It’s that time of the year again.
We rock it in Vegas for WPPI and we know you do, too. As per Sin City’s traditions, we don’t talk about what happens in the booth, but we have pictures to prove that we love meeting Pros like you.
Come visit. Talk to us. Tell it to us straight.
Why should this year be any different?
Snag a Discount
Option 1. If you’re not the chancy type, go ahead and grab a discounted pass for just $95. Use the coupon code: WFREGR
Option 2. Want to skip the lectures and just say hi? Click here to get a free pass to the trade show floor.
See you in Vegas, baby!
HDR Master, Travel Photography celeb and SmugMug Pro Trey Ratcliff kicks the year off right: With calendars!
Check out his exclusive, all-new photo beauty here. Twelve famous photos are printed on high-quality, thick glossy paper and saddled stitched for durability. It’s the perfect way to stay inspired and plan your own around-the-world adventure.
Win Yours on Facebook
He’s sharing the love with fellow Smuggers and offering 10 copies of this lucious wallhanger to 10 lucky fans.
1. Like our Facebook Page HERE.
2. Share this blog link or contest FB post with your friends.
3. Post one of your best Travel photos and tell us the story behind the shot. You can post your photo on our FB Wall or in the comments below.
We’ll pick 10 winners on Thursday, January 19, to win a calendar, PLUS free Smuggy swag for themselves and a friend. That means you AND a friend have a chance to win, so spread the word and share the love :)
Huge thanks to everyone who entered this contest. We loved seeing all of your photos and hearing your stories. Here are the randomly-selected winners, in no particular order. They will each win a 2012 Stuck In Customs calendar, PLUS cool Smuggy swag for themselves and a friend.
–Jonathan Wilson of JawSnap
–Knapp Hudson of Stone Coast Photography
–Bernardo Franco of Framing Colours
Congrats everyone! Katherine from our team will get in touch with you in the next few days with info on how to collect your prize.
Hey, Smuggers! Today’s guest post features one of our newest partners, Peak Design, the creators of a new and ingenious solution to the too-much-gear-no-hands-free problem. It’s called the Capture Camera Clip System, and you may have heard about when it raised a whopping $364,698 on crowdsourcing funding platform, Kickstarter. The Capture Clip System is an accessory that rigidly secures your camera to the gear you already own. Heck, life is full of great moments and incredible adventures; we didn’t want to miss a moment of it pawing through our camera bags, and neither should you. Keep on reading for the story of how the Capture Camera Clip System came to life – straight from creator Peter Dering. Plus, at the end of the post, you’ll find info on how to win your own:
By Peter Dering
I’ll tell you why so many SLR cameras are sold – it’s because humans like beauty, our brains can only hold so much of it, and most of us are crappy painters.
Call me a sap, call me a romantic, but I get deeply moved when I see the rolling green landscapes of Cambodia, or gleaming snow-covered back-country bowl in Yosemite, or my 6-month old daughter drooling on our ottoman. The world abounds with unfathomable beauty, and I want to capture it, but what is the point of taking a fancy camera to the fringe of civilization if it’s squirreled away in a Pelican Case? Have you ever tried to wear a Baby Bjorn with a full-frame camera around your neck? Likewise, what’s the point of having a fancy camera swinging around your neck if it can be destroyed with one foul swing into harm’s (or drool’s) way? Like many photographers, I struggled to get off the shots I wanted because my hands and neck were always tied up.
I got serious about photography in 2007 when I traded in my Canon Powershot G1 (3.34 megapixels) for a Nikon D80 and an 18-200 Nikkor lens. That setup (along with a 50mm 1.8) became my beard. Although it never once struck me as “convenient,” it was with me all the time. It was only a matter of time before the photography bug got the best of me, and I decided I needed to do it full time. I took a leave of absence from my job, and in June of 2008, landed in Hong Kong with a backpack, a camera, a few lenses, a laptop, and that’s about it. Through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, India, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia, I traveled by motorcycle, scooter, and foot, with a pack on my back and a camera swinging precariously around my neck.
It seemed crazy to me that no one had invented a way of rigidly attaching a camera to a backpack strap. Needless to say, that’s when the mental creation of Capture started taking place.
The seed of the idea crystalized in February of 2010, while I was backcountry skiing in Yosemite. The beauty of the park was stunning, yet I was completely hamstrung. When you have to ski with 50 pounds of gear on your back and poles in your hands, you can’t have a camera swinging around your neck, and you can’t use a sling bag in conjunction with a backpack. The only way to take pictures was to stop, plant my poles, undo my backpack straps, hoist it down, take out the camera, get my shots, and then reverse the operation. When you have to travel 9 miles on the snow before the setting sun erases the path in front of you, this process gets burdensome fast.
