Capturing Truth: The Power of Photojournalism in Shaping Society

In a world inundated with information, the role of photojournalism stands out as a beacon of truth and transparency. At its core, photojournalism is not just about capturing moments; it’s about capturing the essence of truth and delivering it to the public powerfully and irrefutably. I’ve dedicated my life to harnessing the power of storytelling through my camera lens, particularly within photojournalism. I’ve found a unique calling through this medium—to inform, inspire, and ultimately contribute to building a better world.

Photojournalism serves as a cornerstone of transparent communication. In a world where misinformation and manipulation run rampant, photojournalists wield their cameras as tools of truth, capturing moments as they unfold and presenting them to the world without bias or distortion. Whether it’s documenting social injustices, political upheavals, or humanitarian crises, photojournalists are on the front lines, providing a raw and unfiltered perspective that is often hard to dismiss.

In Nalerigu, Ghana, a mother and her son find themselves on the pediatric ward floor of the Baptist Medical Centre due to limited bed availability. This snapshot illuminates the pressing healthcare challenges, showcasing the critical need for more medical personnel, particularly doctors. Through this coverage, we aim to raise awareness and inspire action towards addressing these crucial gaps in healthcare provision.

For me, the purpose and power of photojournalism go hand in hand with my calling as a storyteller. As a Christian, I believe that my talents and passions are gifts from God, and it’s my responsibility to use them to serve others and reflect God’s love. Through my camera lens, I strive to illuminate the stories of humanity—both triumphs and tragedies—in a way that honors every individual’s inherent dignity and worth.

One of the most profound aspects of photojournalism is its ability to transcend language and cultural barriers. A single image can evoke emotions, spark conversations, and mobilize action on a global scale. Through these visual narratives, we can bridge the gap between distant communities and cultivate a sense of empathy and solidarity across borders.

Aura Popovici takes the first step in a patient’s journey at the urgent care set up by Moldova Medical Missions from the United States, alongside Moldovan Nationals, at Golgotha Church. Their initiative aids a local church planter in fostering meaningful conversations with the community in Obreja Veche, Fălești District, Moldova, emphasizing holistic care and community engagement.

But photojournalism has its challenges. The media’s integrity is constantly scrutinized in an era of digital manipulation and fake news. However, it’s precisely this challenge that fuels my passion for photojournalism. By upholding the highest standards of ethics and integrity in my work, I strive to combat misinformation and restore faith in the power of visual storytelling.

As I reflect on my journey as a photojournalist, I am reminded of the profound impact that this medium has had on shaping my worldview and fulfilling my calling as a storyteller. Through my lens, I’ve witnessed the resilience of the human spirit, the beauty of diversity, and the undeniable presence of divine love in the world. I hope that through my work, I can continue to shed light on the stories that matter most and, in doing so, contribute to the collective pursuit of truth, justice, and compassion.

Roswell, Georgia: Residents Gather for Peaceful Protest Following Controversial Police Incident. On June 3, 2020, demonstrators convened at the intersection of Old Alabama Road and Holcomb Bridge Road to express their discontent with recent events. The protest was sparked by the actions of Atlanta Police, who forcibly removed two African American students from their vehicle, prompting outrage and a call for justice. Citizens, moved by the incident, left the confines of their homes to advocate for change and stand against injustice.

In conclusion, photojournalism is not just a profession; it’s a calling to bear witness to the realities of our world and use the power of imagery to inspire change and build a better future. As I continue this journey, I am humbled by the opportunity to be a voice for the voiceless and a champion for truth. I invite others to join me in harnessing the transformative power of storytelling through the lens of a camera.

Capturing Legacies: Honoring Dennis Fahringer’s Leadership at YWAM’s School of Photography

Let’s delve into the profound impact of Dennis Fahringer’s leadership at the School of Photography (SOP) at Youth With A Mission (YWAM), starting with exploring the school’s significance within the YWAM community. Dennis Fahringer’s 49th School of Photography (SOP) at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii, was his last as leader of the school finished in March 2024.

Dennis Fahringer teaching in SOP 1

Understanding SOP at YWAM:

Imagine immersing yourself in photography, not just as a pastime but as a powerful tool for service and storytelling. That’s precisely the opportunity offered by the School of Photography (SOP) at YWAM. It’s a unique platform where individuals passionate about photography can undergo accelerated learning in a Christ-centered environment.

At SOP, students embark on a transformative three-month journey, refining their photography skills while being nurtured within a supportive community. Led by seasoned professionals from the field, SOP offers personalized mentorship and hands-on experiences, both inside the classroom and through real-world internships.

The curriculum is thoughtfully crafted to equip students with technical proficiency and a heart for missions. By emphasizing service to other ministries and continual skill refinement, SOP graduates emerge ready to utilize their photography for meaningful purposes.

Celebrating Dennis Fahringer’s Leadership:

Today, we honor Dennis Fahringer, a true pioneer in photography education whose influence has spanned nearly five decades at YWAM’s School of Photography. Through his guidance, countless individuals have found their calling and purpose in photography.

