Thursday, August 30, 2007

Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Just a quick update - recently I learned some really cool stuff about Adobe Lightroom that I'm looking forward to sharing with you in another post. And the fine art series of prints are growing and we're almost ready to release them. Here's a sneak peak at a few of the new images I'm adding to the collection. Let the good times roll! Be blessed and keep shooting.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A little "Lagniappe"

In the Louisiana French-Creo language there is a funny sounding word that is pronounced "Lan-Yap" and it means "a little something extra." But, to Louisianans it is more endearing and is often translated as "here's a little something extra special just for you!"

The best way to describe it is that it is like before eating a great bowl of Gumbo you're told to take your shoes off. "Why do I have to take my shoes off" you might ask? Because, the Gumbo is so good that you will have to take your shoes off just so you can wiggle your toes while you enjoy it. That's Lagniappe!

Because of this wonderful thing we call the "Internet," I have had the privilege to meet some of you in person and am getting to know many of you as friends and people I love. So, in the true Louisiana tradition I just wanted to say "thank you" for all of your support and encouragement. And, here's a little "Lagniappe." Be blessed and keep shooting!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tag! I'm it...

Have you ever heard the phrase "Be careful for what you wish for because you just might get it?" Literally, just a few days ago I mentioned to a friend of mine that I would love to be blog "tagged." Well, today I was tagged! How cool is that?

The way this works is that I have to share 8 things about me that you may not know and then "tag" 8 more people. So, here we go!

1. At one time in my life I was a Nuclear Weapon Specialists. And "no" I don't glow in the dark - anymore ;-)

2. I was a member of a song and dance group called "Special Occasions." We use to travel to sing and dance at a host of venues throughout Louisiana.

3. I was a member of a national award winning Acapella Choir as a baritone.

4. Lived in Germany for almost 5 years and use to speak fluent German.

5. I've been in and out of Martial Arts for at least 12 years.

6. I know it may sound cliche' but Jesus is the center of my joy!

7. Before deciding to attend college I auditioned for Disney World.

8. I was the Master of Ceremonies for 2 Greek "Step Shows" in College.

I am tagging:

Scott Robert
Frank Amodo
Kenny Kim
Taslim Sidi
Chris + Lynn
Kimberly Bee
Erika Verginelli
and Me Ra Koh.

The super-talented, super-gifted and super-beautiful friend who tagged me has also been very encouraging and helpful in pursuing my infrared photography. So, as part of this "tag" I wanted to share one of my new gems early just for her.

Don't forget to checkout the really cool people I've tagged. I promise you that you'll enjoy visiting their blogs and learning more about them and their unique creative gifts. :-)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I didn't even know...

For those of you who are familiar with the photo community, you've at some time "ran across" the "Explore" page where images are chosen from among all of the images to highlight as "Most Interesting" to view.

Well, while surfin' the 'Net I discovered that 7 of my images had been featured in's Explore section on their homepage. I didn't even know that of the millions of images at that one of mine, never mind a total of 7 of my images, were featured on their homepage. That means that on 7 separate occasions one of my images were featured like the wonderful portrait above of the little girl and the huge lollipop.

Wow, what an honor! There are some truly AMAZING photographers at and to have some of my work featured prominently among them is a humbling experience. And although 7 of my images have been featured, there are still 5 among the pool of 500 in the "Explore" section for viewing. It is always special when fellow artists take the time to acknowledge and honor your work.

Gotta run, covering a special family event today but maybe I'll share some of the honors I've won over at in another post. Thank you to all of the wonderful artists at for encouraging me from the very beginning and supporting my photography. Be blessed and keep shooting!

(This is the cool banner you can create to highlight the images that have been featured in the "Explore" section on their homepage. Pretty cool huh?)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Summit (Recap)

Well, the Willow Creek Association Leadership Summit is over. And, I can honestly say that it was a life-changing experience. I know that sounds cliche' but it is so true in regards to this event. I've been blessed to work with some of the top corporations in the Nation, travel to first-class trade shows, and participate in state-of-the-art visual experiences. But, I've never experienced anything like this past Leadership Summit.

