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Shutterbug Life podcast

Shutterbug Life is a weekly podcast that celebrates the creative photographer's lifestyle. Through a series of discussions, expert interviews, and photo challenges, the podcast examines everything you need to be, do, or have to reach your full photographic potential. Episodes are designed to be helpful no matter where you are on your learning path. Shutterbug Life podcast is hosted by Lynford Morton, a second-generation photographer who build one of Washington, DC’s fastest growing photography Meetup communities, Shutterbug Excursions. He has also trained thousands of photographers to take great pictures in Washington, DC and New Orleans from the business he founded, PhotoTour Excursions. Now he recreates the community of enthusiast photographers with Shutterbug Life.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 30, 2016

If there was ever such a thing as a photography impresario, Heather Goss would be it. 

She curates images.
She creates photo gallery shows.
She runs an online photography community.
She just celebrated 10 years organizing a citywide photo contest.
She edits a major photography blog.
She organizes monthly photography Meetups.

All this from someone who doesn't even consider herself a photographer. Why?

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Dec 28, 2016

Did Santa bring you a new camera body for Christmas? Maybe you want to take advantage of some down time to reacquaint yourself with your existing camera. You’ll want to listen to this episode and take some notes. We are setting up your new camera or resetting your old one.

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Dec 23, 2016

I was struggling through Christmas portraits, but I did not have the Christmas spirit. My boys were young then, between 2 to 10 years old. I thought I would have them take Christmas portraits, but just as I was getting started, one of them got a giggle fit. Then just like a virus it spread. Before I knew it, we had spent way too much time shooting, and I had not one good portrait to show for it.

They continued taking turns giggling and being serious until I decided to get over myself and photograph them in all their goofiness. 

Maybe your holiday photography challenges are much simpler than mine. Whatever they are, you will want to capture the best of your holiday traditions and decorations. Here are some tips to help you this season.

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Dec 17, 2016

What's it like to be on the first and only photography reality show? There are only five people who can answer that question, and today I am talking with one of them.

Roxy Rodgriguez made a splash on Top Photographer with her unique point of view and signature shooting style. In fact, by the end of the show both the host, Nigel Barker, and guest judges were gushing about the "Roxy photo."

If you watched any of the Top Photographer episodes, you might wonder what really went on before the camera started and after it stopped. Roxy gives us a peek into the creation of Top Photographer.

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Dec 12, 2016

The world is overflowing with boring pictures, and if you don't want to contribute another one to the pile, ask one more question. So what?

You took another picture. So what? Why should we care? Why should we stop what we are doing to look at it? Is it just another boring collection of pixels?

Today's question is the last one you ask before you release your photo to the wild. Use it to decide if your photo goes or stays. "I created another photo. So what?"

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Dec 5, 2016

Top Photographer wrapped up their first season and crowned a winner last week, and it wasn't who I would have expected.

In the final episodes, the photographers got to go anywhere they wanted and shoot anything they wanted. Even better, they got to load up a backpack with their dream Canon gear for the shoot. 

With all this freedom and flexibility, what did they choose? Let's review the final episodes and look at nine ways they can improve season 2.

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Nov 20, 2016

In episode 3, Top Photographer challenged contestants to create a landscape photograph from the tip top of the Empire State Building. The photographers started at sunrise with this charge - how do you make your photo stand out from the masses -- and each other.

That's a challenge you can probably relate to if you have ever done a photo walk. How do you make your photos stand out from everyone else.

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Nov 18, 2016

Dave didn't want to hear what I had to say.

He struck up a conversation at the PhotoPlus Expo that ended with him asking me which camera he should buy.

"How much do you want to spend?" I asked.

"Maybe a few hundred dollars," he responded.

"You need to move a decimal point over. For what you just told me about yourself Dave, you should plan to spend at least $2,000."

His mouth almost hit the floor. That's not what he wanted to hear.

In many instances, I might tell you that you don't need the most expensive camera to create great photos. But not in all instances. There are times when you really should plan to buy the more expensive camera.

Here's why and when.

Nov 17, 2016

In episode 2, Top Photographer challenged contestants to create a fashion photography image. How did they do?

Let's talk about how each photographer interpreted the challenge and what we might learn from this episode.

Nov 7, 2016

Photographers have officially arrived. Photographers join cops, lawyers, and doctors as professions who can see themselves on the big screen. With Top Photographer, we have our own glitzy reality TV show, even if it isn’t technically on TV.

I watched the first episode a few times to dissect it for you. Is it worth your time? And if so, what will you learn?

Oct 20, 2016
In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her friends embark on a magical journey to the Wizard of Oz, searching for qualities they thought they lacked. As it turns out, they had them all along.
 
This weekend, photographers will journey to a big camera show in New York City and camera stores all around the world, searching for abilities they think the lack. Just like the crew searching for Oz, many of the photographers already have the potential they seek.
 
If you want to improve your images, you don't need the magical powers of new cameras or lenses. Here are 10 ways to improve your photography with the gear you already own.
 
 
Oct 1, 2016

When I ambled onto the Tidal Basin one fall day, I faced what many photographers confront every day — a view that millions of people will recognize immediately and the challenge of how I could make it look interesting.

