This week's podcast interviews photographers Tamara Lackey about travel photography Then, we catch up with Bill Fortney to talk postproduction.

Tamara Lackey

Tamara Lackey is a professional photographer, speaker, and author. She focusses on lifestyle photography, from children’s portraits to celebrity portraits. Tamara’s work has been featured in dozens of media outlets, including Parenting Magazine, O – The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, Vogue, Food & Wine, Men’s Journal, Nikon World, Professional Photographer Magazine, Rangefinder Magazine, Photoshop User Magazine, NBC’s The Martha Stewart Show, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, PBS’ Need to Know and NBC’s The Today Show.

Rich and Tamara discuss:

  • Travel/landscape photography while traveling
  • Why photography vacations
  • How to travel wisely?
  • Packing camera gear
  • Travel internet speeds and backups
  • Harddrives
  • Stolen gear
  • New classes coming up
  • Where to find Tamara?

Bill Fortney

Bill Fortney is a professional photographer who has now switched to being a self-described "very serious amateur shooter."  He has spent several years working with Nikon in their Professional Services group. He also has worked for many years shooting landscapes, nature, and sports.

Levi and Bill discuss:

  • Doing HDR in post
  • NIK Color Effects Pro 4
  • Using the sliders
  • Favorite editing tools for HDR
  • Not killing the integrity of the original image
  • Having options
Direct download: PF_11_15_14.mp3
Category:Audio podcast -- posted at: 10:54 PM

This week's podcast interviews photographers Frank Doorhof about his portrait work. Then, we catch up with Joel Grimes for an inspiring talk for all photographers.

Frank Doorhof

The Amsterdam-born Frank Doorhof is a noted international fashion and glamour photographer, as well as an expert on calibration. He is an active commercial photographer, with a particular interest in musical artists and high fashion, who also takes time for personal projects. His teaching style is based on his philosophy: “Why fake it, when you can create it?”

Photofocus catches up with international fashion photographer Frank Doorhof about his work and methods (which apply to all photographers).Vanelli and Frank discuss:

  • Where is Frank from?
  • What kind of photographer is Frank?
  • What got Frank into photographing models?
  • Having a husband and wife team
  • “It’s more then a scarf”
  • His love for teaching
  • Workshop talk, why is Frank’s workshops unique?
  • Light is the language, literally.
  • Being you as a photographer

Joel Grimes

Next up, Melissa Niu sets down with Joel Grimes. Joel is a commercial advertising photographer with a distinct style. His unique approach has earned him work from top advertising agencies and art buyers.

Melissa and Joel discuss:

  • The creative outlet
  • How long has Joel been with photography
  • How to think past certain barriers
  • The Human condition
  • Getting past hurt
  • Learning past rejection
  • Going down the path that fits you the best
  • Why being a photographer is so cool
  • Why technical proficient photos can be boring
  • Where to find Joel?
Direct download: PF_11_5_14.mp3
Category:Audio podcast -- posted at: 12:00 AM

This week's podcast interviews photographer Dave Black about his sports and light painting work. Then, get an overview of what's going on with Lightroom from product manager Sharad Mangalick.

Dave Black

We welcome back Dave Black to the show for an interview with Vanelli.  Dave is a freelance photographer for over 30 years.  His   work has primarily centered on the sports industry for such publications as Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek and the award-winning TV show Sports Century on ESPN. He's covered events like the Masters, Kentucky Derby, National Football League, NASCAR and extensive work regarding the United States Olympic Committee, Olympic athletes and coverage of twelve Olympic Games.

Vanelli and Dave discuss:

  • What are some of Dave's latest work?
  • How his latest project came about
  • The challenges of working with fog machines
  • Becoming a Nikon Ambassador
  • The great thing about learning lighting
  • What inspires Dave?
  • Why it’s important to dream?
  • Research, research, research

Sharad Mangalick

Melissa Niu catches up with Sharad Mangalick, product manager for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Camera Raw.  Find out about Lightroom Mobile and other things in the works.

