Episode 1: Interview with Ken Schultz


KenProfilePic230Ken is the creator of the EasyDSLR Digital Photography Course. He set up a blog on digital photography in December 2010 and helped hundreds of new DSLR buyers with an eBook, “Digital SLR Buyer’s Guide.” After many questions from new DSLR buyers, he realized that a Basic DSLR course was needed to fill the gaps in photography knowledge required to get great photos with a DSLR. After 8 months of production, EasyDSLR was launched (September 2011).

I want to give a huge thank you to Ken for taking the time to chat with us! I consider myself as much a student as the listening audience, and appreciate him sharing his extensive knowledge.

Resources & Links

»Ken was so gracious as to give us a link for the FREE tips. Check them out here: Easydslr.com/easydslrtips

»Ken’s BLOG: DigitalPhotoCentral.com

»More information about his courses: EasyDSLR.com

Ken’s Photography Courses

»EasyDSLR Digital Photography Course for Beginners   (affiliate)

»EasyDSLR Digital Photography Course: Advanced (affiliate)

Phil Steele’s Lightroom Course

»“Lightroom Made Easy” (affiliate)


Read The Full Interview Transcript Here

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Chamira Young: Hi everybody! This is Chamira Young from Zenjoyable.com and I’m so excited for our interview today. Thank you so much for joining us for our Pro Photographer Interview Series, Episode no. 1 with Ken Schultz, Photographer and Instructor. Just to give you a little bit of background before we get in to the interview, Ken is the creator of the Easy DSLR Digital Photography Course. He set up a blog on a digital photography in December 2010 and he’s helped hundreds of new DSLR buyers with his e-book: “Digital SLR Buyer’s Guide”. After many questions from new DSLR buyers, Ken realized that a basic DSLR course was needed to fill the gaps of photography knowledge required to get great photos with the DSLR. After 8 months of production, EasyDSLR was launched in September 2011. So, join us for an interview. Let’s get started.
Chamira Young: I just wanna thank you, Ken Schultz for being with us today. I’m so excited to pick your brain as we learn more about the profession of Photography from a true professional such as yourself. So thank you again for being here with us.
Ken Schultz: I’m glad to be on the show.
Chamira Young: And first of all, I really just want to, I want us to learn about you, about yourself, your background… So tell us how you ended up where you are now as a Photographer and how your background really just led up to that?
Ken Schultz: Okay. Well, I was an accidental photographer coz when I was a kid; I’ve got this really cool little telescopes. It was kinda cheap and everything but I wanted to take photographs of the stars and the moon and everything through the telescope. And I found the only way to do that was to get one of these cameras where you can remove the lens and you actually look through the lens, which is a single lens reflex. So, I ended up getting a second hand – one of those. And then, that’s what got me started with photography coz I just started playing all the cameras and got really interested in taking photos. And the astronomy side kinda got left behind and I experimented more of photography. So basically I’m kinda like a light photographer taking photos of just family trips, and things around the house and whenever we would travel. And then, much later on I got to Marine Mental Biology, I became Marine Biologist as I always been interested in animals and ants as well. And I found out I was taking a lot of photographs probably a lot of both or something coz we actually have to identify the animals by photographs.
Chamira Young: Okay.
Ken Schultz: So I take photographs of the fins of the dolphins, the fin on the top of the dolphin and that we’d identify the particular individuals… and whale tails, we’ll photograph the tails of the whale to identify them. So I was, and also I’ll take beautiful sunsets and ocean’s shots generally because we have these big cameras on board. And one of things that when we are doing that kind of photography is you had to have a really, like it have to be a good camera, but it have to be very basic you couldn’t have a lot of electronics because of the salt air, so I was using a Nikon or Ni-kon as you say here.
Chamira Young: Oh, okay… Yeah.
Ken Schultz: It was just a fully manual camera. So you had to actually set the exposure like the shutter’s speed and the aperture manually all the time. There was no auto mode on this camera it had, it was really basic and will takes slide film. We’ll load slides film in the back and take photos coz that’s the best quality for what we were doing. So I guess the point is that, really, it taught me you know, the basics of photography, like the really cool basics because I couldn’t learn any auto modes coz it doesn’t have any. And then, I’ve used the same camera for taking sunsets and travels so I became quite, you know, quite adept such as setting things manually all the time. And I actually, in a much later on, I’m kinda resistive of the whole digital phase, because I have to take off that slide thing though sliding is really good, kinda resolution and quality. And it took me to 2005 before I finally made a lead to digital next to Canon 5D. I’ve played with cheap ones before but not like a really big quality digital SLR camera… something that could be equivalent or at least better than my slide SLR camera. So, finally when the 5D came out from Canon, okay, this is time to jump in to that… And it was actually at the beginning when I just met my wife or that was gonna be my future wife in Hawaii. And we got married a few months later as it comes – shots meeting. And we decided to go to a wedding business together coz she loved wedding dresses and I like photography… So you know what, you take the photos and do the videos and I’ll do the dresses and all that you know the ceremony stuff… So we ended up for like 3 years doing a wedding business in Hawaii. We were located in Honolulu and my wife would always have an amazing dresses, she got couture dresses from Canada. So it was really really quite an interesting diversion from pre-mental works…
Chamira Young: So, I have to ask, did you know what you were getting into when you decided to dive into wedding photography?
