Photography Contests

A huge congratulations to all who entered the Best Emerging Photographer Photography Contest, hosted by Nations Photo Lab and myself.  We have named our winners!!  There was a great deal of talent and inspiration in this gallery, with over a thousand entries – we truly enjoyed viewing all your creative work.

A big CONGRATS to the following:

1st Place/Best Emerging Photographer: Maria F Bay

photography contests, nations photo lab, tamara lackey, contest winners

2nd Place: Dollface Photo

photography contests, nations photo lab, tamara lackey, contest winners

3rd Place: Jane Brown & Co

photography contests, nations photo lab, tamara lackey, contest winners

And an Honorable Mention: Shannon Porter Photography

photography contests, nations photo lab, tamara lackey, contest winners

 

Winners, please email Ashley at Nations Photo Lab to redeem your lovely prizes!

If you did not win this time, as a big THANK YOU, Nations Photo Lab is lending a small prize to each and every one of you who submitted. Simply click on this form to enter your contact information and access your prize details.

We so enjoyed this one – there will be more contests coming up, check out both Nations Photo Lab and Tamara Lackey on Facebook for announcements for the next one!

And don’t forget – if you are printing your work (and hopefully you are printing your work), you can use the following promo codes for some amazing savings:  For those who have never used Nations Photo Lab to print their work before, you can use the code NEW50 to get $50 off your first order with them (just remember to use the ROES software you can download on their site to be able to use the promo code!).

For those who already are customers of Nations Photo Lab, don’t worry – you are not being left out.  You can use PRINT40 to get 40% off any ongoing print orders - and that is even on top of some of their frequent sales, so that can really add up to a lot of savings on beautifully-printed work.  Both of these codes expire on June 1st, 2014, and the PRINT40 code can be used repeatedly until then, so ENJOY IT!

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Nikon Behind The Scenes

Nikon Behind The Scenes, Tamara Lackey, Joe McNally, Corey Rich

I feel very fortunate to have been included in the new Nikon Behind The Scenes web series with colleagues, and friends, Joe McNally, who is also my AdoramaTV co-host, (in addition to being a legendary commercial photographer), and the uber-talented Adventure Photographer Corey Rich.

The Nikon Behind the Scenes video series was built “to empower and entertain intermediate level photographers by equipping them with the skills they need to take their photography to the next level” – and, dang, they have already done a fantastic job of doing that so far.  This series covers a multitude of topics in short bursts, most shows are about 3 minutes long, and they cover a variety of topics: lighting, lensing, posing models, shooting landscapes, working with different subjects and gearing up for a shoot.

We shot my five shows here in North Carolina, and I was grateful to Nikon and Corey Rich Productions for coming out for a few days, while we lined up a couple fabulous adults, several adorable children, and one patient puppy for a series of shoots in various locations around the American Tobacco campus and here, in our very own studio in Durham, North Carolina.

Check out my first Nikon Video Behind The Scenes show release, photographing children with pets in a rather rough portrait environment, very much on the fly:

 

Here are some more fun stills from the show, including the very moment one of my subjects almost gave me a concussion – although, to be fair, I told him to go ahead and do the jump ; )

Nikon Behind The Scenes, Tamara Lackey, Joe McNally, Corey Rich

Nikon Behind The Scenes, Tamara Lackey, Joe McNally, Corey Rich

Nikon Behind The Scenes, Tamara Lackey, Joe McNally, Corey Rich

And a big Thank You to Mike Corrado for not only this photograph that he shot during filming, but for all his guidance, support and general awesomeness:

Nikon Behind The Scenes, Tamara Lackey, Joe McNally, Corey Rich

If you’d like to see the other two shows released to date, you can check Joe McNally’s here and Corey Rich’s here!

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Photography Contests, Best Emerging Contest, Nations Photo Lab, Tamara Lackey

Photography Contests – Best Emerging Photographer

I’m teaming up with the generous peeps at Nations Photo Lab to hold one of the more fun new photography contests – Best Emerging Photographer.  Nations Photo Lab prints so much incredible work each and every day, they would like to recognize one talented artist as “Best Emerging Photographer”.  Please note, this title isn’t just for new photographers, it’s for anyone whose style and vision is emerging with each new creative effort.  This individual could have been photographing for six days or 60 years – the work will speak for itself.

So, without further ado (drum roll, please) ….  We want to show your work some love!  Together with Nations Photo Lab, we are officially launching our 1st annual Best Emerging Photographer contest!  This is open to ANY type of photographer.  Simply post your best image to this Yahoo/Flickr group before April 10th (midnight EST) to be entered to win!

So, what are the prize details?  We will select three lucky winners to receive the following (super awesome) prizes:

1st Prize

$250 Nations Photo Lab gift certificate

Title of “Best Emerging Photographer” + a feature story on the new Nations Inspiration Center Blog

Tamara Lackey’s Posing Playbook (valued at $89)

Shout out on the Nations Facebook page

2nd Prize

$100 Nations Photo Lab gift certificate

Winning Image Post on the new Nations Inspiration Center Blog

3rd Prize

$50 Nations Photo Lab gift certificate

Winning Image Post on the new Nations Inspiration Center Blog

 

Just post your work to this Flickr group to enter!

