This speaks to the integrity of your organization

President Emeritus of the Georgia Institute of Technology and former Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution says that maintaining a photo library “speaks to the integrity of the institution.”

Dr. Wayne G. Clough, President of Georgia Tech, speaks at the Campus Remembrance Service on September 14, 2001, at the Campanile Fountain. Dr. Wayne G. Clough

In his book, “Best of Both Worlds: Museums, Libraries, and Archives in a Digital Age,” G. Wayne Clough, the Smithsonian’s 12th Secretary, surveys the efforts of many world-class institutions, including his own, to use technology to open their collections and programs to the world.

Secretary Clough’s thoughtful perspective as a museum leader, educator, and enthusiast provides invaluable insight into how digital technologies will radically alter our existing institutions, make access to their embedded knowledge widely available, and enable learning and research anytime, anywhere.

Today I led an online Zoom meeting for FOCUS on archiving. I led the group and talked about my experiences and how I had worked on digitizing photo libraries since about 1994. Here is that video if you want to watch it:

We started by sharing how we all are storing our images. Then at 16:20, I start my program on the topic of archiving.

Bathroom Analogy

For the last 12 years, I have been helping Chick-fil-A. One thing I learned that they know all too well is that if your bathrooms are not clean, customers will walk out on you. It speaks to the cleanliness of the rest of the place. If the toilet looks this bad, do you want to take your chances with the food?

Creating visual content for an organization is expensive. If you can repurpose that content, you are spreading those costs over many projects.

Imagine a college that doesn’t have a photo library of its history. How can you even offer degrees where people must do research, and you don’t even have a digital photo library of your history. That speaks volumes about how that institution portrays its integrity to the world.

How to Ruin a Perfect Photograph

Fruit Stand on farm [NIKON D750, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Manual, ISO 50, 1/640, ƒ/1.4, (35mm = 35)]

The easiest way to hurt your sales on any photograph is not to hide text in the picture. This is called embedding searchable text in the metadata.

There are two fields that most people get confused about when adding metadata to your images. Metadata is the hidden text that computers see that helps them find content. Even documents, spreadsheets, pdfs, photographs, graphics, and videos can all have text inside. Computers look for hidden fields unless you have software to see them.

Description/Caption: Remember this field contains all the information for why you initially take the photo.

Keywords: These are all the words to describe how they could be used in the future.

You need the digital photos in 3 places. This is so that something can go wrong while backing up from an A to B drive. If you don’t have C, you just lost all those images.

For organizations, I recommend you put the images online. If you have done an excellent job placing text that tells us the Who, What, Where, When, How & Why, and keywords for descriptors, those photos are now searchable.

Your online services like PhotoShelter that I use help people find your photos. This is great for an organization to have.


These companies work just like your bank for those worried about security. They are all online, but only you can get your money. You can share your information so your mortgage company gets paid, and your employer or clients can deposit money.

You can even use your phone to deposit a check.

A photo library online for an organization helps the organization grow.

Where do “Good Ideas” come from?

It is when content that already exists is accessible and able to percolate and if you want your organization to grow, be sure the people know the history. That often gives them new ideas.

Protect your integrity with others, get your photos in order, and share them.

The Power of Pause

A photo finish occurs in a sporting race when multiple competitors cross the finish line nearly simultaneously. As the naked eye may not be able to determine which of the competitors crossed the line first, a photo or video was taken at the finish line may be used for a more accurate check.

Life happens so quickly we often need to stop and assess.

While at East Carolina University, I fell in love with photography. One thing I did was take lots of photos of my friends.

As with all young men, I enjoyed dating and meeting new young ladies. Photography lets me photograph them and remember them.

A new study by the University of London’s Hannah Scott and colleagues (2018) is about the idea that people stare, because “faces, and in particular, the eyes, provide lots of useful non-verbal information about a person’s mental state.” The eyes contain “socially relevant information,” they explain, because when you see what people are looking at, you have some idea about what they might be thinking. However, as the example of the shoes illustrates, it’s not just the eyes that people stare at when they look at you.

