The Most Ordinary Photo, Inspiration, March 7th

(Above photo: Larry Felton)

Quick Updates

I want to welcome the new members! This welcome post is a good one to read as well if you’re getting setup with the site.

With Thursday’s class finished, that’s the end of the site’s launch process. The goal has been to get membership to a critical mass to make sure this place is viable and it seems like we’ve got to a good place with that.

I’m excited to now have more time for figuring more ways to make this place as fun and energetic as possible.

We’re going to have a challenge starting next week and I’m going to do a survey soon as well to learn your ideas for improving the site.

The goal of each group is to improve and strengthen them over time, and it can be a months-long process. First is to get members up to speed with how to use the site, then to focus on their photography as well as getting comfortable with the group, and most importantly, engaged with some consistent commenting.

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Challenge #2 – Projects and Early Focus – Inspiration, Feb 20th

Challenge #2 - Projects and Early Focus

So I was a little wary about this challenge. For the newer members who haven’t heard about it, challenge #2 was based upon putting together a small cohesive series of 7 images together. 

It was meant mostly for the early groups who have been working here for a few months although anyone could join in. We’ll have another challenge in two weeks once everyone gets settled here.

As I’m sure neither of you all did, I didn’t expect works of brilliance and cohesiveness here. It’s too early and that wasn’t the point.

And that’s why this is a challenge that we’re going to revisit constantly over time.

The goal here was just to get everyone thinking in this manner for the year ahead, and to organize your thoughts as it warms up (for most of us) and we start shooting more and more.

What do you want to create this year? How is your work going to fit together?

But this is also a slow, organic process to figure out over time. And I was wary of this challenge causing you to think too specifically too early on. 

I don’t want you to take what you did here and pigeonhole yourself. Use the brainstorming you did to help yourself think in this manner but still go out with an open mind and let the photographs you take guide you. I can guarantee the next iteration of this challenge will have you with much different work.

Now you’ve seen my work too much the last few weeks but here are two examples of how I could submit photos from my Quiet Brooklyn project.

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Photographing Close to Home – Inspiration, Feb 20th

(Above photograph: Susan Anderson)

Photographing 'Close to Home'

Over the last few weeks and months, I’ve seen so much fantastic and inspired photography from everyone. With the new groups signing up it’s been so exciting to see the diverse work that you’ve all created.

But it’s also clear how tough the pandemic has been for photography on a lot of you. We’ve lost travel, it has become much more difficult to connect with others. 

Thankfully, this is can be flipped into a big opportunity for us. We can still photograph, and we can still photograph successfully.

There are the same amount of great photographs right outside your door as there are across the world.

And in this case maybe more.

You have a chance to deeply focus on what’s around you. To capture areas you know well and go to back over and over again, finding new things and giving time for the perfect moment to occur.

Repetition is always the key.

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Welcome! Inspiration, Feb 13th


I want to give a warm welcome to all the new members who signed up recently!

Keep in mind that people are still signing up and getting up to speed and so it usually takes a week or so for a new group to get going.

If you have any questions, feel free to message me through the site or email me at [email protected] at any time.

This week’s post is going to be a refresher and we’ll get back to the more interesting stuff next week.

After you’ve watched the introduction videos, please make sure to share some photos / introduce yourself in your group and to scroll through to check out your group members posts.

And make sure you understand the difference between how to post a group album and a personal album – that is the biggest early issue that some members have.

As I’ve mentioned about 5,000 times and I will mention 5,000 more, commenting and engaging with the work of your group members is the most important aspect of this site, so please read the Commenting & Critiquing Guide. 

Tough critiques can take some time to bring out in people as the group gets to know each other. But please don’t be shy in giving (or asking for them) – we all want to hear what you really think!

We’d love to see your old work and which photos you’ve taken that you’re excited about – feel free to share that at any time.

But we also want to see new photos from where you live  the places, the people (candids or portraits), the weird quirky things, the normal stuff that we take for granted, the boring or ugly stuff. Give us a feel for what the place is like.

This Salon is ultimately about pushing you to create new work.

Next week’s post will be all about photographing Close to Home, which I’m excited for.

There’s a lot of content on the site already to go through, so here’s what I recommend most:

  1. Photographing Close to Home
  2. Street Photography in Quiet Places
  3. Talking About Photographs
  4. Anxiety
  5. Dreamlike Challenge #1
  6. Building a Cohesive Vision
  7. Video Class: An Introduction to Street Photography, From Beginner to Advanced Topics (75 Minutes)
  8. Video Class: Editing and Putting Together a Portfolio in Street Photography (3.5 Hours)
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Anxiety (Challenge Example), Inspiration, Feb 6th

Anxiety (Challenge Example)

This is a post about Challenge #2 – view it here. Please email me at [email protected] with the subject “Challenge 2”, with either 7 photos from your portfolio or a link to your profile portfolio gallery and I will choose 7 photos from it. This is due by next weekend.

Any new members are welcome to join it, but this was really meant as a half challenge for the beta members who have been going for a few months now and to share the work with the newer members for inspiration. We are going to revisit this challenge later in the year.


I’m going to share a personal story here and how it relates to my work. Anxiety has always been an underlying theme throughout what I do, whether I knew it or not (and full disclaimer, both my parents are shrinks, if that doesn’t say enough already).

Growing up, I never would have thought it. I was always seen as a relaxed, type B person by others, so I just assumed that was who I was. But in reality, there was a lot more type A to me than I thought, and mixed with that relaxed demeanor was an underlying slightly tense feeling that just felt like my body was speeding me up. It’s hard to explain.

