Picturing Success Blog

rick sammon & larry becker talk with the best photographers in the world

152 Juan Pons — the “King of the Yellowstone in Winter Workshops”

Wildlife and nature photographer Juan Pons joins Rick

Juan Pons and Rick Sammon talk about the challenges of running photo workshops in Yellowstone – in the dead of winter . . . when the photo opportunities are awesome.

Juan offers advice on clothing, gear and of the utmost importance, working with a good guide.

Juan and Rick also talk about photographing in Alaska, where they have photographed aboard the M/V Northern Song.

As usual, Rick adds some non-photo info to the podcast, too. This week it’s about bison burgers and the Impossible Whopper.

Visit Juan’s website

151 Five Quick Tips on How To Write A Book

Rick has written more than 40 books and today he shares how to write a book

Today’s 5 QT episode covers how to write a book and in a future 5QT episode, Rick and Larry discuss the WHY of book writing. Definitely worthwhile to MANY photographers who want to have more credibility, clients, and so many more benefits that come with writing your own book.

1 – Study and know your subject – inside and out. Old saying: If you want to become an expert on something, write a book about it. Hey! you can even write your own e-book on the subject, which is relatively easy these days.

As well as you may know a subject, hire (or have the publisher hire) a technical editor. He or she will probably catch stuff you miss and mistakes you make.

2 – Know where you are going. Before you start, have a detailed outline (which may change). If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there?

3 – Respect the reader. This might be the most important tip. When writing each sentence, respect the reader. Remember, you are not writing the book for yourself, you are writing it for the reader.

Speaking of reviews, totally disregard 1-star rating. They are posted by people who have a chip on their shoulder – and who hide behind fake names.

4 – Leave no question unanswered. Don’t leave the reader asking asking the question: Why did the author not complete that line of thought? Go the extra mile when talking about a topic.

5 – Know your competition. Go on-line and see what other authors are doing on the same subject. Ask yourself: How can I make my book, better/different . . . the best?

6 – Have more material than you think you need. You need a lot of material to write a how-to book: photos, illustrations and text. In planning your book, plan on having more material than you think you need.

7 – Make it easy and fun for the publisher/editor to work with you. Be flexible. I am not the best photographer or author on the planet, but I do pride myself on being perhaps one of the easiest when it comes to working together.ep Amazon.com reviews in mind. You want as many 5-star ratings as possible, and you have a better chance of getting those rating if you respect the reader and do you very, very best.

8 – Give your editor specific instructions. For example, when I submit photographs, I tell my editor: “Crop my pictures and you’re a dead man!” After which I add this symbol: 🙂

9 – Plan ahead. Never miss a deadline. Give yourself plenty of time to write . . . and edit and rewrite and rewrite and edit, etc. Remember: Dates in your rear view mirror are closer than you think.

10 – Let your personality show/shine though. In reality, many other authors know what you know. What makes your book different? Your personality, your style. Write like you talk and don’t try to write too fancy. Tell a few (just a few) jokes and personal stories. Let people get to know you.

11 – Have fun! If you are not having fun writing your book, that will probably come though to your audience. Even if you are not having fun, write as though you are having fun. As I tell folks at book signings: “It’s sometimes not fun writing a book, but it’s always fun autographing one!”

12 – PR your book. After your book is completed, it’s really up to you to promote the book, though social media and on your web site. You are the best PR agent your book can have. Get your friends to help you promote your book, too.


150 Dave Loebig Helps Rick and Larry with Websites for Photographers

Photographers need websites for everything from portfolios to sales and even image reviews

Rick recently needed help with a website update and Dave Loebig fixed everything in no time. Dave is a long time friend of Larry’s and runs the company that hosts the Picturing Success website, so when Rick needed help updating his site to a secure one for better visibility, Dave handled everything. 

Rick and Larry know the importance of a good website for photographers (and any business) so Larry sat down with Dave to discuss the stuff that photographers should know and do with their website.

Dave’s website

Dave’s recent blog post about verifying domain registration

Google’s push for encrypted sites (HTTPS).

