Profile Reflections #1

Since September 2006 I’ve been conducting a series of profiles based on fellow bloggers who share an affinity for Adobe Photoshop and/or digital photography. With yesterday’s posting of Doug Stremel’s profile (and not counting my own) I have compiled 35 so far.

Over the coming weeks I will be taking a look back at the responses given by our members and walk through each of the standard questions and highlight some of my favorites. So, starting at the beginning:

Why do you blog?
The reasons for blogging have generally fallen into about 6 categories: to keep a record of their progress as they grow, to share or educate, to feel like part of a community, as a creative outlet, to maintain a disciplined approach to capturing and processing images, or as a forum to try new things. Whatever it is, it seems like blogging has sprung, for most of us, from the inspiration of others and a desire to further our photographic endeavors and to, hopefully, enrich the lives of our readers in some way.

Here’s how my profilees responded, in their own words:

  • “Self-motivation! Life is hectic… there are many reasons to not go out and photograph. Obviously, if you’re not taking pictures, you miss the opportunities out there for a good shot. By blogging, you create the necessity to go out and try to find those meaningful moments.” – Andy Smith
  • “I started to keep a “journal” online in 1999. I had two motivations: 1) I wanted to try and document what I was doing with photography in real-ish time. 2) I thought it was a good idea to keep people interested in my site since I wouldn’t be able to produce pictures fast enough or often enough to keep them coming back, so there was a commercial aspect to it. I don’t know if there was even blog software in those days – I just wrote sequentially in my html editor.” – Dave Beckerman
  • “I mainly started my blog to share what I’m doing while traveling around the country in a motor coach. I knew that many people would be wondering about where I’m going, what I’m shooting and what it’s like to live a mobile lifestyle.” – Ben Willmore
  • “Purely for fun.” – Aaron Johnson
  • “To become a better photographer. There’s a lot of discipline in posting new images for the world to see three or four times a week. I take photos every day and keep trying to reach that vision in my head.” – Kathleen Connally
  • “Since going digital in 2005 I take a lot more photos, and blogging encourages me to process the ones that I kind of like, and not just the ones I really like. I’ve made some discoveries because of this: discoveries in terms of techniques in Photoshop, as well as discoveries of things I’d like to photograph more.” – Paul Politis
  • “I really enjoy seeing how other photographers work. The blogs I tend to visit are technical and/or artistic in nature and a fantastic source of inspiration for me. ” – Bruce L. Snell
  • “I blog as a personal way of reaching NAPP members and personal friends. I felt like I needed a way to talk to them one-and-one and my blog really helps me do that. Someday’s it’s a challenge, and other days it’s a savior.” – Scott Kelby
  • “Years ago I was active on modem based BBS scene where I enjoy publishing whatever I had in my mind and communicating with people. This blogging is continuation of that. On other hand is for me also very handy as I have kind of log of what, when and how I did. I also wanted to make my web site little more dynamic and share my thought with people.” – Richard Vanek
  • “To supplement a web site my brother and I started to provide digital photography tips and tools called thatsmymonkey.com. We each have a blog on our particular specialty — mine being travel and his being weddings and portraits. The blogs allow us to put information out to our readers much more quickly than updating the core website.” – Michael Snell
  • “I blog to get better at both the photographic techniques in ‘the field’ and of course the processing that follows when you come home with a CF-card full of fresh shots.” – Martin Andreasen
  • “I blog to stay in touch with other artists, photographers and those interested in such pursuits. I also see blogging as a way to start dialogues with those of similar interests and to receive constructive feedback on the work I do.” – Jim Larimer
  • “I set a goal for myself to add something to my blog every day, and it’s become both fun and challenging to try to do that. It keeps me on my toes and of course I’m always learning new things as I search out blog-worthy information to add.” – Dave Cross
  • “I use blogging first and foremost as way of documenting my learning and development in photography. I’ve found it’s good to write it down because it forces me to think about what I’ve done or am planning to do. Also, it’s a good way of tracking progress against goals.” – Mike Holley
  • “I started blogging to show my family in the US what it looks like where I live, and also as a learning tool for my photography. I continue to blog because it’s so much fun!” – Amy Archer
  • “Since my website is more “portfolio oriented”, I need an outlet to talk about things that aren’t always “business related” I want to share; to just connect with people who are interested in some of the same things I am. Blogging is a cool way to do that.” – Clayton Spangler
  • “I get quite a few questions from clients, why don’t I just answer them in a public forum? Hey I can advertise at the same time.” – Mike McHugh
  • “It seemed like a natural way to get the videos and tips that I teach everyday anyway, out there in an easier way.” – Matt Kloskowski
  • “When I was younger, I always had unselfish mentors. I still do. Now, the internet makes it possible to pay the next generation forward on a much larger scale.”David Hobby