So much so that I walked away with 5 DVDs, 1 CD and plan to purchase several more. I can't help myself, I've been listening to Pastor Bill Hybels all day and can't get enough. I'll share more as I reflect on what I've learned and what God shows me throughout the week, but something was awakened inside of me that had been dormant for far too long. Something was resurrected and I feel alive again in ways that I haven't in a long time. What a blessing! And, who would have thought that something deep inside of me would be resurrected through a Leadership Training Summit? Bill Hybels and the entire staff at Willow Creek. And I pray that God continues to bless them richly for the "seeds of resurrection" that were planted among the 100,000 people who participated in this incredible event!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Summit

Wow, that's all I can say! Today was the first day of the Willow Creek Association Leadership Summit and it was incredible! This was the first time that I've had an opportunity to hear Bill Hybels speak and it was truly an experience. Plus, he taught on the power of vision - my favorite subject!

We attended the event at Community Christian Church which was one of the remote locations in our area. Everyone was so helpful and friendly plus the remote location was so well organized that you truly felt like you were at the broadcast location. In fact, Community Christian Church has a wonderful facility that includes a cafe with free WIFI, meeting rooms and classrooms.

IHMO the "breakout" speakers were Marcus Buckingham and Carly Fiorina - in addition to Pastor Bill of course. I'll share more about the summit in another post but if you're interested in seeing more of the conference check out their gallery. Be blessed and never stop dreaming!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Day Dreaming

Happy Tuesday! On my way to bed as I have to get up early tomorrow. Have a blessed and empowered day!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Thinking Big!

Recently, I had the opportunity to chill out at the local Lamborghini dealership and I have to admit that the experience was an eye-opener. I'm a Ferrari man but have always found the Lamborghini's styling world class. And, only at a Lamborghini dealership will you find Bentleys, Aston Martins, Mercedes, Porches and Jaguars for sale as "used" cars.

As I was checking out all of the cool automobiles I started thinking - there are a lot of these $250,000+ automobiles for sale. I don't know why but for some reason I thought that there were a limited number of cars at these prices. But, the reality is that there is no lack. I know we've been taught that there is a limited supply and we have to fight one another to get our little "piece of the pie." But, that isn't the truth!

According to Dr. Dennis Kimbro's book "What Makes the Great Great," there is a new millionaire made in America every 18 hours. Now, that statistic is a little dated as it was before the dot-com crash. But, the fact still remains that we have been blessed to be placed in the wealthiest nation on the planet. Nowhere is it easier to create wealth and personal financial freedom than in America. So, why do some people become Billionaires and others seem to struggle? I believe it begins with faith, knowledge of your covenant rights as a believer, and the way you think.

I am reading a phenomenal book called "Think Like a Billionaire, Become a Billionaire" by Scot Anderson. The whole book is based on Proverbs 23:7 ("As a man thinks, so is he") and over 400 hours of research focusing on people who've accumulated great wealth. And, in the process Scot went from a net worth of $250,000 to over several Million in just one year. In a nutshell, here's what he discovered:

We look for ways to spend money. Billionaires look for ways to invest money.

We invest just a little. Billionaires realize investing is the key to abundance.

We think a better job will make us wealthy. Billionaires know that a job will never make them wealthy; investments will.

We stay away from risks because we might fail. Billionaires know if they don't take risks, they've already failed.

We try to avoid problems. Billionaires see problems as opportunities to make millions.

We prepare today for today. Billionaires prepare today for the opportunities of tomorrow.

We waste time. Billionaires see time as their most valuable asset.

Now, you may be saying, "Look Sam, I don't want a Bentley or to be a Billionaire. Personally, I think that's a waste of money." I understand. But, may I ask you a question that Scot put to me when I met him? Can you imagine what you could do for the Kingdom of God with the tithe off of one Billion dollars? That's one hundred Million per year you could use to support the work of God throughout the world.

