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Giving Back

Different charitable works and giving back to the community.

VIPs tour Opportunity Village – Billy Walters, Brad Garrett, David Copperfield, Frankie Moreno

November 14, 2012 | By | No Comments

In advance of their big gala fundraiser tomorrow evening (“Camelot”), Opportunity Village today hosted a VIP tour of some of Las Vegas’ most well known and generous people. I had the privilege and pleasure to document all the fun and excitement.

The clients of Opportunity Village, who learn job skills and do valuable work to earn a paycheck, were truly excited to meet some of the people they’ve known for years from TV and from the Las Vegas stage. Brad Garrett, of “Everybody Loves Raymond” fame, is as generous of spirit and laughter as he is tall. Talk about lighting up a room! So many clients were also ecstatic to meet in person perhaps the most famous and successful magician in the world, David Copperfield, who also gave so deeply of his time and emotion all day long. Frankie Moreno, “Best of Vegas” Best All-Around Performer of 2012 and headline act at  the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower, wowed everybody with his tremendous musical energy and generous spirit. And Billy and Susan Walters were also gracious enough to co-host the tour. Billy Walters is probably the most successful sports gamer in history, respected throughout the world of sports gambling. He and his lovely wife Susan are also among the most generous givers to Opportunity Village. In fact, tomorrow night’s Gala black tie fundraiser is in their honor.

I was truly honored to give back to this most impressive charity. This is the way charity ought to be done – nearly all private donations (80% of OV’s donations are private), a focus on giving people skills, and giving them the opportunity to earn a paycheck with dignity.

I happened to do my first tour of Opportunity Village on a pay day. I cannot overstate how excited and proud each of Opportunity’s clients (who are also its workers) were to be getting their hard-earned checks. If you love pay day, you’ve got nothing on these folks!

Stay tuned for more VIP photos, and for a whole lot of photos from the gala ball tomorrow night.

Corrupt Lightroom Catalog? Fix It Here.

September 20, 2011 | By | One Comment

Have you ever gotten the dreaded “corrupt” error message when trying to load your LR catalog? Have you run the built-in “fix” option that Lightroom suggests before it drops you out of LR? Has it worked? It’s never worked for me.

Well, here is the missing recovery method, the one that Adobe should, but doesn’t, share, at least not in any way that I could find on the Adobe support page.

Huge thanks to Simply Ness, who has provided this simple step-by-step process to recover your corrupt Lightroom catalog.  It’s slightly geeky. But if I could figure it out, so can you.

Let’s Help Little Savannah Get Better

October 20, 2010 | By | One Comment

Our friends Suzi & Terrence Lighten have a brand new baby girl, Savannah. The Good Lord, for reasons unknown to anyone, has burdened little Savannah with multiple serious challenges. Her mother, Suzi, tells the heartbreaking tale of her very difficult pregnancy and Savannah’s traumatic birth here in Suzi’s new blog “Savannah’s Journey“. Suzi & Terrence are diving into ways to help their daughter overcome her severe challenges. Please help them in any way you can. Their experience could be anyone’s experience.

#8. Shoot Into the Sun.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

If you don’t have off-camera strobes or don’t know how to use them [see #4], turn your subjects’ backs to the sun, shoot in manual mode and expose for your subjects’ faces. Your photos will immediately be better than any point-and-shoot civilian who tries this. Their photos will be dark and underexposed.

Turn your subjects’ backs to the sun.

#6. Ya Gotta Serve Somebody.

June 16, 2010 | By | One Comment

Offer to help those around you with your photography. Venues need good photography of their rooms, their gorgeous landscaping, their events in progress, their food. Friends need headshots. Friends need family shots. Spread the love (i.e., do these things for free) and the love comes back.

#5. Get Closer. Get Further Away.

June 16, 2010 | By | No Comments

Seems everybody’s got a camera at weddings nowadays.

One way to make your pictures look different than everybody else’s is to get up real close, and to pull way back.

Use a long lens (200mm) to get in real close.

Get close with a long lens, or by walking right into the action (not advised during the ceremony!) You’ll have captured the feelings of the moment, and your brides will be forever grateful when she looks at your photos.

Get far away - see the moment differently than everyone else.

Use a wide angle lens (like 17mm) to get far away.

Step Outside of the Action. Capture the Big Picture. Get far away to take in the big picture, the cityscape, the landscape, the drive into town, the outside of the reception hall, the whole room.