A Smooth Sea Never Made A Skillful Sailor

With everything going on in the world, it’s easy to think we are all in the same boat … except, of course, we’re not … but, we are all in the same storm.

The COVID-19 pandemic storm has swept across every continent, every country and every city interrupting our lives and economies like never before.

As U.S. Navy Rear Admiral (Ret) Robert J. Bianchi stated, “A Smooth Sea Never Made A Skillful Sailor”. It’s only when we face new challenges and overcome the obstacles imposed on us, that we learn new tactics that will help us face any challenge head on.

How you navigate this pandemic storm will determine how skillful a sailor you will become to navigate future storms.

So, once this storm passes, what will you have learned? What long lasting changes will you make in your life? Will you –

Embrace New Habits?

We have all become accustomed to regular hand washing and social distancing, so will you make these a habit? Just because a vaccine will eventually be found for COVID-19 doesn’t mean we won’t be exposed to the flu, colds and the next round of COVID. Will you continue to carry hand sanitizer to the bar, store or wherever and wash your hands more often?

Begin Saving For More Stability?

If we haven’t learned anything else, it’s that we can no longer always count on a paycheck. Yes, the global lockdown from COVID-19 may be a once in a lifetime event, but that doesn’t mean something else may just as easily disrupt our lives. Will you begin to save to create more financial stability?

We can all learn from each other, so …

Post a comment below letting us know what new habits you are planning on continuing!

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Rick Cooper has been ‘Capturing The Art of Living’ as a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

An Architectural | Commercial | Design | Lifestyle Photography Studio

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography

Think Of The Possibilities … Then Tell Yourself You Can

When I was in the sixth grade, my teacher gave our class an assignment that I simply couldn’t get my head around. I was convinced I couldn’t complete it. Now, I don’t remember the assignment but I remember to this day what my teacher said to me and it completely changed the way I think about things. Her name was Joanne Spain and when I told her I can’t complete the assignment, her message was simple – “Ricky, do you know the definition of ‘can’t’? It’s ‘CAN’ that’s ‘NOT’ going to do it”.

In other words, Ms. Spain taught me to think of the possibilities if I tell myself “I can” instead of “I can’t”. How many times have you wished you could do something, but thought you couldn’t do it? Maybe it’s becoming an artist whose work is exhibited

Copyright © Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved

or performing with a local orchestra

Copyright © Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved

Whatever it is and regardless of your age, you can do it, you just have to convince yourself that you can.

Think of the possibilities!

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Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

An Architectural | Commercial | Design | Lifestyle Photography Studio

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com

Copyright © 2020, Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography

Street Photography – Would You Want Your Photo Taken By A Stranger? Then Why Do You Think A Stranger Wants Their Photo Taken By You?

Whether you are on vacation or simply walking with your camera, you will inevitably find yourself photographing people you don’t know. After all, it’s only natural to want to photograph everything around us and post it social media, especially when we are in new surroundings or a foreign country. However, you should always remember to respect a person’s privacy and follow a few rules.

First and foremost, take a moment to ask yourself, “Would I want my photo or photos of my children taken by a stranger”? “Would I prefer the person ask my permission first”? Your answer to these two questions should guide your actions.

Always Try To Get Consent

Granted it may not always be possible, but try to make contact with the person first. It may simply be eye contact or giving a signal that you would like to take their picture. If they nod ‘yes’, then you are good to go. This is a photo I took of a street vendor in Moscow, Russia who was more than happy to have her photo taken with her dolls.

Copyright © Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.

On the other hand, if they wave you off or signal no, then move on. I was recently covering an event as a member of the press and had one gentleman put their cell phone camera directly in front of my camera just as I took this photo. Even though he laughed when he saw this image, I still took that as a clear ‘No’!

Copyright © Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Share The Image With Your Subject

Take a minute to show the image to your subject. You may be surprised to find their willingness to help you make it better. Below is a photo I took of the owner of an outdoor eating establishment in Busan, South Korea. The gentleman spoke no English and I spoke no Korean. I pointed to my camera and then to him. He smiled and nodded yes. Afterwards, I walked over and showed him the image. To my surprise, he waved his finger no and motioned for me to wait. He then came back wearing a new jacket and carrying a heating stone for one of the table cooktops. The retake was much better than the initial photo!

