6,000 yr Old Solutions; 40 yrs to Learn

I have lived with two chronic problems for the better part of my life: back pain and sinus infections. These are not major ailments in the chronic pain world but daily suffering is only meant for the Buddha among us. I’m no Buddha. I will stand in line all day at the placebo store for relief, and have, often.

I’m sure I have spent my daughter’s future collage tuition three times over in the past few decades buying useless quick-relief products. I have taken more pills than I could ever count, shot disgusting sprays up my nose, preventive vaccinations that have never worked, homeopathic stuff like ear candles, herbs, teas, oils, vitamins, extracts, gave up on dairy products (that was a good move), CT scans, X-rays and finally painful surgery.

For my back I have gone the distance for a cure. Chiropractors, acupuncture, smelly creams, more pain pills, stronger pain pills, taken vitamins, seen specialists, X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, bought a new bed, hung upside down, begged my wife for another massage, laid on planks of wood, had prayer “hands laid” on me, and stretched over a big giant red rubber ball, all to no avail.

Around ten years ago I got into yoga, meditation and proper diet. My new trinity of wellness; that was good (I highly recommend all three) but none of them were a solution.

My solution was simpler.

Water (click here) & Walking (click here)

Man is ever-evolving toward extinction. I believe this more and more to be true.

A sinus flush. F’ing water was my solution. Never in all those years did a doctor tell me to flush my sinuses clean. It is akin to a dentist never telling you about a toothbrush. It works, trust me.

Barefoot walking, my inner cave man must be hating me. If you rebuild your feet muscles you rebuild all your muscles. In turn walking and standing correctly, no back pain. Yes it was that simple. Good posture matters.

Past all the confusion lies simplicity,
~ Directly under your nose and in-between your toes ~

Craig Photography



Current Reading: The Element: by Ken Robinson
Current Music: Across A Wire by Counting Crows
Mood: Vibrant & Awake
Sounds: Printer
Smells: Coffee
Temperature: 82 degrees overcast
Thoughts: Two chronic problems of mine have been resolved with six thousand year old solutions.


Last night

Drinks and conversation with a friend we talk about:

~ How man is evolving into extinction.
~ Citizen to citizen responsibility towards healthcare reform.
~ Life, art, kids and education.
~ New cars and barefoot running.
~ Why right-wingers hate big government but love big corporation.
~ Guinness & Harp (Half/Half) are good….

Workshop ~ NOW BOOKING

Now Booking (Click HERE)


Contact Elizabeth Craig at 724.355.9079 or by email at craigphotography@mac.com for more information and to register.

See all past Insanely Useful Photography tips (HERE)

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photography Gala

Click HERE for more information


90 Days ~Year II ~ Natural Method Conditioning

Part 1 of a 12 part series every Tuesday

Last year I completed a peak conditioning project modeled off of Patrick Reynolds blog/idea. I am proud to say that I have stuck with the “new me” for the past year, not gaining any of the weight back.

Last year:
Starting weight 171lbs ~ Ending weight 162

This year I am looking to go deeper in my development. I will be calling the next 90 days my…

Natural Method Conditioning

Based on two core principles:

Be strong to be useful ~ George Hebert
Eat food, mostly plants ~ Michael Pollan

My goals (Body Mind & Sprit) what I hope to improve:

Lose remainder of belly fat
Workout outside as much as possible
Develop whole range of movement
Functional fitness
Starting weight 161lbs ~ ending weight to-be-determined

Increase writing flow
Increase photography visualizing skills
Improved cognitive skills
Practice lifestyle economics

Develop deeper meditation practice
Reconnect with my true natural self

Stay with me on the journey (I need your to help keep me motivated and honest). If you choose to do your own 90days let me know.

Be sure to check out Elizabeth’s blog, she is also doing her own 90days.

If you like this article please be sure to pass it on…friend me on Facebook, connect with me on Twitter


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D700
Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 125 mm
ISO Speed: 125


How I got my PhD in the “How-To-Business” of Photography

***New series every Monday for the next 5 weeks*** Part 5 of 5
read part 1, 2, 3 & 4 (HERE)

Love and a mortgage is a good motivator to get your act together. Love and a mortgage and a soon to be wife who also has a budding career in photography is a great foundation to build your life upon.