How It Works
I designed, prototyped and field tested numerous creations over the next several months and yakked the ears off of countless photographers. By the Fall of 2010 I had a design I was ready to run with — a simple, metal clip that allows photographers to secure any camera to their backpack strap or belt. It was small, lightweight and strong – something I could trust to keep my SLR secure and accessible no matter what I was doing. It held my camera rigidly to prevent swinging and swaying, and it had a quick-release button so I could take the perfect shot when it presented itself, not 10 minutes later. This was the device that would help me capture all that beauty, and that’s why I called it Capture. The graphic below shows the different parts of the system:
A Dream Come True
I found Capture a manufacturer, used my retirement funds to pay for tooling, got a job as a busboy to get me through the winter, and crossed my fingers that this plan would work. I launched Capture on Kickstarter in May of 2011. To my amazement, 5,258 people across the globe put down $364,698 in 75 days towards funding the manufacturing of my system. Three weeks later, each one of those folks had a Capture Camera Clip System in their hands. The reviews came in… the thousands of folks out there who shared my problem were rejoicing in the solution.
Capture was here to stay, I was done with my old career as I knew it, and I could finally afford diapers for my newborn daughter.
Made For Photographers Like You
Today I am doing everything I can to steer Peak Design in a direction that will let photographers all over the world change the way that they interact with their camera to capture the beauty around them. The workload is staggering, but I love it. As often as I can though, I get to do something else I love. I head out on a hike with my daughter, her mother, my D90, and Capture. I am instantly reminded of why I made this product in the first place, and the three of us let out a little squeal of giddiness. And there I am, camera in hand, ready to Capture it. Happy shooting everyone.
Win Your Own Capture System
The Capture Camera Clip System wouldn’t exist today without the support of photographers like you who believed in the system and and backed it with their hard earned money. Now, along with the folks at SmugMug, we’re giving away complete Capture Camera Clip systems to 3 lucky Smuggers. It’s our way of wishing you a lighter, hands-free start to 2012.
To enter, follow these instructions:
- Show us some love! Like SmugMug AND Like Peak Design on Facebook.
- Share some beauty that you’ve captured! On Peak Design’s Facebook page post a link to one of your own shots on SmugMug, and say a little something about it.
- Tweet the deets! Post the following message on Twitter: “Enter to win a Capture Camera Clip System from @SmugMug: http://smu.gs/zs9Ia9 #PeakDesignGiveaway. Please RT.“
Winners will be chosen based on your photo entry on the Peak Design Facebook page.
The winners will get:
- First Place: 1 Capture Camera Clip System, plus 1 free year of SmugMug Pro
- Second Place: 1 Capture Camera Clip System, plus Smuggy Swag
- Third PLace: 1 Capture Camera Clip System
Winners will be announced on Friday, January 13. Good luck and enjoy!
P.S. Smuggers will get a discount on their very own Capture Camera Clip System in Club Smug, our dedicated place for deals from partners we love. Stay tuned for details next week!
You came, you read, you posted! Huge thanks to everyone who entered this contest for a chance to get their hands on a Capture Camera Clip System. The good folks at Peak Design have picked 3 winners below:
First Place: Bob Lionel
Sometimes even good friends get into arguments while playing a friendly game of frisbee. This is a shot of two of my dogs. I’d hoped to get an airborne shot of Rook (the border collie) as he caught the frisbee. Instead, Brodie wanted to play too. Rook didn’t agree with him and as dogs will do they had to have a quick test of wills that lasted all of 7 seconds and ended with them both still friends. It is amazing how when you freeze that moment of disagreement how savage it looks…
Second Place: Debbie Webb Clifton
Brotherly Love – Took this silhouette last Easter of my nephew kissing his little brother :) It was number one for several days in the Daily Photo Gallery on Smugmug :)
Third Place: Jerry Barton
Getting that “moment” is tough. Changing lenses and getting the other body out of the backpack take too long. Anything to shorten that time (or eliminate it) is great.
All winners will be notified by email. Didn’t win? No worries! Enjoy a Smuggers-only discount on your very own Capture Camera Clip System by logging into your SmugMug account and then going here. Congrats everyone!
If you’ve ever held a DSLR in your hands, you’ve probably heard of Vincent Laforet.