Stanley Leary is teaching in SOP1 in Kona, Hawaii. [photo by: Dennis Fahringer]

My journey with Dennis began in 2006 when he invited me to join the SOP1 program, where he sought to enhance the students’ lighting skills. Since then, our collaboration has been marked by growth and resilience, even amidst challenges like COVID-19.

Dennis’s legacy is unparalleled, characterized by his meticulous crafting of a curriculum accessible to all with a passion for missions. With just one prerequisite – the Discipleship Training School (DTS) – Dennis has paved the way for aspiring visual communicators to embark on a transformative journey.

One of Dennis’s students completed SOP1 and attended the Southwestern Photojournalism Seminar, an event that Bill Bangham and a few others collaborated on for 25 years. Subsequently, the student accompanied Dennis to the London Olympics as part of the SOP2 class, sharing a room with Dennis. His feedback prompted Dennis to seek out new instructors, a testament to Dennis’s commitment to evolving SOP over the years.

I recommended Bill Bangham to teach the photojournalism/storytelling week of the course.

Bill Bangham gives one-on-one reviews to the students in the School of Photography at the University of Nations in Kona, Hawaii.

Bill Bangham’s contribution cannot be understated. His willingness to share expertise has enriched the lives of countless storytellers.

In addition to Dennis Fahringer’s leadership, it’s crucial to highlight the remarkable contributions of Gary S. Chapman and his wife, Vivian Chapman, who are integral members of the SOP faculty. In the video, Vivian tells of their journey, which they often share with Dennis’s students.

Gary & Vivian Chapman: Gary’s journey is a testament to his passion for visual storytelling and his commitment to using photography as a tool for advocacy. Known for his work as a humanitarian photographer and stock photography, Gary taught various subjects from Lightroom and PhotoShop and taught students how to see color, patterns, and composition.

Vivian’s role in their dynamic partnership is equally significant. As an editor, she is vital in refining Gary’s vision and ensuring their collaborative projects resonate with authenticity and depth. Their journey together, both personally and professionally, has been characterized by mutual support and a shared commitment to excellence.

Gary & Vivian Chapman teaching in SOP1 YWAM in Kona, Hawaii

Their collaboration extends beyond photography as they draw upon their experiences to impart valuable lessons about marriage and faith. Through their shared workshops and teachings at SOP, Gary and Vivian share insights into their craft and offer guidance on cultivating a Christ-centered marriage—a testament to their belief in the transformative power of love and faith.

Gary and Vivian Chapman embody the spirit of partnership and dedication to using their talents for the greater good. Their presence at SOP enriches the educational experience for students, offering a unique blend of expertise, creativity, and unwavering faith.

Since this tribute is about Dennis, it’s fitting to acknowledge Bill, Gary, and Vivian’s roles in enhancing SOP’s offerings.

Despite challenges, Dennis has remained steadfast, approaching each interaction with grace and a genuine desire to foster understanding.

As Dennis transitions into a new chapter, his legacy will continue to inspire generations of visual storytellers. His impact is immeasurable, and his dedication is unwavering. Dennis, your contributions to photography education will forever be cherished.

Let’s toast Dennis Fahringer – a pioneer, mentor, and friend. Your light will continue to shine brightly in the hearts of those you’ve touched. Thank you for your tireless dedication and passion. Here’s to you, Dennis!

This tribute honors Dennis Fahringer and underscores what makes SOP at YWAM a transformative experience.

Capturing the Majesty: Tips for Photographing Red-Shouldered Hawks

Welcome to the majestic world of red-shouldered hawks! As a professional photographer and avid storyteller, I’ve observed and photographed these stunning birds of prey in their natural habitat. Nestled high in a pine tree, their annual nesting ritual provides a captivating opportunity for photographers to capture their grace and beauty. In this blog post, I’ll share some invaluable tips based on my experiences photographing red-shouldered hawks, particularly during their nesting season.

  1. Know Your Subject: Before embarking on your photography expedition, take the time to research red-shouldered hawks. Understanding their behavior, nesting habits, and preferred surroundings will significantly enhance your ability to anticipate their movements and capture compelling shots.
  2. Location Scouting: Familiarize yourself with the nesting site of the red-shouldered hawks. As you mentioned, they often build their nests about 60 feet up in a pine tree. Scout the area beforehand to identify ideal vantage points and angles for photographing the nest and its inhabitants.
  3. Timing is Key: The most opportune moments for photographing red-shouldered hawks are during their nesting season, especially when the adults are actively tending to their nestlings. Monitor the nest regularly to determine the best times of day for photography, such as early morning or late afternoon when the lighting is soft and flattering.
  4. Patience and Persistence: Wildlife photography requires patience and persistence. Spend ample time observing the red-shouldered hawks from a distance to avoid disturbing them. Be prepared to wait for the perfect shot, as capturing intimate moments of their behavior often requires time and dedication.
  5. Use a Telephoto Lens: Given the height of the nest and the need to maintain a respectful distance, a telephoto lens is essential for photographing red-shouldered hawks. Invest in a quality telephoto lens with a focal length of at least 300mm to capture close-up shots without encroaching on their space. I typically use 600mm and then have to crop a little.
  6. Focus on Composition: When framing your shots, pay attention to composition. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to create visually engaging images. Consider incorporating elements of the surrounding environment, such as the intricate patterns of the pine tree branches, to add depth and context to your photographs.
  7. Be Mindful of Lighting: As with any form of photography, lighting is crucial in capturing stunning images of red-shouldered hawks. Aim to shoot during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset for soft, warm lighting that enhances the natural beauty of your subjects.
  8. Capture Action Shots: Red-shouldered hawks are active and agile birds, making them perfect subjects for action shots. Be ready to capture dynamic moments such as takeoffs, landings, and interactions between the adults and their fledglings.
  9. Respect Wildlife Ethics: While photographing red-shouldered hawks, prioritize their well-being and adhere to ethical guidelines for wildlife photography. Avoid causing undue stress or disturbance to the birds, and always respect their natural behavior and habitat.
  10. Tell Their Story: As a storyteller, use your photography to convey the captivating narrative of the red-shouldered hawks and their nesting journey. Document their physical beauty and the connections and interactions unfolding within the nest.

