What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
Until recently, I was a “Community Manager” at Adobe where I ran the online community forums. Now I no longer have a title, but am now running a photography business with my wife, Kim. I also am a freelance contributor at CreativeLIVE, an online learning platform where I’ve taught a few classes and also come in to assist photographers teaching studio lighting.
What inspired you most to become a Photographer & Photoshop educator? Why did you pursue this as a career?
I’ve been in and out of the photo business since 1979. But didn’t do much in the way of education until the early 2000s. That is when I noticed that a lot of photography education was becoming superficial. Too many important details were being left out. It was becoming a just do this and get this without the background info to know why. And some of it was totally wrong. Others that did give the expected results had incorrect theory presented. I wanted to try to help people understand why instead of how.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
Time and fear. People are trying to fast track and that doesn’t always work in creative endeavors. And, if it doesn’t happen today, I’m a failure. Or they are taking on assignments they aren’t ready for. But they might not even recognize that they aren’t ready and it sets them back either in their own eyes or in the eyes of their clients.
With all the new versions of Photoshop & Lightroom what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
This is a tough question for me. I live in Lightroom. I often joke with friends that if I need to take an image into Photoshop, I’ve failed as a photographer. I really try to use them as I would have used a darkroom in the film days. Most of my work is portraits, so I may go in and use the patch and clone tools in Photoshop. But what is most exciting to me is that it can all be done so quickly and easily. Maybe someday I’ll start learning to also use PS as a creative tool.
What Photographers & Photoshop artists do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
My influences tend to be older photographers. Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Philippe Hallsman, Arnold Newman, Ruth Bernhard. I don’t really follow anyone or look at a lot of current photographers work. But I do enjoy the philosophical posts by Zack Arias. And I learned most of my Photoshop skills by watching Mark S. Johnson’s site a few years ago.
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop and Photography the best?
I have to confess that Facebook is what I look at most. But mostly for social interaction. As I said, I don’t go out looking at much work by other photographers. I fall in and out of like with Twitter. I never remember my Flickr name or password. Other photo sites can be too overwhelming to get lost in trying to find interesting things. Right now I’m devoting all of my time to getting the new photo business up and running.
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 haven’t thought about this too much. My concern is that on many of the networks photographers are trying to reach other photographers. I would like to see some sort of network that hooks up photographers with their clientele. Whether that be art directors, or families needing portraits. I’m not sure one network could do that. But in the meantime, do you want to go Like my page??? 🙂
What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Lightroom?
Though I worked at Adobe for almost 20 years, I didn’t have any special insights into product development. So don’t take anything from me as a hint. For me, I’d like more speed in Lightroom’s Grid view. Maybe a bit more in the skin retouching area. Easier tethering with more control (though I rarely ever shoot tethered). As for Photoshop, it already does so much that I haven’t explored, I don’t know where it might want to go.