Old Car City – Great location for photographers

The hood ornament from a vintage Cadillac at Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm Ï/1.4, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/800]
Old Car City in White, Georgia is on of the top photographer destinations where wilderness, culture, color, and history come together on a grand scale.

It is the world’s largest known classic car junkyard.

Old Car City [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm Ï/4, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/1000]

Directions to Old Car City USA

3098 U.S. Hwy 411 – White, Georgia 30184

Take Interstate 75 north from Atlanta, approximately 42 miles, to Exit 293. Go right 2 miles. Old Car City USA is on the right.

Take Interstate 75 south from Chattanooga, Tennessee, approximately an hour’s drive to Exit 293. Turn left, heading northeast on Hwy 411. 2 miles on the right is Old Car City USA.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm Ï/4, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/800]
Photographers have been going here for many years. Many will come and spend days exploring the 6 miles of trails with their cameras.

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]
In 2005, the European Union forced carmakers to meet minimum standards for pedestrian safety, based on damage caused in frontal collisions. The removal of upright hood ornaments helped meet the requirements and rather than make different hoods for different countries, many international automakers—including Jaguar—removed the hood ornaments altogether.

Old Car City USA hours:

  • Wednesday……Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday………..Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday…………….Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday………..Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday…………..Closed
  • Monday………….Closed
  • Tuesday………….Closed (Will begin opening 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 3rd 2018)

Call: 770.382.6141

The hood ornament from a vintage Cadillac at the Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Fuji X-E3, 10-24mm, ISO 400, ƒ/4, 1/200]

Pricing

There are two pricing options.

$25 for making or taking pictures,

$15 if no pictures are taken.

Interior of a Chevrolet at Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ì/4, ISO 500, Ä/4, 1/200]

$25.00 per person option

If you have a camera, or if you are going to have your picture taken while on the lot, regardless of age or whether a model is professional or not.

The hood ornament from a vintage Edsel at Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm Ï/1.4, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/1600]

$15.00 per person option

If you just want to walk through without a camera and not take any pictures.

Children from the ages of 7 to 12:……..$10

Children ages six and younger…………..Free

Chrysler at the Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm Ï/4, ISO 360, ƒ/4, 1/200]

Military Discount:

All active military personnel get in at half price for both payment options.

GMC Hood Ornament at Old Car City in White, Georgia. These were dealer installed GMC accessories. [Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm Ï/1.4, ISO 100, ƒ/1.6, 1/250]
Old Car City started as a country store by Walt Lewis. Today Dean Lewis in the owner. Dean believes the cars have been here for about 70 years.

Desota at the Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Fuji X-E3, 10-24mm, ISO 250, ƒ/4, 1/200]
More than a 1,000 old cars are on the property.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm Ï/4, ISO 4000, ƒ/4, 1/200]

All about first impressions

We’re built to size each other up quickly. Even if we’re presented with lots of evidence to the contrary, we’re attached to our initial impressions of people — which is why you should be aware of the impression you make on others.
 
How long does it take to make a first impression? Is it the length of your elevator pitch? Actually forget all you have heard, because it is in the blink of an eye that it happens.
 

A series of experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov reveal that all it takes is a 1/10th of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions (although they might boost your confidence in your judgments).

Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 400, ƒ/1.4, 1/125] 
Here are just a few headshots which show you how easy it is with just a photo to say something different about yourself.
Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 200, ƒ/8, 1/200]
You need to control the message of your brand.
Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 400, ƒ/1.4, 1/80]
Your expression, clothes and makeup for instance can change your appearance and how you are perceived.
Kalyn Wood [Nikon D4, 85mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 800, ƒ/1.4, 1/160]

Now this is an actress photo shoot for her to use in her portfolio. She needs to show people the looks that she can portray and understands they need to see it to understand what she can become.
When it comes to your company headshots do they look uniform?
When people go to your website and click on your team, do you have headshots?  If not you need to seriously consider adding these in today’s “Social Media” environment.  Just ask your kids what they call a person who doesn’t have a headshot with their profile – “Creeper”
Notice the difference the white modern look verses the dark traditional background can change the mood of the portraits. Both work and you need to decide which is best for your brand.
While having a headshot will help you not look like a “Creeper.” having all different types of headshots can look quite unprofessional.  Are you saving any real money by taking your own snapshot of your team to put on the website or your blog?
Remember you only have about 1/10th of a second to make a first impression.
They are not reading your bio to make that decision–they are looking at your photo!
What does your “About Us” page have for your potential clients to learn about you?  Are you a “Creeper” with no headshots?  Do you look like you cut corners and try to save money and take your own headshots?  Do all your headshots match or does it look like someone missed picture day at the high school and had a snapshot sent in for their senior year yearbook photo?
Give me a call if you want all your company headshot to look similar and help “brand” your company.

