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WPPI 2017, Full Agenda, and 3 Free Full Passes Giveaway

February 1, 2017


WPPI 2017 Convention, Full Agenda + 3 Free Full Passes Giveaway



The WPPI 2017 Convention in Las Vegas is coming up very soon – like, sooner than ever, actually, as it is scheduled for February 5th-9th this year!

There are a whole lot of reasons to love this convention – but one big one??  Professional photographers and filmmakers  travel in from all over the world to attend it each and every year. Last year, there were more than 50 countries represented at this one convention! And I believe the lines of who is from where blends as perfectly as it should when you live on a planet where we are all so much more the same than we are different.

I have been a very active part of WPPI for 12 years now (which is kinda crazy to think about), and in that time I have made very dear friends on a number of continents who I get to keep in touch with all year long and then go spend some meaningful time with every year we all return to Vegas.

This year I have 3 full passes to give away for this year’s WPPI 2017 conference. So if you want to spontaneously get yourself to Vegas OR you want to upgrade your expo-only pass, I hope I can help you out here!  In light of everything going on this time of year, we could all use some uplifting news. To enter,  just post something – anything – about how you have used your photography to help others in these comments, or on social media (just tag me) and why it was worth it to you – and I will choose 3 from there right away!


The WPPI 2017 Online Live Print, Album & Filmmaking Competition kicks off on February 5th, and I am looking forward to judging it again this year, a full two day (and night) event. Big props to Jerry Ghionis Melissa Ghionis and Jason Groupp on working hard to make this behemoth endeavor happen time and time again.There’s really so much more to it than most would even guess. If you plan on making it to WPPI, definitely stop by and watch some of the print competition live. Amazing (free) education on how to view, compose, light, shoot, and print images.

My platform talk is on Wednesday, February 8th at 4:00pm – and  I’m doing live shoots, presentations and meet & greets with Nikon, Nations Photo Lab, and Adorama. All details are listed in the agenda below, so I hope I see you at one of the events. Huge kudos to Imagely for not only being our website provider and host of choice (!!) but for also sponsoring my Platform talk, as well. I’ll also have a ton of rather generous giveaways that we’ll be handing out at my platform, worth thousands of dollars, so show up & claim yours :) 

We will also be doing the WPPI 2017 Fun Run Tuesday morning, in support of Beautiful Together – bring your sneakers!  And some lungs to refill with clean outside air.
I’ll even get an opportunity to share more about our work with Beautiful Together at the kick off program for WPPI Monday morning.

And the WPPI Awards Show! I’m co-hosting it again, alongside Jerry Ghionis, should be quite a production this year, again.

I really hope to see so many of you there. As a matter of fact, I have 3 full passes to give away for this year’s conference. So if you want to spontaneously get yourself to Vegas OR you want to upgrade your expo-only pass, I hope I can help you out here!  In light of everything going on this time of year, we could all use some uplifting news. To enter,  just post something – anything – about how you have used your photography to help others in the comments, and why it was worth it to you – and I will choose 3 from there!




SO, without further adieu,
Here is my full 2017 WPPI Agenda:

Sunday & Monday, February 5th – 6th ALL DAY AND QUITE POSSIBLY WELL INTO THE NIGHT

I have the honor to be one of 40 judges from all over the world on the panel for the Live Print, Album, & Filmmaking Judging. Full Platform Passholders are welcome to come and watch the process, and I certainly hope you do because it can be rather enlightening for image makers to see how a panel of international print competition judges break down the components of an image for award placement. There’s so much you can take from this experience back into your everyday shooting. It’s really an extraordinary educational experience.

Monday, February 6 

8:30am – 10am: 

I will be jumping away from judging in order to give a short and sweet presentation about the projects and funds we are working on with Beautiful Together and to quickly share how others can get involved or do similar work on their own, at the Opening Ceremony with hosts  Jacqueline Tobin, Jason Groupp, & Jose Villa.
Always grateful for the heartfelt support from WPPI and Lauren Wendle for our work supporting children waiting for families

Beautiful Together

Tuesday – February 7  6:30am WPPI Fun Run to support Beautiful Together

Thanks to Erin Costa and Yesenia Bocanegra for helping out at last year’s Fun Run – and for this shot!
This year, we will head out from the Westgate/Las Vegas Convention Center and walk/jog/run to the beautiful Bellagio Fountains before then circling back. Last year, we’d run to the Las Vegas sign – and then a few people grabbed taxis back. So, basically, it’s rather casual:  can make your own distance here. We just hope you also like the WPPI Vegas Fun Run T-shirt, with 100% of the proceeds going back to Beautiful Together’s work supporting children waiting for families.

