Fighting the wrong fight with copyright

We have been fighting the wrong fight for copyright registration. That is my opinion.

For most of my career we have told everyone that when you click your shutter you own your copyright. If you are on the payroll of a company they own that photo unless there is some written agreement giving you the copyright.

We know that is where the work-for-hire agreement came from when dealing with usage rights and copyright.

While the ownership of the copyright hasn’t been up for debate other than the who owns it based on who is paying for the creation the issue has been about the courts.

I was informed that you needed to register your copyright with copyright office to be able to collect legal fees. Those are all the fees that you can be awarded if you win a case. The judge reviews all the legal fees and does a separate ruling on how much the other side must pay for you taking this to court.

I learned early on that the going rate for copyright infringement cases was about $100,000 and took at least a year or more in the courts.

For the past 30 years ASMP and NPPA that I am a member, have spent lots of money lobbying congress to protect that process of registration.

I believe there is a better solution today. Do away with copyright registration. Get congress to change the law that if you can show copyright infringement then you can collect legal fees.

As far as the proving your images are yours there is Blockchain technology already on the market.

The idea of a blockchain — protecting data through a large network of computers — and applies the concept to managing photo rights. It is an “encrypted digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers.” Photographers can add new images as well as archive images to the system. Because of the blockchain structure, the data is stored on a large network of computers that helps create a public ledger, adds a layer of protection, and prevents data loss.

There are centralized and decentralized solutions right now available for Blockchain.

The point I make is that the current registration of your images with copyright office is out of date. With blockchain these servers can also police the web and find anyone using your images without rights.

Because Blockchain works so well with the digital photograph it will let you sell and track any usage of your images and keeps them from being used illegally since it codes images and makes them no longer easily copied and shared.

Blockchain can help us not just prove we shot an image it serves as an agency and collector.

We need to change the copyright laws and not continue to use a system that is outdated and not serving the artist community well at all.


Millimeter Can Make The Difference

I have talked about shooting enough photos of a subject to allow our imagination and creativity kick-in.  Now that we are all doing just that (making plenty of pictures every time we approach a subject) we can see for ourselves how even just a millimeter’s change in angle can make the difference between a good and a great photograph.  Or, for that matter, it doesn’t take much to make the difference between a good shot and a crummy one.

If we print all the digital images from a shoot as large thumbnails we’ll have a several pages of images we can study side-by-side.  This should give us some insight about our work that looking at our photos one at a time will never give us.

Editing software, such as PhotoShop, gives us the opportunity to rate photos from zero to five stars.  Here are some guides to use as we look to see if we have any FIVE STAR photos in that shoot.

Exposure.  Not just the technically correct one, but the proper exposure for the effect we wish to convey.  We can under expose a little to emphasize graphics or over exposed (this is done a lot in fashion photography to diminish skin tones or to emphasize eyes and lips).

Model Hannah Broeils [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/125]
Focus.  I love selective focus where the depth of field is very shallow.  This lets me direct the viewer’s attention to where I want it to go.  It makes the subject pop out.  We see this used in fashion and sports photography a lot.  Just the opposite (a deep depth of field) may be just what is needed in landscape photos and certainly it is necessity in macro photography.

Togo, West Africa [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm ƒ/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/125]
Anytime we can make someone feel as if they can see into our photography we have truly accomplished something.  After all, it is only a two dimensional object.

The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is a nonprofit botanical garden and nature preserve located on the 4 mile scenic route off of Route 19 at 27-717 Old Māmalahoa Highway, Pāpa’ikou, Hawaii, Hawaii. [X-E3, XF10-24mmF4 R OIS, ISO 6400, ƒ/18, 1/100]
Composition.  Medical students are told, “First, do no harm.” Photographers should take the same advice and leave out all unnecessary elements.  All composition is the selection of what should be in and what should be out of the frame when we release the shutter.  Speaking of framing… to add depth to a picture frame it as you take it.   Shoot under the branch of a tree or through a door or window.  A frame is only one of many visual elements that can draw a viewer into our photo.  Elements like leading lines will give it a three-dimensional feel.

Anytime we can make someone feel as if they can see into our photography we have truly accomplished something.  After all, it is only a two dimensional object.

Matriculation Day 2017 The Citadel [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/320]
See how the feet are cut off.

Matriculation Day 2017
The Citadel [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/320]
Just barely moving the camera we can include the feet and anchor the photo.

