I submitted this photo to be critiqued by John Greengo in a Creative Live course called Summer Photography Essentials. I was so excited to get John’s feedback as I really appreciate his eye for photography. I am also slowly working my way through his Fundamentals of Digital Photography course which I couldn’t recommend more. For this image he suggested I fix the lens distortion that was curving the horizon line (which I have done) and lighten the shadows in the dock a little more. He said he really liked the photo and even went so far as to say he wished he had this shot! Thanks for the opportunity to share my work and receive some helpful advice. 

POZ Exclusive: Kevin Lyman Teaching CreativeLive Course

Kevin Lyman, the man behind Warped Tour, will be teaching a one-day class with CreativeLive called In The New Music Biz: Bands, Brands, Managers & Tours on September 27th. This is a great chance for an individual to tune in to what’s on Kevin’s mind, and how you might use that for your own work. Find more details here and check out a description below after the jump.

Keep reading

creativeLIVE :: 13 Lessons from Matthew Jordan Smith

This weekend I had the joy and the privilege to watch Matthew Jordan Smith’s creativeLIVE course on Fashion and Beauty Photography.

This is what I learned from a sloppy first-time watch of the live workshop. 
The only reason I’m able to comprise this list is because I had pen and paper at the ready throughout. 

  1. Dedication is not supposed to be easy. 
    You gotta want it! The barriers you face are there to keep others out - those who don’t want it as much as you. Embrace your obstacles!
  2. “Later” never comes. Go out and do it!
  3. Every picture has a hero. 
    Find the focus of your image. Make that element shine! (eyes, skin, hair, clothes, accessories etc.) 

  4. T.E.A.M. = Together Each Achieves More
    Surround yourself with the best! Get the absolute best team you can find! They are there to hold everything together. You are there to create! You can’t do it alone.
  5. You are the director - so direct!
    Actors want to be directed. Models want to be directed. Never dismiss your own opinion. You are the director, so don’t be scared to change things up!
  6. Learn the language of opposites!
    When shooting for a layout, shoot images that are very different. Use contrasting colors, perspectives, motions. Place two pictures side by side that show opposites. The result will be extremely powerful!
  7. Music saves the day!
    This is a great way to set the mood. Prepare a music playlist for every shoot! 

  8. Anyone can send an email. 
    When approaching potential clients, photo editors or photographers you want to assist for, you have to stand out from the crowd. Make an effort! Be different! Don’t aim to just get by. Aim to be the best!

  9. Put your LOVE in your work!
    Build your career by shooting what you LOVE, not what you LIKE. Discover your own point of view and show it!

  10. Don’t experiment with your clients!
    Keep your experimenting to you personal work. Know your gear, know your lighting - keep testing, testing, testing. 

  11. Spend time studying the great photographers.
    Richard AvedonAnnie Leibovitz (DVD: Life Through a Lens), Dave HillJeremy CowartJoey L. , Zack AriasChase JarvisCliff MautnerSeagram PearceJoel GrimesGregory HeislerPeter Hurley - the list goes on and on. Find your own favorites and figure out why they appeal to you!


  12. Seek inspiration in YOUR OWN LIFE!
    Study your own everyday life and try to implement it into your photography. Take special note of the things you do without thinking (tying your shoes, brushing your teeth, putting your socks on, preparing breakfast, typing on a keyboard [just noticed I only us my left pinky for pressing shift and tab. nothing else. awesome.])
    These peculiarities are part of your uniqueness. Let them shine through in your work! This is how you find your own personal style.

  13. Always Dream Big!

If I missed any good points (I must have!), please feel free to share them!

Follow Matthew’s blog for more amazing advice!

creativeLIVE: Personal Finance for Artists & Freelancers

Free live online workshops taught by world-class experts. Learn photography, Photoshop, software, design and more. All workshops available live for free

Cozins, CreativeLive is going a rebroadcast of a fantastic workshop Personal Finance for Artists & Freelancers.

It’s about 2/3 of the way through right now, but tune in for part 3 if you ever wanted to learn about investing! I watched the whole thing yesterday, and literally two hours later I was reallocating funds in my neglected 401k account. I was shocked how uncomplicated basic investing can be. @_@ ( as opposed to blindly assigning percentages to some long names and hoping for the best. Sound familiar?)

P.S.: you’ll know it’s part 3 when the presenter’s top changes from green blouse to a pink jacket!

creativeLIVE Bellies and Babies with Sandy Puc'

Ever since I started learning photography I’ve been reading a lot of books and blogs about this topic. Nothing however beats the power of a workshop. I’m an audience learner and for me, to have the opportunity to watch someone speak about a topic as opposed to reading about it makes me retain a lot more information. I still love my books, don’t get me wrong. In fact there is a little pile on my desk to read but I still love the personal interaction of a workshop.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to watch the Bellies and Babies workshop on creativeLIVE with Sandy Puc’. It was amazing, I truly enjoyed it.

creativeLIVE, for those who don’t know, is an organization that provides live free workshops on the web in a wide variety of creative topics including photography. This past weekend the speaker was Sandy Puc’, a renowned photographer from Colorado that travels all over the US, Canada and Europe teaching photography, marketing and a lot of stuff related to the area.

I must say I’m still recovering from the weekend. It was a lot of information in three short days, but I learned a lot. I loved to see Sandy interacting with the babies and how she captured their expressions. She even managed to get a shy baby who definitely was not happy with the studio set up warm up to her and took stunning portraits of that little boy.

Sandy also talked a lot about all aspects of the business of photography. She has tips for those of us who are starting out and don’t have the luxury of an assistant or a studio and for the more established photographer looking to expand their business.

Sandy is truly an amazing photographer and I really enjoyed watching her work. I look forward to put everything I learned this weekend into practice. So, thank you Sandy for all your valuable work and thank you creativeLIVE for putting together such an amazing workshop.


(via Press Release: creativeLIVE Closes $7.5 Million Series A Financing From Greylock Partners | creativeLIVE)

Great stuff via Mika Salmi - love the concept

One of the most useful sites out there that help me as a business owner and photographer is This website has online workshops for photography, business, marketing, film, audio, and its even starting to add courses for graphic design. You can watch all the workshops live FOR FREE or purchase and watch at your own convenience.

Today I started a free 3-day online workshop about wedding photography. I’ve been booking a lot more weddings lately (check out my site I’m pretty much self-taught when it comes to shooting weddings and this workshop is like a gift from GOD!

I’m so about this free education life after $40,000 in student loans lol.

This site is amazing! I can’t even keep this to myself, so I’m sharing and I hope this helps some of you out there as well.