Milo, my labrador retriever puppy

I Could Really Use Your Help With Something Important

I'm making some changes with the blog, and I could really use your help with something important.

How My Blog Changed My Life

About a year ago, I had some grand ideas and plans for this web site. Then without expecting it, something wonderful happened. I decided it was time to get married.

This blog changed my life. That's because a woman from Scotland found me and became my number one fan, and now we're married. I couldn't be happier.

Of course, our journey from engagement to marriage involved a government agency or two. That led to nearly a year of delays and phone calls every night. My plans for the blog went on hold.

Now Lee is here and we're working on things together.

I don't have to make a choice between my wife and my plans to improve this site, so we've been working on a bunch of things behind the scenes.

Now we need your help.

Some Of The Changes Are Obvious

I'll be honest, blogging is more work than most people expect. Some of the things I have in mind are going to make it a lot tougher.

However, I also enjoy what I'm doing here. So it's tough, but it's fun.

Over the past few weeks, we've spent time choosing new photos for the home page masthead, creating a new About page and freshening up some old posts. We're also placing more emphasis on asking readers to subscribe to the e-mail list.

Those of you following me on social media noticed that I've been promoting some older posts. The results have been very positive for people who haven't read those posts before. It's really nice to see some folks encouraged to try new things.

On the other hand, it's not without some difficulty. One of my friends politely pointed out that he's been reading my site for five years and sharing those old posts were essentially re-runs. Combined with the fact that I don't keep dates on my posts, it could cause some confusion.

I disabled dates because I found they can be irrelevant for the kind of posts that I want to create and share. Some concepts are evergreen. If you get them right, they're just as valid today as they were five years ago. So why turn off some potential viewers because of an irrelevant date?

That's one of the reasons why I'm encouraging folks to subscribe. I may send out older posts on social media, but only my new posts and other material will go out to email subscribers.

Not only do you get notices of the blog posts, but I'm sharing my coupon codes for Topaz Labs and ON1 Software with our subscribers. There's more content planned to share with the folks on the e-mail list, too.

If you're not on the list, please subscribe.  We'd love to have you so we can share new posts and other things that aren't on the blog. Just click the button below to get started.

Get My Coupons!

Ideas Abound

We have no shortage of ideas for the web site. However, there are a couple of main ideas to develop.

  • We need to be useful and serve others
  • The posts should be as evergreen as possible

I have this saying that I toss around.

I'm here to help.

Many years ago, it started off as a facetious comment. Then a funny thing happened. I started looking for ways to help people just so I could say the line. It's been growing on me and it makes me smile when I can help someone, whether it's with a little thing or something big.

We both get to leave with a smile.

Quite simply, the plan for this site that bears my name is to help people.

Great. Now how do I  do that?

Over the years, I've developed experience and proficiency and I'd like to share my tips, tricks and insights. Here are a few places where I think I can help.

  • Lightroom and Digital Asset Management
  • Portrait and Travel Photography
  • Lighting with small flash and studio strobes
  • Marketing and organizing yourself to generate some income from your photography
  • Setting up and improving your online presence

It occurred to me that there's more to this plan than just my web site. I need to expand my reach to include three aspects of communication.

  • Blogging
  • Video presentations
  • Podcasting

People learn with different styles. Some read, some watch and some listen. I'm working on branching out to cover more ground.

I Could Really Use Your Help

Here's the thing. I could really use your help to drive the direction I've been discussing.

There are things I'll change that could go in the wrong direction. Who knows? I may get a few things right on my own. However, I think the best thing I can do right now is ask for your help.

Please take a moment and tell me what you would really like to see from this site. Ask me questions. Tell me what's on your mind

It all goes into the mix.

I'd love to hear what's on your mind and I'll be with you in the comments. I read every one and really appreciate it when someone takes the time to share.

The comments are open.

16 thoughts on “I Could Really Use Your Help With Something Important”

  1. Hi William. I actually enjoy the varied topics you post on your blog, and have for the last few years, as photography is made up of many different facets such as gear, locations, software, hardware, social aspects, etc.
    The one thing I would recommend is that though I have subscribed by email, do please continue to “mirror” what you send out on email to your FB and blog posts, as many people no longer check their email as often as FB or a blog. Wishing you and your wife continued success in all your endeavors! Thank you for all the photo tips you share with us!

