Helping Photographers Understand the HOWS & WHYS behind Great Photography

Book me to be a speaker at your photography event

I love to share what I have learned!

PhotoPlus 2019 in NYCI have been a keynote and featured speaker and presented for professional organizations, regional and local camera clubs, Meetup groups, and privately-owned photography co-ops across the United States and now worldwide with virtual presentations.

My speaking experience ranges from presenting to large crowds as a featured speaker on stage for Olympus, Savage Universal, V-Flat World and TetherTools at industry events to presentations for regional photography events as well as local camera club demos. I have also taught photography classes at both a college and high school level.

Since the world changed in March 2020, I have been teaching and presenting virtually to groups all over the world.

My teaching style is energetic, filled with humor and, well instead of me describing it, you can watch the videos at the bottom of the page to see one of my stage presentations for Olympus at WPPI in Las Vegas, or you can check out my YouTube Videos.

Choose from a library of photography and marketing presentations listed below that are prepared, tested, and proven to educate and entertain. These talks are routinely updated as technology and industry trends advance.

I am always open to creating a new presentation, keynote or workshop for your group or organization, and I also do Photo Walks to teach shooting portraits or models outside on location.

If you would like to have me present at your event CLICK HERE to contact me.

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Current list of available Photography Presentations:

Click the title for more information. Most talks are available for virtual presentation. See description for details.

EXPOSURE – What is “Correct Exposure”?

Forget about the Exposure Triangle and Histograms!

Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO are the three most important camera controls that every photographer needs to understand - but how do you determine what is the correct exposure to begin with?

I will walk you through the concept of correct exposure and what that really means and instead of triangles and histograms, we will dig into the relationships between Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO so that you create more consistent exposures.

EXPOSURE – What is Correct Exposure?

What you will learn:

  • How to best determine “Correct Exposure"
  • The relationship between Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO
  • Why you need to FORGET the Exposure Triangle
  • Why you need to ignore the Histogram
  • Exposing to the left or the right is NOT a technique it is an occasional solution to a problem
  • . . .and much more!

Duration:  90 minutes with time for Q&A
Available as an In-Person or Virtual Presentation

Intended audience: This presentation is suited for photographers of all levels. This is an excellent camera club presentation that challenges many conventional thought processes. For beginners it will give you a solid understanding of how to achieve correct exposure and for intermediate and advanced photographers it will challenge what you think you know and help you use these controls in more creative and consistent ways.

The Secret Powers of RAW Files

How to Get the MOST Out of Your RAW Digital Files

RAW files, just like film, are intended to be "developed."

Digital cameras were engineered with RAW files as their primary file type because RAW digital files capture much more detail than a jpeg.

I will walk you through my RAW processing techniques and the importance of creating your own system / workflow to achieve consistent results with your photographs. The demo will be done with Adobe Camera Raw which also has the same controls as Adobe Lightroom.

The details and suggestions of this presentation also apply to the basic processing capabilities of software like Capture One, Luminar, DXO, Affinity Photo and darktable.

The Secret Powers of RAW Digital files

What you will learn:

  • The real reasons for shooting in RAW.
  • In-depth understanding of the Camera RAW controls.
  • Why you shouldn't rely on AUTO - but should still try it anyway.
  • The importance of having a "system" to establish a consistent workflow.
  • Sharpening - making your images look their best for the web.
  • ... and much more!

Duration:  2 hours with time for Q&A
Available as an In-Person or Virtual Presentation

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels. If you want to make your images look their best, then this presentation is for you. If you struggle with knowing which sliders and settings to use when processing your photos, your work will greatly benefit from the simple system I will teach you in this presentation.

Understanding Creativity

How to Boost Your Creative Abilities to Become a Better Photographer

If we all have the potential to be creative, why is it so hard? For starters, many of the ways that we traditionally learn photographic techniques are creativity killers.

We will begin by looking at the science behind creativity. Where does it come from? Are humans born with it or do they learn it? Is it possible to make yourself more creative? The answers from research done by cognitive psychologists will surprise you, frustrate you, and excite you. Armed with a better understanding of how creativity works, I will help you lay the foundation to be able to develop more creative skills and become a better, more creative photographer, with tips that will help you to see and think about your subjects in ways that you never have before.