Ken Schultz: No. In a sense of a.. yeah, that was when my learning curve really started because I’ve been, I mean a (commercial) photographer on your own time and suddenly you have to do a wedding… you know the pressure is on. So I still have to learn you know this DSLR cameras and best setting with this camera really quickly. I mean I was fortunate I knew a couple of friends who have done weddings and they gave me some real key tips at the beginning and that really helped. One of the key tips was, you know, what gear to get, and I said yep… This camera, this Canon 5D’s the best on the market right now, that’s what you want for good quality and they suggested some lenses as well. So I got some very good lenses at that time. So then, the learning curve is quick, but I mean, I got there with that lovely bride who’s pretty happy with the packages we did. Thankfully, I decided to find out albums, I actually got the photos and within a couple of days I’ve have them online version of their final album that they could flip through. So, in before they got in any other prints, they’ll see their albums first.
Chamira Young: And that probably wasn’t the whole online album, I guess, phenomenal, probably it wasn’t big as it is. Today, I think it’s kinda expected, at least with the people I talked to, to have an online album that they can look at. But back in 2005, it probably wasn’t as expected I should say.
Ken Schultz: Yeah, I just think that this is much technology and options out there. Coz the one I did I would actually have to, I would use it to be a software that would create the album and then I would upload it to my server. It wasn’t like an online service, actually, you know, this is some real web stuff in the background uploaded to my ftp server and a lap… And then, they’ll send in the links. So it’s very manual.
Chamira Young: Oh my goodness.
Ken Schultz: Im sure now that it’s a ton of options to have that published…
Chamira Young: Yeah, I think we’re a little bit spoiled today. The things we take advantage… yeah.
Ken Schultz: Too much access, like which one would you choose now. And there’s some kind of a trick.
Chamira Young: Oh my goodness.
Ken Schultz: So that was very successful I know. And that, I guess I have to dig deep into how to use DSLR cameras in those wedding days just to learn fast. You know how strict the brides; you need to make sure that the photos are good.
Chamira Young: Absolutely.
Ken Schultz: So I think there were key techniques I’ve learned back then I think that have carried me through. And then afterwards, we actually, or at 2008 the economy was not doing so well and we shut the business down because a lot of our business space don’t have overseas travelers to Hawaii destinations’ wedding. So that kinda slowdown a lot we decided to, okay let’s shut that down and we moved to Montana. So from Hawaii to Montana – a little winter which is quite interesting.
Chamira Young: I’m sure it was a shock.
Ken Schultz: …where we have 17degrees…
Chamira Young: Uh, ah… that’s cold even for me…
Ken Schultz: It’s a shock to the system but at the same time it was stunningly beautiful and that’s… so I never… I was a little bit of town and the stress of having to do wedding photography… I must be honest, coz it was kinda stressful job….
Chamira Young: Were you shooting them yourself?
Ken Schultz: I beg your pardon.
Chamira Young: I’m sorry. Did you have a back-up photographer with you or were you the only photographer at the wedding?
Ken Schultz: Oh, I was a solo…
Chamira Young: Oh my goodness.
Ken Schultz: And towards the end of a… I would absolutely get some of actual photography gigs and then, I would get photos and stick to the albums because that was a little bit a less stress. But when I went over to Montana, still even though I was a little burn out on the wedding photography I still had a, I’m still interested in photography, you know. And Montana actually inspired me to like, get more to the photography coz, such you know, stunningly beautiful country. I kinda like to really live in a place like with a snow on a peak all around, things like that and amazing riddles kinda inspired to get more to the nature photography. And then, around that time, I guess I’m looking at a 2009 in to 2010, these cameras starting to get much chica… all DSLR cameras. So, people keep buying these cameras and their family members and friends starting to buy these DSLR cameras because they’re getting affordable. So, it wasn’t just for professionals anymore. And I’ve started getting lots of questions, coz they knew that I took photos and that. How we do this and what mode is this; and my sister in Australia bought one, and my sister in law bought one… and some friends bought one… So, I get all these crazy stuff and started thinking maybe I should do a video for them and send them to them. That way I don’t ran on the same questions all the time… And then, the more I thought about it… well maybe that’s an option, you know, create a whole course and then, maybe there’s a beginners out there that might wanna watch that. And then, I started looking into online marketing… and just the whole idea would actually create a business online other than doing you know, like a service business. And that’s when I started this whole blog… and I did some surveys to see if there’s any interested in a course on Digital SLR photography. That’s kind had green audience and spend the 8 months generating calls. So, that’s kinda what get me into the teaching side of things.
Chamira Young: Huh! Okay, that’s quite a journey… that’s quite a journey. I know the first wedding that I ever did I had a flu that morning. That the morning in the wedding, I woke and I knew I had a flu and there’s no way you can call the bride and say “Hey, I’m not gonna make it to your wedding today!” But yeah, I made it through and I had a backup photographer. Hats off to you for shooting all those ears by yourself because that is, the wedding is quite a piece to take on… But so now, would you say as far as what you’re currently doing, what you’re currently the most invested in, are you still doing photography shoots or are you focusing on the online courses that you are creating or is it a the mixture of both?