The WPPI Event Description: The Fun Run will be approximately 4 miles and is open to everyone no matter what the pace. The run will start at the Las Vegas Convention Center and proceed to the strip where we will take in the sights. We will take a team photo at the Bellagio where the proof of your efforts will be displayed for all on the WPPI social media channels, and then head back to The Westgate Hotel, nice and easy! T-Shirts will be available for purchase, and all proceeds go to Beautiful Together

After the run, and for the rest of the duration of the WPPI Expo, we will be selling all these T-shirts (and hats!) at the WPPI Membership booth – come on by, say hi, pick up something you love – and wear your heart on your sleeve :)

Note: If you can’t be at WPPI in Vegas, you can always order something directly from our shop and have it mailed to you!

Tuesday – February 7  

10:45 – 11:15:  Live shoot at the Adorama Booth. We will be creating little stylized sets at the Adorama booth, and I will be doing live shoots each morning from 10:45am – 11:15am. Come on by and say hello!

Tuesday – February 7  

2:00 – 2:30pm

Presentation and Live shoot at the Nikon Booth. Here is the very impressive full Nikon presentation schedule for the entirety of the show. They really have some incredibly educational and inspirational speakers this year, and I’m honored to share the stage with them.
And definitely note the new addition of a LIVESTREAM on Wednesday!


Tuesday – February 7  
3:00 – 5:00:
 Filming new episodes of the reDefine show! Here’s a fun image from last year with Luke and David Edmonson.

Wednesday – February 8

10:45 – 11:15:  Live shoot at the Adorama Booth, Day 2!  We will be creating little stylized sets at the Adorama booth, and I will be doing live shoots each morning from 10:45am – 11:15am. Come on by and say hello!
(Ironically, here’s a shot from last year with two photography experts, Daniel Norton and Jeff Snyder, and it happens to be a highly scrappy photograph of all three of us.)

Wednesday – February 8
11:45 – 12:15:
  Livestreamed Presentation and Live Shoot at Nikon Theater.  If you want to watch the livestream remotely, my talk is at 11:45am PST. You can check it out here.


Wednesday – February 8

4:00pm – 5:30: My platform talk!!  This BRAND NEW talk with brand new BTS video footage is one of my favorite presentations built yet. It is called:  Simplify Your Business and Shooting Style

This program is heavily focused on not just giving an overview of  how to simplify the way you work and the way you shoot to maximize your effort, referrals and actual quality of life, but I ALSO share quite detailed, specific steps that really help calm the pace and stress involved in this work – giving you more opportunity to experience more joy and FUN in your work and life. I also built another brand new Animoto video for this year’s program, as well!
There’s no way to pre-register for Platform talks this year, but here’s where my talk with be at the Las Vegas Convention Center:

 Room: N109/112
Participants will leave this information-packed class with tangible ways to simplify their photography business and shooting style in order to maximize profit and client referrals and to improve their quality of life as a working photographer. Tamara Lackey has been shooting client and commercial work for the last 14 years while also running a busy associate-based studio and teaching small group workshops to rave reviews. In this new high-energy program, Lackey will share her proven methods to simplify the insanity of the working photographer’s business. She will also discuss tips to improve your shooting and lighting style, via behind-the-scenes examples and footage, to show how cutting out unnecessary effort that can create photographs with more impact.

This is my 12th Platform presentation at WPPI, and I have never delivered the same program twice at this convention. Always a little nerve-wracking to start in a room like this…

And see how quickly it gets to this.

Thursday – February 9

10:45 – 11:15:  Last live shoot at the Adorama Booth!



I will also be spending a lot of time at the Nations Photo Lab booth. I’m thrilled that they will be showcasing some new pieces of mine at the Expo AND at my Platform talk. If you are ever looking for great sales and promo codes for Nations Photo Lab, check in on this page on our website often. We try to get new seriously money-saving codes each new month, although it may take a few days into the new month to have them ready to share!

Thursday – February 9
12:30pm – 3:00pm:
 Filming even MORE new episodes of the reDefine show for AdoramaTV. Fun BTS shot from last year with Kenna Klosterman, Lead Host (and Awesome Person) of Creative Live.



Thursday – February 9
8:00 pm:
 Hosting the WPPI Awards Show with (fellow Nikon Ambassador) Jerry Ghionis!

A few images from last year show how this vibrant awards show, created to celebrate the top image makers to compete at WPPI from around the world, can also be quite entertaining, as well.
Jerry and I spent quite some time putting together a spoof video to kick off the show and really had a lot of rather goofy fun with the entire program.