Understanding Creativity

What you will learn:

  • Why is it so hard to be creative? We will look at the science behind our creative struggles.
  • The number one reason why people have a hard time improving as creative photographers
  • A new definition of Creativity that will free your thought process and change the way you approach creating
  • My TOP TEN TIPS for improving your creativity to become a better photographer
  • ... and much more!

Duration:  90 minutes with time for Q&A
Available as an In-Person or Virtual Presentation

Intended audience: This is an excellent Camera Club talk and it has also been presented as a Keynote talk. Do you struggle finding creative ideas? Do you compare your images to other photographers and immediately feel that your work is substandard? Well you are not alone, and this presentation will help you understand WHY and HOW you can take steps to improve your work.

Critiques Suck!

Learn The Best Way To Get USEFUL Feedback On Your Photography

Feedback can be good - but most feedback is NOT! Why?

Photography critiques are traditionally nothing more than opinions offered by people who may be good at photography but who have little knowledge or concern for you or the reasons you took the photograph or how you took it. They offer an opinion of what is wrong with your photograph based on their test and a bunch of creativity killer rules.

In this presentation, Joe will share the science behind why critiques don’t work and he will show you how to effectively ask for feedback on your work and how to properly give feedback that is useful and has a positive impact on the photographer.

What you will learn:

  • Why critiques suck!
  • The science behind feedback and how it can do more harm than good
  • The steps you need to take to insure that you receive feedback that helps
  • How to know what questions to ask
  • How to identify people who can give you great feedback
  • ... and much more!

Duration:  60 minutes with time for Q&A
Available as an In-Person or Virtual Presentation

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels. This is an excellent camera club presentation that is ideal for any photographer who is interested in becoming a better photographer! Feedback is valuable but it must contain context – otherwise it is just an opinion. Believe me, you need this talk more than you think!

The Art of Seeing

Success in Photography Is in the Details

We all want to make great photographs. Yet our best efforts often fall short of our aspirations. We followed the rules, we lit it right, we exposed it right, posed it right, composed it right, processed it right...but too often something is missing. The image just doesn’t have the impact that we had hoped for.

This is a fun and thought-provoking talk that will explain the science behind “seeing” and why humans are so bad at seeing details. Using a combination of science, psychology, art, and humor, Joe will demonstrate how personal perspective and attention to detail, as opposed to RULES, will separate the good from the great.

The presentation includes videos as well as a demonstration that will show how you can dramatically improve your photographs, whatever the subject matter, by improving your ability to “see.”

The Art of Seeing

What you will learn:

  • Why is it so hard to “see” all the details in real time? We will look at the science behind why humans struggle with details.
  • How to take great photographs without paying attention to RULES.
  • The importance of FAILURE to improving as a photographer.
  • Joe's TOP 18 TIPS for improving your ability to “SEE”.
  • ... and much more!

Duration:  90 minutes with time for Q&A
Available as an In-Person or Virtual Presentation

Intended audience: Photographers of all levels. This is an excellent Camera Club talk and it has also been presented as a Keynote talk.

File Management for Photographers

Basic Concepts and Best Practices

I can find any image I have taken in the last 20 years — in less than 3 minutes! Can you? We all love creating images, yet photographers routinely struggle with storing digital files in an organized system that allows them to retrieve photos quickly. This is an interactive presentation where we will begin with the basics of taxonomies and how to determine what kind of filing system will work best for YOU. Armed with a better understanding of your organizational options, I will help you lay the foundation for an organized and efficient file management system. We will also look at the various storage and backup options that are available. File Management for Photographers

What you will learn:

  • Taxonomies — What they are and which you should use.
  • How to create a filing system that scales with your work.
  • How to organize your post processing workflow.
  • File naming options for faster file recovery.
  • Storage and backup options.
  • ... and much more!

Duration:  90 minutes with time for Q&A
Available as an In-Person or Virtual Presentation

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels. This is an excellent camera club presentation.

Powerful Color

Creative Portrait Lighting Using Colored Gels

Light and Color are two of the most effective tools that a photographer has to add subtle creative touches or to create dramatic impactful statements in a photograph. Effective use of color can be the difference from an ok shot to an incredible one.

Using 3D light planning software (set.a.light 3D) I will show you actual shot breakdowns of how I use color and colored gels as an integral part of creating my Fashion and Beauty portraits.

