel comfortable doing. That’s a whole lot of oneself!
Paul is an apprentice in The Arcanum, and is a member my friend Valerie Jardin’s cohort. They study street photography over there… but I guess he got landscape-curious. 😀
I guess cross-discipline-curious is going around, since I’m joining Valerie in Paris next year as a guest of her spring workshop. (did I say that out loud? Man, just LOOK at all the scoops you get here first! I’m not officially announcing Paris yet. But it’s coming. heh.)
Anyhoo, Paul and I had a good time on his show… which you can see right here. And check out his other episodes – they’re great!
Whew! What a summer it’s been. Who knew you could get so busy – and in so many ways? Hey, no complaints – but I’m tha-RILLED to be back ON with The Chat after its unintentional summer hiatus… because people, I’ve got some amaaaazing folks to share with you!
To kick it off… I’m stoked to present Chris MacAskill. Talk about deep. And awesome! You may know him as President and co-owner (along with son Don MacAskill) of SmugMug, Inc… one of the top photo-sharing, photo-selling sites in the world. But did you know he was a Geophysicist? That he was founder and co-owner of Fatbrain.com, Inc.? That he worked with Steve Jobs at Apple… or how being at ground zero on 9/11 completely changed the direction of his life?
Well, then this is The Chat to watch! Because we talk about all that – and quite a bit more in this action-packed episode. His story is one incredible journey, paved with one stunning tale after another. Plus we take a tour of SmugMug HQ in Mountain View, California and hear stories about some of his favorite photographs on the wall. I mean HUGE photographs! Baldy (as his friends call him) doesn’t do anything halfway, let me tell you. In fact, there was so much to cover, we made this episode plus two short “extras”; pieces that I’ll show separately from this one, but are no less fantastical.
Life + Story = Chris MacAskill. I hope you enjoy getting to know this positively inspirational man!
And… look for 3 episodes of “The Chat Extras” that I shot with Chris this day over the coming couple of weeks! They’re pure inspiration…
PS… huge thanks and gratitude goes to Michael Bonocore, for filming our “walkabout” through SmugMug HQ… and helping create our cozy “set” for the day!
That’s the ending of the story that began with my emailing Chris MacAskill of SmugMug and asking; “Baldy, how would you like to do a Chat with me?” some months ago.
A full day with SmugMug HQ in Mountain View resulted in my mind well and truly being blown! You’ll see why… THAT episode goes live tomorrow!
The Chat Extras
This week will also begin “The Chat Extras”… segments you’ll sometimes see in between show, with additional footage posted separately. These won’t happen every time. Their content could be outtakes – or, in the case of Chris MacAskill – they’ll broaden the scope of a person’s story and message. Because sometimes, those are just bigger than the format. With “The Chat Extras” you’ll have a chance to experience the depth and the breadth of it all. These won’t happen every time… but you can definitely look forward to them related to this week’s show!
The Plan Moving Forward
Moving forward, while I’m not making the perfect promise of sticking perfectly to a bi-weekly show schedule (sometimes it might be more like once a month!)… but I CAN promise you some amazing people appearing here in the coming episodes! And sometimes you’ll see the “Extras”.
For now, while I run off to put the finishing touches on everything for tomorrow, here’s a backstage peek at Baldy and I the day we recorded his amazing episode:
Once again, this episode was filmed by Kelby Media’s stunning video crew – who volunteered to do it! They just blow me away on every level; from their professionalism and beautiful lighting/set design… to their smiles, great sense of humor and positive energy whilst working with me. HUGE GRATITUDE and a big smackeroo on the cheek to each one of them!
As for RC… well, the man is peerless at what he does. You’ll hear it all in the intro of this episode; photographer, author, dad, Lightroom and Photoshop expert, teaches all over the world, musician – AND he used to be a DJ and drive an ice-cream truck! Oh wait… did I mention he has a degree in Education? Yeah, the man is a dang genius.
