The Latest

Top Ten Photos of 2020

For the past several years I have put myself through the difficult exercise of choosing my top ten photos of the year. Because of the pandemic I took far fewer pictures this year than I did in 2019, but I still have thousands of images on my hard drive taken between January 1 and earlier this week. And that’s after I deleted test shots, closed eyes, and those that were out of focus. Most of them, of course, had no chance of making this list, but there were a hundred or so that I had set aside throughout the year […]

British soldiers at the Battle of Camden reenactment

What I Saw at the Battle of Camden 2020

At the beginning of the year my calendar was filled with a number of historic reenactments and immersive living history events around the southeast. As the year started, I was able to attend – and photograph – reenactments in Brooksville, Florida and Aiken, South Carolina. Then, as we all know, things changed, plans were scrapped, and my calendar freed up. Along with a few hundred reenactors, I was more than eager to get out again, and that opportunity finally presented itself at the Battle of Camden. As is my custom, I will leave the historical importance of the battle to […]

issaqueena falls

Oconee County Waterfalls

The other day I saw a Facebook post that said “I’ve lived in South Carolina for several years, and only recently learned that there are waterfalls here.” To be fair, if you live in the lowcountry that conclusion wouldn’t be that unreasonable. But if you think that best waterfalls in the southeast can only be found in our neighbor to the north, you might want to investigate the waterfalls in Oconee County. That’s exactly what my wife and I did a couple of weeks ago. Candidly, we didn’t get great weather for photographing them but we enjoyed two beautiful days […]

Vintage 50s Photoshoot

When I headed off to Greenville, SC to participate in this year’s Create Photography Retreat a couple of weeks ago, I had landscapes on the brain. In addition to teaching a couple of landscape composition courses, I was looking forward to fall colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway, waterfalls, and learning some new techniques for nighttime landscape photography. The last thing I expected was getting a chance to participate in a vintage 50’s photoshoot, complete with a classic Chevy! As I have mentioned in the past, the Create Photography Retreat offers a lot of shooting opportunities. And there is something […]

autumn family portrait

What to Wear for Family Pictures

So you’ve cleared your calendar, made an appointment, and are ready to finally get a picture that will look better hanging on your wall than that cell phone picture a stranger shot for you on vacation last year. Good for you! Now you’re stuck at the next big question, what to wear for your family pictures. Relax, it’s not that hard to come up with some ideas that are simple, stylish and won’t look out of date by next year. Knowing what to wear will make the day more comfortable for you, and easier on your photographer. After all, both […]

Photographers and Model at Photography Conference

What to Bring to a Photography Conference

A couple of years ago I shared my thoughts about the advantages of attending a photography workshop. I won’t repeat myself here, other than to say that a workshop gives a photographer the chance to simply focus on his craft, learn new skills, improve her technique and benefit by the presence of other like-minded people. Giving yourself a few days to immerse yourself, away from the routine demands of life, is beneficial on a lot of levels. That’s one of the reasons that I have attended the Create Photography Retreat for the last few years. And, assuming the pandemic doesn’t […]

Period Portraiture Event

2020 will be a year to remember for all the wrong reasons. Fires, storms, the pandemic, searing reminders of inequality, the subsequent protests and riots, which only highlight the deep political divide that is tugging at the edges of the fabric of our country. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, this year has been disheartening in many ways. For many, the pandemic has had the most personal and immediate impact. Navigating the minefield that is a Zoom conference, figuring out how to entertain (or teach) your child at home, dealing with the loss of a job, or […]

Branding for living history

Branding for Living History

Most of the time, commercial portraits mean one of two things: a headshot, or some sort of environmental portrait. Headshots are simple: Head and shoulders, usually in front of a nondescript background. (Or that bright white that seemed so popular with web designers a couple of years ago.) Environmental portraits are more fun. You’ve seen a thousand of them. That lawyer, leaning on his desk with his arms crossed, legal books in the background. The smiling real estate agent standing in front of the house with the “Sold” sign. Or the barista, receptionist, or machinist, pausing their work long enough […]

Improving your videos

How to Improve Your Video Presence

Once someone knows that you own a camera with a lot of buttons on it, it is not unusual for them to ask questions. Often, the first question is, “why does your camera have so many buttons!” Then they move on to questions about settings, or their cameras, or how to take better pictures of their cat. Since most photographers love to talk about their addiction, we have no problem answering those questions, and creating a few more along the way. Over the last couple of months, however, the questions have changed. They’re not so much about photography, as they […]