It’s been a long road and thanks to everyone who’s traveled it with us.
The last print book I will ever write is one year old today. The book (which I wrote with Skip Cohen) – Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer started shipping a year ago today. It’s been translated into four languages and thanks to all of you, has been near the top in the professional photography category at Amazon almost every week since.
Skip and I wrote the book for one simple reason. We wanted to help photographers thrive, not just survive. I’ve rarely promoted it here. I’ve tried not to sound like a commercial because I know you come here for help. I make a whopping $1.00 per book sold so it’s not important to me at all financially. It is important to me that those of you who are seeking to make a living as a photographer have the best tools available to accomplish that goal. So with that in mind I will take today as an opportunity to mention that for less than $20, you or someone you love who wants to turn pro or be more successful might want to pick the book up before it goes out of print.
Skip and I have walked away from the second book we were offered by our publisher because we both think E-Pub is the future. Someday, we will write Part II. But for now, you should know we shared all of our secrets in Part I.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful, giving and helpful professional photographers who helped us put GoingPro together. We didn’t stop with our own experience. We went to our friends – some of the most accomplished and well-known professional photographers in the business, and got their input. There are quotes, tips and photographs in this book from people like Vincent Laforet, Gregory Heisler, Stacy Pearsall, Kevin Kubota, Tamara Lackey, Nick Vedros, Chase Jarvis and many, many more. Even if you aren’t interested in what Skip and I have to say about this subject, you should be interested to hear what these amazing and successful photographers we’ve recruited to help us have to say. This book is as much about and by them as it is us. Our names are on the cover, but they contributed too. We are very grateful for their help on this project and through this journey.
So that’s it. I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who have purchased the book and especially to those who have taken time to write me and Skip and tell us you found it valuable.
Now go out and find a client. We’re rooting for you.
Rather than publish a “review” of a photo book, I’m going to give you some impressions of several books that I have been reading lately and that might interest you.
The first is called The Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Toward Becoming Great (Voices That Matter). Steve Simon is a master photo-journalist. He’s not as much camera geek as he is storyteller. And that’s a good thing. Steve has seen it all and done it all and his new book is not about shutter speeds and f-stops. Instead, he inspires us by talking about the things that really matter. If you’re tired of just producing good images and want to make inspiring images, grab this book.
Next up on the list is my pal Kevin Kubota’s new book – Kevin Kubotas Lighting Notebook: 101 Lighting Styles and Setups for Digital Photographers. Kevin is popularly-known as the guy behind Kubota Image Tools, but he’s also a superb image-maker. In this book, he shows – in a very detailed, step-by-step way, how he uses lighting to make stellar images. The book is very practical. If you are looking for a lighting workshop in a book, this is it. Kevin’s photo style is fresh, young and edgy and that will appeal to younger photographers looking for a less traditional lighting book. This is my new pick for people who want to learn lighting.
David DuChemin does it again with Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images (Voices That Matter). I love David’s tagline – “Gear is good. Vision is better.” This former comic turned professional photographer is a very deep, thoughtful man who’s photographic writing always captivates me. Like Steve Simon, he’s writing about things that are far more ethereal than camera settings. David talks about how his approach and his philosophy contributed to some of his favorite images. He shows you how to feel a photograph and speaks from a position of true passion. Highly recommended.
My final book choice is Visual Stories: Behind the Lens with Vincent Laforet (Voices That Matter). It is a masterwork by my pal and Pulitzer-Prize winner Vincent Laforet. He was kind enough to write the foreword (and contribute images) for my new book, Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer and even kinder to send me an advance copy of his. All I can say about Vince is that he’s one of the finest photographers of our generation. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that decades from now, long after we have all passed, people will refer back to Vincent’s work the way that we now talk about greats like Minor White, Imogen Cunningham, Man Ray, Paul Strand and Ansel Adams. Vincent chronicles how he made some of his iconic photographs and shares his thoughts on telling a story with your camera. If the concept of storytelling with photography has escaped you, buy this book – problem solved.
I wish I had more time to read some of the great photo books out there. This list isn’t anywhere near complete, but these four books will get you started and would also make great gifts this up-coming holiday season for your favorite photographer.