If photography is not fun, you’re not doing it right.

Army figurine soldier shot with LensBall [Fuji X-E3. 10-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/4, 1/150 – Flashpoint Zoom Li-on R2 TTL & Flashpoint R2 TTL transmitter]
Consider taking a break by going on a retreat or traveling somewhere new. Being away from the content of your everyday life helps you get out of the rut and gives you space to clear your mind. New faces and fresh experiences do wonders for gaining perspective. Take time to drop in, reflect and enjoy yourself.

I bought a Lensball for something to play around with for fun. My idea was that this could stretch me in some way.

[Fuji X-E3. 10-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/8, 1/25]
To use the Lensball effectively I found you have to find that spot between the subject and the camera that put everything in focus and compositionally pleasing.

[Fuji X-E3. 18-55mm, ISO 2500, ƒ/8, 1/100]
I also discovered it works best when the subject has more light on it than the Lensball. I learned there is a different focal point than shooting without it. I also learned to use small focus point in the middle of the Lensball.

Figurine Harry Potter portrait using the LensBall. [Fuji X-E3. 10-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/4, 1/40 – Flashpoint Zoom Li-on R2 TTL & Flashpoint R2 TTL transmitter]
The objective for buying the Lensball is being achieved. I am having to think differently. Choosing the right subject for the Lensball is quite challenging.

[Fuji X-E3. 10-24mm, ISO 200, ƒ/4, 1/3000]
I also learned that the Lensball really concentrates the sun’s power and will burn you when outside. You have to watch where the concentration of light is going. I played with it and discovered you can start a fire with it if you are not careful.

[Fuji X-E3. 10-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/4, 1/90]
If photography is not fun, you’re not doing it right.

If you do photography or anything for a job you need to be having fun doing it or you are not doing something right. Look for ways to put some fun back into you profession.

Freelancers date their clients and clients are not looking for a marriage

[Nikon D3, 85mm, ISO 200, ƒ/1.4, 1/5000]
Freelancing is like dating. Dating however isn’t the same as marriage.

Dating is a tryout for marriage. Dating offers you the chance to explore and learn before you make the serious commitment of marriage. … It’s not, however, the same as being married. There are different legal aspects of marriage (such as bank accounts, taxes, will’s, etc.) that you can’t experience while dating.

Now the biggest difference in freelancing and dating is that your clients are not looking for a marriage.

[Nikon D4, 85mm, ISO 2800, ƒ/1.8, 1/100]
Dating provides the opportunity to build a secure foundation before entering into the marriage commitment, but also offers less stability in relationships. Marriage lowers depression risk.

While these are breakup lines for couples dating, they are very similar lines the freelancer hears from their client.

1. “Something about us doesn’t feel right, and I have to act on that.”
2. “I don’t know what I want, and as long as I feel this way, it’s not fair to you.”
3. “I need something more.”
4. “We’ve really tried to make this work, but now it’s time to let it go.”
5. “I have a lot more growing to do before I’m ready for something like this.”
6. “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”
7. “I wish I’d met you five years from now. I’m just not ready for this yet.”
8. “Someone out there is perfect for you, I promise. It’s just not me.”
9. “We are not each other’s soulmate.”
10. “We’ve both changed and grown apart.”
11. “You’re my best friend, which is so much more important to me than a lover.”
12. “I just don’t see this working.”
13. “Love shouldn’t be this hard.”
14. “I love you enough to want something better for you than what I can give.”
15. “I think we need to work on ourselves before we can ever share a life together.”
16. “You deserve to find your perfect match. It’s just not me.”
17. “I’m not in a place to date someone right now, but I still love you.”
18. “I need to figure out myself before I can share my life with someone.”

What you should hear in all these breakups is you can be great looking, be a wonderful person, but still they are looking for something different. They are not wanting you to change to accommodate them.

Now we need to look for some of those silver linings. When you go on staff you will not be able to do as much work for others.

Employees have to deal with the politics of working for a single employer. A freelancer may have to deal with solitude and loneliness. I mention this because we need to honest, freelancing is hard and an emotional rollercoaster.

I have lost my job two times as a photographer on staff jobs. I came to realize with so many others in every profession that the days of working an entire career for one employer are rare today.