In other words, the authors suggest that people read your body language to extract as much information as possible, and they will direct their gaze toward the part of your body providing that information.

I studied social work at East Carolina University, where I studied body language. Photography allowed me to freeze moments and analyze them later.

While I started by enjoying looking at pretty women, I slowly began to study expressions and body language.

This is from the conference at the Carter Center on Guinea Worm. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter Announces Three Countries Left in Guinea Worm Eradication Campaign: Nigeria and Niger Honored as Most Recent Nations to Halt Disease Transmission.
Joseph DeCola Operator

“Our hands seem to play just as important a role in orienting people’s attention as our eyes do.” However, if the person looks directly at the viewer while performing a manual task, the viewer will respond in kind and look at the individual’s face. When someone’s gaze is directed at you, you tend to stare back in a “nonverbal acknowledgment.” Therefore, looking at someone who looks at you becomes essential to nonverbal communication.

Wedding Elizabeth Louise & Andrew Thompson

Most of us love wedding photos because they help preserve one of the happiest days in a couple’s life. The couple’s vows often refer to the moment they first met. The first look, the first kiss, and those moments that helped to define their relationship are celebrated.

Daddy Daughter Date Night at Chick-fil-A

Sometimes moments are enhanced in a circumstance, like in this photo where I caught the photographer taking a picture of a daddy and daughter posing before going into Chick-fil-A for their date night. I saw his flash, which helped tell the story even better.

Representative John Lewis watches Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy during the coin toss at the Chick-fil-A Bowl Game Day.

When Civil Rights icon John Lewis died, I found some photos of him. Again these are moments that become historical after they are made.

Clayton State University Recruiting photos

As a professional communicator, I aim to capture those moments that help tell a story. I was working at Clayton State University and shooting for their photo library. The purpose of the photo is to show the teaching and learning that takes place. The body language at the moment shows the desire of the student to remember the teacher’s point.

St. Pius X Catholic High School Stock Photos

Another time I was shooting recruiting photos for a Catholic High School. My purpose was to show the school welcomed diversity and that this was where friendships took place.

In his presentation to the FOCUS group in a Zoom meeting, Michael Alexander talked about anticipating those moments. Michael said he spent a lot of time watching someone before taking photos. Since he often photographs priests at the pulpit, he realized long ago that they have a rhythm and pattern. Every once in a while, they make a gesture or expression. He would observe until he could predict those moments and then time his shutter to capture a moment.

St. Pius X Catholic High School Stock Photos

While some gestures are big and held out to be sure others are seeing them, many of our expressions are microexpressions. These are the expressions we have just reacting to moments versus trying to communicate to another person. The TV show “Lie to Me” was based on the science of reading facial expressions. Here is a video helping you see how minuscule these moments are and how if you catch them, you will know how someone feels in the moment.

Great visual storytellers harness these microexpressions in the telling of the story.

Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL summer bible school camp put on by Winshape Camps.

I love it when I have captured one of these involuntary microexpressions. They show a genuineness that is often missing in other photos.

PhotogenX Missional Storytelling

Learning to hit the pause button on life is much easier to do with a camera than with the mind alone.

Honduras Outreach

The best thing that ever happened to me was discovering photography. It helped me to slow down and pay attention to details. I learned to become more like photojournalist Michael Alexander who watches people and then learns to anticipate those moments and compose them so that I can bring the audience to that moment where I hit the pause button on life for the moment to sink in truly.

Friends enjoyed each other during church service at Eglise Baptiste Biblique in Adeta, Togo, West Africa. [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1250, 1/125, ƒ/6.3, (35mm = 300)]

By the way, I married one of those beautiful women.

Chaplain Dorie L. Griggs

Gibbs Frazeur & Bill Bangham – Creative Photographic Elements

During the pandemic, I discovered Zoom, which is for Video Conferencing, Web Conferencing, and Webinars …..

I have had a group of Atlanta Professional Communicators group I started a few years ago. We call it FOCUS [Fellowship Of Communicators Uniting Socially].

