Teach A Man To Fish, Hunt or Take Pictures

In a world inundated with technology and information, it is easy to assume that “everyone knows…or should know (by now).” Surprisingly, there are clusters of people who have resisted the movement and the universal urge to belong to a robotic lifestyle, managing to maintain their bond with “nature.”
There was a time when someone had to teach you how to fish and hunt for your next meal or two. You actually had to make your own weapons or gear, get up before the sun and walk/paddle into the wilderness and fish it out of a stream or ocean with your bare hands, rod or net, or hunt with bow and arrow, spear, axe, traps or lures in order to survive. If you didn’t learn, you didn’t eat (as well as the rest).
To document these daily rituals, that later became a “sport,” an artist either drew your likeness onto a cave wall, canvass or a photographer had to load film into a camera and “pop” away, in order to immortalize the participants.
The art and business of photography is the same. We weren’t born knowing, but for some, learning came easy. Trial and error was an expensive lesson in the realm of film and triumph. Each image had sentimental value and told a story worth a millions words and one satisfying emotion: gratification.
Technology has made some people lazy, especially, photographers. It has killed the hunt and fish ethic and left it to die on the floors of retail outlets, beside receipts around the globe, slaying dreams of becoming a highly trained professional. One is no longer required to leave their homes in order to shop for their next meal or any household items. Technology has given false hope to many, whom THINK that they are great, when they are only beginners, shooting every shot in PROGRAM MODE. The equivalent to driving a hundred miles in cruise control and flying cross country on auto pilot. It’s cheating you out of the experience and learning process and joy of mastering photography.
A seasoned individual can walk into almost any environment and almost know from experience, what lighting adjustments, equipment and lens that they will need for the occasion. By shooting in program mode, you will always be left guessing and will have great difficulty maintaining a respectable client base, if this is your objective. Unless, of course, you have no intentions of becoming or being considered a professional. One never knows what the future will bring.
Ironically, acceptance is key to success in any business. And if you take the art and business of photography seriously, then you will be taken seriously and chances will be taken on you. Seasoned photographers will be more open to mentoring and teaching someone who has displayed a sincere interest in learning, respect for the craft and others, a humbled spirit and patience, paired with an aptitude for learning, instead of those who are “unreachable” or think that they know enough or know it all.
So, if you get hungry enough (want to know), you will patiently learn how to fish for information that will help you grow as a photographer (where to find it), hunt in any condition for the perfect opportunity and take some fantastic photographs (when the time is right). Practice patience and find patience comes with practice.

k/d/morris – photographer
Operation Give Back: Photography

‘It’s easy to be a leader. It is harder to be trusted.’
k/d/morris – poet



Using Our Cameras and Critiquing Other Photographs

I have been doing some subjective reading and listening as it all pertains to photography, photographers and photographs. We each have the camera (tool) of choice, and although there is great debate on “which camera is better or best…” in reality, it comes down to brand loyalty.
Beyond all the technical comparisons, charts and graphs that show this range and ratio, it doesn’t matter how much or little one pays for a camera, when the techniques and style behind the camera is someone who is highly trained or the image is the result of a stroke of luck.
The objective in the art and business of PHOTOGRAPHY, should be to get work, not compliments from other PHOTOGRAPHERS about your PHOTOGRAPHS. Cater your work to potential clients, not to please or woo other photographers: PERIOD.
I know from experience that photographers have egos. Plain and simple. As fragile as our cameras are, so are our egos. It takes years for some to become humble, where some are forced into humility. Either way, be respectful when being honest. Your work is out there too, and up for criticism at any time.
The way to get work, is to minimize the content on your website, FaceBook albums and share useful information as it pertains to your forte or creative interest. If you are flexible with your “eye” and subject matter, offer services that cater to the needs of the potential client.
Bare in mind that, being KNOWN does not mean you are RESPECTED for your work. Some may disagree, whereas that they don’t have to respect someone or their work for PERSONAL reasons, and that is fine. What is important to keep in mind, that every business has a “grape vine” and once the word is out there, it can make or break a career, because of one negative referral or competitive dog fight with another photographer who has the ear or eye of a potential client.
I am an advocate of contracts and “covering your bases” when it comes to RELEASE FORMS and know your limits and be specific as to what you will shoot, where and when, as well as what you will be providing to your client. There are expectations of privacy in some public places (a house party is open game, unless the subject or hosts objects) or locations where people are not aware that they are being photographed (parks and beaches usually fair game) because they are popular locations for photographers. Large or small venue concerts and performances are protected and you need permission from the promoter, artist or venue. Local or Federal Police activity where you are NOT interfering with their duties and activity, is ok. Just don’t interfere with their work.
Finally, cater to the creativity of a person when critiquing their work, not them. When it become personal, the intent is lost and so is the respect for or from the other person/photographer.