But besides all that, RC is generous, has a huge heart and is an absolute delight. He’s got so much going on – I could do an entire other episode, not touch on ANY of the same stuff and it would be equally as fascinating.
Here, then, is RC Concepcion as you may never have seen him!! Big hugs and thumbs-up for joining me on this one, my friend. 😀
Rick Sammon is a fabulous landscape and travel photographer, educator and overall fantastic guy whom I’ve admired (and learned from!) for many years. He’s also a bass player – as is my husband – so I have a special place in my heart for the multi-talented Rick.
I was so honored when he asked me to to do an interview for his world-reknowed podcast: Digital Photo Experience (DPE Podcast)! This particular episode was about “Women in Photography”, which of course hit home for me. It includes me and friends Valerie Jardin and Jan Kabili, each talking about our particular areas of expertise. (click on the image below to listen)
Valerie is one of the top street photographers in the world today and teaches workshops all over the world. Jan is a fabulous photographer – and also works for Lynda.com, co-hosts The Photoshop Show on Google+ along with my other great friend Ron Clifford – and teaches Lightroom and Photoshop techniques. She’s a wizard! We are all also Masters in The Arcanum, which is great fun and such an incredible learning experience for one and all. (you can check out my previous post about my experience so far in The Arcanum here).
In our interview, Rick and I talked about composition, processing, use of shadow and highlights, the value of being able to return to a place repeatedly to find new moods and inspiration, along with a bunch of other photography-related stuff. I love talking to Rick… and can’t wait to visit his neck of the woods very soon when I’m in New York! We’re going to shoot an episode of The Chat, go shooting at a couple of his favorite places… maybe I’ll even get to hear some of his music!
The first time we tried doing a Chat last December, Frederick Van Johnson and I were in a mood. A silly mood. A silly, goofy, kid-like mood that resulted in recording an entire episode that I actually had to scrap! That’s what happens when Frederick and I get together sometimes, er, a lot of the time! Got friends like that? Where anytime you hangout all hell-arity breaks loose? Hahahah, it’s funny and I love it. But it didn’t do the right job of presenting the absolutely amazing Frederick Van Johnson.
Scott Kelby is an icon in the Photography world. And rightfully so! His list of accomplishments is a mile long and growing, his influence is global, his vision has helped evolve an industry. That would be reason enough to want to do a Chat with him… but he’s also a devoted husband and father, a photographer, a businessman and a human who genuinely loves what he does and loves life! He has made his art his life – and lives his life in a most artful way.
How This Chat Came About
I visited Kelby Media in Florida to visit with my friend (and Scott’s wife) Kalelbra Kelby… and while I was at it, joined Scott and Matt Klowkowski for an episode of “The Grid”. That same day, Scott graciously made time to sit down with me and share his views on art, life and business. And by the way, I have to share a story about that…
So, there we were. I had my list of questions at the ready, we were just about ready to start… when RC Concepcion leaned down to my ear, and in a stage whisper said: “Ask Scott to tell the story about what teaching means to him and what’s behind all of this.” Or words to that effect.. and of course, by “all of this”, he was referring to the world of Kelby Media.
What followed is this episode. It was a revelation; so moving, so deep, heartfelt and genuine. Scott opened up in ways that will probably take you by surprise. He is incredibly passionate about teaching – and about making knowledge accessible to the many, not only the few. You’re about to find out why… and discover the moment in Scott’s life that started an empire.
A couple of months ago, I visited Kelby Media in Florida. My primary purpose was to visit my friend Kalebra Kelby… but it evolved into a content creation extravaganza! I was asked to be a guest on The Grid, which I was so delighted to do… plus I got to do episodes of The Chat with both Scott Kelby and RC Concepcion (which will be coming up in the next few weeks!). EVERYONE at Kelby Media in incredible in every way… and when they offered to make a set and actually handle the shooting of this episode, I thought I’d gone to heaven! I accepted their wonderful offer, am incredibly grateful to them… and am completely and utterly spoiled now! hahaha!