He’s the Pulitzer Prize-winning mastermind behind some of the most incredible photos seen in National Geographic, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Time and more.
Vincent earns his bread and butter using the industry’s most coveted photographic equipment. He is a Canon Explorer of Light who breaks down the barriers between Photo and Video. We’ve been behind him since his his first HDDSLR short film, Reverie, and now he’s written a book that everyone should read.
Visual Stories: Behind the Lens with Vincent Laforet
Whether you’re an avid photographer or just someone who seeks a better creative process, you’ll love taking the journey through Visual Stories.
In it, you’ll find over 200 pages of inspiring photos, personal reflection and informative technical details to help craft your unique vision. The DVD contains over 60 videos that get you up-close and personal with the photojournalist himself.
Because Laforet’s experience began in journalism, he shows you how the principles of this genre can be applied to tell powerful stories in a single image. You’ll learn how to craft this energy into any type of photograph, include landscapes, close-ups, portraits, action shots, aerials and more.
Plus, get tips on using light, shape and color to create rich photos that support your story and add intense beauty and emotion.
Vincent Makes his Mark for You
We’ve got five autographed copies of this beautiful book, ready to find their way into your hands. Here’s how to get one:
1. Like SmugMug’s Facebook page HERE.
2. Post a message on our Facebook wall telling us why you want this book.
We’ll pick five lucky winners from the list on Wednesday, December 28, 2011.
So what will it be? You can keep grasping in the dark and taking the same photos, or you can grab a copy of Visual Stories and learn how a master works his craft. Check it out now at Peachpit Press.
Think Tank Photo’s name perfectly reflects their company vision: To help photographers be ready before the moment, to travel easier, take pictures faster and be more efficient. It’s all about creating your vision.
We love the idea of clearing away annoyances and obstacles so you can focus on your photo. It’s a classic philosophy, one which prompted us to retire to our reading chairs, pour a brandy and pontificate the possibility of another giveaway.
Retropective 20. One Winner.
Think Tank will bestow this beautiful, rugged bag, the Retrospective 20, to one lucky photographer:
Relive the glory of photography masters like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank with this vintage-inspired camera bag. Just add your own trusty tools and you’re ready to hit the streets and do some serious shooting.
It’s perfect for photojournalists and travel photographers. Here’s just a few reasons why:
- Fits 1 pro size DSLR with up to a 70-200 f2.8 lens attached and 1 – 3 additional lenses.
- Includes a seam sealed rain cover so you can shoot in any weather.
- Hook and loop “Sound Silencers” eliminate noise and keep you stealthy.
- Understated colors fit any occasion.
Check out their website for full specs and ideas on how to fill it.
(You’ll receive the Pinestone color pictured here. Camera not included, sorry!)
SUPER DUPER BONUS
Just because we love hearing from ya, we are adding a bonus. Help us get up to 60k “Likes” on our Facebook Fanpage by Oct 17, and we’ll stuff the Retrospective 20 with prizes for you AND a friend. Prizes include free years of SmugMug Pro, super-awesome print credit to Bay Photo, and more treats from Think Tank Photo.
How to Win:
- Like SmugMug’s Facebook page here.
- Link Think Tank Photo’s Facebook page here.
- Post a link to your favorite travel photo in the comments below.
- Spread the word! Help SmugMug get to 60k Likes by Oct 17 to qualify for a Bonus.
Get your entries in by Sunday, October 16 and we’ll announce the (randomly picked) winner right here on October 17.
Thanks for playing and can’t wait to see your favorite travel shots.
Holy Moly! With over 700 comments, this giveaway shattered records and made Smuggy history. We didn’t hit the Bonus Goal of 60K Likes, but heck, we love you guys and want to show ya some love. We randomly picked an awesome First Prize winner, AND two runner ups, just cuz.
HUGE Congrats to Venissa Walsh, our First Prize winner! She’s taking home the Retrospective 20. Two runner ups, Brenda De Los Santos and Jordan Hofker, will get a special Smuggy care package. We loved looking through all your photos and hope you’ll stay tuned for more awesomeness from us very soon. Congrats again everyone!!
Tripods, light stands and battery grips may get your juices flowing but even the biggest gear nerds like to cut loose and have a little fun.
That’s were Photojojo kicks in. Their motto is “We find the best photo shiz anywhere” and, boy, do they mean it.
