As many of you know, I hosted the 5th annual Find Your Focus Photographic Adventure in Yellowstone National Park. It was a great week of not only photography, but community and recharging. We subtitled this year’s event “C.P.R” – Community, Photography and Restoration. Each year it is a joy to see returning attendees and meet new faces. This post of from one of those new faces and she wrote what I believe to be a fantastic article about FYF and what this trip embodies. Thank you Tricia for the kind words and I look forward to seeing you again soon. Happy Creating.
It’s been a week since I returned home from the Find Your Focus Photography Workshop at Yellowstone National Park, and I’ve finally spent some time with my images today. It was one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever taken, and it was the first time I’ve traveled solely with others who share this same passion for nature and wildlife photography. I met some incredible people and made some very special new friends, and it was an experience I’ll long cherish.
An unfortunate health issue on the way home mandated a trip to the hospital in Bozeman, Montana, but I’m slowly regaining my strength and getting back into the daily routine, including this rather overdue blog post.
I had planned to document my experiences in detail, but I now see that goal may be a bit too daunting at this point. I’ll just encourage anyone interested in my experience on such an adventure to check out Cris and Deanna Duncan’s website where they describe their primary goal: “Find Your Focus hosts an annual photographic experience for photographers to refresh, recharge and renew their passion for photography.”
Unlike many other workshops, this one is geared toward the professional photographer. While there were those whose primary roles were to help educate those of us with less experience in some areas and lead the way, it was a true collective experience where everyone was encouraging and supportive of one another. I quickly discovered I was among super talented photographers from a variety of genres and from throughout the country, and it was an honor to stand beside them this week.
During the final evening’s awards program and image celebration, there was abundant laughter and tears as everyone celebrated the week’s accomplishments, which were many. From challenging hikes surmounted (affectionately dubbed “slight inclines” by some!) to exceptional wildlife experiences to new skills mastered, there were so many special moments that it was rather overwhelming.
I wish I could remember more details about the week, but, unfortunately, some of them were erased at the end. I hope they return at some point, but I have many special photos to remind me of those moments and experiences and, of course, the many new friends I made.
Here’s a small gallery of some of my favorite images so far, with many more to come.
If you would like to be part of an experience like this, join us for FYF 2016 in majestic Yosemite national park, Oct 2-7th. You can learn more and register here.
As many of you know, last week was the 5th annual Find Your Focus Photographic Adventure in Yellowstone NP. One of my favorite parts of the week is Thursday evening. Each attendee is asked to submit 3-5 images from the week for a closing slide-show. It is always a humbling and exciting time to see these images. Keep in mind, that these images were all taken in the same locations, with the same relative equipment and the same time of day. The only variable is the artist. I love seeing how each of us has a different view and way of capturing the world around us. I hope you enjoy.
If you missed out on this year, you can now register for FYF 2016 in Yosemite. Space is limited to 20 attendees and half of them are already filled so act fast. You can reserve your spot here for only $350.
In closing, I would like to thank all the attendees that trusted me with their time and resources. I truly hope that you all were enriched and restored. I also send a special thank you to my Team leaders Tony Corbell, Laurie Rubin and my lovely bride, Deanna, for without her I would be lost. Finally, tremendous gratitude to my sponsors – Millers Lab, MacPhun Software, View Bug, The MacGroup and Arlington Camera for all the fantastic loaner gear and support.
Good day, This past week I had the privilege to work with a west Texas icon, Taco Villa. They were wanting some new images that portrayed not only their yummy food but that it is all made fresh each day, that Fast food can be delicious and fresh. The art director, Taco Villa operations manager and myself developed the concepts and I just wanted to share one of the images.
For me this was great fun. Of course I love photography and creating images that my client appreciates, but I am a HUGE Taco Villa fan, so being able to eat their food and photograph it was fun. Now, every time I visit I can reminded of this week. I am looking forward to seeing these images on their website, menus and marketing pieces soon.
happy creating. Cris
PS. Any guesses on how a soft taco can stand up on its own? This is not a merge or photoshop trick.
I have some exciting things to announce. One, the Find Your Focus website has a whole new look and some new offerings. In addition to the annual Find Your Focus retreat(now called FYF) I have offered for the past 5 years we have expanded to offer video tutorials on post-production, lighting videos, one-on-one coaching and private online communities. I am happy to introduce Find Your Focus Photographic Education.