In conclusion, photographing red-shouldered hawks offers a rewarding opportunity to capture these magnificent birds’ raw beauty and elegance. By following these tips and approaching your photography with patience, respect, and creativity, you can create stunning images that showcase the unique charm of red-shouldered hawks and inspire others to appreciate and protect their natural habitat. So grab your camera, venture into the wilderness, and let the magic of wildlife photography unfold before your lens!

Maximizing Your Shots: Essential Tips for Capturing Moments with Your Cellphone Camera, DSLR or Mirrorless

In today’s digital age, photography has become more accessible than ever, thanks to the powerful cameras embedded in our smartphones. Whether you’re capturing precious family moments, documenting events, or simply exploring your creativity, mastering the art of mobile photography can significantly enhance your ability to tell compelling visual stories. Here are some essential tips that will help you elevate your mobile photography game, even with just your cellphone.

  1. Think in Perspectives: Approach every photo opportunity with the mindset of covering the scene from various angles and viewpoints. This allows you to capture diverse perspectives, providing depth and context to your images.
  2. The Storyteller’s Toolkit: Embrace critical elements of storytelling in your photography. Start with an opener to set the scene, look for the decisive moment that encapsulates the essence of the story, focus on capturing details that enrich the narrative, create sequences to add variety, utilize high overall shots for context, and craft a compelling closer to bring the story to a satisfying conclusion. Don’t forget portraits to introduce the characters of your story.
  3. Practice Makes Perfect: The biggest secret to better photos is taking enough shots to find the best one. Take your time with the first click, whether it’s headshots, speakers, or sports events. Experiment with different angles, compositions, and moments to capture the essence of your subject.
  4. Headshots and Speakers: When photographing individuals, especially for headshots or during speaking engagements, aim to capture their character and energy. Take multiple shots to capture the perfect expression or gesture conveying their personality or passion.
  5. Sports Photography: For dynamic subjects like sports events, cover the action from start to finish. Take a series of shots to capture the intensity and emotion of each moment, then select the most compelling image to tell the game’s story.
  6. Quantity Breeds Quality: Professional photographers often take many shots to find the perfect one. Don’t be afraid to snap away; the more photos you take, the higher your chances of capturing that extraordinary shot.

By applying these fundamental principles and techniques, even with just your cellphone, you can significantly improve the quality and impact of your photographs. Whether photographing a family gathering, a community event or simply exploring the world, remember to tell your story through your lens. So, next time you’re at your kids’ dance recital or cheering them on at a sports event, remember these tips to ensure you capture those unforgettable moments with clarity and creativity. Happy shooting!

Turning Every Event into a Networking Opportunity: The Power of Sharing Your Work on Social Media

As a photographer or videographer, attending events isn’t just about capturing stunning images or compelling videos; it’s also an incredible opportunity to expand your network and grow your business. In today’s digital age, social media has become an invaluable tool for professionals in the creative industry. By sharing your work from events on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you showcase your talent and open networking doors that can lead to future collaborations and opportunities.

Leveraging Social Media for Networking

Sharing photos or videos from events on your social media profiles creates a digital portfolio accessible to a broad audience. Here’s how it works:

  1. Tagging Individuals: When you post photos or videos from an event, tag individuals featured in your content. This acknowledges their presence and increases their likelihood of sharing your post with their followers. As they tag themselves and engage with your content, they introduce you to their network, expanding your reach organically.
  2. Engagement Multiplier: Each like, comment, or share on your post endorses the extended network of the individual engaging with your content. As more people interact with your posts, the algorithm ensures that your content appears on the feeds of their friends and followers, further amplifying your visibility.
  3. Showcasing Expertise: Sharing high-quality images or videos from events highlights your skills as a photographer or videographer and positions you as an authority in your field. This can attract potential clients or collaborators who are impressed by your work and may reach out to you for future projects.