Melissa and Sharad discuss:

  • What does Sharad do with Lightroom?
  • Excitement around Lightroom Mobile
  • What’s in the works with LR Mobile
  • The process behind LR Mobile
  • Sharad's start with photography
  • What kind of photographer is Sharad?
  • What is exciting about where Lightroom is right now?
  • What is his favorite thing about Lightroom
  • Great tools in Lightroom
  • Using presets
  • Where can you find Sharad?
Direct download: PF_10_25_14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00 AM

This week's podcast catches up with two industry greats who both have exiting new projects.  Melissa Niu digs deep with portrait photographer Brian Smith.  Then Rich Harrington catches up with the original Photoshop guru Bert Monroy.

Brian Smith

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 9.45.50 AMPulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Brian Smith, considers himself to be one of the luckiest guy on the planet. He’s told Bill Gates exactly what to do for an entire hour, appeared on The X Factor, exhibited at the Library of Congress, dined with the President, written an Amazon Best Seller, shared cupcakes with Anne Hathaway, gotten drunk with George Clooney and married the most beautiful woman he ever laid eyes on.

For the past 30 years, Brian Smith’s iconic portraits of famous celebrities, athletes and executives have been used in advertising, by corporations and have graced the covers and pages of hundreds of magazines including Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, Time, Forbes, New York Times Magazine, Elle and British GQ.



His first magazine photograph appeared in LIFE Magazine when Smith was a 20-year-old student at the University of Missouri. Five years later, Smith won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for his photographs of the Los Angeles Olympic Games. He was again a finalist for the Pulitzer for his photographs of Haiti in Turmoil. His photograph of Greg Louganis hitting his head on the diving board at the Seoul Olympics won first place in both World Press Photo and the Pictures of the Year competition.



Melissa Niu and Brian Smith discuss:
  • What is Brian up to?
  • Brian's latest book
  • What is he shooting on?
  • Why would you need 36 megapixels in an image
  • What else is Brian working on and teaching?
  • Light and making the most of it in you photos
  • Opinions on editing skin
  • What’s next with Brian?
  • Where to find Brian?

Bert Monroy

Bert Monroy27_200x200_thumb is considered one of the preeminent pioneers of digital art. He builds his hyper-realistic digital paintings as a traditional artist would, adding color and texture, except he uses Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as his media. Bert co-authored the first book on Photoshop.

His film credits include work for Industrial Light & Magic, Pacific Data Images, and R/GA. Bert has taught the Adobe Photoshop Creativity Seminar Tour, and he is a popular speaker at many conferences worldwide. He is a member of the Photoshop World Dream Team and was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2004.

Rich and Bert discuss:

  • Who is Bert Monroy
  • His latest painting — Amsterdam Mist
  • How he gets inspired for a painting
  • How does he document for his work with photos and research
  • How does shadows and highlights play a role in his work?
  • How he began teaching Dreamscapes and compositing
  • What classes on is coming out?
  • What he hopes his paintings accomplish
  • Where to find Bert
Direct download: PF_10_15_14.mp3
Category:Audio podcast -- posted at: 9:00 PM

This week's show is a triple header. First, Pamela Berry sits down with photographer Michael Bonocore to discuss the importance of capturing moments and inspiration. Then Rich Harrington talks with Lindsay Adler on personal projects and self-assignments.  Finally Levi Sim and Rich Harrington talk with Matt Thompson from SongFreedom about music for photo and video projects.

Music on the show from our new partner — SongFreedom.

Michael Bonocore

Michael has been a fixture in the photography industry for over 7 years. His photography journey started as a hobby, primarily learning his way around a DSLR by shooting landscapes around his home in San Francisco, California. Soon, he started accepting paid assignments, from commercial ad campaigns to weddings, but his passion for traveling with camera in hand was too great to ignore. Michael started visiting locations all over the globe, documenting not only the beautiful landscapes of the countries he visited, but also the lives of the local communities.

Michael began working with international non profit organizations to help bring awareness to the causes that he was passionate about. Through the workshops that he leads for The Giving Lens, he has taught children the art of photography in countries such as Nicaragua, Peru, Jordan and India. He has documented the work of elephant sanctuaries in Thailand and he has helped bring awareness to Women’s Cooperatives in the Middle East.

Pamela and Michael talk about:

  • Who is Bonocore?
  • What is he working on?
  • What inspired the photography he does?
  • A favorite moment in photography
  • What is Giving Lens?
  • His switch of camera brands
  • Workshops coming up
  • Advice to photographers?
  • Where to find Bonocore?