We will look at color theory and emotion and I will give you some great resources to help you become confident with color selection. We will look at your options for creating color with both strobes and constant light sources. I will take you through my process from start to finish.

Powerful Color:  How to make creative portraits with Colored gels

What you will learn:

  • Why does color matter?
  • How to plan the right colors.
  • How to read a color wheel.
  • Types of gels.
  • How to make DIY gels.
  • The easiest way to start using gel.
  • ... and much more!

Duration:  2 hours with time for Q&A
Available as an In-Person or Virtual Presentation

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels.

Practical Composition

Creating Great Images Without Rules

The Rule of Thirds is the most overused and abused composition in photography. Composition is the art of how things fit together in your photograph and no two photos are alike - so stop applying rules. I will walk you through the concept of composition that is guided by the relationships of the objects on your photograph and the story you wish to tell and the mood you want to convey. Following "rules of composition" is not creative and it leads to predictable results. Practical Composition – Creating Great Images Without Rules

What you will learn:

  • How to think about Style and Content first
  • Understanding visual tricks to create a mood
  • How to direct the viewer with your composition
  • More than 25 practical Composition Tips
  • . . .and much more!

Duration:  60 minutes with time for Q&A
Available as an In-Person or Virtual Presentation

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels. This is an excellent camera club presentation.

Shoot PREP

The photographers guide to setting up a successful shoot

Great Photographs Require Excellent Preparation

Preparation is the key to success and Joe will walk us through the importance of shoot prep for ANY genre and type of photography and give you examples from his career. He is going to share it all from idea to completion.

Special emphasis will be placed on people photography, meaning portraits and working with models. He will begin with his process for developing ideas and progress through finding models, working with makeup artists, deciding on backgrounds for a photo shoot - all of it!

Shoot PREP - The Photographers Guide to Setting Up a Successful Shoot

What you will learn:

  • The importance of preparing for a shoot.
  • How to generate ideas for creative images
  • Best ways to find models and makeup artists
  • Collaboration tips for working with models and makeup artists
  • Steps to insure that your model doesn't flake
  • ... and much more!

Duration:  2 hours with time for Q&A
Available as an In-Person or Virtual Presentation

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels.

Portrait Photography

Learn to shoot portraits like a PRO

If you are good with a camera, you have probably been asked to shoot a portrait for a friend, relative or colleague. That also means that you have probably realized that shooting portraits is not just a matter of aiming your camera at someone and saying cheese!

Portrait photography is a valuable skill for every photographer to master and Joe will take you through his entire process.

This presentation will begin with a discussion about what makes a great portrait and the prep that you should be doing before you even pick up the camera. Joe will do a studio demo to show you how to create great lighting for your portraits with a minimal amount of equipment.

This is not your parent’s portrait class! Using his KISS IT (Keep It Super Simple) techniques, Joe will show how to create flattering portraits with simple lighting and posing techniques. He will cover everything from camera and lens selection, depth of field, camera angles, composition, posing, lighting, backgrounds, and more!

Shoot PREP - The photographers guide to setting up a successful shoot

What you will learn:

  • How to prep and communicate with your subjects.
  • Lens selection.
  • Lighting selection and set-ups — both the WHYS and HOWS.
  • Background selection.
  • Posing and directing for relaxed natural looks.
  • Cropping and Composition.
  • ... and much more!

Duration:  2 hours with time for Q&A
Available as an In-Person or Virtual Presentation

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels.

The Psychology and Techniques behind Photographing Beauty

80% of photographing people is psychology. 20% is the art and science of photography.

Cameras, lenses, lights and modifiers are all tools that photographers use but these are NOT what makes a great beauty shot or portrait.

Photographing people for any reason is a relationship game and the gear must take a back seat to the interaction between you and your subject.

Photographers routinely go out of their way to learn how to sell to their clients, but they don’t put the same effort into learning how to interact with their clients to get the desired results in front of the camera.

Great images require planning and collaboration and are the result of great problem solving. Together, we will take a deep dive through my entire process and I will share with you how I plan and execute a shoot. I’ll cover everything from shoot prep with both my subjects and makeup artists and I will review communication and posing techniques and share with you some of my favorite beauty lighting arrangements.