IN ADDITION, Nations Photo Lab is offering two fabulous options to spend less and get more – > for those who have never used Nations Photo Lab to print their work before, you can use the code NEW50 to get $50 off your first order with them (just remember to use the ROES software you can download on their site to be able to use the promo code!).
For those who already are customers of Nations Photo Lab, don’t worry – you are not being left out.  You can use PRINT40 to get 40% off any ongoing print orders – and that is even on top of some of their frequent big sales, so that can really add up to a lot of savings on beautifully-printed work.  Both of these codes expire on June 1st, 2014, and the PRINT40 code can be used repeatedly until then, so ENJOY IT!

 

*Photography Contests: Group Rules, Legalese, and The Fine Print

This group has been created for U.S.  participants to submit photos to Nations Photo Lab to be entered in a contest to win a special prize during the Best Emerging Photographer Contest. Contest will run through Thursday April 10th, 2014. 

You hereby represent and warrant that the material shall be your original work product and will not be based on or derived from, the proprietary information or items of a third party and that none of the material will infringe, misappropriate or violate any patents, trade secrets, or other proprietary rights of any person or entity. If the material you submit requires a license, you warrant that you have obtained it and that the license is in full force and effect. You represent and warrant that the material does not violate any copyright, trademark, privacy or publicity right, or other right of any person or entity, or any agreement to which you are a party or to which this material is subject. You represent and warrant that you have the right to grant this license to the material to Nations Photo Lab free and clear of any claims or encumbrances.

You acknowledge that Nations Photo Lab shall have no obligation to post, display or otherwise make publicly available any material submitted by you. 

 

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Photography Workshops 2014

Photography Workshops 2014:  3-Day Portrait Photographer’s Workshop in London

Announcing a brand new workshop!  Our 3-day Portrait Photographer’s Workshop is coming to London for the very first time, and we’re thrilled to be crossing the pond.  After delivering workshops all over the U.S, in Canada and in Australia, with a 100% would refer-a-friend rate that we’re extraordinarily proud of, this will be our first foray into Europe.  (I have had the pleasure of teaching at SWPP, in London, but that was giving a presentation.  This is a lot more of a comprehensive, hands-on, shooting-oriented program that you’re formally invited to attend.)

Check out the info below – and don’t forget to note the Scholarship Opportunity, presented by Fundy Software, below!

DETAILS:

Limit of 15 Participants
Includes:

▪ 3 days of workshop participation, July 1st – July 3rd (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)
▪ A generous bag of assorted photography products and goodies, worth hundreds of pounds / dollars.
▪ Catered breakfasts, lunches, snacks and beverages
▪ Wrap-Up dinner out for all on Thursday, July 3rd

In addition, there will be one-on-one 30-minute mentoring sessions with each participant.

Click here to see workshop reviews from past participants -> and you can register for the workshop here!

 

DESCRIPTION:

Join Tamara Lackey in London, England for this intense, 3-day shooting-focused workshop, which includes an in-depth shooting clinic, lighting configuration instruction, post-processing and business training.

This highly interactive and hands-on shooting clinic will help you to master your technical skills behind the camera, as well as teach you how to set up and work with existing and additional light sources – and better utilize natural light in a more controlled fashion. The shooting clinics also include one-on-one time with Tamara, image critiques, portfolio and website reviews, and a walk-through of specific post-processing techniques, to show and help create a quick and powerful end-to-end digital workflow. In addition (!),  there will be a business and work/life balance overview.

The full cost of the workshop is £1190 ($1980USD) and that includes a wrap up dinner, three very full days of workshop participation, catered (and delicious) vegetarian breakfasts, lunches, snacks, beverages and quite a generous bag of assorted photography products and goodies.

Although enrollment deposits (1/2 to secure a spot) are non-refundable, they may be transferred to another participant or can be used as credit towards a future workshop. The second half of the payment is due 60 days before the workshop.

In addition, there will be individual mentoring sessions with Tamara during the workshop at no additional cost! Topics can vary from portfolio critiques to business model reviews … to whatever you’re most interested in discussing.

*Please note that the workshop will be of most value to you if you fill out the detailed survey and exercise provided to you, a few weeks in advance, with as much detail as possible.

Click here to sign up online and secure your spot!
Did we mention that we’re very proud of our 100% ‘Would Recommend to A Friend’ rating after all of our past portrait photographer’s workshops, teaching hundreds and hundreds of photographers?  No?  Okay, there you have it, then -> Click here to sign up online and secure your spot!

Workshop feedback includes:

“Tamara I just wanted to thank you again so much for coming and putting on the workshop in Toronto. Taking your workshop changed my life, this past year I decided that in order to get some balance back in my life I was going to have to take some scary to me steps. You gave me hope that it could be done … my year has been so much calmer and my stress levels have been so much lower. Now when I come home I’m 100% here with my kids and husband.