149 Five Quick Tips – More Sammonisms (& Introducing Beckerisms)

Rick Sammon and Larry Becker Talk 5 Quick Tips Style

The plan was to cover 5 more of the popular teaching tools Rick Sammon uses called Sammonisms, but when two friends sit down and talk, you never know what will happen. This episode will let you witness the totally unplanned invention of Beckerisms on the fly.

148 Nick Page Interview with Rick Sammon

Rick Interviews Nick Page for Picturing Success­ and Nick Interviews Rick for The Landscape Photography Podcast

Nick and Rick love landscape photography. And they love sharing tech tips. However, in this dual podcast these two pros talk more about getting motivated and staying inspired than about the exposure triangle. :­)

Nick and Rick do cover camera care, tripod set­up and a bit about photo processing ­ but as you will hear, they are basically having the same kind of fun and informal conservation they have when they meet up on the Oregon Coast, which is one of Nick’s favorite shooting locations.

Nick wrote the foreword for Rick’s 39th book (co­authored with his wife Susan): The Oregon Coast Photo Road Trip: How to Eat, Stay, Play and Shoot Like a Pro. So these guys talk about the book, too.

Visit with Nick:
Web site


Nick’s Podcast


147 Five Quick Tips – 5 Sammonisms Explained in 5 Minutes

Listener Troy Dixon asked Rick to explain 5 of his many “Sammonisms”

Rick uses “Sammonisms” as a teaching tool for his photography students and this time out we’re explaining 5 of them at the request of one of our listeners… Troy Dixon. 

By the way, GREAT idea Troy!! Thanks!!

146 Jack Reznicki – Rick sits down with his friend and fellow Canon Explorer of Light

Jack Reznicki and Rick are at Rick’s studio in Croton on Hudson, New York to talk photography, photo books, copyright and more

Join Rick and Jack on this multi-topic podcast, where this dynamic duo share their long-time passion for photography, teaching and learning. You’ll also get some tips on non-photography books that will help you improve your photography.

Want more info? Rick and Jack also talk about their favorite sushi place in Vegas, as well as the improved sharpness of Canon EOS R images.

It’s all good fun on this episode of our podcast!


Jack’s site

Jack’s Instagram @reznicki

Yama Sushi

Jack’s Link — The Copyright Zone 

Book links:
Vision and Art – The Biology of Seeing – Margaret S. Livingston 

Color and Light – James Gurney 

Perception and Imaging – Richard Zakia 

Family of Man


145 Five Quick Tips on Wildlife Photography with Bryce Johnson

Wildlife Expert Bryce Johnson Delivers Great Wildlife Photography Insights 5 QT Style!

Sometimes Rick and Larry invite true photography experts to share their insights on topics they know especially well, and drop it into a 5 Quick Tips episode. This time around the show is packed with Wildlife Tips from Bryce Johnson.

Bryce is a partner with his dad/also a great photographer Bryan Johnson at Crocodile Bay Resort in Costa Rica, where Rick shot his KelbyOne rainforest class.

Here is a link to the site:

Costa Rica’s Premier Sport Fishing Resort and Vacation Destination

144 Andy and Mia Beales Talk with Rick About All New Workshop Insights

The 8th Episode of Picturing Success Featured Andy and Mia Beales and they’re Back with Great New Info and Insights

Rick interviews awesome photo workshop leaders and dedicated photographers Andy and Mia Meals of Gatsby Travel.

Go behind-the-scenes to see what it’s like to lead a photo workshop in a rural location – Guilin, China in this case. As with most things in life, it’s not as easy as it may look. You need to know the all the ins and outs of working with local people so you keep everyone happy. And you must have back-up plans and lots of phone numbers to call just in case.

Andy and Mia also talk about their recent bird photography experience, which was a first for this dynamic duo. They also talk about using an iPad and moving to the cloud – all good info for travel photographers.

Visit with Andy and Mia on their sites: www.gatsbytravel.com

143 Five Quick Tips for Capturing Sharper Images

Rick and Larry get right to the point and share great tips FAST

Sharper images is a goal lots of photographers have and there are some pro tips in this episode that lots of photographers don’t even think about.

Have a listen and you’re sure to capture sharper shots.