Archive for May, 2019

One of the classes I attended today at Photoshop World Orlando was given by New York model turned photographer Peter Hurley who specializes in headshots.

Here are a couple of his YouTube videos with over six millions of views just on two basic techniques that will help with your headshots—no matter what side of the camera you’re on.

Hurley wrote the book on headshots—literally. It’s called The Headshot: The Secret to Creating Amazing headshot Portraits. 

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Hurley has also been featured on a TED talk.

Related post:
Back to School—with Scott Kelby 

Scott W. Smith



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“Train your mind to see ordinary things is a unique way.”
Lindsay Adler

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Gone with the Wind

I went to several workshops today at Photoshop World Orlando 2019 including an inspirational talk by New York fashion photographer Lindsay Adler. Here are two online videos she mentioned that show how some of her work was influenced by Hollywood. One being the movie Gone with the Wind, and the other being the TV show Westworld. (And why not toss nod to the classic old Hollywood glamour photographer George Hurrell.)

And if you’re interested in pursing a career in photographer her’s a talk Adler gave last year that unpacks the road she took in developing her style and building her career.

Scott W. Smith



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Today was my first day attending Photoshop World Orlando 2019 and I took a four hour workshop with Adobe Evangelist Terry White. If you’re a content creator looking for some free tutorials on Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, etc.  check out Terry’s YouTube channel (and join his 464,000+ subscribers).


Scott W. Smith

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Author Neil Gaiman was once on his blog was once asked what words or quote would he inscribe “on the wall of a public library children’s area” and this is the core of his answer from his essay Just Four Words (found in his book Stories: All-New Tales) mixed with his Masterclass on storytelling:

I’m not sure I’d put a quote up, if it was me, and I had a library wall to deface. I think I’d just remind people of the power of stories, of why they exist in the first place. I’d put up the four words that anyone telling a story wants to hear. The ones that show that it’s working, and that pages will be turned: 

‘. . .and then what happened?’

The four words that children ask when you pause telling them a story. The four words that you hear at the end of a chapter. The four words, spoken or unspoken, that show you, as a storyteller, that people care. And then what happened? And those words, I think,  are the most important words there are for a storyteller.”
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Good Omen)

Scott W. Smith



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“The thing that I tell young writers—and by young writers, a young writer can be any age you just have to be starting out—which is anything you can do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix.”
Author & showrunner Neil Gaiman
Podcast interview on The Tim Ferriss Show

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“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: ‘Love. They must do it for love.’”
Wendell Berry
Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food

The Biggest Little Farm is an extraordinary film. The documentary directed by John Chester works on many levels but I encourage you to see it a movie theater for cinematography alone.

The photo I’ve had at the top of this blog for the past 11 years is a farm I shot in Iowa while in route to a short film where I was the director of photography. It’s an old barn and silo and one I’ve thought about replacing often, but for some reason I never have.

From 2003 to 2013 I lived in Cedar Falls, Iowa which is surrounded by farms. Soon after I arrived there I had the opportunity to see pigs being born while working on a production at a farm.  Farms are just flat out fascinating to me.

And Chester has tapped into something that will take me a while to process. Perhaps I write about it in more detail after I see it again and learn more about the production. For today, I’ll just relay that it’s an extraordinary film that you should see.

Scott W. Smith  



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Dust to Dust

“Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust”
From the funeral service in the Book of Common Prayer

The memorial service for my mother was held Saturday in the historic chapel part of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Maitland, Florida.  It was led by The Rev. Cameron MacMillian and was a beautiful and sacred time. I’ll just leave a few photos I took after the service to tell part of the story.











Scott W. Smith


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