Photofocus Podcast

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: 5:04pm EDT

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: 5:11pm EDT

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: 10:25pm EDT