My Top 10 Images from last year
At the end of the year and early into the new-year, I like to spend some time and reflect on what happened over the previous 12 months.
Here are some highlights, my top 10 images and things I learned in 2015.
It was a very BIG year for me, and I hope it was an amazing year for you too.
Smokin’ Reggae Volcano
In January Johny and I travelled to Hawaii and joined Jay & Varina to create another photography course – Essential Filters. We had a lot of fun and I got to shoot Kīlauea volcano on the big island.
The image above was shot after sunset and it’s the glow from the lava that illuminates the gasses above it. You can see the reflection of the lava on the crater wall on the other side.
Johny had his reggae tunes playing while we were waiting to shoot the glow and the other tourists around us were getting into the groove too. We called this shot “smokin’ reggae volcano”!
What I learned: It’s OK to have fun while working and creating. Don’t take life too seriously!
Most Beautiful Bird on Earth
At the end of summer here in Australia and I had to capture the most beautiful bird on earth – the rainbow lorikeet.
Shot this with the Fujifilm X-T1, and the 50mm-140mm F2.8 lens. Here is a blog post I wrote about Composition Tip for Better Photos
What I learned: Sometimes you can find beauty and things to shoot in your own back yard, no need to travel around the world. Stop, relax and open your eyes.
Awesome Photography Community
In March Johny and I launched our awesome photography community – the SIC Lounge, to help photographers improve their photography, become inspired and get positive feedback on their images and hang out with other cool photographers like me and Johny.
This community has evolved over the year with over 1000 photography discussions, 2500 images uploaded and over 5000 comments on those image. I’m in this community just about every day helping other photographers – and I love it.
Maybe now is the time for you to take that next step and get some real results in your photography – check it out here.
One of the most popular things in the “lounge” is the monthly assignment where we give live feedback at the end of the month.
The image above is one that I shot for a monthly assignment we had in the lounge called “Capturing Details”. Do you like it? – Wave foam shooting up a rock when massive waves crashed against it – I was shooting down the cliff face. Here is a blog I wrote about it – Wave Milk Lightroom Magic
What I learned: We are all social beings – and being able to hang with other photographers in a “virtual community” has really given me something that was missing over the past few years. I would create a blog post and send it out and get a few comments, then nothing. With the “lounge” I feel like I have made many, many friends and my quest is to meet all of my “power-users” face to face one day.
Helping out in Vanuatu
In May I travelled to Vanuatu, to help out after cyclone Pam devastated these islands.
This trip was nothing like any of my other trips. Normally when we travel it’s all about what we can get out of the trip. What photo’s can I capture, what places can I see, who can I meet, what can I experience?
This was all about the local people who are in major need of help. I travelled there and worked very hard for 10 days and this is what happened…
It’s a trip I will never ever forget for the rest of my life. The gratitude displayed by these people was so genuine and heart-felt that I can not put it into words. I was stunned by what they did for us – with barely any possessions left over.
I was absolutely humbled!
I’m working on a video I made when I was there – to show the world what a little help can do for people who really need it. Coming soon!
This image above was taken while shooting this movie, I was running after these local kids with my steady-cam who were playing football on the beach at a small fishing village that was devastated by the cyclone.
See how happy they are – yet they had been living on rice & little else for months.
What I learned:
- I’m sure some of us 1st-world-people have problems – but they are nothing compared to not having food or shelter!
- Have a look at your life and be grateful for what you do have got. Write down things you are grateful for, like electricity, clean water, safe home, paved roads, your health, family, friends etc.
- Focus on helping others and your problems will disappear.
Here is a SIC show we did about this trip to Vanuatu.
Sold my Photography Business
In July I sold my photograph studio that I started about 10 years before and we moved home. Very exciting for me to build up a super-profitable photography business from scratch, create all the systems and figure out how to make consistent money from photography and then sell it to someone who will take it to the next level.
I also recorded every step in my portrait photography business in this course – Portrait Photography for Profit, so that you can do the same thing and make money in your business.
The image above was the last shoot I did while I still owned Capture Imaging Photography. It was a shoot of the winner of Miss Galaxy Australia, and I really enjoyed capturing her beauty. Such a dynamic and driven person.
What I learned: Resistance is real – the closer you get to a very big goal, the more resistance is thrown in front of you. Power through that resistance and you will achieve great things.
After moving to a different suburb, I took advantage of my new proximity to the beach.
Started Surfing Again
I started surfing every day that I could. Something clicked with me when I was in the process of selling my studio and moving home – that only surfing could cure.
You see, sometime my mind spins-up and I over think things. When there is a lot on in our lives, creative people like me can get stressed out and constantly think and “mull” over things.
