Ice cold camera tips

Today it seems to be cold everywhere so I thought it was the perfect time to give a tip for taking pictures in the cold.

When going from a warm environment to a cold one, or vise versa, your camera lenses will fog, making it impossible to shoot for 15 minutes or more until the camera becomes acclimated with the temperature change. One way to avoid this is to keep your lenses and camera in large zip lock bags and let them open your camera bags and allow your gear to adjust this way. It's not perfect, but it makes it easier and faster so you can take great shots in the snow this winter. 

Stay warm and always dream big!

Adult Day

Today in Japan,  I experienced a beautiful celebration called Coming-of Age-Day. The holiday is held to celebrate all those who have turned 20 years of age. Girls dress up in the beautiful intricate Kimonos. Some use the day to make their own personal statement by going against the norm but none-the-less it's a great day to take pictures and photographers were out in full force.

How did he light this picture?

This January I'm devoting much of my time to teaching photographers the art of photographic lighting.


If you'd like to learn how this advertising image for Wells Fargo was created and much more, sign up now at and you'll be added to our list and be among the first to learn how to use photographic lighting to make incredible images.

Happy New Year!

Always dream big

Testing before shooting

I have an idea for a new photo shoot, but the concept is only in my mind. To make sure the idea will work in reality, I need to test it. Testing has always been a major part of my photo life and it still is. Everytime I test an idea it leads to creating something amazing. Hopefully that pattern ocntinues with my upcoming images

This past week a good friend came to town and helped me work out the kinks in my ideas and helped to make them better. These two images are shot back-to-back but one requires a lot more patience.

14 stop filter-4721.jpg

Photographed with the Nikon 810 camera using the Nikon 35mm 1.4 mm lens.

I'll share more on these image over the holidays but for now. always dream big.



An incredible lens

My good friend Peter came to town yesterday and we spent the day talking photography and meeting up with another photographer friend of mine to eat sushi. After lunch Peter helped me by posing as my subject on a project I'm working on that will help photographers around the world learn lighting techniques.

At the end of the day we went to the beach and did a little experimenting with filters and different lenses and I feel in love with a lens that he owes, the Nikkor 14-24mm lens. Photographer, Joe McNally swears by this lens and now I know why. It's now on my MUST HAVE list and I can't wait to add it to my arsenal. 

Here's one of my first images with it.





Happy holidays and always dream big.

How did you shoot that picture?

For years people have asked me "how did you shoot that images?" Sometimes the question is in reference to the camera, and sometimes it is about the light, but rarely does anyone go deeper into the question to get the essence of creating an images.

Vanessa Williams_pretty in pink.jpg

In regard to lighting, this images was created using Kino flo lights, but the magic is know when to use specific light and the quality each type of light has. Working as a photo assistant taught me how to do a lot of different things with light, but one of the most important things was learning which type of light to use to achieve a specific look.

If you'd like to know more about using lights fill out my one question survey on lighting by clicking the link below.

Link: Lighting Survey


Always dream big

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Today is it! The 30th and final day of the Future American President Kickstarter campaign. To celebrate, we have a few things.

1) We have reduced the price of the Master Your Lens photography workshops to $1297.00 for the early bird registration, and extended the deadline until Friday, October 16th at midnight PST.

For the Kickstarter

If we hit 15k by Monday at 5:02 pm PST we will upgrade all our Future American President Kickstarter orders to include two special gifts.

2 Our original American Map poster which kids can refer to as they learn about America. The map shows the birthplace of each U.S. president, their order chronologically, and years served in office.

3) We will also include our behind-the-scenes pdf of the making of the book, which includes images from the Zendaya photo shoot, taken for the books foreword and much more.

4)If we hit 15K by 2:00 pm PST, we will REDUCE the signed Zendaya book package, which include the original poster she holds in the book and a special edition book signed by Zendaya with your child's picture on the front and back cover. We will reduce the cost from $1000 to only $100!

5) We will host a PIZZA Party for all supporters in the Los Angeles area. At the pizza, for every parent who has purchased a special edition book I will  photograph their child for free! Date to be determined.

Two FREE Photography Videos

It's not every day that something incredible comes along, but today is different. Starting today and Sunday morning, October 11th at twelve noon. I am give two FREE video's to any photographer who pledges $2 to this Kickstarter campaign. 

The two FREE videos will help you become a better photographer in many ways. The videos are

1) The secret to Making Creative Photographs



2) Creative Ways to Promote Your Photography

To receive these free videos we must fund this Kickstarter project successfully, so the more photographers who take us up on this offer the better for you as well. We are trying to get 5000 photographer to take us up on this deal so help us spread the word.

This offer will expire on Sunday at 12 noon, but act fast!

To pledge go to this link:

Let's do something amazing together

We have the power to do anything together. Create change, inspire hope or simply send a powerful message.

Tomorrow at 9:00 am PST, I would be honored if you would join me in sending one powerful message to the world. The message is that every child has endless possibilities.

Here is how it works. Post the first image from the link on Tuesday morning at exactly 9:00 am PST on your social media platforms with the hashtag and words, #FutureAmericanPresident, or simply go to my Twitter and retweet or share from my Facebook accounts. Do the same with the second image on Wednesday morning at the same time.

I Can

I Can


Here's a link to the first two mages:

I have asked several celebrity friends to join me in posting this image and they have all agreed. Now, I would like you to join us  in sending the message of possibilities to the world. We will post different images for the next two weeks with messages to inspire  possibilities for any and all children.

If you would like to join us in sending out the other images please leave a comment on this blog post saying you want to be a part of this movement and will respond with a personal email that includes the other images to post.


Always dream big,




Want to run a crowdfunding campaign? READ THIS!

It doesn't matter how many times you've done it before, running a crowdfunding campaign is STRESSFUL! Nothing takes stress away better than a little time on the beach, but even thenI have to stay in promotion mode.



The last two weeks have been hectic to say the least, with podcasts, periscopes, blog posts, TV interviews, updates to the Kickstarter site, and then preparing for speaking engagements. Still with all the hard work we are only 25% funded with 19 days to go.

Three years ago I was almost in the same position but we made our goal. This time, I am faithful that we will make our goal again, but we need YOU to make that a reality.

Today we are asking those who believe in this project to pledge your support with a 10 dollar pledge. With your pledge, you will receive the American Map Game and become part of our community. You will receive the PDF story with images from my travel to every state in America wrapped within a story and you'll receive updates of every step of the journey.


PLEDGE TODAY: Future American Dream Project



Always deram big!

Portrait and Beauty Workshop Announced

Would you like to create better images with your subjects in a studio and learn more lighting secrets.

Caption: Gordon Parks by Matthew Jordan Smith © Copyright 1999

The Master Your Lens Beauty and Portrait workshop is now open for enrollment. Early bird registration started yesterday and ends on October 15th. 

Sign up here at

Photography Workshop Launch

The wait is over! After countless emails and social media requests, we are proud to offer our only LIVE photography workshop for 2015.

I am proud to announce the Master Your Lens Photography Workshops, taking place in Los Angeles, California from December 3rd- 6th, 2015.

The first workshop is focused on shooting fashion photography on location and will take place December 3rd and 4th on the lovely beaches of Southern California. Early bird registration begins today and ends October 15th.



The second workshop is focused on studio beauty & portrait photography to create stunning beauty and portrait images. The dates for this workshop are December 5th and 6th and will take place in Los Angeles, California.


If you sign up for both workshops  you will receive  a discount by going to this link.


Early bird registration end October 15th, 2015