Wedding Photographers: From A Seasoned Vet To Beginners and You

• Just about everyone now claims to be a photographer. Especially with the technology doing the work and software creating the results.
• With that said, this message is intended for both the beginner and customer.
• We have all heard the adage: “You get what you pay for.” But, when it comes to wedding photography, sometimes you don’t get what you pay for. Or, you don’t get enough of what you expect.
• Beginners tend to allow ego to get in the way of learning and development of (true) skills. When compliments stand in the way of practice, the next opportunity can be costly to both the client and the professional who didn’t get the job, because the beginner was cheaper.
• We all have to start somewhere and some, make that most professionals and more experienced photographers either took a class, attended a workshop or had a mentor. I did all three.
• This post comes with great respect for those who are sincere in their goal of becoming a professional, not just “someone with a camera that takes good pictures.” And even what is “good” is subjective. After all, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” right? so, a safe argument against such beholding, would be quality and value. A fortunate beginner who just so happens to get a job that is beyond their level of experience, may only provide a few quality images that you won’t have the privilege of previewing until it is too late.
• What most beginners and some unskilled veterans in wedding photography overlook, is the all important check-list of “photos to take.” The irony of this “list” is that when I got married, I had expectations of my photographer, being a photographer myself. I wasn’t concerned with what I was going to get (quantity or quality), but those all important “must have” shots, that if not captured at that moment, will never come again.
• That’s when insurance come into play. If you fail to provide those special moments that may never come again, you may find yourself in small claims court for those very reasons. And if you don’t have insurance, rightfully, a refund in whole or part, may be due to your clients, without regard to how much or little you were paid.
• In closing, I say this to the potential client: You (will sometimes) get what you (don’t) pay for (if at all), when you use an under-skilled or less knowledgeable photographer to entrust with those memories that should last forever.

k/d/ morris – photographer

‘It’s easy to be a leader. It’s harder to be trusted.’ – k/d/morris (poet) 2011



Compare a Digital 35mm to an Apple iPad3

As a photographer, who resisted the transition from film to digital technology, I had to first stop renouncing the existence of said technology and slowly let go of the past.

Even camera phones are producing similar quality images, even with the limitations of focus range and low lighting adjustments, color saturation (based on lighting), motion and action shots and the lack of aperture control that is available with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Phase One, Olympus and Minolta 35mm DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras with all the bells and whistles and interchangeable lenses and adapters.

There’s more to being a photographer, than having a bag full of lenses, batteries, SD or CF cards, cleaning kits (see earlier post with regards to having the proper tools), and spending thousands upon thousands of dollars and hours perfecting your craft. Some people luck up in the moment and capture outstanding images with cell phones and tablets. I have. The best camera in the world is the one in your hand – when the time comes.

Below, is a side by side comparison of a bouquet of flowers taken with a Canon 30D using 18-135mm lens (f/4.5; asa 1/80; iso: 400; focal length @ 19mm) and the other with my iPad 3 (f/2.4; asa 1/30; iso equivalent 80; focal length fixed 35mm). Note the vast differences in the range available to capture and produce in a “natural” light situation.