Tips for Maximizing Networking Opportunities at Events

While capturing compelling visuals is essential, gathering additional information at events can enhance your social media strategy and networking efforts:

  1. Collect Contact Information: Don’t just focus on snapping photos or shooting videos; take the time to collect contact information from critical individuals you meet at the event. This could include email addresses, social media handles, or business cards, allowing you to follow up with them after the event. Get a program or take a photo of it so you have the names of the speakers.
  2. Testimonials or Quotes: If appropriate, you can approach event organizers, speakers, or attendees for testimonials or quotes about their experience. These can be valuable content pieces to share on social media platforms, showcasing your involvement and expertise at the event. I generally carry a Moleskin notebook with a pen and write typically out quotes as I hear them.
  3. Capture Behind-the-Scenes Moments: In addition to the main event, capture behind-the-scenes moments that provide a glimpse into the atmosphere and energy of the occasion. These candid shots humanize your brand and create authentic content that resonates with your audience.
  4. Stay Engaged on Social Media: After the event, continue to engage with attendees by responding to comments on your posts, sharing user-generated content, and participating in relevant conversations. This fosters community and keeps your brand top-of-mind among your network.


Attending events as a photographer or videographer presents many opportunities beyond capturing captivating visuals. You can turn every event into a powerful networking opportunity by leveraging social media to share your work and actively engage with attendees. Remember to be proactive in gathering information and stay consistent in your online presence to maximize the impact of your efforts. With the right approach, you’ll expand your network and elevate your brand in the eyes of potential clients and collaborators.

Maximizing Success with Timeline Planning: Insights from Stanley Leary Brand Builder

In the realm of project management, event coordination, and workshop organization, time is of the essence. As a professional photographer, videographer, and storytelling consultant, I’ve found that effective time management can make or break the success of any endeavor. That’s where the invaluable tool of a timeline planning chart comes into play.

At Stanley Leary Brand Builder, we understand the significance of meticulous planning, especially when executing projects, events, and workshops. Let’s delve into why a timeline planning chart is essential and how it has been instrumental in our endeavors.

Why Use a Timeline Planning Chart?

Imagine embarking on a journey without a map or a compass. That’s akin to undertaking a project or organizing an event without a timeline planning chart. A timeline provides structure, clarity, and direction. It serves as a visual roadmap, outlining key milestones, deadlines, and tasks required for successful project completion.

The Value in Execution

Whether orchestrating a client’s brand launch event or facilitating workshops for aspiring storytellers, our timeline planning chart is our guiding light. Let’s take a closer look at how it aids in execution:

  1. Project Management: Adhering to strict timelines is paramount when working on a photography or videography project for a client. Our timeline planning chart breaks the project into manageable phases, from pre-production to post-production. This ensures that every aspect of the project is executed seamlessly and on schedule.
  2. Event Coordination: Hosting events requires meticulous planning and coordination. Our timeline planning chart allocates time for venue selection, vendor coordination, marketing campaigns, and rehearsals. This comprehensive approach minimizes last-minute hiccups and ensures a memorable experience for attendees.
  3. Workshop Organization: As an instructor, hosting workshops worldwide necessitates efficient time management. Our timeline planning chart outlines the curriculum development process, promotional activities, participant registration deadlines, and logistical arrangements. This structured approach empowers us to deliver enriching learning experiences consistently.

What Makes Our Timeline Planning Chart Effective?

Our timeline planning chart isn’t just a static document; it’s a dynamic tool that evolves throughout the project lifecycle. Here’s how we maximize its effectiveness:

  1. Flexibility: While we set deadlines and milestones, we remain flexible to accommodate unforeseen challenges or opportunities. This adaptability ensures that we can pivot when necessary without compromising project integrity.
  2. Collaboration: Communication is critical to successful project execution. We share our timeline planning chart with stakeholders, clients, and team members, fostering transparency and accountability. This collaborative approach promotes synergy and enhances overall productivity.
  3. Regular Updates: We revisit our timeline planning chart to reflect progress, adjustments, and new developments. This real-time visibility lets us stay on track and make informed decisions throughout the project lifecycle.

Visualizing Success: Our Timeline Planning Chart


Effective time management is non-negotiable in the fast-paced world of photography, videography, and storytelling. A timeline planning chart serves as a compass, guiding us through the intricacies of project execution, event coordination, and workshop organization. At Stanley Leary Brand Builder, we embrace the power of strategic planning and leverage our timeline planning chart to turn visions into reality. Join us on our journey towards success, one milestone at a time.

Feel free to contact us with inquiries about our services or to learn more about our approach to project management, event coordination, and workshop organization. Let’s go ahead and bring your storytelling endeavors to life on time and within budget.

Proactive File Transfer: Upgrading from HDD to SSD and Mac Maintenance Tips

Are you feeling the need for speed? It might be time to bid farewell to your old spinning hard drives (HDDs) and embrace the lightning-fast world of solid-state drives (SSDs). As technology advances, so do our storage options, and transitioning from HDD to SSD can breathe new life into your digital workflow. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of upgrading, share insights into HDD versus SSD longevity and pricing, discuss signs it’s time to replace your hard drive and provide essential maintenance tips for Mac users.

