I’m passionate about many things. Among them, having a voice. Owning it. Using it for good and not evil. And using it to collaborating for good!
It makes my heart sing when I have the opportunity to weave those things together.
I focus inward this time of year. Take a breath. Do some writing and thinking.
Y’know, take stock of what I loved/didn’t love about the past year… celebrate the wins… learn from the ‘fails’… and set the tone for my Epic New Year. (I always plan for “Epic”… cause if I don’t, who will?)
Seems Macphun Software had the same idea, since they asked me to be part of a terrific webinar full of tips for planning your photographic new year. I joined Frederick Van Johnson, highly successful Photographer, Marketer, Broadcaster, Podcaster – and creator/exec producer for TWiP and Laurie Rubin, Macphun’s Senior Education Manager. The aim: to give solid idea for starting, building, shaping your photography business… even if it’s a part-time venture.
We Yakked About…
Frederick gave an overview of his awesome 5 Tips of Highly Effective Photographers webinar (upcoming, as of this writing)… which were all so smart and spot-on. Laurie talked about some of the more unconventional ways to enter the photography business. People are always asking her about that! I shared some of the things you should think about BEFORE pressing “GO” and building that website. Saves ALOT of confusion, time and trouble later on.
It was fun! It’s always great to put heads together… and I’m happy to be able to share it all with you, right here:
Oh, and here are the websites I showed, in case you want to do some perusin’ of you own:
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. 🙂
Nicole S. Young is a superhero. She’s also a pro photographer, educator, author, wife, dog mom. If you don’t know her work, get thee hence to her website! You’ll learn a TON, see beautiful photos and witness a woman at work building her own creative empire. She blows my mind on a regular basis.
One of the many places Nicole contributes as an author is on the terrific PhotoFocus Blog. Recently, she posted her “Top 10 Favorite Photography Blogs“. A great read if you’re looking for more awesome photo-related content to consume like a fine wine.
Guess who was #1? Yes, my friends… our humble little mashup here on the KHutt blog topped the list. I just had to share. Because I respect Nicole so much… it’s a huge honor and I am humbly grateful. Because y’alls are taking this ride with me… I thank you from my heart. So, high fives all around… and happy Labor Day!
Now go on with your badass selves… and carry on with Being Awesome!!
(oh, and yes you can… click on the image below to see the post.) ;D
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!
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!
I mentioned some time back that I’m part of “The Arcanum: Magical Academy of Artistic Mastery“. Sounds fun, huh? It’s a new kind of school for the arts being created by awesome photographer and friend Trey Ratcliff. While it’s starting off with photography as the primary discipline, the vision is to branch out over time into other artistic channels. Here’s how he describes how it’ll work:
“A very old… ancient, in fact… way of learning and growing through a Master & Apprentice relationship, powered by a NEW kind of academy. Imagine a type of Hogwarts, online in Augmented Reality, where you always have a connection to your Master and your fellow Apprentices. Get your head around that, and you’ll see where this is going…”
I’m excited! I’m starting out as a Master under the discipline of Landscape Photography. We’re all choosing one to start with, then opening it up to other genres later if we want to. We’ve been asked to create 5 videos to go in the Grand Library, so that when doors finally open there’s some awesome content for apprentices to enjoy and learn from right away. One of the videos needed to be a “Hello, I’m _____” introduction.
How did this all happen? Well, my friend Kalebra Kelby invited me! When Kalebra did an episode of The Chat in Fall, 2013… we had such fun, we didn’t want it to end. So Kalebra piped up: “Come to Florida!” To which I cried: “An ADVENTURE! I’m in!” To which she responded “You can be on The Grid when you’re there!” And I exclaimed “Really? Cool! That’ll be fun!”
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!
Recently, I was asked to give a “Photographers Talk” at Google HQ in Mountain View, California. It was part of their ongoing “Talks At Google” series, which includes notable musicians, authors, candidates, scientists, celebrities, green technology… and of course, photographers! I was honored and delighted at the opportunity! I called it: “Signature: Finding Your Soul’s Genius & Voice in Your Photography”. I love this topic, because I truly believe living our life as an art can set us free.