Ken Schultz: I eventually transition more just to do the online teaching now. I mean occasionally if a gig comes up and it’s like, okay, that’s amazing I’ll do that. But like not a few months ago, someone would want me to photograph’s someone, a friend and they wanted a photograph of an apartment they would gonna to sell and because I knew them so I did it… you know, like a quick job just to keep tools and skills sharpen. But to be honest, just the marketing online actually would create more courses as well so that’s really taking up more of my time now. It’s becoming a full time job just teaching online and marketing online. So, what I do now is whenever I go to shoot, it’s for inspiration so that I can either blog about it or finds extra techniques that I can hand over to my current subscribers. So, sometimes I add burnt videos in my, so for current members or have bought my course I’ll add a video in the course. It’s kind of, I don’t do it all the time, but it’s just that, at least, it’s easy to just build on the course all the time so people get this burns. And also I have this new course like am working on a bird photography course. Just for beginners and just the basics, not… I don’t wanna go so deep that you have to be it, you know on a full registration pre-shift.. you don’t have to get a degree in it. So, it’s like okay, for beginners interested in capturing nice photographs of birds; what are the essentials that you need to do that and I think that’s, I have a lot of my members say they’re interested in that. So, what I’ll do is that I tend to go out, just struck through my inspirations like if I see a bunch of birds or like all the full colors now I went on a photo shoot the other day in Fordland and we have this beautiful full colors and you know, just to be, it inspires me to get out with my camera coz I wanna capture some of those you know, gallows and birds. So, I go out and I’ll just shoot them and then I, set up a blog first about it and then, quite often when I do that, my friends would say I quote this photograph of “This mother swallow flying into this little bird box, does she have a baby in?” And I would literally stood there for 20 minutes waiting for her to come at the right angle.
Chamira Young: You know what; I saw that photo in your website earlier today. That was beautiful! Did it have a different progression? Just back on…
Ken Schultz: Yes.
Chamira Young: Oh my goodness.
Ken Schultz: That took 20 minutes of patience to capture that.
Chamira Young: That was stunning!
Ken Schultz: And the rest of tricks too… I actually put it in that blog article…on that little prize, it’s matrix that enable me to catch that, you know, that moment, to that sequence. So when I came close down, well, this should be something useful and then I, you know, created a little mini tip kinda like a mini tutorial online and then, I’ll post it online. But I want to eventually fill that out for a bird course. When I thought about it, I look back with my photographs from, you know, when I’m at beach or wherever, and I have a lot of birds photos and there’s something about capturing a bird either it flies to, you know, you barely haven’t seen very often, you know. And I think a lot of people have that feeling… like oh, how cool bird and now, let’s get them, let’s capture them with a camera… you know..
Chamira Young: One of those universal topics that really catches people interests, you know… So, I’ve worked with a bird’s center for a while and it was before I was into photography. But there is something about birds, you know, even more stunning as when you can actually catch them in a photograph. So… And actually…
Ken Schultz: The colors and the variety and things like that…
Chamira Young: And I do want to give you a chance to talk about your online courses if you so choose and then in the show notes … I want to link to your courses as well… I know you’ve got a quite a few of a mouth there but are there any that you would like to highlight for people.
Ken Schultz: Of my courses?
Chamira Young: Yes.
Ken Schultz: Well, on my online website, I have my EasyDSLR course. And it’s really up to 2 levels: this the basic level – the beginners level which I called Blue Membership, and that already has essentials that you’ll gonna need like: Shutterspeed, the Aperture, Exposure, composition tips and things like White Balance and Depth and Feel just like a crucial tool for that photography’s use to get creative shots, that’s basically it. It’s a concept that is, really separates a lot of Professional from an Amateur photographer, it’s just that you’ll be able to control the Depth and Feel. That’s included in that. And then I have this Basic Flash Tips, not super in-depth but just real, practical flash tips that you can use just with you either you pop up flash or if you have an external flash. And I’m not going to, too much as far like studio light and everything; it’s more of just a flash, simple one unit flash, kind of photographs. And then for people interested, and I have the advance course. Now, on my website, it’s called the Gold Membership, so, you get the blue which is the basic, and then you get an extra six (6) hours of training. And in that, I have a bunch of creative scenarios where you can really takes out the skills you’ve learned from the basic articles. And, actually one thing that I did mention I have a, I created photo triangle and what that is, is just the way of kinda getting a bird’s eye view or method of how will your concepts are connected to create a great photo. And why I thought that was useful coz people can actually have that overview in front of them and see what’s gonna be covered in the course and then later on it becomes a reference. Like ,oh yes, you know aperture fixes the feel and aperture fix exposure, things like that, just like a little chi-chi… So then in the advance, Gold, in the videos, I do like, I have portraits, I have macro-photography, so all is like a little kinda niche photography areas that people might be interested in. TimeLapse, when you create those cool kinda videos from a whole sequence of photos. And then, HDR photography which some people are a little intimidated by its High Dynamic Range…
Chamira Young: That’s getting big now… Yeah.
Ken Schultz: Yeah, now they built in to a lot of cameras… That’s getting easier to do that.
Chamira Young: Yeah, yeah. Even cellphone cameras, which… Im a little bit of a.. You know… You know they have those settings built into some cellphone’s cameras now.
Ken Schultz: Yeah, like the iPhone..
