Tuesday Painterly Artist – Kelly Schneider
PPA – Photographic Craftsman & Certified Professional Photographer
The work in these Painterly Posts are usually a bit more on the obvious painting side using the digital tools we have. Today’s artist is one I’ve been following for a while and while it is not specifically a painting style the work in my opinion transcends photography into a realm of it’s own. I’ll leave you to decide… Let me know what you think of Kelly’s work.
Elegant Shades of Red © Kelly Schneider
Kelly got his start while traveling in the US Navy starting a business called Captured Journeys Photography. He shares, “Initially, I knew so little about photography and anyone doing it that I was not influenced except that I wanted to get great images! After a few years, I realized that if I was ever going to really grow my game and produce good work, I needed to invest in my craft and my skills. That is when I started looking at true professionals who were masters. I realized I knew next to nothing!” Schneider notes an early influence for stepping up his game was Trey Ratcliff of Stuck in Customs fame.
A True Professional
When asked what makes a true professional photographer Kelly said, “I think being a true professional has little to do with how many hours or if it is a full-time thing. A true professional is someone who has dedicated and committed themselves with all facets of a skill or craft and invested in both time and resources to grow and develop their knowledge, skill, and ability to be recognized for their work. Being a true professional and doing it full time is another layer. It is just a measurement of how much time you are doing it, not how much of a master you are while doing it.”
KS Fine Arts Portrait
Changes in Photography
Changes in professional photography are coming fast and furious and while Kelly recognizes the single most impact in photography comes from those photographers who can leverage the changes. “The single most impacting element in learning photography (outside of the core ability to “SEE” light and render wonderful and powerful images, is the capacity to learn and use more complex and advanced technology in your photography.” According to Kelly. “Those who have a natural and gift for awesome photography will find themselves fading into the “non relevant” layers of photographers if they don’t embrace and learn how to bring new and exciting technology into their game. From the expanded things a photographer can do with such little effort with lighting and tech, is making it harder and harder to separate yourself from the over 44 million practicing photographers in the USA.
Elegant Stylized Portrait © Kelly Schneider
To be Continued
I’ll continue this post with Kelly next week when we find out why Kelly teaches other photographers his techniques and where he sees photography going in the next ten years…
Born and raised in Coronado California he joined the US Navy in 1980 and served for 29 years. During his US Navy travels including 137 countries, he began “capturing” life around him. In 2010, Kelly began his pursuit of professional portraiture, growing and developing his skills in creating “salient” portraits focused on weddings portraiture and boudoir.
Over time, Schneider has become passionate about teaching others. He earned a Master’s degree in Human Systems Integration from the Navy Post Graduate School in Monterey California. He completed the Executive leadership course at both UC Berkeley and Duke University and is a MDPPA Board of Directors member for 2019.
Kelly and his wife Kalina (also a gifted photographer and active PPA member/Maryland PPA member) have been hosting workshops both in the US and in Europe. Kelly Schneider Fine Arts ksfinearts.com focuses on Boudoir and Fine Art portraiture and workshops.
Schneider is writing his first book “The Salient Portrait – the science behind it and how to achieve it” and it is a core element of all his workshops and training events. He earned the Best Portrait of the Year award in 2017 for MDPPA and Best Portrait Photographer for the State of Maryland for 2017 and 2018 and Wedding Photographer of the year for 2018 as well as earning two Fujifilm Masterpiece Awards in 2019.
Kelly is married Mrs. Kalina Schneider from Katowice Poland. Kalina and Kelly currently call Accokeek, MD home with their two kids – a beagle and a terrier!
Tuesday painterly Photo Art – Karen Sperling
Karen’s exquisite work speaks for itself. I’ll let her tell ‘the rest of the Story.’
“My mother was an artist and my father enjoyed photography, so I’ve been painting and taking photos for as long as I can remember. But I never actually finished anything because I was never encouraged to paint or take photos. So I majored in English in college and after graduating, I worked as a writer and an editor for newspapers, magazines and book publishers, including McGraw-Hill. But I never forgot about art and photography. I minored in art in college and continued to dabble in painting and photography through the years and spent a lot of time in museums and galleries.
© Karen Sperling – Photo © Kevin Kubota
“Little did I know that I was creating the perfect skill set for writing the first Painter manual, a gig I got through networking in the New York Mac Users Group in the late 1980s. And I’ve been writing about and teaching Painter ever since.
