The Photo Tellers

The Photo Tellers2017-12-19T16:11:45-06:00

Texas School instructors, students and vendors sit down with Bill Ramsey of The Photo Tellers to share their thoughts, tips and stories about Texas School, photography and much more. Check us out!

Featured-Image-dicksonHear Don Dickson’s interview about Texas School on The Photo Tellers radio program hosted by Bill Ramsey.

Don Dickson, Executive Director of the Texas School of Professional Photography, sits in the hot seat today where I ask him, “Why shouldn’t I get my (FREE!) education online?”

Why does Texas School attract attendees from 44 states, 8 countries, 55 instructors, 75 volunteers, 40 models, and $280,000 of equipment (free for the students to use)?

Pour a cup of coffee, click play, and you’ll hear why before you’ve finished your drink.

Gregory & Lesa Daniel are members of some of the world’s most prestigious photographic societies. It started when Greg, a 12 year old kid, suffering an injury that forced him into a Photography class instead of sports.

Stay through the end of the conversation to hear Greg explain how his subject, the gentleman in the photo, “breathed the life of Photography–into ME!”

You’ll also hear how the art world has shaped Greg & Lesa’s work–starting with the difference between an $80,000 artwork and one that’s $4,000.

DonMacAre you “taking pictures” of people, or are you creating “portrait art?”

Is there an actual difference, or is it just a matter of semantics & engaging wordplay? And if there IS a difference, how does it affect the value–and price tag–of a Photographer’s work?

Today’s conversation is part 1 of my talk with Mr. Don MacGregor. Don is the guy who was photographing weddings at 16 years old. His Grandma had to drive him to the venue, then drop him a few blocks away so that the crowd wouldn’t know. Now, 40+ years later, Don rarely photographs weddings. Instead, he loves his work in the “most rewarding and lucrative type of photography.” What type of photography is it? You’ll soon hear.

Before my talk with Don, I’d already scribbled an entire page of notes & questions. The guy has a tremendous wealth of knowledge that he’s generous to share, so make sure you tune into the 2nd half of his conversation.

DonMacHighly-anticipated, much-requested, here is the 2nd half of the conversation with Mr. Don MacGregor!

As I teased last time, today’s conversation begins with Don discussing trends in the industry that “drive you crazy. What dragons do you want to slay?” After that, you’ll also hear about the educational opportunity so amazing that even BEARS attend!
-Do you want to hear me challenge Don on his assertion that the best re-touchers are those who learned in the pre-digital age? It’s here.
=How about a discussion about the value of online vs. in-person education? Got it.
-Would you like to know how to more effectively sell your work? Don will provide his own scripts.
-Did you say you wanted some wisdom from William Branson III, and also Frank Cricchio? Done.

hanlineWouldn’t it be nice to have a “bird’s eye view” of the Photo industry? Mike Hanline, Co-Owner/CEO of White House Custom Color, does.

Mike was kind enough to sit down at Texas School and help us understand:
-What questions should a Photographer ask when shopping for a professional lab?
-How does professional paper print differently than most papers?
-Trends in Photography
-The method that “astute Photographers” are using to stay ahead. They’re not focused on _______, but instead, ________.
-What the clients of WHCC specifically love about White House

Just as you, Photographer, see the same scene differently than another Photographer, your Photo Lab sees your images differently than another Lab. Invest a few minutes to see how White House Custom Color sees your work. They’re glad to print 5 free prints for you.

FrankOften called the “Master’s Master,” Frank Cricchio, photography icon and first person to earn 1,000 merits from PPA, can’t stop studying.

“I study everyday. I get up at 4 and study 2 hours everyday, routinely, 5 days a week.”

Why? and Who, you wonder, are the best teachers for a seasoned Master?  Hear Frank explain why new Photographers are the ideal people to keep us learning. Stay tuned until the end, when Frank explains what every Photographer must do to realize that “success is around the corner.”