Friday – February 9


Aaaand … that’s it!
SO looking forward to seeing many, many, many of you at The WPPI 2017 Convention next week :)

Studio Makeover, Before and After, with Nations Photo Lab

January 25, 2017

Studio Makeover, Before and After, with Nations Photo Lab

Studio Makeover: I strongly believe in the power of printing your images to showcase your art – and what matters to you the most. When we moved to our brand new studio in Chapel Hill, it was an opportunity to step back and look at how we could display our work and really take advantage of all of the elements of our new space, as well as showcase a variety of the sizes and products we offer. So we started with a very empty, bare-walled Before and eventually finished with a well-designed After.  All the visuals of the Before and After, and the process in between, are showcased in the video below, along with some great tips to consider when making over your own photography studio.

I got to partner with Laura and Allie from the Product Development team at Nations Photo Lab – and Janie with Big Dog Little Bed Productions – to document this process; both the preparation and the actual hanging. It was such a fun way to capture this transition! 



I started off by measuring each space I wanted to hang work and sketched out the space and dimensions on a notepad. I then noted the height of furniture, light switches, etc. The next step was sketching out different sizes and how best they would fit together on the wall, like a fun, very large puzzle. I had to decide which images would go where and what product I wanted them printed on; canvas, gallery blocks, wood prints, metal prints or framed prints.  And the final step was to place the order with our wonderful lab, Nations Photo Lab.
03tamaralackeyweb 02tamaralackeyweb
Then, Allie and Laura from NPL came out and helped us measure and get all of our pieces up quickly.  We had a great time and it was very helpful to have a few extra hands.  And we definitely learned to measure twice, maybe even 3 times, before making a hole in the wall! :)

You can see the full video of all the work, and the Before & After images, here:



The full story was also featured in the January 2017 Rangefinder Magazine under the Power of Print Digest section here: digitalmag.rangefinderonline.com/rangefinder/january_2017 (Page 33 in the printed version).

New Studio Makeover, Rangefinder January 2017, Tamara Lackey, Nations Photo Lab


Thank you, Rangefinder Magazine!

2017 Tamara Lackey Workshops in Chapel Hill, NC

January 5, 2017

Tamara Lackey Workshops: The New Year is here! And with this comes two new workshops with Tamara Lackey at the NEW studio in Chapel Hill.

3-Day Portrait Photographer’s Workshop, April 4th-6th, 2017, Chapel Hill, NC


Register here: 3-Days Photographer’s Workshop – Two spots left! 

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.

Sign up here to secure one of the last spots!

The full cost of the workshop 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.

Click here to sign up online and secure your spot!  And check out what our past workshop participants have said about their experience at the workshop. We’re very proud of our 100% ‘Would recommend to a friend’ rating!






 Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, Chapel Hill Photography Studio, Cocobean Coffee Shop, Beautiful Together tamara-lackey-new-studio-space-6_WEB


5-Day Advanced Photographer’s Workshop, March 6th-10th, 2017, Chapel Hill, NC


Then, for graduates of the 3-day program, we have our 5-day Advanced Workshop from March 6th – 10th also at the new studio. You must have 3 years of shooting and business experience or have already attended one of the 3-day Tamara Lackey Workshops – and have practiced what you’ve learned!

Register here: 5-day Advanced Photographers Workshop 
Was previously sold out but, due to a necessary date change, two spots have opened back up!

This master photography workshop will focus on advanced image creation, next-level shooting scenarios, targeted online marketing, and the building of video content for each participant to receive for their own business use once the workshop is completed.

Over the course of these packed five days, we will be shooting in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations, with diverse model talent, so we can work on more advanced lighting (practicing different off-camera flash techniques) and stylized portrait shooting – as videographers capture BTS footage for each photographer’s video, as well as brief one-on-one interviews with each individual. We will do daily image critiques and daily post-processing clinics on participant photographs. In addition, we will step through more advanced marketing techniques in detail, including online targeted marketing and split testing various social media ads, setting each photographer up to track them on their own via their analytics sites.

This will be a highly interactive workshop. Each participant will offer the group a 5-10 minute presentation on what they do or know best – or present content about a topic they think would most benefit the workshop group. We will also engage in group feedback sessions on each photographer’s business summaries, with an emphasis on adding value to each business.

There will also be an additional 30-minute mentoring session between each participant and Tamara. Sign up now to reserve one of the last spots!

And, after each day, there will be optional, relaxed social outings to discuss the day’s content and each other’s business models and marketing efforts – or any questions that photographers may still have. Expect delicious vegetarian breakfasts and lunches served each day (with sensitivity to food allergies and preferences), as well as a festive dinner out, on the last evening, to wrap up the full workshop experience.

