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Missing Memphis


Missing Memphis

It's a week passed the Bedford Camera & Video PhotoExpo held in Memphis and I still have the blues.  I find myself really missing everything about that convention, from the people, the location and the positive vibe in the air.  This must have been the best show so far and I'm happy to hear that it just wasn't my opinion.


We can get into all the details that made this an incredible experience for all, but if you didn't make it, then it would be hard to understand.  You just needed to be there.

These photography conventions don't happen with a click of a pen, a wave of the magic wand or just simple marching orders from command.  It takes the dedication, passion, and drive of many individuals that choose to push through obstacles, schedules, and every present - required - daily work.  Not to mention the doubt a simple idea will succeed.  Trust me, there are more people involved behind the scenes making things work than you can imagine.

This post is a simple way to say THANK YOU to everyone - seen or unseen - that helped create this event, worked the tradeshow, presented or even just corraled shooters on the Beale St. adventure.  I get to peek behind the curtain and have a very small idea of what the Bedford Camera crew does months in advance for these shows, but I still never get to see the whole picture.  I can imagine that from the outside - the regular attendee - all the moving parts are somewhat invisible to the general public.

Please do me a favor, the next show, convention or workshop you attend, be sure to thank everyone there.  Your kindness means the world.  Thank you for following me and I hope my presentation was helpful.  Be sure to check out the FotoFacts Podcast for the quick hits recorded during the PhotoExpo.

Here are some images from my lighting class and Beale Street - Enjoy!

A round of applause to the talent of Vail Models for traveling to Memphis for the event and assisting in classes.


Featured in Tether Tools "Creative Uses of Off-Camera Flash" Vol 1


Featured in Tether Tools "Creative Uses of Off-Camera Flash" Vol 1

It was a blast working with Tether Tools on this project.  I could spend this post talking about the project but I think it would best for you to download the guide and check out all the great photographers.

Of course, I will let you on the BTS video below, but the guide has a full-page spread with the details of the shoot.  Be sure to click the link above or the header image.



Spider Holster - Don't Break Your Neck


Spider Holster - Don't Break Your Neck


The good folks over at Spider Camera Holster is giving me a discount code to save you 15% on your first order!
Use the code "hugs" and enjoy some virtual love from us - thanks for following and see you soon!



Hello There My Photo Peeps!

Before we get started, I hope you haven't watched the video yet because I have to apologize.  I'm working to get better with the video editing and shooting BTS clips that actually tell a story.  So please forgive me for the content of this mashed up video.  I know there are some critiques out there that will dislike this episode, but since I apoligized first... I'm good, right?

My dear friend Bob Kaussner from Spider Camera Holster called me a few weeks back and after I long conversation, I accepted his offer to try out this camera carry system.  Mind you that I haven't always been in love with most systems, but all of those have good and bad points to each system.  But still, I will give this product a combat-ready testing in my daily shooting.

Here is the first video of opening the box of the SpiderPro and I'm positive more videos will follow.  If you have any questions about how it's holding up, feel free to comment below and I will answer as honestly as possible.  

My friend Bob Kaussner from SpiderHolster sent me this awesome camera carry system to try out. The video is just the initial open box and I plan to have a more detailed breakdown of features very soon.

I want to get a shout-out to my sponsors that make my life easier daily.  If you are thinking of purchasing the same gear, there are some discount codes in the sponsors' area of the site.  

Special thanks to Xavier & Patrice from Photos on the Vine for inviting us out and of course, our muse, Chaeann F.


My Favorite iPad/iPhone Apps


My Favorite iPad/iPhone Apps

Love my iPad

I've been an avid iPad user since Apple announced the device with much fanfare.  In my mind, this was an "upgrade" to the Newton PDA.  The electronic organizer or personal digital assistant have a long history in mobile businesses and hold a special place in my heart.  

I find the iPad, since the beginning, as been looked upon as a replacement for a laptop and I have viewed it in a similar light. However, I feel the iPad is a new device type that leads itself to a mobile business and lifestyle, more than a heavy-hitting desktop computing system.  It has replaced my laptop for 90% of my daily tasks, including presenting educational programs and tethering during a commercial shoot. 

Here is a list of my most useful - and used - iOS apps.  Bare in mind, many of these will not work properly for both devices, some are just meant for the iPhone.  I didn't want to go into a lengthy discussion on how or why I sue them, so do a little research before you purchase to be sure it's a good fit for your style. 

I'm sure many of these apps have Google / Android counterparts.  If not, there is a reason while iOS devices are so popular.  Just saying...

My Top 15 Must Have Apps

Informant 5 - Reworked Pocket Informant and the ultimate in electronic organizer

Spark - Love your email again!  Clean and simple interface to get the email done

Evernote - This will quickly become your personal Google with all your stored information

Scannable - Dump the paper, after you scan and save in Evernote

PhotoPills - Replaces ALL the previous apps for planning your photo shoot

Voxer - the BEST way to communicate with a group.  I’ve been using it for over 4 years

AstroPad - Turn your iPad into a drawing tablet with lightning fast response

Dark Sky - This is the BEST weather forecast app.  We use this app every day

Feedly - Central place for organizing, reading and sharing all the websites your RSS feeds

Trello - Project Management to get things planned and completed

Pages - Word processing that syncs across devices

Keynote - Presentations made easy that sync across devices

Numbers - Spreadsheets that can rock some formulas and sync across devices

CamRanger - THIS is the way to tether and has been essential for my commercial shoots.

Notability - Takes notes and record the audio at the time during a workshop


Other Important Apps

Hanx Writer - Great way to get a typewriter feel on the iPad for serious writers

iCloud Drive - View your online storage on Apple Devices.  Great for backups.