Benefits of Upgrading from HDD to SSD

The primary reason to upgrade from an HDD to an SSD is speed. SSDs offer significantly faster read and write speeds, resulting in quicker boot times, faster file transfers, and snappier overall system performance. This speed boost can be a game-changer, especially for creative professionals working with large files like high-resolution photos and videos.

SSDs have no moving parts, making them more durable and less prone to mechanical failure than HDDs. This durability translates to enhanced reliability and longevity, ultimately reducing the risk of data loss due to hardware failure.

HDD vs. SSD: Longevity and Pricing

Solid-state drives also have a longer lifespan—about ten years or more. On the other hand, hard disk drives have more moving parts, are less durable, and are more likely to fail than their solid-state counterparts. For this reason, hard disk drives tend to last between 3 and 5 years.

The pricing landscape has shifted over the years. Fifteen years ago, a 2TB HDD might have set you back a few hundred dollars, whereas today, I paid $116 for a 2TB SSD. Similarly, the cost of a 1TB HDD has decreased significantly over time, so I ordered a 1TB SSD for $80.

Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Hard Drive

Knowing when to replace your hard drive is crucial for safeguarding your data and maintaining productivity. Here are some signs that indicate it might be time for an upgrade:

  1. Slow Performance: If your computer takes longer than usual to boot up, open applications, or access files, it could be a sign of a failing hard drive.
  2. Strange Noises: Unusual clicking, grinding, or whirring noises from your computer could indicate mechanical issues with your HDD.
  3. Frequent Errors or Crashes: If you’re experiencing frequent system crashes, freezes, or error messages, it may be due to a failing hard drive.
  4. Bad Sectors: Running disk utility software to check for bad sectors on your hard drive can reveal potential issues that warrant replacement.

Mac Maintenance Tips

For Mac users, proactive maintenance can help prolong the life of your hard drive and ensure smooth operation. Here are some tips to keep your Mac running smoothly:

  1. Disk Utility: Regularly use the Disk Utility app to verify and repair disk permissions, check disk integrity, and manage storage.
  2. DiskWarrior: Consider using DiskWarrior as a supplementary maintenance tool to address issues that Disk Utility may not be able to fix, such as directory corruption and file recovery.
  3. Backup Your Data: Always maintain up-to-date backups of your important files and documents to protect against data loss during a hard drive failure.

Leveraging PhotoShelter’s Pro Online Platform

For just $500 a year, PhotoShelter’s Pro plan provides unlimited cloud storage, allowing me to securely store my entire portfolio without worrying about running out of space. I can confidently upload high-resolution images, videos, and multimedia content without hesitation.

While PhotoShelter supports uploading RAW files for archival purposes, it’s important to note that these files are not accessible to customers directly. However, this doesn’t limit the platform’s functionality. It allows me to securely back up my original and processed images in the cloud.

Furthermore, PhotoShelter’s Pro plan empowers me to showcase my work to clients and potential buyers through customizable galleries and portfolios. Whether I’m sharing private galleries with clients or selling prints and digital downloads directly through the platform, PhotoShelter provides the tools I need to monetize my photography effortlessly.


Upgrading from HDD to SSD offers many benefits, including improved performance, reliability, and longevity. By staying proactive and monitoring the health of your hard drive, you can avoid potential data loss and ensure a seamless computing experience. For Mac users, incorporating maintenance practices like Disk Utility and DiskWarrior can further enhance system stability and performance. So don’t wait until it’s too late—take the initiative to upgrade and maintain your hard drive today!

Navigating the Complexities of Modern Life: Reflections on Progress and Challenges

In the quest for progress and innovation, it’s easy to assume that life should become more straightforward, safer, and more manageable each year. Yet, as we journey through modern existence’s complexities, we often face unexpected challenges and new layers of intricacy. One striking example of this paradox lies in the realm of fire safety.

Recently, during a fire training session, an eye-opening statistic from the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) caught my attention. Forty years ago, the average household had approximately 17 minutes to escape a fire. Today, due to the prevalence of synthetic plastic materials in our homes, that escape window has dwindled to a mere 3 minutes. Our living spaces are saturated with plastic—from furniture and carpets to curtains and kitchen appliances—posing heightened risks in the event of a fire.

This shift highlights the unintended consequences of our plastic obsession and preference for cheap, mass-produced materials over quality and sustainability. Not so long ago, there were fewer possessions, but they were crafted with care from natural fibers and built to last a lifetime. It’s a reminder to reevaluate our consumer habits, embrace minimalism, prioritize quality over quantity, and advocate for sustainable, locally sourced materials.

Fire Trucks drive through North Fulton Hospital to pay tribute to the staff and patients dealing with COVID-19.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer of complexity to the landscape of business and economics. Before the pandemic, the business world was already undergoing rapid transformation, with the rise of e-commerce, digital marketing, and remote work. However, the pandemic accelerated these trends, forcing small businesses to adapt or face extinction.

During the pandemic, small businesses faced unprecedented challenges, from navigating lockdowns and supply chain disruptions to accessing government relief programs. As we transition into a post-pandemic era, remote work and e-commerce remain prevalent, but recovery is uneven, with lingering issues such as labor shortages and inflation.