The Psychology and Techniques for Photographing Beauty

What you will learn:

  • Concept development — How to build great ideas.
  • The importance of Collaboration — How to build a team
  • How to find, prep and communicate with models
  • Best ways to find and communicate makeup artists
  • Communication tips to motivate and direct your models
  • Lighting Tips for great Beauty Portraits
  • ... and much more!

Duration:  2 hours with time for Q&A
Available as an In-Person or Virtual Presentation

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels.

Social Media for Photographers

Social Media is not a product of new technology. Social Media is the art – the adaptation of using technology to be social”.
---- Joe Edelman

Social media is the MOST important vehicle for promoting your photography or business, yet so many photographers complain that they don’t have time to keep up with social media. As a result, most of what they do post online is a waste of time.

In this entertaining and thought-provoking talk, I will change the way you look at and approach your social media marketing efforts. With a focus on developing a social media strategy that meets your needs.

60, 90 or 120 minute versions available as a lecture. This subject can also be presented as a 3 or 4 hour workshop that includes personalized reviews of participants social media efforts.

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels. This talk applies to all genres of photography.

Bold and Beautiful Fashion Portraits - Big results with Small Lights

The fantasy of beauty and fashion portraiture is as popular as ever and it doesn’t need to be difficult to create.

With a strong emphasis on creativity, I’ll cover the key elements of a fashion portrait from clothing selection to hair, makeup, lighting and posing. I will demonstrate how I create these beauty and fashion portraits using simple lighting gear and easy-to-find props.

This includes a demonstration using a model and real-time video projected for the audience so that you can see the results of these simple techniques through the camera lens as I create the photos.

60 or 90 minute versions available as a demonstration. This subject can also be presented as a 3 or 7 hour workshop that includes opportunities for attendees to participate by photographing the model.

This presentation does require the services of a professional makeup artist and a model.

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels.

Basic Portrait Lighting

If you are good with a camera, at some point you have been asked to shoot a portrait. This demonstration using a model and real-time video projected for the audience to see will cover basic portrait lighting and posing techniques that can be done in a studio or on location with very simple equipment.

60, 90 or 120 minute versions available as a demonstration. This subject can also be presented as a 3 or 6 hour workshop that includes opportunities for attendees to participate by photographing a live subject.

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels who are interested in creating portraits with speedlights or studio strobes. This talk is an excellent primer for beginners and a great refresher for more experienced shooters.

Most photographers don't have a need for big expensive studio strobes.  It is very easy to create amazing light with speedlights and pocket flashes and small modifiers like MagMods or even easy to find DIY items. In this demo, Joe will show you how to create awesome portrait lighting with simple speedlights and pocket flashes and easy to use modifiers.

This includes a demonstration using a model and real-time video projected for the audience so that you can see the results of these simple techniques through the camera lens as I create the photos.

60 or 90 minute versions available as a demonstration. This subject can also be presented as a 3 or 7 hour workshop that includes opportunities for attendees to participate by photographing the model.

This presentation does require the services of a model.

Intended audience: Photographers of all skill levels.

My presentation for Olympus at PhotoPlus in NYC
My keynote presentation – Don’t Be Afraid To SUCK!
My presentation for Olympus at WPPI 2019 in Las Vegas

Images of me presenting on stage for Olympus


 

Joe Edelman - I TEACH People!

Other ways you can learn about photography or photo marketing from me:

Speaking Events and Online Photography Presentations

I maintain an active speaking and presentation schedule across the United States and I do several LIVE interactive online photography presentations every month. Be sure to bookmark this calendar and check back often for updates.

One-on-One Photography Mentoring

Every successful photographer has had one or more mentors. Regardless of where you are located in the world I can now serve as your mentor using messaging technology. Select a plan that best meets your needs.

Video Photography Consultations

Do you have a problem that cannot be solved via a text message or email? Schedule a 60, 90 or 120-minute video consultation so that we can chat face-to-face.

Private Photography Workshops

Spend a full day with me in my studio in Allentown, PA. These are not canned workshops. The day will cover whatever topics you need to work on – one-on-one in my studio with me as your mentor and assistant.

YouTube/PhotoJoeEdelman

I have made a commitment that all of my work on YouTube shall remain FREE of charge.  Please be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any videos.

Don’t forget to tune in for TOGCHAT™ LIVE every Wednesday at 6:00pm ET USA.

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