FeaturedMediaBoothPro-Do you wish you could book more weddings–without having to negotiate your price?
-Do you photograph events? Are you a Cinematographer?
-Have you dreamed of a portable solution to the Photo Booth? How about a Photo AND Video Booth?

Eric Barry did! He’s a seasoned Wedding & Event Photographer, Head Honcho of MediaBooth Pro, and Eric has a message for you!

Hear why Eric says that the MediaBooth Pro has “been a marketing machine and a deal-closer” for his own photography business. Learn how it sells his weddings for him.

Did I mention that it’s only 16×16 inches and 38 pounds? Did I mention that it captures photos AND video? Did I mention that it’s completely self-contained (no power cords!)?

As if that’s not enough to peak your interest:
-Set up the booth at your event, and then walk away. Guests can operate the booth themselves via touchscreen.
-After shooting their own photos and/or videos, Guests can then email, Facebook, or Tweet the media–IMMEDIATELY on site! And since you’re the savvy business person you are, each of those images & videos will display your logo & hashtags.

Mary Fisk-Taylor and Jamie Hayes are unapologetic: Everything we do in the studio is geared toward making money.”

Jamie is the guy who has always and only worked in Photography. Mary is the former client, now business partner and Photographer. Together they’re Hayes & Fisk Photography. Mary and Jamie specialize in highly-personal wedding photography, portraiture, and commercial projects.

They also take time to train other Photographers in the business and craft. If you’re a portrait Photographer who wants to earn more money, you need to grab a pen and paper for today’s conversation! Here’s what you can expect:

  • How they dovetail shooting and sales
  • Photographing for the sale
  • The key to a great sale=engagement
  • Steps to a great consultation
  • Effective scheduling for profit–making the photographer and the client happy
  • How is sales a part of marketing?
  • 4 categories of products to sell–and where to put the product you want to sell
  • Partnership marketing & why it’s so important. How to do it effectively.
  • Their TX School class: understanding lighting, technical excellence, streamlining lighting & shooting

“If your photography looks like everything in your marketplace, the only thing your client can shop you on is PRICE.” -Jamie Hayes

HomansfeatureAre you a portrait photographer who is intimidated by the prospect of photographing a large family group? If so, you might be neglecting one of the most lucrative photography assignments on the market!

Trey & Elizabeth Homan from San Antonio, TX, join The PhotoTellers today.

What can you expect from this conversation?

-What are the common characteristics of portrait photographers who are doing well in business?
-What are the most common newbie mistakes?
-In growing a business, which road should you take: Shotgun Approach vs. Concentrated Effort?
-How do you work through the burnout phase?“
-Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” How does this advice shape a business?


David Maheu of Backgrounds by Maheu sat down for a quick conversation about the work he’s doing to serve Photographers. Listen in today and learn:

-How a background helps differentiate a hobbyist from a pro
-The history of “painted” backgrounds in photography (they weren’t painted)
-How a Photographer can use a background to influence the mood of his/her work


Today’s conversation on The PhotoTellers is relevant to you if:

-You’re looking for the best BBQ in Kansas City
-You’d like insight into what successful Photographers are doing well (it’s not just the photos)
-You want a few tips on hiring a professional photo lab (or 2 labs!)

Terry Tuggle of H&H Color Lab answers the question, “What is a full-service lab?” Listen in as he discusses the concept of “portrait manufacturing.”

Finally, you’ll hear how to establish a real relationship with your photo lab. And just cause Terry is such a great guy, H&H pays a $50 printing credit for testing their compatibility with new customers. Think of it like this: H&H is paying you to see if you like them or not! Not a bad deal.


Kathy Drake Dabbs celebrates the 20th birthday of her photography studio!

Are you a Photographer who finds him/herself giving away too much work–and therefore struggling to maintain a viable business? Kathy knows how you feel, and speaks directly to you.