My friend Laurie Rubin is a member of the esteemed Google+ Photos Team. She’s also a fabulous wildlife photographer; check out her work here. As a Googler, she’s created a interview series, highlighting women photographers… and she invited me to be her first featured guest! It’s also an interview where I publicly mention for the first time the project I’ve been working on for months… which is kind of a rush and a little scary! But it was a fun visit with Laurie, talking about That Thing I love so much: Photography.
Photography is a great leveler. And still…
One of the things I love about photography is that it’s a great leveling ground. Men, women, people of different cultures and upbringing – can all participate. Yes, gear factors in to a degree… but PERSPECTIVE is king/queen over here. And according to your gender, culture, upbringing, age, preferences, world view… your work will be shaped. Laurie chose to focus on the women’s perspective and I think it will be fascinating!
I’ve observed differences in how the women photographers I know think from men… but then, I note how differently photographer friends on the other side of world approach their images too, simply based upon who and where they are in the world. How DO women think and approach this art form? I really only know this from my own eyes… and I’m really interesting and excited to see what Laurie discovers as she talks to other women from all forms of photography. DO we share a similar experience? What DOES guide their perspectives? What do they think about when they shoot? What do they gravitate toward? All will be revealed in time… and I can’t wait to share the journey!!
First of all, if you haven’t heard of Jessica Ambats – or you need a high-flying refresher course, go see her here. When you’re done gawking and scraping your jaw off the floor, come back over here. Because your NEXT question is going to be: “How does she DO that??”. If you’re like me, you probably can’t quite wrap your head around how a shoot like that even happens! Well my friends, I had the divine opportunity to go on a shoot with Ms. Ambats and got to make a behind-the-scenes video about the experience so that you, my friends, could experience it right along with me:
I wrote, produced and narrated it – and it was a blast!
Jessica and I have been trying to get out schedules to coincide for about a year. I just missed out on a Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco flight by that much at one point and was sad for a week. But this time it finally happened! I got to bring my camera along – and when she said “You’re welcome to shoot behind the scenes video too” and I grabbed my Sony NEX-7 and went for it!
Mind you, I’m not a videographer or anything. But I do love a good story – and my little Sony does great video, so I figured I’d have some fun footage for just us chickens to enjoy. By the time we were done though – I had a veritable feature film!! It all sort of evolved in real time, I didn’t plan any of it ahead of time or anything. Jessica supplied me with video footage from the Contour cameras she installs in the planes – which has the voice recordings of her calling the shots during the flight. For the rest, I just used the on board mic of the NEX-7 and hand held everything. I DEFinitely need to get better at being steady. But heck, all in all I was pretty happy with it it!
Now, the pilots. Dude, the PILOTS!!! We’re talking full-on pro, amazing aeronautic professionals. Of course, Jessica Ambats is a pilot herself, recently certified for multi-engine aircraft. That, plus her stunning aerial photography makes her like this awesome double feature! For this day though, she was the photographer and left the flying in the capable hands of the day’s team.
Some of you may know Sean D. Tucker, of worldwide airshow fame. If you haven’t heard of him, check out one of the many YouTube videos featuring his unbelievable flying! Sean’s a superstar – and generously let me wander about his Salinas, California hangar for photos and video.
Mary and Dick Compton owned the Citation jet that was part of the photo shoot; Mary is, herself a jet pilot and just as badass as the rest!
I have seldom felt in better hands with a flight team; and definitely felt privileged to be given the warm welcome and access that I was!
As the day progressed, I could start seeing the movie of the day in my mind. The only thing that made it different from any other mental movie that I typically enjoy when I’m shooting is that I really WAS going to be able to make this movie! When I combined my photos and NEX-7 footage with Jessica’s on-board video from the Contour cameras and her stunning photos (which you’ll see towards the end)… well, we had us a veritable feature story. Which I’m delighted to be able to share with y’all!!
THANK YOU TEAM AMBATS!! IT WAS A DAY I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER!!
What the most exciting, unexpected experience YOU’VE ever had?
I helped create and recorded the voice of the Guide for Trey Ratcliff’s Stuck on Earth. It’s one of the projects I’m most proud of!
Here, I talk a bit about the app and what it was like to create this character.
Check out Trey’s post about it on Google+: http://goo.gl/BKpVG.
"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!"