[Nikon D3, 24-120mm, ISO 200, ƒ/14, 1/250 – Alienbees B1600 for fill flash]
Lighting.  Light can draw one into the photo, too.  Light is probably, next to expression and body language, the most dramatic, mood-setting tool we have as photographers.  The color temperature can be powerful.  The warm late evening light, the cool early morning colors or the green cast of florescent office light each carries a mood of its own.

Togo, West Africa [Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/200]
Expression.  Realtors like to say what matters is location, location, location.  Portrait photographers KNOW that the composition may be beautiful, the lighting creative, the clothing and background perfect, but if the EXPRESSION isn’t what it needs to be…. No sale!  Is a smile what is needed? (By the way, NEVER tell ANYONE to smile.)  Most adults can’t turn it on an off and kids will come up with some rather unusual expression, but generally NOT a real smile.  If, as a photographer we need the to smile – naturally – then it is up to us to elicit one from them.  We owe them that.  After all, we ARE the photographers.  Usually pictures of people should show their faces.  Sounds obvious, but if our subjects are watching something happening, say a ball game or a birthday party, we must be sure we are not so distracted by the event that we forget what is important… our main subject, the faces of our subjects.

Body Language. We can photograph someone several feet away (and not even show their face) and still communicate a great deal about them if we watch their body language.  Watch their arms.  It’s amazing what we say just by the position of our arms.  Do our subject’s arms communicate what we want?  Are they open or closed?  Is the person in our photo leaning forward or backward?  Does their position engage or pull back?  Do they appear to be sensitive or cold? Are they reaching out to another or pushing them away?

This little boy shepherd is part of the Fulani tribe which is known for being herdsmen and is working in the village of Soubakamedougou, Burkina Faso on October 15, 2005. The Marlboro company gives hats to the young boy cowboys to promote their product in Burkina Faso. [NIKON D2X, 18.0-125.0 mm f/3.3-5.6, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/90]
The Eyes.  An eye doctor may tell us that the eyes really don’t change.  Perhaps that is true in a technical sense.  Be that as it may, watch the eyes.  They tell it all!  However it happens the eyes are the essence of a portrait.

Togo, West Africa [Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/200]
The Head.  A millimeter’s turn of the head, a slight tilt is all it takes to make the difference between a zero and a five star photography.

This is in no way a comprehensive list, it is only a sampling of many things we need consider when “grading” our photos.

By moving the camera merely a millimeter you can include their feet rather than chopping them off, leave out or include another person and change the mood.

Just a millimeter or so can keep the tree from growing out of your spouse’s head.  Moving an inch to the left may let the camera see a person’s face a little better or distinguish the main subject from their surroundings.

When we shoot enough photos we get to see the difference just a millimeter’s change can make.  It is then we will begin to see the why one photo is bad and another is good.

In the Olympics it can be the difference in millimeters that determines who wins and looses a race.  In photography it can be what determines the great photo from the others.

Tips from Robin Rayne

SARAH ALLEN is both single mother and full-time — though untrained –nurse to her son Aidan, born with cerebral palsy and complex medical issues. State Medicaid regulations severely limit the number of hours her medically fragile son can have in-home nursing care, regardless of his doctor’s orders for medical necessity. Aidan needs 24-7 care and constant tube feeding. Sarah may soon be homeless because the house where she lives will be sold, and she has limited resources to find another home suitable for a severely disabled child. Her story illustrates several serious shortfalls within the Medicaid and Social Security Disability systems. PICTURED: Sarah cleans her son from a diaper changing. (photo by Robin Rayne/Zuma Press) [NIKON D4, 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 1000, f/5.6, 1/80]
Robin Rayne says, “Make your emotion work for you and not against you, remember, God gave you tears.”

Robin spends most of her time photographing today in the disabilities community. She is a photojournalist and documentary producer for the University of Georgia’s Institute on Human Development and Disability. Her compelling images illustrating human rights, disability and gender diversity issues are distributed internationally by Zuma Press.

Chelle Leary and her friends going to their senior prom March 10, 2017. (photo by Robin Rayne) [NIKON D4, 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 320, f/7.1, 1/25]
When I was traveling and could not photograph my daughter’s senior prom Robin helped out for our family getting the photos of the important event in our family.

Kelemen Szab—, Dorie Griggs and Chelle Leary getting formal photos before Chelle’s Senior Prom. (photo by Robin Rayne) [NIKON D4, 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/40]
I can always count on Robin to capture those moments. The minute I knew I was away for that all too important Prom I called Robin.