The conversation on today’s episode of The PhotoTellers takes us on a wild ride! Thank you, Mr. Ethan Tweedie! If you’re interested in Architectural Photography, or you want to hear an engagement story–you got it! What else?
-An engagement story where Ethan gives a “rock on a rock;” and my marriage blessing on him
-It’s “the most difficult photography I’ve ever done . . . . You’re solving problems the entire time.”
-It’s like “shooting a nuclear reactor outside of a cave.”
-What does it mean to be “pulling the view?”
What was the hand-scrawled message on a faded wall that profoundly impacted Ethan & his career? He still heeds the advice today.
“Be so good, they have to hire you.” How will your craft change if your work was seen worldwide?

millersVinnee McCraken discusses the impact that Millers Professional Imaging is having on the lives of thousands of Photographers.

Maybe you’re a seasoned pro, maybe you’re a part-time warrior, maybe you’re a serious hobbyist. Whatever the case, Millers has a printing solution for you.

Grab a cup of coffee, tune in, and you’ll hear:
-How Millers is unique (hint: insane speed & shipping cost that’s lower than you think. WAY lower. Lower still.)
-What’s new and hot at the lab right now? What new products are Photographers excited about?
-Vinnie’s word of wisdom for ANYONE that wants to succeed in business.

GailfeaturedListen in, and you’ll catch Gail Nogal‘s unmistakable passion for the craft. You’ll also learn how her work ethic has taken her camera all over the world. As if that’s not enough, you’ll also hear:

-1969: 300 guys and only 3 women studying professional photography in college. “I never had trouble finding a darkroom partner.”
The surprising response of female clients in her first job as a Photographer
-Gail’s advice to any female wanting to get into the portrait industry
-Gail’s favorite place she’s visited. HINT: 60 million visitors within 6 weeks
-Her response, without hesitation, to the question, “What is one of the memories in this career that really sticks out?”
Hear the excitement and sadness–and spirit of adventure–that led her through one of the world’s most publicized events.

JohnHIf you’re a student of Photography history, or a child of the “film days,” you’re already arguing with the title of this post. I can hear you now:  “Light Painting is HARDLY new, nor INNOVATIVE!”

True. But let me ask you: Do YOU know anyone who is creating work by light painting?

I do–his name is John Hartman, and he’s today’s guest on The PhotoTellers. By most Photographers, John is known as one of the marketing gurus. Ironic, then, that his conversation delved into the work he’s doing as a light painter–work that has required minimal marketing for him to secure several lucrative jobs.

FeaturedSigmaHe’s a Photographer, an Educator, and Technical Representative for Sigma Corporation of America: He is Ryan Brown!

Ryan was one of Sigma’s representatives on scene at The Texas School of Professional Photography, 2015. We sat down to discuss the impact that Sigma is making in the world of Photography. In our short time we covered a variety of topics, including one very controversial: What is the best BBQ in Kansas City? I also learned:
-That Sigma actually offers over 50 lenses & 5 different cameras!
-About he popular lens for sports Photographers, or anyone who needs weather and dust protection for the lens
-New at Sigma: The Global Vision Series
-For the serious hobbyist/aspiring pro: What is the first lens you should buy after your “kit” lens? What 2 lenses will cover most of the work you want to do?

Featured-Image-Duncan-“We’re in the business of connecting with somebody in a way that other jobs just can’t.” -Cris Duncan

Sip slowly your coffee, portrait Photographer, and listen to Cris Duncan’s reflections on his career.
-Do you wonder if your craft can make a difference in the lives of others? Hear the story of Cris’ most memorable moment in photography . . . resulting in the photo of the beautiful girl below.
-How can you keep a fresh eye for each client? Heed the sage advice Cris learned from the great Tony Corbell.
-Learn the lesson that Cris learned as a first-time Instructor at the Texas School of Professional Photography.

This is a brief conversation, but I’ve been fortunate to hear more from Cris in another episode of The PhotoTellers (6 Things Every Photographer Should Know).

There is much, much more to come.  Stay tuned!

Go to Top