Lindsay Adler

Lindsay Adler is a professional portrait and fashion photographer based in New York City. Her editorial work has appeared in numerous fashion and photography publications internationally including Noise, Bullett Magazine, Essence, Zink Magazine, Rangefinder and dozens more. A clean, bold and graphic style has become the hallmark of her work, making her in-demand for clients across the world.

Her portrait and commercial work includes look books, accessory lines, hair campaigns, cosmetic campaigns, professional athletes, television series promos and more. She is always working on new ways to share her passions and knowledge with others, and each year she lectures tens of thousands of photographers world-wide. She attributes a lot of her success to her parents NEVER suggesting that she ‘get a real job’ and encouraging her to pursue photography even in her pre-teens.

Rich and Lindsay talk about:

  • Personal projects
  • What she is currently working on and why?
  • Should you share personal projects?
  • What are goals to achieve from a personal project?
  • Do you expand the type of photography in a personal project?
  • Setting deadlines on a personal project
  • Surrounding yourself with people you like and respect
  • Her latest company for photographers?
  • How has sharing her editing and workflow helped
  • Where to find Lindsay?

Music for Photo and Video Projects

Nothing makes a slideshow or video better than a great soundtrack.  But there are a lot of rules when it comes to using music.  We demystify the process of using music in your project and offer some great techniques too.

Levi, Rich and Matt talk about:

  • What is SongFreedom?
  • Perspective on using music for clients
  • Emotional response
  • Making music your own in your work for emotional response
  • Music is inspiring
  • Technology barriers are falling
  • What your audience expects
  • Tips on finding music
  • Letting searching for music inspire you to create a project
  • Allow us as artists help other artists with licensing
  • We all want our rights protected
  • Legality of using music
  • This is why you do the right thing
  • Understanding terms of service
  • What does it mean to license music?
  • Where to find out more about SongFreedom
Direct download: PF_10_5_14a.mp3
Category:Audio podcast -- posted at: 1:08 AM

This week's show is a triple header. First, Melissa Niu chats with Evgeny Tchebotarev who is the co-founder of 500px about their site and future.  Vanelli then catches up with professional photographer Tim Wallace and his work with automotive and boating photography.  Then Rich Harrington and Chase Reynolds sit down to discuss the hottest gear shipping from Photokina.

Music on the show from our new partner — SongFreedom.

Evgeny Tchebotarev & 500px

In 2004, before Facebook and photo-sharing sites, Evgeny Tchebotarev created a community for photographers to meet, exchange information and share photos. He initially developed this as a LiveJournal blog and then teamed up with Oleg Gutsol and transformed the idea into 500px.

Originally from Moscow, Evgeny has a BA in Commerce and Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto. He began photography in 2002 and immediately became inspired by it, when he sold three photos to magazines from his first roll of film.

Melissa and Ev talk about:

  • How did 500px start?
  • Failing in order to succeed
  • The early days of 500px
  • What is 500px up to?
  • What kind of Photographer is Ev?
  • What gear does he shoot with?
  • Every tool has a purpose
  • Advice to start a new business
  • Where can we find Ev’s work?

Tim Wallace

Photographer Tim Wallace is the driving force and creative thinking behind Ambient Life. An award winning photographer his work is often described as both conceptual and dramatic. Tim works internationally with many high end brands and clients such as Aston Martin, Land Rover Jaguar and Morgan in the UK to Kenwood and Audi in the US.

His work has been published globally and was recently named by as one of the UK's most creative photographers. Tim's view is a little more straight forward, a man who's known for his down to earth attitude, his feet are firmly on the ground and his desire to produce creative work is one that he has been driven to from a very young age when he first picked up a camera, "Photography is for me simply a creative passion, the ability to use light and form to capture in a single image what I see in my own imagination..."

He is the humble recipient of many awards including International Advertising Photographer of the Year 2010, UK Motor Industry Photographer of the Year 2010, Hasselblad Photographer of the month Oct 2010, Professional Photographer of the Year 2009 as well as receiving Distinction Awards for his work from such professional boards as the RPS.

You can find Tim's portfolio here or follow him on Twitter.