You will leave this comprehensive 5-day workshop with new information, fresh imagery and marketing techniques – and new video content for your business (including the elusive video promo content everyone needs but has a hard time getting to), while learning tons of new skills and ideas for taking your business to the next level!”

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.

1ball-testimonials-jan-201742all-testimonials-jan-2017 3all-testimonials-jan-20174all-testimonials-jan-2017 5all-testimonials-jan-20176all-testimonials-jan-2017 7all-testimonials-jan-2017

Feed, Clothe & Shelter 100 Aleppo Orphans – A New Beautiful Together Project

December 21, 2016

Feed, Clothe & Shelter 100 Aleppo Orphans – the newest Beautiful Together project

Aleppo Orphans, Syrian Orphans Organization, Beautiful Together, Tamara Lackey

For more than five years, the world has watched the conflicts in Syria escalate into more violence, more heartbreak – and now more orphaned children in need of care than ever before.

The children that have been able to flee Aleppo are leaving the biggest city in Syria – and endless bombing, drastic food shortages, an increasing lack of medical aid and the heartbreaking destruction of their home and communities. Most horrific of all, they have lost their family; they have lost their parents. Thousands and thousands of children are now suddenly orphans. And, if they are “lucky”, they are now refugees, too.

And there is no question that these children are as truly innocent as this brutal assault is unjust.

Aleppo Orphans, Syrian Orphans Organization, Beautiful Together, Tamara Lackey

Photo courtesy of Syrian Orphans Org

Watching the heart-wrenching, horrific footage, it’s difficult to process that children who have actually gotten out, who have been pulled from the rubble, are considered the lucky ones, as Dr. Ossama Abu Alez, a surgeon in Eastern Aleppo, explains here. And the background on this, the history and the actions that have led to this very real genocide – unthinkable brutality – is as complex as it is frustrating to witness. This account detailing “the death and destruction .. as its hellish descent continues” is entitled “Inside Aleppo”, and it is as enlightening as it is exhaustingly sad.

We all want to do something.

You only need see the raw trauma on the face of Aya, and all who surround her, in the BBC piece Aleppo is a place Where The Children Have Stopped Crying  to ask What Can I Do To Help???
I know the refrain that has been going through my mind: I wish we could stop this. I wish we could stop this. I wish we could stop this.
The only other thing we can do, in lieu of having the power to stop this, is to help. And to help fast.

It is winter in Syria and Turkey and those children lucky enough to get out of Aleppo, traumatized, many very recently orphaned, must survive not only their immediate situation but also the cold. They must eat; they must drink; they must have somewhere to lay their heads at night.

Please help us help them. We are working to immediately provide 100 Aleppo Orphans with the supplies they need to get through winter at a temporary refugee camp currently being built in Turkey, as they flee their homes.

Supplies include:

  • Mattress with coverings, $30 each
  • Blankets, $8 each
  • Pajamas for children ages 3-12, $10 each
  • Jackets for children ages 3-12, $8 each
  • Food Baskets, ranging from $40-$70 each, depending on the ingredients, the amount of food and the length of time it can feed a child

For a total of $111, you can provide one Aleppo orphan – now a child refugee – with food, warmth, a place to sleep, and some winter protection. As always with Beautiful Together, 100% of all donations will go directly to these children and these supplies.
You can very directly help save a child’s life. 

Aleppo Orphans, Syrian Orphans Organization, Beautiful Together, Tamara Lackey

Photo courtesy of Syrian Orphans Org

We are partnering with Syrian Orphans Organization to ensure all donations go directly to these needs and these needs only, via the assistance of their established network of on-the-ground aid workers in Syria and in Turkey right now. 100% of the operating costs involved in the efforts of Beautiful Together and Syrian Orphans Organization are funded privately so that every single dollar donated goes directly to these efforts.

Will you please show your care by donating?
You can access the fund project page here: beautifultogether.org/project/feed-clothe-shelter-100-aleppo-orphans/

Aleppo Orphans, Sam Tarling, Syrian Orphans Organization, Beautiful Together, Tamara Lackey

Aleppo Orphans, Syrian Orphans Organization, Beautiful Together, Tamara Lackey

© Jake Simkin

How else can you help??

Wear your heart on your sleeve. Buy a t-shirt. Buy your entire family a t-shirt. Choose a message that fits what you would like to share, like our exceptionally comfortable “Be The Good” long-sleeved baseball tee.
100% of all proceeds from these t-shirts, and these awesome hats, go directly to this effort.

Beautiful Together, t-shirt, Aleppo Orphans, Be The Good, Love Always Wins, Gear, Tamara Lackey

And if you live in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area, you can pick up any of these shirts – or the calendar and fine art cards – at Coco Bean Coffee Shop.