Scott Kelby: Teaching is Absolutely His Passion
Coming up on Wednesday: Scott Kelby!! I’m practically bursting at the seams with excitement to share this episode with you. I love it with all my heart – and I think you will too! It goes deep – and he shares his heart with us.
Teaching is woven into Scott Kelby’s soul. In Wednesday’s full episode, he shares an incredibly powerful and personal story about how his passion for teaching was triggered. But in this clip, he sets the stage by sharing how he feels about it, where it comes from. To him, its a calling; one that a person is born with. And for Kelby, it’s one that has launched an legacy… and an empire.
My guest on this episode of “The Chat” is award-winning children’s portrait photographer Tamara Lackey. She’s a radiant, beautiful ball of fabulous energy!
She and I had only met briefly once before at Photoshop World last year: this was actually our first real conversation. I can tell you she’s just as natural and easy to be with in person as she is in her videos, on stage or behind the camera. Tamara possesses a rare blend of authenticity, along with a genuine joy, interest and zest for life that shows up in everything she does. I’m also convinced those qualities are a huge part of what makes her such an outstanding photographer as well.
Part of what we photographers do is present a unique vision and point of view. Tamara’s photographs positively bubble over with both hers – and that of her innocently delightful subjects.
I ask her how she keeps her crazy schedule together (did I mention she’s also a teacher, author, speaker, host, mom and wife?), how she manages to have some kind of balance and flow… what her 3 favorite tips for better photographs are… and what legacy she hopes she is creating for her own children… and so much more!
I hope you are as inspired as I am by the amazing Tamara Lackey…
I only met her for the first time when we all converged upon Castello di Amorosa with my pal Annette Biggers for a photo shoot. Jennifer and her daughter Bella were the focus of the weekend; they had a story to tell and they did it beautifully.
Jennifer started her acting career at 9 years of age. She starred in My Wife and Kids with Damon Wayans… and growing up, appeared in feature films like You Got Served Johnson Family Vacation and Mercy Street as well as guest appearances on TV shows like 7th Heaven, Switched, One on One and The OC.
But now, Jennifer has begun a new chapter of her life and career as a single mom, calling the shots in her acting career and being a voice for young women who also have big dreams and aspirations. She’s so young herself; but she knows what she wants her life and work to stand for, both for herself and her daughter.
BTW, we almost didn’t have this Chat! Through Annette, Jennifer communicated the fact that “Interviews make me so nervous!” I completely understood – and was game if she wanted to do it, but totally fine if she opted out. I’m so grateful she dove in, because we had a great time. And now YOU get to hear how she keeps her mind right amidst all the chaos of Hollywood, her belief in the importance of empowering girls and young women to follow their dreams, the shift she’s experienced since stepping back into the acting world after a break to discover more of life – and see some beautiful images from the photo shoot.
I’m delighted for the opportunity to present Jennifer Freeman…
In this week’s episode of The Chat, I visit with Vic Gundotra; Senior Vice President of Social at Google. He and his team are also the creators of Google+… the social network that literally changed everything for me. I was so excited to sit down with him – the only agony was trimming the huge herd of questions I had!
Here’s a sneak peak at what’s coming this Monday… when my guest will be Vic Gundotra!
Vic is the Senior Vice President of Social at Google. He and his team are the innovators behind Google+, which sees 1.5 billion photos uploaded every week as of this show – and growing.
Vic graciously agreed to sit down with me and Chat with me about whatever I wanted to ask… he made no rules, nothing was off-limits. I was most interested in some things social… but all things inspiration. Turns out, what inspires him largely the role technology needs to play in bringing us closer to each other – and our own humanity.
In this clip, he talks about where he sees Social going… and the role of photography within that. He says “I think we’re just getting started”. I think he may be right!