Adaptability and resilience are crucial for small business owners in this dynamic environment. To thrive in today’s landscape, here are some essential strategies:

  1. Embrace digital transformation: Invest in robust online platforms, digital marketing, and e-commerce capabilities to reach customers and drive sales in an increasingly digital marketplace.
  2. Prioritize flexibility: Adopt flexible work arrangements and business models to accommodate changing consumer behaviors and market dynamics.
  3. Focus on sustainability: Incorporate sustainable practices into your business operations, from sourcing materials to waste management, to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.
  4. Build resilience: Diversify your revenue streams, establish emergency funds, and develop contingency plans to weather unforeseen challenges and disruptions.
  5. Cultivate community: Foster strong relationships with customers, suppliers, and fellow small business owners to collaborate, support each other, and collectively navigate challenges.

In conclusion, while advances in knowledge and technology have undoubtedly transformed our world, they have also introduced new complexities and challenges. Small business owners can navigate these complexities and build successful enterprises in an ever-evolving landscape by adopting a mindful approach to consumption, embracing innovation, and cultivating resilience.

The Shocking Truth Behind Photography Clickbait: Why Time, Not Tricks, is Your True Teacher

Ah, the wonders of the internet, where every other click promises to unveil the secret to photographic mastery. From gear gurus to composition connoisseurs, YouTube thumbnails scream at you to discover the magic tip that will transform your photography from amateur hour to Ansel Adams in a snap.

But let’s hit pause on the hype train for a moment, shall we? Because here’s the real scoop: mastering photography isn’t about finding a quick fix or unlocking a hidden cheat code. It’s about putting in the time, honing your craft, and diving deep into the subjects that light your creative fire.

Before we debunk the myths and expose the truth, let’s take a stroll down Clickbait Lane and peek at some of the tantalizing titles that promise to revolutionize your photography game:

  1. “The ONE Camera Hack That Will Instantly Upgrade Your Shots!”
  2. “Unlock Pro-Level Photos with These Secret Settings!”
  3. “Composition Tricks the Pros Don’t Want You to Know!”
  4. “5 Must-Have Gadgets Every Photographer Needs NOW!”
  5. “How to Edit Like a Boss: Lightroom Secrets Revealed!”
  6. “Shoot Like a Pro: Mastering Manual Mode Made Easy!”
  7. “Get Insta-Famous Overnight: Social Media Secrets Exposed!”

Sound familiar? We’ve all fallen down the clickbait rabbit hole at some point, lured by the promise of quick fixes and overnight success. But here’s the reality check: while these tips and tricks might offer temporary boosts, true mastery comes from dedication, practice, and a willingness to learn from the best.

So, what’s the antidote to clickbait madness? Well, it’s not another flashy YouTube video or Instagram reel. It’s investing your time and energy into hands-on workshops led by seasoned professionals who have mastered the craft and made it their livelihood.

Photography Workshop in Togo, West Africa

Here’s my humble list of topics that, while they may not promise instant gratification, will undoubtedly lead you down the path of true photographic enlightenment:

  1. Patience and Persistence: Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor are stunning portfolios. Embrace the journey and stay committed to improvement, even when progress feels slow.
  2. Understanding Light: Instead of relying on presets and filters, learn to see and manipulate light to create mood, drama, and impact in your photos.
  3. Composition Beyond the Rule of Thirds: Expand your compositional toolbox beyond the basics and explore concepts like leading lines, negative space, and visual storytelling.
  4. Mastering Your Gear: It’s not about having the latest and greatest equipment; it’s about knowing your gear inside and out, from camera settings to lens selection.
  5. Finding Your Voice: Discover what inspires you and develop a style that separates your work.
  6. Building Relationships: Photography is as much about connecting with your subjects as it is about technical skills. Learn to communicate and collaborate effectively to capture authentic moments and emotions.
Lisbon Mission Storytelling Workshop

So, the next time you’re tempted by a flashy clickbait title promising instant photography fame, remember there are no shortcuts to mastery. But with time, dedication, and the guidance of experienced mentors, your photographic journey will be more prosperous, fulfilling, and ultimately more rewarding than any quick fix could ever offer.

Who’s ready to ditch the clickbait and start creating something significant? I’ll see you behind the lens.

Unlocking the Power of Photography: Beyond Snapping Shots

Heading 1: The Misconception of Photography

In the world of professional photography, it’s not uncommon to encounter individuals who perceive the craft solely as the act of capturing high-quality images. While technical prowess and a keen eye are undeniably important, true success in the field extends beyond just taking pictures—it’s about understanding how your photography can serve a greater purpose.

Heading 2: The Pitfall of Self-Centered Photography

Observing a photographer engrossed in documenting a nonprofit event, it’s disheartening to witness a missed opportunity for collaboration. Rather than merely documenting the occasion, photographers should actively seek ways to leverage their work for the benefit of their clients. This means thinking beyond the lens and considering how their images can contribute to the promotion and success of the event.