Cool toys for everyone
Photojojo has long been a part of our ClubSmug, offering registered Smuggers a sweet little deal on everything in their shop. Check out their site for all kinds of cool, unique and fun goodies! You don’t have to be a full-time professional to enjoy their loot. Or a full-time millionaire.
In fact, they prove that everyone is a photographer at heart.
This contest will prep you for anything
We know it sucks when you spot a Sasquatch and your DSLR is back at the hotel. But the best camera is the one you have.
So this week we’re teaming up and giving away a set of adorable (and useful) camera phone accessories that will give that little lens a big boost. They come in four sizes: Fisheye, Wide Angle, Macro and Telephoto, all to let you shoot whatever you wish from your trusty pocket gadget.
The best part is they’ll all fit in your pocket.
To enter this giveaway:
1. ‘Like’ Photojojo on their Facebook page here.
2. ‘Like’ SmugMug on our Facebook page here.
3. Post a comment below and share a link to your favorite camera phone shot.
We’ll announce a winner right here in this space on Wednesday, September 14th so you have a full seven days to dream up what you’re gonna shoot.
Good luck! Maybe this year your holiday cards will feature a pic snapped from your phone (of your family, not bigfoot). Don’t tell ‘em the truth and they’ll never know.
The giveaway is now wrapped up, and one lucky photographer has been randomly picked to take home Photojojo’s neat cell phone lenses. Big congrats to Lesley Myrick! Check out her cool cell phone shot here.
Thanks everyone for participating, and as always, check back again soon for another chance to win big.
Rick Sammon‘s a big name in the photo biz and his reputation is well-deserved. He’s always out shooting, teaching and sharing his expertise (and his RICKSMUG20 SmugMug discount code) with photographers everywhere. After all, it’s his love for life that makes him so appealing to pin down and chat with… if you can catch him.
But we know where he’ll be on June 18th, and you can be there, too. No charge. No fee. Autographs optional.
2011 Times Square Shootout: Where and When
Shoot with Rick in one of the most iconic and photo-rich places in the world: Times Square! So clear your cards, pack your bags and show up in Duffy Square in Times Square at 5 PM, June 18th. He’ll kick it off with a big group photo. From there, anything goes.
We’re green with envy as we type because it’s such a great opportunity and it’s totally free. If you’re in New York and can go… GO! But if you can’t make it, that’s OK. The happy clan will pop their photos into this pool on SmugMug by June 22nd so the rest of us can see what we missed.
For the information about the event, check out Rick’s blog post here.
Build Buzz and Win Stuff
To get you charged, we’re giving away goodies to a few lucky folks. There are two ways to win:
Option 1) Join the shooting session. One Rick-picked winner gets a free year of SmugMug Pro AND a gorgeous MetalPrint of one of their Times Square shots. A perfect way to remember your incredible day in the city. We’ll announce Rick’s pick for the grand prize on
June 27th June 23.
Option 2) Spread the word. Follow @smugmug and @ricksammon and then tweet this to get your name entered:
Join @RickSammon and @SmugMug ‘s Times Square Shooting Session for fun and prizes, 6/18. Please RT. Info here: http://smu.gs/lMe1lG
On June 20th we’ll randomly pick some winners from a hat and send them a care package of SmugSwag, PLUS a free year of SmugMug Pro (Value: $150, not including bragging rights).
RECAP OF DATES
June 18 at 5pm: Meet Rick in Times Square. Commence major shooting session.
June 20: We’ll announce the winners of Rick’s Twitter contest (option 2).
June 22: Deadline for uploading Times Square shots to Rick’s gallery.
June 27 June 23: We’ll announce the winner of the shooting session (option 1).
Happy shooting… and don’t forget to bring cab fare. ;)
We drew a few names out of a hat and picked a handful of photographers to win a care package of SmugMug Swag, plus a free year of SmugMug Pro (Option 2). Congrats to @nicole627, @meggiemagoo, @DatsPhoto, and @OffsideElement! Please email katherine [at] smugmug [dot] com for more info on how to collect your prizes.
Rick got so excited about all your amazing photographs, he went ahead and picked his favorite early. Drum roll please…
The big winner of the Times Square Shooting Session, handpicked by Rick himself, is Margie Strange, for this shot:
As the genius behind Rick’s favorite shot from the day, Margie will win a gorgeous Metal Print of her shot, plus a free year of SmugMug Pro. Congrats Margie!! To collect your prize, please email Rick.
Read Rick’s recap of the whole day, plus see some of his other favorite shots here.
Thanks everyone for getting together for such a fun day!