Here’s a quick snippet with just one of them. It’s where Annette talks about why she’s passionate about her fairy tale photo shoots – and why she thinks she’s seen so much transformation happen as a result of them:
In the beginning of the full episode she shares one of her favorite quotes; “It’s more tragic to be alive and not know why – than to be dead and not know life.” I love that Annette truly walks her talk… and lives life fully with her heart wide open. It’s amazing to be around people like that! They just lift you up.
Today I’m in the mood to share a couple of things: first, a brand new photo. It’s from my trip to New Zealand earlier this year for Trey Racliff’s New Zealand Adventure in which I co-taught. We visited Milford Sound, of course… got rained out one night, but woke up to a properly mystical morning!
The Chat with Annette Biggers: Sneak Peak!
Then… this coming Monday is an all new episode of The Chat! They just keep getting better and better… and more and more fun. This one was no exception… but add “inspiring as all get-out” to the mix. heh. My guest is photographer Annette Biggers… who is also an artist, humanitarian and Deep Thinker About Life.
In this clip, she talks about her belief that “artists are the creators or life in culture”… and explains what she means by that. You might find yourself agreeing with her! It was certainly true in the Renaissance… and I think its as true now as it ever was then! As artists, I personally think we need to consider carefully what we’re putting out there.
There was such a great response to my recent episode of The Chat with Keoki Flagg! Thanks to all of you who watched and appreciated. Keoki has such depth to his talent and perspective that it’s always a treat to chat with him. In the course of his episode, he shared so many awesome ideas and tips that I just had to highlight a couple!
This is just one of them… and perfect byte-sized minute for anyone who hasn’t seen this episode yet, or just want a reminder and a “think about it” moment to take home with them:
I’ve been a fan of fine art and extreme sports photographer Keoki Flagg’s work for years. You’ll see the photo that did it for me right at the beginning of this video… I giggled when I first saw it, and still do when I see it today! It’s emotional, original and timeless. Those are the 3 qualities Keoki always says are what brings a photograph from “a picture” to “art”… a topic we talk a lot about in this episode.
We have a fantastic time chatting about photography, art, living life as an artist, some ways of approaching one’s photo work to set it apart from others’, what it’s been like to transition from the “old school” to “new digital age” of photography… what’s possible now that never was before and how he’s trying to push it to the limit.
Sitting in his fabulous Gallery Keoki, it was hard NOT to feel more artistic! It’s a beautiful space, created to hold a vision “bigger than a lifetime” (to coin my friend Daria Musk’s term!).
It was the perfect place to bring you this episode of THE CHAT with my friend Keoki Flagg.
Frederick Van Johnson is just a fabulous human. Super talented in SO many areas… photography, marketing, writing, hosting, being awesome… he’s like a true renaissance man. I like his modern day term for it: “Multimediographer”.
We’d known of each other for quite some time, but it took until the recent Sony media event in Nashville, TN to actually meet. Once we did… it was like meeting a long lost brother-from-a-different-mother moment and BAM! We were off to the races.
Fred’s DEFINITELY going to be on an upcoming CHAT episode! But this came first: my first visit on TWIP (This Week in Photo): Frederick’s hugely popular video podcast that is viewed by legions of adoring fans around the world. On this particular episode, we talked about my unconventional life and careers… and how photography is the through line and Home Base for it all. Plus, for both of us… how keeping an eye on what contribution we’re making through everything we do shapes the decisions we make every day.
I don’t generally like talking about myself a lot, but somehow this was easy. Hanging out with Fred is like chatting with an old friend who’s interested in all the same stuff you are. Which makes it just plain fun!
I literally only met him minutes before this Chat… but Dario Sattui may well be the most inspiring person I’ve met all year!
Dario is the great-grandson of Vittori Sattui, founder of V. Sattui Vineyards in the Napa Valley. He may have learned the vintner business from family… but his love of Medieval architecture is all his own!
Castello di Amorosa is the culmination of these two great loves…
One part 13th century Tuscan castle, one part world class winery.
ALL parts passion and holding to your vision!
