Have you heard of Viewbug? It’s a website that has more photo contests going on than you can shake a stick at! I met Ori Guttin, one of the founders of Viewbug last year… super cool dude. In fact, when I visited San Diego in December, I did a Quick Chat with him, which I included right here.
I gotta say, altruistically I’ve never been a big believer in competition when it comes to art. And yet – it’s so incredibly popular! I can see why… prizes, prestige, getting known; all important in this day and age. Still, I’m squeamish about choosing winners and losers in art.
But I’ve come to learn there are different ways to go about contests. Viewbug and Ori’s team is ALL about it being a positive, building-up process involving community, feedback, support, monitoring how people comment on photos… and generally making it an experience to improve your photography and broaden your world.
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:
Imagine having the same career for 5 decades. Go ahead… imagine it! Take a moment to mull it over. I don’t mind waiting. [checks email, watches the latest Jimmy Fallon lip-synch contest on YouTube, has a snack.]
Now imagine loving it so much that it refreshes you, defines you, reinvents you on a regular basis… and that you still love traveling 9 months out of the year? And that in those travels, you’re doing your part to save the world, bringing awareness to conservation and to indigenous people… living your entire life as if it were your most passionate, leave-the-world-better-than-when-you-entered-it art. Amazing, right? Who DOES that??
I went to Photoshop World in Las Vegas last week. I go because I get to see friends that I don’t get to visit with much throughout the year… I meet NEW friends, I make connections, get ideas and am generally inspired and re-focused at the end of it all.
And IN the end, it truly is all about the people. These are photographers whose passion for what they do spills out onto the people around them. And that’s a unique thing. We don’t just recognize each other by face and name… we know each other’s heart and soul.
I honestly didn’t take a ton of photos this time. But the ones I DID come home with tell a story that I’ll love to remember 25 years from now. About the smiling, lovely peeps I’m lucky enough to call friends and colleagues. All of them were taken with an iPhone 5.
Reno to Vegas…
It started out with the journey from Reno to Vegas. It’s not a long trip, but it’s always colorful. Reno International Airport IS the official Burning Man airport… and B.M. had just gotten out. You can always tell the folks coming from Black Rock Desert… because everything they own is covered with the white chalk dust they pick up out there. It’s my personal entertainment to spot them from the roads, walkways and check-in line!
That’s the Reno end of the trip. At Las Vegas, we get to see the cute guy with a pair of shiny new cowboy boots tied to his backpack. I grew up with actual cowboys… I won’t even attempt to repeat what they’d say to this. And they never EVER roll up their boy jean cuffs. DOH! I giggled out loud.
The Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry is short ride… but a gorrrrgeous one, if taken around sunset! The view that Laurie Rubin and I had on the final leg of our journey back to Seattle from the Olympic Peninsula made me feel like we were living some fanciful segment in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”! Just so outside of my norm, anyway… like the most fabulous day off, ever.
Whoa! I’m so busted; I clearly don’t work far enough in advance to have blog posts at the auto-ready! If I had, a whole week would not have gone by without having something juicy for you. So I’ll make it up to you by working for you! 😀
Macphun, SmugMug & Me!
I’m co-presenting a cool (free) webinar today, May 19, 2014 at 4pm PT on using MacPhun software! What’s more, I’m doing it with Laurie Rubin from MacPhun – and Sean Rogan from SmugMug. Because Laurie and I will not only show what you can do with Intensify Pro to add clarity, detail and so much more to your images… but Sean will show you how you can then upload your finished awesomeness to SmugMug in the blink of an eye!
Register (it’s free) & Discount Code
You need to register in advance, so just go here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4966623023932756994.
Webinar participants will receive discount codes on both products: get 10% off of MacPhun’s suites with this code: KHUTT… and 20% off a brand new SmugMug account with a link that’ll be announced during the webinar. You definitely DON’T have to buy anything to come and learn some cool stuff though… everyone is welcome to sign up and tune in!
I recently started using MacPhun’s Intensify Pro and I gotta say, it’s very cool and is being a time saver for me. I generally use multiple plugins and Photoshop techniques on my photos… but on this one below (from our recent trip to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state) I only used Intensify to go from this:
I found a new vantage point! Lake Tahoe is a HUGE lake (72 miles around)… but only offers a few spots where you can get a great shot. The east side is one of them. I love going back under different lighting and weather conditions – because it’s just never the same from visit to visit.
Sometimes I think that in an effort to always have that NEW experience, a lot of photographers run all over the world trying to one-up each other with even MORE danger, even MORE extreme conditions, MORE exotic locations and… well, you know the drill. But I don’t always see them exploring one area deeply. And I think that’s a shame. Not to say traveling the world isn’t awesome… but a sense of deepening is often underrated, IMHO. I’m trying not to make that same mistake – especially given that I live a mere 30 minutes from one of the most wondrous jewels of the world!
In keeping with our “awesome photographer” roll of late, I was SUPER stoked to Chat with Laurie Rubin!
She’s a Googler, award-winning wildlife and nature photographer and I’m delighted that she’s also my friend.
When it comes to animals and photography – you have never seen someone drop into “the zone” faster than Laurie when she’s got a critter in her photographic crosshairs. It’s an amazing transformation to behold! She’s so understated about her fabulous work… but I think you’ll agree with me that it’s pretty much jaw-dropping.
Laurie’s made a career and life out of photography… both with camera in-hand and as part of the NIK Software team that joined Google. There, she is part of a team on the cutting edge of some of the most exciting developments in photography today. Even still, home and heart is out in nature with her beloved animals. It’s all part of the inspired world of Laurie Rubin… who today, shares her photography, advice for young’ns just starting out, and the great humor and passion that makes her photo-awesome!
Recently, I attended Photoshop World (PSW) in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was awesome to see old friends, meet new ones – make 2 on-location (LIVE!) episodes of The Chat and… get to visit the Valley of Fire for the very first time!
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!!
I love photography. I love music. I love them together, separately, it just doesn’t matter.
I love Love and know for sure that in the end, Love is All. So there you have it.
LIL Galleries is my passion project: photographs, music, voice and story (two more things I love), all rolled into one. I see it as a new form of arts gallery, really; presenting artists’ (photographer and musician alike) work in a way that tells a story. Soothes souls. Gives folks a break. Reminds us of our hearts. This particular show is a blend of old and new: it’s about a group of 20 photographers who all met and became friends on the modern day phenomenon that is Google+. Whose story of “Love” is set to a truly old fashioned tune by Bing Crosby, dated 1937. All about… yup. Love.
"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!"