I can’t thank you enough for showing me that, with a little rethinking of how I do things and freeing up my time to do what I love.” ~ Barb Weir, January, 2014

“I was absolutely blown away by the amount of material that Tamara covered in this workshop.  She is so generous with her time and knowledge.  I walked away with so many new ideas that I wouldn’t even be able to list them all.  I was particularly impressed with her dedicated to us all.  Most people would have ended the day at close of business but both days Tamara kept going to make sure we got all the information.  This course will more than pay for itself and I already know it was an investment that is going to repay me again and again.  I already tried her suggested as far as workflow and editing and significantly reduced by editing time already!” ~ Rachel Piersig

“Amazing experience.  It’s difficult to express how fulfilling and informative it was.  Tamara is everything you imagine and more.  I feel really blessed that I was able to pull it together to go.  Now I’m ready to buckle down, choose & focus, and put what is in my heart out there in the form of photography and art.  LOTS of work to do.” ~ Rima Berzin

Click here to see many, many more workshop reviews from past participants!!

 

kensington

Located at Thistle, Kensington Gardens

We’ll be conducting the workshop at the lovely Thistle, Kensington Gardens in London, a truly amazing location across from the quiet end of stunning Hyde Park and obviously right next to Kensington Gardens.  The uber-stylish Kensington High Street is also a short walk away, for those lovely urban images, and we are minutes from a tube underground station.  HUGE THANKS to my friends Sally Sargood, Jerry Ghionis and Gavin Hoey, who all offered excellent advice and helped scope out great location options.  We didn’t skimp on our location because we truly want the entire experience to be a significant one for all participants!

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 11.02.43 AM

 

Scholarship Opportunity!

IN ADDITION, the fabulous peeps at Fundy Software, creator of the ridiculously game-changing Album Designer v6, will be offering a £450 / $750 Scholarship to one lucky participant to use towards registration fees, whether you have registered for the workshop already or not!  That’s right, even if you have registered, you are still eligible to win this scholarship – and, if you haven’t registered yet, what are you waiting for?! ; )

Fundy is basing this sponsorship on the desire to select one individual who is investing in this workshop because they care about their business and they care about their personal lives – there is such a strong connection between doing this job better and seeing massive upsides in your personal life, not to mention the fact that we’ll be covering some concrete areas of focus around work/life balance.

To be eligible to win this scholarship, simply scoot over to the special contest page they have set up on their blog and let them know who you are, why this workshop would better your business and, in the end, your personal life.

They’ll choose one lucky winner from the entries on their blog in the next couple of weeks!

Best of luck : )

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I was ridiculously shocked to hear my name called out at the 2014 WPPI Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas, as the winner of the WPPI Adorama Inspire Award. The ceremony had just started – I swear we were five minutes into it – and Jerry Ghionis, who was hosting the ceremony, introduced Jeffrey Snyder as the first person to present an award. I remember that Jeffrey said a whole lot of very nice things about someone who inspired others in photography and in life, and then he finished by saying that they were pleased to present the 2014 WPPI Adorama Inspire Award to … Tamara Lackey??

And suddenly I forgot everything else he’d just said.
(I so hope someone was recording it because I’d really like to hear it now.)

But, at the time, I didn’t even understand what was happening. My heart was beating so loudly inside my chest, it was reverberating through my ears.  I had actually only just arrived at the award ceremony minutes before, and I had barely settled into my seat, so I felt completely disoriented.

I walked up on stage, was handed my award and whispered, “Um, what do I do?”. He said, “You take your award!” So I did, trigger-smiling for a photograph, clutching the beautifully unexpected honor, barely glancing at the thousands of people in the audience – and then I pretty much raced off stage.

That whole experience took about two minutes, in total. But I’ve replayed it back in my head for a pretty specific reason:  I had people to thank.  Wait a minute, I had people to thank, and I didn’t thank them.

Why?  The truth was that I did not thank anyone else because I had been overwhelmed with a surge of voice-robbing self-consciousness. Are you sure this is supposed to be going to me?  Are you sure I deserve this?  But what will people think if I accept it?  I even double checked the etching on the award:  WPPI Adorama Inspire Award … yep, that was actually my name that had been engraved on it.  So that means they’d actually had some time to think about it, too. They really had meant to make this decision.

Perhaps more of a surprise to me?  The rising up of that voice in my head.  I know I’m not alone when I have thoughts that tell me to think less of myself than I am.  I believe we all experience this to a lesser or greater degree. We grow up hearing voices that tell us things about ourselves – cruel words or judgments, insults hurled our way, questions asking us who we think we are when we try for something big, or even what is meant to be good-hearted warnings: don’t aim too high, lest you be disappointed.  We hear these voices at all different ages and stages, and often process them so painfully/personally that they become co-mingled with our own voices.  And, for a long time, we don’t really know the difference between what was said to us, or about us, and what we have simply become used to saying to our own selves.  These voices station themselves as our “noble” guards, holding us back in case we fail or, perhaps worse, to protect us from what people will think of us if we don’t.

I’d been presented with something important to me, and I immediately wanted to hide it.  A voice reared up, and I listened to it, without question. The reason I didn’t thank the people I’d wanted to thank is because I became fully self-focused at the exact same moment I became suddenly self-conscious.  That’s how that works, actually – and it’s something I speak about often, how they go hand in hand.  We get so focused on our own discomfort, our own nerves that we lose our focus on the other person, subject, partner in our relationship … or even, in this case, on an entire audience.

