2011 NAPP TweetUp Party

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A photo I made and Erik and I together at the TweetUp Party
So, I did it. Drove to Orlando, checked into the Red Roof Inn dive of a hotel (gross! But I didn't know...I was busy running around! Drop luggage and run!) and start my Photoshop World Experience with some yummy sushi. Kathy asks me to meet at the Rosen and to bring my speedlights. Erik wants ME to help him with gear?!
I have to admit, I walked in and was instantly starstruck. You have to understand, I've been learning from a lot of these people over the past year and daily,weekly, pocasts, webs, etc...! KelbyTV has taught me a ton! I walk in and the whole crew and many others whom I've learned from are standing in the lobby. I'm not starstruck (gulp) I'm on a mission to get these speedlights to Erik.
Erik, as always the gentleman waves me over and I immediately get to work. Working with Krysten Marlette to get some gelled strobes working to make Erik's vision come alive. After some tweaking, the party is on and the photoshoot begins. Erik Valind is snapping away using modifiers from Westcott and everyone's having a great time! He's shooting tethered while Adobe Master David Rogers is working his magic getting them instantly uploaded to Flickr.
THEN, THEN I meet the one and only Robert Vanelli. This guy is a TRIP! He's a bundle of energy, really entertaining and friendly as heck!.  Soon we're flexing muscles for the camera along with my good friend Kathy Porupski. Erik is making fun photos of us. It was hilarious!
Kathy Porupski, Robert Vanelli and I flexing our musculars!
Mingling with the others at the party, I meet a ton of new people and get a chance to talk to others whom I've learned from via our WWW and then hanging out with Andy, and Casie. It was awesome! I see my new friend Rick Sammon, whom I had met 2 days before. And am introduced to Rob Knight. Now, with Rob and Krysten and their tats, Rick runs upstairs to grab his 'tats'. And we get some fun snapshots of that.  I then learn that Rick and Rob will be doing a workshop in Atlanta and another in Costa Rica. Oh how I'd love to go!
I photobombed...bad girl. Matt Kloskowski and RC Concepcion, host on KelbyTV and Instructor Extraordinaires!
So as the evening is moving right along, Erik is participating in a taping of DtownTV Everyone is having fun and Erik wants to make one more photo. I don't know how the idea came up but turns out, I'm going to be a part of that last photo he wants to make. I'm a cheerleading coach, we've got a pool, we've got strobes and modifiers...It's a splash shot. With Rob and Krysten acting as my bases, I finish the night getting tossed in the pool.
Frank Doorhof, a photographer and 1st year instructor at Photoshop World shot this video. It was fun!
Even if I don't get a pass to Photoshop World, this alone was awesome!
So, there it is...the final SHOT
All Photos except my one...are Erik's. 
Now, to Denny's to get a very late dinner! And for your viewing pleasure thanks to Frank Doorhof.


Photoshop World, Should I Stay (Home) or Should I Go?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The front grille of my car...sadlly.

It all started with something similar to this...a free pass to the Photoshop Expo Floor. Asked around to a few of my local friends about going and mentioned it to my friend Kathy in Tampa who's the President of the Tampa Strobist and Photoshop Collective Meetup Group.  She immediately says that I must go to the NAPP TweetUp Party planned for the night before the official Conference began. As I'm mulling over this decision, she's on the phone with  Erik Valind telling him I'm considering going. I met Erik almost a year ago at a workshop he and Michael Thompson of lightenupandshoot.com did together in Tampa (the same time I met Kathy).  They were both awarded Westcott Top Pro honors for their photographs using lighting modifiers made by Westcott.  Back to the story, Kathy calls me and says that Erik is DMing the details to me via twitter. Sure enough, he's really excited about the event which he's shooting and had some great plans and that I really should go. This party is a free event. Why not go? I'll see some old friends, potentially meet some new ones...potentially find someone willing to give me a coveted pass into the "World's Largest Digital Photography and Lighting Conference". Yeah right.
So, I pack my bags and hit the road. Knowing I'm staying for one night and HOPING I get to stay for the week. Luckily I'm within driving distance so, why not?
So, why the photo of the front of my car? Well, I'm known to be a wreck magnet. Something ALWAYS happens to my car when I'm on the road. Well, go figure, someone in front of me hit some shredded tire debris, which slammed into the front of my car and apparently dislodging parts of my car. Bummer.
Hmmm....I hope this party is worth it!


