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“Why?” – with Roberto Valenzuela

Image copyright Roberto Valenzuela. All rights reserved.
You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
Ansel Adams
“Why?” is all about the back-stories behind an image. Sometimes the stories are emotional, other times they’re about the degree of difficulty or how the image was captured. However, the images being shared all have a common denominator – they’re always important to the artist.  

I started this series to help you get to know some of the most respected artists in the industry today. “Why?” is about their passion for the craft, for quality, education, and often pushing the boundaries of creativity and technology.

In this new episode of “Why?” Roberto Valenzuela shares the background on the image above and why it represents an important moment. Known almost exclusively as a wedding photographer, there’s virtually nothing he can’t shoot, and this opportunity working with Canon USA is a prime example.

​Roberto needs to be on your radar. Check out more of his work by clicking on the image to visit his website. And, take a look at “Picture Perfect Practice.” Roberto is regularly teaching and speaking all over the world.

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Boys Working In Pasta Factory Carry Rods Of To Canvas Traditional 1 5/8″ Natural Espresso Wood Grain 29×24 Photo On

Boys Working In Pasta Factory Carry Rods Of To Canvas Traditional 1 5/8″ Natural Espresso Wood Grain 29×24 Photo On


Boys working in pasta factory carry rods of pasta to” is an art print by Alfred Eisenstaedt from The Life Picture Collection. Get photo prints of “Boys working in pasta factory carry rods of pasta to” in a variety of frames, styles, and materials. Photographer Bio Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995), or Eisie to those who knew him, received his first camera as a gift from his uncle at 14, a few years after moving to Berlin from Poland with his family. At 17, he was drafted to the German army. His interest in photography blossomed while recovering from a shrapnel wound. He became a regular at museums, studying light and composition. By 31, he was a full-time photographer. In 1933 he was sent to Italy where he shot the first meeting between Hitler and Mussolini. Two years later, when Hitler came to power, Eisie immigrated to America. Soon after arriving in New York, he was hired along with three other photographers-Margaret Bourke-White, Thomas McAvoy and Peter Stackpole-by Time Inc. founder Henry Luce for a secret start-up venture known as “Project X.” Six months later, Life magazine premiered on November 23, 1936. The first issue sold for 10 cents and featured five pages of Eisie’s pictures. His most famous photo was the kiss in Times Square on V-J day, about which he said, “I was running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn’t make any difference. None of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then, suddenly in a flash I saw something white being grabbed. I turned and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse.” Over his career, Eisie shot a total of nearly 100 covers for Life magazine and some 10,000 prints. The Life Picture Collection From one of the most iconic magazines ever to hit the shelves comes The Life Collection – an archive of some of the most recognizable imagery of the 20th Century. Documenting events in politics, culture, celebrity, the arts and the American experience, these compelling and provocative photographs include the works of some of the greatest photographers capturing some of the greatest moments in history.

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The unlikely place I found my inspiration in photography

In early 1988, my dad, like many other Filipinos, left the Philippines in search of a better life for us.

He found work in the United States. I was 11 months old when he left. My story is not unique, as there are many like myself whom had parents leave for work in other countries. My dad was very vigilant with keeping in touch, and it really helped cement how close my dad and I are now. My mother was strong, and I admired the strength she had. She raised two kids on her own, and I watched my parents’ marriage become stronger and stronger. My father wasn’t able to visit often, as plane tickets were extremely expensive coming from Los Angeles to Manila. Funds needed to be better allocated, and plane tickets just were not top priority. In lieu of visits, my mom would send him prints with notes on the back, captions to describe what was going on during the photos.

It was our way to get to know each other. It was all we had.

pic of young boy sitting in a red carseat by Winnie Bruce

When I got my first camera, I admit that it didn’t exactly click with me right away that my children have a huge advantage over my own childhood. My husband and I did not have to be apart from our children and can have jobs where we can come home to our kids on a daily basis (thanks to our parents that have made selfless sacrifices in order to pave exactly these advantages). I spent the first 14 years of my life with a gap in it. My dad came home to the Philippines once a year at most, and we tried to squeeze in as many photos as we can. My mom hired professional photographers occasionally, but most for my birthday, and my dad’s work schedule never really allowed for him to come home around October. So I was left with the majority of my childhood without my father in the photos. We got to know each other just once a year.

When I became a parent myself, my own childhood inspired me to preserve my kids’ lives through photography. Inspiration comes from different places, but this was mine. The gaps and in-between of the daily life were things my dad missed out on. How I wish we had the technology we have now back then, just so he can keep in touch the way we are able to now. I obviously can’t change the past or do anything different, and I know my parents did their absolute best to document what we can of my childhood, but I can preserve my children’s memories now. My specialty for my business is posed portraiture, with a touch of lifestyle, but I can’t help to just do full lifestyle with my kids. It’s actually quite backwards for when I’m documenting my everyday because I want photos of what my dad may have missed out on when I was their age.

photo of boy laughing and swinging by Winnie Bruce

My inspiration behind wanting to go beyond what my normal work of posed portraiture when it comes to my children’s photos may be a touch unorthodox, but there will always be that nagging feeling now in the back of my head. I want to look back a few years from now, when they are older, and see their faces during the “regular” days. During days that may be easily deemed as mundane, and just a typical day, those are the days that I know I can easily overlook, but I can do something about it, and I’m glad to have the ability for that. I’m glad to have that privilege. So whether it’s my big camera, my phone, that fear of my kids missing out too on having photos to remember becomes my driving force. My parents can also see how they don’t have to wait long with our connection through social media pages.

Life does go by quickly, I recently watched an episode of Anthony Bourdain during his last visit to the Philippines, and how there are a lot of us out there, that don’t get to know our parents again until we are well into adulthood. And it’s true. My parents have both gone back home, back to enjoy their retirement, and I’m here in America away from them and my brother. There’s 12,000 miles between us. So pictures it is, pictures that will let them now see glimpses of our everyday, and for me to look back at one day.

brothers playing with light sabers in the yard by Winnie Bruce

Find your inspiration, why you have embarked on this photography journey, and hold onto it firmly to drive you to continue.

The post The unlikely place I found my inspiration in photography appeared first on Clickin Moms.


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Please Don’t Catch My Camera! Acrylic w/ Standoffs 24×18 Photo On

Please Don’t Catch My Camera! Acrylic w/ Standoffs 24×18 Photo On


Please don’t catch my camera!” is an art print by nora kristiansen photography from the Moment collection. Get photo prints of “Please don’t catch my camera!” in a variety of frames, styles, and materials.

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“Why?” – with Bob Coates

Image copyright Bob Coates. All rights reserved.
I started “Why?” as a new feature on the SCU site to help more photographers understand the stories behind the favorite images of some of the most respected artists in our industry today. I can’t turn back the clock and chase down photographers who are no longer with us but stay tuned. I’m sharing new images every week along with short sound bytes about the images from the artists themselves.

Every image has a unique back-story and this portrait by Bob Coates is no exception. I’ve followed Bob’s work since we first met back in my early WPPI days. What started out as simply respect for his skill set and never-ending quest to capture the ultimate image, has grown into a terrific friendship. We’ve spent a lot of time with Bob, and he’s never without a camera.

In this new “Why?” Bob shares a powerful back-story making this so much more than just a beautiful portrait. Bob should be on your radar. Just click on the image to visit his blog, which is always loaded with terrific content. And, you’ll always find more of Bob’s work in the Lumix Lounge

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