Meeting Joel Grimes | Brian Rodgers Jr. South Bend Commercial Advertising & Product Photography | Digital Art That Rocks

Chances are, you've heard of Joel Grimes or the "Joel Grimes Look." And rightfully so, Joel is a pioneer in the photography industry and has created a look that just about everyone has tried to replicate at some point in their career. Joel Grimes is undoubtedly one of the hardest working photographers in our industry today. This is a guy who truly loves what he does for a living. He has had over 30 years of experience working as a commercial photographer and has on created some truly iconic images & worked on major ad campaigns. I was lucky enough to have to opportunity to meet him at a recent seminar in Indianapolis a few months ago. 

Joel's seminar was a full day packed with inspiring stories, photoshop techniques, and marketing advice. He was such as genuine guy. My goal is to be kicking as much ass as Joel does when I'm his age. Even with 30 years in the field, he's continues to try new things,  and pursue his vision as an artist. He's not afraid to explore and push the boundaries of what photography can be. Do you know why he works this hard? Because he loves what he does. Wouldn't the world be a better place, if everyone was doing what they loved for a living? But to get there, you've got to work for it, you've got to put the time into your craft.

Key take aways; Build a body of work consistent with your vision, be persistent, and work your ass off, great things will happen! If you ever get a chance to see one of Joel's seminars, I highly recommend it. You will be inspired to say the least.

Thanks for a great time Joel, it was a pleasure meeting you.


Self Assignments

A Sneak Peak of Adobe's Mobile Retouching Prototype | The Future Of Mobile Retouching |Brian Rodgers Jr. | Digital Art That Rocks Blog

Adobe's Mobile Mission



As of last week, Adobe is pulling Adobe Photoshop Touch from the App Store, Google Play Store and other digital platforms. Why? Check out this video that was released yesterday by Adobe Photoshop Product Manager, Bryan O'Neil Hughes. He demonstrates a prototype of some new software they are developing for mobile devices. The techniques in this video are nothing we haven't seen on a desktop computer. However, that said, the ability to retouch a 50 megapixel file from a Canon 5DS on a tablet, is nothing short of impressive as hell. There have been some pretty good mobile retouching apps on the market such as Snapseed but this Adobe Prototype is the closest thing I've seen to something a professional would actually use in a real world workflow. There is no doubt, that Adobe is using technology that hints toward a eventual full blown version of Photoshop on mobile devices in the future. 

If you are a Creative Cloud subscriber, you may already be aware that Adobe offers several mobile apps for iOS, and a very small handful of Android Apps i.e. Lightroom Mobile, Behance etc. I have no doubt that they will be developing this prototype for iOS. No word yet on development for Android as far as I know. Though I wouldn't be surprised if they were developing this for Android as well.

Here's Why

Adobe & Google formed a partnership that introduced "Project Photoshop Streaming" to a small group of beta testers last year in 2014. Selected participants are able to access Photoshop on their Chromebooks! You read that correctly, on their Chromebooks. Photoshop Streaming works directly with Google Drive, which is where you would store your Photoshop files; in the cloud.

What This Means

This means that Adobe is in the early stages of what's to come with mobile based cloud computing. Mobile applications are increasing in functionality & popularity on a daily basis. Such as the apps that run on Google Chromebooks or in the Chrome browser. 

My prediction

My prediction is that in the future, Adobe will have the entire Creative Cloud available in a web app based environment. So no matter what operating system or device you are using iOS, Android, Linux, mobile phone, tablet, computer ect. You will be able to use Adobe Software via the Creative Cloud subscription. 

As long as you have a web browser and an internet connection, you would have access to the software.  This would mean more dependency on faster internet speeds (hence Google Fiber) but more than likely, less demand on your computer's actual hardware specs. From my understanding, a lot of the algorithms (or math) going on behind the scenes are actually being performed by a server somewhere, not necessarily on your device; meaning the faster your internet speeds, the faster the results. So in other words, if you were going to run a filter in Photoshop, your device wouldn't necessarily be computing the filter, but rather an Adobe Server would be. Your device would simply be the catalyst for making that connection.

I think mobile adobe applications like the prototype Bryan is demonstrating, are simply test applications in the grand scheme of things. They are pushing out bite sized mobile applications that push the use web technology that would later allow them to run an entire Creative Cloud subscription via an internet web app. So think of this prototype as only part of what the full blown web app version Photoshop could do. 