Chamira Young: Yeah… That’s a little… I don’t know… I won’t go in any kind of ramp right now… But, it’s so accessible now, everyone has an iPhone or a cellphone and that’s a whole another story… But, yeah…
Ken Schultz: Yeah… Actually, the thing with HDR, with Digital SLR cameras, there are a lot of times when they are really useful… Like my friend’s at real state photography is taking… Like if you take a photograph inside the room and you have a beautiful view outside the window, without using that technology, you’ll gonna have these either perfectly exposed room or a blown out scene out of the window with all the details… So, that’s a real good example when you use that… But I find that even just travel photography, and just, sometimes landscape photography, I think, like if I’m in say stuck in a nice avenue of trees and there’s like a background’s of sky quite bright relative under the trees, then I’ll take a few exposures and I’ll use that technique because, otherwise, I’m not really gonna capture that range of light.
Chamira Young: Right.
Ken Schultz: Coz it’s amazing what the brain can do or the mind. When you look at the scene, your mind is constantly adjusting and then you take a photograph, one photograph and it doesn’t catch what you really expect.
Chamira Young: Yeah, you wonder why it doesn’t match, yeah.
Ken Schultz: Yeah, she like that technique not. I like it for the fact that it gets closer to you what you have in your mind when you are at that scene. So, that’s my most, that’s how I used it mostly. Some people use that HDR to get that really fruity kinda, electric photos, I don’t really use it for that much. But I mean you can if you have something odd or… I prefer just try catching with the mind that it sees at the time.
Chamira Young: Yeah, I think some situations call for different things. I worked with the magazine where… they, you know… You have a cool shot of a motorcycle for example, and sometimes for the particular article they wanted, like you put it a fruity kind of photo… but other times, that’s not always really necessary. I think it can get overdone to a certain extent but when it use correctly, it can be… it really can be an asset.
Ken Schultz: Yeah. Oh, another thing to… just on the girl course… So, I got to this today, creative scenarios and I’m diving to a bit of editing. Editing and its basic editing and some advance editing and I use, I demonstrate using some free software online as well as Photoshop. And I just recently added a lightning tutorial and it’s just like a real quick lightning tutorial on how to get a real dull scene and really give it a bit of pop to make it more dramatic. And why I added that is because I find I’m using more lightning more and more… It used to be something I thought is interesting and quite how’s gonna fit in my work world coz I’m actually using Photoshop… and the more I dive into it. Actually, I came across a particular course that really helped. It’s by friend, Phil Steele, we kinda promote each other’s courses a bit. And Phil Steele at Steele training has an amazing Liferoom Course and I actually have to watch for myself seriously… Okay, “I need to get to the bottom of this Liferoom, how’s it gonna help me?” and I went to his course, and now, my whole work load shifted so that I still wouldn’t use 80-90% of the time to my process my photos.
Chamira Young: Really!? Okay.
Ken Schultz: Yeah. And I don’t even need something tricky like really… a lot of fixed up maybe find even clams or whatever something then I’ll dive into Photoshop… But now, Life Trick’s are adding more and more tools too.. So, they’re starting to replace more and more of things that I have to, got to Photoshop for. And I found it more and more that are the actual tools and techniques are available in Life Tricks. So funny, that it’s so useful program in life, right now.
Chamira Young: That’s good to know, that’s good to know. You almost like actually beat me to the punch, I was gonna ask you about your force production workflow.
Ken Schultz: The interesting thing is that, it seemed that when it first came out it was really just a catalogue or almost like an extension of a bridge in the {Deby} otherwise, like really quick way of categorize your photographs or also rate them and filter them. Like I have this one of my members, Andy from the UK, he went to Disneyland with his family. He was one of my first mentees actually. And he went to Disneyland with his family and took like 3,000 photographs or something.
Chamira Young: Oh my goodness.
Ken Schultz: Something amazing. And got back and suddenly like thinking “Well, how am I gonna filter this all down?” I actually put him down on to Life Remedy and he said it really helped him because it was just really a quick way of reducing advantage of these photos. Coz you know, when you’re confronted by so many unique quick way of cataloguing and rating them. So, initially, Light Remedy’s really give the bat and the more and more they added tools now where you actually do a complete work for everything. You know you can actually fix up exposures and noise and allow the basic things, but more advance things where you can actually; you can do effectively what would like… When you say the landscape photographs – that’s a technique that you use, it’s a filter, a graduated filter with the top’s darker than the bottom.
Chamira Young: Okay.
Ken Schultz: And the idea here is when you have a landscape and the sky’s really bright and you expose for the sky the program is gonna be too dark, so you put this graduated filter on it. So now, a lot of that has the ability to do that often with. Especially when you use it with a Roll Far because, the Roll Far has an extra information in it anyway. So you bring in the Roll Far in a light room and you drag this virtual filter down to darken the sky and even have the exposure in it. So that’s…yeah… I mean tools like this that are really making it should be useful for my workflow now.
Chamira Young: So I wanted to ask you, as far as the tool of the trade, what is your typical go-to gear for a shoot, or if you go out to photograph the autumn leaves or anything like that?
Ken Schultz: Well I started nicely with the Canon5D but I got interested in video at some point as well so I bought myself Canon60D.
Chamira Young: Okay.