    1. Thanks for the note, Tommy.

      I understand what you say about providing content on the social media sites. One thing I want to do is give e-mail subscribers something “more” than any of the social outposts. I’m still mulling over the options and would love to hear what others think, too.

      One of the suggestions that I received by e-mail asked for more along the path of the artistry of photography rather than the technical aspects. What do you think?

  2. I am switching from Aperture to Lightroom. My first issue is Workflow. How do I define the structure – time or event? The first makes back-ups easier (only the recent additons etc) but for a non-professional, the latter makes more sense.
    How to transfer “albums” into “collections”? I do not want to go through that selection process again.
    I use Apple devices and sync them with the photos in my Aperture library. How do I synch my Collections? Export them to a new folder?
    Videography is new to me. But I should like to learn.
    I have given up my DSLR Canon 5D MKIII kit and now use only Sony A7 and Zeiss – lighter, more discreet and just as good.
    Good on you for doing the blog. And for marrying a Celt. So did my wife!

    1. Hi, Huw

      My preference for organization is by topic, not date. For example, I have Lightroom folders for Portraits, Travel, Events, Products, etc. However, everything goes under a top level folder.

      For example, I have a Lightroom Masters folder under the Mac’s Picture’s folder. All of the subject folders (only half a dozen) go under the Lightroom Masters.

      Everything else gets managed inside of Lightroom, because that’s why it exists. I can sort by time and date inside of Lightroom, so there is no advantage to having date-based folders.

      As for Collections, I avoid them as much as possible. Seriously, it’s a very limited way to organize your photos. I find Keywords and Smart Collections to be much more useful and flexible. There are very few times when you NEED a Collection, such as using a Target collection.

      Searching with Keywords is much more accurate than digging through a Collection trying to see a photo. Combine that with the facial recognition and it’s really easy to find your favorite people in a photo.

      I put my thoughts about moving from Aperture to Lightroom on a Migration Guide that you can find here:

      One change I’d recommend is to create Keywords in Aperture for things data to transfer instead of creating special fields. For example, it’s pretty easy to find all your Five Star photos in Aperture, select them and add a Keyword called “5Star” and then export them to Lightroom. Once you get in Lightroom, do the search for the “5Star” Keyword and then assign them all five stars.

      You could do the same thing with your Aperture Albums if you truly want to go to Collections. Just add a Keyword for the name of the Album and assign it to every photo inside. Then do a search in Lightroom and move them to the new Collection, or just create a Smart Collection on that Keyword.

      I’m afraid I have no experience with videography, but I’m getting curious. From what I’ve read, people like the mirrorless bodies better, but tell me the glass for DSLR is better at video.

      Thanks for the kind words. My wife is wonderful and we’re enjoying doing this together.

  3. Would like to see more exploration of software beyond Lightroom and Photoshop. I know Aperture is now gone and it was my main software for many years. I decided to make the switch to Capture One, since its RAW converter was superior I found to LR and it was more like Aperture than LR. I know that for you to try different software programs is expensive and time consuming, but would be very helpful to someone like me.

    1. Hi, Dick

      I’ve actually been considering Capture One and I’m interested in taking a look, both for the RAW processing and tethering work. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Hey William,

    I only recently discovered your blog so I can’t speak to the older posts. I know how much effort it takes, which is likely why I’ve never stuck with it myself. Kudos to you for keeping it going despite so many life changes.

    I’m a technical guy so I appreciate your posts that relate concepts to application. White balance, lighting, modifiers, composition, etc. I read a million articles on these topics all the time, but you have a great way of translating the concepts in a relatable way. As a technical person I need help developing my creative side. I love learning *how people are using ND filters to achieve a certain look, or *why a certain choice of modifiers was more appropriate than another in a given situation. I confess I’ll read whatever you decide to write about, but these things please me most 🙂

    1. Hi, Jim

      Thanks for the feedback. I think you hit on something that I enjoy doing. It’s better to focus on the benefit than the feature. I’m not very concerned with all of the technical specs on equipment or software, but rather on what they can allow me to create.

      With some of the feedback that I’ve received in email and here, the theme seems to be running more toward understanding the creative side than just discussing the technology. That works well for me.

      I appreciate the kind words and knowing what helps you.

  5. I like your blog a lot, specially when things get technical.

    You being an IT guy can give a really nice technical spin to the topics.

    Eg. “Why use 16 bit instead of 32?” While most blogs would give a really “I think …” answer, you give a great technical answer that pleases me (another technical person) a lot.