And Business For All (Metallica pun intended)

Let's think about this from a business perspective. It's no surprise that the internet of things has changed business' all around the world for better or worse. Entire industries have crumbled and simultaneously thrived. Take the music industry for example. Napster single handedly changed the music industry forever. No longer, did people go out and buy albums. Instead, they got it for free on the internet. This crushed revenue for an entire industry. Major record companies went out of business. Not only did it hurt top record executives, it also hurt producers, sound engineers, and more importantly the artist's. There is still a lot up in the air at this point. Business' that previously never existed are now thriving. Take for example, the subscription based models used in music services like Google All Access Music, Spotify, and Pandora. A monthly fee let's you listen to unlimited music, all through internet access. However, you don't own a copy of the music like you did when you bought a cd. Once you stop paying for that service, you no longer have access to that music. Take a look at another business model like Pledge Music. Pledge music is sort of like a Kickstarter campaign for musicians. Bands and the like, can fund their projects by setting prices on rare items like $7,500 to have the band play an acoustic set at your next backyard bbq, or as simple as a signed album once it's released. There's no doubt that old business models will eventually die and new business models will be formed. Such as the case of Adobe.

If Adobe is able to make this web based app environment possible, then this may suggest that, eventually future applications would no longer be a downloadable source for your physical hard drive. This could in essence, this could prevent unpaid subscribers from stealing their software, which has been a problem in the software industry since the birth of file sharing through the internet. Adobe has been doing a great job of not only giving customers a ton of value for their money by switching to the Creative Cloud, but adapting at a pace in which most consumers of Adobe products favor their cloud based services. 

I believe that in the future, many software companies will eventually release software in the form of a web based app, as opposed a physical download to your device. Which may or may not be a good thing, that's for the individual user should decide. However, most consumers don't particularly enjoy seeing a notification that their phone has 10 software updates available at any given time. Web based applications would be updated in the background without the user ever needing to manually update. 


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Paul C. Buff Has Passed Away | brian rodgers jr. |Digital Art that rocks Blog |south bend commercial photography

In case you haven't heard the sad news, Paul C Buff has passed away. Paul was a true pioneer in the photographic community. His company makes (in my professional opinion) some of the best professional photographic lighting equipment available in the industry today.

I have a lot of respect for Paul. He's a man that has stayed true to his vision and craft. He has always done business as a factory direct company; meaning you could only by Paul C. Buff products directly through his company. No middleman. No other companies selling the his products at a higher price or muddying the water. He also kept his company relatively small; under 50 employees. This allows for better internal communication, and of course top notch customer service. 

Though I've never met him, in a way, I felt like I knew him. We had a lot in common. My condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues at Paul C. Buff Inc. Paul will be missed. In the words of the film The Sandlot, "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die."

Helpful Links:

Here is a link to a beautiful obituary written by his wife:

If you would like to know more about the life of Paul C Buff you can go directly to his website

We Are Living In A Post Industrial Revolution | Videos That Will Inspire Your Creative Business in 2015 | Digital Art That Rocks Blog

It never fails. Every time you’re on social media, you’re bombarded with “The Top 10” list of this or that. It’s getting to the point where it’s almost as cliche as saying “the best for less,” an all too common phrase in my local markets television advertising. The “Top 10” list has lost it’s appeal. 

As I’m sure you know, youtube is a great resource for online education on just about any subject imaginable. You can learn how to play an instrument, learn the latest tips and tricks for todays hottest smartphones, or get the latest in world news. But today, we’re not here to talk about the latest smartphone tips and tricks. We’re here to talk about business.

There are a ton of business videos online. Some great, some not so great. I wanted to share some business related videos that I truly believe will help inspire your business endeavors, both personally and professionally in 2015. I’ve also included some key points from each of the videos that I have written out in the form of quotations. These videos provide practical advice from some of the great minds of our time, and will help you open your mind and expand your horizons. Enjoy

Seth Godin—How to Win at Business In this episode of Behind the Brand, host Bryan Elliott talks with bestselling author Seth Godin about his new book, "The Icarus Deception."

“If you have a job where someone is telling you exactly what to do, they can find someone cheaper than you to do it.” "Gatekeepers have lost their power. You don’t have to wait to be picked. If you want to make a record, make a record. Put it on iTunes. If you want to write, start a blog. If you want to start a software company, you don’t need a permit, you don’t need anything, just start it.” 

