Travel Magazine Editor Michael Bonocore, Part 1

January 30, 2018

Travel Magazine Editor Michael Bonocore, Part 1

Travel is in his blood. Michael Bonocore’s work as editor of Resource Travel Magazine takes him to extreme environments. He can go from one assignment in the bone-chilling Arctic Zone to photograph daredevil surfers, and then, he jets to the Caribbean to photograph catamarans in action. 

Travel magazine editor Michael Bonocore takes a selfie with a Rhesus macaque monkey

Michael Bonocore takes a selfie with a Rhesus macaque monkey


Drew Gurian, Part 1: The Evolution of a Photographer

January 30, 2018

Becoming an Independent Photographer

Defining yourself as an independent photographer takes time. In this episode of reDefine Show with Tamara Lackey, Drew Gurian talks about his evolution from photography student to intern to first assistant and finally breaking out on his own as a professional photographer.

Related Products at Adorama:

Erik Valind, Part 2: Creating a Library for Etsy Studio

January 30, 2018

Building an Etsy Studio library

Need ideas about product photography? Check out this video. Erik Valind gives examples of how he created a full-service commercial photography project for Etsy Studio. He created a full digital image library to inspire creatives to be, well, creative. Erik said he used stylized still photography, stop-motion videos, web tutorials, and more.  Watch this interview with Erik Valind and Tamara Lackey for the reDefine Show on AdoramaTV and then check out Erik’s work on Etsy Studio via https://www.etsystudio.com/.

reDefine Show with Erik Valind: How to Succeed in Commercial Photography

January 30, 2018

Join Tamara on the reDefine Show as she speaks with commercial photographer Erik Valind about how he achieved success in commercial photography.

Erik started out pursuing a business degree and doing photography on the side to get a good basis for business. He photographed all different types of things including his friends surfing and subjects he was very familiar with, which gave him an edge to know when the best shots were about to happen. After photographing a wide variety of subjects and events, he began to narrow down his favorite type of photography, which was commercial photography with an active fitness component.









Erik talks about how photographing what you love will shine through with the work you do. And being familiar with and having an understanding of your subject will help the flow of the shoot and produce better photographs.

In the interview, Erik also goes over how his sales training helped him understand the value of persistence in reaching out to potential clients. Posting your work everywhere and being persistent with reaching out to companies and clients is the key to getting your work seen and being remembered by clients for future projects.

Check out Part 1 of the interview for more details on how Erik Valind found his photography niche and started building his business-

In Part 2 of Tamara Lackey’s interview with Erik Valind, he gives a detailed example of a full-service commercial photography project. He describes how he created a full digital image library for Etsy Studio, including stop motion video.

Check out more about his Etsy Studio commercial photography project and more ways to learn from Erik Valind in Part 2 below!


reDefine Show Interview with Photographer Brian Matiash

January 26, 2018

On this episode of reDefine Show, I interview my friend, photographer Brian Matiash – educator, image maker and industry influencer – and he shares how he saved his creative soul by leaving corporate marketing.

Gaining experience from his time at Google, Sony, and Wacom, where part of his role was to study creatives and social media, Brian shares some intriguing observations in the interview. After working for other companies for years, and being nervous to leave as they provided a sort of safety net, he decided to go off on his own to reach his full creative potential. In order to do so, he and his wife had to make some tough decisions around finances, including what moving from the lovely Portland, Oregon to a place with a lower cost of living – like Nebraska – might mean for them while growing their businesses. 







Brian also has some amazing advice for all images makers on how to separate yourself from the creative pack. He believes that telling your story about an image – what it took to get the image, what were the challenges and what were the exciting parts – will set you apart from the pack. In his words, “differentiation is success”. Interestingly, he would much rather be remembered by his stories about his images than by the images alone.

For more detail and to learn the things Brian Matiash suggests new photographers skip over – namely refining your focus on photography subjects and style, and focusing on intent – check out the full interview now, live on Adorama TV!



The 2018 Photo Summit

January 15, 2018

The 2018 Photo Summit is a completely free digital event that you can watch from your computer or phone, with 35+ successful photographers showing exactly how they built their businesses.

Whether you’re just starting out or already have a thriving business, there’s a ton to watch and learn. Each day, you can watch 5-6 talks – 100% Free – that will equip you with a variety of specific and proven ways to improve your photography and attract more clients (regardless of whether you do wedding, portrait, wildlife, or even underwater photography).

I will go over the 6 types of personalities and how to deal with each as well as my go-to lighting setups. Other photographers include Jerry Ghionis, Zach & Jody Gray, Vanessa Joy, Matthew Jordan-Smith, Pye Jirsa, and so many others. The lineup is amazing! 

The event will run January 20th-26th. Make sure you register for free today, as the event starts soon!

Here are just a few things you’ll learn during this event…


  • Why Your Current Pricing is Sabotaging Your Business
  • Instagram – Best 2018 Strategies for Photographers
  • Lightroom Tips That Will Make Any Photograph 300% Better
  • Social Media – Get Great Results Without Wasting Your Time
  • Capturing the Authentic Moment for People and Places
  • Making Money from Stock Photography – at Home or While Traveling
  • Awards – How to Quickly Win Awards for Prestige and Social Proof
  • SEO – What You MUST Be Doing in 2018 and Beyond (it’s not blogging)
  • Lighting Essentials for Every Situation – From Wildlife to Headshots
  • Building a Successful Brand that Attracts Clients You’ve Never Met
  • Ranking #1 in Google for Terms that Actually Make You Money
Brilliant Posing Tips – From Babies to Brides
  • Words and Phrases to Quickly Turn Potential Clients into Real Clients
How to Get Clients to Pay More Without Selling
When to Buy Used Equipment – Better & Cheaper
  • Networking – Spend Less Time and Connect With Better Leads
  • Turning Clients Into Raving Fans Who Refer Other Clients
Finding Your “Voice” and Getting Featured in International Magazines

Make sure you register today, as the event starts very soon, on January 20th, and lasts for just 7 days.


CES in Las Vegas

January 8, 2018

I’m excited to speak at the giant 2018 CES Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week for Nikon! I’m fortunate to be sharing the stage with a number of amazing presenters – including NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly (author of Endurance, A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery).

I’ll be speaking a couple of times on art & activism, photography AND I’ll doing a live shoot on stage. At no time will I be floating in space, though. Although, since this huge show is in Vegas, I don’t actually know that for sure yet. All talks will be live streamed, beginning January 9th, so check out this link for more info: http://www.nikonevents.com/us/live

My first talk, Beautiful Together: The Power of Photography to Affect Real Change, will be Tuesday, January 9th at 4:15pm PST/7:15pm EST. My second talk, The Joy, Magic, and Challenges of Photographing Children, will be Wednesday, January 10th at 2:30pm PST/5:30pm EST. I hope you can join us live! And don’t miss Captain Scott Kelly’s keynote, A Year in Space, on Tuesday, January 9th at 12:30pm PST/3:30pm EST.

Orphan Prevention Care Center Update

January 3, 2018

I’d love to share the latest updates from our Beautiful Together Orphan Prevention Care Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where we are working to keep impoverished families together by protecting children & empowering women through education, vocational training, and community support.

Four months into program kickoff: As their children are now being well cared for, the women in our program are attending this vocational training center three times a week and will be doing so for 11 months. At the end of this vocational program, they’ll receive certification, recognized by the government. This will help them to get a job at a restaurant, hotel, expat community, guest home, etc. Prior to this, these same women had few other options available to them other than begging on the streets, with their children, or doing (literally) backbreaking work, like carrying heavy bundles of sticks on their back for miles every day, which many do for years and years (a painfully common sight in Ethiopia – see more here: http://voicesofafrica.co.za/fuelwood-carriers-addis-ababa)

For the first few weeks, this program focuses on personal hygiene, helping these women to see the need to care for themselves and to present themselves well. Then they begin to learn about handling food and how the different kitchen items and tools are used. Next they begin the hands-on portion of learning how to prepare food. These images were taken the first time they learned to prepare a meal, starting with a fresh salad. Thank you to Rocio, Meserat and Matthew for shooting these for our program updates.


If you are not familiar with this program that we kicked off two months ago, you can read more about exactly what we are doing with this project: https://www.beautifultogether.org/project/orphan-care-center

Through our Beautiful Together Gallery Exhibit (graciously hosted by Adorama and supported by Nations Photo Lab), we raised enough to fund startup costs AND the first six months of this program. We will continue to raise more funds to keep going for the rest of the year, while we also work to enable this program to become self-sustainable over time.

Part of funds will come from the 10% of our Coco Bean Coffee Shop & Cafe proceeds, part will come from sales from my new book The Portrait Shoot Playbook, some from 50% of Lush Albums sales and more from my Kid and Family Posing Playbooks. The rest we hope to receive through donations: https://www.beautifultogether.org/project/orphan-care-center

Thank you to all of you who care about this work.

A Comprehensive Photography Guide: The Portrait Shoot Playbook

December 15, 2017

From Start To Finish: The Portrait Shoot Playbook

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! And with gifts of at least $95+ in credit towards photo printing, software, lighting, music and more, this guide pays for itself!

Tamara steps you through every aspect of a portrait photography session in this 250+ page book, packed with information, examples and illustrative photography! Topics include:

  • An overview on gear and accessory choices
  • What to do to prepare for the shoot
  • Exposure
  • Focusing & Metering
  • Lighting & Lighting Tools
  • Expression & Interaction
  • Detailed walkthrough of a photography shoot
  • Posing groups & individuals
  • Composition & Details
  • Art & Activism
  • Digital Workflow
  • Post-Processing & Retouching
  • Consultative Sales
  • Best practices for delivering your final shoot to your client


This extremely comprehensive manual is rich with information, examples, inspiration, and illustrative photography. There are a lot of little things that can make a big difference in how well a photography shoot can go, how much impact the images can have on your subjects, and how effectively your portraits can be delivered. 