When I began photographing, I was always attracted to certain people, certain looks in people’s eyes. I now see it as being related to me feeling a connection to them, often through feelings of anxiety.

As the stresses of adult life piled on, that underlying feeling certainly got stronger, sometimes mentally, sometimes manifesting themselves physically. I felt more ‘sped up’ by the day. And seeing a psychiatrist (who seems much more normal than my parents, but shrinks can be good at hiding it), helped me understand what was going on and ways to deal with it as best I can.

And it makes much more sense now that a big aspect of my love for photography is that it’s an escape from everything. Not only the walk and the exploring but taking the time to look through a lens and observe your surroundings really takes you away from everything else in such a wonderful way.

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Organization and Collections

Organization and Collections

Let’s start off by welcoming the new groups Bresson and Leiter, which were just created. They’re still in the process of signing up and getting up to speed this weekend, but looking forward to working with you all and hearing what you have to say.

I’m also planning to open the Salon to my mailing list on Feb 12th so there should be a bit more action around here soon.


It’s the end of the coldest week of the year here. I hope you’re able to shoot a bit, but I understand if you’re waiting for it to warm up a little.

It’s a tough time of year for photography, but keep pushing yourself. And please add some comments!

For me, editing is half the excitement of photography and it’s a great time to shore that aspect up before the weather starts warming up. 10 more degrees warmer here and it’s a whole different ballgame.

We spoke about sequencing and building a vision a few weeks ago, and I want you to actually create a good organizational beginning to the year. This will make all the difference.

If you haven’t already, watch the Organization video in the 3.5 hour editing class. It’s by far the most important video in the series. And I highly recommend trying Lightroom Classic for editing (the Photography Plan is a great deal).

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Talking About Photographs, Inspiration, Jan 23rd

Talking About Photographs

I hope everyone made it through the week alright. With both the inauguration anxiety and last Monday (the third Monday in January) being the most depressing day of the year, I’m guessing photography may not been on the forefront of your minds lately.

It’s a tough time of year for photography, but hopefully with these weeks out of the way we can push ourselves in the right direction for 2021, even with the remaining obstacles.

And if you’re not able to shoot right now, please share some old photographs with us and definitely check in when you can and add some comments.

(On a related note, I was talking with a group member last night about commenting and just the difficulty of giving constructive criticism. We’ll touch on that as one aspect of next week’s post because it’s a really difficult but important thing to do in a virtual environment).

I thought I’d go through some of my old photographs for fun and keep this post focused on the photographs themselves and share some commentary about them. Going forward, I’m going to do some regular posts called Talking About Photographs. I had to choose mine this week because I just had the idea, but going forward I’m going to collect photographs from the community that I want to talk about as I come across them.

You’ve no doubt already seen many of these, but they were ones where I thought some commentary would be important and fun to add.

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Building a Cohesive Vision – Inspiration, Jan 16th

Building a Cohesive Vision

*A few quick updates – please make sure to fill out the time poll at the top of your group stream if you would like to attend small group events at some point. We’ll talk about scheduling those after Jan 20th.

*I also moved the top resources and classes to the events/resources page to make them easier to find – so check that page out when you get the chance.


There will be a lot more written about this topic in the future as this will just scratch the surface. But after the comments on last weeks Dreamlike post, it seems like seeing those loose groupings helped many of you start to see the potential in thinking this way with your work.

And if you have the time this winter, I highly suggest going through the editing class as you will really be able to see these ideas in action.

Thinking about your work in a cohesive way can be a long process to develop, but I think it is one of the most rewarding aspects of photography.

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Dreamlike, Inspiration, Jan 9th


Here are the photos that you all sent in for the Dreamlike challenge. And make sure to click the photos to see them larger because the verticals are cropped in the thumbnails.

I’m going to let the photos do the overall talking, but I was impressed and really intrigued with the variety of work sent in. This was not an easy challenge. There is black and white, color, abstract, environmental, and people scenes, scenes from in the home, blurry or hazy photos, sharp photos. And most importantly, there’s a lot of feeling here.

The first three sets you see here I grouped myself as small themes to show how you can build a feeling and narrative (and there will be more on that in next week’s post).

You can see how with time one could create a whole consistent body of work that has this idea and feel, if they wanted to. It’s just a mixture of getting out there, looking for the right moments, being in the right frame of mind, editing, and sequencing.

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An Editing Class for the New Year! – Inspiration, Jan 2nd

Congrats on making it through 2020. I know it wasn’t easy on any of us, and here’s to getting through the winter and having things look up after that.

First is to please email me anywhere from 1-5 of your dreamlike photos by Jan 5th to [email protected].

Pardon if you’ve noticed any errors with my notifications and through your email. Those should be fixed now but occasional development still continues on custom changes, so if you notice any issues, please let me know!

Also, I added an Instagram link area to your profile. If you’d like people to follow you there, please fill that out and you can then look through other’s profiles to find the links once they fill them out. You can also click this link and click ‘follow’ to follow the #homephotosalon tag (and if you feel like it, please tag your photos with the hashtag!) https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/homephotosalon/

An Editing Class for the New Year

I just ported over a 3-and-a-half-hour editing course from my website over here called Editing and Putting Together a Portfolio in Street Photography. You can also find the link on the left column bar of the website and in the top links of the Inspiration panel. The course includes every aspect I can think of all the way from importing photos, organizing, editing, examples of my editing, printing, creating book mockups, going over a few of my projects, and evaluating the editing of five photographers.

You can find the class in your right profile area under ‘Courses’ or on ‘Top Posts’ in the Inspiration Section. The class should have you entirely up to speed with editing in only 3.5 hours.

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