Wednesday, February 15, 2012

By Albert Schweitzer

"In hopes of reaching the moon, men fail to see the flowers at their feet"

New blog location coming soon...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy 2012!

Happy New Year!
Stand by for a new, improved blog
in a different location.
Wishing everyone a wonderful year
full of peace, health and lots of excitement!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I am proud to say that I have 11 pieces hanging as part of the "Romancing the Cowboy" exhibit at Denver International Airport until March 14, 2012. It is located in Concourse A. If you are passing through, have a look! Thank you to Erin Mulrooney for all of her dedication and hard work.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Autumn in the Rockies

I've been going to my "special secret spots" for nearly 20 years, but this autumn it seems everyone caught on more than ever! I've never seen so many tripods everywhere I went in Southwestern Colorado last week. That's why it's still important to get off road and hike, hike, hike as much as possible for unique perspectives on popular areas and to just get away from the crowds.

I've been fortunate to live in beautiful places, but more and more, I see all my pictures, so to speak, in magazines every month. I don't want to compete in landscape photography anymore, I just want to do it for the love of doing it and for the love of being in the great outdoors. I'm not one to race around from spot to spot, shot to shot. I prefer to became familiar with an area and get to know it and really experience it and become connected. Just like I did with the Grand Canyon.

Ecstatic about getting out again while coming back from my injuries, this is the first time I've hiked with trekking poles to help me keep my balance. I also bought a Cotton Carrier. I wish I had found this product years ago! It's basically a vest that sits on my chest where I can carry my camera and still have instant release. It keeps the camera from pulling and swinging on my neck, making it enormously more comfortable to hike and shoot...and much more safe!

These photos are of the Grenadier mountains, which are part of the San Juan range about 7 miles south of Silverton, Colorado. One of my very favorite spots in the state.

Enjoy this wondrous time of year! Get out there, wherever you are and soak up the color, the sun, and thank God for this beautiful planet.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Challenging Summer

Due to some serious injuries after a bicycle accident, I have been out of commission since July 10. I would like to thank all of you wonderful friends who have been so supportive, encouraging and loving. You have no idea what it has meant to me.

It's been difficult to sit at my computer and I have met my commitments by the skin of my teeth! Whew! Sadly, I've missed all the summer rodeos but one. But I am looking ahead to the next outdoor season starting with Apache Junction, AZ in February. It's one of my very favorites.

In the meantime I'll be working on more pieces and growing my business. Somerset Fine Art will finally be releasing several pieces in September and I will be on exhibit at the Denver International Airport this fall. Additionally, I'll be published in an art book boasting the best in America. I have many plans, including revamping this blog or possibly starting a new one that matches my style, so stay tuned.

I hope that all of you have had a safe and exciting summer! Are you as ready for the cool weather as I am? Bring on the beauty of Autumn!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Great Article

My thoughts exactly. I wish I would've written this myself. Well done, Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai!

Feature Story

My Advice For Aspiring Photographers

By Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai

I get asked all the time, during workshops, in e-mails, in private messages, what words of wisdom I would give to a new and aspiring photographer. Here's my answer.

- Style is a voice, not a prop or an action. If you can buy it, borrow it, download it, or steal it, it is not a style. Don't look outward for your style; look inward.

- Know your stuff. Luck is a nice thing, but a terrifying thing to rely on. It's like money; you only have it when you don't need it.

- Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. Nobody can tell you what you should love. Do what you do brazenly and unapologetically. You cannot build your sense of aesthetics on a concensus.

- Say no. Say it often. It may be difficult, but you owe it to yourself and your clients. Turn down jobs that don't fit you, say no to overbooking yourself. You are no good to anyone when you're stressed and anxious.

- Learn to say "I'm a photographer" out loud with a straight face. If you can't say it and believe it, you can't expect anyone else to, either.

- You cannot specialize in everything.

- You don't have to go into business just because people tell you you should! And you don't have to be full time and making an executive income to be successful. If you decide you want to be in business, set your limits before you begin.

- Know your style before you hang out your shingle. If you don't, your clients will dictate your style to you. That makes you nothing more than a picture taker. Changing your style later will force you to start all over again, and that's tough.

- Accept critique, but don't apply it blindly. Just because someone said it does not make it so. Critiques are opinions, nothing more. Consider the advice, consider the perspective of the advice giver, consider your style and what you want to convey in your work. Implement only what makes sense to implement. That doesn't make you ungrateful, it makes you independent.

- Leave room for yourself to grow and evolve. It may seem like a good idea to call your business "Precious Chubby Tootsies"....but what happens when you decide you love to photograph seniors? Or boudoir?

- Remember that if your work looks like everyone else's, there's no reason for a client to book you instead of someone else. Unless you're cheaper. And nobody wants to be known as "the cheaper photographer".

- Gimmicks and merchandise will come and go, but honest photography is never outdated.

- It's easier to focus on buying that next piece of equipment than it is to accept that you should be able to create great work with what you've got. Buying stuff is a convenient and expensive distraction. You need a decent camera, a decent lens, and a light meter. Until you can use those tools consistently and masterfully, don't spend another dime. Spend money on equipment ONLY when you've outgrown your current equipment and you're being limited by it. There are no magic bullets.

- Learn that people photography is about people, not about photography. Great portraits are a side effect of a strong human connection.

- Never forget why you started taking pictures in the first place. Excellent technique is a great tool, but a terrible end product. The best thing your technique can do is not call attention to itself. Never let your technique upstage your subject.

- Never compare your journey with someone else's. It's a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never "arrive". No one ever does.

- Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons, and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacency.