OUR NEWEST PROJECT — Dinner for 40 at The Joy Home Orphanage in India
We created our Dinner for 40 Project to provide nutritious dinners to 40 children between the ages of 6 and 15 years old for the next four months. Dinner will include lentils, chapatti flour, oil, semolina, rice, vegetables, and fruit. We hope to do more over time, but we want to have an impact as soon as possible! Your contributions to this effort will go a long way to help support this orphanage. And, with your support, these children will know someone cares for them because none of these orphans can actually be adopted, due to current government restrictions.
An estimated 20 million orphans live in India alone. It’s a country that has the largest child population in the world. That is such a staggering number, 20 MILLION children. Many are homeless, living on the streets and resorting to begging for food. It is almost impossible to envision it. Orphaned children in India are in great need of care and protection, too, being susceptible to not just poverty and illness but also child labor and child trafficking. Even worse, current projections show that number to grow to 24 million orphans by 2021.
We are working to support The Joy Home Orphanage, located in a village called Madhapur, near Hyperdad. Their orphanage facilities include accommodation, food, schooling, healthcare, clothes, and an initial counseling session with children who are entering the orphanage. 100% of all donations to The Joy Home Orphanage go directly towards meeting the needs of these children.
Personal projects are a powerful way for professional photographers to focus on topics that are most important to them. It’s a way to fuel their creative spirits and explore another source of inspiration. My focus will be on my work with Beautiful Together. Jen will be speaking about her experience with breast cancer – and some powerful resulting imagery. And Stacy will be sharing her striking work with veteran portraits.
If you’re not going to be in Vegas with the million+ other CES attendants (bejeebus, it’s big), you can tune in to watch my program and panel discussion via nikonusa.com/live. Plus, you can watch ALL of these seriously amazing speakers — some of the top photographers in the world — via nikonusa.com/live.
You can check the speakers schedule below to find out when Nikon will livestream globally!
Here’s part of the line-up:
There are so many speakers to choose from, like Joe McNally and Jerry Ghionis. Also, you can catch multi-speaker panels where they offer insights through interactive conversations. For example, if you are just starting your career in photography, you can watch Taylor Gray, Kiamarie Stone, and Nicolas Bruno share their experiences during On the Rise|Getting Started in Photography.
Just don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to listen to Nikon’s photography experts!
Announcing the Fall Photography Contest Winners with Nations Photo Lab – and Honorable Mentions!
I teamed up with Nations Photo Lab, who I have partnered with on previous contests, and we launched this new one together. I am excited to now announce the photography contest winners! This brand new photography contest which was opened for submissions, and we were excited that so many of you shared your beautiful fall images. The winners had a chance to win $50 with them, and there were multiple prizes to win and a lot of submissions to judge. I was inspired by all of your contest submissions, as I got to judge the contest, alongside the team at Nations Photo Lab.
Here are the three photography contest winners and three honorable mentions:
First Place: Kristin Hoag with The beauty of Fall
Second Place: Kimmarie Keane with Beauty Beneath the Bridge
Third Place: Marie Schmidt with Stocking up a few peanuts for Winter
First Honorable Mention: Monita McCool with Be still and know that I am God:Psalm 46:10
Second Honorable Mention: Jimmy D. Baker with 8 Point Buck on a Cloudy Fall Morning
Third Honorable Mention: Erin Lamirande with Miko’s Lion King Moment!
I didn’t enter the contest, hah, but I did photograph this fall image at the base of Reflection Lake, at Mt. Rainier National Park, in Washington. Woke up before dawn to watch the sun rise and capture a near-perfect perfect reflection while the water was still … well, still. Shot this with the Nikon D5 and 24-70 f/2.8 lens. (If interested, you can see a lot more images, with information about gear and camera settings, on my instagram page.)
Photographing Alpacas with Personality: ReDefine Show – Animal Edition! with Tamara Lackey
I believe some animals are just better at loving each other than we are. Join me on this episode of reDefine Show – Animal Edition! and learn about photographing alpacas on location at Perry Farm Alpacas in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
When you walk into the large pen, curiosity brings the herd together. Soon, I am surrounded by furry bobble-heads with the most expressive eyes.
For this photo shoot, I used some of my favorite gear like the Nikon D850 & 105mm f/1.4, with fill light from the SB-5000 flash.
In this episode of reDefine Show – Animal Edition!, Tamara Lackey is photographing pigs as pets inside the home of a veterinarian who specializes in pot-bellied pigs. Tamara learns about how pigs are adopted as cute pets, but later, as they outgrow their space inside a home, the pigs are dropped off at shelters or simply let go.