Ken Schultz: That’s 6-0-D which is quite an affordable camera’s. I mean, it’s a hundred thousand dollars for the body… Yeah, you usually get quite a good deal with different lenses. And, so I thought I’d try that out and it’s a craft sensor it’s not a full sense unlike the 5D. So, it’s actually 1.6x more of actual sense of the back but it does fantastic videos. And I kinda feel inlove with the video so I added things… So, now when I go on a shoot, I generally take this Canon6D, I mean sorry, the Canon60D. And then, I have a wider angle lens which is a 16-35mm lens, which is a F2.8, so it’s a pro-lens and it has a really wide aperture. And I have my 70-200mm F2.A. Those lenses were bought during wedding business days but still hanging on to them now. Well apart from that, with the craft sensor of a camera like 60D should be the same for like a T3i or T4 or T5 I don’t keep editing numbers… Is that a, rather, 16 or 17-35 or 40mm… is one of the best lenses to keep on the camera most of the time. Because when I have a 5D in it I mostly had a 24-70mm. I found that the most versatile range for the full frame sensor. But with the craft sensor, if you put on a 16-35 you’re multiplying that by 1.6 and its end up twice to that 24-70 range. So, I think it’s that range of focal lengths that must be useful. So now, basically, that 16-35mm lenses go with my Canon60D most of the time. And then, when I have to have a longer shot which I like for portraits. When I’m taking portraits, I like to stand back at a distance and then zoom in on the subject coz you get the really nice blowed background and I get more candid shots too. So, with the 70-200 now, putting that on a 60D, you get a little rich as well… that actually becomes more spectacular for some wild life shots as well. I usually pack those two lenses and even though I have the 24-70 I usually put that aside, I get other items in there. Like I usually take my external flash in case I need to light up the scene a little bit more… Even if it’s daylight and I sometimes use still flash.
Chamira Young: What kind of flash are you using?
Ken Schultz: Im using a 580EX, it’s a Canon 580EX. There’s newer model up now, that’s a 6-something, I forgot which model it is. But I’ve updated that flash a few times. But this one has a little wireless feature that I need that connects your trigger – can be triggered from my camera like my Canon60D has a built wireless function. So, I can actually hold my flash off the camera and would be triggered.
Chamira Young: Oh very good.
Ken Schultz: It also has a nicely function way to trigger other flashes. For me, I don’t really do a lot of studio works so I don’t actually have a lot of you know, where you have 2-3 external flashes sparring all. So, I haven’t really dived too deep into studio work. But if I do, I can certainly just add an extra flash and I’ll have quite capable system as it is.
Chamira Young: Yeah, go handy.
Ken Schultz: And couple more things that only take on with me is … I have this white balance disc this called an Expertise filter. And it’s really like a pale filter that I put in front of my lense. And I found this to be the best way to get accurate white balance when setting a white balance using custom, white balance function. And so, I usually carry that around if I, you know, I just really need to spot color. And aside from that, extra bag frees, definitely.
Chamira Young: Go ahead, have those…
Ken Schultz: And now, I also have a little LCD viewfinder because I do a bit of video now to surface some options around when I’m filming something, I’ll take that. And what’s happens during the daylight, it’s sometimes really hard to see the LCD like if it’s bright enough or just to even see if you’re in focus. When you do a video with these cameras you have to look on a LCD coz the mirror actually pops on so that it only shows you the feed into the LCD, not through, you know the normal viewfinder. So, you put one of those on and you can actually see the LCD much clearer. It’s actually called… Sorry…
Chamira Young: It attaches to the camera?
Ken Schultz: What happens is you buy the kit and it has a little frame that you like glued, it’s kinda or not glued, you kinda peel it and stick it to the this frame to the outside of the LCD so its little rectangular clips on your, well sticks to your LCD. And then, when that’s on there, then, you can clip the whole device on a rope.
Chamira Young: Oh, that’s interesting. Okay.
Ken Schultz: So… But it does leave kinda that little kinda frame stuck to your LCD so which means, yeah, it’s just this extra little thing that stuck to your… it doesn’t affect anything else at all… It’s very handy… Actually have the… in Gold membership too… I do have a module on HD video using your DSLR cameras because that’s a lot of people getting interested in taking videos as well. So, I’ve mentioned those LCD viewfinders in there as well as couple of accessories that are useful.
Chamira Young: Oh very good. Your courses sound very very thorough… It was like covered…
Ken Schultz: Say again…
Chamira Young: I said, it sounds like you’ve covered quite a bit which is a good thing.
Ken Schultz: Yeah… What I found is as I was doing it… I decide to just pretty much dump everything on earth… like up to that point. And the way I did it is… especially with the Gold videos… We have gone into different creative areas that I was interested in. I’ve made it so in separate videos, if they can choose so if they’re not interested in macro-photography they just skip to the next video. So I’ve made it, so at least it’s modular enough to pick out what you’re interested in. And so, I thought there’s no harm in editing topics that not ever or maybe interesting but at least they have it in there. And also, it’s a lifetime membership so you know, 10 years down the track, if they have to cancel the internet… and they will look to the macro photography…
Chamira Young: Cancel the internet, Oh, don’t say such things! Haha
Ken Schultz: So yeah, so, I do have a lifetime access for maintenance. Once they joined in, it’s a one-time fee and then, that’s it. They can just access it. Some people find that useful because it’s like a resource thing. Coz you know, 6-months down the track, am I gonna get a new lens or they, you know, they might wanna try something else out. And oh that’s right, yeah, there’s a video on that… And then they go back and check on that area, refresh their memory. So, I think that’s one of the real benefits of having online course. I think, I mean, it’s great to have a one-on-one, you know, if I could have one-on-one instruction, and yeah, I’ll teach all my members first-hand in person. That would be the ultimate, but I basically can’t do that.
