Today is Stinky's birthday!...

Molly, the oldest of my Irish triplets turns 19 today. It's a very happy happy/sad day.... I love the woman she is becoming but I miss the little girl she was.

When she was really little Molly thought all the hoopla on Halloween was in celebration of her birthday, and of course I did nothing to dissuade her from thinking that. I still don't.

I think there is at least one story that shows who you really are as a person, please let me share two quick stories that demonstrates what kind of person my Molly is.

Story 1:

She was 6 at the time, had long hair, way down her back long hair, and one day came into the kitchen and announced to us that she wanted to have her hair cut off so she should could "donate to the company that makes wigs for sick kids", then she turned on her heals and walked away. Her mom and I just looked at each other until one of us finally said "where did that come from?".

Our plan was to just wait and see if it was something she still wanted in a few days. Well, by the end of the week she had bugged us so much that I was ready to let her shave her head, get tattoos, and pierce anything she wanted.

So down to the hair salon we want, off came her hair, and it was sent to Locks of Love.

Story 2:

We really get into Christmas at our house, especially when the girls were still "believers", for weeks we'd tell elaborate stories about what we want most and why, and one year I wanted a telescope. We had marked the day on the calendar when Santa was going to be at the fire station (he lands on the roof and comes down the big ladder to see the kids) and when the day finally arrived it was cold and the line was long, Santa long, so it took quite some time before we reached the big guy. When it was finally her turn with Santa he asked Molly what she wanted and without hesitation the first things she said was "I want you to bring my dad a telescope".

Ya, I was speechless.

Now she is taller than her mom, looks far more like a woman than I like, and I am no longer the coolest man she knows (I have been replaced by some guy named Jason Aldean).

This has been a busy year for her, she has graduated high school, started college, and now drives around in her own car (his name is Steve), but she still kisses me before she leaves the house, will sit next to me on the couch while we watch TV, will say she loves me in front of her friends, and is still the same caring girl who gave her hair away and used her time with Santa for the benefit of someone else.

Happy birthday Molly, I love you!

Win a Fuji x100s from!...

500px is celebrating their 4th birthday and are doing it in style, they are giving away a Fujifilm X100S!

This is a great camera and don't take my word for it, check out what Dave Hobby, Zack Arias, and Ken Rockwell all had to say about it.

Dave Hobby - "As for myself, I am starting my 2013 round of HCAC assignments and many will be shot with this camera. It's that good" - read Dave's full review

Zack Arias - "The x100s is my desert island camera" - read Zack's full review

Ken Rockwell - "the world's best available-light camera" - read Ken's full review

You will find plenty of sample images Dave and Zack shot with the X100s that you will surely want to see, so be sure to check out their reviews.

Simply follow this link over to the 500px blog for all the details on how you can enter the contest.

Good luck!!!!

The secret to getting a press pass...

As a photographer, how many times have you gone to an event and thought how much fun it would have been to have unrestricted access to go back stage, behind the scenes, to places where the "normal public" simply is not allowed to go and take pictures?

Well, today I'm going to share with you a secret on how to get a press pass, the secret that I have used to get press passes to 9 out of 10 events that I request them for.

Are you ready?

I ask... yup, I ask, I find out who the public relations person is for the event and drop them an email requesting a press pass.

Okay, there is a bit more to it than that, but not much.

Make it easy for them to say "yes" to you, this can be done in a few easy steps:

Provide them with a business card and/or an online venue where they can view some of your photography (a website, blog, or an online portfolio on a site like

And because they are doing me a favor by providing unrestricted (and free) access to their event, I will say "thank you" by letting them know I am happy to provide a disk containing some of my images (usually 14-20 of what I consider to be my best from that day) for them to use for promotional purposes. I provide these images without a monetary charge, but I do request that they give me photographic credit (both name and website) each/anytime they use one of my images.

Another thing that will help them say "yes" is if you tell them you intend on sharing with your readers that you'll be photographing the event (assuming you have a blog), as this will give them a bit of free publicity prior to the event date. Free publicity to a PR person is pretty enticing.  ;)

Put all this information together in the first email you send requesting a press pass as these poor folks are pretty busy organizing the event and don't have time for a "back and forth" email conversation. I also recommend an email over a phone call as (again) they are busy and a phone call will interupt their day, where as an email can be dealt with at a time that is most convenient to them.

Not only have I had the pleasure of photographing fairs, festivals, races, museum exhibits, and other events I normally would have paid to see, I got to see them in a new, exciting way AND I get to combine it with my love of photography.... it really doesn't get much better than that.

It has been far too long...

Yes it has, it's been far too long since I last posted.

First let me say to all of the people who have reached out to me, emailed asking how I was, hoping all was well, and wishing me their best.... THANK YOU.

Since I started this blog waaaaay back in 2007 folks could expect to read at least 5 and sometimes as many as 7 posts a week, at least that was the case until this past August.

It was then that I felt as if I had finally been overtaken by the circumstances that life will sometimes throw at us. I will spare you the details but suffice it to say that I didn't feel like I was waiting for my ship to come in, or that it was here, it felt much more like I was watching it sail away.

But like they say "being defeated is a temporary condition, giving up is what makes it permanent".

So I wanted to let you know that I am still here and that you can expect to see more posts (starting now!), though they will probably not be as often as they used to be... at least not at first, it may take me awhile to work up to that, but that too will come.

So thank you for your concern and thank you for your patience.

I may not have fully realized what a phenomenal community had built up around Weekly Photo Tips, but I do now and I am truly appreciative of it.

Have a great weekend everyone, I'll see you next week.