Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Gear’ Category

Meet the Family: Nikon’s Ambassadors

To be honest, I am still going through this career with a somewhat surreal feeling inside that I am walking in another person’s shoes. It’s fun, it’s stressful, but at the end of the day there is nothing I’d rather be doing… other than being a Ghostbuster.

Last week I was in New York to meet with Nikon. It was not just a meeting, but the first “Ambassador Summit,” where those of us honored to call ourselves Ambassadors would gather and meet the rest of the family. I had no idea what to expect, and decided that I should do what I do best…. so I checked into the hotel and immediately went down to the lobby bar.

Nikon Ambassadors

Fight it as much as we can, we photographers are a lot more alike than we think. Proof of this… within 1 hour, every other ambassador with with me at the bar and the stories starting flying over pints of Stella. On many occasions I found myself mentally removing myself from the conversation at hand to step back and admire the talent that I was fortunate to be sitting with. Even more incredible was to be able to stand next to them as brothers and sisters… my Nikon family.

What I wouldn’t give for a video to show you all the shenanigans that went on, or the laughs that were had. However, we put the cameras down and got to know each other beyond our work and accomplishments. This being perhaps the greatest honor of all. Getting to talk to other photographers that I know and respect about our families, hobbies and occasionally photography.

While I’m bummed the entire photo world couldn’t sit next to us and share a beer, I decided to write down notes about each of the ambassadors and share them as a kind of insight to what each of us is like away from the camera. I will go in the order we spoke:

Nikon Ambassadors

Joe McNally – This was actually my first time meeting Joe, and I was a bit hesitant to bug him, as he is often the guy that everyone wants to talk to. Then to my surprise, while heading into dinner, he approached me and introduced himself. It was immediately apparent that this man possess a kindness and humility that we all should aspire to. The night after our speeches (and again at the hotel bar) he was the guy I talked to the most, about life, traveling, and our flights in fighter jets. A good man to the core.

Jerry Ghionis – First thing to know about Jerry is that you should never seat he and I next to each other at dinner. He reminds me very much of two of my best friends, and with the two of us at fine dining establishment, nothing but mischief could be expected. Much of the table was in tears with laughter, while the rest of the table was trying their best to claim no association with the two of us. Not once did we talk photo, and that one of the reasons I think we get along so well.

Corey Rich – The first to join me at the inaugural beer, we share a love of Stella. I don’t think I saw Corey once where he wasn’t smiling. I think I may have disappointed him when I mentioned that the trip to New York was one of the first where I saw snow, or that I have never gone camping. He strikes me as being far more outdoorsy than I am, but is a great guy nonetheless.

Lucas Gilman – Let me start out by saying that I blame Lucas for the cold which I currently have, but I will forgive him for this. Lucas is a very quiet guy that is hilarious when he says something. I could tell that he was taking it all in as well. Personality wise, I think he and I are a lot alike. The last drink I in New York I shared with he and a couple other ambassadors and I found myself wishing I had chatted more with him during the summit.

Ami Vitale – Ami has photographed in some of the most dangerous, life threatening situations on Earth. She has worked amidst gun fire and bombs and the chaos of war. So it is only ironic that we met at Starbucks, while both of us were freaking out about the five minute speeches that we had to give. She is extremely sweet, soft spoken and the only person I’ve ever met that dressed as a panda to do a photoshoot.

Cliff Mautner – Sadly, I didn’t get to talk to Cliff all that much during the summit. However, on a slight funny note, he drove us back to the hotel after a dinner and there wasn’t enough room for all the guys in his Porsche Cayenne, so Corey and I rode in the trunk.

Bill Frakes – A fellow Sun Devil, Bill and I have tried unsuccessfully on many occasions to grab a coffee. He is a man that has many great stories from shoots. The irony is how much we have photographed the same athletes, but couldn’t be more different in our approach to photographing them. He shoots the games, whereas I shoot in the studio. We joked on many occasions about gear. The main one being that I have shot with the same body and lens for nearly seven years, where he shoots some events with fifty (yes, 50) cameras at once.

Dave Black – Dave is another guy I wish I could have talked with more. I enjoy looking at his work, and would have loved to hear the stories behind much of it. I believe he is one of the quite, super intellectual types. One thing to note, we both love Hans Zimmer’s music before shoots.