While Divorce peaked at the end of WWII and even with it going down through the years to the lowest ever, it impacted the mindset far beyond families.

“Welcome to the family…,” is how many employers great you when you are hired. However, the uptick in divorcing those employees has been climbing. Now more and more companies are using temporary employees/contractors over hiring and making them employees.

This is why today you are more likely to be freelancing than working as an employee.

Not surprising to me is that the latest findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics Report show that from 1999 to 2014, the suicide rate in the U.S. increased 24 percent.

[Nikon D3S, 60mm, ISO 400, ƒ/3.2, 1/40]
Prayer for Financial Peace

Dear Father,
     You who are gracious and kind, hear my prayer! I face more financial pressure than I can bear.
     “Save [me] now, I pray.” Show me, Lord, what I must do to get out from under this heavy burden.
     Give me Your wisdom and discipline, I pray, that I may move toward resolution of this situation.
     Guard my heart, Lord, and my steps; protect me from bad advice and foolish actions.
     Draw me close to You, for I need Your comfort and guidance.
     In Jesus’ name Amen.

Airborne School First Jump of school [Nikon D3S, 28-300mm, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000]
When Your Parachute Says Cliff-Diver you are in trouble. So many freelancers are losing clients for all the reasons similar to the breakup list above. Your clients didn’t marry you–they were only dating you.

Like it or not, your industry is changing. Everything changes; it always has, and it always will. You can keep up with and be part of the changes, or you can overlook and ignore changes and let others pass you by.

Take the time to read up on the industry and how things are changing. While some traditional media is going down like newspapers the upswing of media like Instagram is growing.

Join an association like NPPA or ASMP. Both of these associations are communicating what is happening now and who is making the most of the the changes happening and who is going out of business.

Build relationships with people smarter than you. “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I found that when I played basketball with better athletes than myself I was getting better. When I played people with similar skills that I didn’t evolve all that much in my game.

Create your own board. Boards advise executives of large companies. Executives go to their boards and bounce ideas off of them before they implement ideas. Do you have a small group of friends that serve as your advisors?

Listen to your customers. When customers are talking you need to listen. What is on their minds? Also, ask them questions about what is important to them now and what they see as a future need.

Look for ways to change. Try and adapt to trends rather than letting your competition come in and do this for your client because you were resistent to change.

Here is a great scripture which is a prayer that I will end with for you.

Psalm 25

A Prayer for Guidance and Protection

To you, O Lord, I offer my prayer;
in you, my God, I trust.
Save me from the shame of defeat;
don’t let my enemies gloat over me!
Defeat does not come to those who trust in you,
but to those who are quick to rebel against you.

Teach me your ways, O Lord;
make them known to me.
Teach me to live according to your truth,
for you are my God, who saves me.
I always trust in you.

Remember, O Lord, your kindness and constant love
which you have shown from long ago.
Forgive the sins and errors of my youth.
In your constant love and goodness,
remember me, Lord!

Because the Lord is righteous and good,
he teaches sinners the path they should follow.
He leads the humble in the right way
and teaches them his will.
With faithfulness and love he leads
all who keep his covenant and obey his commands.

Keep your promise, Lord, and forgive my sins,
for they are many.
Those who have reverence for the Lord
will learn from him the path they should follow.
They will always be prosperous,
and their children will possess the land.
The Lord is the friend of those who obey him
and he affirms his covenant with them.

I look to the Lord for help at all times,
and he rescues me from danger.
Turn to me, Lord, and be merciful to me,
because I am lonely and weak.
Relieve me of my worries
and save me from all my troubles.
Consider my distress and suffering
and forgive all my sins.

See how many enemies I have;
see how much they hate me.
Protect me and save me;
keep me from defeat.
I come to you for safety.
May my goodness and honesty preserve me,
because I trust in you.

From all their troubles, O God,
save your people Israel!

Good photos start with interesting subject and good light

Dodge Viper [Nikon P7000, 119mm, ISO 100, ƒ/7.1, 1/1000 – 2 Alienbees B1600 with Soft box]
You may want to take up the challenge today of finding something interesting to photograph. The first trick is to come up with something that interests you.

Dodge Viper [Nikon P7000, 55mm, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 1/1250]
For me I chose to photograph a Dodge Viper one day. I have just always liked the design of the car and thought why not photograph it.

I put the car in my studio and use a white background that I could throw the red gel on for dramatic effect if I chose to or just keep it simple with the white background.