"The connection economy rewards little things, little connections, little followings. So that if a programmer has 2,000 people who read her blog and she’s good, she doesn’t need her company anymore. If she gets laid off, she’ll get 10 job offers by tomorrow. Because she is connected to people that trust her. So one by one as individuals build these webs, of connections and trust, the guys on top have way less power than they used to, and that’s going to force them to innovate."

"There’s a race to the bottom to make things cheaper…You can’t grab a huge amount of market share by being 10 cents cheaper, it’s just not worth it. So how am I going to grow? I’m going to be 10 cents more trusted, not 10 cents cheaper."

"The app mailbox got acquired by a company called dropbox, before they earned a dollar in revenue. What did they have? Anyone could have copied their design. What they had was the ability to bring something to the market that people would trust with their most precious digital information; their email. And wait in line for weeks to get their hands on it."

"You’re not looking for new customers for your products, you’re looking for new products for your customers, which is a big mind shift. If you end up having 80 angry litigators as clients, please expect that you’re life is going to be miserable. You’re business isn’t going to grow. On the other hand if you look at the Walt Disney Corporation, who are there customers? They picked them. If they are are frustrated that 4 year olds have short attention spans and throw tantrums, well that’s their fault, they picked 4 year olds. So you get to pick. You don’t say, I have this great product, who can I push it on. You say which group of people are open to being connected, open to being led, open to being being worked with to create art. Those people will be my customers. Now, let’s work together to make a business out of that."

Seth Godin—The Best Business Advice You’ll Ever Hear

In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.

“A Freelancer is someone who gets paid for working. That means the more you work, the more you get paid. An entrepreneur gets paid while they sleep. They build a business bigger than themselves. And they get paid even when they are not there. When freelancers act like entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs act like freelancers, it’s chaos, it’s not a good idea. And if you have a job with a “boss” you need to think about whether or not your boss is asking you to do a set of tasks. If you boss is, then they are going to find someone cheaper than you to do them, which is not good. Or is your boss asking you to solve interesting problems? And if that’s the case, now you have your work cut out for you."

“Once we got over that hump in the 1940’s, business’ worked, electricity worked, cars worked, the system worked. And then school got to work just brainwashing us to accept it all. Don’t ask questions, no usable service parts inside, you shouldn’t own a screwdriver anymore, don’t open this. So that thing compounded by big banks and big corporations and big government agencies saying, “Don’t ask, just listen.” So now we enter this revolutionary age where so many things are being rebuilt. And every once in a while a 20 year old comes along and builds a website that makes them a billion dollars. And the rest of us just say “Oh we never thought of that.” We’re just waiting for someone to tell us what to do."  

“Right now it’s easier to start a business than any other time in history. The only person that’s stopping you from starting a business is you. Access to technology, access to capitol, access to information, access to markets. Never ever, been like this before. When I started early companies of mine, where I needed 70 people to start a company and raise millions of dollars. Now you can start with zero. It’s not hard anymore, accept the voice in your head, the resistance."

"No one gives you initiative, you have to take it"

"If you truly work in an organization, that won’t let you take even a little initiative, you outta try to get fired. Why are you wasting today, and tomorrow and the next month and the next sixth months doing that?"

“We all have so many more degrees of freedom than we give ourselves credit for. Even if you’re a waitress at Denny’s. You can figured out a way to be the waitress they will miss, when you are gone. Every once in a while you hear the case about someone who got a $10,000 tip, because some guy had come in so often and said Thank You. Now, she’s not doing it for the $10,000 tip, she’s doing it because discovering how to smile differently, or talk differently to make the patron have an engagement with you, that’s your real job. Your real job is not to bring the eggs from one place in the restaraunt to the other, they can do that themselves at a buffet. They are coming because you are a human being, and what human beings do is art, is new stuff, is connection and this humanity is what has been boiled out of us, and what we are seeing is it’s coming back in."

30 Min Q&A over Coffee with Chase Jarvis

“Making something is my natural state, where I feel most like myself. So it brings me great joy and that’s one of the reasons that I chose to be an artist, and a creative for a living. There’s a certain bias that I have towards doing things that you love. And imagine if we were full of a world full of people where most of the people got to do what they wanted to do. I realize that can’t be true for everyone. But what if we could get close to that? What if you right now, left the crappy cube that you were in that you didn’t like, that you didn’t want to be in and went and pursued your passion. I think you would be a happier person, the world would likely be a better place because of it. Especially if that happened at scale."

