How Mylio Helps Keep This Photographer’s Work and Life Balanced

Our Story: My wife Caroline and I run Quiver Tree Photography, based in Washington, North Carolina. We weren’t always in the photography business – we were doing missionary work in Scotland when we got married, then moved back to my native South Africa to start a non-profit. That’s when taking pictures  started being more than just documenting our growing family: when you run a non-profit, you’re the CEO, you’re the Secretary, and unless someone else steps up to do it, you’re the photographer, too. By the time we moved back to North Carolina, we were, to be brutally honest, struggling financially. I needed to make something work to put food on the table for my family. Fortunately, a professional photographer invited me to second shoot a wedding, and on the strength of that experience, my wife and I decided to start Quiver Tree. We jumped in with both feet, opening a gallery, and offering lifestyle sessions — basically chasing two- and three-year-olds around in the humidity, trying to capture something. (Being from South Africa, I’ve had plenty of practice shooting wildlife in the heat. This was a lot like that). Things were tight at first. If you’d asked me then… Continue reading How Mylio Helps Keep This Photographer’s Work and Life Balanced

Organizing EVERYthing in Your Life Would Look Like This

Conceptual artist Rachel Perry started her art career late in life, when she was already a working mother, and so gravitated naturally to working with whatever found and collected objects she had at hand. Perry’s Lost In My Life project is in many ways a culmination of this magpie instinct, illustrating the sheer volume of material our homes accumulate simply through daily living, their subtle accretion over time, and how organizing them reveals their true burden on us. Recently I’ve been pirating my own work to make new projects, turning sculptures created as discrete works into set-ups in the photography studio. Literally absorbed in my work, “Lost in My Life” references the endless organizing, cleaning and shopping that form the business of living. — Rachel Perry It’s been pointed out that much of the detritus Perry collects for these pieces – twist ties, takeout containers, bread tags – are designed to preserve things, yet end up burying and obscuring her instead. What would our own streams of consumption, painstakingly collected and organized, look like? Rachel Perry’s collaborated with Vogue, the New York Times, and oddly, Johnson & Johnson; be sure and scroll to the bottom of this page for a video… Continue reading Organizing EVERYthing in Your Life Would Look Like This

How to Download and Backup Facebook Photos

I post a lot of pictures to Facebook because it’s the quickest way to share with my friends and family. But now that I am getting older, I’m realizing a few things. First, Facebook changes things up all the time, and I’m starting to get a sinking feeling that I have no idea what that means for the future of all the photos I’ve entrusted them. And second, now that I’m a new father I’m realizing just how important those photos are to me. I want access to them on my own devices so I can tell my personal story to friends, family and baby boy as he grows up. So I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t trust Facebook to preserve these memories for me — I need to back them up for myself. And I bet I’m not the only person who wants to backup Facebook photos. In the past, I’d grab photos from Facebook by browsing through my albums, then downloading each one individually. But those days are over. A cross-platform app called Mylio can import and backup Facebook photos, maintaining the same album structure and tagging, and do it all in minutes. And best of all, Mylio is FREE! What is Mylio? Mylio… Continue reading How to Download and Backup Facebook Photos

Compare Your Stuff to These Amateurs from International Photographer of the Year

Sunday is the deadline for 2016’s International Photographer of the Year Contest. As the organization describes it: POTY creates new opportunities to showcase the best photographic work and introduce leading talents to the world of contemporary photography. We celebrate creativity, ambition and support artists to develop and present their work through competition. Our annual competition is open to everyone, amateurs and professionals alike. The overall winners, category winners and those that are commended will have their work showcased to a global audience by our media partners. Below are a selection of amateur images from the 2015 competition. You can see the full amateur gallery from all categories here, and the full professional gallery here. Think you’ve got the chops for this year? Better hustle.

15 Deceptively Sweet Portraits of Kids Surrounded by What They Eat

You may or may not be fed up with tired of the endless carousel of Instagram food posts (because really, y’all, how many pictures of just-so lattes and bowls of berries can one civilization consume?) — but the fact remains that photos are great tools for documenting what goes into our bodies. And in the hands of the right artist, photos are especially useful for exploring how what we eat relates to bigger concepts of health, culture, and sustainability. For example: we’ve featured Henry Hargreaves’ mashup of electronics consumer culture and fast food, and James Ostrer’s primal sugar-fiend fetishes. And for insight into how we relate to our immediate environment, we’ve seen Paula Zuccotti’s oddly satisfying catalogues of every personal item people touch in a day. Here, with his Daily Bread series, Gregg Segal takes a similarly bean-county approach to Zuccotti’s: everything kids eat in a week, at a glance. I began to look more deeply at food – what we’re eating and throwing away. The conversation about what we should and shouldn’t be eating is growing louder, but how much – if at all – are our diets changing? To find out, I’m asking kids to keep a journal of everything… Continue reading 15 Deceptively Sweet Portraits of Kids Surrounded by What They Eat