I never thought of myself as an artist and in the early days, I featured the work of other artists in my Painter tutorials, classes, and books. In 2001, after my talk at the national PPA convention, the editor of PEI, a magazine that was later folded into Professional Photographer Magazine, invited me to do an article about creating my art in Painter. When I said I didn’t paint, she said, “You could do it.” And I did! A little encouragement went a long way, and I use this experience daily teaching photographers to paint. I honestly believe if you think you can paint, you probably can, and I’m here to encourage you to try. It’s amazing how much you can do when someone whispers in your ear; you can do it.
© Karen Sperling -Photo © Karah Sambuco
“My involvement with Painter has opened doors that I would never have imagined. In 2003 I started to paint commissioned portraits directly for clients and photographers for their customers. And in 2007 I had my first gallery show in New York of my abstract art. More recently, I was named the exclusively commissioned painter for a TV cover manufacturer.
© Karen Sperling – Photo © Don Ling
“So I went from not thinking of myself as an artist to being paid for paintings, which is why I truly believe if I can do it, you can, with study and practice, and I encourage you to try.
Because of my many years teaching Painter, I have many different painting styles because I’m always interested in showing something new. One of the things I like about Painter is experimenting and inventing new looks and styles. I know having a lot of different styles goes against the grain of most photography experts who say you should promote one style, but I look to Picasso, who had many styles during his career. So we’ll call my style eclectic so that I can keep painting in any way I like at the moment.
© Karen Sperling – Photo © Felicia Tausig
“I find offering different styles helps sell commissioned portraits to a broader base of clients and photographers. I also offer a variety of styles in my books, videos, and classes. I encourage students to try all the different styles I teach. In this way, they can pick and choose elements to include in their own paintings to create their individual style. Too many times, students paint exactly like someone they studied with instead of finding their own voice and vision.
© Karen Sperling – Photo © Don Ling
“If you’ve been thinking about learning to paint, I encourage you to try, and if you’ve been thinking about offering paintings based on your photos to your clients, I urge you to try that, too. And I’m here to either paint for you or to show you how to do it yourself!”
Karen Sperling is an Elite Corel Painter Master and the original Painter expert—she wrote the first several Painter manuals when the software was first invented, and many published Painter books, including her newly published Painting for Photographers Volume 3, currently available at Amazon.
Karen wrote one of the Forewords and was a featured artist in Cecil Wiliams’ book, Painter Showcase.
Karen has been interviewed on radio and in many podcasts, including Michael Coy’s Cashtography.
Sperling has taught photographers to use Corel Painter at just about every venue there is, including the national Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and WPPI conventions, local PPA affiliates and PPA schools. Photographers travel to study with Karen in Los Angeles from as far away as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and South Africa, and from all around the United States, both in classes and individually.
Karen is known for taking complex art and software concepts and boiling them down into easy-to-follow, thorough steps. Her concise, complete books, tutorials, and classes have made painting accessible to photographers who never thought they could paint, but always wanted to try. Karen demystifies Painter’s mysteries and photographers who study with her report being able to sell their works of art to commissioned portrait clients and in galleries for tens of thousands of dollars.
Clients and photographers alike commission painted portraits by Karen Sperling, an artist in her own right who minored in art in college and who has exhibited her paintings in New York and Los Angeles and during Art Basel Miami Beach.
Karen’s fine art and commissioned portraits are held in private collections around the world.
To study with Karen or to commission her to paint portraits for your clients, visit her website:
http://www.artistrymag.com/ Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen’s books at Amazon
Connect with her on Facebook
Subscribe to her on youtube
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob
Tuesday Painterly Photo Art
Angela Blankenship – M.Photog., CPP
Angela came to my attention as a recommendation* from a past featured artist, Heather Michelle Chinn. When I went to look at Angela’s work on her website I was immediately taken with more the painting techniques. Entranced by the pure emotion, I saw coming through in her work got me to get in touch with an invite to the blog.
‘Words of Painterly Wisdom’
The only words of wisdom I have is LEARN, LEARN, LEARN.
I love the movement and family connection portrayed in this portrait by © Angela Blankenship
Seek out someone, or couple people, whose work you appreciate and ask them to help you develop your own vision through the skills they have and can pass on to you. I spent time with some fabulous digital painters, Mona Sadler – Coastal Pet Portraits and Heather Chinn – Heather the Painter, who were gracious enough to help me begin and develop the skills needed to be able to create merited work. I had merited images at IPC within a year of learning to digitally paint.
Before/After ‘Such a Bright Child’ © Angela Blankenship
Nothing replaces one-on-one teaching. I also suggest bringing as many of your ideas and vision to the “teachers” so they can help YOU create YOUR OWN style and art pieces. Tear out images in magazines you love. Hang them on your wall and start to see the similarities in the work to which you are attracted. This can help you notice a style and assist the mentor to guide you in the skills needed.
