Shoot It Right The First Time

Oh boy.  Talk about learning this lesson the hard way.  How many times will I do this before it finally sinks in?  OK here’s what happened:

I’m on a shoot with my friend Heather Gill (Check out her stuff, it’s amazing at and we are shooting one of our favorite models, Halley, in a 50’s diner in Missoula, MT.  We have the natural light, the giant reflector, the model looks just right, the clothes work, the setting is perfect.  I snap the shot.  I think, “Man, that’s it!!”  Here’s what I shot:


Love it! So I march away thinking, “Rock on!  Awesome!”  As I download the pictures and start reviewing them, one of my photography Jedi Masters, Ben Reed (, seriously amazing stuff) points out this one small detail…

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Are you serious???!!!  I left my PHOTO BAG IN THE BACKGROUND?????  This is beyond a rookie mistake.  I just got so caught up in the shoot that I forgot about it.  …Now what?

Two hours later I have managed to photoshop it out, for the most part. Don’t get me started on matching tones with the green leather on the seats or the weird wall colors…

Here’s the final version:

Halley's Diner72ppiwatermarked

Is it perfect?  No.  Would you notice if you didn’t know?  Maybe.

What’s the lesson?  Look at the details and make sure that it’s right!  Don’t take a hit because you had one guy’s head behind somebody else in a group shot or (in my case) you left all of your luggage in the background.  When your assistant says, “Why should I move that power cord?  You can just photoshop it out,”  tell that person that they can spend four hours photoshopping it out themselves, or that they can just move the #$%^&*@ power cord now….

Check the details and shoot it right the first time.

See you out there…



Shooting Think 13

Sometimes the stars just line up.  Literally.  I had the distinct pleasure of shooting the Think 13 conference in Chicago last week.  Think of it as a TED Talks for the credit union industry. The conference is a melting pot of ideas to push forward creative thinking in life and business.  This year’s theme “Disrupt Business as Usual” pushed the idea that to move forward you need to think and act creatively, not to just keep doing things the way you always have.  The power and impact of social media was also a big topic of discussion.

As the official shooter, I was able to sit in the front row and do my best to capture the energy of the moment.  Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ (and possibly future President of the United States) was one of my favorites:


He’s got my vote.

This was a seriously inspirational story about a man with small beginnings, who became a highly influential person through his creatively thinking outside of the box and his deep caring for the people of his city.

Daymond John, Founder of FUBU and star of “Shark Tank” was another speaker who gave us his story (which was amazing), and his five tips on how to be a shark…not sharing those :)…


Daria Musk, a global music superstar who built her worldwide audience on Google+, told her story through music…


Now for the truly amazing part:  Think 13 raised $115,oo for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  They raised that money in one week.  Wow.


For more information on Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, check out

Follow Cory Booker on Twitter:

They published my pics on Credit Union Times, which was super cool!

For more images, check out this link

Stage shots were created with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 70-200mm f2.8 shot at 1/320 at f3.2 ISO 1000 for the most part.

See you out there…