Copyright © Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.

A Word About Photographing Children

Children are always fun subjects to photograph … but don’t do it without first getting written consent from a parent or guardian. If you plan to photograph a child and publish or post the image to social media without first getting written consent, you may face legal problems. Not only are you exploiting the child, but there may be very real issues that you may not be aware of. I have photographed a number of children in all age groups for a State of Florida foster care/adoption agency and many of those children had been exposed to drugs, physical or sexual abuse and other unbelievable treatment resulting in their parents not only being arrested, but the courts revoking all parental rights leaving the child in the custody of the State. Publishing a photo of that child to social media could not only jeopardize the child’s safety but could put you in legal jeopardy as well.

Know The Privacy Laws

Privacy laws do exist and can vary by country! Unless the image will be used for editorial purposes, you will often need written consent before you can publish a photo of an individual – even to social media. Again, this is especially true for children. You can find Consent Requirements For Photographing People In Public Spaces By Country here.

For releases, I use Easy Release an app available for iPhone and iPad. The format and language is accepted by most major photo agencies. Additionally, it gives you both model and property releases in 13 languages.

Final Thought

Always be respectful and consider how you would want to be treated if you were being photographed!

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Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

An Architectural | Commercial | Design | Lifestyle Photography Studio

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com

Copyright © 2020, Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography

Court Rules Photographer Gave Up Exclusive Licensing Rights By Posting On Instagram

14 April 2020 – Eriq Gardner reported in an article for today’s The Hollywood Reporter, that U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood ruled a professional photographer who posted an image on social media, lost copyright infringement protection.

Stephanie Sinclair, a professional photographer whose work has been featured in The New York Times, Time magazine and National Geographic uploaded one of her photographs – an image of a mother and child in Guatemala – to Instagram. When the news site Mashable used the image by embedding her Instagram post in its story, Sinclair claimed copyright infringement. The judge ruled that when Sinclair uploaded the image to Instagram, she had agreed to Instagram’s Terms of Use when creating her account. Those terms granted Instagram “a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty free, transferable, sub-license, worldwide license to the Content”.

The Judge wrote that because Sinclair “uploaded the Photograph to Instagram and designated it as ‘public’, she agreed to allow Mashable, as Instagram’s sublicensee, to embed the Photograph in its website”.

You can read Eriq Gardner’s full article in The Hollywood Reporter here.

If you are a professional photographer, this ruling by Judge Kimba Wood with the U.S. District Court in New York should concern us all. And, always fully read any social media’s terms and conditions before uploading your copyrighted work!

Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

An Architectural | Commercial | Design | Lifestyle Photography Studio

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography

The Easiest Way To Always Keep Your Camera Lens Clean

Are you still carrying around a dirty lens cloth to clean your DSLR/SmartPhone camera lenses, binocular lenses or other optical items? Well, there is a much easier and more convenient way to make sure your lenses are free from scratches, dirt, fingerprints, grease and oils.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a review of the LensPen® which, in my mind, is the ultimate tool for photographers. I thought it would be helpful to again share the review and provide a few updates to the LensPen® product line.

The LensPen® is exactly what its name implies – a pen similar to a ballpoint that, at only 4.25in/11cm long), fits easily into your pocket. It has a handy retractable brush on one end and a non-liquid, LCF invisible carbon cleaning tip designed never to dry out on the other end (the cleaning tip is slightly concave to match the slightly convex shape of a lens).

I have carried one for over six years and at USD $12.95, it is one of the best investments I have made.

If you only use a SmartPhone, LensPen® now offers the CellKlear™, designed specifically for all smart devices (USD $9.99). If you fly drones, check out the Ultimate Drone Bundle ($42.95).

LensPen® is available worldwide. You can check out their entire product line here.