Parents watch as the limo pulls away taking our kids away for senior prom. (photo by Robin Rayne) [NIKON D4, 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 320, f/7.1, 1/60]
Robin sees moments and captures the emotions we feel. When asked how she does it with such emotional moments she says, “I am thankful for auto focus when covering some stories, because of all the tears.”

Great photojournalists embrace their emotions.

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.” – Don McCullin

Robin Rayne keynote speaker for the FOCUS Atlanta event held at Professional Photographic Resources on March 10, 2018. [X-E3, XF18-55mm ƒ2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 12800, ƒ/5, 1/30]
After Robin spoke this past weekend at the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar she commented that after talking with people about their portfolios she was always asking why for the photos.

Why does this story need to be told? Why should the public care?

What is surprising to myself and Robin is how when you ask this question so many have a deer in the headlights look on their face.

Though it may be interesting or even entertaining, the foremost value of news is as a utility to empower the informed. The purpose of journalism is thus to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments.


Ben and Sam Schwenker, now 8 years old, were both diagnosed with autism when they were 18 months old. “Raising them is a daily challenge. We were so not prepared, but we learn more every day, ” says Jennifer, the boys’ mother.
     Autism spectrum disorders cut across all lines of race, class, and ethnicity. Autism impacts millions of children, adults, and their families around the world. Boys have a significantly higher incidence of autism than girls: four out of every five people with autism are male. Because of the genetic link, siblings of a child with autism have a greater chance of being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorders affect not only the person diagnosed with the disorder, but also make a significant impact on the entire family with a variety of social, financial, and other practical demands.
     PICTURED: Now 8 years old, Sam (in yellow) and Ben still spend much of their day after school and weekends on their trampoline. They are still non-verbal but understand some of what they hear. (photo by Robin Rayne/Zuma Press) [NIKON D700, 24.0-70.0 mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 250, ƒ/8, 1/80]
Robin is a photojournalist and not just a photographer. Robin is not interested in just entertaining the public, she is interested in informing the public. She is most concerned in telling the stories of people who cannot tell their own stories.

Robin is the voice for the voiceless who is also calling others to take up the call of photojournalism. She knows she alone cannot tell all the stories needing to be told.

When I asked Robin to speak to my Intro to Photojournalism class at Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication she challenged the class.

If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.

Robin explained how her why probably came about having a son with disabilities.

You have to find your niche. The combination of your WHY and HOWs is as exclusively yours as your fingerprint.

Tips from covering event to celebrate Mohammad Ali

Maryum Ali is interviewed by Valerie Jackson during the Islamic Speakers Bureau celebrating the Legacy of Mohammad Ali at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. [NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 25600, ƒ/5.6, 1/250]
Covering events requires you to think as a photographer. This event was to honor Mohammad Ali and to do so they had his daughter Maryum Ali as the keynote address.

On the stage off to the sides were banners with Mohammad Ali’s photo on them. I worked to the side to get that behind Maryum so it was helping to tell the story using primarily the visuals.

Nouha Zaabab is a student at Georgia Tech studying International Affairs with a minor in pre-law. Coming from a liberal arts background at Georgia Tech, Nouha believes in the importance of interdisciplinary understanding in order to tackle global challenges. Upon the completion of her degree at Georgia Tech, Nouha plans to pursue a legal education. She is speaking at the Islamic Speakers Bureau celebrates the Legacy of Mohammad Ali at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. [NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 16000, ƒ/5.6, 1/250]
Now another issue in covering a dinner is the lighting.

Bill Bolling and Dorie Griggs at the Islamic Speakers Bureau celebrates the Legacy of Mohammad Ali at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Bill Bolling served as executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank since founding the organization in 1979 until June 2015. [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm ƒ/4.0, ISO 16000, ƒ/7.1, 1/13]
To be sure the people’s faces look good I had to use a flash, but the problem is then the background would go black.

I used a higher ISO 16000 to keep the background visible.

Islamic Speakers Bureau celebrates the Legacy of Mohammad Ali at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm ƒ/4.0, ISO 16000, ƒ/7.1, 1/10]
I arrived really early and had the guys running the sound and lighting board turn the lights on as they would be during the event. I then walked onto the stage and did a custom white balance using the ExpoDisc.

Using the ExpoDisc I put this over the front of the lens and did a incident light reading and custom white balance.

