Jack Of All Trades

Photography has always captivated me. But my love affair with the camera blossomed a few years ago when I decided it was time to stop messing around and really learn how to shoot. Back then I thought to myself: Hmmm, how great would it be if one day I could offer photography to my clients as well as design? Most of my professional life I have gone out of my way to work with people who were the masters of their trade. That old phrase: Jack of all trades, master of none plays in my head whenever I see someone who claims to be the best in multiple areas. And sadly, that saying usually rings true. A generalist, not an expert.

Is it truly possible to be good, no… REALLY good… at more than one thing? Times are changing at warped speed in the creative fields. And it seems now-a-days being able to uniquely position yourself is more important than ever. I have been working with words and pictures my entire career so it was incredibly clear to me that this should be a natural progression. All I know is that it certainly feels right on.

One thing that has not changed is good old fashioned word-of-mouth. If anything, I believe a referral means even more these days. Through the referral of a dear friend who has championed this idea of mine from the very beginning, I was offered my first commercial shoot by a company who was more than happy to take their “chances” on me. Tsukihoshi children’s shoes are bright and fun and so were these kids. The shoot was fast and furious and full of adorableness, chaos, smiles, tears, inspiration and perspiration. And let me tell you, working with my own images while designing the catalog (don’t miss the interactive pdf at the bottom of this post) was pretty cool. I can’t wait to do it again!




*Please note, the small shoe images with descriptive copy in the catalog were shot by a studio photographer. The lifestyle images are 100% mine.





A few months ago I entered the VOICE digital print competition. There were 14 categories and the judges (editors and image curators from the photography industry) based their decision on vision, originality, inspiration, creativity and overall excellence. 

My photograph, Venice Beach Serenade, was selected for the Street category. It goes without saying, I am honored to be included in such fine company. You can view a sweet little slideshow of the gallery here. Seriously great stuff. I’m at 2:10, don’t blink or you’ll miss it!


A bit about the photograph: The sun was setting at the beach and the marine layer was rolling in. I had been out shooting with my friend Aurora and we were headed to grab a beer and a bite with some friends. This guy was strolling along the strand singing. He had the most beautiful voice and exuded such positive energy. The light was beautiful. I clicked.

Next month I’m headed to Salt Lake City for Click Away, a 3 day photography conference loaded with educational programming and shooting sessions. The VOICE gallery will also be on display. I’m looking forward to meeting up with some dear friends, some I’ve met before and some for the very first time. We’ve learned and laughed together online for a few years, proving the internet can be a truly wonderful thing.

I hope you are enjoying your summer. I’ve been knee-deep in design work and photography classes. All good. I promise these blog posts will not be as few and far between as they have been. Lots to share… very soon. :-)

On Recognition

There has been a flurry of activity in my little photography world of late. It seems all of the learning and shooting and promoting I’ve been up to is starting to catch some attention. My friends have always been my biggest cheerleaders and I love them for it, but lately my photographs have been recognized by strangers. Yes, people I don’t even know. People who have no obligation to like my work, yet liked it so much they wanted to share it. I coudn’t be more honored.

I’ve always been a big believer in sharing my images. What good do they do sitting on my hard drive? Yes, they bring me joy but I think it’s kinda selfish to keep that joy all to myself. Facebook has always been my go-to place to share, but lately I’ve been having fun with my iPhone 4s (hurry up iPhone 6!) and sharing on Instagram. I’m still trying to figure out Google+ and slowly making some headway. Most recently I’ve embraced Flickr and some of the specialized groups found there… and was totally blown away last week when THIS happened!

Social media can be pretty fabulous, but let’s not forget good old word-of-mouth. I think every single person in my neighborhood has a dog. And through my nightly dog walks I have met many fun and talented people. One such person, a photographer himself, suggested I submit my street photography for a gallery show spotlighting Hollywood photographers. What did I have to lose? So I submitted and was accepted into my first juried group show. It was such a cool experience.


I have been thinking about recognition a lot lately. Being recognized. And how good it feels. I think it’s so important to let others know when they have done something extraordinary. Created something unforgettable. And that got me thinking about the community of creative friends I have and how being surrounded by creativity simply breeds creativity.

To follow is a gallery of images that have knocked my socks off during the past year and I would like to recognize the people behind the photographs. I have watched every single person featured here learn and grow and become incredible photographers. Yet, not a single one of them shoot professionally… just passionately. I hope you enjoy this gallery as much as I enjoyed putting it together. :D



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WIPED  Nikki McAnary

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