Heading 3: The Power of Proactive Photography

Successful photographers distinguish themselves by their proactive approach to their craft. Rather than passively snapping photos, they strategize how their photography can amplify their clients’ messages and objectives—for example, my experience with my daughter’s high school theater productions.

Theater Promotion Photos

Heading 4: A Theatrical Success Story

When my daughter participated in school theater, I recognized an opportunity to contribute to promoting the productions. By collaborating with the cast, I orchestrated a photoshoot to capture captivating images of the actors. These photos were then used to create promotional materials, including a banner displayed prominently outside the school—an unprecedented move that garnered attention and elevated the status of the theater program. the smaller poster doubled as a rate card to get local businesses to donate and sponsor the production on the backside of the poster; after all, we asked them to display the poster in their retail location.

Heading 5: Beyond Photography: A Comprehensive Approach

However, our efforts didn’t stop at photography. My wife Dorie and I also provided headshots and other assets for the program, enhancing the overall presentation and professionalism of the productions. These efforts boosted ticket sales and instilled a sense of pride and recognition among the theater students, akin to that enjoyed by athletes.

Theater Performance Photos

Heading 6: The Importance of Timing and Purpose

While documenting the performances was necessary for archival purposes, the actual value of our photography lay in its ability to promote future productions. We maximized our work’s impact by strategically planning our approach and aligning our efforts with the theater program’s objectives. School Theater programs will not use the photos you take this year of them doing a production like Oklahoma in the near future. They will probably not do that again for years. Oklahoma promotion shots to promote this performance will be used, but only if they are done early enough to be used for banners, posters, social media, and more PR purposes.

Heading 7: Key Takeaways for Photographers

  • Strategic Thinking: Approach photography with a mindset focused on how your work can contribute to the goals of your clients or organizations.
  • Quality vs. Impact: While technical proficiency is essential, prioritize images beyond mere snapshots to give to the actors and their families and deliver value and resonance to your clients, who are often the theater teachers.
  • Building Brands: Recognize the role of photography in shaping perceptions and building brands. Your work can elevate and amplify your clients’ messages, leaving a lasting impression on their audience.

Heading 8: Taking Ownership: Beyond Photography to Comprehensive Promotion

In some cases, as a photographer, you may take on additional roles beyond just capturing images. While this may include creating banners, designing posters, or managing social media marketing, these efforts ensure that your work contributes directly to the success of the program or organization rather than being relegated to mere memorabilia. My wife and I paid for the banner, helped distribute the posters, and put out the promotion on social media.

In conclusion, photography is not just about capturing moments—crafting narratives, elevating brands, and making a meaningful impact. By adopting a proactive mindset and aligning your efforts with your client’s objectives, you can unlock the true potential of your photography, leaving a lasting impression on your subjects and their audiences.

The Power of Vision Casting: A Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs

In the realm of creativity, sometimes all it takes is a shift in perspective to unlock a world of possibilities. As a photographer, videographer, and storyteller, I’ve always been captivated by the art of seeing things differently. Yet, it wasn’t until I stumbled upon the metaphor of drone photography that I truly grasped the profound impact of altering our viewpoints.

University of the Nations ~ YWAM Kona, Hawaii

Unlocking New Perspectives

Drone photography, with its ability to soar above landscapes and capture scenes from previously inaccessible angles, is a powerful metaphor for transcending limitations and broadening our horizons. Just as a drone provides a fresh vantage point, offering insights and revelations we might have overlooked from ground level, so does embracing new perspectives in our creative journeys.

This metaphorical revelation struck me deeply, prompting a reevaluation of how I approached my craft and my entrepreneurial endeavors. Much like navigating the skies with a drone, success in business often hinges on our willingness to explore uncharted territory, see beyond the familiar, and venture into the unknown.

Kona, Hawaii

Casting Your Vision: A Roadmap to Success

The parallels between drone photography and the art of vision casting became increasingly apparent. Vision casting, after all, is about more than just setting goals—it’s about envisioning a future that stretches beyond the confines of the present, about charting a course that leads to new horizons.

This metaphorical shift in perspective holds particular significance for solo entrepreneurs like myself. In a world where we wear multiple hats and navigate the complexities of running a business single-handedly, the ability to see things from a different angle can make all the difference. It provides us with clarity of purpose, ignites our passion, and fuels our determination to pursue our dreams.

Jet Skiing on Buford Dam on Lake Lanier

Why Vision Casting Matters

As we enter the waning days of March, it’s worth remembering that it’s never too late to embrace a new perspective. Just as drone photography has the power to unveil unseen vistas, so too can a fresh outlook on our businesses illuminate pathways we might have overlooked.

What is Vision Casting?

Vision casting is more than just setting goals or making plans. It’s about painting a vivid picture of where we see our businesses heading in the future. It’s about articulating our dreams, aspirations, and values in a way that inspires not only ourselves but also those around us—our clients, collaborators, and partners.

Why is it Important for Solo Entrepreneurs?

For those of us who run solo ventures, vision casting takes on even greater significance. As the driving force behind every aspect of our businesses, having a clear vision is like having a compass guiding us through uncharted territories. It provides clarity of purpose, motivation, and focus amidst the myriad of decisions and challenges we face.