One thing I noticed was just shooting at a different focal length changed the look and feel of the car. Starting with the first photo I shot it at 119mm, then to a 55mm and this third one is at 30mm.

Dodge Viper [Nikon P7000, 30mm, ISO 100, ƒ/6.3, 1/1250]
I moved around the car trying all kind of angles and focal lengths.

Dodge Viper [Nikon P7000, 30mm, ISO 100, ƒ/6.3, 1/1250]
I thought it was a fun shooting assignment. Just studying the car from all different angles.

Dodge Viper [Nikon P7000, 108mm, ISO 100, ƒ/6.3, 1/1000]
Getting close also was fun and mixed up the variety of looks I was getting.

Dodge Viper [Nikon P7000, 28mm, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 1/1250]
I found all I had to do for all these shots was get a basic lighting set and I then just picked the car up and moved it around for each photo.

Dodge Viper

CONTEXT

What I was hoping to surprise you with is that without some visual clue you cannot tell how big or small something is in a photo. That is why it is so important in some situations to leave things out or include them.

Dodge Viper

This was my lighting setup for the photo shoot and this was the camera I used for all the photos.

To teach yourself how to see start with a subject and then really explore just that one subject. Force yourself to take as many different photos of the one subject as you can.

The one thing I didn’t do in this exercise was to change backgrounds. With a small model car that is simple to do. Just take your can with you to different locations. See how much a location can impact the mood of the subject.

Here is a great article Model Cars Look Life-Sized Through Forced Perspectives. 

I think I spent less than $20 for the car and continue to have fun pushing my visual perspective pulling it out every once in a while and learning to see it in new ways.

Auto ISO and why I use it

Nikon D5 ISO Setting

On your camera you can pick your ISO setting or you can pick Auto ISO.

On my Nikon D5 you choose the ISO setting and then you can toggle right into the AUTO ISO setup screen.

Nikon D5 Auto ISO setup

You pick your range of the lowest ISO and the highest ISO you want the camera to use. This is great for the photographer who says I like up to only ISO 5000 and while another photographer is ok with ISO 102400.

On the Nikon D5 you also can set the maximum ISO when the flash is detected. This works with the flashes using the hotshoe and have TTL.

Now in photography we talk about the exposure triangle. All three of these controls together can over expose, under expose or properly expose a photo.

When you set your camera to Aperture priority then you set the Aperture and the camera will adjust the shutter speed if you have chosen a specific ISO like ISO 100.

If you are in Shutter-Speed priority, you pick the shutter speed and the camera picks the aperture.

Now if you have AUTO ISO picked the Auto ISO will pick the lowest ISO as the Shutter-Speed you selected and then you can control the Aperture when in Aperture priority.

If you are in Manual mode and using AUTO ISO the camera will pick the lowest ISO to expose the picture based on the Aperture and Shutter-Speed you picked.

If you choose to not use AUTO ISO then you must go and manually change this every time you change Aperture or Shutter-Speed and the camera let’s you know you are either over-exposed or under-exposed.

I found that 99% of the time the camera is making the same choice I would make when I set the AUTO ISO to what I want as the low and high ISO as well as the Shutter-Speed.

When I need to turn off the AUTO ISO for things like shooting with strobes on the Nikon D5 I just push the ISO button on the back and spin the front wheel and turn it off. To turn it back on I do the same thing.

Auto ISO for me is similar to anti-lock brakes on a car. The AUTO ISO will adjust the camera faster than I can and let’s me get more photos that are properly exposed.

Billy Howard’s presentation to FOCUS

Billy Howard keynote speaker for the FOCUS Atlanta event held at Professional Photographic Resources on March 10, 2018.

This past weekend Billy Howard gave a wonderful presentation to FOCUS at Professional Photographic Resources in Atlanta, Georgia.

Billy talked to us about the people he had met that ended up being subjects in the stories he was doing.

Getting a letter from his dentist saying he was no longer practicing started him down the road of photographing people with Aids that became a book.

EPITAPHS FOR THE LIVING–Words and Images in the Time of Aids

Billy Howard keynote speaker for the FOCUS Atlanta event held at Professional Photographic Resources on March 10, 2018.

Billy printed 11×14 prints and left a large area for each person to write their own words. One person took over a year to get the print back to Billy. When the guy talked about how hard it was to write what would most likely be his last words is when Billy realized these words were Epitaphs.

Blending words and pictures all started when Billy was a writer for a newspaper and wanted to take photos.

To hear more about how Billy became a photographer and the many other projects he is working on click on the video below to hear and see his presentation.