While most of my friends are photographers, we also have a few writers in the group. We invite just about anyone to join.

This week, photojournalists Gibbs Frazer and Bill Bangham shared a collaborative effort they have worked on for several years, focusing on their craft’s foundational, creative elements.

I want to share the part they shared with us today from the Zoom Call. I recommend you listen with a pad of paper nearby to write your notes.

Creative Photographic Elements

  1. Light
  2. Moments
  3. Layering
  4. Dominant
  5. Overall
  6. Detail
  7. Loose
  8. Get Close
  9. High Angle
  10. Low Angle
  11. Vertical
  12. Horizontal
  13. Artsy
  14. Take Risks
  15. Experiment

At the end of our lengthy discussion, Gibbs pointed out that all this falls under storytelling. Before you execute any of these tips, you need to know the story.

“Always consider what you want your image to say before you decide how to say it.”

Jamie Windsor

Did I Make A Difference?

Photo Above: Women are taught how to prepare food from what they already have at home in a more nutritious way to improve their family’s health at the Baptist Medical Centre in Nalerigu, Ghana. [NIKON D2X, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 400, 1/20, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 75)]

I spent a good chunk of my life releasing myself from the anxiety monster.

But lately, a creepy little monster called ‘Am I Making a Difference’ has surfaced.

The beast most often haunts me at night when I am about to fall asleep. I put my head down on my pillow, spent from the day, and I wonder: Am I making a difference? Is anything I’m doing helping anyone?

President George W. Bush speaking at Georgia Tech

When I took photos of news events, I knew I relayed what happened that day to the audience from my front-row seat.

Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Founder and Chair-Elect of The King Center, speaks at the 75th Birthday Celebration Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service [NIKON D100, Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX APO IF HSM, Mode = Manual, ISO 400, 1/60, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 300)]
Corey Navarre attempted to ride Hard Candy during the 2004 RBR Atlanta Classic at the Georgia Dome on February 7, 2004. [NIKON D100, Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX APO IF HSM, Mode = Manual, ISO 1600, 1/350, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 300)]

Most of my career has been documenting first-world issues. However, throughout my career, especially the last ten years, I have spent more time in the Third World writing their problems. I am using the term “Third World” as shorthand for poor or developing nations.

Jay Shafto (wearing the Boston Red Sox hat), Paul Sow (white polo shirt), Antoine Tarnagda (brown shirt), and Zongo Tarnagda (on the bicycle) in the town of Soumagou. Antoine and Zongo are part of the Bissa tribe, and Paul is part of the Fulani tribe. [NIKON D2X, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/180, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 75)]

My first trip to Africa was in 2005. For the first time, I saw how used liquor bottles were repurposed for many things. One is using them to sell petro by the side of the road. There were few gas stations, so business people would fill bottles and then resale them on the side of the road.

Kamele Alphonse Hema is the pastor of the CMA church in Dakora. His wife’s name is Clarisse. David and Tami Wood interviewed him at his home. [NIKON D2X, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/60, ƒ/4.5, (35mm = 30)]

I saw firsthand how people survived with no electricity and no cupboards full of food like we have here at my home in Georgia.

Rose Nantonah, the nurse, is setting the IV with a small child patient at the Baptist Medical Center in Nalerigu, Ghana. [NIKON D2X, AF Zoom 18-50mm ƒ/2.8G, ISO 800, ƒ/2.8, 1/80, Focal Length = 27]

I was able to go to the hospital to see the care being provided by just two doctors.

David Oman Cifuentes Velázquez shows the Frontera de Cristo delegation the coffee on the plant. David also shared how he crossed the border illegally and worked on golf courses around Atlanta, Ga. Back then, they were only getting about $30 for a bag of coffee, but today they get $160, which lets him return home to family and coffee farming. [NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 12800, 1/50, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 15)]

I later went to the Chiapas region of Mexico to do a story on coffee farmers. Due to roasters underpaying them for their coffee for years, many came to the states to work in our communities to support their families back home. Telling their story, we were helping them to return home and be prosperous by selling their coffee at fair prices because they were able to form a cooperative and, through a nonprofit’s help, buy a roaster that made them competitive. My purpose was to spread the story so more farmers could join the cooperative.