Insanely useful photography tip #7: Passion, effort and love for what you do will take you far.

As I write this it has been 5 years that Elizabeth, my wife, and I have been in business running our own successful photography company. People always ask us the “how” of HOW TO EVERYTHING: Photography. What’s to follow is the last two decades of life experiences that Elizabeth and I have had. We built our business on a culture of sharing, good composition and great service.

Insanely useful photography tip #8: Prove that you are committed, you can’t fake this don’t even try.

Insanely useful photography tip #9: Be you. That’s it, be transparent.

Insanely useful photography tip #10: You can’t win by mimicking someone else.

My PhD in the “how-to-business” of photography is an alternative thinking program. I make the assumptions that you have passion and effort and that you have a respect for learning how to use your tools correctly. There are many different reason why some make it on their own and some do not. Most do not – not because of a lack of effort or purpose but because of a lack of personal guidance from a genuine mentor and someone to talk openly with.

Am I a small-biz coach, strategist or innovator? Nope. I am a working artist who understands how and where art meets commerce.

If you like this article please be sure to pass it on…friend me on Facebook, connect with me on Twitter and info on private consultations can be found here on Photographer's Corner.


Pittsburgh Wedding Photography

This is the photo I have been waiting over ten years to take.

This is the “it” moment for me in photography.

I needed the right couple, the right landscape, and the right time of day; all were supplied. This is the “yes of the blessing” when everything is perfect. The photographic outcome is better than if I staged it myself.

The photo is simple, purposeful and with rhythm. This photo is how I want to work and represents who I want to be.

I am happy. This photo makes me smile. I hope you enjoy it.



Current Reading: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
Current Music: Palmystery by Victor Wooten
Mood: Tired & Drained
Sounds: Ringing phone
Smells: Coffee
Temperature: 68 degrees
Thoughts: Be strong to be useful


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 35 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 0 EV


Rant ~

To the Healthcare Protesters ~ shame, shame, shame on you…

What if healthcare was more like car insurance; 3 strikes and your out?

Let me use Rush Limp-ba as the chubby punching bag example:
Rush is fat: So Rush goes to the doctor to get heart medicine. The doctor tells him to take a pill a day, eat better and exercise.

Six months later the fatter Rush goes back to the doctor. The doctor tells him that he needs a stronger medicine (strike one).

A year passes and the Fat-R needs minor bypass surgery because he’s so overweight and doesn’t exercise. (strike two).

Recovering from surgery Fat-R discovers that he has a big appetite for prescription pain pills. He ends up in rich-man rehab, six weeks off from work while smoking cigars (strike three).

Let’s stop the abuse of healthcare with people who already have healthcare insurance. That would be the bulk of the protesters.

If a person does not care about improving their health why insure it?

If I get into three car accidents my insurance company will drop me faster that Fat-R can eat his way through a box of donuts.

I will pay more taxes ~ I want people to live ~ I care about universal health for our citizens.

If one person tells me that “sometimes people must die for capitalism to run true” I will punch you.

How I got my PhD in the “How-To-Business” of Photography

***New series every Monday for the next 5 weeks*** Part 4 of 5
read part 1, 2 & 3 (HERE)

(without getting into debt or going to school and how you can do it to)

In September of 2000 I started a new life.

The transient life never sat well with me and I no longer wanting to travel or work crazy long hours. I wanted to see the people in my life, walk my dog and sit on “my own” sofa for a change.

I was good at photography but I was burned out. Writing at the time did not turn out well for me. Guitar? Hmm. That was a thought. I had been playing nonstop since my childhood. I had the college band and was good. Pro-good? Not sure…but let’s find out.

Music it is. I wanted to earn my living from playing guitar. I will gladly keep taking photos on the side to pad the bank account and keep my skills sharp. Six strings and mysteries lied ahead of me.