Notice the direction of the light hitting the subject.  You move to the same position to get the light reading below.
Point the camera toward the direction of the light that is falling on the subject.

When you have the perfect color space from doing a custom white balance the dynamic range is increased to the fullest potential with that light source.

Tips for covering events

  • Arrive Early and Leave Late
  • Adjust your ISO to work with your flash to show context
  • Look for angles to help capture visually what you need  words to say about the event
  • Get custom white balance
  • Shoot RAW – Because no information is compressed with RAW you’re able to produce higher quality images, as well as correct problem images that would be unrecoverable if shot in the JPEG format.

Improve your outside photos with flash

Carmen & Reaves Newsome 25th Anniversary Party [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/125]
When should you use a flash, inside or outside? Would it surprise you I use the flash more often outside than most people.

Carmen & Reaves Newsome 25th Anniversary Party [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 640, ƒ/5.6, 1/100]
Compare this photo without a flash used of the couple exchanging vows to celebrate their 25 years of marriage. No flash in this photo.

Carmen & Reaves Newsome 25th Anniversary Party [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/80]
Now by having a flash off camera I was able to put some light on the husband’s face.

You see outside you get some sunlight that will create harsh shadows. Off camera flash lets you put the light where it needs to be.

Carmen & Reaves Newsome 25th Anniversary Party [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 640, ƒ/5.6, 1/80]
Often outside, like at this party the background is so bright and the people are in the shade. Without a flash you would have blown out background and very flat light on their faces.

Carmen & Reaves Newsome 25th Anniversary Party [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm ƒ/4.0, ISO 2000, ƒ/9, 1/25]
In this group photo I have the flashes off at 45º from my camera which let me improve the light on the faces.

Carmen & Reaves Newsome 25th Anniversary Party [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm ƒ/4.0, ISO 1000, ƒ/4, 1/100]
I find that an off camera flash at 45º to 90º really creates three dimension to an object.

Carmen & Reaves Newsome 25th Anniversary Party [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0 mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 25600, ƒ/3.5, 1/100]
I also take photos without the flash outside. I find it is good to know when to use a flash and when to not use one. Sometimes the photo can look great both ways, with and without a flash.

I recommend you try using off camera flash outside. See what it can do for your photos.

Here is the Godox flash system I use and tips on using it.

Looking for fall color at Gibbs Gardens

Gibbs Gardens [X-E3, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 250, ƒ/9, 1/100]
This time of year we are suppose to have the temperature drop and autumn set in, but today the low in my area was 51º and high of 76º Fahrenheit.

I drove up to Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia to see if Mother Nature is painting the treetops in vibrant hues of red, orange and gold.

Colors reflecting in the water at Gibbs Gardens [NIKON D5, VR Zoom 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED, ISO 640, ƒ/5.6, 1/100]
While the foliage isn’t wide spread I was able to isolate some colors.

Colors reflecting in the water at Gibbs Gardens [NIKON D5, VR Zoom 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED, ISO 3600, ƒ/10, 1/100]
Here are some of the colors I captured today. Enjoy!

Gibbs Gardens [NIKON D5, AF 35mm f/1.4G, ISO 200, ƒ/1.4, 1/800]
Gibbs Gardens [NIKON D5, AF 35mm f/1.4G, ISO 200, ƒ/1.4, 1/320]
Gibbs Gardens [NIKON D5, VR Zoom 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/320]
Gibbs Gardens [NIKON D5, VR Zoom 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/160]
Gibbs Gardens [X-E3, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 250, ƒ/8, 1/100]
Gibbs Gardens [NIKON D5, VR Zoom 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED, ISO 280, ƒ/11, 1/100]
Gibbs Gardens [NIKON D5, VR Zoom 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED, ISO 1800, ƒ/11, 1/100]
Gibbs Gardens [NIKON D5, VR Zoom 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED, ISO 220, ƒ/5.6, 1/100]


it is Matriculation Day 2017 at The Citadel. Here each student goes from one line to another throughout the day. These are the student officers who will train the Knobs. They are part of the cadre. [Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/1600]


Well there are many “WHY?” questions when it comes to communication. One that I am discovering is not asked enough is, “Why should the audience care?”

Most organizations want to communicate with an audience in order to get that audience to help them. But the most obvious questions they are missing is the WIIFM question. What’s In It For Me?