Robin Layton – OMG is Robin an awesome person. We met a couple years back while we were speaking in Atlanta, both for our first time. She and I are each others cheerleaders and she is a person that I can talk to about anything. She sees things in such a beautiful and artistic way that she even designed a house that was nothing less than stunning.

Sandro – A soft spoken man that is photography in its purest form. What is so cool about him is he absolute love of creating art. He played a video during his speech and I remember thinking to myself, “now that’s what I’m talking about.” I think that he and I are quite similar in our approach towards creating in that we research a ton before ever setting foot in studio.

Moose Peterson – I didn’t get to speak to Moose at all other than a quick handshake. I could tell that he was a man that is passionate about conservation and protecting animals near extinctions. One funny thing that I got from his speech is that he has sat still in a sand hole in the California sun for 12 hours to take a single image of a near extinct marsupial…. now that is dedication.

Dixie Dixon – The fashion heart of our group (proof in that she is wearing heart-shaped sunglasses in the group photo). Dixie is a hard working girl that has gotten comfortable with the speaking aspect of this job that many of us fear. While full of enthusiasm, she can mellow out with the best of em over beer. She played along with Jerry and my humor like a champ. A damn cool girl.

Andrew Hancock – This guy has dedication. We took a taxi together from Long Island to Brooklyn and I was taken back by how much of his life he dedicates to photography. He wants to learn and has a passion for making his craft better. He was one of the few that I got to talk watches with and I can see a cool pairing if we were to shoot a project together.

Tamara Lackey – Tamara possesses vegan powers (a reference to Scott Pilgrim). In all reality though, she could teach you how to make any dish vegan, and from how much she knows, I can imagine it would taste good. She has a huge heart and an extreme love for her family. Just talking to her makes you care about the world around us more.

Bambi Cantrell – I got to sit next to her for the first day of the conference, and wow. She could do nothing and still go down amongst the best wedding photos ever, yet she is still asking questions and trying to learn. During a meeting where we (the ambassadors) were answering a ton of questions, she was taking notes the whole time. She truly cares about helping the Nikon family grow stronger. As I promised… Bambi, thank you for buying me a banana :-)

Ron Magill – OH. MY. GOD. This man is crazy. Do you remember the guy that did the Micro Machine’s commercials that could talk super fast? He is like Ron’s long lost brother. Ron managed to take a crowd that was mostly asleep after my speech and get them pumped up as if they were knocking back Red Bulls the whole time. In all seriousness though, this man will save animals by showing the world how important they are. While there were fun little jokes made about his enthusiasm about animals, we all look at what he is doing to protect many species with huge respect.

This is my Nikon family, incredible people every last one of them. All talented, yet humble and passionate about what they shoot, and what they shoot it with.

I want to say a genuine and heartfelt Thank You to Mike, Mark and the entire Nikon family. You guys give us so much more than we could ever ask for and we will never be able to say thank you enough.

Thank you.

The Blackberry Classic

I already know I am going to catch hell for writing this one. You see modern technology is no longer an area of acceptable opinion, it is now in the realms of politics and religion. Quite sad really.

In the few days since I got the Blackberry Classic I have had many conversations that begin with the line, “why would you want to use a Blackberry when the iPhone is much superior?”

Here in lies the problem with modern web based journalism in the tech arena. It concludes that since it isn’t an iPhone or an Android, then it is a joke. This assessment couldn’t be further from the truth. It is like saying that if someone votes Democrat or Republican, then in turn they are a bad person, when it has nothing to do with the strength of their character. This dichotomous viewpoint hurts us all and is more polarizing than the vote cast at the ballot box altogether. But I digress…

Blackberry Classic

Reviews of the Blackberry Classic were, well…. not so good. Often based off the measurement that it was…. “not an iPhone.” However, therein lies the beauty of this phone.

I picked it up because I look back on the days where I could run through the airport and fire off emails and texts without so much as even looking at the screen. At heart, I just love the keyboard. A part of me yearned for the fact that the Classic doesn’t do a ton other than emails, texts and… wait for it… act as a phone. If you want to play games, forget about it. If you want to replace you camera with it, forget about it. That is the beauty of it.

Said quest for a return to the golden age of having a good cell phone came when I started to find that, as much I wanted to believe otherwise, cameras on phones just aren’t close to having a proper camera, even a small one. What makes a camera like the Nikon 1 V3 so great is that it wasn’t made to be a phone, it was made to be a camera. Now there are always advantages to having a camera with you (i.e. on the phone), but as time has gone by, I am more willing to watch those experiences with my own eyes, rather than document them with a phone just because it has a camera.