Problem number one; I had no music career or any hope of one anytime soon. What to do? I would get a 9 to 5 job sitting in a cubical (a paycheck is a paycheck and it’s nice to earn money when you’re selling out) to pay the bills. Hmm…not that funny when you’re saying that to yourself. The 9 to 5 was not all that bad; all the free coffee I could drink, high speed internet to plot out my future and weekends off. My new trifecta.

I stumbled into a music partner, she sang I played. I got a part time job playing music for a church on Saturdays and Sundays playing in their worship band. I loved it. It kept my musical skills sharp and gave me the opportunity to play. I even paid taxes from my income earned from playing music. Nothing makes you feel more like a professional than paying taxes.

Soon we were playing coffee shops, church basements and the bookstore circuit. It wasn’t quite like national touring but there were baked goods. Then 9/11 happened. The world stopped and they asked the musicians to play. In times of war send the musicians in first, when they can do some good. One year after 9/11 I am playing 100 shows a years for the next 3 years. People wanted to be uplifted from the dust and music is cleansing for the soul.

Monday through Friday I worked 9 to 5, Friday night through Sunday night was all music. I played everywhere, from street fairs to festivals to small theaters to large stages. I played for the homeless, the prisoner in jail, I played for the sick and dieing, I played for all.

Insanely useful photography tip #5: You have to earn your audience….repeatedly if you want to work.

Throughout this time I was playing music that was mostly originally written. So night after night we had to introduce and re-introduce our music to the audiences. No radio play, no media attention, no big paychecks. We earned our money from self-produced CDs sales and the “sometimes-but-not-too-often” performance fee.

The 9 to 5 was necessary, the guitar brought in some income (some months good some other not so good), photography jobs came in here and there from friends and family. All in all I was earning a good living doing things that I loved. My day job was my closeted secret. People would ask me what I do for a living and I would say I am a guitarist and photographer. They were impressed. I felt like a fraud because I needed the day job for consistent income.

Insanely useful photography tip #6: Do your best work every time, there are no small jobs.

Life was busy and hectic again...then I fell in love.

To be continued…

If you like this article please be sure to pass it on…friend me on Facebook, connect with me on Twitter and info on private consultations can be found here on Photographer's Corner.

Part 5 of 5 next Monday…



~ Check out Joanne Bartone's website (HERE), she is a photog friend.

Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 0.2 sec (1/5)
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 24 mm
ISO Speed: 100


How to be the Greatest 2nd Shooter….Ever

~ 7 Insanely Useful Photography Tips & 5 What to Expect Tips~

You want to be a great photographer…yes.

First you need to be a great second shooter. Why start at number 2 when you want to be number one?

Steve Williams is Tiger Woods’ caddy; I’m guessing he does not suck at golf.

Simple answer: you need to be on the field. No matter how many classes you take or books you read the game is played on the field. Experience and fast reactions mixed with the ability to think on your feet are mandatory.

1. Shoot 50/50 – 50% of your shoots should be in the style of classic, traditional photography. Capture all the key moments of the day. Remember to shoot safe and smart. Pick a safe ISO and F/stop to get that shot. You are not going for art here, you are going for documentation of the day. The photos you take may never see the light of day but they have to be there in case of an emergency. If the main photographer happens to lose images due to a failed card, theft or computer problems, your shots are now playing 1st swing.

2. Shoot the other 50% in the mode that you’re going to compose the best F’ing, photographs ever. Go for the shots, be creative, change yourself, push the limits of your abilities. Create photographs that will get you remembered.

3. Do you homework. Know the equipment that you will be working with that day. Understand the camera, lens, lighting, flashes, reflector, computersand software that you will be working. Be remarkable with your knowledge of gear. You want to be able to counsel the main photographer on exposure and equipment as needed.

4. Be proactive: the 2nd shooter’s job is to know the outline of the day and to be prepared for every situation. Set up lights, have lenses and flashes ready to go when needed. Ask the main photographer where s/he is at on card count. Have back-up batteries ready to go at the asking.

5. Yes you carry the equipment. You open the doors. You get the drinks. You pack the car. You do what is asked, with a smile.