WIIFM is the stuff that shows how or why what you have to sell or say matters to those who you are trying to sell or say it too. It’s the value proposition, the thing that makes them realize that what you’re offering is worth their money or their time.

Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia on Saturday, October 6, 2018. [X-E2, XF55-200mm ƒ/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 400, ƒ/4.8, 1/1700]
I think most people think they have something important and that everyone will want to know.

The latest group of missionaries I worked with thought that churches should see their role as supporting them.

Picturing Justice at the Atlanta Legal Society – Featuring the work of: Dustin Chambers, Melissa Golden, Andrew Lichtenstein, Robin Rayne & Beate Sass [X-E3, XF18-55mm ƒ/2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 640, ƒ/3.6, 1/60]
Now in consulting missionaries trying to connect with their supporters back home I had to remind them about WIIFM.

So, never forget that relationship building comes BEFORE favor asking. And there has to be a much bigger and better WIIFM when you approach people cold, without a solid relationship.

Teenager in San Benito, Nicaragua [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/160]
That said, sometimes people will offer favors if they are charmed by you, or like you, or are just in a good mood. But given how overwhelmed most people are these days, they usually appreciate and respond well to clear propositions with a straightforward action attached—and a benefit. Otherwise, you just become part of the noise.

For the journalist WIIFM is the stuff that shows how or why what you have to say matters to those who you are trying to say it to.

Storytellers Abroad Multimedia Workshop – Kosovo Leadership Academy (KLA) [X-E2, XF18-55mm ƒ/2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 400, ƒ/4, 1/105]

Wrapped up trip to Lima, Peru

Jeff Raymond talks with missionaries during our time planning the logistics of the workshop in January to Lima, Peru. [X-E3, XF18-55mm ƒ/2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 640, ƒ/3.6, 1/100]
This week spending time in Lima, Peru has proven to be quite helpful. We were able to answer all the people’s questions that are hosting us later when we come back with 12 students and all the instructors.

Jeff talks with the leadership team in Lima, Peru. [X-E2, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 5000, ƒ/8, 1/100]
We covered what we are doing each day and how the team is helping us interview the people that they recommended for stories.

[X-E2, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 2000, ƒ/4, 1/100]
We went to the presidential palace to see about this being a place we will bring the group for an outing.

Changing of the Guards at the Presidential Palace in Lima, Peru. Exterior … You shouldn’t miss the changing of the guards which takes place each day at 11:30 am. [X-E2, XF55-200mm ƒ/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 400, ƒ/4.7, 1/1300]
At this moment we still have like one spot left.

Go to Storytellers Abroad to see how to register and come with us to Peru.

Jon Stone is a professor at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Lima, Peru and also one of those hosting the Storytellers Abroad team in January.

Basilica and Convent of San Francisco, Lima. [X-E2, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 400, ƒ/7.1, 1/1400]
This is a must visit for those who have an interest in the early culture and how Christianity made its way to Peru. The Cathedral is beautifully designed, both exterior and interior with natural skylights, and has a nice garden within its compound, and one of the largest library in Peru – a 2 tier balconied library, with spiral staircases, that looks very much from the movies of Harry Potter.

Underground Catacombs [X-E2, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 6400, ƒ/5, 1/34]
The highlight of the visit is to the underground catacombs – up to 3 different basement tiers and you would need a guide to bring your through. The catacombs served as a burial place to all in that era, i.e. the rich, the poor and the priests and the bones and esp skulls are arranged in neat rows of up to some 70,000 dead.

The Larcomar is a shopping center in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru. [X-E3, XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 200, ƒ/3.6, 1/2900]
Larcomar is located on Avenida Jose Larco, and it is along the cliff next to the ocean (mar means ‘sea’ in Spanish) thus the name Larcomar.

Souvenir Shopping. [X-E2, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 400, ƒ/4, 1/140]
Just one block from the big roundabout in Miraflores you find Av. Petit Thouars. On block 52 to 55 are many artisan markets selling nearly everything what Peruvian craftsmanship has to offer. You get the typical souvenirs, nice artisan craftworks, beautiful silver jewelry and other silverware, clothes made of Peru’s famous alpaca, funny T-Shirts, pottery, paintings, wooden pieces, and much more from all over Peru.

[X-E2, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 400, ƒ/4, 1/150]
Traditional Peruvian clothing and products ranging from shoes to tote bags are made out of bright, bold textiles.

