Episode 012 – Pretty. Boring.

In Episode by nnps4 Comments

We take the requests of our wonderful audience very seriously, so when you ask for a specific guest host to join us, we deliver. That’s just how we roll.

And so, Episode 012 finds us with our second guest host: the incomparable Nicole S. Young (aka Nicolesy)! In this episode, your three hosts tackle a topic that cuts close to the bone with today’s state of photography and social media. Can there be too many gorgeous photos out there? If so, what does one need to do to stand apart from the crowd? It’s a serious topic and one that we’re thrilled to have Nicole weigh in on. The next topic comes hot on the heels of the 2017 PhotoPlus Expo in New York City. Both Brian and Nicole were in attendance and Sharky raises the question as to whether it pays (literally and figuratively) for photographers to invest in attending a photo expo. All that plus a triple dose of “What’s On Your Gear Shelf?” rounds out the episode.

Show Notes

    • Nicole found a great article thoughtfully discussing the commoditization of stunning photography on social media. It’s a great read and worth serious consideration [via The Field]
    • Sharky brings up photo trends that had their 15 minutes of fame and then fizzled out, like spinning steel wool. Brian shares his first and only experience photographing this in San Francisco:

A post shared by Brian Matiash (@brianmatiash) on

  • Nicole and Brian share their experiences attending the PDN PhotoPlus Expo in New York City
  • Sharky questions the need for a photographer to attend an expo as opposed to spending the money on gear
  • Nicole recommends taking the money normally spent to attend an expo and spend it on a workshop with a photographer that you greatly admire
  • All three hosts unanimously agree that they’d love to attend Martin Bailey’s Japan Snow Monkeys workshop [via Martin Bailey Workshops]

What’s On Your Gear Shelf?

Nicole: Bumblejax Acrylic Block Prints [via Nicolesy.com]

Sharky: Step Up Ring Set [via Amazon]

Brian: Dual Battery Chargers [via Amazon]


  1. There are two comments I would like to make regarding today’s discussion:
    First, there are often times when it IS better to have a person in a photo. As I tend to avoid people in my shots, this is a challenge I’m trying to work on. We experience and photograph these amazing placing in nature and later look back and realize the photos don’t give a true sense of size or space. I have amazing landscape shots that are just flat to someone who hasn’t been there. Sometimes a single person can add the perspective and sense of space that allow the viewer to connect with the reality of the location.

    Second, photos you shoot and photos you post don’t have to be the same thing. They shouldn’t be. I would encourage people to take all the photos of people doing silly things and selfies you want. Document your personal experience and reaction to an incredible place. Learn how to master taking that perfect steel wool shot. You should be enjoying the time you are shooting! Then decide later which photos the rest of the world would care to see and post those.

    I agree that there are a ton of repetitive photos on Instagram of a person in front of a waterfall etc, but that tiny 3-inch photo would be passed by even faster without them. I would never discourage someone from doing the same if they had the opportunity. Take shots with and without people. Maybe they’re not needed on huge 4-foot print, but people grab the eye on social media and add perspective to the situation.

  2. Then there’s the long exposure waterfall effect. Now that you can sort of do it with a cell and hone everyone is going to do it even more.

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