6. Second shooting is a business relationship at work. Show up on time. Be consistent in your work. Advise on the subtleties of the day.

7. Ultimately the main photographer makes all the final decisions and they get all the reward (& risk) for the outcome of the day. Your part is to enhance and aid the experience for both the photographer and the subject.

What the second shooter gets!

1. Gives you the opportunity to shoot in a live fast-paced environment. Remember that is the one thing books and classes cannot teach you.

2. Behind the scenes look at your future.

3. Realization of your confidence and talent to go it alone as a professional or to hit the books some more.

4. Ask up front about image rights and be respectful of whatever (if anything) is offered to you.

5. Competitiveness; do not even go there. You were just given the greatest photo opportunity you could ever ask for. Be respectful.

If you like this article please be sure to pass it on…friend me on Facebook, connect with me on Twitter and info on private consultations can be found here on Photographer's Corner.



Prayers for all effected from last night's tragedy in Pittsburgh.


Why Live? – Workshop: Now Booking

There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living: there is nothing that is harder to learn. – Lucis Senca

Today it is easier to research, launch and cultivate your knowledge of anything in a remarkably short time. Leveraging the internet and social media tools to collect information on anything will deliver solutions for your problems immediately.

So why is it so hard?

The internet lacks the experience of doing….doing is everything. The internet is the bridge between theories to the action of doing.

Doing something, anything LIVE is needed. That is why seminars and workshops work.


Why live? Live is exclusive and it comes at a premium cost that is not for everyone. Live is for the individuals who are looking to engage on a deeper level.

Who wants value in being better today than yesterday.

Now Booking (Click HERE)

Contact Elizabeth Craig at 724.355.9079 or by email at craigphotography@mac.com for more information and to register.

If you like this article please be sure to pass it on…friend me on Facebook, connect with me on Twitter and info on private consultations can be found here on Photographer's Corner.


How I got my PhD in the “How-To-Business” of Photography

***New series every Monday for the next 5 weeks*** Part 3 of 5
read part 1 & 2 (HERE)
(without getting into debt or going to school and how you can do it to)

If you are working in photography be it commercial, wedding, event, stock, journalism, or sports you are working for someone.

Photography is a service. A camera is a tool (no better or worse than a hammer or a saw). Art’s only purpose is to serve. Serve your purpose well with effort and passion.

Insanely useful photography tip #3: You can be a working artist and earn a living doing something you’re passionate about. No, you do not have to be the child of famous parents. Using a camera is akin to being a craftsman. When you need a carpenter, plumber or musician you hire one to do the job that you need to have done. When the job is completed all you care about is that it was done to your satisfaction and that the tradesman was nice to have around.


Sitting on a beach I looked into the sun and saw my future…

I was getting off a plane after spending a week in Los Angles on a working retreat. I was on an all-inclusive paid vacation as a reward from my company to the individuals who earned the most profit that year.

Sitting on the beach I had an old-wise-tale of a conversation with an older colleague who had been with the franchise through many different phases of its existence.

He told me about is home in South Carolina with a library and in-ground pool. He told me about how his children who, went to private schools, were now getting advanced post-graduate degrees. He told me about all the good his wife was doing through her many charities and foundations. He told me about club memberships and organizations that he has belonged to throughout his career. He told me about having a million-dollar back account and no memories of his own. “I am successful at work, not life and I live with regrets”, he said to me.

We were sitting on a beach in Maui, his wife back in SC and my girlfriend back in PA. The gentleman I was talking with was good company, but not that good.

The view from where I was sitting was not looking that great.

Time for a change – Was I working the perfect job filling all my hope and dreams? No. It was a good job with a business culture that empowered me to grow but I needed to move on.

Insanely useful photography tip #4: Live your perfect day, everyday. Photography is about perspective. The life of an artist is about discipline, focus, purpose and raw skills. These are all “must haves” to succeed. Be authentic in your work. If you cannot be that move on. I had to reevaluate.

To be continued…

If you like this article please be sure to pass it on…friend me on Facebook, connect with me on Twitter and info on private consultations can be found here on Photographer's Corner.

Part 4 of 5 next Monday…