What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
I’ve never been Queen of the Title (although that’s quite a good one, now that I look at it)… but I often think of myself as a “Multimediographer”. Technically though, I”m a photographer, speaker, host. At the end of the day – I’m an artist. Maybe that should be “Multititleographer”? Sorry for the levity – titles make me tired.
Every day, my aim is to create more content, define where I’m going next with my business – and continue to find the opportunities that are most in alignment with what I’m creating artistically and business-wise.
What inspired you most to become a Photographer? Why did you pursue this as a career?
Photography has been around me since I can remember – even the Norwegian side of my family (the great-greats who came here in the 1800’s) photographed their lives like crazy people. I grew up seeing life as a series of “moments” and wanting to document them all. Consequently, it was the first thing I wanted to do professionally, and took my first photography classes in junior college. Unfortunately, dark room chemicals became an issue after a couple of years, what with headaches and nausea – so right then, the dream went pfffft! Quite a crushing blow at the time.
I had other interests, luckily – so my ensuing careers became figure skating/dance, equestrian sports, acting on stage/film/television, broadcast talent coach, voiceovers, personal development coaching. Those were just the disciplines I was paid for… there were side interests as well. The entire time – I had a camera in my hand. I ended up with quite an interesting collection of photographs from a variety of “worlds”.
It’s only been in recent years, with the advancements in digital technology that I’ve been able to return to my first love – photography. It feels like a piece of my soul was handed back to me.
Fantastically, the opportunities to bring all my current favorite skills; photography, speaking, hosting, writing, teaching exist under the Photography umbrella. That’s why I chose to pursue it now – because I could do all of it and still (first and foremost) be an artist/photographer.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
Probably imagination and understanding. By that I mean; 1. The ability to imagine ways of creating a supportive, financially abundant career as a creative 2. The understanding of how to create a business model that works for you.
Both are learnable. I educate myself regularly on what’ current and relevant busines-wise. But I think creatives sometimes get a little “deer in the headlights” or buy into limiting beliefs like; “artists don’t make money”. It’s a perceived obstacle, but is a perception that often gets manifested.
With all the new versions of Photoshop what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
There are two: Content Aware, with its myriad of possibilities – and Adobe Camera Raw. Of course, we know that Lightroom is based upon the capabilities of Camera Raw. Since I prefer both Photoshop specifically AND a one-stop shop generally… I love what I can do with Camera Raw without ever leaving the PS environment.
Content Aware is simply unique and ridiculously awesome in what it allows you to do. It’s revolutionized things for me – and I barely scratch the surface of what it can do.
What Photographers & Photoshop artists/creatives do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
Oh my, there are so many! John Paul Caponigro is one http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com … he blends the best of what I consider to be photographic “roots” with a completely modern and unique artistry. I’m inspired by the particular way he has incorporated all of HIS worlds too… teaching, speaking, content creation.
Keoki Flagg http://www.gallerykeoki.com… an adventure, sport and fine art photographer, is local to my area. I admire the way he has incorporated his own timeless, original and unique stamp on the everything he touches. He has a story to tell – and does it so well. He has a successful gallery, travels the world – and is about making a contribution to the world. I like so much him as a person and love his art.
Trey Ratcliff http://www.stuckincustoms.com – who put HDR on the map. But what Trey has also contributed is a unique point of view about life and creating ones’ own highly successful niche. It’s about his photography, yes – but even more, following Trey was what first gave me the idea that I truly could create the life and lifestyle I had in my head. I didn’t see anyone else doing it quite like he was – nor succeeding in quite the same way. I have learned so much from watching him grow.
The photography empire known as Scott and Kalebra Kelby! Not only have they revolutionized the way we can learn and grow in Photoshop and photography – they’re genuinely deep and awesome humans on a mission. I love their story – and the legacy that their photo world is creating.
Maggie Taylor http://maggietaylor.com– she and her husband Jerry Uelsmann practically invented compositing in Photoshop. Pretty much everything else came later. I get inspired to try new things when I see her work.