Buy a calendar for the new year! Buy your entire extended family a calendar for the new year! I photographed at at some rather striking destinations throughout this beautiful world, and all proceeds will go to this effort.

Purchase all-purpose, linen fine art cards to use to express anything you wish to share to anyone you wish to express it to, all year long. Actually, there’s no expiration date. I’m sure you know how nice, blank cards can work – bottom line? 100% of all proceeds go towards this effort.
These are also made up of a collection of travel and fine art images that I photographed.

                      Beautiful Together, t-shirt, Aleppo Orphans, Be The Good, Love Always Wins, 2017 Calendar, travel photography, Tamara LackeyBeautiful Together, t-shirt, Aleppo Orphans, Be The Good, Love Always Wins, fine art cards, travel photography, Tamara Lackey

Have a holiday party, a New Year’s eve party, a kick-off-the New Year party, a small dinner party, whatever. Host a simple gathering and ask people to bring a small donation – gather the funds and send a check, or donate online, to Beautiful Together. Or send them all individually – we will happily log them all that way, too. Remind your friends that 100% of all of their donations are tax-deductible, since Beautiful Together is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We just did this recently, hosting two separate gatherings last week – one was a Sip n Shop at our studio and another was a neighborhood house party. The funds we raised at both of those events will go directly to this effort.

Are you a photographer? Host a few hours of mini-sessions, share your talent, give others the gift of images of those they love – and donate a portion of proceeds to this effort. Or all of your proceeds. Again, 100% of the funds you raise with go towards the Aleppo Orphans.

Do you create things? Make crafts? Design jewelry or handbags or something beautiful to have, to hold or to give? Consider giving all – or even just a portion – of your proceeds to this effort.

Do you NOT create things, make crafts or design jewelry or handbags or something beautiful? Who do you know who does?? Offer to host a gathering to showcase their wares, or create a simple online auction, and ask them to donate a portion of their proceeds.

Do you want a striking photo album to showcase your photography? Purchase an eco-friendly, fine art Lush Album, which includes the opportunity to digitally design your album quickly and beautifully. Fifty percent of the proceeds of every single album purchased will go directly to this effort – and to all future Beautiful Together efforts ongoing.

Beautiful Together, Photo Albums, Lush Albums, Aleppo Orphans, Tamara Lackey

Does your family want to get involved? Have your children host a hot chocolate stand, or a bake sale, or an art sale.

You want to help? Good. That’s amazing. Seriously, that is our humanity talking – we want to help when we know others are deeply suffering. And the Aleppo orphans – and so many endangered children in Syria – are deeply suffering. Luckily, the options to do so are plentiful. The need is great. And any and all fundraising efforts help.

We can all DO something. Please help us do this.
Thank you for caring.

Aleppo Orphans, Sam Tarling, Syrian Orphans Organization, Beautiful Together, Tamara Lackey

Aleppo Orphans, Syrian Orphans Organization, Beautiful Together, Tamara Lackey

Aleppo Orphans, Syrian Orphans Organization, Beautiful Together, Tamara Lackey

Aleppo Orphans, Syrian Orphans Organization, Beautiful Together, Tamara Lackey

© Jake Simkin



reDefine Episodes with the Scobeys, Jeff Rojas, and Kenna Klosterman

December 8, 2016

Tamara Lackey’s reDefine Episodes with Ashley & Graham Scobey, Jeff Rojas, and Kenna Klosterman

Here’s another round of talented creative photographers as part of the reDefine Show, produced in conjunction with Adorama, and featured on AdoramaTV.

Work-Life Balance with Ashley and Graham Scobey

In this episode, Tamara Lackey interviews Ashley and Graham Scobey as they share how they managed to get their wedding photography business off the ground while managing their work-life balance as a married couple working together.



New York City Portrait and Fashion Photographer, Jeff Rojas

In this episode, Tamara Lackey interviews NYC portrait and fashion photographer Jeff Rojas. Jeff shares why he decided to focus on photographing men and discusses how to shoot around people’s self-perceived flaws.





Travel Photographer and lead host of CreativeLive, Kenna Klosterman

Want to get the highlights from over 500 CreativeLive classes? Lead host Kenna Klosterman has quite actively participated in ALL of them, easily more than anyone else on the planet, and she shares the greatest things she’s learned in this awesome two-part reDefine show.

In part one, Kenna talks about how her role has evolved from host to guiding creatives and shares her passion for shooting and leading tours throughout Cuba.

In part two, the question: What are the key takeaways, what have you learned the most from all of this? Kenna emphasizes that success is in the doing – just go out and do it! She discusses transformative learning and some of the themes that come through include; fear of failure, failing with purpose, defining your own definition for success, the power of collaboration and tactics to learning.