Do you like photography? Let’s connect on Instagram

Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

An Architectural | Commercial | Design | Lifestyle Photography Studio

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography
Copyright © 2020, Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved

Five Free Meditation Apps To Help Reduce Stress

With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping many of us staying at home for long periods of time, perhaps unable to work or working under a great deal of stress, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of what’s going on inside and outside our bodies. Here are five free apps available for download on Android and iOS that are sure to help you reduce stress and relax!

*Initially shared by Pure Wellbeing

Headspace logo

Designed to help you train your mind and body for a healthier, happier life and get the most out of your day, Headspace can be used anywhere. The free version of the app includes meditations and exercises led by Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe that will teach you the essentials of meditation and mindfulness. 

Named an ‘Independent Best Buy’ and featured on The Ellen Show and The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, a recent Headspace user review states: “After a few days with guided meditations I could really notice a difference in my way of handling stressful moments.”

Available for download on Android and iOS

Calm logo app

Described by a user as “a truly life-changing app”, Calm is the perfect meditation app for beginners (there’s a seven-day beginner’s programme to get you started) but also includes programmes for more advanced users.

The short, guided meditation sessions cover the basics of mindfulness and there’s also a library of soothing nature sounds and scenes to use at your leisure. One great feature if you’re looking to improve your sleeping patterns is the ‘Sleep Stories’ – bedtime stories for adults ‘guaranteed to lull you to sleep’. 

Available for download on Android and iOS

AURA

Aura app logo

If you’re after a personalised meditation experience, Aura could be the app for you. Described as a ‘new kind of mindfulness app’, Aura learns about you by asking questions. You then receive a daily three-minute mindfulness meditation based on your answers.

Compatible with the Apple Watch and loved by Apple (#1 New Apps We Love), Aura is designed to help you control your stress and thoughts better to reduce stress and increase positivity. A recent user review said: “It helps me take a step back from my busy schedule and to calm my nerves.”

Available for download on Android and iOS

STOP, BREATHE & THINK

Stop breath think app logo

Another app offering a personalised meditation and mindfulness experience is Stop, Breathe & Think. According to Cosmopolitan, this app has ‘stand out’ customisation tools that deliver meditations based on your current emotions and feelings. 

A recent study saw a 22% decrease in users feeling anxious after just 10 short sessions. Winner of the 2017 Webby People’s Voice Award for Best Health App, a current app user described Stop, Breathe & Think as a “great app to begin a new meditation practice or strengthen an existing one.”

Available for download on Android and iOS

INSIGHT TIMER

Insight timer logo

Described by the Independent as “a social network for meditators”, Insight Timer lets you share and discuss your mindfulness experience with like-minded people around the globe. Community groups include Beginners, Transcendental Meditation and much more, plus there’s a packed library of guided meditations led by the world’s top mindfulness experts and meditation teachers.

Winner of TIME magazine’s Apps of the Year, a recent user had this to say: “Fantastic app! Helped me get back on track with meditation. Huge variety of meditations, talks & support.” 

Available for download on Android and iOS

Staying healthy, both physically and mentally, is important to developing a stress free life. It’s never too late to meditate!

Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).


An Architectural | Commercial | Design | Lifestyle Photography Studio


Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography
Copyright © 2020, Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved

It’s One Thing To Stop Touching Your Face … It’s Another To Stop Touching The Things That Touch Your Face!

The coronavirus is here, and it’s showing no signs of letting up. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to keep your hands clean and off your face, but it’s hard to maintain constant vigilance.

Keeping your phone sanitized is another smart way to keep germs off your fingertips. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers your phone a “high-touch surface,” which could make it a carrier of the virus.

But cleaning your phone is not as straightforward as it might seem. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies, delicate glass and intricate protective cases.

1. The Don’ts …

Any sort of moisture can interfere with your phone’s function. Apple recommends that people avoid using spray cleaners or heavy-duty products. No bleach, no aerosol sprays. You need your phone to work, even if you want it clean.

Also — and this probably goes without saying — don’t dunk your phone into any sort of liquid, anti-bacterial or otherwise. It won’t end well for either of you.