Claudio Cesar Aguirre is seen in front of the Chicken Coop that was created with the help of Honduras Outreach. He is president of their community economic development. He is thrilled because now that they have an egg farm, they can now think of adding a bakery. [NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 160, 1/100, ƒ/8, (35mm = 14)]

I was privileged to tell their supporters the success story of Honduras Outreach Inc. We put together a video that was played when the President of Honduras came to Atlanta to present them with an award for all they had done to help the Agalta Valley in Honduras.

The President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernández Visits Atlanta to honor HOI [NIKON D4, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 6400, 1/250, ƒ/4.5, (35mm = 28)]

Here is the video I did for that event back in 2014.

Mother and her little boy carried in kitenge. They are staying here at the Hôpital Baptiste Biblique in Tsiko, Togo, West Africa. [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1800, 1/200, ƒ/4, (35mm = 32)]

Last year I was privileged to go to Togo, West Africa, to help tell the story of a hospital built in the 1980s with no improvements since then and was in significant need of upgrades and expansion to meet the needs of that community.

Here is the video I did for that project:

I don’t know how much money was raised due to my work through the years. I do not know how many people’s lives were touched, and I felt a call to help others because of the stories I have helped to tell.

Roswell Presbyterian Church Children’s Christmas Program on December 24, 2005, in Roswell, Georgia. [NIKON D2X, Sigma APO 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG HSM, Mode = Manual, ISO 800, 1/60, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 450)]

One of the biggest stories I am documenting, which most everyone is doing, is that of my family story.

Dorie receives the 2014 Columbia Theological Seminary Pioneering Ministry Award [NIKON D4, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 3200, 1/200, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 62)]

I would say that the most crucial story I am capturing is one of my own family’s milestones.

Chelle Leary, my daughter, is wearing James Harrell’s Shako. James is part of the Summerall Guard with Chelle’s big brother Nelson Lalli at The Citadel. [NIKON D3S, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 4500, 1/1000, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 28)]

We all go to each other’s events to celebrate with them. They become part of all of our lives.

The Citadel: Commissioning Service, Lifetime Membership for Alumni Club, Summerall Guard 2012 and Long Gray Line [NIKON D3, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 320, 1/80, ƒ/13, (35mm = 18)]
Taylor Lalli playing T-Ball.
Family Photo Stanley Leary, Dorie Griggs, Nelson Lalli, Taylor Lalli Chelle Leary [NIKON D3S, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 800, 1/320, ƒ/8, (35mm = 70)]

I am always asking, “Did I make a difference today?”

I hope so, but we don’t always know the impact we make on people. So getting a note from someone telling you how you are making a difference is enormous.

During the Pandemic, I started an online Zoom meeting for communicators. I call the group FOCUS [Fellowship of Communicators Uniting Socially].

I got a note from one participant saying, “First off, I would like to thank you for this great fellowship group.  I am enjoying it a lot.  I feel like I am being watered like a plant and not drying up like I would if I was completely alone.  Such a good group of people with great talent.”

So I do think I am helping someone.

Earlier, I got this note from another group member: “Thank you for hosting a great discussion again today. I am humbled to be involved and grateful for the substantive topics and questions you and others raise. I find it personally stimulating to hear the depth of the dialogue. This has been missing from my career for a long time.”

We are wired to serve one another, but I also believe we need affirmation, which helps us know if we need to modify our efforts to make a difference in this world.

Wherever you are in your life, show up. Generous, confident, engaged.


Experiences are not Universal

When did you realize that you grew up with different experiences than those around you?

Stanley was in traction for a month with a broken neck.

You may recognize that you have had some unique experiences as I did with going in a hot air balloon with my wife, Dorie. I also realized not everyone breaks their bones as I have throughout my life.