Vision Trip to Lima, Peru [X-E2, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 5000, ƒ/4, 1/100]
The traditional Peruvian art form known also as ‘mates burilados’, dates back 3,500 years.  The gourds tell a story of the customs, culture, people, history, and animals.  Hang them from a Christmas tree or use them as a decorative piece around your home.

[X-E3, XF18-55mm ƒ/2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 800, ƒ/4, 1/100]

Research Trip to Lima, Peru

Where we are in Lima, Peru you can see how this is the desert. Also you see how this is a major city with over 10 million people living. [X-E3, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 400, ƒ/5, 1/2500]

Editor note: we still have 2 slots available for this trip in January. Go to Storytellers Abroad to see how to register and come with us to Peru.

Lima, Peru is a desert. The weather patterns for South American generally move East to West. Most of the moisture gets help up in the Andes Mountains. The Andes are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America.

There is a haze over the city due to so much dust from the desert.

Building where they can in Lima, Peru [X-E3, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 800, ƒ/5.6, 1/2500]
People find places all over the area to build. Some areas have some building which is similar to squatters in the United States. They build housing without plumbing and electricity.

One of the schools we will help tell stories about when we come back in January. [X-E3, XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 1250, ƒ/4, 1/2000]
During this trip we are talking to the locals and our hosts for our Storytellers Abroad trip this January.  We are visiting some of the possible locations that our students will be doing stories. We are doing this to see any potential issues that we may need to plan around.

Some of the taxis on the perimeter of the city. They are not allowed in some parts of Lima. [X-E2, XF10-24mmF4 R OIS, ISO 200, ƒ/8, 1/180]
We have visited the location we will use as the classroom part of the workshop.

Classroom we will use. It will be reconfigured for our group with work tables. [X-E2, XF10-24mmF4 R OIS, ISO 2000, ƒ/8, 1/100]
Simple things like planning for power strips, projectors, sound, food and where we are staying is all being looked at and planned for in this trip.

We are asking security questions about is it safe to walk with cameras from where we are staying to the classroom each day?

John Stone is teaching at the seminary in Lima, Peru. He has been hosting us and showing us around for this visit along with his wife and parents. [X-E2, XF10-24mmF4 R OIS, ISO 2500, ƒ/4, 1/100]
John’s credit card company sent him a promotion to eat at his favorite steak restaurant for 50% off. Well this place would most likely be too expensive later for the class, but we love steak and a good deal.

Jeff Raymond and Stanley Leary at Ossa El Restaurante with our Tenderloin Steaks. [X-E3, XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 8000, ƒ/3.6, 1/100]
The food was outstanding.

Tenderloin Steak [X-E3, XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 5000, ƒ/3.6, 1/100]
Today we will meet with their team and visit the prenatal clinic they started here to help pregnant mothers.

Anyone doing a story must plan. You need to know how you will get places and if the people are available and willing to participate in the story process.

Today we will talk to those helping us identify stories to be sure those subjects will be available when we return for us to follow them for three to five days solid.

We are also planning for the transportation of how we will get all 12 students to each of their stories and who will help them also with the translation during their interviews. We have four people coming on the trip who speak Spanish, but the rest will need translators.

Today we have to help get everyone to see these stories as the stories “WE” want to tell together. The subject, the translator, the transportation, the storyteller, the caterer and more are all helping make these stories come alive.

Night class at the seminary in Lima, Peru. [X-E2, XF10-24mmF4 R OIS, ISO 6400, ƒ/5, 1/15]
We are still exploring today and tomorrow. The more we do to prepare to do a story the better the story will be for the audience.

Seeing the older and newer generations on the streets in Lima, Peru. [X-E3, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 800, ƒ/4.8, 1/2500]

Reviewing Photos for Portfolio

Alex Gomez & Kevin Williams [NIKON D5, 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/4000]
Every once in a while I am reviewing images I have taken to see if I can update my website. I have found that when you are just pulling from assignment work I have less “Portfolio” images.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8, TC-2001, ISO 22800, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000]Reviewing
What do I want to put on my website?

Georgia National Cemetery is the second national cemetery in Georgia and the 123rd in the national cemetery system. [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 220, ƒ/1.8, 1/8000]
Often I shoot things that are just important to me. They are really photos you would put in your personal journal.

Cowgirls competing in the barrel racing during the Celebrate Freedom Rodeo at Wills Park in Alpharetta, GA. [Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 Sport, ISO 64000, ƒ/2.8, 1/2500]
People are not always hiring photographers to document everything, but I see the value for if for no one else for me. I love to look back and remember the things I have done and seen.