2. The Dos…

A gentle wipe with a product that has 70 percent isopropyl alcohol will do just fine. Apple recommends Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, and the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention. says household disinfectants registered by the Environmental Protection Agency are effective.

Wear disposable gloves to clean and wash your hands thoroughly after you’re done. Like your phone, reusable gloves might harbor virus particles, rendering them effectively useless.

And don’t forget your phone case. Wipe it down, in and out, through and through. Let it dry before reassembling it.

You might also consider changing a bit of your behavior by sharing photos through texts, instead of passing the phone around, and using devices like headphones and technology like Bluetooth to keep your phone away from your face.

Why?

This might be the best thing you can do all day. This outbreak is fast-moving and research is, by nature, slow to catch up. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control does not yet know exactly how long the virus can cling to a surface, but evidence suggests it could be “hours to days.”

And phones are, well, gross. A 2017 study published in the journal Germs found a host of bacteria, viruses and pathogens on 27 phones owned by teenagers. The scientists wrote that they “hypothesize that this may play a role in the spread of infectious agents in the community.”

After all, safe is always better than sorry.

This story was originally published by Amelia Nierenberg, a reporter with The New York Times. A version of the article appeared in print on March 19, 2020, Section A, Page 4 of the New York edition.

Are you a photographer? Let’s connect on Instagram

Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography
Copyright © 2020, Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.

RegioJet – A Great Way To Travel Within Europe

RegioJet is a rail and bus transporation service headquartered in Brno, Czech Republic. Regiojet serves over 90 European cities.

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel on RegioJet from Prague, Czech Republic to Bratislava, Slovakia.

Based in Brno, Czechia, RegioJet serves some 90 countries throughout Europe and I can’t wait to use them on my next trip.

RegioJet offers four classes of service: Business, Business Quiet, Relax, Standard, Standard ASTRA and Standard Kids. We decided to splurge and book Business Class. Cost? Only €25.9

Praha Hlavni Nadrazi – The Prague Main Train Station

Opened in 1871, Praha hlavni nadrazi is the main train station in Prague, Czech Republic.

Prague’s Main Train Station is a very short distance from Old Town Square and easily walkable. When we arrived at the terminal, we immediately went upstairs to view the Old Train Station Entrance, originally opened in 1871. Although no longer used (the main entrance is now on the lower level), it is something not to be missed. The Art Nouveau architecture with its vaulted dome and stained glass windows is unbelievable.

And, if you’re lucky, you can enjoy an impromptu piano concert from a fellow passenger on the terminal’s free public piano. The music is awesome and fills the entire terminal.

Business Class

Once onboard, we settled into our spacious Business Class Compartment which seats just four people and we were not disappointed! With free WIFI, power sockets for each seat, free bottled water, free Rio orange juice or Bohemia Sekt Brut, Italian Illy Coffee (Expresso, Lungo, Latte Macchiato or Cappuccino), and a choice of either Oxalis or Fresh Mint Tea available throughout the trip, as well as a selection of daily newspapers and magazines (although none in English) all served by a friendly, bilingual RegioJet steward made the four hours to Bratislava go by way too fast. Oh, did I mention everything was included in the €25.9 Business Class fare?

The Experience

Unlike the United States, the rail systems in Europe have been well maintained making rail travel more cost effective, efficient and enjoyable. I sat back in my RegioJet adjustable leather seat with my third – or maybe it was my fourth, but who’s counting – cappuccino while streaming live videos of the quaint villages and rolling hillsides out the window to my social media using the free onboard WIFI. Something I could never do if I was driving or flying. This was certainly a much better (and cheaper) experience than the flight over.

The Verdict

RegioJet simply rocks! In fact, it was one of my favorite parts of the trip. If you plan on traveling anywhere within the RegioJet system, I highly recommend you book your ticket here. The RegioJet experience will not disappoint you – and be sure to send me some of their cookies!

Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography
Copyright © 2020, Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.

How The Heck Are We Suppose To Stay Healthy While Flying?