Which brings me back to my initial point. I got a Blackberry Classic because I missed having just a phone. Yes, I still have an iPhone, it is fun to have options for things like vacations. However, The Classic is my go-to phone because it helps me get work done and nothing more.

Blackberry Classic

Moving forward, our jobs as humans should be to not hate something quickly because the internet says it’s uncool. In doing so, you are limiting the amount of possibility that exists to you. Whether the review is genuine or a secretly paid bias (see John Oliver’s segment about Native Advertising here), it is still just one person’s opinion. However, if you take the time to look further into something, whether it be phones, tv’s, heck even camera gear, you may find that your needs differ and that said item is important to you.

At the end of the day, the difference between a person with an iPhone, Android or Blackberry is not determined by the phone in hand, but rather the hand that holds the phone.

Bb shoots… Fashion???

Like many, if not all, other photographers, I enjoy the the vast amount of avenues in our medium. Be it photojournalism, table top, macro, etc., I really appreciate what so many other photographers do, and celebrate their successes as much as my own. Unfortunately, I don’t get called to shoot these types of photography, because I haven’t shot them. Let’s be honest, it’s best to stick with someone who has a background in creating an image for the needed situation. But what happens when a client gives you carte blanche on a campaign…. and then asks you to star in it?

This was the case for the LowePro Echelon photoshoot.

LowePro Echelon

So what does a photographer, who is actually quite shy, do when faced with a campaign about himself? … I hired a model that was much better looking than me. No need for me to create beautiful images only to screw them up with my nerdy face in all the shots. From there I started to really think about what appealed to me for the campaign, at least from a stylistic standpoint. While I could shoot it with all the lights in the world (what I am more commonly known for), I felt this was an opportunity to pay homage to a style of photography I love… fashion. More specifically the hard lit Italian type usually seen in black & white.

LowePro Echelon

I love the simplicity of fashion along with the freedom derived from its philosophy. It is the essence of expression’s hand being lent completely to art. It is beauty.

Enough waxing poetic… let’s talk approach.

I decided that I would approach this campaign in two directions. One would see me in front of the camera in a lifestyle feeling image. I felt that this would satisfy the needs of LowePro to have their spokesman’s face on a few images to promote with. The second part would be the fashion shots.

LowePro Echelon

For the fashion images, I decided a tribute to the late 80’s black & white fashion would be cool, but wanted to add my own approach in making them a split color and kicking a couple more lights in than was normal. I wanted the emotion to be confident, but not cocky, and the styling to feel accomplished, but subdued to match the bag line.

I gave my good friends at Maurice Lacroix a phone call, and a day later we had their entire line on hand to grace the model’s wrists. Not to mention, it gave me a chance to wear the Gravity, a watch that I tried to buy and was not even able to get my hands on before it sold out!!!

LowePro Echelon

Next up I talked to Nikon to get some extra camera gear for the shoot, not only to shoot with, but to use in the images. We felt that when it came to true style, the Df fit the roll perfectly. Along with that, they sent me the D4s and the 58 f/1.4 (both of which I ended up buying after using on this shoot).

 

This campaign really means a lot to me, not only for the images, but for the experience. It was a celebration of what I am fortunate enough to do for a living, and along side me stood the friends that I stand next to in the biggest of shoots. I hope that you enjoy the images as much as I enjoyed creating them for you.

Thank you.

Echelon

Sometimes the phone rings and the conversation that awaits you is not one that you could have ever expected… This was the case for me last May.

On the other end was the marketing director for LowePro. While I have talked with him many times, the conversation that awaited me was quite surreal. He said plane and simple, “we have made you a bag line.”

Now if he would have said that they made me a bag, I would have lost my mind at how cool that was, but a bag line!?!?!?  I think my only response was, “thank you, but I just don’t deserve this.” I feel that things like this, and some other endorsements, are at a constant battle in my mind telling me that I am much cooler than I am. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for it all, but damn, I have long since passed the point where thank you can say enough. No amount of gratitude that I can type about or express in person will ever describe how much you (my friends and family) and my sponsors mean to me…. A genuine and heartfelt THANK YOU.

