Finding Your Photographic Vision – A Skillshare Class

Hey out there!  Summer’s winding down, my kids are back in school, and Skillshare classes can once again start flowing.  This one is about a topic near and dear to my heart – Finding Your Photographic Vision.  It’s a class not about the technical side of photography but about the steps anyone can take to become more unique and expressive in their photographic art.

Click here to enroll right away and start learning –>Finding Your Photographic Vision!

I also wanted to mention that San Diego Comic Con just wrapped up, and Adobe sponsored me to give a panel on their motion capture animation software Character Animator.  It was a hoot to be onstage at the largest comics convention anywhere, and it’s all down to a film I made called The Innocence of Seduction and the corresponding classes I created on Skillshare.  On my channel there are lessons about Motion Comics in Photoshop, Character Animator, After Effects, and other Character Animator tutorials here and here!


Finding Your Photographic Vision #1: Heroes

In light of the massive number of gear reviews and how-tos on YouTube, I felt like making a short vlog focusing on developing a personal vision.  In Part 1, I tell you about some of my own photographic heroes – Sebastio Salgado and Ralph Eugene Meatyard- and how they influenced some of my own work.

Minimal Monochrome Model Instax

I’ve come to the conclusion that instant film is the ideal format for my photography – minimalist, strange, shot with “what you see is what you get” style lighting.  These were shot with Fujifilm Instax Mini Monochrome Film – 10 Exposures on my Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera, and here’s a little tutorial from my YouTube on how to get the double exposure effect you see in Shasta’s image!

Instant Film, Creative Damage

Welcome to another of my video series featuring creative things you can do with instant film! In this video I show you a technique for mark making on both Fuji Instax Mini and Impossible Project film alongside a few examples I shot with models Mckenzie Eckels and Kaila Stone.

If you enjoy this instant film video I encourage you to check out the other ones on my channel!

I have a full class on instant film techniques over on my Skillshare channel.

Film used in this video is Impossible Project Polaroid 600 and the Fujifilm Instax Mini!

Working With Titles + Credits In Adobe Premiere Pro – A Skillshare Class

New year, new Skillshare classes up!  “Working With Titles + Credits In Adobe Premiere Pro” is my second new class this year, one of several Adobe Premiere courses I have in the pipeline.


Adobe Premiere Pro is a powerful video editing tool which also allows you the ability to design titles and credit sequences.  This class is meant for the beginning video editor or filmmaker who wants to create title/ credit sequences and templates.  We’ll also cover some of the design elements that go into an effective placement of text in our videos.

Sign up here!

The Art of Pushing Pixels and Waveforms on my Skillshare Channel

It’s been close to a year since I started my Skillshare channel and at the time of this writing I’m offering 17 classes, from Photography to Video Editing to Sound Mixing to Ceramics to Illustration.  It seems like a variety of things but to me it’s all art, mostly involving pixels and waveforms.  When you’ve been doing stuff for a long time, you pick up a number of useful skills, and that’s the overall premise of Skillshare.

The Skillshare site itself encourages people to create bite-sized, project oriented classes that are complete in themselves, which is understandable- I myself check the run time of a class, and if it’s over 45 minutes, no matter how interested I am in the topic, I’ll probably skip it.

I was able to get 5 tutorials up in September, and my goal for the rest of the year is to continue with 1 new class a week.  Some classes have been very broad and beginner-level, others- like my Motion Comics series or Design A Character Based On An Ancient Culture– have been very targeted and based on personal projects I’ve been working on.

At this point I want to ask anyone out there:  what would you like to see a tutorial on?  Basic stuff, m0re photography, more video, sound editing, process videos of someone creating a piece of art?  Let me know in the comments below!


Creating Systems for Creatives

In David Byrne’s book “How Music Works”, he illustrates 6 specific models of business for musicians.  At one end of the spectrum are 360 degree deals, where someone like Madonna or U2 sign with the touring giant Live Nation and every aspect of their career is handled by the corporation.  The other end of the spectrum is complete DIY, which Byrne did with Brian Eno on an album called Everything That Happens.   The system he had to build with Eno required something in the neighborhood of $60,000 to get running, but once those startup costs we accounted for, they had a system that they could use over and over for future distribution/ touring/ licensing/ general marketing of music.  They kept their overhead lower than Byrne had when he spent around $200,000 of a record company loan on his previous solo album.  Even splitting the money with Eno, he calculated he earned a lot more under the DIY system than he did for 6 years of profits from his “company” album, and had a system for future works.

When I had a straight job I did very little to build a system to generate income for whatever I make.  The systems I did build were basically my class teaching systems- until the economy collapsed I taught high school, and I had multiple rec center teaching gigs that were hourly wages rather than larger workshop fees.  Over the last year I’ve been able to refine this system into shorter classes with workshop fees- something I was able to do through my local municipality thanks to a business license; without that, I’m on the payroll of a staffing agency.

A system I’m building now involves pricing structures for prints/ CDs/ books.  Until now, if I did a family shoot I basically took a flat fee for the shoot and sent the digital files.  People would ask me about the other stuff and I didn’t have anything special to offer, when the working photographer doesn’t give away originals, you buy the prints from them.  To this end I’m creating products that fit in line with my actual artwork- cyanotype prints, viewmasters, shrinky dink items.

Other systems of income- art fairs, trade shows, online selling- have been sorted and retrofitted into whatever online networks I had, meaning my site, fb/tumblr/instagram/this blog/ etc., and I don’t want to talk too much about social networking because I think people are overly fixated on that… but there are creative systems that need to be built for making the actual art.

Some of the recent questions I’ve had to devise a system for:

What type of paper should I buy, what size does it get cut, how does it get displayed?

Where can I fire my ceramics and which glazes look good and which look like crap?

What type of photos should I be shooting to get a series together, what would make a good art show, what kind of photos can I shoot if all my upcoming venues don’t allow nudity?

Who could I/ should I work with in which city?

When I work with my singer for music, what do I need to have ready for her, and how long in advance?  What kind of keys should I avoid if it’s difficult for her to reach, and which are her favorite keys to sing in?

When we do live performance art, what is our look?  What can we play and what needs to be prerecorded?  What do we actually do during the performance?

Each of these are a system that, once the hows and whys and whats are sorted, chug to life and do what they are meant to do- create more art and livable income.  And once they are in motion, it’s that much easier to create the next system.  It’s never been so easy in the history of the world for a creative person to be fully DIY and not have to beg at the feet of patrons, go into debt to publisher and record companies, split all their sales with gallery owners.