We have all been faced with catching the flu or a cold while flying, but now we have to deal with Coronavirus! How are we suppose to stay healthy when strapped inside a flying metal canister with several hundred other people and at least two serious viruses circulating at once? Fortunately, there are a few things we can do to at least minimize becoming infected.

First, we need to understand how respiratory illnesses spread. If you’ve ever been around someone who sneezed or coughed, you already know to stay away. According to Emily Landon, medical director of antimicrobial stewardship and infection control at the University of Chicago Medicine, “time and distance matters”. The hospital’s guidelines for influenza define exposure as being within six feet of an infected person for 10 minutes or longer. And, the World Health Organization defines contact with an infected person as being seated within two rows of one another.

But people don’t stay seated during a flight, especially flights lasting longer than a few hours which, of course, means they are spreading germs all around. The good news is there are a few things we can do to protect ourselves (other than simply deciding not to fly)!

Carry sanitizing wipes on board with you (and, yes, they will clear airport security). Repiratory illnesses can be spread through surfaces like airplane seats and tray tables. Viruses can last on surfaces from hours to months, so take a few minutes to wipe everything down immediately after boarding, including the handle on the overhead bin. Purell Wipes ($1.00 for 10 count pack at Dollar Tree)

Carry a few small bottles of hand sanitizer not only for use after using the lavatory, but after walking down the aisle and touching other seats or opening the overhead bin during flight. Be sure to carry a bottle with you once you arrive at your destination. Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer ($1.00 for 2 pack at Dollar Tree)

Don’t place items in the seat back pocket. Besides being filled with anything from used tissues, diapers, and food, studies by Auburn University’s Department of Biological Sciences revealed that armrests and seat pockets are the worst areas to touch since bacteria like E. coli can survive there for days. If you are male, consider carrying the Coach Houston Flight/Messenger Bag ($108.00 at Amazon). Not only will it hold your glasses, cell phone, iPad, tickets and everything else, but it won’t count against your airline carry on limits.

Do not rub your eyes or touch your face! According to Darcy Koch, RN, MSN, manager of health epidemiology and infection for UCI Health in Orange County, CA: “Eighty percent of communicable diseases are transferred through touch” with the T-Zone – eyes, nose and mouth – being the main portal of entry for viral infections.

Book a window seat. According to the “FlyHealthy Research Team” led by Emory University’s Vicki Stover and Penn State University’s Howard Weiss, choosing a window seat and staying put clearly lowers your likelihood of coming into contact with an infectious disease. Window seat passengers had far fewer close encounters, averaging 12 contacts compared to 58 and 64 respective contacts for passengers in middle and aisle seats.

Stay hydrated! Pack a reusable water bottle or once you clear airport security, buy a bottle (or two) of water to carry onboard. Drinking water will not only keep your skin from drying out, but will keep you from drinking tea, coffee or water served on the plane. But, stay away from tap water served onboard and this includes tea and coffee. According to the Airline Water Study of 2019, testing found the presence of microorganisms in the water, including the total coliform bacteria and disease-causing pathogens.

Don’t use the water in the lavatory to brush your teeth or wash your hands. Use your bottled water instead or even better, carry some waterless toothbrushes onboard as well as a small bottle of mouth wash to rinse. Then use your hand sanitizer rather than washing your hands in the sink. Colgate Max Fresh Wisp Disposable Mini Toothbrush – Peppermint ($3.59 for 24-count package at Walmart)

Avoid using airline blankets and pillows! According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, airlines were found to wash their blankets and pillows every five to 30 days leaving passengers with blankets that have already been used several times. Instead, carry your own travel blanket and pillow such as the InfiniteSky Travel Blanket ($18.95 on Amazon)

Consider enrolling in MedjetAssist. If you become hospitalized internationally or domestically – 150 miles or more from home – Medjet will arrange medical transportation to a home-country hospital of your choice for inpatient care. Short-term memberships start as low as $99 and with MedjetHorizon starting at $184, you can add worldwide travel security, crisis response and evacuation services.

Even without the threat of Coronavirus, it pays to be careful. After all, the last thing I want is to be stuck in a hotel room fighting a virus!

Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography
Copyright © 2020, Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.