For some ridiculous reason I simply cannot fathom, my husband doesn’t want us to have a couple of pet pigs live in our home with us. But, at least I had an awesome time photographing THESE two rescue pets in THEIR home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcgIUsMp-aw
In addition to my presentation, I’ll be photographing a couple of live shoots with the D850 and new Z7 at the newly-designed Nikon theater, as well. If you check out the lineup, you’ll see a number of fantastic presentations and some very cool photography panels, as well. (I’m particularly interested in the Masters of Photojournalism one with fellow Nikon Ambassadors Carol Guzy, Ami Vitale, and Lynsey Addario.)
And, lastly, since this will be in New York, I will also be eating at every vegan restaurant I can get to over the course of 5 days. That may end up being 7 meals a day, but sometimes what needs to get done just needs to get done.
If you’re one of the estimated 40,000 people who will be at the show, please say hi : )
Should be quite an event!
Tamara Lackey Giveaway – Coupon for 30% Playbook Bundle
This bundle contains all three of Tamara Lackey’s Playbooks, which together will comprehensively walk you through, from start to finish, any children or family portrait session. Learn what to prep for, what not to forget, posing ideas for all children and family types and what to do after the shoot is over. Use code PPE2018 to get 30% off the bundle!
5 Day Deal of Tons of Software, Education & More PLUS 100% Match to Beautiful Together
For the next FIVE DAYS, I will be offering my Portrait Shoot Playbook, valued at $99, as part of an overall huge amount of products, software and more for a fraction of the value. I am thrilled to be a part of this because the partners of 5 Day Deal are also donating 100% of the purchase of this deal through my link to Beautiful Together, working to improve the lives of children waiting for families and those living in extreme poverty.
Tamara steps you through every aspect of a portrait photography session in this 250+ page book, packed with information, examples and illustrative photography!
In case you aren’t familiar with the Portrait Shoot Playbook, offered as part of this overall bundle, here is more detail:
Love portrait photography, but don’t know where to start when it comes to shooting a portrait session?
Or have you already been shooting photography sessions but feel like you could use some clear guidelines to follow, so you don’t miss a thing?
Want to improve your exposure, focus, lighting, posing, interaction style and the authenticity of expression in your portraits – while also spending less time editing, so you can spend more time shooting?
If so, this fully downloadable book is your comprehensive Start To Finish guide!
We work to identify and complete specific and measurable projects that tangibly improve the lives of orphaned children in the United States and Africa. We also shine a light on children living in extreme poverty, foster care, or orphanages through a combination of on-the-ground work, professional photography, video and social outreach.
Photographing Snakes, reDefine Show: Animal Edition! With Tamara Lackey
On this episode of The reDefine Show (Animal Edition!), I photograph a boa constrictor on location at the Museum of Natural Sciences of North Carolina in Raleigh. We set up a full portable studio, including a seamless backdrop and most of my Westcott studio lights. Most important of all, I used my favorite gear like the Nikon D850 and a combination of Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 lens, Nikkor 105mm f/1.4 lens and Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 macro lens.
I got some surprisingly great photographs (at least, for me, when it comes to photographing snakes!) while sharing tips and techniques on how to photograph an unpredictable subject from capturing colorful contrast to macro shooting and more. Whew!
The photographs in the video range from wide shots to macro images – and pretty much everything in between.
Check out the entire shoot here, live on Adorama TV:
Photographed by Tamara Lackey
Photographed by Tamara Lackey
Photographed by Tamara Lackey
Photographed by Tamara Lackey
Photographed by Tamara Lackey
from The reDefine Show: Animal Edition! With Tamara Lackey
Tamara Lackey at Global Launch of Nikon Z7 Mirrorless System
Six months ago, I was asked a VERY SURREAL series of questions by a rather distinguished ad agency in Tokyo, (which would eventually be about the new Z7 camera):
Would I be interested in producing and shooting a global campaign for The Nikon Corporation, utilizing a beta camera and native lens that were to be the keystones of their completely new mirrorless system?
Would I be interested in mapping out multiple locations throughout Mexico to travel throughout while doing a series of shoots with an assembled crew?
Would I then travel to Tokyo to present my work at the global launch event in late August?
Also – and this part was considered critical:
Would I agree to never tell anyone anything about it for the entirety of the next six months?
Um, yes. Yes to all.
So, after signing all the necessary agreements where I committed to telling no one what I was working on, I promised to hide the gear while shooting with it, I adhered to sending all communications through encryption servers, and I committed to not share with anyone that I was even invited to the global launch event in Japan, (and certainly not that I would actually be part of the launch event), we started working on logistics.
The Global Launch Day for the Nikon Z7 Mirrorless System introduced this exquisite new camera system that really does break ahead from years and years of solid Nikon production.