I have to admit that Scot "got me" with that one. One of my life's goals is to provide clean drinking water for all of India. Another life's goal is to provide first-class, state-of-the-art dental and eye care for remote parts of Africa. Those are BIG dreams that are going to require BIG money to make them come to pass.

Just think about the churches you could build debt-free, the Missionaries and their families that you could support, the hundreds of kids you could send to the school of their choice debt-free for four years or more, the thousands of people you could provide medicine and health care to, the hundreds of state-of-the-art schools you could build, the list goes on and on.

Yes, we will need to use our faith and ask God to multiply what we have just like He did with the 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. But, when I really started thinking about what I could do, with God's blessing, and with that level of wealth, I found I really started thinking BIG.

I didn't plan on writing all of this; just wanted to show you some of the cool cars that I played with over the weekend. But, this is what rose to the surface. And I hope that this post will challenge your way of thinking and maybe, just maybe, motivate you to believe God to do some really BIG things in your life. Just something to think about. Be blessed and keep shooting!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Another Photographer I Admire

Every once and awhile an artist comes along who's work is so strong that you can't help but want to emulate them. Over the past several years I've been following the work of one such artist. Her name is Leah and in my humble opinion she is one of the best children's portrait photographers in the nation.

I know those are strong words, especially given the extreme talent level of the photographers that I admire. But, there is truly something unique about Leah's approach to photographing children that simply sets her apart. If you've ever visited my gallery you've read my comments where I credit Leah for changing the way I photograph children.

When you view her galleries you will find yourself literally looking into a window that she has found a way to open that let's us see into (and in some cases reminisce about) the natural curiosity, joy, play, imagination, sense of wonder and "raw" emotions of being children discovering the world around them.

I could use every adjective in the Dictionary to describe her work. But, what really sets her apart is that she is so humble, giving and caring. She's probably tired of answering my myriad of questions. But, if she is she never shows it and is always encouraging and helpful. And that means that she's not just a special artist, but she's a very special person too. May I have the privilege of introducing you to the wonderful work of Ms. Leah Zawadzki.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The trials of nature photography

If you enjoy photographing the beautiful outdoors then you've encountered the inevitable obstacles associated with Mother Nature. I have to admit that I've been blessed as I haven't had to deal with any of these obstacles until last week.

While positioning myself to capture a landscape image for an infrared print, I inadvertently dropped my lens cap onto the bridge where I was standing. Despite the tiny openings between the planks of wood, my cap fell into what looked like a Louisiana swamp. Normally, I would have left it and purchased a new one. But, for some reason my cap floated on the water surface. And being the brave and rugged outdoors man that I am, I felt compelled to find a way to rescue it.

After several attempts to reach it with my hands and sticks I decided to "walk on the water" and grab it. Well, I didn't walk on the water like Peter but after bending a bunch of the tall grass and weeds into a make-shift bridge I was able to save my little buddy.

So, if you are one of the few intrepid souls interested in braving the hostile, dangerous, and treacherous environment of your local park, then prepare yourself mentally and physically to face the trials associated with nature photography. Have a blessed day!

After a little CPR my buddy is OK.

This is what I had to walk through to save my trusty lens cap. Ah, the things we do for love.

Look who was hiding in the tall grass waiting to greet me upon my return. While changing lenses to capture this little guy I dropped my rear lens cap on the wooden bridge where I was standing. And, despite the too-small-openings-for-a-huge-rear-element-lens-cap-to-fall-through, my cap fell into what could only be described as a black hole of dirty water. But, looking at this young white tail deer chillin' in the grass, this image is an added bonus that made it all worth while.

And now the reason I braved the elements and battled with Mother Nature - here's a few gems that were uncovered from spending some time in the great outdoors (Well, it was actually a local park but for a city fella like me it was like the Alaskan wilderness. OK, I'm joking - well, kinda ;-).