For landscapes: Patrick diFuscia http://www.difrusciaphotography.com… for his his composition and processing. He does both so incredibly artistically, it must make Mother Nature sigh in appreciation.
and Chip Phillips http://www.chipphillipsphotography.com … composition and processing too. Chip is also a symphony musician (Principle Clarinet – Spokane Symphony Orchestra) and Music Professor. I can literally see music in his photography, which makes my heart do a little jig. He also does workshops and offers tutorials on some of his post-processing techniques in Photoshop… which is awesome.
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop and Photography the best?
I love Google+, that’s no secret. It’s “where it all happened” for me. I was on G+ from the first day – and it literally changed my life by opening a gamut of opportunities to learn, meet like-minded people, development friendships and business relationships, experiment, share work, create content, online shows and writing… the works.
Plus, OnAir Hangouts are just so unique – especially how they interface with YouTube now. Now you can build two social networks at the same time! I did an online show for a with a group of awesome photographers called “Life Through the Lens” for a year… and now host my own show called “The Chat” http://bit.ly/1g7TjAB It’s live and shot on location now – but that development came straight out of first doing shows online on G+.
Seeking SEO? Then it’s truly Google+ all the way, since the Google bots don’t touch Facebook.
However, Facebook is also important for me. It has its own thing to offer. There is some crossover with G+ – but there is also a completely different audience. So, I love the opportunity to reach those new people. I’m not sure what all the “new rules” on FB are going to mean for me just yet – but to date, it’s been awesome for me as well.
I never warmed up to Instagram… mostly because I don’t really feel like my life lends itself well to the kind of daily updates it calls for. Perhaps if I lived in a city – but I spend a lot of time by myself, which over time just isn’t that interesting, y’know? I could change my opinion at any time (the KHutt disclaimer for everything!)… but that’s where I’m at this moment.
Twitter – I’m still working that one out. I do post there, but am leaving my conclusion open as of now. The one thing I see that makes its prospects interesting is that you can now show photos in a tweet. I think that’s a nod to photography – which of course brings it one step closer to being relevant in my world. So I keep posting there, just to see what happens over time.
What is your prediction of the evolution of social networks? How do you think these networks will showcase artists and Photographers better in the future?
I don’t pretend to be a social network expert. But from where I sit – I only see Photography growing in popularity. I think mobile photography is gaining momentum fast – and is probably the Next Great Frontier. For some, mobile photography will replace regular cameras – there are those for whom it already has. I believe it will become a multi-billion dollar industry if it isn’t already – and that social networks will want a piece of that market. I suspect they’ll grow in directions to accommodate it. We’ve already seen that happen… the Google+ photography community shook things up across the social strata… so I suspect Photography will continue to lead the charge in many ways.
I’m not sure how networks will showcase artists and Photographers exactly… although one trend I see is a new approach to stock photography. New platforms appearing offering stock photos… percentages paid out shifting to be more favor of the artist. 500px and Stocksy are two outfits that come to mind, but I think others will appear moving forward. I’m not sure if there’s enough of a revenue model for established social networks to go that direction… but who knows? I think everyone’s waiting to see what’s next – and what will stick.
What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Photography?
For Photoshop… well, compositing is getting more and more popular and possible. So I think tools related to that will keep getting better and better. Content Aware tools are getting crazy good… so clearly Adobe is seeing possibilities there.
I keep hoping Photoshop makes things simpler for novices – but I guess we’ll see. If this booming mobile photography market starts demanding better tools to process those photos – it’ll be interesting to see what part Photoshop wants to play in all of that.
Video continues to gain momentum and popularity – and Photoshop now has video editing capabilities built in. So for future… it’ll be interesting to see where they go with that.
For Photography… I keep returning to Mobile Photography. I just see an exponential growth happening there. I’ve been privileged to be an early tester for at least 3 of the new phones coming out – and I can tell you, the focus is HUGE on the camera and editing tools. It’s amazing to get an early view on where they’re heading… and the competition is fierce. Basically, I think we’re in a phase of shift. Photography used to be rather elite – only for those who could afford the gear. Now, it’s being produced for the masses – where anyone can be a photographer. It’s becoming a part of everyday life.
Where will people take that? I’m not sure – only that it’s one heck of an exciting time to BE a photographer! All bets are off… all possibilities exist. What better ride to be on?