Georgia Tech

The Power of Purpose

Crafting a compelling vision gives us a sense of purpose—a reason to wake up excited about what lies ahead every morning. It fuels our passion and determination, propelling us forward even when the road ahead seems daunting. Whether we’re photographers, videographers, storytellers, or communications consultants, our vision shapes the very essence of our work, infusing it with meaning and significance.

It’s Never Too Late to Start

While January often marks the beginning of new endeavors, the truth is that vision casting can happen at any time. Even as we find ourselves at the end of March, there is still time to give ourselves purpose and direction. Every day is an opportunity to embark on a transformation journey—to define our dreams and set our sights on the horizon.

Phipps Plaza is a shopping mall in Atlanta’s Buckhead district. It is located at Peachtree Road and Lenox Road, adjacent to the Phipps Tower office building.

How to Get Started

So, how can we, as creatives, begin the vision casting process? It starts with introspection—reflecting on our values, passions, and long-term aspirations. From there, we can articulate our vision in clear, compelling language, creating a roadmap for the future. And remember, vision casting isn’t set in stone—it’s a dynamic process that evolves as we grow and learn.

Embracing the Journey

As we embrace the power of vision casting, remember that we’re not alone on this journey. Whether connecting with fellow creatives, seeking client feedback, or collaborating with partners, sharing our vision can amplify its impact and bring it to life in ways we never imagined.


In the fast-paced world of creative entrepreneurship, vision casting is not just a luxury—it’s a necessity. It sets us apart, defines our purpose, and propels us toward our goals. So, as we forge ahead on this journey, let’s dare to dream big, cast our vision wide, and transform our aspirations into reality—one brushstroke at a time. After all, every day is a new opportunity to craft the future we envision.

Learning from Firefighters: Essential Lessons for Business Success

Last night, I had the privilege of attending a session at the Citizens Fire Academy of Roswell Fire Department, where I witnessed firsthand the dedication and expertise of our local firefighters. As they shared insights into their profession, it became evident that there are valuable lessons every business can glean from their approach to safeguarding our community. Here are some key takeaways:

Battalion Chief Jason Patterson leads class for the Citizens Fire Academy of the Roswell Fire Department. The Citizen’s Fire Academy is a free, 30-hour program that provides a more in-depth understanding of the fire service and the many functions it serves within the community. This program includes a variety of presentations and hands-on activities taught by members of all ranks within the Roswell Fire Department. With the support of our community, we are achieving our vision of becoming an innovative, world-class public safety organization.
  1. Embrace Continuous Learning: Just like firefighters undergo rigorous initial training and continuous education to stay abreast of new techniques and technologies, businesses must prioritize ongoing learning. Investing in employee development ensures that your team remains equipped to navigate evolving industry landscapes and embrace emerging best practices.
  2. Prioritize Safety and Wellness: Firefighters understand the importance of physical and mental well-being in their line of work. Similarly, businesses should prioritize the safety and wellness of their employees. Implementing programs that address mental health, stress management, and physical fitness enhances employee satisfaction and contributes to a more productive and resilient workforce.
  3. Effective Communication: Firefighters emphasize the importance of clear communication and active listening during emergency responses. In business, fostering open communication channels and encouraging active listening among team members promotes collaboration, problem-solving, and innovation.
  4. Adaptability and Flexibility: The firefighting profession has evolved significantly, requiring firefighters to adapt to new challenges and technologies. Likewise, businesses must remain agile and adaptable in changing market dynamics, consumer preferences, and technological advancements.
  5. Prevention and Preparedness: Fire departments prioritize prevention through education, inspections, and community outreach. Similarly, businesses can mitigate risks and enhance resilience by proactively identifying and addressing potential threats, whether economic downturns, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, or supply chain disruptions.
  6. Specialization and Skill Development: Firefighters undergo specialized training to handle diverse emergencies, from hazardous materials incidents to medical emergencies. Similarly, businesses can benefit from fostering a culture of specialization and skill development among their employees, empowering them to excel in their respective roles and contribute to organizational success.
  7. Teamwork and Collaboration: Firefighters rely on effective teamwork and collaboration to execute their missions successfully. Similarly, businesses thrive when team members work together towards common goals, leveraging their unique skills and perspectives to drive innovation and achieve shared objectives.
  8. Resilience and Persistence: Firefighters embody resilience and persistence in adversity, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to protecting lives and property. Resilience is essential for overcoming challenges and setbacks in business, allowing organizations to adapt, recover, and thrive in an ever-changing business environment.
Citizens Fire Academy of Roswell Fire Department listens to instructor Captain Keith "Doc" Schneider explain the benefits of using a doll house fire prop to demonstrate fire and ventilation principles.

By embracing these principles inspired by our local firefighters, businesses can enhance their resilience, foster a culture of continuous improvement, and achieve sustainable success in today’s dynamic marketplace. As we reflect on the invaluable contributions of our firefighters, let us also recognize the invaluable lessons they impart to us as business leaders and professionals.