DropBox - The standard for file delivery and online access

Drive - Google Drive access on your iPad.  You get 15GB free storage with Google

Bitly - Convert those loooooonnnnnnnnggggggg URLs to easy to remember ones

MailChimp - Follow your mail campaigns while on the road

Penultimate - Another great note taker in your handwriting.  Recommend a good stylus

NoteShelf - Create books for all your notes.  Insert handwriting, pics, audio or text

GoodNotes - A little cleaner interface for handwriting notes and organizing them

Studio Pro - In person Sales on the iPad? Yes and we use it on clients LARGE TVs

Finao Designer - Design your album covers easily with clients

Easy Release - Model releases on your iPad with custom information and branding 

Point of Sale - Square’s iPad to turn your iPad into a cash register

MC Subscribe - MailChimp's signup form builder.  Collect emails at the event

Analytics - Official Google Analytics mobile app.  Monitor your website performanceSimplyStats 

Felt - Personal way to send high-quality hand written cards to family, friends, and clients

Buffer - Scheduling for social media

Alignable - Small business networking and referral place

Lightroom - You have no idea what can get done on the road and synced to your home LR catalog

AdobeFill & Sign - Fill in and sign any form.

Sylights - Lighting diagrams to share ideas with talent pool

Snapseed - Lightroom does a great job of basic editing, but there is a reason this one is still on my iPad

iBooks - the place to carry all your PDFs for reading on the go, including equipment manuals

PPA The Loop - Keep up with theLoop forums on PPA website

Airbnb - Explore and book fabulous places for relaxing or shooting.

Dark Sky Finder - Get away from the city bright lights to shoot the night sky

RadarScope - Weather app for the diehard storm watchers.

CrashPlan - Get access to your files backup online while away from the office

Chrome Remote - Securely access your computer from iOS device

AnyFont - Install TrueTypeFonts on your iPad for use in other apps

CTRL+Console - Use your iPad to control Adobe Lightroom, Premier, and Final Cut Pro

Quatro - Smart controller for Mac and Windows. One button shortcuts while using desktop

FStop - Simple way to find visual artists and talent

LightSpectrum - Use the internal camera to calculate color temperature in degree K

FocalMark - Get the best hashtags for Instagram

MyGearVault - Jared Polin created a place to store list of your gear plus MORE

Rocketbook - Write your notes, scan, and auto sent to different places

TextExpander - Get all your quick replies into a custom keyboard.

Keep it Local - Get a Keep It Local OK card and start saving money

Nikon L&E - Nikon’s Learn and Explore photography while on the go

IFTTT - Link different services to get new results with “If This, Then That”

InstaCleaner - Clean up your Instagram account.  You don’t know what you don’t know.. really

RBL Status - the only multi-DNSBL checker.  Find out if your site is getting blocked

Instagram - The best place to visible has a visual artist.

ProHDR - auto create full-resolution HDR images and simple tone editing

Red Dot Camera - My favorite camera app for controlling exposure

WHA - Work Hard Anywhere, help build the database or find a great place to work on the go

RainAware - Know when the rain is coming or stopping.

SkySafari 5 - newest version to explore the night sky

Geocaching - The largest treasure hunt is still alive and fun for everyone

RØDE Rec - This is the app for recording the best audio for a project

Paprika - Simple recipe management and lists.  Can’t live on photography alone

Acorns - Easiest way to invest your spare change and save for ImagingUSA

Dairy Free - You would be surprised all the foods that contain dairy. For the lactose sensitive people

Wrapping Up

I would love to hear about your favorite apps and how you get the most out of your mobile devices.  Please leave a comment below and feel free to share this list with your fellow friends and photographers.

Here are a few images of my iPad in use.  I probably have hundreds of them, but it would take a good long while to find.  I shoot roughly 800-900 a month on my iPhone.  In any case, you get the idea of how important this little device is to my life.


XPerience LIGHT coming to TULSA, OK


XPerience LIGHT coming to TULSA, OK

We are so excited to be working with Bedford Camera once again on another FREE workshop, this time in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The schedule and locations are still being finalized, but the presentation of the Five Characters of LIGHT will be 4pm - 6pm inside the store location.  We will then break for dinner and meet up for shooting with Interfit Photographic's amazing S1, XP PhotoGear light modifiers, and Vanguard USA tripods.

Class Description

Light can be found, Light can be created or Light can be blended. How you use LIGHT will define you as a photographer through your images. This workshop is geared towards anyone in photography, regardless of skill level, desiring to push the limits of creative, portable lighting. Isn't it time for you to invest to see LIGHT?

We will walk you through the FIVE characteristics of EVERY light that photographer must consider before hitting the shutter. Once you are aware of these, the understanding leads to controlling LIGHT of ANY scene to create stunning images, picking the right light modifier combination for each situation.

Experience a live product shoot & creative portrait session, learning tips for stunning storytelling through light selection using XP PhotoGear's incredible line of MicroBoxes and SpeedBoxes. What you carry in the camera bag will change how you command light. We will demo the versatility of small flash units to create quality images with impact your clients will fall in love with. Learn about the THREE modifiers to always have on hand to quickly change light from dull to spectacular.

Get your hands dirty practicing with clean light modifiers and SpeedBoxes that go from bag to stand in under 60 seconds. We will give you the tools, easily to understand, to select, setup and shoot dramatic images that will take your photography to the next level.

Don't miss this information packed, hands-on experience that will change the way you see, modify and capture LIGHT.

Special thanks to Jeff Moore from CaptureTV for post-processing this little teaser video.  Be sure to follow the CaptureTV creative crew and website for local, practical photography education.