I spend a lot of my attention focused on awareness – on seeing why I do what I do, and what my thoughts tell me about myself and other people.  I have moved pretty far along since practicing this, so it was a surprise to me, how quickly I fell back into an old pattern.  And once I really got that, I realized that what I needed was a Do Over.

I’m a firm believer in Do Over’s, and I believe they are constantly available to us in one way or another.  I believe that everything that happens to us in life is somewhat malleable.  No, I’m not saying that we have the power to change everything – there are experiences we will always wish for, things and people we will always want back – and no matter what we say or do, we simply cannot get an exact Do Over in all cases.  But!  But, if you get creative enough, you can figure out ways to Do Over things in different ways that can begin to impact the effect of what’s happened.

Consider adult-child relationships; we cannot Do Over our childhoods, not even those painful ones.  But we can start new cycles when we become parents, when we create whatever we call our new families.  We can raise our own children with the intention of filling them up with good, supportive, open-hearted Voices.  We can teach them early on to become aware of the difference between others’ thoughts, their own thoughts, and how spectacular they really are, above all of that noise. We can even Do Over the relationship we have with our adult parents, long past our childhood.  We can actively create a new dynamic with them. Even if that means we have to do so again and again and again, even if it sometimes feels like we are the only ones who are really trying.

In so many ways, every moment of our lives contains the opportunity for a Do Over.

For me, I’m no longer on stage in front of thousands of people.  But I recognize that I have the opportunity to reach out to even more than that here.

And there are people I wish to thank.

So, without further ado, here’s what I would have said:

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you so very much.  I am incredibly grateful to receive this beautiful award.

I’d like to thank WPPI, an organization that not only produces great content, cool membership benefits, and challenging competition opportunites all year long but also happens to bring together an ALL-IN crowd of tens of thousands every single year.  This is my tenth year attending The WPPI Convention, and each year it fosters an even more powerful community of high-energy individuals, while still showcasing warmth, friendliness and a truly significant emphasis on education.  There’s really nothing else like it in the photography community.

Thank you, Adorama.  You were already my favorite camera store long before I’d learned more about the amazing educational resource that is Adorama Learning Center and Adorama TV.  I know firsthand just how much you care about creating excellent programming, and the millions of people you draw in to your gigormous website know it more and more every day.  I love that you sponsor this award, given how much you do to inspire so many photographers all around the world.

I want to thank my friends – my closest friends, my newest friends, and my only-see-once-a-year-but-feel-like-I-know-better friends, all of them.  I prioritize friendship so actively because it’s incredibly important to me.  I have received, and have made a point to have given, tons of support in person, by phone, by skype and of course via social media because people caring about people matters so damn much.  When I mention my friends, I also include my awesome studio crew – my Studio Manager, Sarah Coppola, my associates, my production assistant, and my interns.  You all make “work” life easier and a lot more enjoyable.

My children!  Ohmygoodness, do I love my exceptional children.  They don’t tell you how much you learn from your kids – or, at least, I hadn’t heard it.  And I’ve learned a lot.  I’ve learned a multitude of cool facts (There’s not one un-cute member in One Direction! The first dinosaur named was the Megalosaurus!  It’s possible to lose 7 pairs of glasses in less than 6 months!). I’ve learned that I can love a little one so much so quickly that it doesn’t matter if I give birth to them, take them in my arms as a baby in Africa, or shake their little hand as a toddler in Ecuador.  I will love, and that love will be life-defining BIG.

And my children have taught me patience.  Deep breath, count to three, try again:  Can you please put both of your shoes on now, so we can be only 10 minutes late to school now … sweetheart?

Another ongoing lesson?  Humility.  One major upside of being a parent is that you don’t ever really have to worry about having an out-of-control ego because you spend so much of your life serving.  My job as a parent is to teach them about love, how to learn to take care of themselves more and more, to help them with homework, to show them a multitude of skills – how to tie shoes and clean up messes, rooms, laundry.  I will shop and cook so many meals, I will bathe them, dress them, hold them while they cry … my job is to serve, and I know that.

And it’s ridiculous how much they can make me laugh, how one long, sweet hug can fill back up all my reserves – and then some.  It’s a beautiful, meaningful, exhaustingly wonderful job to have, and I know I’m lucky to be entrusted with their little souls.  I learn that I am still often stunned that I won the job to be their mother.

And, lastly, I would like to thank my husband, Steve.  I wish he were here right now to see this, although when I text him my news as soon as I get back to my seat, he will send back the most warm-hearted message with a photograph of him smiling in such an all-encompassing, loving way that his pride will be downright palpable, and it will all mean even that much more to me.

What we’ve built together has become something pretty magical:  an actual true, fair, and lovingly supportive partnership.  And it’d be wonderful to say we figured out how to do it right away – but the truth is we didn’t.  We both got so busy with raising our children and building our own separate careers that we put the priority for our relationship with each other at pretty much dead last.  Accordingly, our relationship start disintegrating about the same time our lives got the busiest.