Photography brought me to Castello di Amorosa… I was there with my friend Annette Biggers for one of her fantastic fairy tale photo shoots. We spent 2 days at the castle. The entire time, I was amazed by the love, the attention to detail, the extreme vision that went into this place. It made me so curious to know the person behind it all! I hadn’t even finished setting up for my Chats with Annette and Jennifer (MUCH more than a model!)… when in walked Dario. I scrambled to get set up enough to record him, because I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity!
Dario is an artist, a dreamer, a vintner, a visionary… but he believes in living those dreams and fulfilling them as big and boldly as you possibly can. The Castle is visual proof that this is possible… my Chat with Dario makes it perfectly clear why he was able to pull it of.
He’s is easily one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. The story of the 30+ years that it took to build the Castle is the thing legends are made of.
And yes, I’d only met him minutes before this interview… but I just knew he had Important Things to share with us from his amazing life journey.
And boy, was I right!!! 😀
Subscribe over there to the right and never miss another post!
My good friend Gordon Laing can tell you a thing or a several thousand about cameras! His hugely popular website CameraLabs.com serves up a few million pages of thoroughly researched, highly detailed camera reviews and videos each day. His YouTube channel has experienced over 27 million views alone, due in no small part to Gordon’s thoroughly engaging personality and passion for cameras and photography.
I love hanging out with Gordon – and this was no exception! He and his family recently returned to England after an 18 month “extended holiday” abroad. It started as a short vacation, but when the time came to go home the Laings said, “Why?” and just kept on going! Haven’t YOU ever wanted to do that? Gordon’s business and the family’s love of travel and seeing other cultures made it all possible, but what’s it really like trying to work over the internet, travel and raise a family simultaneously?
Check this dream off the list: “Do an episode of ‘The Chat’ with Makana“. Done. Check. Sigh.
Makana is an internationally acclaimed slack key guitarist, singer, and composer. Described as “dazzling” by the New York Times, he is considered to be the greatest living player of the art form. His song “Deep In An Ancient Hawaiian Forest” is featured on the Academy Award winning soundtrack for The Descendents with George Clooney. He’s toured with Sting, Carlos Santana, Elvis Costello and Jason Mraz. Appeared on CNN, the BBC, ABC and other major news outlets. He has played for the President. His newest album “Ripe” was produced by a multi-platium producer and boasts contributions by grammy award winning talent.
Music in a Redwood Forest
Despite all the heady accolades, for our Chat Makana just wanted to be somewhere natural and peaceful, where music could lead the conversation. So that’s exactly what we did. We schlepped our gear into an ancient redwood forest in Felton, California. We talk about what slack key guitar, what it’s all about, the tuning, his thoughts on the true nature of activism… and he plays segments of several of his well-known songs all throughout. Plus, I got to hear a funny brand new tune that I’d never heard before!
"Love your blog. I stop by for the photography, I linger for the philosophy."
Kelley Morgan, Portland OR
"A beautiful mind will produce beautiful results. And to say the least, yours is a beautiful mind! Thank you for your wisdom and your inner "speak," as they both produce true art from the heart …"
Joe Hudspeth, Prineville OR
"Thank you Karen. A wonderful story but only the tip of the iceberg, the bigger part below the water is all the thousands of photographers you have inspired to chart their own journey, I know as I am one of them."
"Karen, thank you for the wonderful two day post. Your insights are truly thought provoking. I have never been a teacher, nor will I ever be, but to see someone see the light is a wonderful moment. Thanks again."
"As usual, another terrific story. I’m glad I found you but I have to be honest. I didn’t find you on Google + but did on Scott Kelby’s “The Grid”. Thanks for the inspiration in both images and by the pen/keyboard."
"Gads-what a girl! Thanks for the story, it is beautiful."
"Awesome story Karen — I loved reading about your life transformed. Of course I loved the photography theme and the geek in me is forever curious about the power of tech and the power of social platforms. But … for me it is the arc of lives transformed that inspires. Thank you so much for sharing. See you on G+ and in the Arcanum!"