I wanted to start my blog with a few words about 3 photographers who have had the largest impact on my photography career. Without a doubt I am where I am because of these folks, Lou Jones, Vincent Versace, and Stacey Kane.

Let me share a few words about each (in the order in which I came to know them).

First, Lou Jones, I met Lou when he did a workshop on posing and lighting at the Portland Camera Club, he used folks from the audience as his models, which is where I got my bio photo (how goofy am I that having my picture taken by Lou Jones makes me giddy). While visiting his studio we talked about camera clubs (in general) and it was his opinion that if you stayed to one too long, you would never leave, you would get into the routine of shooting what would score well with the judges, not necessarily what you liked. I will never forget his analogy: “Picture yourself in South America, and while in the city you get on this dirty, rusted bus, it’s got boxes and suitcases tied to the roof and is packed with workers, children, chickens, etc., you travel out of the city to the next town, a few people get off and you’re soon back on the dusty road, heading deeper into the country side, and with each stop the towns are smaller and there are less and less people on the bus, you finally get to your destination and as you get off the bus you look around and realize that you are the last person. That’s how it should be with your photography; you travel with and learn from many others, until you finally reach your own photographic destination, that one place meant only for you. If you stay too long in a camera club, you’ll never get on the bus.”

The very next club meeting seemed different to me, the city was too crowded, I needed to get on the bus, I needed to see what was down that road. Though it was a great experience, I am no longer a camera club member.

Then I stumbled onto Vincent Versace (though it is not like I discovered him, as he had arrived as a photographer long before I could spell it) I saw his work and learned that a simple flower with a dew drop or a church steeple on a misty hillside in Vermont could be a full and powerful story. Go to the gallery on his website and look at some of his flora images, you will be amazed at how long you can sit and look at one of his images of a flower, you’ll get lost in the detail and emotion of such a simple and beautiful shot. Then I bought one of his instructional DVD’s. Have you ever tried to learn from an intelligent, talented person, and the only thing they succeed in teaching you is how smart they are and just how freakin’ stupid you are? Well, that is not the Vincent Versace style, this man can teach, and quite willing to share both his knowledge and experience with you, only a fool would not to take advantage of such an inspiring opportunity. Get his Books, get his DVD's. He is also a hoot to listen to; you can find him interviewed on several podcasts, like here, here, and here.

Which brings me to Stacey Kane, visit her website, if you want to see what images of weddings and children are supposed to look like (her specialties). I met Stacey at a PUG meeting in Portland Maine (Pictage User Group – NOT a dog club), she is the group leader (be warned, she requires attendees to call her the “Master of The Universe”). We have become good friends, well, truthfully, it’s probably more like I am stalking her, but it works well for me. She has shared her knowledge, her experience, and her gear with me; she has been a wonderful mentor (not sure if manly man should be using words like “wonderful” and “giddy” in a conversation). If I was going to hire someone to photograph my wedding or my family; it would be Stacey Kane (insert sloppy butt kissing sounds here).

Theses are good people.

So, what are my plans, why should you comeback and read my blog? It could be because you're in prison and after beating up your cell mate there is nothing else do do with your day, but hopefully you will come back here because you find information, tips, and tricks that help improve your photographic life, or at the very last keep you from saying, “crap, now there’s ten minutes I’ll never get back”.

And just to prove I am a man of my word, here’s your first free tip: Until July 7th Staples has 1 gig Sandisk cards on sale for $14.98. I know that there will be some digital snobs out there holding there noses (you know who you are, and we do too!) at both the brand name and the size, but this blog is not meant for digital snobs, it’s for people who want to squeeze every dollar of their photography budget until it screams for help.

If you have something you would like to share here, please do so.

Until next week, take care, and don’t run with scissors.

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