Tamara Lackey How To Shoot A Photography Session Nikon AmbassadorThe cost of this detailed guide, which is downloadable and can be used while on a photo shoot for reference, is $99. However, we have some wonderful support from some of the best companies in the photography industry:

Nations Photos Lab, has offered a $25 gift card to all book purchasers. That $25 credit can be used towards any of their offerings, including prints and cards. Use that amount in addition to the promo codes we share on our website, and you can get some amazing products for a very low to no cost.

Animoto, our favorite slideshow builder, is offering 20% off of Animoto Pro for new clients (about a $50 discount).

ON1, an all-in-one editing platform with ON1 Photo RAW 2018, is offering $20 off for all purchases

Fundy, the only all-in-one design suite perfect for designing albums and wall art  layouts is offering$50 off of the Pro Suite and Fundy Album Suite 

Westcott, creator of innovative lighting options, is offering an awesome 10% off your entire order

In addition, Triple Scoop Music is holding a monthly drawing between now and March for a total of four $600 music licensing packages!

Altogether this $99 book actually **GIVES** money to those that purchase it.

So to recap, the Portrait Shoot Playbook is normally $99. But after you debit:

-$25 Nations Photo Lab credit
-$20 ON1 credit
-$50 off of the Fundy Pro Suite and Fundy Album Suite
-10% off your entire Westcott order
-20% off Animoto Pro (approx $50 credit) 
= money in your pocket! (Amount varies based on your Westcott order total but with a $300 order you’d get $76 back, with a $1000 order, $146 back, etc.!)

Tamara Lackey, Posing, Lighting How To Photography Shoot, Metering, Playbook

Photography is amazing, but there is also quite a bit to it. This Start To Finish Portrait Shoot Playbook is designed to lay everything out as clearly, and as effectively, as possible. Get yours here! There’s a also a bundle option with The Family Posing Playbook and The Posing Playbook For Kids to round out your knowledge with even more posing ideas for your shoots. Check out the bundle here.

And, as always, 10% of all sales of The Portrait Shoot Playbook will also go towards Beautiful Together, our non-profit 501(c) organization in support of children waiting for families and those living in extreme poverty. Our current focus is on continuing to build out our Orphan Prevention Care Center. Only months into this new project, we are seeing some heartening results from this program already. Thank you for helping us to support it through this purchase!

Get your Portrait Shoot Playbook here!

Consider Donating to Children Waiting for Families This Holiday Season

December 14, 2017

With the holidays here, many of us turn our thoughts to giving to those less fortunate.  We’d love for you to consider joining us in donating to Beautiful Together.  Most people think of family when they think of the holidays.  But for children waiting for families, the holidays are a little different. 

Beautiful Together works hard to make children waiting for families have a better life.  From improving living conditions in orphanages to feeding funds and disaster relief to building safe showers for homeless youth, Beautiful Together has completed many projects and has many great ongoing projects as well. For example, multiple projects to renovate the bathrooms, light up and fix donated learning tools in the classrooms, and safeguard the play area of an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia were completed to greatly improve the lives of the children living there. In Korah, one of the poorest places in Ethiopia, Beautiful Together set up a feeding kitchen for the orphan children there. And when the village had a massive landslide from the trash dump they live off of, a Disaster Relief Center was set up to help those who lost their homes and families. To read more about Beautiful Together’s many other incredibly meaningful projects in Africa and the US, check out their projects page.

In the spirit of the holidays, Beautiful Together’s current major project is to fund continuing the Orphan Prevention Care Center, which works to keep families together. The pervasive, extreme poverty in Ethiopia is at the epicenter of far too many painful experiences: hunger, homelessness, social ostracism, illness, and even death. It is also a major factor behind the reality that millions of children are orphans in Ethiopia. Far too many parents simply cannot afford to house, clothe and feed their children. And since they cannot ensure that they will be healthy, safe, and happy – something every parent wants for the child they love – they make the heartbreaking choice to send their babies to stay with others, or to live in an orphanage – or even to try to survive the harsh conditions on the streets.

Earlier this year, Beautiful Together established an Orphan Prevention Care Center for a specific community of impoverished mothers and babies who are currently at risk for a similar fate. The Care Center not only established a day care program but also provided comprehensive and radically life-changing benefits for mothers as well. To learn more and donate to the cause, please check out the Beautiful Together project page.

We hope you’ll consider Beautiful Together when making your holiday donations this year.  100% of all donations go directly to supporting the projects as it is a 100% volunteer organization. So every penny counts!