Surfing is a way for me to calm my mind down – get into the ocean, stretch and exercise at the same time. Kind of like meditation and yoga in water. I’m loving it.
The image above is one that I shot at my local surf break “box beach”, where the waves get really hollow. This body -is about to pull into the “green room”.
What I learned:
- Slow down and find a way to meditate (stop thinking).
- It’s OK to go hard and take massive action, but then there needs to come a time when you recharge and relax.
3 Free Photography Courses
August was a big month for me as I created 3 new free photography courses. I wanted to give photographers who found me online something of value that interested them and the journey they are on.
Here they are…
Feedback on these courses has been incredible.
52 Share Inspire Create (SIC) Shows
In September Johny and I celebrated 12 months of the SIC show. What an awesome run it has been.
Here is our 1 year show (SIC 52) – check it out.
Thanks for everyone who has been on our show, and for watching it. In 2016 we have a few changes for you guys – stay tuned.
PhotoProfit – The Business of Photography
In the same month I launched my PhotoProfit Podcast, where I interview photographers who are successful in the “business of photography” and find out what’s working for them, so that you can do the same in your business.
Loved talking to all of these amazing people and discussing photography business.
What I learned: Successful people all have something in common, and it all starts with their mindset (how they think). This is one of the things I’ll be teaching in my new 8 week program – How to make your first $5k in photography.
After selling my photography business, I took my family to Europe for 6 weeks. We travelled to Paris, Athens, the Greek islands, Prague, Scotland, Italy then back to France & Dubai on the way home.
The image above is of the acropolis in Athens. Like most of these tourist attraction there were many people checking it out.
I used my 10 stop ND filter to create the long exposure image so that I could minimise the people in the image and create this really cool cloud movement surreal image. Do you like it?
This black and white image above was taken on the Greek island of Crete. We travelled to an out-of-the-way mountain town and found a little local cafe. This guy is one of the locals who hangs out there every day.
I loved his look – really rugged and for me it defined the people in this town. I asked his permission to photograph him (using hand signs and body language) and this is the image I to chose to share.
What I learned:
- Some of the best images when you are travelling are found when you go away from the tourist areas. Spend some time hanging with the local’s and keep your eyes open for that rare image.
- Whilst travelling is fun, it’s always great to come back home and appreciate what we have.
Fiji Photography Workshop
In October we travelled to Fiji to film the F Stop Lounge Photography Workshop with some incredible photographers from around the world.
I got to hangout with Colby Brown, Benjamin Von Wong, Elia Locardi, Tony Hewitt, Nick Rains, Michael Fletcher and many more amazing people.
We also created a new course with Jay and Varina Patel after the workshop was done.
The image above was taken while filming a lesson with Varina at sunrise. You can see her on the edge of the rocks.
I also had a few days at the end to go on a little adventure around the main island in Fiji, got to kite board and surf some of the reefs.
What I learned:
- Being in the presence of creative people can really boost your creative energy. If you are feeling a little creatively-drained, then go hang with other photographers or artists. Here is a blog I wrote about getting my mojo back.
- Don’t drink the water. Yes I got sick!
- Your health is number 1. Without good health and energy you will struggle to create anything.
Worimi Aboriginal Ceremony
After returning to Australia I was lucky to work for National Parks and Wildlife service to get to shoot this ceremony. It was the official opening of the worimi conservation lands management scheme here in my local area.
This was the “smoking ceremony” where everyone who attended these lands was “cleansed” of any bad spirits.
PhotoProfit 8 Week Course
I’m really looking forward to this year – I think it’s going to be another BIG year, not just for me but for those I’m helping.
In a few weeks time I start my PhotoProfit 8 week course, getting started making your first $5k in photography – which is now full.
It’s a program I have created that will get RESULTS for my students. I’ve noticed over the years that there are some great courses out there but they are missing a few key things, and that is why students are not getting the results they desire.
These are the things they are doing wrong:
- Overwhelm – Too much information all at once.
- Action – What is the next thing they should do to get the result?
- Accountability – We all know that if you have to report back to someone on how you did with that task, then you get it done. No accountability = no action = no result
This is how I’m doing it in this 8 week program:
- Weekly lessons – no overwhelm, learn just what you need to know each week.
- Action steps each week – 8 weeks of actions = results
- Accountability within my community. I’m there to coach you and hold you accountable
This program is already full, however if you are an action taker and you are ready to make the commitment to starting your photography business the right way, then Click HERE, signup and lets talk.
What was your one BIG thing for 2015? Please comment below. Brent