Heirloom Petite Portrait Before/After ‘Dreamy’ © Angela BlankenshipHeirloom Petite Portrait Before/After ‘Protected’ © Angela Blankenship
I always knew I wanted to create portraits that went beyond a straight photograph. I don’t think I’m fully at my potential, but am thoroughly enjoying the process of getting there, thanks to the help of some giving teachers. I will be forever grateful to them. I remember I got teary-eyed with appreciation after my first lesson with Mona, who taught me basics to get started using Photoshop for digital painting. Heather helped me bring my vision of hand-tinted and styled headshots to life which has brought me clients that I would not otherwise have had along with some excellent sales. These images are sold and marketed under the banner Heirloom Petite Portrait www.HeirloomPetitePortrait.com
Walk in the Woods © Angela Blankenship
Don’t be afraid to ask that special artist to help you develop your work.
www.abphotography.info Angela’s main website
www.HeirloomPetitePortrait.com (my website for the Heirloom Petite Portraits)
Energetic and driven are words that describe Angela. With five kids, 20 years as a full-time psychology professor, Certified Professional Photographer and a Master Photographer degree which was earned in four years, Angela is definitely focused. Angela owns AB Photography, a portrait studio established in 2008. Currently located on the main street of quaint downtown Nashville, NC. She is dedicated to creating classic children’s portraiture.
Angela’s Mentor’s websites
www.heatherthepainter.com Heather Chinn website
www.coastalpetportraits.com Mona Sadler website
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob
* Do you have a recommendation for an artist you believe would be appropriate for this Tuesday Feature? Let me know!
Friendly to the point of knowing no strangers, only friends he has not met.
I’d like to introduce you to Levi Sim of S Designs Photography. He is a truly wonderful human being. But, I’ll let Levi tell you a bit about himself from his web page…
“I’m the Levi who is a Photographer in Lake Oswego, Oregon, previously of Logan, Utah. I’m the Levi who wears hats. I’m the Levi who makes Steve Jobs tribute portraits after the style of Albert Watson. I’m the Levi who grew up in Colorado Springs. I’m the Levi who was a park ranger, soda jerk, lab assistant, curator, adventure guide, foreign English teacher, Taiwan missionary, wood shop manager, buffalo meat company manager, wireline hand, electronics engineer, and world traveler. Did I mention I’m a photographer?”
I have attended a couple photography related events with Levi and I’m always impressed and inspired by my time with him. Here’s a photo I call Levi squared… Story to follow.
We were leading some of the Out of Chicago Conference attendees on a photo walk. Levi is the absolute best person at walking up to strangers on a street and in moments having them pose for his camera. He has such a genuine way about him that people just open up tell their stories and allow him to make their images. While on the street photographing people this man came up to Levi and said, “What’s your name?” When Levi replied he ran down the street, came back with his ID in his hand and said, “I’m Levi too! Can I hug you? Can I put my head on your shoulder?” And of course the photo tells the story… and tells you a lot about Levi.
Want to learn to get over your shyness in asking people you find interesting to pose for your camera. Take a photo walk with Levi. I’m not exactly shy around people but Levi makes me look like a wallflower! He would have people doing almost anything he asked. Many of the people who were on the photo walk said adamantly that they would never feel comfortable approaching a stranger to ask about making a photograph… and most proved themselves wrong and jumped some pretty high hurdles by making it happen.
Total stranger posing on a motorcycle, in traffic, and maneuvering his bike for the background Levi wanted to have behind him. By the time he was done the guy was inviting us to join him at dinner down the street.
Levi workin’ it…
If you ever get the chance to attend a seminar or workshop with Levi you won’t regret it. He also coaches and runs Customized Workshops and speaks at conventions. If you are in charge of photo education for your group Levi is available…
And he gives back, his words again ’cause I can’t say it better.
“Guest Speaking opportunities are also lots of fun for me and my audience. I’d be happy to speak to your school class, or Boy Scout group, or church group, or quilting circle. Call me and we’ll make an appointment–it’s a small way for me to do a little giving back.”
Levi is a photographer to follow and I hope you will give his work a look it’s definitely worth it. https://www.facebook.com/levi.sim on twitter @photolevi
Yours in Photography, Bob
PS – Waking up on my last day at the Out of Chicago Conference I found an envelope from Levi with a note about working together over the weekend… Who writes handwritten ‘Thank You’ notes anymore? That would be Levi…