1. FYF Retreat – This is the backbone and the original offering. Escape the mundane and set out on an adventure with like-minded people in the countries most majestic locations. At ‘FYF’ you will fall in love with photography again, be motivated to chase your dreams and be inspired to be better than before. This is all about developing leadership skills, building relationships with other photographers, creating a network of friends that last a lifetime and becoming great photographers. Be on the lookout for upcoming news on 2016 registration.
2. Learning Tools – Video tutorials that cover lighting, posing, post production and more available for immediate download or USB.
3. Online Communities - CPP FAST TRACK I am super excited to introduce a new way to learn, grow and have tailored feedback. Introducing the first ever Certified Professional Photographer Training Community lead and moderated by a PPA Approved CPP Instructor and Image Submission Judge. Get one-on-one mentoring as you navigate the CPP process. Community features positive and pertinent coaching by CPP Instructor and Image Submission Judge, Cris j Duncan. This a place to pose questions and study with other candidates. Also included are 2 private one-on-one image critiques session to help you through the Image Submission Process. Critique sessions are recorded and then placed into a library within the community for you to review at any time. This community is reserved for those photographers who have declared their CPP candidacy with PPA and are in the process of obtaining the certification status. This is an open, honest, encouraging and positive group to help each other for the benefit of the candidate and the craft. This means no longer are you posting images to a group and receiving comments from others that may or may not be relevant, you are receiving information from a source that knows you, your goals, the direction you want to go in your art. Tailored critique is critical to growth. Feedback with actionable items is vital. Belonging to an encouraging community is inspiring. It is being on a team and having a coach. Use code intro to save $50
4. Coaching - Exclusive online Google+ Hangout session with Cris and/or Dee for up to 2 people from the same studio. Sessions may be any topic and will be recorded so you can have access to content at any time. Use for image critique, post-production tips, lighting, marketing or more. Must have Google+ profile to participate. You have 3 months from date of purchase to complete your session.
I invite to visit, browse and look around. Happy creating,
Earlier this week I posted the following statement,
“if the idea of a small community of like-minded people, all learning and growing together. Encouraging each other in a mentor-apprentice platform, then check out the Arcanum. There is no other online learning experience like it. Work one on one with a Master in a positive environment and grow in your craft.”
Today, I want to expand on what the Arcanum is. What it means to you and to the craft of photography. I was invited to join the Arcanum a few weeks ago as a Master (That is the title they give their mentors, instructors) and to have my own Cohort (This is your group of apprentices, or students.) Unlike other online classes, groups or forums, the Arcanum is based upon a community of apprentices with one Master for a Sphere, as it is called, to be challenged, encouraged and given constructive feedback on their work by the Master. While this may not sound unique, it is. The key to this is that every one starts at the same level, the steps through sphere are the same for each apprentice, regardless of talent of skill sets. While some will compete levels at a greater pace and proficiency, all move through the same process. It is the Master that helps guide them through this process by providing challenges, assignments and one-on-one feedback session of images submitted. That means no longer are you posting images to a group and receiving comments from others that may or may not be relevant, you are receiving information from a source that knows you, your goals, the direction you want to go in your art. Tailored critique is critical to growth. Feedback with actionable items is vital. Belonging to an encouraging community is inspiring. It is being on a team and having a coach. The coach wants nothing but for his players to succeed and reach their full potential. That is what The Arcanum is offering, and just like a coach, a Master can pick his own team. What a concept. Develop a community that works well together for the benefit of the community. No more armchair quarterbacks, no more I’m better than you comments, no more trolls but rather artist helping artist for the sole benefit of helping themselves and the craft. I can’t begin to tell you how refreshing and exciting this is. As one who loves photography and loves giving back, this is a platform I believe in.
There are disciplines that range from portrait, food, product, landscape, travel, stock and the list goes on and on. While the Master chooses his/her apprentices, the student has they option to accept or decline the invitation. This is brilliant to me, learn from people who want to help you, be in a community of people like yourself. The culture of this platform is truly remarkable. I invite you to visit the website, discover the process and meet some of the best artist in the world. I am truly humbled to have been selected to be a part of this and hope you will join me in the Arcanum and complete your apprentice application today. It is FREE to sign up and once you are matched with a Master, you pay $79/month.
I look forward to seeing you in The Arcanum. Happy Creating
Official Website – www.TheArcanum.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/thearcanum
Google+ – plus.google.com/+Thearcanum/
Twitter – @magicalArcanum