If we managed to build an incredible fire from the very last smoking ash (and that’s not really an exaggeration), then it’s because we both decided separately to figure out what real communication was.  Apparently it’s not trading schedules, diaper duty, and irritated reminders about overdue appointments the other didn’t keep. Take two entrepreneurs who happen to not only be married to each other but also, in many ways, to their work and add in a great passion for spending notable time with their children – and you can end up with two individuals who are downright competing with each other for time.  Well, at least that’s what we ended up experiencing.

Setting up a new paradigm in a relationship means to actively practice stepping on one’s own ego and leading each conversation with vulnerability instead.  It’s practicing extreme kindness and listening for all the words the other doesn’t know how to express yet – and doing so with patience and, yes, sweetness.  It’s apologizing without contingencies and realizing how much blessed freedom there is in forgiveness.  It’s eventually knowing that it’s really, really hard to feel compassion for the other person when you don’t practice it with yourself first.

There are few things that bring people closer than amazing communication.  Because that’s the key to amazing connection.  We didn’t know that before, but we learn that more and more every day.

We take turns rooting the other on.  While I am here at WPPI, he is pretty much full-time dad for 3 kids and 3 dogs, and he virtually high fives me every time I finish a presentation.  When I get home, it’ll be major family focus until it’s his turn next, the big Tarheel 10-Miler race he produces, the largest in regional history with 6 thousand racing and close to 15,000 spectators. I know he’ll be caught up in that, and I’ll be full-time mom to 3 kids and 3 dogs for however long that takes to fully ramp up, until the actual day. Then, like every other year, I’ll run the event, along with all 3 kids and then we’ll cheer him on at the finish.

We went from competing with each other for what we each thought we needed to collaborating across the board, which in turn gave us both more than we ever knew possible. And our entire family is so much the better for it.

If I’m getting an award for inspiring others, it has everything to do with how much I’ve been inspired myself – by great organizations, wonderful friends, my family, my husband and, of course, the never-ending possibility of the constant Do Over.

Thank you. (Thank you, Thank you.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~

It should be noted here that I didn’t stay quiet for terribly long.  In fact, I ended up carrying my award around with me for the rest of the night, like holding out Simba, my very own Lion King, every time I walked into a room.  I’m fairly sure that every single photo taken of me afterwards shows me clutching my award close.  I even refused to have a sip of celebratory wine without lifting my award up, too.

I guess, in the end, gratitude has a lovely way of pushing its way through unsureness.

 

Thanks to Sara Harris, for grabbing these photos while I was on WPPI Awards stage and after I got back to my seat:

WPPI Awards, Tamara Lackey, WPPI Adorama Inspire Award, Adorama

 

WPPI Awards, Tamara Lackey, WPPI Adorama Inspire Award, Adorama

With friends Jen Bebb and Sara Harris, right after the ceremony:

WPPI Awards, Tamara Lackey, WPPI Adorama Inspire Award, Adorama, Jen Bebb, Sara Harris

With Lauren Naylor and Jeffrey Snyder, from Adorama, who presented me with the award:

WPPI Awards, Tamara Lackey, WPPI Adorama Inspire Award, Adorama

A fun shot from my friend Sally Sargood:

WPPI Awards, Tamara Lackey, WPPI Adorama Inspire Award, Adorama

Couldn’t stop holding up the award, so Jason Groupp, Director of Education & Membership at WPPI, helped me out:

WPPI Awards, Tamara Lackey, WPPI Adorama Inspire Award, Adorama, Jason Groupp

With dear friends Jerry & Melissa Ghionis and my associate (and friend!) Erin Costa:

WPPI Awards, Tamara Lackey, WPPI Adorama Inspire Award, Adorama, Jerry Ghionis, Melissa Ghionis, Erin Costa

 

There are plenty more photos, and plenty more to report on as it relates to the WPPI Convention, in general – but that will come later.
For now, I just wanted to thank some people.

 

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WPPI 2014 & Animoto Pro Giveaway

I had to check my journals to confirm that the first year I went to WPPI in Las Vegas was, in fact, in Spring of 2005. That vaguely struck me as a while ago, until I used all the fingers on both my hands to realize that this year, 2014, will be my TENTH time at WPPI. Year Ten, Wow.  A lot, lot, lot has happened in that time – about 15 different journals’ worth, to be exact. My experience at WPPI has continued to become more significant, and this year is now bigger than ever.  In this post, I’ll share an overview of where I’ll be while there AND I’ll get to offer you an Animoto Pro video creation subscription GIVEAWAY, right now, valued at $249.  We will be giving it away to one lucky commenter on this blog, just share your thoughts per notes at the end of this post -> and this subscription will to be gifted to one of you by this Thursday, February 27th.

Tamara Lackey, WPPI 2014, Nikon, Nations Photo Lab, Animoto, Adorama, Animoto Pro Giveaway

When I first went to WPPI, I not only went solo, but I didn’t know a soul there either.  I pulled out the amazing seminar schedule and the omg-it’s-all-in-one-place Expo map and spent hours lining up the four days I would spend there. Then I went from program to program to program to program to program, finally leaving on a redeye home, barely able to sleep – not even because of the dreaded night flight but because of my palpable excitement about all I’d learned.