Vanelli and Tim talk about:

  • What kind of photographer is Tim Wallace?
  • What inspires Tim to shoot cars
  • What he did before photography
  • How he got into photography
  • Don’t wait for the door to open
  • Why less is more
  • Tim’s 18-month project
  • Photography business is 90% business
  • What shapes Tim as a photographer 
  • Tim’s charity work

Hot Gear with Chase Reynolds

One a month we talk to our friends at about the hottest new gear to hit the street. This month is a whopper with Photokina seeing the release of several hot new pieces of equipment.

Rich and Chase talk about:

Direct download: PF_9_25_14.mp3
Category:Audio podcast -- posted at: 9:04 PM

This week's we catch up with two photographers. First, one of the most passionate and respected photographers on the planet... Joe McNally.  We then catch up with new Photofocus contributor Mykii Liu.

Joe McNally

Joe McNally is an internationally acclaimed photographer whose career has spanned 30 years and included assignments in over 50 countries. He has shot cover stories for TIME, Newsweek, Fortune, New York, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and Men's Journal. He has been at various times in his career a contract photographer for Sports Illustrated, a staff photographer at LIFE, and currently, an ongoing 23 year contributor to the National Geographic, shooting numerous cover stories for those publications.

Rich and Joe talk about:

  • Joe's upcoming projects
  • How they came about
  • Choosing the pictures to go into your portfolio
  • Letting the flaws be
  • What are Joe’s favorite images
  • Developing a thick skin
  • Why critique is essential to growth
  • How has changes in technology change Joe’s approach
  • How to create that spark to make a more interesting photo
  • What is the story you're telling?
  • Check out Where is the show to find Joe’s work?
  • Where to find Joe?
  • Check out the Monroe Gallery | October 3 — November 23

Mykii Liu

Mykii Liu is a new contributor to Photofocus (who's sense of humor pervades both his articles and his bio).  His jumping skills and abnormal love of tofu and argyles are antithetically a part of his nature.  But don’t be confused by his outpouring pranks, his photography and love of the craft make up for his passion for humor and horseplay.

Liu is currently a student of photography at the College of Southern Nevada while simultaneously and professionally shooting weddings, fashion, models and categorically formidable and socially accepted people.

You can find Mykii’s portfolio here or follow him on Facebook.

Melissa and Mykii talk about:

  • Who is Mykii?
  • What style is his Photography?
  • How personality comes out in portraits
  • Being a college student and a photographer
  • His background in photography
  • Re-learning the basics
  • Having Mentors
  • What inspires Mykii to shoot
  • Gear talk
  • Studying photos online to remake and learn
  • Some of his favorite Photofocus articles
  • Where to find Mykii
Direct download: PF_9_15_14_01a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11 PM

This week's we catch up with two photographers.  Beauty and wedding photographer Roberto Valenzuela talks about working experimentally.  Then we join Bob Davis for some practical shooting and business advice.

NOTE — The first interview was recorded with a bit of audio interference.

Roberto Valenzuela

Roberto Valenzuela is a photographer based in Beverly Hills, CA. He developed his unique teaching style by following the same practice regimen he developed as a professional concert classical guitarist and educator.

Roberto believes that it is not talent but deliberate practice that is at the core of skill and achievement. He has traveled to every corner of the world motivating photographers to practice and break down the various elements of photography in order to master them through goal setting, self-training, and constant dedication.

Roberto serves as a judge for photographic print competitions in Europe, Mexico, South America, and the most prestigious International photography competitions held in the United States through the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) in Las Vegas, NV. 

  • How Roberto became a photographer?
  • Why he really loves being a wedding photographer
  • What is “Beauty” photography?
  • Where does Roberto find his clients?
  • The challenges and rewards of beauty photography
  • How to not memorize poses, but create energy.
  • Developing the language of what you want the photo to say
  • When do the subjects get to see the images being made?
  • How much preproduction goes into a shoot?
  • Practical advice about what he wish he knew starting out.
  • Where can you find out more about Roberto?

Bob Davis

Bob Davis is a Canon Explorers of Light. He is also a member of the Wescott Top Pro Elite, a group of talented photographers from around the world comprised for photographic education and inspiration.

His passion for photography began back in high school where he was the  editor of his newspaper. He then went on to Columbia College and was named College Photographer of the Year.  He worked for the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper for 14 years and covered countless events, such as presidential elections and Michael Jordan's entire career with the Chicago Bulls.