Family vacation on Royal Caribbean Freedom of Seas

One year my parents treated my sisters and our families on a cruise. I would have never afforded this, and this was a wonderful experience to put into our memory banks.

Johnny Rodermund, his date and I with Angela Jones dressed for senior prom.

The moment that became my awakening was when our family moved from Eastern North Carolina to Englishtown, New Jersey. Every day for a long time, I saw new things and took in a world so different from where I came from.

The cross-cultural experience is what this was for our family. It influenced our views, our values, our humor, our hopes, our loyalties, and our worries and fears. So when you are working with people and building relationships with them, it helps to have some perspective and understanding of their cultures.

Witch Doctor in Togo, West Africa [NIKON D5, 35.0 mm f/1.4, ISO 100, Ä/1.4, 1/2500]

To understand your culture, the best thing you can do is to leave it and experience another culture.

Roadside cafe’ in Tenkodogo where they serve food, petrol, and drinks. (Photo by: Stanley Leary)

You begin to ask yourself questions you would never have done had you stayed within your bubble. Just experiencing food worldwide and how they prepare it can be eye-opening.

I believe one of the most significant problems we face today is that so many people have lived in a bubble for way too long. They look at how people do something different than they do as inferior rather than just different.

We enjoyed our meal tonight at Parrilladas La Chola, Peñalolén, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile. This was Churrasqueria, Chilean, South American type of food. [] [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 5600, 1/100, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 58)]

I think many are like children who will not eat only one thing. I had a cousin that only ate hot dogs for a long time.

I was brought up to eat whatever someone put in front of me. We had to be members of the “Clean Plate Club.” We even had children’s plates with this on them.

I’m sorry, but many of you live in a bubble.

It’s a bubble made up not only of your work but also your friends, the books you read, and your day-to-day routine.

It’s a bubble built from the meals you make each week.

It’s your Monday/Wednesday/Friday gym schedule.

It’s the route you take to work or the favorite coffee shop you write in on Sundays.

Yes, all those things are your bubble.

Your bubble is the safety net you surround yourself with every single day. The routines and schedules make your life stay stable and on track.

And yes, your bubble is also the building blocks of happiness, meaning, and creativity. But it’s also a wall that separates mediocrity and greatness and gets harder and harder to cross the higher you build it.

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

Haruki Murakami
Roadside cafe’ in Tenkodogo where they serve food, petrol and drinks. (Photo by: Stanley Leary)

Which Lens?

I believe less is more when it comes to lenses. This means that when I am shooting, I usually have just two lenses on me.

Nikon 14-24mm ƒ/2.8

I love wide-angle lenses. They force you to get close to fill the frame. They give the context of what is around the subject, and they bring the audience into the scene.

During the Chick-fil-A Bowl 2012, I wanted to capture the coin toss and had to get close. I also liked the viewer to feel like they were there, which is the result.
[NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 8000, 1/2000, ƒ/7.1, (35mm = 14)]

By giving context, you can see how a lens choice helps you tell the story.

Photographers explore the Garden of the Gods National Landmark in Colorado Springs, CO. [NIKON D3, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 200, 1/640, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 14)]

I love the wide lens to capture the subject’s surroundings.

Perimeter at Hammond Drive FSU [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Manual, ISO 100, 1/8, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 24)]

While some love to use it to show a flower in a field with a mountain in the background using this lens, I do the same by putting company signs near the lens and other information in the background.

Sigma 24-105mm F4.0 Art DG OS HSM Lens 

I love shooting most of my people’s photography in the 24-105mm range. While shooting people is maybe better between 35mm and 105mm getting those group photos, I prefer a wider lens.

Wedding Elizabeth Louise & Andrew Thompson [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/200, ƒ/8, (35mm = 28)]

When running around overseas for a client, I love using this lens.

Mother and her little boy carried in kitenge. They are staying here at the Hôpital Baptiste Biblique in Tsiko, Togo, West Africa. [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1800, 1/200, ƒ/4, (35mm = 32)]

I can show people in their context wide with the lens and then get a lovely portrait just seconds later from standing in the same place as another person.