  • Blogging is a very good way of practicing my writing. I also enjoy featuring my photographic work in every post. Blogging allows me to be as creative as I wish.” – Lynda Walldez
  • “I keep a little news section and calendar to keep people up to date on where I’ve been on my website. I am very fortunate to travel around this beautiful Earth and meet the most interesting people.” – Joey Lawrence
  • “It’s the easiest way to interact with my audience on a daily basis and get them the necessary news as it happens.” – Justin Seeley
  • “I started taking pictures again for myself about three years ago and was inspired to start blogging after my buddy Scott Kelby first put up his Photoshop Insider blog. I just thought it was a great way of sharing what I was up to and where I had been shooting.” – Jeff Revell
  • “I started as casual reader of a few photography blogs (mainly David Hobby’s Strobist and Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider) from there I keep finding links to other blogs and other photographers. I found myself not only learning a lot from other photographers via their blogs but also gaining quite a bit of inspiration. More than once when I would create a cool new photo or come upon something new or interesting I found myself wanting to share it with the rest of the community, I found myself wanting to blog.” – Tom Moore
  • ““Photography is about savoring life at 1/100th of a second.” Marc Riboud. It gives me a way to savor daily life.” – Chris Orwig
  • “I blog as a way of effectively communicating with my past, current and future workshop participants. I feel like I need a way of communicating in more personal nature, where I can write just about anything down. I strive to post content as often as I can, but sometimes it is a challenge.” – Andy Biggs
  • “I’m inspired, both personally and professionally, by the work I see going on in photography, design, typography, and other creative fields. I’m grateful for other folks who take the time to share interesting finds, and I like to return the favor when I can. With my job it’s easy to get lost in the weeds, thinking that Photoshop and other software is an end unto itself, rather than a means to various creative ends. Sharing and reflecting on creative work helps me keep some perspective.” – John Nack
  • “I enjoy sharing my ideas and reviews with others.” – Terry White
  • “Blogging is the most efficient way for me to share information on a daily basis. On TDS for example, I can write and publish a helpful tip in about 20 minutes (that thousands of people can read almost immediately). That’s fairly efficient. I like the blogging platform because it lets me focus on the message and not get too bogged down in the tools.” – Derrick Story
  • “I started blogging to try and bring some interested parties to my website to get some more design work.” – Jennifer Farley
  • “I started blogging as we traveled through France this past summer.  It turned out to be a great way for LaDawn and I to relive as we recapped each day.  That Blog is “Dave and LaDawn on the Road” – www.dazld.blogspot.com.   After getting back home, I thought I would give it a try for the large number of digital photographers, hence www.DigitalProTalk.com was born.  It has become an extension of my lectures and seminars and my readers are loving the continued information.  The comments from the readers also help me enhance the content of my lectures too.  It has truly taught me a little something about becoming more disciplined with my schedule –  since I Blog everyday. ” – David Ziser
  • “I blog for a creative outlet, I have been a blog voyeur for awhile, and recently saw it as a motivator to get some shots or work on a image daily.   I was visiting a lot of the blogs on your blogroll and would be like “get out and shoot something Mike.”  Every once in a while I would share a shot with Jeff Revell,  show my wife Julia an image when she came home, but other than that, I was wishing I shot more.  Since starting my blog I am shooting more.  It feels good to be creating images and trying to develop a style.” – Michael Palmer
  • “A friend of mine and fellow photoblogger David Walker (www.walkerview.com) introduced me to what was possible with regard to showing images on the web. I then came across “Daily Dose of Imagery” (www.topleftpixel.com) and spent the next week going through every image in Sam’s extensive archive.  This was in February of 2006 and I had a growing desire to take and show images so I went out and picked up the Canon 30D.  The blogging started as a way of forcing myself to get out and learn the full range of features that the new toy had to offer.    I continue to post because it’s an outlet to get feedback on my images.  I also find it a great way to track progress and document life around me.” – Stephen Waterfall
  • “When I got back into photography, I found flickr.com, Lensbabies friends, and a ton of great photoblogs. I was hooked, but I put off starting my own blog for the longest time. Several photo friends and I decided to start a group called Photodudes, and developing a blog to share photos started soon after (photodudes.com). Two of the founding photodudes, Bruce and Mike Snell, were already veteran bloggers – so they were an inspiration to start my blog. I love the whole world of blogging. It encourages me to explore new ideas and share my life with the world.” – Doug Stremel
  • “When I studied abroad in college I sent home reflections from my journey. When I returned, I kept the website going and added an online version of my journal which then turned into a blog. I guess I just wanted a way to share my thoughts and feelings. I needed a way to express myself and have found blogging to be a bit therapeutic as well.” – Jason D. Moore

Click here to view a complete list of profiles.

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