Paradise Helicopter Tour –– Kīlauea is a currently active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaiʻi.[NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 1400, ƒ/8, 1/2000]
For example I was able to take a helicopter ride this year over the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. This is so different than what I shoot most of the time.

Hannah Broeils [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/125]
Debrinja Watts [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/125]
I do a good number of head shots each year like these actors studying at Columbus State University.

Chelle Leary [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/9, 1/160]
As every parent I love doing things with our children. Here making my daughter’s head shot for her to use in her career as an actress brings me great joy.

Oxnard Chick-fil-A Soccer [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 50, ƒ/11, 1/200]
While this isn’t a soccer game photo, I do find myself making interesting sports photos. So who will hire you to shoot this? Should this be on my website?

[Nikon D4, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 50, ƒ/8, 1/200 – (2) Godox V860IIN + Godox X1NT]
How about a group photo? Well many people do hire me to do team photos of their co-workers and yes sports teams as well.

Drive-Thru Bankhead Hwy FSR [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 2500, ƒ/14, 1/100]
Clients also hire me to photograph new things their company is doing. For example Chick-fil-A started using canopies to help protect their team members that help speed up the drive thru by being outside taking orders.

Staff in the newly renovated open work spaces at the Chick-fil-A Support Center [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 220, ƒ/8, 1/100]
Do you put things into your website that are more of a trend? For example many offices are renovating to the open office space design.

Stockton McGuire [NIKON D5, 85.0mm ƒ/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/320]
The biggest issue now facing corporate America is the lack of employees. The industry refers to this as attracting talent.

Margarett Phillips, Operator Commerce FSU & Highway Heroes Coordinator [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 400, ƒ/6.3, 1/40]
Companies are also trying to be sure they communicate their culture.

The Cows at Roswell Town Center are celebrating on Cow Appreciation Day 2018 in Roswell, GA. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/3200 – Godox V860IIN + Godox X1NT]
So this year I captured some fun things as well for clients. Do they belong in a portfolio?

Roswell Fireworks. [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, ƒ/11, 8]
While fireworks are fun to see would anyone hire me to shoot any for them?

Paradise Helicopter Tour –– Kīlauea is a currently active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaiʻi. [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 250, ƒ/5.6, 1/200]
I got a lot of likes for this photo on my Instagram account, but does this go into my website to help me get jobs?

The hood ornament from a vintage Cadillac at the Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Fuji X-E3, 10-24mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/16, 1/200]
I took an afternoon to go and explore the Old Car City in White, GA this year. I got some really cool shots. Again many people liked them on Instagram, so does this mean they go into my website portfolio?

Sunnyvale FSU. [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 800, ƒ/5.6, 1/60]
I can see companies hiring me to shoot photos of their properties. They do want to remind people how to find them.

Sally Yates is given the Courage award by the Islamic Speakers Bureau during their Change Makers Award Gala held at the Cobb Galleria on November 4, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.[NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/200]
Now speakers at podiums lit by stage lighting are not that difficult to do, but should they be part of my portfolio? Can people figure out that if I can do one type of photography that those skills often transfer to something else?

The California Honeydrops play at Terminal West in Atlanta, Georgia. [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 6400, ƒ/5.6, 1/200]
I find that people are often more interested in the photos themselves and if I have enough compelling images I might get a call to shoot their event.

Capturing the memory that is cherished a lifetime for daughters. It was a great Chick-fil-A Daddy Daughter Date Night held at the Memphis Zoo on November 16, 2017.[NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0mm ƒ/4.0, ISO 1250, ƒ/4, 1/10]
So how many images is enough? How many images of events should I post?

The Summerall Guards perform during half time at the football game during Parent’s Weekend at The Citadel in Charleston, SC.[NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 450, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000]
What will draw people to my website?

Sunday Services at Mark Clark Hall The Citadel. [X-E2, XF55-200mm ƒ/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 400, ƒ/4.2, 1/250]
I can tell you this is the thoughts of not just me, but every photographer working today in this profession.

Roswell Fire Department are monitoring a tree that it’s branches are in the transformer causing some arcing from power lines.[NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm ƒ/4.0, ISO 65535, ƒ/9, 1/100]
What do you think? Do any of these photos need to be on my website as part of my portfolio? Should some never be in my portfolio?

You can comment below and please do.