The child was fascinated by my camera and watched me as I worked at the Hôpital Baptiste Biblique in Tsiko, Togo, West Africa. [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1400, 1/200, ƒ/4, (35mm = 105)]

I like the Sigma 24-105mm lens, the 24mm. But what I dislike is that it stops at 105mm. The other lens in conjunction with the 14-24mm covering events is the Nikon 28-300mm.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus
Cowgirl Barrel Racing at the 27th Annual Pana’Ewa Stampede Rodeo in Hilo, Hawaii. [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1600, 1/4000, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 300)]

When I travel, there are times, like in Hawaii, when I have the opportunity to shoot a rodeo, you need a reasonably long lens to get close to the action.

St. Pius X High School [NIKON D3S, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 7200, 1/100, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 42)]

Taking photos for a school to use in their recruiting materials, I can use this to get the normal lens range here and then close up in the music room.

St. Pius X High School [NIKON D3S, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 12800, 1/400, ƒ/5.3, (35mm = 98)]
Columbia Theological Seminary Classroom photos [NIKON D3S, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 2800, 1/100, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 300)]

Now when I want those silky smooth BOKEH shots, I plan for those. I have two lenses I go to most of the time.

Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 Art

This fast 35mm ƒ/1.4 is maybe my favorite lens, but to shoot everything with it isn’t practical. But I love the distance I work with when using this and the results when shot wide open at ƒ/1.4.

Gilley’s [NIKON D5, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 4500, 1/100, ƒ/1.4, (35mm = 35)]

With today’s cameras, you can get that razor-sharp image even with such a small depth-of-field because the camera can quickly lock in on the focus point.

Merritt Square Mall School Drive Thru [NIKON D750, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Manual, ISO 640, 1/30, ƒ/1.4, (35mm = 35)]

It is excellent to use in low light, and it helps you isolate the subject and emphasize them, especially the eyes.

Nicaragua [NIKON D5, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/500, ƒ/1.4, (35mm = 35)]
[NIKON D750, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/500, ƒ/1.4, (35mm = 35)]
[NIKON Z 6, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1250, 1/500, ƒ/1.4, (35mm = 35)]

I have shot a lot inside of Chick-fil-A kitchens. I try to use the 35mm ƒ/1.4 lens the most because I cannot show everything in the back. However, please focus on their people as I do here.

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G Fixed Lens with Auto Focus

I also love getting tight and just showing people more than always giving context.

Jane Yandel Senior Photos [NIKON D4, 85.0 mm f/1.8, Mode = Manual, ISO 50, 1/200, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 85)]

Due to the new Nikon Z6, which lets you see what you are getting before you click the shutter, I have been getting even tighter shots.

Chick-fil-A APP [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/100, ƒ/1.8, (35mm = 85)]
[NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 450, 1/500, ƒ/1.8, (35mm = 85)]
[NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/1000, ƒ/1.8, (35mm = 85)]

As you can see, the 85mm, ƒ/1.8 does a great job isolating the subject when shooting wide open at ƒ/1.8.

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens

Now when it comes to being far away and needing a longer lens I use the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens with the 1.4x or 2x converter made for the lens.

The Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds The joint effort from the Navy and the Air Force is part of multiple flyovers across the nation called America Strong — a “collaborative salute” to honor healthcare workers, and first responders, and other essential workers as they combat COVID-19. The flyover mission will finish in Atlanta at 1:35 p.m. ET and last about 25 minutes. [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Manual, ISO 800, 1/8000, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 300)]
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Washington vs Auburn [NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 20000, 1/4000, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 460)]
Duke’s running back (21) and Mateo Durant fumble the ball due to defensive pressure of Alabama’s defensive back (22) Jalyn Armour-Davis during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff on Saturday, August 31st at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. [NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 25600, 1/4000, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 600)]
Fledgling Red-Tailed Hawk in our Backyard. Every year we get a new nest. [NIKON D5, Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports + Sigma 2.0x Teleconverter TC-2001, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 2500, 1/4000, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 600)]
Auburn Tigers vs Louisville Cardinals
Final Score Auburn 31 Louisville 24
[NIKON D4, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 12800, 1/1250, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 270)]

Now while sports and wildlife are where I use this often, occasionally, to get a different look with portraits, I use the lens.