These Are the 8 Ways Apple Tracks You — and Their #1 Security Flaw

This is the next installment in our ongoing series about the choices we make about our personal data, and how these choices relate to the online products and services many of us use daily.  Recently on these pages, I wondered: what does Google know about me?  The short answer: a lot. The detailed answer: 8.75 GB of search history, browser history, emails, GPS locations, voice searches, voicemails, a few short YouTube videos, and an ad profile built from my behavior with all of the above. Kinda creepy, though to be fair actually also kinda transparent — I found all this data because Google has a handy tool for downloading everything at once. This, in theory, allowed me  to see what I’ve been giving  the company since my google account was created in 2008. Creepy? Yes. And, just maybe, also cool. So now I want to know what Apple knows about me. How does the company store my information? And how transparent are they about what they’re doing? Starting With the Man in the Mirror First, full disclosure: I’m a Mac guy. I bought my first one, a 17″ Aluminum Powerbook G4, in 2005. A few years later, I traded in my Palm Treo 700wx for my first iPhone. Apple devices always felt… Continue reading These Are the 8 Ways Apple Tracks You — and Their #1 Security Flaw

Secrets of the Pro Photographers: Video Tutorial Series, Part 3

Welcome! I’m photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, and I’ve worked as a celebrity/fashion and beauty photographer for the last 29 years, capturing subjects from Samuel L. Jackson, to Britney Spears, to Aretha Franklin, to the Future American Presidents. If you’d like to discover how I’ve created a career working with some of the top celebrities, advertising and fashion clients, come check out this FREE 3-part photography training series. I guarantee you will learn something new that can help you on your journey of being a photographer. If you’ve ever wondered if you can make a career as a photographer, or worried about the competition, then this video series is just for you. Happy holidays! Part 3: Tools to Help You Excel in Photography If there’s one question I get more than any other, it’s about the tools I use. People often want to know which camera I use, or which lens is my favorite, or even what’s in my camera bag when I travel. In this video, I go deeper into the tools I use, and explain why each is critical in helping you have a better life as a photographer  — and become more productive. You definitely don’t want to miss this informative video.… Continue reading Secrets of the Pro Photographers: Video Tutorial Series, Part 3

Here’s How Many Digital Photos Will Be Taken in 2017

How many digital photos will be taken in 2017?  It’s predicted there will be 7.5 billion people in the world in 2017, and about 5 billion of them will have a mobile phone. Let’s say roughly 80% of those phones have a built-in camera: around 4 billion people. And let’s say they take 10 photos per day – that’s 3,650 photos per year, per person. That adds up to more than 14 trillion photos annually (14,600,000,000,000). Much more conservatively, if only one billion people have cameras or phones, and take less than 3 photos per day/1,000 pictures per year, that’s still 1 trillion photos captured every year. How many digital photos will be taken in 2017: InfoTrends’ most recent worldwide image capture forecast takes this conservative route, estimating consumers will take 1.1 trillion photos worldwide in 2016. This number will grow to 1.2 trillion photos in 2017. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 to 2017 will be 9%. These hard-to-wrap-your-head-around numbers are illustrated below, with the ever-upwards trend for more picture capture and storage projected, of course, to continue, with digits we wish could be narrated by Carl Sagan or Dr. Evil. Now what? (Have you reached too… Continue reading Here’s How Many Digital Photos Will Be Taken in 2017

Back On Great Daddy’s Beach

My great-grandfather — Great Daddy to me — was the owner of the general store in Louisville, Alabama, and spent his weekends at the fishing cabin he built with his brother a couple hours east in Grayton Beach, Florida. That area’s called the ‘Redneck Riviera’ now, but in spite of (or maybe because of) the unfavorable nickname, this quiet little beach town made for the perfect family refuge. This is where Great Daddy taught his daughter — my grandmother — how to swim, water ski, and catch blue crabs. This is where my grandmother relaxed with her own children. This is where my parents fell in love; it’s where my husband and I recently got married. That’s me on the beach with Great Daddy, though I surely don’t have an actual memory of the day. Still, I’ve looked at the photo so many times that I’ve recreated it in my mind: That summer, the shoreline was so flat you could walk out for yards without having to swim. I’d just learned to run, and was chasing the beach ball towards the water. Smitten by my excitement, Great Daddy followed me into the water, still wearing his dress shoes and slacks.… Continue reading Back On Great Daddy’s Beach