Now onto the bag….. LINE (yes, even I chuckle inside when I think about it)

Now when I first thought of a bag line, I thought okay, maybe they have a couple of backpacks or roller bags that I need to take some photos with. This was not the case, far far far from it. On a conference call with the marketing and design teams, they described the ultimate bag. Now when I say ultimate, I mean, “hey, we spared NO expense and made a bag to show what a company can do when they want to show off.” For the car guys out there, here is the analogy that best describes it… Many car makers made a one of a kind car for the Geneva Auto Show as an example of what is possible. It is a car that will likely never be sold or driven on the road, but rather an exercise in art and design at its finest.

The phone call continued… the bag (which I already thought was the greatest photo bag ever) had some friends it wanted to bring to the party. One called the Attache and the other the Laptop, both of which were top of the line in ever single detail. Throughout the presentation one word was used more than any other… Luxury.

It was very obvious that what they were describing to me was a collection of bags that showed the essence of what a large company like LowePro could do if they so desired. The pieces were the strongest, most beautiful bags I had ever seen, and more importantly, they were understated. Even the logos on the outside of them had all color removed, as to not draw unwanted attention. After all, the truest form of luxury and accomplishment is not having to boast about it.

In the early stages it was questioned if the bags could even be produced en mass. We knew that the costs would put them very much at the all time top for camera bags, but that was less the issue, it was actually making them that would be tough. With hand stitched leather and a single piece tub, these bags would stretch the resources of even a company like LowePro.

Fast forward a couple months and the phone rang again. It was LowePro calling to tell me that my bag line had been produced. Due to the sheer costs and the level of the bags, only 400 had been made. To me, this was the rare chance to purchase the unicorn of the camera bag market. I was ecstatic when they told me that they were giving me a set. However, when it arrived last week, I immediately called them and purchased a second set, because damn are they incredible. I thought that in production there would be small little details lost from the prototypes I had, but this was not the case, they were and are the pinnacle of design for a camera bag.

So without further adieu, I present to you the greatest camera bags I have ever seen….. ECHELON

LowePro Echelon

Shooting the Super Bowl Commercial

When I began photography as a career, I often wondered what it would be like to do certain kinds of campaigns. Of these, I did wonder what it would be like to shoot a Super Bowl commercial. I imagined crazy sets where people barked orders down the line of command and the photographer or director in the center of it all, only being bugged when it is of dire importance.

The idea of this was something that existed in my mind and may indeed exist in real life. However, the reality that hit me when I was awarded this campaign was that I could determine what a set for a Super Bowl commercial looked like. On my set, we would have fun, and my assistants would be just as important as I was. We (my client, my crew and I) would relax and trust that true art would result.

There will always be photographers that feel entitled to scream at everyone on their set, but it is up to us (the photogs reading this) to not be one of them. Instead, treat your crew and clients as friends, and you will find that at the end of the day you will be able to share a beer with your friends and forget about work.

So with that said, here is the behind the scenes video from a Super Bowl spot made by a bunch of friends….

I would like to thank Andrew Belcher for taking the time to create this. Great job man!

The Super Bowl Commercial

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would begin 2015 shooting a Super Bowl commercial. Even further removed from the unlikeliness of shooting said commercial is … well… shooting said commercial in seven images. Not seven scenarios or seven videos, seven photos.

The idea, straight from the mind of Pete over at LaneTerralever, was to parallax a commercial. “What is parallax” you say? Think of when you were in grade school and you had to do one of those cheesy plays where every parent in the audience thinks that his or her child should be in search of a talent agency because they memorized 23 words and did not faint on stage. Sorry, got distracted there. Anyway, there is always a part in that play where some kid is on a boat made of a tricycle and cardboard, and they are in the rough ocean. In order to create this imaginary ocean in the elementary school cafeteria, they use whats called parallax. This is where they have on set of blue waves on a stick in front of the kid and one behind. The movement of these waves back and forth creates in your mind the idea of the ocean.

When broken down to its most basic form, we decided that we would create a Super Bowl spot using the cardboard waves on a stick principal. From there it gets exponentially more complicated.

Super Bowl parallax farmer

In order to captivate the viewer, the images had to be real, and they had to be very very very planned out. In order to have movement in an image where it never existed, we would need to plan space for the movement to enter and direction to make it natural. Also, we would have to shoot the shot, and then immediately document the reality that existed as we would need to create it and maintain its continuity to keep the viewer’s attention.