 

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.59.44 PM

 

This year, I am sure I’ll still be learning.  I was lucky enough to be asked to speak in 2009 at WPPI and have returned to teach a brand new program each year.  This year is no exception.  So, without further ado, my schedule:

Friday, February 28th, at 12pmOpening up WPPI U with my newly-created presentation “reDefining Your Photography Path”, which includes references to some specific, enormously helpful advice from my reDefine Show. Check out the entire WPPI U lineup for all the other great speakers who will be presenting & doing hands-on workshops!

Saturday, March 1st – Sunday, March 2nd 8am – 6pm - Portrait Judging for a very packed Print Competition.
If you are interested in improving your ability to shoot, process, and deliver images, sitting in on one of these print competitions is a fantastic way to do that.  I’ve judged at WPPI a couple of times before, and it makes for very long days for the judges, but it’s an incredible amount of information to soak up for those who watch the judging.  Heck, for all of us.  It’s completely free for those who are attending WPPI.

Monday, March 3rd, at 8:30amMy Platform Presentation!  I’m very excited about this one.  I just built it from scratch (“just” meaning over the course of months ; ).  It’s entitled “The Top 10 Ways To Create Real Profit in Your Portrait Business”.  The program is about merging the meaningfulness of your work, your love for your photography and your clients, with the serious need to be able to not just stay in business, but thrive doing work you love, which only helps you do it that much better.  I built it to contains loads of practical tips.  If you haven’t already, make sure you pre-board for this program. Oh, and there will be lot of really sweet giveaways during the program, too.
Love. The. Giveaways.

HUGE THANKS to Nations Photo Lab – they are sponsoring this presentation AND offering a $50 gift code to anyone who hasn’t used their gorgeous print services yet.  Simply use “TAMARA50″ as a promo code to receive these $50 toward any of their products.  If you are already a Nations Photo Lab customer, you’re not to be left out – you can use “TAMARA40PRINTS” to receive 40% off any prints, and that is ON TOP of any existing sales. That was upwards of 80% off at one point last week, so definitely check this out to print your work and keep more profits.  Both codes expire April 1, 2014 – use ROES ordering system for the promo code to work!  And if you’re not already familiar with them, check out this very fun walkthrough of their lab I got to take recently.

Tamara Lackey, WPPI 2014, Nikon, Nations Photo Lab, Animoto, Adorama, Nations Photo Lab Tour, Animoto Pro Giveaway

Also grateful to Adorama, easily my favorite photography store – I’ll be joining up with them several times throughout the week (see below), and they’ll be giving away some very cool gifts.  And if you’ve ever asked what I have in my camera bag, you can check out this page on their site for all the details.

The big giveaway on this particular post is from Animoto Pro, giving away a $249 Full Year of Animoto Pro to one lucky commenter on this blog.  I just made my 800 millionth video using their ridiculously-easy-to-use software.  I love that the same companies that sponsor me are ones whose products & services I not only use constantly in my studio but think so highly of because they are REALLY GOOD STUFF.  This Animoto subscription will save you time and money and make your work look even better.  You can also use the promo code “tamara” to get $50 off a full year, if you don’t win it here.  So go use that goodness.

Lastly, big love to Nikon.  I have been very grateful to partner with them on multiple projects this year, and I’ll be part of an incredible forum on Tuesday, at 2pm, details below, as well as shooting live for them at the expo and deconstructing some images I have shot using their equipment.

Monday, March 3rd at 1:15pmPhotographing Children LIVE at Nikon Theater, on the Expo Floor. I’ve never done this before, photographed children on a small stage during an expo.  Goodness knows what will happen, so come see the educational madness!

Monday, March 3rd at 2:30pmLive Q&A with Adorama, on the Expo Floor – we will be answering questions live and Adorama will be doing a lot of giveaways during these sessions.

Monday, March 3rd 4pm – 6pmreDefine Show chats.  I’ll be interviewing Jerry Ghionis, Peter Hurley and Dixie Dixon for future reDefine Show episodes.

Tuesday, March 4th at 1pmLive Q&A with Adorama, on the Expo Floor, more questions, more answers, more giveaways!

Tuesday, March 4th at 2pm – 3:30pm - Nikon Theater Presents:  Live.  Work.  Succeed.  A Women’s Forum for Entrepreneurial Photographers.  
I will be joining the fabulous Bambi Cantrell and Dixie Dixon as part of a forum specifically addressing the experiences/challenges of women in the photography industry – along with SOLUTIONS, as each of us have different career goals, family life concerns & are working across different genres – portraits, weddings, and fashion.  The forum will be moderated by Photofocus/Framed Network’s Melissa Niu (who I just did an interview with on the subject of work/life balance).

Tamara Lackey, Nikon, WPPI 2014, women entrepreneurs, photography, work life balance

 

Wednesday, March 5th at 10:15amPhotographing Children LIVE at Nikon Theater, on the Expo Floor. Assuming all survived the first shoot, we’re going to do it again – and see how far we can push this.

Wednesday, March 5th at 12pm -  Live Q&A with Adorama, on the Expo Floor, all your questions will be answered and giveaways will be gotten.