Chamira Young: Right… There’s only one you…
Ken Schultz: Yeah, there’s only one of me. So yeah, I just passed the 10,000 member barrier the other day… My courses sold on another platform… and have passed.
Chamira Young: Congratulations!
Ken Schultz: I have now over 10,000 members around the world taking it… So there’s no way I would ever be able to reach that people… without applying technology to enable to, you know… some people connects to it at time without me being around… really.
Chamira Young: That’s got to be so fulfilling for you… knowing that you’re reaching so many people…And on the flip side, for them, that’s got to be, like you said, you’re quite a resource because people don’t want to have to go to a million different places to find what they need to know about photography. If they can find one person or one source or couple of sources that are providing information about the different areas of photography, that saves them a whole lot of time of searching and looking around. So.. yeah.
Ken Schultz: And that’s why I went to a lot of trouble to put pretty much all my tricks in this course because… That’s why I’ve spent a number of months actually planning… Like okay, what do people wanna know, I’ve actually surveyed people to do, like I’ve put a survey out… and what topic are you interested inside… it’s a really hit that’s what topics people really wanted to learn about. And also, I tried to plan as well so I really hit the essentials as clear as possible. So really, if they sit there, they should have a great understanding by the end of my course. Without having to go and look… ooh, fill in the gaps right here and there…
Chamira Young: Right.
Ken Schultz: So, at least for getting a good grounding in the basics, my goal is to put that across this entirely and complete as I could. And then, for advance, you know, if they want to take the photography further and you know, then, there certainly going to be more courses out there. And I plan to do more courses myself or be of more detail in topics. But at least if they can get, you know, the older cool basics in one place, so that they can take the camera and be competent that they can turn the camera on and not the auto-dialer and know actually what they’re doing. That’s real big goal for a beginner, pulling that camera out and not just shooting on order for the rest of their life. And you can still get great photos in order but just, if you really wanna starts take creative control you do have to shift.
Chamira Young: Yeah, you do.
Ken Schultz: Yeah, and my courses isn’t just about learning all other than 10 modes either. Like if you can get a DSL camera now in a like that has 10 or 14 different modes.
Chamira Young: Yeah, around circle… yeah.
Ken Schultz: Yeah. And that’s confusing to begin with, you got camera and you can turn it off. And when you turn it off in a Sports mode and then you forget you go take on a different permission then, it’s not gonna come out right because the camera thinks you’re doing a sports shot. Better to just learn a couple of modes of camera and once you know those, and that’s all you need. So my courses’ is really an 80-20, really. There’s 20% that will affect most of your photos… It will make the 80% difference, so if you’ll just work in these cool things. You know a lot of my training is about some of the cool things that make the biggest difference of the photos.
Chamira Young: Very good. Very good. Now I’m going to deviate a little bit off of the outline that I’m working from. I just, I have to ask these questions and I’ll put you on a spot a little bit. But as we were talking, it keeps popping up in my head how more and more people are learning how to use these digital cameras. And I even thinking back to weddings that I have done, you probably have experienced this when you were trying to get the shot, and you look around and everyone else around you has this smartphone’s up and you kinda like have to jostle around cameras because you’re paid to do a job. And then, everyone around you is taking photos and some of them have their own digital cameras. And before the night is over, the photos are up around in Facebook before you even gotten home to process the photos. But more and more of people are doing that… so my question to you is… where do you see… This is a load of question…
Ken Schultz: Ahuh…
Chamira Young: Where do you see the photography heading the state of professional photography, where do you see that going in the next 10 years, the next 20 years as this equipment becomes more accessible to everybody?
Ken Schultz: Well, I think, I mean… yes, I mean it’s a really an important question because… I mean, now there’s people can just go down to their local big box store and pick up this camera in Five Hundred Dollars and get that amazing photograph with resolution now is up to 24 and 36. And these are like Hundred Thousand Dollar cameras, you know, 24 and 36 megapixels. So, I think for professional like if you’re doing a wedding gig or any other gig where potentially you can have 10 other cameras pointing out on your shoulder…
Chamira Young: At least.
Ken Schultz: For one, you gotta have to know your lightning well. And my biggest tip, I’ve learned from wedding photography was… I mean, it’s a small thing that makes a big difference is to have a diffuser, a good diffuser on your flash. And just having that, just right away puts you above everyone, you know, not out of 10 people will gonna have that…right? The big advantage is will be able to have a flattering lightning on your subject on the fly. So that’s one up sitting on a studio lights. This is like an avenge where its real time, people are moving around. So, my biggest tip that someone gave it to me was to get a good diffuser. You have your external flash; you have the diffuser on top, and straight away you’re getting a better quality image than someone is just using a pop up flash or just a flash without it. So, for one you have to be on cutting edge of your technique as far as getting good exposure, using that diffuser to soften your light. But then, I think, really to compete, you’ll gonna have to have, I think, to me I always thought having albums in something best, something like an added value. That’s the way I did it… Back in 2005, I created albums… and then, the bride saw the albums before they even saw the real photos. Because it’s their story, so your ability as a photographer can’t just capturing, you know, 20 angles or just capturing the whole day just, you know, as far as just the whole series is still. You have to be able to tell a story better than anyone else.