Super Bowl parallax scrap yard

The first thing that grabs the eye of the viewer in these shots would be depth, more specifically how three dimensional they feel. To help with this there was one lens that came to mind, the Nikkor 58 f/1.4. While many try to see it as a low light geared lens, it also has a little trick in it that makes it very desirable. It makes images feel 3-D.

Super Bowl parallax basketball

The next item of importance was the camera, the Nikon D4s. Now many of you probably know that my heart resides with the D3x, but for this project resolution was not the determining factor. After all 4k video is still only 8.8 megapixels. What mattered more to us was noise and high ISO performance as we would not be in a studio and environment would matter greatly.

Super Bowl parallax wine

Last, but not least, we would need lights that could be remote and enable us to shoot shallow, even in the day. Enter the Profoto B1’s. With the most recent firmware, they are able to shoot at any shutter speed. Proof of this rests in the above image of the man drinking wine. It was shot at 1/4000th of a second.

Super Bowl parallax instructor

With the gear of this shoot chosen specifically to produce the images, we started going to the businesses where the subjects worked and tried to quickly see what a day in their life felt like and create an image on the spot that would capture that, as well as captivate the audience. Some were easier than others. For example, ballet, which is an art form in itself, is very simple to create beauty from. However, shots like the farmer we worried would be more complicated. It was when we started meeting the individuals that would be featured in the images that we found the beauty of this commercial.

Super Bowl parallax ballet

What the technical side (the depth and movement into a frozen world) showed us was the beauty that existed in the moment. As one viewer told me, “it was as if the moment existed inside of my television for a split second.” As we shot more for the campaign, we learned and dialed in more in our approach. By the final image we were able to see the images that existed and how they would look and feel before we ever pressed the shutter.

As always, but more than ever, I want to thank the people that made this commercial possible and helped me as I tried to learn and dial in this approach.

Joe, Paul, Pete, Carolyn, Gary, Tena, Nick, Trevor, Andrew and Rob. I love you guys and am grateful to have stood beside you as we created this one.

Thank you.

The Nikon D750

I never thought I would be writing this blog… We all know I love me some Nikon, but that which is loved is usually of the pro body form. Be it the D3x or D4s, I am a big fan of Nikons with a built in vertical grip. From time to time I do shoot with the D810 and other such bodies, but my preference tend to lean towards camera bodies that look like a square box head on.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I got a call from my good friends at Nikon that said, “hey, you should try the D750 out, we really think you’ll like it.” I agreed to give it a shot, but in complete honesty thought it was going to be small for my tastes and wondered what the catch would be.

Three weeks later and I am obsessed with this camera, she’s (yes, my D750 is a female camera, just haven’t named her yet) even gone to her very first photoshoot. While I used some other bodies on the actual production, I found that I am rediscovering my love of photography in this lil camera.

For starters, I don’t shoot it in a conventional way whatsoever. I used my right thumb to fire the shutter and turn off the autofocus on all my lenses that I mount to it. Often letting the camera force me to look at it very reminiscent to how I viewed old Hasselblads. This D750 has changed my view of photography in a way similar to the D3 the first time I saw its dynamic range.

Of all the functions that I dig about it, none are more freeing than the wifi. Yes, I know that there have been other cameras that have built in wifi, but this is my first experience with one. It is for that reason that I have turned the D750 into my dedicated Instagram camera. I couldn’t even tell you if it has a memory card in it right now as I only grab the files with my phone and then post them straight to Instagram. So with that said, enjoy some square pics from this not so square camera and while you’re at it go check one out.

Thunderbirds D750

D750 grass

Riley

D750 me

Thunderbirds loop

Nikon D750

 

 

The 2014 Movember Watches

With Movember underway, many men around the world had given up the strip of hair below their noses for a cause. Last year I did it in support of my father who had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. I will talk about that more in the weeks to come, but let’s just say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made as it truly helped him through a tough battle.

Today though, I’d like to talk about a very fun aspect of Movember, more specifically the reason why you should head on over to Movember right now and join the Maurice Lacroix team… Yes, I am talking about the 2014 Movember watches!

ML Movember side by side

This year Maurice Lacroix made two beautiful watches to award at the end of the month. Both of them are based off the insanely loved Pontos S Diver, my personal daily wear watch. The first one is a Limited Edition blue version… it is being awarded to the international Man of Movember. To say it is going to be tough to win this is an understatement… for the next watch that is not the case.