You will see clearly noticeable variations between the who mediums, but to the less discerning eye, “it’s a good shot.” Only the big differences are in the clarity, sharpness, quality and color saturation. Both images are unedited and have only been cropped to show an equal plane and image grid. Details of metadata provided by ExifWizard (app).

I invite you to perform your own, existing light comparisons and share them in this forum.

Thank you.

k/d/morris – photographer

Next Comparison: Bright Light and Textures


On Your Way Home click to play

We ARE Professionals….

Photographers & Videographers

WE, like Millions of others, are professionals. We HATE when so-called friends either want us to WORK for FREE or EXPECT a discount for our TIME (let us offer the discount or “sweeten the deal”), talent and service. You KNOW who you are. So, before you call a photographer or videographer, PRINT THIS OUT and post it on both your bathroom mirror and refrigerator door (two things you look in other than our lenses) READ it and be ready to PAY the quoted price.
• Or have a non profession with that NICE CAMERA that takes GOOD pictures waste time socializing and miss the important moments…etc.
• Not everyone with a camera IS a photographer. There IS a difference.
• Just because your neighbor has tools doesn’t make him a mechanic, carpenter or construction worker…he could be a HANDY MAN that has a bunch of junk in his garage.


k/d/morris – Photographer


The Art Of Teaching

Over the years, I have volunteered my time and patience to give free information to anyone who would listen when it comes to photography and cameras. Admittedly, I don’t know everything, but I know what I know and can at least point you in the right direction.

As an accomplished concert photographer, which is my forte, I have grown fond of teaching as much as shooting. There is a great deal to appreciate as I watch the growth of others, unselfishly, who in turn, publicly display moments of gratitude with a simple “Thank you.” followed by their reasons for such and my contributions towards their growth and achievements. Money can’t buy gratitude like that.

I have been motivated by other photographers How To…” tutorials on YouTube and the internet, which led me to do the same…for free. And, why not? I was taught for free, but I need to eat. Therefore, on occasion, I will charge for “private ” lessons – not much. Pricing is based on the clients availability and budget.

In closing, I am including a link to one of my “How To…” tutorials on YouTube. I am sure and aware that there are “other ways of achieving the same result…” but, this is the way tha I do it, and am sharing it – FOR FREE.




k/d/morris – photographer


A Picture is worth how much?

Sometimes, being away from home doesn’t mean that you want to BE AWAY from home. As a photographer and poet, I am accustomed to both working alone and being away from home, even when I don’t want to.
Well versed in standard and typical cliches, I challenge each of you to write in a thousands words or less, what feelings, if any, the following image invoke. Let’s see if a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

Thank you

‘It’s easy to be a leader. It’s harder to be trusted.’ – k/d/morris (poet) 2011



“”Tis The Season To Be Smiling”

With proms and graduation season coming to an end, wedding and outdoor events will graciously trade places with them. As a photographer, photo-journalist, hobbyist or journeyman, our creativeness will be challenged by fashion selections, crowded environment and “armatures” getting in the way can lead to a frustrating experience.
My most frustrating moment when I repeatedly requested that the attendees stay to one side of the lighting and as fate would have it, one of them knocked my strobe down. Fortunately, the umbrella absorbed the shock and took a beating.
At that moment, remaining calm and professional was no longer an option. That actually ended the session.
What did I learn from that experience? Nothing new. But, it did serve as a reminder to only take assignments where I have more control over the space that I am assigned or designated to shoot.
I have had other moments over the years, but that was the most recent and I make it a point to protect my own investment at all times. Even my time is important to me and I won’t waste it on clients that want $1,000.00 worth of photos for $100.00, no matter what the season..
Please, share your “war” stories with us.

Thank youk/d/morris

‘It’s easy to be a leader. It’s harder to be trusted.’ – k/d/morris (poet) 2011