Levi and Bob talk about:

  • Lighting techniques
  • Using modifiers
  • Being creative with anything
  • Bob’s journey as a photographer
  • How he approaches a shoot.
  • Advice on allowing others tell their story
  • Having respect for those you are working with
  • Being a working dad
  • How he came into business with his wife Dawn?
  • Keeping the business side consistent
  • Word of mouth or word of mouse
  • How he approaches teaching lighting
  • Where to find more information
Direct download: PF_9_5_14.mp3
Category:Audio podcast -- posted at: 2:25 AM

This week's Is a double-header, packed with information and inspiration.  We'll catch up with two very different photographers who will both inspire you with practical tips and challenges.

Glyn Dewis

Glyn Dewis is a Photographer and a Retoucher.  He is also a Photoshop World Instructor based just outside of Oxford in the UK. He works internationally shooting promotional and commercial photos primarily focussed on Physique Athletes, Musicians, Bands and Up and Coming Actors.

Levi and Glyn discuss:

  • Who is Glyn Dewis?
  • What he’s working on
  • The importance of personal projects
  • How do you make personal projects happen?
  • Why are personal projects so important?
  • Taking personal projects seriously
  • The way you work with clients
  • Photography is a people business
  • Where to find Glyn online

Robert Vanelli

Rich Harrington catches up with photographer Robert Vanelli (aka V). After a successful career as a three time Triple Crown Karate champion, Robert Vanelli turned his attention to teaching. As an educator for over 30 years, Vanelli has created several photography and digital workflow programs including a special program, Click for Kids. Borrowing concepts from the martial arts, Vanelli instilled values such as integrity, and goal setting using photography as a vehicle to motivate children.

Rich and Vanelli talk about:

  • Who is V?
  • What struggles do new photographers face?
  • Practical advice for all photographers
  • Knowing your gear (in the dark)
  • How limitations can make you better
  • Taking self assignments and mental challenges
  • Rookie mistakes to avoid
  • Learning versus knowing
  • Stop shooting in the dark, embrace light



Direct download: PF_08_25_14.mp3
Category:Audio podcast -- posted at: 11:48 PM

This week's podcast is a Double Double...  We sit down with four great photographers two at a time. First, Levi Sim talks with Tamara Lackey and Peter Hurley. Then Melissa Niu talks with two of our Photofocus team members (and great photographers) Nicole S. Young and Brian Matiash.

Tamara Lackey & Peter Hurley

Tamara Lackey is a professional photographer, speaker, and author. She focusses on lifestyle photography, from children’s portraits to celebrity portraits. Tamara’s work has been featured in dozens of media outlets, including Parenting Magazine, O – The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, Vogue, Food & Wine, Men’s Journal, Nikon World, Professional Photographer Magazine, Rangefinder Magazine, Photoshop User Magazine, NBC’s The Martha Stewart Show, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, PBS’ Need to Know and NBC’s The Today Show.

Peter Hurley is a New York photographer who found his way behind a camera after starting his career in front of one as a model and actor. He first picked up a camera to photograph his work making the US Sailing Team for the Olympics. This lead to a mentorship with photographer Bruce Weber who encouraged him. He's since gone on to shoot advertisements for Levi's, Reebok, DKNY, Johnnie Walker and Axe Deodorant to name a few.

  • What’s a visual identity?
  • What hats we wear as photographers?
  • Shooting headshots
  • Social media pictures
  • Shooting tips
  • Having direction and getting what you need from your subject
  • Creating the atmosphere
  • Communication
  • Finding your style and type of photography. Be drawn to it
  • Getting past criticism with vision and drive
  • Where you can find Tamara and Peter?

Nicole S. Young and Brian Matiash

Nicole is a full-time photographer and author. Her photography specialties are food and landscape, and sh also creates stock images for iStockphoto and Getty Images. She loves to teach, learn and share what she knows through her blog, articles, podcasts, interviews and training materials. 

Melissa, Nicole and Brian discuss:
  • Who are they
  • Nicole’s journey
  • What does Brian do?
  • Mobile photographer
  • What is happening next in the industry?
  • Definition of a Photographer
  • Why do you think every single camera has default setting jpeg?
  • What is the destiny of a typical photo?
  • Evolve or Die
  • Being married to a photographer
  • Where to find Brian and Nicole
Direct download: PF_08_15_14.mp3
Category:Audio podcast -- posted at: 8:00 AM