Sydney Rhame [NIKON D4, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Manual, ISO 320, 1/640, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 195)]

This is where I wanted to compress the background of fall colors with the subject. Ask yourself some questions. Why are you shooting this? What do you want the audience to think? What do you want the audience to feel?

Always consider what you want the image to say before you decide how to say it. Then pick the best lens for the moment. You may compromise, as I often do with my zoom lenses.

Remember always to think conceptually and not just aesthetically.

Here are links to a couple past blog posts on specific lenses:

No More Cookie Cutter Senior Photos

[NIKON Z 6, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/500, ƒ/4, (35mm = 145)]

Stanley doesn’t believe in “cookie cutter” graduation photos or senior portraits. That’s why each graduation photo session is all about the grad. Our photos will reflect your style, highlight your interests, and let your personality shine through!

Russell Newsom [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/125, ƒ/4, (35mm = 105)]

Senior portraits can be taken at a location of your choosing, including anywhere in or around Metro Atlanta. If you’re looking for some awesome and unique photoshoot locations, we’d be happy to suggest some of our favorites, such as Roswell Mill, Roswell Parks, or Canton Street. Looking for more of a traditional background? No problem! We would be thrilled to take some portraits of you in my home studio, located in Roswell, GA. Whatever you choose to do, know that we want you to feel like your amazing, authentic self. That’s why we permit as many outfit changes and the use of props in your photos, to ensure that each photo is truly a reflection of you and your interests. We just create the unique package for you.

Russell Newsom [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/80, ƒ/4, (35mm = 82)]

Graduation marks a new chapter in your life, and you must preserve these precious memories while you can. Get amazing and affordable graduation photography and senior portraits by Stanley. He will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable during the photoshoot and completely satisfied with the results. Let him help you create keepsakes that you will treasure forever!

Russell Newsom [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Manual, ISO 100, 1/125, ƒ/10, (35mm = 105)]

Contact Stanley today by calling (404) 786-4914 or emailing at [email protected].

Russell Newsom [NIKON Z 6, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/1250, ƒ/4, (35mm = 250)]

Great time to learn a new skill

One of the best things to do during this pandemic is to learn a new skill.

How would you like to learn how to make pictures like these here?

Fire Dancer in Hawaiian [NIKON Z 6, VR Zoom 24-105mm f/4G IF-ED, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/2500, ƒ/4, (35mm = 24)]

While these photos were made in Hawaii, you can learn to do this wherever you live.

[NIKON Z 6, VR Zoom 24-105mm f/4G IF-ED, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/320, ƒ/4, (35mm = 24)]

I love teaching and would love to help you learn any skills you like with photography, video, or storytelling.

Here I was teaching how to use lights to improve a sunset photo.

Fire Dancer [NIKON Z 6, VR Zoom 24-105mm f/4G IF-ED, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/2500, ƒ/4, (35mm = 24)]

We can get some models and work together. I can show you the steps to improving your photos.

[NIKON Z 6, VR Zoom 24-105mm f/4G IF-ED, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/60, ƒ/4, (35mm = 24)]

Here are some of the topics that I have taught through the years:

  • How to use Strobes (Studio and Location Lighting)
  • How to shoot and edit a story on a person using video (Storytelling, How to Capture Video & Sound, Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro)
  • Digital Asset Management (How to create a catalog of all your photos so you can find them and even share this online)
  • How to start of photo business (Teaching you what you need to know to become a successful freelancer)
  • Blogging
  • How to create a website with your own domain name

Give me a call or email. Look in the Contact at the top of the page for that information.

During the pandemic we can do this with face masks, social distancing and keeping it one-on-one or small group.