Today is Joe McNally’s birthday and it got me thinking about all of the wonderful things I’ve learned from Joe over the years. Sure, like many out there, you’d think most of it was about using flash. But I’ve learned just as much from watching Joe about “how” to be a good photographer, that has absolutely nothing to do with the technical details about making a photo. This past year, Joe did something very special for me and included a photo of me (above) in his most recent book, Sketching Light – An Illustrated Tour Of The Possibilities Of Flash. Some of you may or may not know, but I’m a first degree black belt in Taekwondo. I regularly compete in fighting tournaments throughout the year, and actively practice at my Taekwondo school about 4-5 times per week (I even teach a little when possible).

A few years ago, Joe was recording a class for Kelby Training and asked if I could be one of his models for a specific long exposure/exposure merging technique he was doing (photo below).

I gotta tell ya, it was such a cool thing to see Joe transition from this guy, who we would goof around with and joke quite often, to the Joe who worked with the people in front of his camera. At one point, it was pretty cold outside (on the beach in the photo you see above), and Joe was incredibly concerned about me staying warm and making sure I didn’t get injured doing anything for his photo. It was really the only time I’ve ever been in front of the camera like that and Joe certainly set the bar high, should I ever be there again. Happy Birthday Joe and thanks so much for including me in your book. I’m incredibly honored and humbled to be a part it. Oh and if you wanna give Joe a present then go buy his book. Just don’t make fun of the moderately un-flexible guy on page 276 😉


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