4 Of The Most Ignored Common Sense Tips When Taking A Camera On Your International Vacation

Considering taking a camera with you on your next big international adventure? Here’s four of the most ignored common sense tips when carrying a camera internationally!

We all want to take the best photos on our trips, but whether you are a professional, an aspiring professional, a serious amateur or simply someone who loves to take pictures, choosing the right camera can make your trip enjoyable … or become your worst nightmare.

When I first began traveling internationally as a photojournalist some thirty years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to carry all the equipment I needed (or, thought I needed). But times have changed … especially with airline baggage limitations and airport security. But first, a disclaimer. This article is not intended for the professional photographer/photojournalist on assignment. Rather it is for those traveling on vacation.

Tip 1 – Don’t Take More Camera Than You Need

Smart phones have come a long way and so have their built in cameras plus you have the advantage of video streaming, instant uploads to social media and Google maps to help you find those great attractions.

Tip 2 – Don’t Look Like A Tourist

In today’s world, it’s especially important not to stand out – especially in a crowd. Having an expensive camera may make you feel like a professional but in reality it marks you as a possible victim.

Tip 3 – Carry Your Camera Onboard With You

Regardless of what camera you decide to take with you, do not pack it in your shipped luggage! Airlines are notorious for mishandling/losing checked bags (not to mention theft). Since you will be limited to the number of bags you can carry onboard, make sure your camera will fit in your carry on or, better yet, make sure it fits in your pocket.

Tip 4 – Don’t Be Stupid

Know when and where you can photograph. Respect notices prohibiting photos. If a site requires that you purchase a photo pass, then buy the pass. The quickest way to be reprimanded in public, tossed out of a site or even have your camera/cell phone confiscated is to disregard instructions. This is especially true in many international airport terminals where armed security does not have a sense of humor.

The key to having an enjoyable, stress free international vacation is to not carry more than you need, be smart, be aware of your surroundings, respect the culture you are visiting and have fun! Keep in mind, that unique photo that may be perfect for your Instagram page may very well be the photo that ruins your vacation.

Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography
Copyright © 2020, Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.

How To Find The Right Real Estate Photographer For You

Whether you are a real estate professional, a vacation rental company or a homeowner, you may not think about the importance of using a real estate photographer to showcase your property when, in fact, it should be high on your list especially since professionally produced images can greatly increase sales and bookings.  But what should you look for?

I have photographed more homes than I can count from studios to multi-million dollar mansions.  I have also viewed more real estate  photos taken from amateurs to professionals than you can imagine.  When it comes to real estate photography, I learned there are a few key qualities in a photographer that can make the difference between making a good investment or a wasting your money.

# 1

EXPERIENCE

Nothing beats experience in any field – and especially as a professional photographer. Before you spend your (or your client’s) money, do some research. Has the photographer been in business for a few days, a few months or several years? Does he or she photograph as a ‘side job’ or as a full-time professional? Commercial photography (that includes architectural, real estate and design photography) requires different skill sets than photographing landscapes, portraits, a wedding or the family pet.  Experience with different properties, lighting configurations, and angles are only the tip of the commercial photography iceberg.

# 2

WEBSITE

Does the photographer maintain a professionally maintained website featuring their work and not simply ‘stock’ photos taken from the web or do they only use Facebook, Instagram or another form of social media?  A well designed website that is constantly updated is vital to any professional photographer especially since this is where their work, experience, contact information and important links can be showcased.  While social media is certainly important, few businesses can survive without a solid website presence.

# 3

PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS

Membership in professional and community organizations is important in every profession. Is the photographer an active member in photography/media organizations that provide continuing education such as the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and/or the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) – two of the oldest and most recognized photography associations in the country.  Is he or she involved in their community and known for their photography?  If not, you should question their long-term commitment to their profession.

# 4

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

While it’s easy to ask friends to leave testimonials on Google, Yelp, Bling and Facebook, these do not necessarily mean they are legitimate client testimonials.  Instead, look for verified testimonials left for the photographer on sites such as houzz.com.  Additionally, the photographer should have testimonials identified by the name of the individual or company who left the testimonial as well as the date it was left.  After all, can an anonymous testimonial such as: “John did a great job photographing my property” that appears on the photographer’s website, social media or marketing material really be considered a reliable testimony?