Chamira Young: That’s a good point.
Ken Schultz: And I think I’m still strongly a better opinion to tell a better story if you lay it out, a story board fashion where you pull out your best shots. You don’t wanna make the bride have to work hard looking for your best shots through 300 photos. I think one mistake is you can’t just upload for 600 photos that you took. You need to as a profession, know which are your quality shots and par down to the best 200 or 100 shots. So that’s the first tip. And then, if you can lay out in a story board fashion where you have a nice big spread and you have a couple of, a couple of little shots in the corner, you know, friend? There are ways of doing it where every page is the story from the wedding that tells a moment and captured much better just of the whole, you know, tons of photos. It’s actually arranged. So, you have a creative eye and you lay it out that just looked amazing. What happens is, ideally, if that’s the first presentation that you give to your bride or whatever event it is, they see the story straight away they were captured by. “Oh, yes, you’ve captured that part of my wedding. Oh, that’s amazing!” “It’s more than a photograph to me, you telling us a story than a bunch of photographs.”
Chamira Young: So true.
Ken Schultz: I think that’s really what gonna set a photographer apart… And I think it did in a past and that’ll continue. That’s gonna be your edge, you’ll gonna have to, actually be… I think it’s designing albums. I think it’s the lucky thing.
Chamira Young: Well said, well said… Yeah, that’s… Good answer. I was just curious what you would… what your take on that is because I’ve been talking to other photographers as well. And you know, some are more pessimistic than others and that’s good to keep that in mind kind of what differentiates or distinguishes us in our abilities, in what we can do as oppose to anybody with any camera or a smartphone. This is, this is good. We’ve been gone for quite a while here. I wont hold you too much longer, I know, we could probably be in this for hours. I want to discuss the lessons that you’ve learned over the years… as you’ve been a professional photographer. I guess… would you share what the most common mistake is that you see other photographers make or even yourself over the years. You can choose either one…
Ken Schultz: Okay. Well, I think it goes back to what I was speaking about. I think, the most common mistake would be just to, literally hand over a disc of 400 or whatever images to the couple on the next day or 2 days later once you’ve edited them. I think, you know, I think professional photographers will be shooting themselves in a foot or have a badges, you know, doing a quick process, image done there you go, would hand it over a disc, you know, “these are all the images”, without using their professional eye to really sort them and to present them in a way that tells a story better. So I think that goes back to what I was talking about – Story boarding and creating, you know, value adding… Adding an album, something that tells the story better than just a sequence of photographs is I think photographers’ making it. That’s the biggest mistake if they don’t do something beyond just handling a disc of over a whole bunch of images on it.
Chamira Young: Yeah, very true. I’ve been there. I made that mistake in years past. And it is certain things you don’t know, I guess, until you, certain things don’t know if you would make a mistake. But then you learn, it’s a constant learning process for sure.
Ken Schultz: Yeah. And I’ve done that too, to be honest. You know, someone, they’re just one of the most budget weddings that just wanted to, they just wanted to pay a couple of hundred dollars back then. How are you gonna get away through that? Except for a disc with some photos on it.
Chamira Young: Right.
Ken Schultz: I mean that can happen, and you know, you’ve thrown with the punches, as they say.
Chamira Young: Right.
Ken Schultz: But the happiest bride I had with the ones that you know, literally, 2 days later I had this online album that they can send the link to their friends to. And also, I’ve actually put music to…
Chamira Young: Oh, really… Very nice.
Ken Schultz: Yeah. I have this music software that you could pick a music track. So, it really brings out the whole emotional, you know, emotional memories of the event. Amazing music and couple of tracks they’ve liked at the wedding. So, you’re making effort to find out what music they like too. So, they’re just seeing this story board pages with these music playing in front of them. And then later on, the way it works, they choose what pages they wanna keep and which ones they wanna drop… and to put in their final album. And we’ll send to print order and that I’ll get a one of those coffee book style hardbound… Yeah, That was the final presentation.
Chamira Young: Yeah, the coffee table booking…
Ken Schultz: And I think that, they basically become delighted with that, you know. And you stand out from the crowd that way as well. That’s a … yeah…
Chamira Young: : And you know what, I firmly believed that, maybe I say this because I’m biased because I’m a photographer. But I think that the photography is one of the most important aspects of the wedding. And I got married a little less than a year and a half ago..? And I remember when we reviewed the photos after the wedding, myself and my husband we sat down and it was just this special bonding time as we looked through the photos and there’s nothing like it… Now, granted, I’m a little bit of a control-freak. So, I have the photographer… “Give me all the raw files… Give me all the raw files… I would sort them and edit them…” Yeah, you know, it was hard, a little bit hard at the wedding because I was watching them running around. We have these couple of guys I wanted to micro-manage but I couldn’t because I was the one getting married. But you’re right. It was quite an impact, the way you deliver the photos to the bride and groom after the wedding because they see through it. And they are essentially re-living that wedding. It is such a powerful moment. So, yeah.
Ken Schultz: Yeah. Actually, the point for that is re-living it coz quite often we found that the bride on the day has almost too much to take it in…
Chamira Young: Ooh, it flies by… Yeah..