Blue Pontos S

The second watch is a black dial Pontos S Diver with an orange Movember mustache logo on the dial and a custom brown strap to compliment it. It too is a limited edition piece, but there is some VERY good news on this guy… there are 14 of these babies being awarded (one to each of the Maurice Lacroix teams). What are your chances so far on this then? VERY VERY GOOD

Brown ML Pontos side

You see, as of writing this blog, there are only 18 members on the team, and so far the top two are ML employees, so they don’t count towards this contest… your odds are getting better.

Pontos in case

So what do you need to do to win one of these babies? Easy, go to Movember.com, sign up and join the Mo’rice Lacroix US team and raise money and awareness for a great cause. While you’re at it, maybe grow a rockin handlebar mustache that all the chicks will rage about.

Giving Back

Of all the gifts and opportunities that we as photographers will experience through our careers, none are more important than the opportunity to help someone else out. From teaching others your craft to using your talent to enrich someone else’s life, there is no downside to giving back.

One such opportunity presented itself about a month ago when I got a phone call from the man that owns the studio I shoot out of, Floyd Bannister. A little background on Floyd… He is one of the most humble men I have ever met. On many occasions I have come to him with clients that were charity based organizations and he has let me shoot without asking for anything in return. When we produced the entire Fstoppers video of the Lamborghini photoshoot, he again told me that he was grateful I chose Loft 19 and that it was on him. I have had shoots where athletes have been in bad moods upon arrival and he sat me down and told me to not worry and that the situation would calm down and then I should shoot. It is for this and many reasons that I see him as a bit of a father figure in this industry.

Back to the phone call… He said that he was sponsoring a very small college’s football team. Many of the players on the team and students at the school were the first members of their family to even attend college. He then asked if there was any chance that we could give them a photoshoot to make the guys feel like rock stars and make their sense of accomplishment even greater. Without hesitation I said “yes.”

I began calling assistants and telling them that we had a shoot for Floyd and every single one of them immediately said they wanted to help. Incredible people, every one of them. I told them all to bring their gear to the set for I also saw this as an opportunity to teach.

The day of the shoot, we all showed up and began producing images and an environment that saw many of the players calling their parents to tell them what was going on. I was able to also start giving the camera over to my assistants and letting them gain experience on a set that isn’t possible in a big time shoot where a campaign is on the line. To say that this was a perfect day for me is an understatement.

We were able to help out a man that we all like, a group of kids feel important from the experience, and my crew gets to take turns shooting while I assist them.

It was a good day.

I want to thank Andrew to doing a behind the scenes on the shoot and all the guys on my crew that made this possible.

Bb: LowePro Ambassador

I will admit right now, every time I write a title like this or the Nikon, or Maurice Lacroix ambassador one, I sit back and think…. “you know, people are going to stop asking me to grab a beer with them if I keep this stuff up.”

Please know that, like the other endorsements, it means the world to me to have a company that I know and trust show such support. I can’t say much, but will say this… there are some VERY exciting things that will come out of this relationship. When LowePro approached me about becoming a LoweProfessional, one aspect that was discussed at length was, “how can we use this partnership to help people out?” From raising money for charities to helping educate photographers on how I go about my work, I wanted to make sure it was a contract that helped me give back to the community above all. Blair_Bunting_Bio_main

It’s an odd reality to be a part of and I find myself honored to experience it, but also missing what things were like before. To be honest, some of my favorite shoots I have ever done were the small editorial gigs where I didn’t make all that much and came home tired. Unfortunately, the calls for those go away when photo editors fear that they are wasting my time calling, and so such sponsorships have an averse affect.

It’s a part of this career that I never saw coming. I used to sit on the internet looking at who was with what company and think, “damn it would be awesome to be in his or her place.” However, it was impossible to see that said achievement would make people hesitate to reach out and ask for advice like, how I lit a specific photo or what gear I used.

To have fun and try to pay it back to you (my readers/friends) I have started calling random Twitter and Facebook followers every week to say “hi” and ask if they had any questions… (on a side note, the calls have been freaking awesome and I plan to keep on doing them when I have breaks in my schedule).

You guys are the reason great companies like LowePro have reached out to me, and I want to say not only thank you, but please don’t ever feel that I am in a different league and therefore am inaccessible… I am one of you and always will be. So whether it be Facebook, Twitter or Smoke Signal (the OG social media), please feel free to ask advice on cameras, watches, bags… heck, ask what I had for dinner, I really don’t mind.