# 5

COST

You may be asking why I left cost as the least most important consideration.  It’s simply that photography, like most art forms, is subjective as are prices.  For example, someone charging $50 to photograph a 2,500 sqft home is either trying to ‘buy’ the business or simply has no idea what they are doing.  Likewise, a photographer charging $4,000 to photograph the same home may be off the scale as well.  So, how do you determine a fair price?

That takes us back to the importance of Items 1 – 4.  If the photographer has been in business for a number of years, maintains a comprehensive website with numerous projects shown, is an active member in at least one recognizable professional association and has been active in their community, has several verifiable client testimonials, then you can be assured his or her pricing will be competitive.  Your decision then should be left with only deciding if their photography style is what your are looking for.  On the other hand, if you are only concerned about cost without taking into consideration the most important factors that make a photographer a true professional, then you will probably get what you pay for – and that could very well be a waste of money rather than an investment!

About Rick Cooper

Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years. His studio specializes in Architectural, Real Estate, Commercial, Design and Lifestyle photography. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA) and has received the ‘Best of Houzz’ for photography multiple times.

850.319.3033
http://www.RickCooperPhoto.com
RickCooperPhoto@gmail.com
Copyright © 2019, Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.
‘Capturing The Art of Living’℠ is a registered trademark of Rick Cooper Photography

How Not To Delete Images On Your Memory Card!

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT DELETE IMAGES ON YOUR MEMORY CARD USING YOUR CAMERA

ARE YOU USING YOUR MEMORY CARD CORRECTLY?  Jeff Cable, the former Director of Marketing at Lexar, wrote a great post about the use of a memory card that is well worth repeating here:

Most people look at a memory card as a piece of plastic or metal, and they don’t think much about them. But inside those covers, there is a LOT of intelligence. There is flash memory, a controller and much more. The quality of that memory and controller often determines the speed and quality of your card.

Your memory card has something called a File Allocation Table, otherwise known as a FAT Table. Think of your memory card a a book and the FAT Table as a Table of Contents. When you format a memory card, you are not actually erasing the card, you are just clearing the FAT Table.  In other words, you have removed the Table of Contents, but the chapters of the book remain and all the images will remain on your card until you shoot more and overwrite them. This is why you can use a program like Lexar’s Image Rescue, SanDisk’s Rescue Pro or other data recovery software to recover images from a card even after it is formatted (but before you shoot more and overwrite).

And now for the tips that I am going to write in the order of importance:

  1. DO NOT erase images from your memory card in your camera! Clarification: What I mean by this is: Do not go through your photos and delete them one by one using your camera. I see people (including professional photographers) doing this all the time and it is a REALLY bad idea. Your camera is awesome at taking photos, but it is not very smart at managing the data on your memory card. Deleting individual images from the card using your camera is a great way to scramble the FAT Table. DON’T DO IT!  Memory cards have gotten so inexpensive and large, that you should not have to delete images to save space. Just pop in a new card and keep shooting. Once you have downloaded to your computer, and backed up the images THEN format your card to use it again.
  2. Format your memory cards in your camera, not on your computer. I have seen countless web sites that tell people to format their memory cards on your computer. This is just bad information! You want to format the cards in the camera. And you should do this on the camera you are shooting with. I am currently shooting with the the Canon 1Dx Mark II, Canon 1Dx, Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 5D Mark III, and I format the card in the camera I am using. You are reading this correctly…I do not format in one Canon camera and move it to another. Will they work? Yes, they will. But it could cause issues down the road. Speaking of this, it is not a good idea to pull a memory card out of one camera and put it into another without formatting. I have seen people shooting with a Canon camera, pull the card out and start shooting using it in a Nikon camera. They like to be formatted a certain way and each manufacturer does it their own way.
  3. Speaking of formatting, it is a good idea to format your cards after each shoot. Once you have downloaded your card and have the images IN MORE THAN ONE PLACE, you should format that card before it’s next use. It keep things cleaner on the card.
  4. Use a good card reader! Memory card readers have intelligent controllers inside them, just like the cards! I have seen more cards corrupted in a reader than in a camera.
  5. Don’t pull a memory card out of your camera or card reader when data is being written or read. If data is being transferred to/from the card and that process is interrupted, it is quite possible that you will lose some or all of your photos.
  6. If you have two card slots in your camera, write your images redundantly to both cards to have peace of mind. This way, if one card gets corrupted, you can most likely get the images off the other card.
  7. Purchase name brand memory cards. Make sure that you do not use one of those cards made by a no-name company just to save a few dollars. Remember, you are trusting your images to the card!  Is it worth saving a little, only to find later that your images were corrupted?