No doubt WPPI is quite the whirlwind, but it’s a friendly, high-energy, education-packed one, and I sincerely hope to see you there.  In the meantime, share some thoughts on your experience with WPPI, what you plan to take in if going, and any smart comments on photography (yeah, that’s right, they have to be smart) in the comments below, and we’ll pick a winner for the $249 Animoto Pro Giveaway and give you your prize on Thursday, February 27th.  Best of luck!

 

 

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Mom’s Night Out – Taking Better Pictures

Nikon’s famed Nikon School is bringing their wonderful new program Mom’s Night Out to Raleigh, North Carolina this March 13th, 2014. This program is intended for moms on the go who are interested in taking better pictures and need a night out. That being said, the last time we did this there were a number of very interested fathers/male humans there, too – so all are invited!

I was fortunate enough to be the guest instructor for Nikon’s Mom’s Night Out program that took place in Falls Church, Virginia this past fall, and it was really a fabulous experience, warm beverages, lots of great questions, and some very friendly faces. Some people attended on their own, some came with friends or in groups, some came as couples – and it’s like a little bit of geeking out (mostly on my part) + needed new or old friendship time + warm beverage time, all of which really did add up to an excellent recipe for a great evening.

Tamara Lackey, Nikon School, Nikon Mom's Night Out, Nikon D7100

You can check out Nikon’s website for a full, detailed description of the program – all the specific details are there – as is the all-important link to actually register for the event.

This upcoming event on March 13th will be at the Embassy Suites in Raleigh, and it will be a fun, instructional presentation about using more of one’s camera to shoot better, followed by a live shoot, and some walkthroughs of how to use cameras to post directly to social media, without needing to download photographs first. There’s also plenty of time for questions and answers related to how to simply take better pictures, and this is also a rare opportunity to speak with Nikon Product Experts about everything camera and lens-related – truly a fantastic chance to get all those gear-related questions answered.

One of my favorite parts of the event, other than the conversations, is that Nikon brings out so much of their gear and lenses to the program. I was able to try out a few pieces of gear I’d been hoping to play with for a while, on stage and off stage.

Tamara Lackey, Nikon School, Nikon Mom's Night Out, Nikon D7100

Also, please note, you don’t need to shoot with Nikon cameras to attend – in keeping with the tone of my post about moving from Canon to Nikon (which I can’t believe is still getting current comments), there is no snubbing of any kind for various gear owners when it comes to this event – all are welcome with open arms.

Hope to see you there – on your own or with a friend – just register via this link to be a part of the festivities!

Nikon School, mom's night out, Tamara Lackey

 

 

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Talks At Google

I was recently invited to the fabulous, futuristic Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California to present a program on photography.  This was part of their rather awesome Talks At Google series, so I felt ridiculously honored – and not just a wee bit (okay, a lot bit) nervous.

Before the talk even began, we went to lunch and, wow, walking around Google’s campus was a thrill in and of itself.  I loved the free Google bike system, the major slides connecting floors, the massive, multi-screen Google Earth display, the wonderful life-sized Google and Android statues scatted throughout the buildings and – honestly, mostly – all the delicious free food and drinks.  Seriously, with over 250 cafes on campus, I don’t know how all the googlers are not constantly snacking.  Good, good stuff.

 

Google, Tamara Lackey, Talks At Google, Self-Consciousness, Portrait Photography

When I was first invited, I was asked to speak on whatever I preferred, and it struck me that I’d never done a full talk before on the theme of self-consciousness.  I’ve spoken on so many aspects of photography, and I’ve done whole multi-day programs on business, relationships, health & energy, work-life balance and more – but I’d never built a program from scratch about the ever-present thereness of self-consciousness.

And suddenly I knew I wanted to build a talk around this topic because, in eleven years of professional portrait photography, after shooting literally thousands of portraits, I’d never encountered one shoot where self-consciousness wasn’t there in one way or another.  And when I say one way or another, I mean on the part of my subject or on my part, which I go into some detail on in my talk.

And if I was going to speak to self-consciousness, then I would be speaking about self-awareness, too.  Because although there’s a big gap between self-consciousness and self-awareness, the two often need to go hand in hand when it comes to eliciting, and then photographing, authentic expression in portraits.

I’ve always believed that managing social discomfort is a significant part of the portrait photographer’s role, and the key to doing so often lies in increased awareness of not only one’s subject, but of one’s self. This is something I’ve spoken on quite a lot – how our thoughts have everything to do with our actions, our behaviors and, eventually, what we come to think of as our personality.  I don’t think our personality always naturally appears. In fact, I think what we believe it is can simply evolve through a series of unconscious agreements we make about who we think we are.  Better understanding who we genuinely are is often one of the more difficult types of work we can ever take on – and, of course, one of the most rewarding.  

Big thanks to Laurie Rubin for managing the entirety of the Photographer’s Talks At Google, for introducing me at the beginning of my presentation, and for sending me this photograph afterwards – great new and old friends here, from Laurie to Karen Hutton (who interviewed me for her show, The Chat, releasing soon) to Brian Matiash to Barry Blanchard to my very own Steve Lackey, not just my husband but also an entrepreneur with his own three businesses (Endurance Magazine, Sport Often, and Endurance Productions)!  He was sweet enough to accompany me on this rather lovely trip, and I’m quite grateful to him for the unique way we make these experiences work for each other.