Where is the “B” [Business] button on my camera?

Many who first buy a camera put their camera on the Green “P” button or like on this camera the Green Camera. That is the mode where the camera does all the thinking for you.

Soon you realize to get the results that you were looking for you have to tell the camera what to do. This is when you start to learn what M, A, S and the other settings on that dial do other than the green camera or even the P mode.

When photographers start trying to make a living at this they look for the green “B” mode for their camera. They want a simple business mode that thinks for them and tell them what they need to do to be successful.

If they are not careful on some camera models the B mode is actually standing for “bulb” and that is another discussion for another day.


What prompted this blog post was a Facebook post.

Facebook post question: What is it that editors, photo buyers and parents are sick of the most as far as buying photos?

My first response: Photographer over explaining their prices. Just tell us the price. Give me a low, medium and high price option and let me pick.

Facebook response: Are you talking about editors parents or both?

My response: Everyone

Facebook Response: I just got fotobiz X. Is there a way to package that for people?

My long response:

Yes there is. The software is really designed for editorial, freelancers who do B2B verses B2C. However you can create your own price items. It doesn’t create a price list that you hand to people. It is used to create estimates and invoices.

I notice you and many others post a lot of detailed questions that really cannot be adequately answered on a Facebook or even blog post. Those questions about business are often show some lack of understanding of business practices.

This is quite common in photography. People take up photography and most realize at some point that putting their camera on “P” doesn’t mean professional photos.

The learning curve then becomes quite steep as they go from pointing and shooting to making the camera see the way they want it to see. Most will spend some money on classes or workshops.

Once you then decide to charge for your services and try to make money doing photography you quickly realize the “B” setting on trying to run your business doesn’t work. Well it is even more difficult than photography because there is no “B” setting.

You really need to take a class in business practices for the profession. You can pay a photographer with more than 3 years of experience that is successful to help you get started. I recommend talking to photographers who are members of ASMP.org or PPA.com. Both of these organizations have business practices at the core of the reason they were formed.

Because where you live can also impact how you run your business due to tax laws you also then need to talk to an accountant and an attorney. Each of the organizations have a list of those who work with photographers. Nothing can be worst than making money and then finding out that you owe more taxes because you didn’t do something right.

In most communities there is the US Small Business Administration that offers many classes for free. They want you to be successful. here is where you can find out more about their “FREE” help https://www.sba.gov/.

Going back to your original question that started this thread. You basically have asked about two types of businesses, one is business to business model and the other is business to customer.

Talking to a customer who is part of the industry [i.e. editor at publication] is totally different than talking to someone not a part of the industry [i.e. a mother wanting photos of the family]. One person hires photographers regularly and will talk a lot differently about hiring you.

While you can create a basic price list for services, in this industry you will find yourself having to create custom estimates pretty often. It is much easier to do when you understand the how you create a price for a service.

You have to know how much you have to bring home to cover your base. You know your phone, rent, gear, software, marketing materials and more are always ongoing expenses to run your business. You must know this number and if you don’t you cannot create a price for anything. You don’t even know what you must charge to break even.

99% of every photographer I have ever helped that came to me about business practices was losing money on every job. They were actually paying most people to shoot for them, but because they didn’t know what their bottom line was to run their business they were charging most of the time 50% or more lower than the price that they needed to break even.

Here is a blog post I wrote talking about just getting to know your expenses.

Here is a blog post on tips on price estimating.

Unbiased reporting doesn’t mean unemotional reporting

Robin Rayne Nelson keynote speaker for the FOCUS Atlanta event held at Professional Photographic Resources on March 10, 2018. [Fuji X-E3, 18-55mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/4, 1/90]
A young college student asked Robin Rayne Nelson after her presentation to FOCUS meeting on Pixels and Picas, “How do you deal with your emotions when covering a story like you shared?”

Robin said earlier, “We’re taught that journalists are to be objective in their work. That should be our goal. But we are human, not robots.”

Click on photo here to see the story that Robin shared as used by the Marietta Daily Journal.

I realized hearing this question that the young college student didn’t understand being a human being means you should feel all the emotions that the story takes you. You don’t bury these emotions, you embrace them. You explore them. It is through embracing you are taping into subject’s world. It let’s you really get closer to understanding their struggles.

Robin Rayne Nelson keynote speaker for the FOCUS Atlanta event held at Professional Photographic Resources on March 10, 2018. [Fuji X-E2, 10-24mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/40]
It is when you are really honest with your emotions that you can then be unbiased. You are able to understand what you feel is real and then backup and look at things from a different perspective, which the subject often is unable to do.