    Please keep it technical 🙂

    1. Hi, Cris

      That’s good for me to know. I think the example you gave is kind of the way I want to concentrate on technical issues. Not so much for the technology that exists, but rather how you can use it to do something creative or understand what possibilities it presents. Thanks for the feedback.

  6. Like others of your readers I’ve been using Aperture but am now switching to LR5.
    First steps have been to move all the images into LR and then sort them using tags – all new to me since I arrived relatively late to the wonders of digital photography (I’m 60) which makes your blog a lifeline at times.
    I’m looking at your blog as a guide for my own which is currently under review and will be changing shortly…when I have the time.
    Thank you for putting your ideas and suggestions out there for enthusiastic amateurs like me.
    And congratulations on your marriage!

    1. Thanks, Kenneth.

      That’s really kind of you. I’m planning on more articles about blogging for photographers, so please let me know your feedback and tell me about any issues you’re trying to understand. I’ll see if I can help.

  7. Hi William. I have enjoyed your articles on how to blog successfully. I personally don’t read emails sent by bloggers that I follow. I am much more likely to click on a link in Google plus or facebook. I do think it is difficult to get the right balance between letting prople know you are out there, and becoming over pushy. Also between creating material that is true to oneself rather than just about self promotion. I am not sure how to get it right! Well done for an interesting site. Caroline

  8. William, I just found you… in 3 days of reading your posts I’ve learned more than traipsing around a dozen or more other sites over the last year. You’re a great teacher, you’ve already saved me time and money so I can focus on the joy. Thank you.
    I’m a 60-something amateur with a growing library of 25,000 pictures. I don’t even own a DSLR (yet!) — I fell in love with macro photography when I was given a used Sony DSC F717 with the rotating barrel lens, which has a spectacular sensor and produces awesome images. I have so much to learn about the basics; and I need it all, so I appreciate the scope of your blog posts.. I easily get lost in all the possibilities of software and selling and workflows, all of which take me away from the joy of photography.
    I’m interested in doing an online gallery and perhaps sell some photos; your great article on Smug Mug saved me from paying for a frustrating experience, since I already do blogging and can also design and host a basic website. I also was terrified of copyright infringement and your post on that liberated me. I know nothing about Creative Commons licensing, so going to read that next.
    My immediate issues center around being a Mac user who refuses to use the new Photos app. I fell in love with Aperture just a few months before they announced its pending expiration, but I hope to use it until I am forced not to, so I’m still balancing iPhoto and Aperture! I’m don’t like complicated software and didn’t want to get into Lightroom, but may not have much choice. You’ve encouraged me to take it for a spin, but I will be checking Capture One as well. I am so tired of learning one thing only to have to change. I’m clinging to Aperture until it’s last gasp before going to all the work of moving my library over to whatever I choose. So at first I will continue to pay particular attention to your advice on alternatives, organization and migration to preserve what I have.
    I recently discovered ViewBug, a website touting the growth value in entering photo contests. I’d love to see an article on that concept. I don’t know whether to think it will jumpstart my skills or become a black hole of time spent on everyone else’s great pics.

    1. Tonia,

      Thanks for such a lovely note. I really appreciate that you took the time to dig into some detail and I appreciate everything you wrote.

      Like you, I love Aperture and still use it in some cases. In fact, I have another site called Aperture vs Lightroom where I compared features of the two programs to help people decide which was better for their needs. Both really do a nice job overall, but there are cases where one really trumps the other.

      Now that Apple gave up, so have I. I switched to Lightroom. The development tools are great, but the management tools aren’t quite as nice as Aperture. Still, it gets the job done and there is plenty of community and 3rd party support for Lightroom.

      I plan to migrate a lot of the posts from Aperture vs. Lightroom over to this site and eventually shut that place down. I’ll still write about Lightroom here, though.

      One of my future posts is going to be about creating an online gallery or portfolio. If you have any specific questions that you’d like me to address, please let me know.

      Thanks for the comment and I hope to see more of you around here.

  9. Hi,
    I just found your blog, and have been enjoying the articles. There are so many at this point, it is difficult to scroll through to find different subjects. An index with links would be very helpful, but I don’t know if that is possible on your platform.
    I am a novice photographer, and am trying to improve my understanding of the technical side of photography.

    Thanks for providing instruction that is easy to read and understand.

    Happy shooting,

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