FULLY FUNDED! Safe Showers for Homeless Youth with Beautiful Together

November 13, 2016

Our Beautiful Together Safe Showers for Homeless Youth Project is FULLY FUNDED!

Beautiful Together, Running Works, Tamara Lackey

We are thrilled to announce that our latest Beautiful Together project, Safe Showers For Homeless Youth, focused on improving the quality of life for impoverished youth in America – specifically, homeless youth who have recently cycled out of foster care and are struggling to find a home, a job, and a community – is now fully funded!

We are thrilled to be partnering with RunningWorks, as they expand their extraordinary, life-changing program with an additional focus on stopping the destructive cycle of homelessness. One of the major things we have learned is that, as helpful as homeless shelters can be, it is often difficult for homeless youth to figure out life on the streets, to learn how shelters and feeding programs work, to get transportation to and from life-changing opportunities – and so much more. In order to break away, there needs to be access to something as simple as showers, the ability to get clean, to feel better, to stay healthy in unhealthy environments. This is difficult for homeless youth for many reasons – not just the long lines they share with adults but also repeatedly being part of environments where they may not be prepared to protect themselves as needed. Some of the children RunningWorks assists are as young as 4 years old. Many are young teens who have left abusive or neglectful situations, a foster care system that repeatedly moved them from home to home (sometimes over ten times) for years, or they are simply kids who have made a mistake and now face the overwhelmingly daunting cycle of poverty.

We are so grateful to be able to supply Running Works with a set of private, portable showers and a generous supply of toiletries and towels, as well as some much-needed bus passes, so they can not only offer homeless youth showers on site, but they can also move the showers with them as they continue to grow as an organization.

An extra big thank you to Paul & Sarah Buck Casey, with whom I collaborated on the very fun multi-media kit Capturing Life Through (Better) Photography for their very generous donation brought us over the top on this. They do all kinds of good things in the world – and Sarah runs a gorgeous children’s clothing store called Puddle Baby. If you’re in the Chapel Hill area, check it out!!

It’s definitely a privilege to share this on #WorldKindnessDay, too. Sidenote: I’m all for #WorldKindnessYear (afterYearafterYear)!

And for all those who may wish to offer support to BeautifulTogether.org, our all-volunteer 501(c)(3) in support of children waiting for families, please consider our Feeding Fund. We send regular contributions to the Feeding Kitchen many of you helped to build in Korah, Ethiopia – and, as always, 100% of your donations will go directly to feeding children there who don’t have access to regular meals. You can learn more here: https://beautifultogether.org/project/orphan-feeding-fund/


Beautiful Together Feeding Fund, Photo by Tamara Lackey


Lastly, if you’d like to learn more about the fantastic work being done by RunningWorks, check out this video, where Meredith Dolhare explains it all in excellent detail:


2016 PDN PhotoPlus in New York City

October 18, 2016

2016 PDN PhotoPlus International Conference and Expo

Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, Nikon Ambassador, 2016 PDN PhotoPlus

It’s that time of year again – pumpkin is in the air ( like, everywhere) and it’s also time for the annual 2016 PDN PhotoPlus Expo in New York City! There is nothing like New York in the fall, coupled with collaborating and meeting tons of very talented photographers – it just makes for something I look forward to every single year.

If you haven’t been to 2016 PDN PhotoPlus Expo, at the gigantic Javits Center, here’s the gist:

The PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo is the largest photography and imaging show in North America, attended by nearly 22,000 professional photographers, photography enthusiasts, filmmakers, students and educators from around the world. PhotoPlus features over 100 educational seminars, Photo Walks and Master Classes, and over 250 exhibitors displaying thousands of the latest products and services for you to touch, try and compare.

I’ll be teaching a Platform program, Modern Portrait Photography, on Friday, October 21, from 10:15AM – 12:15AM. 

The focus of my talk is on portrait photography, and this will be an action-packed program covering the most compelling dynamics of modern portrait photography, which includes not just the technical and lighting components, but the Magic Part – which is often best conveyed by demonstration. That is why I’ll be sharing some new behind-the-scenes footage of shoots that really shows exactly how you can pull it all together in even the most challenging of situations. I’ll also share a bit of an update on my work with Beautiful Together, which connects deeply to work with and for children. Join me on Friday morning at 10:15am for lots and lots and lots more.

Big thanks to my fantastic sponsors: Nikon, Nations Photo Lab, Adorama, Animoto and Imagely – most of whom are also giving out some very generous prizes!!

Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, Great Dane, Puppy, Nikon Ambassador, 2016 PDN PhotoPlus

Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, Black and White, Nikon Ambassador, 2016 PDN PhotoPlus, Nikon School Online

Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, Spring, Nikon Ambassador, 2016 PDN PhotoPlus

Nikon Theater at Photo Plus Expo

In addition, I’m looking forward to joining a fantastic lineup of exceptionally talented photographers at the fabulous Nikon School Theater Speaker program. At various times throughout the week, I’ll be at booth 401 on the Expo floor, along with Deanne Fitzmaurice, Keith Ladzinski, Jerry Ghionis, Joe McNally, Ami Vitale, Corey Rich, Dave Black, Doug Gordon, and Adam Woodworth – ahhh, lots of awesome talent, just check out the poster below for everyone! And all will be MC’d by the fabulous Mike Corrado.

Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, Nikon Ambassador, 2016 PDN PhotoPlus
Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, Nikon Ambassador, 2016 PDN PhotoPlus

Photograph by Justin Dworak

Times for my talk and my live demo: Photographing Children and Pets, and I’ll be showing a clip from my new Nikon School Online program!

Thursday, October 20th:  4:15-4:45pm

Friday, October 21st:  3:30-4:00pm

Saturday, October 22nd:  3:30-4:00pm

Here is the entire schedule for Nikon Theater at the 2016 PDN PhotoPlus Expo:


See you there!

reDefine Show with Inspirational Photographers Kenny Kim and Brooke Shaden

September 30, 2016

New reDefine Show Episodes from Kenny Kim and Brooke Shaden with Tamara Lackey

Here’s another two truly inspirational episodes of the reDefine Show, produced in conjunction with Adorama and featured on AdoramaTV.

Destination Wedding and Travel Photography with Kenny Kim

In this episode, I chat with world-renowned wedding photographer Kenny Kim, as he shares his gorgeous destination photography, a great lesson about overcoming crippling fear, and an absolutely fantastic tip for anyone looking to book more work.







Self Portrait Fine Art Photography with Brooke Shaden  – Parts I & II

In this two-part episode series, I sit down with the fabulously talented Brooke Shaden, as we talk about how her early focus in self-portraits ended up taking her work, and her self-awareness, to a whole new level.

Then, in part 2 of our very cool discussion, we dig into her unique post-processing work, where she truly finishes the story of her images. Even though she sets up A LOT before taking a shot, she can still sometimes spend up to 50 hours in Photoshop – even building up to 1,000 layers – before finalizing a piece. Hear more here and, if you haven’t yet, definitely learn more about her wonderful work with The Light Space:







You check out this and other fantastic content by talented AdoramaTV hosts: Joe McNally, Mark Wallace, Richard Harrington, Bryan Peterson and Gavin Hoey by heading over to AdoramaTV.com.

Love, Fear, and a Chance Encounter at Duke Children’s Hospital

August 24, 2016

Love, Fear & A Chance Encounter at Duke Children’s Hospital

I’d been holding my breath for the last five hours, struggling through what would end up being my daughter’s 9-hour surgery at Duke Children’s Hospital, when she sat down. Her name was Sue, and she asked if the seat next to me was taken. We were in the waiting room. I was positioned so that I could stare at the wall that separated me, in the waiting room, from the hallway that led to the operating room where my daughter was. Pretty much the closest I could get to her.

To be honest, I could barely hear Sue’s words at first. I registered that she seemed kind, that she was friendly, that she was waiting for her son. But it took a few minutes until I really heard her, too frozen in my own fear. But words started slipping through. I apologized and asked her to repeat her last few words. Her son, Howell, was getting another MRI. He had brain cancer. He had Stage 4 brain cancer. He’d been in treatment since he was nine years old. He was twelve now. Things were tougher than she’d ever imagined, and the two of them were pretty alone in the world.

They’d lived in the Ronald McDonald house for a year. They’d lived in-patient at Duke Children’s Hospital for four months. They were now living in an apartment near the hospital, and somewhere in the last few, relentless years, her husband  – his dad – had left them. As they moved through all the chemo, radiation, surgery and endless cancer treatments, they had to work to figure out how it could all get paid. She had my attention now. I physically turned towards her and felt my fear ebb just enough for empathy to have a place to wash in – and a separate part of me registered that this was the first time I had experienced a break from non-stop anxiety since the night before, as we packed up for our daughter’s massive surgery, a full week in the hospital to follow, another six months of recovery.

Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, Duke Children's Hospital, Childhood Cancer, Brain Cancer, Love Tamara-Lackey-Photography-Duke-Childrens-Hospital-Howell 6

Her son’s name was Howell. And they had been hoping for better news for a while. They kept not getting it. I looked at her and fully felt everything she felt. At least at that moment. All that love and trying. It took me squarely out of my cage of fear and made me want to do something – anything – to lighten her load. I told her I’d love to do a photo shoot of the two of them together. He was her whole world, she’d said. I wanted to do that shoot as soon as possible. Our daughter needed round-the-clock care for weeks. And then things started to ease up a bit. We scheduled the shoot as soon as possible, a few weeks after we’d met, and I met them at Duke Gardens. Howell is a 12-year-old boy. I have a 12-year-old boy. It is remarkable to me how much 12-year-old boys can be alike. He is silly and funny and interested in much of what my son was. But he was also very weak and got “woozy” very easily and had clearly been through the ringer over the last few years. He laughed easily, he had loved playing soccer, he had every faith in his mom. And his mom was trying to move through this, to give him as much happiness as she could. I think that’s the thing about caring for a very ill child, you can get quite lost in it. Sue has made her life about caring for Howell since he was born, but it’s been round the clock since November of 2012, when he was first diagnosed, and it’s been sadly challenging on more levels than most ever have to experience. You can read much more about their experience here. Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, Duke Children's Hospital, Childhood Cancer, Brain Cancer, Love Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, Duke Children's Hospital, Childhood Cancer, Brain Cancer, Love Tamara-Lackey-Photography-Duke-Childrens-Hospital-Howell 7 I took these photographs of them, and it just so happened that I delivered them to Sue on her birthday. A gift she said was the best birthday gift she’d ever received. Given that I knew what caring for a child who was seriously hurting really meant at this point in my life, that made me cry. It’s easy to forget sometimes how powerful portraits of those you love, the love you have together, can be. I’d like us all to help give them a little more, to help them hope. Tamara-Lackey-Photography-Duke-Childrens-Hospital-Howell 4 Tamara-Lackey-Photography-Duke-Childrens-Hospital-Howell 3 As anyone who understands what major medical hardship can mean, Sue and Howell face a great deal of expenses. There is more to come. They could use some help. They could use a whole lot of help. If you can contribute any amount, please consider doing so by going here, to a Crowdrise page I just set up. Here is just the beginning of their story, that kicks off with a Lifeline Ambulance ride to Duke Children’s Hospital. There’s a lot more on the fundraising page. Howell is now 12 years old. He has Stage 4 Pineoblastoma Brain Cancer. He was diagnosed at the age of 9 years old. He is silly and upbeat and full of life. He also gets tired easily, is in a wheelchair most of the time, and feels woozy after walking or even standing for too long. The first description is who he is; the second describes what cancer can do. After four years of treatments, the cancer has spread to his spine. His mom, Sue, has been told there is nothing more they can do at this time. But there are several possibilities that they can still try for, experimental treatments that should be approved in the next few months… Read more (and please consider helping – and sharing!) here.

New Photography Studio in Chapel Hill, NC

August 11, 2016

Photography Studio in Chapel Hill, NC for Tamara Lackey Photography

Our new photography studio! tamara-lackey-new-studio-space-2_WEB

I am VERY excited to share this update about our brand new studio space in Chapel Hill, which is finally coming together!!

It took about seven months to design, draw, re-draw, and architect this new space out. A few months of working remotely, and quite a number of permits and inspections, but we are nearly there! We wanted a great combination of open flex workspace, a private photography shooting area/conference room with natural light, a few small private offices, several open gallery walls, a kitchenette, good hidden storage, and lots of light, glass and wood.

tamara-lackey-new-studio-space-3_WEB tamara-lackey-new-studio-space-4_WEB tamara-lackey-new-studio-space-5_WEB tamara-lackey-new-studio-space-6_WEBtamara-lackey-new-studio-space-9_WEBtamara-lackey-new-studio-space-10_WEB

We moved out of our former space back in May, thinking we’d be in our new space sooner than this, it’s been a bit of a juggle with everything going on personally, but luckily we got a lot of this in motion a while ago. Our new location has been completely up fit from scratch and will include all of the details mentioned above, and, separately (we’re pretty excited about this) … a coffee shop! Because what photography studio is complete without a coffee shop? ;)


(A photo from when we were in the thick of construction – the open shooting space is not in the frame.)

But, for real – Coco Bean Coffee Shop will bring a specialty coffee cafe to a cool area in Chapel Hill that has retail and restaurants but currently, surprisingly, doesn’t have a coffee shop yet AND it will also tie directly into our work with Beautiful Together in Ethiopia. We will be opening it before the end of summer!



We’ve spent much of the last week or so bringing in/building desks, chairs, rebuilding equipment and setting up the look of the new space – lots to go still, including much more work on the coffee shop – but it feels great to finally be making this happen.