Robin said, “Some might call what I do advocacy journalism, and I’m okay with that, but I am first and always a journalist.”

While doing stories on disability for the Institute on Human Development and Disability at the university of Georgia Robin says, “Most important, my ‘why’ is to help reshape how society views and treats those with developmental challenges.” Robin is trying to persuade the audience to consider the realities of people dealing with disabilities.

Billy Weeks, Billy Howard and Robin Rayne Nelson were the keynote speakers for the FOCUS Atlanta event held at Professional Photographic Resources on March 10, 2018. [Fuji X-E3, 18-55mm, ISO 3200, ƒ/4, 1/100]
In persuasion, your message has to focus on emotions, all the while maintaining a balance between logic and feelings. Logic and emotion are the two elements that make for perfect persuasion. We can be persuasive using only logic or only emotion, but the effect will be short-term and unbalanced.

If you want to move your audience emotionally, you have to experienced it first as the communicator. People will not cry if you didn’t cry. The audience will not laugh if you didn’t laugh.

The subject’s story must move you enough to poor all you have into the storytelling process so that the subject’s story will move the audience’s heart and minds into action.

You can hear and see Robin’s presentation here in the video I made of her talk.

My message for student’s learning this craft of journalism and storytelling is not to be afraid of stories impacting you emotionally, my concern is that you are not being emotionally moved more.

As you peel the onion of a person’s story to get to the core of the story you should be experiencing a deeper emotion than when you started. It may be tears of laughter or sorrow. Each story is different just as each person is different.

This weekend I will meet my Storyteller heroes – And you are invited along

Chelle, our daughter, is so excited to meet Snow White and show her she is on her shoes at Disney World at Magic Kingdom. [Nikon D100, 24-120mm, ISO 200, ƒ/5.6, 1/180]
Do you remember meeting your hero? Our daughter had just turned 4 years old when we were visiting Disney World. She was normally dressed in pink, but loved her Disney princess sneakers.

She ran over to Snow White to talk to her. Snow White even came out of character for a brief moment when Chelle told her to have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Alice in Wonderland is talking to our daughter Chelle about her snow globe where she is in the scene. [Nikon D100, 24-120mm, ISO 400, ƒ/11, 1/180]
The Disney Princess Alice in Wonderland wasn’t just staying on script. They interacted with my daughter with where she was and made her day. Isn’t that what happens for our hero.

For my daughter she fell in love with their stories. Isn’t that how it happens no matter our age? We fall in love with their story.  We want to meet them and interact with them.

I created a group called FOCUS. It stands for Fellowship of Communicators Uniting Socially. We are professional communicators who meet in various locations around Atlanta, throughout the year, to support each other and our work.

I had reached out to Billy Howard, Billy Weeks and Robin Nelson in the past to speak to the group. This is the first time that all three have agreed to be our keynote speakers.

All three of them are my Storyteller Heroes.

Bill Bangham, Eugene Richards and Stanley Leary

Here I am with two of my other Storyteller heroes Bill Bangham and Eugene Richards.

There is one thing to see your Hero from afar and it is quite another thing to meet them and ask questions.

This Saturday I am going to have an opportunity to not just see Billy Howard, Billy Weeks and Robin Nelson, but I am going to ask them some questions that have been on my mind.

You are invited as well to come and see their work and hear them talk about what they do in Storytelling.

Go to the FOCUS website for more details and how to get there.

You can just show up and hang out with us or you can let me know today you are coming and I will have a FREE Chick-fil-A Meal for you. I have to know today to have the meal for you.

If your plans change and you can join us then please just show up tomorrow.

Here are some tips for meeting your Hero:

Be a photojournalist – Take lots of candid photos. Tell a story with them. Capture emotion, not just posed smiles. Include shots of the venue to set the tone of your story. The little details matter. By doing this, you’ll be able to look back at your photos and relive the experience.

Stop taking photos – Don’t forget why you’re there. Put the camera down, breathe deeply, and let your gratitude fill you up. Look around at everyone else and know that you are sharing a special moment together. Be present.

If you speak with your hero – do one or more of the following: express gratitude, ask a good question, say something funny, or share a short but awesome story about how your hero changed your life.

If you don’t know about these guys work then go to their websites and learn all you can. They each have a following and clients seek them out for their projects. Come and learn why they are so special. I promise I will tell you more about them at the event.