Not pictured are two other friends who came out to Google for the talk, as well, Joy Bianchi Brown, Lori Fuller, and Google News Man & impromptu tour-guide extraordinaire Paul Moody. It was lovely to look out at this very cool auditorium, decked out with plush Google-colored seats – all blue, green, red, and yellow – and see some seriously friendly faces.  (You’ll also see a lot of Google Glass represented in this photo, and it was my first time trying out this particular wearable tech.  Pretty interesting stuff, and you can see some immense potential here for what this may become.)

 

Google, Tamara Lackey, Talks At Google, Self-Consciousness, Portrait Photography

 

So!  Without further ado, here is my presentation for Talks At Google:

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Workshop

3-Day Portrait Photographer’s Workshop with Tamara Lackey

SOLD OUT – Please contact the studio to be put on the waiting list in case of cancellations and/or to be put on our list to be the first to know about new workshops later in the year!

DETAILS:

Full Workshop Price: $1695.00
Limit of 15 Participants
Includes:

▪ 3 days of workshop participation, May 20th – May 22nd (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)
▪ A generous bag of assorted photography products and goodies, worth hundreds of dollars.
▪ Catered breakfasts, lunches, snacks and beverages
▪ Wrap-Up dinner out for all on Thursday, May 22nd

In addition, there will be one-on-one 30-minute mentoring sessions with each participant.

Click here to see workshop reviews from past participants!

DESCRIPTION
Join Tamara in her studio in Durham, North Carolina for this intense, 3-day shooting-focused workshop, which includes an in-depth shooting clinic, lighting configuration instruction, post-processing and business training.

This highly interactive and hands-on shooting clinic will help you to master your technical skills behind the camera, as well as teach you how to set up and work with existing and additional light sources – and better utilize natural light in a more controlled fashion. The shooting clinics also include one-on-one time with Tamara, image critiques, portfolio and website reviews, and a walk-through of specific post-processing techniques, to show and help create a quick and powerful end-to-end digital workflow. In addition, there will be a business and work/life balance overview.

The full cost of the workshop is $1695.00 and includes a wrap up dinner, three full days of workshop participation, catered (and delicious) vegetarian breakfasts, lunches, snacks, beverages and a generous bag of assorted photography products and goodies.

Although enrollment deposits (1/2 to secure a spot) are non-refundable, they may be transferred to another participant or used as credit towards a future workshop. The second half of the payment is due 60 days before the workshop.

In addition, there will be individual mentoring sessions with Tamara during the workshop at no additional cost! Topics can vary from portfolio critiques to business model reviews … to whatever you’re most interested in discussing.

*Please note that the workshop will be of most value to you if you read through the literature provided a few weeks in advance and fill out the survey with as much detail as possible.

Click here to sign up online and secure your spot!
We’re very proud of our 100% ‘Would Recommend to A Friend’ rating after all of our past portrait photographer’s workshops.

Workshop feedback includes:

“Tamara I just wanted to thank you again so much for coming and putting on the workshop in Toronto. Taking your workshop changed my life, this past year I decided that in order to get some balance back in my life I was going to have to take some scary to me steps. You gave me hope that it could be done … my year has been so much calmer and my stress levels have been so much lower. Now when I come home I’m 100% here with my kids and husband.

I can’t thank you enough for showing me that, with a little rethinking of how I do things and freeing up my time to do what I love.” – Barb Weir, January 6, 2014

Click here to see more workshop reviews from past participants!

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Shopping Spree Giveaway

GIVE!!! The NPL Holiday Shopping Spree Giveaway -> Want to give $500 of photography to someone, or some organization, you know deserves it???

(Will have to act quickly: this Contest ends December 16th & the winner is chosen December 17th!)

What person/family/cause that you love deserves a Nations Photo Lab shopping spree giveaway this holiday season? Tell your story, or a story close to your heart – whether it’s an organization, a friend or family member, or someone in need – that is deserving of some beautiful photo memories this holiday and be entered to win a $500 prize pack from Nations Photo Lab.

Super easy 2-step entry:

1. Please comment on my Facebook page post with your entry (as many words as it takes to describe who you believe deserves this & why – but please less than 1000 words!)

2. Feel free to add a photo of the person or organization to your post on facebook to better illustrate your story.

And that’s it!!

shopping spree giveaway, nations photo lab, tamara lackey

(Oh, and if you want to purchase some great photography yourself, you can also use the promo code TLDECLUV to get $50 off your first order with Nations, or use the code DEPRINTLUV to get 40% of all prints, if you are already an existing customer.)

Note: Your entry for the giveaway must be submitted by December 16th at 11:59pm EST. The winner of the shopping spree giveaway will be announced on the Nations Photo Lab facebook page and will be chosen by a panel of judges as Nations Photo Lab.

Show someone you care about – or some organization whose work you care about – how much you think of them by entering them here and bring that person/family/organization the joy of photographs to brighten up their year.
The $500 can be used towards photo prints, canvas gallery wraps, framed prints, photo books, and all other products available for purchase (and there are many) at www.nationsphotolab.com.

The $500 will be good for 6 months by the winner. Other rules and restrictions may apply.

Okay, now Go GIVE!

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