Bay Area Photography Day

Rick Sammon: Canon Explorer of Light, Westcott Top Pro, Lexar Elite Photographer, Awesome Instructor. Courtesy Cheryl Balara
After my Jacksonville Meetup I jumped in the car and headed south for a visit to my old stomping ground, Tampa Bay to participate in the Bay Area Photography Day hosted by Jim Swallows of  The Packinghouse Gallery. This event brought together dozens of meetup groups from around Florida. I don't know if my friend Cheryl and I traveled the furthest but we got a resounding ovation when Jim announced our Jacksonville Meetup Group. This collaborative effort was also to introduce those who are not members of a group to the various clubs and their mission. There were various stations set up around Sunken Gardens, the venue for the day, providing tips, techniques and tutorials. For example my friend Jim Sykes discussed macro photography. And Scott Krebs discussed his lighting modifier, the Saber Strip, which he readily shared with us to try a few shots of the model.
One of many Sammonisms...Very quotable!

Sunken Gardens
The guest speaker at this event was none other than Rick Sammon, whose podcast, The Digital Photography Experience, has given me a TON of insight into the world of photography. I follow him on twitter and this is how I how I learned of this event down south. When I initially ran into Rick in the Gardens, prior to his presentation, he acted as if we were old friends. He immediately started to provide tips on shooting "See Eye to Eye" "Don't cut off limbs".
His presentation was awesome. He asked that we all turn off our cells. So there I am, front and center (well front) with my cell phone, making photos and TWEETING, just after he shared the importance of social networking. I didn't get in trouble, I got praised and I have a new twitter follower, Mr. Rick Sammon, @ricksammon on twitter. Follow his blog. Listen to his podcast that he does with Juan Pons and learn. They're willing to share! Send questions and email them! "We'll make you famous!"
Honestly, I'm just glad that I can say that I personally met him and consider him a newfound photography friend whom I've admired for a long time! It's an honor.


Lightenupandshoot.com/Studio 3e/Jacksonville Meetup/Boudoir Shooting

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's been a whirlwind lately.
It started with a Friday Night shoot with Andy of lightenupandshoot.com. I met him and Mikey, the faces behind the site, last year at a workshop. First time I'd ever learned Off-Camera-Flash and how to shoot in Manual Mode. He ended up blogging about the lens he was using while photographing my son. You can view that blog post here.
And here's a photo I made of Kolby using my Westcott 28" Apollo Softbox and processed in LightRoom using and on One Software's free preset. FREE! Now, I'm saving up for their Perfect Portrait Suite! 
The following Saturday I participated in a Jacksonville Photography Meetup at the new Studio 3e owned by my friends Michael Chiapputo and Fran Ruchalski (Both are photographers whom I met last year with lightenupandshoot.com.).This space is HUGE! It's 5,000 square feet with, like 10 different sets and a dressing room and kitchen and and and...It's amazing. I saw it transformed from a shell to a Photographer's Playground. If you need to shoot, this place has endless opportunities!
Michael and many other organizers and assistants and models and make-up artists came together to provide a great day of boudoir shooting. Now, I may not necessarily be a boudoir shooter but am I someone who strives to learn more about lighting and photography? Yes! This was a great opportunity to keep practicing. Since I met Michael last year, he's been nothing but generous with his knowledge and even some equipment. As well as the local organizer for Help Portrait, a photography event started by Jeremy Cowart. More about Jeremy later!


lightenupandshoot.com shoot together