Friday, April 29, 2011

1st Day of CreativeLIVE

Well, Today was interesting for sure....

4am, I woke up in a strange place with a splitting headache. I took some Aspirin, and zonked out.

7:30am, I rolled out of bed at the City Hostel in Seattle. It's about 8 blocks or so from my destination for this weekend, CreativeLIVE with Zack Arias. I spoke with an Englishman. He was pretty cool, and was heading to Las Vegas. I had to resist the urge to tell him to avoid... um... "Ladies of Ill Repute." Then, my other two roommates woke up; A couple from Scotland. They were nice too. We talked about how Americans didn't know we had hostels here. To be honest, I didn't know either until I had to stay in one...

See, I'm not exactly rich. I'm not poor either, but this photography thing I'm doing hasn't put me in the "Rich and Famous" category yet. So for those of you in my boat: Welcome aboard to the "I have to do photography... if I don't... I don't know what else I'll do with myself" EXPRESS.

You see, before this morning, Zack was my hero. Today, after meeting the guy and getting an inside peak of what a real and honest dude he is, he's been elevated to SUPER HERO.

My head is full of all the knowledge from today. I really feel like any holes I had in my foundation have been filled with wet cement, and I'm just waiting for it to set so I can built this photography house on top of it... Want to see what I'm talking about for yourself? You can. The folks at CreativeLIVE managed to get a segment or two published to their website, so if you missed this mornings intro, you can catch it again, in all of it's glory right here... (Yes, I believe it's in HD)...

I'll have plenty of photos to post soon, but first, I have to get some sleep and get ready for tomorrow. We're supposed to be shooting tomorrow and Sunday. Nothing beats a trial by fire.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's time...

If this is your first time visiting my blog because you heard me spout of my address, live on the Internet, Welcome. What you find here is not an old hand that could walk out and shoot the cover of Vogue next week. What you have with me is... well... I don't know where I fall against my peers. I find myself so concerned with where I'm trying to go that I don't really look around to see what other people are doing. I'm friends with other photographers, sure, but I don't gawk and stare. Want to learn something from me? Let's go shooting. Have something you want to teach me? Let's go shooting. This weekend with Zack Arias... I'll be the student.... And you will be too.

I should be packing right now, but I'm sitting here procrastinating and feeling sick to my stomach. I'm completely afraid. I'm afraid that my mentor, Zack Arias, is going to look at my photography and tell me I'm a talentless hack and that I shouldn't quit my day job. Can I actually imagine him saying that? Yes. Will he actually say that? I doubt it. He'll probably come across more tactfully than my "Zack Voice" in my head does.

The "Zack Voice?"

Yup, the same voice that tells me,"If you're telling yourself that you'll just fix it later in photoshop: You're being lazy and you're being mediocre." I hear those types of phrases in my head all the time. When I'm shooting, or not shooting, Zack's advice echoes in my head and it effects my approach to photography.

One prime resource of these phrases is here, the Chase Jarvis Live conversation with Zack Arias last year before his first CreativeLIVE event. I downloaded it. I listened to it at work... CONSTANTLY. I must have listened to the video 500 times. I emersed myself in the dialogue that took place between masters of photography. Why? I knew I couldn't buy the CreativeLIVE course. I knew I wouldn't get to soak anything of the class in, so I soaked up the conversation. I hope that you'll be soaking up everything that you can from this CreativeLIVE course with Zack.

In any case, I hope something I'm working on is pleasing to you. If you want to, drop me a line to your site/blog/mom's basement and I'll check out what you're doing too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

CreativeLIVE - OMG

OMG. Like... totally.

I've never lived in California. If I ever say that again, punch me in the nose.

So THE Mr. Zack Arias is doing another CreativeLIVE class this year on various aspects of photography. For those of you that don't know, CreativeLIVE is the love-child-project of Chase Jarvis (world renowned photographer) and Craig Swanson (king of education ala technicals). The idea behind CreativeLIVE is to bring free creative education to everyone around the world, from photography, to painting, to programming, to photoshop. Last year, Zack taught an amazing photography class on studio lighting. This year, he's teaching something new: 10 things you need to know to be a photographer. Check out that link to know more.

Anyway, for those of you that didn't just click on the link I gave you (for shame), Zack wanted live students to experiment teach LIVE in the classroom instead of the tens of thousands of people that watch CreativeLIVE during their world-wide classroom. So he asked for potential candidates to submit videos relaying three reasons why we should be able to come to Seattle, WA and learn from him, in-person. I now submit my humble video for you to watch:

The video was filmed with my Android, and edited with PiTiVi and not some high-end gear, so I didn't expect much in return.

Finally, the deadline for the videos came and went. The next morning, Zack announced the winners on twitter. The first four of the six winners are announced. Seeing my chances dropping like flies, I tell my lovely wife, Caitlyn, that I'm probably not going to make it, and I start making plans to watch the class from home.

Then, I see this tweet:
At this point, I broke down and cried. I sent the tweetpic to Caitlyn, and her response was also un-lady like: "Holy Shit"

After I recovered from shock, I immediately went into the next office (I was at the "day job" when I got the news) and requested the days I needed off. I already had them off, but I wrote it down in big RED ink... "Jeremy - OUT"

I've been smashing my head against a wall trying to get my logistics in order to fly out, exist for 4 days, and enjoy the best class I'll have ever taken in my life. (That statement includes all of my professors at UNC, even the super-hott Western-Civ teacher I had.)

As some of you might know, I haven't made it to the runway with my photography career launch, let alone the takeoff. We have our two dimes to rub together, and that's it. Getting to Seattle is GOING TO HAPPEN, and I'll let God sort out the details for me. (He's pretty good at that.)

Chances are good I'll be blogging a ton after this... at least for 72 hours. ;-)

Thank you, Steve Frazer.... Salve Magister, I'm off to Seattle!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


So I'm so awful and keeping up on this whole blog thing that it feels like so much has happened in a short amount of time, so in this one I'll play catch up:

I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with my friend and costume designer, Leah D'Andrea in Nashville, TN. Shooting fashion and design work is something that I've really wanted to start focusing on with my photography. Last year when Chase Jarvis had Zack Arias on CJLive just before Zack's CreativeLIVE class, they were talking about how to get photo jobs. They said that no one is going to just hand you a job, you have to go out and get it for yourself. I had been following Leah's work for the better part of 10 years, and one day, I decided to take the extra step and drop Leah a message... "Hey, drop me a line when you get a chance." That one line message turned into a conversation where I told her that I'd been following her work and that I wanted to shoot some designs for her. That conversation turned into a meeting in Denver over Christmas, and that conversation went from making a few images to completely refreshing her portfolio. So at the beginning of this month, April 2011 for you time travelers, I flew out to Nashville and shot her designs and met some awesome people that went from strangers to friends in a few hours. It was probably the most fun I'd had in a single weekend in my life!

Pause for a quick breath....

It was a weekend full of "firsts" for me. First National gig (versus local), Longest shooting day ever (probably 15 hours of working that Saturday), First time at a Burlesque show (We managed to have some fun down time), First time at a Gay Bar (Wasn't on my to-do list, but it was quite a bit of fun). Talk about smashing a lot into one weekend... I felt like I could have slept for a week when I got home!

I'll be able to post some shots from the weekend when I've delivered the final portfolio (yes, I'm designing the book too) to the Client. That's only fair, right? I'll probably be able to use something that we shot just for fun though... Like this...

Anyway, I've got tons to do.

Salve Omnes!