Ken Schultz: Yes. Really, coming back to the photos in the end is like, aah they’re seeing prospective than anything so. They are re-living in the moments that passed by way too quick for them to be appreciate. They’re tempting things on their minds at the time. It’s a wonderful thing to be able capture those moments, I guess.
Chamira Young: Absolutely, yeah… It’s a one thing I didn’t realized when I was a bride, it didn’t occur to me until the actual wedding day. They set me outside of the sanctuary, we were in a church. I had to wait outside, until I was able to march in. And so I missed songs that our song, I missed people marching down the aisle before myself. And so, these things I didn’t get to see, until I was able to review the photos and the videos. It’s so important.
Ken Schultz: Yeah, yeah. I think photos are definitely key. I mean, it would have been great if every wedding has a professional video as well. But that’s another whole scale. That’s another whole podcast in itself.
Chamira Young: It is. Yeah, another whole chunk of chains too. It’s amazing how quickly little expenses can add up.
Ken Schultz: Oh yeah, and video production is a way… , I meanthat’s a serious… Oh, we did some video production but we found a nice bride didn’t go for the video just because it was a limit to the budget… It’s a lot of extra to put it in there…
Chamira Young: Well, I’m gonna end with this final question and then I’m gonna give you a chance to tell us where we can find you as far as your courses and your website. With the last question that I will ask is what is the one thing you wish you knew that you know now when you first started taking photos as a professional photographer?
Ken Schultz: As a professional? Well, I would say as a professional was the wedding stuff, really. I mean, this is really specific to event photography… And it something doesn’t affect me as much now… because I’ve mostly dig to photography for teaching. But I had a very stressful wedding once because I only had one camera buddy with the first couple of weddings I did. And I had the Canon 5D and I was taking photographs with this lovely couple from Canada. And we’re in Honolulu, some of the beach parks in Honolulu, and was getting sunset. So, I did all the ceremony and I took some beach shots and sunsets and took some more in the pack. And then, when I was taking some final shots, and I actually wanted to get back to take more sunset shots because it got really dark, you know with the dark with the orange sky and I suddenly noticed inside my camera, it was black. I couldn’t see through the view finder.
Chamira Young: Oh, no.
Ken Schultz: But I have no idea what had going on. I’ve tried to switch it on and off.
Chamira Young: Yeah, photographer’s worst nightmare.
Ken Schultz: This is a view finder. It’s not like an electronic view finder, it’s like optical. So, I kinda like lent over to the side and checked of my camera bag and took the lens off and found that the mirror head’s fallen out. And it was the {9 features of a Canon5D’s} in humid climate somehow its glued that come loose.
Chamira Young: I know that. Oh, okay.
Ken Schultz: And they replaced it for free but the point is it couldn’t really function way out the mirror coz you can’t see where you’re aiming the camera. Well, we kind of walked back and I said, “Woh, we got plenty of photos for the day, you know, we have enough” and I took one more shot… I said, “Okay let’s took another more shots but just totally blank because I don’t have a mirror in my camera anymore.” It actually came out right. But that was the biggest lesson. I immediately ordered for a second buddy as a backup. So, any, some of the biggest tip for any event photographer, always have the second camera, second buddy, yes.
Chamira Young: Absolutely, a second thing.
Ken Schultz: Heaven knows, if something goes wrong, an electric’s fail, who knows, you cannot be in the position where you don’t have a backup.
Chamira Young: Oh, I get my goose bumps stopped. That’s like the photographer’s worst nightmare.
Ken Schultz: Oh I was fortunate I have it towards the end of the day rather than… If I’d been caught in the beginning in the ceremony, if that had happened, I would’ve been dead, and I wouldn’t be speaking to you today.
Chamira Young: I’ve seen the end result of that on a judge’s show… judge’s duty. I’ve seen that where they have the photographer there. And then, the bride and the groom – husband and bride now, the things didn’t go as they’re supposed to go. It can get ugly; it can get messy really quick. Yeah.
Ken Schultz: Yeah, I was always fortunate with my lessons instantly. So, if anyone else wants to do venture photography, take that one seriously.
Chamira Young: Well, thank you so much! I wanna give you a chance to tell us where we can find you. I know you’ve mentioned your blog, your website earlier but if you wanna tell us again, the best places to reach you and we will include those in the show notes as well.
Ken Schultz: Okay. Well, the best place is my main website for my course which is easydslr.com and I’ll give you the actual direct address for your show notes whether you can get free tips to. I have a page where you can sign up for some free tips just a little bit. Coz I have some videos where I tell you a little bit more about my background and I give you some excerpts of parts of the course particularly the excerpt from my composition video which some of the tips in there are useful even if you’re using an iPhone. So you’ll be able to get free tips there. And my other place is, so that’s easydslr.com. And then, I have a blog which is digitalphotocentral.com and that’s, I keep people up-to-date with news about new cameras, and any little tips that I come across that people might be interested in. But, if it’s definitely for the active learning photography; my main website is the place to go at easydslr.com.
Chamira Young: Great! Thank you. Thank you. Awesome! I wanna thank you again just for taking time to chat with us and I’ve really really appreciate it. Another listener’s do as well.
Ken Schultz: Oh thank you. It’s been great talking to you.



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