The latest drool worthy bags from ThinkTank and a travel backup tip

The perception line is slick and less "obvious", important for traveling with camera gear

The perception line is slick and less "obvious", important for traveling with camera gear

I’ve been using my smaller mirrorless camera system more and more often – especially when traveling. In fact, on my last trip to Machu Picchu, I carried only my Sony NEX-6 mirrorless system since we had to hike for a few days with all our needs on our backs (no porters except my two teenage boys). I was ridiculously happy with the images and didn't feel like I missed my DSLR at all...well, maybe a couple times. I have 20-30” images for the walls from this camera and they are amazingly sharp and detailed. My favorite lens is the 35mm f1.8.

I am going to ask Santa about scoring me one of ThinkTanks spanky new bags. They are made specifically for mirrorless systems or compact DSLR setups. I've found that I can do most of what I need to do when traveling with my compact camera setup and my iPad. I use a  portable hard drive with a wireless interface, like this one from RavPower to back up my images. I actually use an older model, but this one looks even better as it has a larger internal battery that can be used to recharge your phone or tablet as well. This is one of my new favorite gadgets. Considering it’s only $39.99 and by comparison a simple Apple iPad card reader is $34, and it’s a no-brainer. Kind of like zombies. 

With this setup, I browse all the images via the app on the iPad, and download them directly to the USB HD for safe keeping. Any that I want to immediately edit and share can be saved to the iPad and tweaked as needed. I find that this setup works much better than the mostly obsolete portable image viewer/downloaders like the old Epson P-7000 as I can use any common affordable hard drive and easily view, manage, and manipulate them on my iPad. I don’t need to store all the images on the iPad, eating up valuable space much better suited to undead movies for the airplane. But I digress. 

I’ve just started using ThinkTank bags and really love the innovation and thought put in to their construction. The bag designers are true photographer users who think about workflow and the tiny details that often get overlooked by other manufacturers. The quality of construction is second to none. The new Perception line of bags is designed for the mirrorless camera systems or a smaller DSLR kit, your iPad, and other gadget essentials. They come in various sizes to accommodate up to a 15” laptop and photo gear. I love the clean lines of the packs and top loading functionality. 

ThinkTank also has a promo going on right now for 30% off the My 2nd Brain line of laptop bags and 20% off the Suburban Disguise line of camera carriers. If you order through these links you also get bonus free gear (with any purchase over $50) and free shipping! Happy holidays ☺

I want this bag for christmas. clean lines, easy access, and quality construction.

I want this bag for christmas. clean lines, easy access, and quality construction.

Ok maybe I want this one too. perfect for carrying just the right amount of gear and electronics

Ok maybe I want this one too. perfect for carrying just the right amount of gear and electronics

WPPI Atlantic City - finding Mona Lisa

I just finished a program in Atlantic City for WPPI Road Show called, "SImple Answers to Things I Learned the Hard Way". If you were at the program and are looking for the notes to download, you've come to the right place!

During my program, I talked about a lot of different things that have made a difference to my business, and I wish I would had known about sooner. I guess it's always easier to look back and say, "If only I'd known". Right? I try to do that with advice to my kids too, but it never seems to work. I tell them, "trust me, if you start doing this now, you'll be a millionaire by the time you're mid 20s! But all they can say is, "Squirrel!"

To download the program notes, click here. Don't forget to use the password I gave you at the program!

One of the things we talked about in the program was the concept of finding your Mona Lisa. I learned years ago that showing my clients too many similar images was not "giving them more choices", but was actually overwhelming them and preventing them from making a purchase decision. When I started showing less images – only my favorite, best, "Mona Lisa" images, they actually made decisions quicker and ended up buying more.

The other reason I call it the Mona Lisa is that items that are scarce are perceived as more valuable – just like the one-of-a-kind Mona Lisa. If there were 5 slightly different variations of the priceless painting, each one just slightly different, then she wouldn't be nearly special, nor as priceless. Only somewhat priceless. You follow my drift? 

When you buy stuff off a rack of similar items, you inherently feel the value is less. When you see just one, and only one, of something you like, you covet it more and the perceived value goes up.

Edit diligently in your workflow and show only the best of the series of images to your clients. They will appreciate it more, select quicker, and chances are good that you'll increase your average sale as well. 

Thank you again to my program supporters! WHCC for their beautiful lab services, amazing service, money making backdrops. Thank you Asukabook for giving me boutique quality coffee table books that separate me from the masses. Thanks B&H for feeding my gear habit with phenomenal selection and prices! Expo Imaging for the lighting tools I use every day, Triple Scoop Music for the groovy tunes that bring life to every presentation, and Tamrac for the camera bags and cases that have been at my side for nearly 20 years. I appreciate your great products and services!

Ah, the original, in all it's solo glory

Ah, the original, in all it's solo glory