In photography, as in life, the results we get are often a result of the decisions we make. At the Tidal Basin, or wherever you happen to be shooting, your decisions make the difference. Try these 12 composition decisions can help you improve your odds of capturing more interesting photos.

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Sep 26, 2016

What will you really see, photograph and learn at the Fall Photography Weekend in the Big Apple? How is it different from the photo tours and Meetups we have been doing in New York City?

Steve Rosenbach and I recently chatted by Skype call to talk about the workshops in detail. If you have been wondering about the details of this weekend workshop, just listen in.

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Sep 18, 2016

When I was growing up, you could always find stacks of photo albums under our coffee table. You know the albums where you stuck your photos under that thin film of plastic? We had more than 20 of them, full of photos that documented every facet of our lives.

Today’s photographer has a more sophisticated option — a finished book that goes on top the coffee table. 

Is it time for you to publish your own photo book for your coffee table? Here are the many options you should consider. 

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Sep 11, 2016

If you want to get the low down on latest new cameras hitting the shelves, you need to find your way to a launch event.

Launch events are where camera stores invite reps from the camera manufacturers to come out and answer your questions while you play with the store models.

I got an invite to a launch event for the Canon 5D Mark IV and Fujifilm X-T2, and I decided to take you along. While we are in launch mode, I'll share some new photo tours as well.

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Sep 3, 2016

If you want to have your photography stand out from the millions of picture takers flooding the internet, Levar Burton has a message for you. 

You will have to do more than be the artist and creator. You will have to be your own advocate. You will have to learn how to promote and distribute your work. You will have to hustle.

And only when you are willing to hustle, will you demonstrate your commitment to getting the job done. That's what Levar says. What will that mean for you? We unpack the quote in this episode.

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Aug 27, 2016

What should you be doing now if you are trying to get to the next level with your photography? That depends on what stage you are currently in.  Stages of Platform Growth and share some details of the first stage.

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Aug 23, 2016

When 6-year-old Desiree took my microphone to sing a song, she unwittingly belted out the theme of the day.

"You are so beautiful to me..." she sang out with all the emotion she could muster.

I couldn't help but think that was the theme of the day. We assembled 21 volunteer photographers and photo editors to create portraits of homeless families in Washington, DC. More than that, we wanted to share Desiree's message. You are beautiful and special to us.

You don't have to take my word for it. I share interviews with our volunteers and the Edgewood Brookland Family Support Collaborative staff.

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Aug 13, 2016

Have you ever tried to make sense of the Auto Focus alphabet soup on the back of your camera? You aren’t alone. This frustrates so many DSLR shooters, yet it is something we need to master. Very often, the right setting here is the difference between getting blurry images and sharp images. 

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Aug 5, 2016

It's time to talk gear again. Where were some of the most interesting industry announcements in the past month or two?

Let's talk about the new gear and technology and what we think about them.

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Aug 1, 2016

You'd think that storytelling is natural and obvious skill. We all grow up listening to stories and even falling asleep to them. You might have even been wrapped up in the dramatic stories of the big screen.

Storytelling with your camera can be just as engaging and can be an effective way to create images with impact. Not all great photographs need to tell a story, but the ones that do tell a story often stand out.

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Jul 23, 2016

So you decided to create your photography blog, but something still isn't right. Maybe you only hear crickets when you post. Maybe you aren't getting the feedback you'd hoped from your visitors. You're not sure exactly what is going wrong, but something needs to change.

Here are 13 common mistakes photographers make when starting blogs. Let's see where we all measure up with our efforts.

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Jul 15, 2016

I was catching up with an old friend in a crowded coffee shop in Washington, DC, when she asked a question many of us wonder privately but don't say out loud.

"Why do you think one person will get so many likes and great comments on a photo when another person with photos just as good gets nothing? How do some people get so popular and others don't?

"Seriously? I don't get it."

I know it can seem arbitrary, but often it can come down to your personal branding choices. 

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Jul 1, 2016

By her own admission, Emily Carter Mitchell was just a girl with a camera who loved to go shoot.

"I got my new DSLR about six years ago, and I was trying to find out what was going to be my passion," she said. "It took a couple years to start down the road I'm on now, which is nature and wildlife photography."

Emily's journey of self-discovery took her down the path of creating a photography blog, Bella Remy Photography. "Short of putting my photos on my computer or maybe on Facebook, I wanted to have a platform where I could share your experiences. That's where the idea of starting a blog came from. It gave me a creative way to share my work when I'm out exploring."

Along the way, Emily's blog has opened many doors — to get published, create a Meetup, and lead workshops. Oh yeah, it helped her find who she was as an artist.

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Jun 23, 2016

Let's start with the end first. When I asked Parish Kohanim what advice he would give to a photographer who aspires to make a real impact, his advice was succinct.

"Listen to your own voice... Don't listen to people. They will give you a hundred different opinions that don't speak your voice."

That might seem like easy advice to dispense from a photographer with a resume like Parish has — a commercial photographer for more than 30 years and a Canon Explorer of Light, one of only 40 people in the world with that designation.

 

But there were other voices — a famous fashion designer who told him to give up photography because he had no future in it. And his first college instructors who never liked anything he created. 

That kind of feedback could give even the most confident photographers second thoughts.

You know how the story ends. He proved them all wrong, but how did he get there?

Now let's take the journey.

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