These are a few simple tips that could save you from a disastrous situation. There is so much technology packed into these devices, but they are so small and unassuming that it is easy to take them for granted.

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Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

An Architectural | Commercial | Design | Lifestyle Photography Studio

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography

Lonely Beaches … Lonely Planet

While most of the world is restricted to their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I must admit … I’m about to climb the walls. For me, lonely beaches means a lonely planet. Let me explain.

I live directly on the beach, meaning I take 50 paces and I’m in the water. But it also means I’m interacting with water – the lifeblood that makes up 60% of our bodies. Maybe that’s why so many people are drawn to the beach.

But ‘living on the beach‘ and not being able to actually ‘walk on the beach‘ is becoming excruciatingly painful. Even the seagulls aren’t flying as much (I’m beginning to wonder if there are flight restrictions on them as well?).

So, I sit at my computer feeling sorry for myself while going through photos of the places and people around the world that I have been fortunate to visit and meet. Being mesmerized by Duomo Milano in Milan, enjoying way too much paella in Barcelona, enjoying way too much wine on Les Croisette in Cannes, eating way too many pistachios from street vendors in Athens, kayaking in Kaiteriteri, drinking way too much beer with friends in Prague. So, I wonder what my friends are doing in their down time. As we chat online, something begins to come into focus …

While the beaches may be empty, the Piazza Duomo may not be filled with people, the tables at Caffe Roma may be put away, I quickly realize the planet is hardly lonely!

Regardless of which country you live in, we’re all in this together, so …

Stay In, Connect With Each Other and Stay Safe!

Let’s connect on Instagram!

Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography
Copyright © 2020, Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.

‘Capturing The Art of Living’ What My Trademark Means To Me … And Why It Should Mean Something To You

I am often asked about my registered trademark, ‘Capturing The Art of Living’ and what it means.

As a photojournalist, I live to capture through my cameras the heartbeat of life around me. After years of watching people live their daily lives and cope with whatever is thrown their way, I have learned there is truly an ‘art to living’.

Over the course of my career, I have been fortunate to photograph in over 40 countries on five continents and wherever I have traveled, there is one common denominator: people adjust to the climatic and economic environment around them. Whether advantaged or disadvantaged, healthy or disabled, free or incarcerated, we all laugh and cry – children find places to sleep and play even in war torn countries – the disabled become amazing athletes and musicians and the list goes on. In other words, we learn ‘The Art of Living’.

Think a moment about the circumstances surrounding your life. You may be wealthy beyond belief or struggling day by day. Either way, you have found ways to adjust.

Today, we are faced with a worldwide pandemic and a global financial crisis. Sport teams are cancelling their seasons, businesses and schools are closing, travel sanctions are taking effect, and many cities and countries are experiencing mandatory lockdowns. But, regardless of where we live or language we speak, ‘The Art of Living’ will always prevail and my camera will be there to capture it.

Rick Cooper has been a filmmaker, photographer and photojournalist for more than 25 years having photographed in over 40 countries on five continents. Rick is an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and the Professional Photographers Association of America (PPA).

Contact Me
www.RickCooperPhoto.com
www.RickCooperPhotography.com
‘Capturing The Art of Living’ is a Registered Trademark of Rick Cooper Photography
Copyright © 2020, Rick Cooper Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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