At 1pm Tokyo Time on August 23rd, we launched this new series of products, legitimate game-changers for the imaging industry. There were two of us invited to join the Nikon executive team as speakers on stage – me and Rob Whitworth, a UK photographer who focuses on super cool time-lapse work (like his work on BBC’s Planet Earth). For my part, I spoke to my experiences of shooting with the Z7 in the Yucatan Peninsula and Central Mexico and my immediate impressions of working with the gear. I may or may not have taken QUITE a number of deep breaths backstage before stepping out in front of 300+ members of the press, as well as the executive team who had just spoken, and so many other individuals filling out the standing-room-only event space.
It was a nervewracking, fantastic experience.
Fantastic because – well, I’d never done anything like this before. Like, ever. And the fact that my daughters were watching this from the other side of the world meant a great deal to me.
And nervewracking because, for my part, there was more to consider than just showing the work. Certainly, there’s the need to keep pace with timing (the slides were being advanced for me from the back of the room) and there’s also where and where not to stand on stage. There’s pausing as subtly but as fully as possible throughout the talk at pre-planned times, in order for translations in multiple other languages to come through properly. And there’s keeping a similar feel and pacing to the rest of the event to help deliver a more cohesive viewing experience, as the whole event was being live-streamed around the world.
And since this event to introduce the Z7 was being produced by over 100 people on site, this wasn’t just about sharing my first impressions – it was also about respecting the time and effort of everyone else involved with this! And it’d been years of time leading to this. I really felt that and didn’t want to let anyone down.
Luckily, all went quite smoothly. And that felt like nothing short of good fortune, given how many moving parts I saw at play behind the scenes.
I want to make sure to thank my rather trusting, above & beyond production crew on the Z7 project, which included Miriam MJ Beckman (who I have worked with on my new reDefine Show: Animal Edition), Soichi, Rhesa Versola, Jun, and Beate Epp. And I have to say that I’ll be excited to share images from all my shoots soon, as I’m incredibly happy with them.
But mostly, for right now, I just kinda felt like I finally wanted to say it all out loud.
reDefine Show: Animal Edition, with Tamara Lackey!
Almost seven years ago exactly, I launched a new series on AdoramaTV called The reDefine Show. I interviewed creatives who not only loved what they did but were at the top of their game. I met photographers, cinematographers, comedians, actors, sports anchors — really anyone who figured out how to make a living doing work they loved. I was lucky enough to speak with extraordinarily talented individuals who shared a great deal about what had made them successful, what they had done right early on, and what they’d learned from their failures.
Although I love shooting that iteration of The reDefine Show, I am quite excited to take things in a new direction.
At the beginning of 2018, I dreamed of stepping into a variety of situations to photograph animals, insects and all kinds of furry and winged creatures. I hoped to get access to shooting scenarios that would allow me to learn more about the subjects I’d be photographing, while I shared what shooting decisions I was making and why. I also wanted to take some fantastic shots. We were fortunate enough to do just that.
Some experiences were just dream scenarios for animal lovers, like tracking wild horses on the beach or being fully surrounded by affectionate bobblehead alpacas. Other times, I was able to live vicariously, like the day-in-the-life shoot of pet pigs in their home with their family, which includes an entire floor custom made for them — something my husband is still not interested in doing in our home.
I also discovered some pretty fascinating things about every animal, like how boa constrictors glisten as they flex and that crested geckos wash their eyes with their tongues. I found out that butterfly wings look like intricate paintings with dozens of colors when a small section of wing fills the entire frame. And I was shocked to see lemurs go into a trance-like state while soaking up the sun, arms outstretched, chests out and eyes rolled back in their heads.
I learned that spending time with that which you fear can change everything.
Facing Your Fears
That is why our very first episode was all about photographing bees. I started with this one because it was the one show I was the most nervous (okay, terrified) to shoot. Some people are all “one with the bees.” I have always been, well, the exact opposite of that. I feel the hairs on the back of my neck rise up anytime I see a bee buzz nearby. So to put on a beekeeper’s suit and walk into the same space as 70,000 bees? Well, it was a full-on personal challenge.
And this is where photography comes into play. Every time I photograph something or someone, I am struck by how beautiful they are, in so many ways. It’s actually my job to look for that beauty, which is one of the coolest parts of the work I love to do.
I was still surprised I felt the same way during this shoot. These fuzzy little creatures are intricately beautiful and hard-working and expressive, looking directly at you with head tilts, butts out, wings splayed out, and more! My job was to photograph them while speaking to what I was doing and using a variety of means to do so.
And I got lost in it almost immediately. This was not just a wonderful shoot but it was also personally transformative for me.
Now, I’d love to invite you to check out our first episode, now live on AdoramaTV:
The reDefine Show – Animal Edition! airs every two weeks, on AdoramaTV.