"If you love it so much that you’d rather be doing that than anything else, that’s where the competition is going to fall away"

“You have to be good at your craft. To be able to get up and do something for work as opposed to pleasure, it’s like a professional golfer. You’re paid to hit it down the middle everyday. It doesn’t matter if there are 10 people watching or 10 million people watching, if it’s windy, rainy, all that doesn’t matter. If you’re a pro, you’ve gotta be able to hit it down the middle. And that’s what being professional photographer does. You’ve gotta be able to deliver over, and over and over. And it’s a subject matter that you don’t like, or the persons being a jerk, none of that matters and you know who cares? No one. The person who hires you cares, that they put the best work on their bosses desk. And that’s what gets you hired over and over.”

“A: You have to be great at your craft. B: You have to stand out in the market place."

Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe on the High Cost of College (Full Interview)

Mike Rowe about college: “It’s not working. You’ve got a trillion dollars in debt on the student loan side. You’ve got a skills gap. Right now you have about 3 million jobs, transportation, commerce, trades that can’t be filled. Jobs that typically don’t sit down with their kids a say looks if all goes well, this is what you’re going to do."

“Opportunities. A good welder, right now, can pretty much write his or her own ticket. Companies like Catapillar, you can go down the list. They have had open shortages for years.

“The scholarship program, and the scholarship business, as I understand it, right now awards four basic things. Intelligence, so you have academic scholarships. Athleticism, if you can hit a three pointer, we’ve got money for you for days. Talent, we reward talent and of course need. Need based scholarships. Those are the categories that most scholarships address to some degree or another. Who’s addressing work ethic? Who’s affirmatively trying to reward the behavior we’re trying to encourage?"

Mike Rowe on his foundation: “the behavior that Mike Row Works wants to at least talk about, is two things. The willingness to learn a useful skill. And the willingness to work your ass off. Combined, we think that is something that outta be affirmatively rewarded."

"The question is, what is better? Is it better, right now today, to have $140,000 in debt, but have a degree from Georgetown in law? Or is it better to be that kid I described up in Butler? (Earlier he talks about a kid in Butler North Dakota, that works on heavy equipment making over $100/hour, working when he wants, paid for his house in cash, raising a family, no debt. People don’t tell his story. "

“If we’re lending money that extensively, we don’t have to kids who really have no hope of paying it back in order to train them for jobs that clearly don’t exist, I might suggest that we’ve gone around the bend a little bit."

“The cost of a degree has increased over 500 times the rate of inflation since the mid 80s. 500 times the rate of inflation. Nothing else comes close, not even healthcare. Healthcare is like, 250-260. The cost of this thing has increased so exponentially, I can’t believe it’s not daily headline news. Image any other commodity increasing at that rate. I get it, education is hugely important. If there’s only more thing that’s more important than education, maybe health and fitness. Right, cause what’s the point, if you’re not functioning."

“Fear. It’s gotta be very scary to not have a really specific answer to questions like: “What’s the best path dad?” And to have somebody tell you in a fairly convincing way that there is an answer to that question. That must be very comforting. And that must be very comforting to pass that certainly onto your kid too. "Here’s what you need to do, you need to work hard in school. You need to study"…..It’s not bad advice. It’s just that, like I’ve said before, it always goes too far. Because, rather than put a period after work hard and study hard. We put an ellipsis, and that’s followed by “or else, you’re gonna end up working down at the construction thing…er…eh"

“Whether you’re a tv interviewer, or an opera singer, or a writer, you’re gonna approach your craft like a tradesman. And by that I mean, like a freelancer. Instead of, “ok I need my job and my job will be 30 years, and it will come with benefits and it will be provided bla bla la . That’s not working anymore.” 

“Les Swansin from Wisconsin cleans septic tanks. I asked him one day, we were literally standing literally up to our nipples in the most undescribable bouillon base on the planet, and I said Les, “what did you do before this?” It’s 110, the sweats running off his face and he looks at me and he says “I swear I was a guidance counselor.” He was a psychiatrist, a psyhologist. And I said, “Why’d you leave that? And without missing a beat he says, “I got tired of dealing with other peoples shit.” It was very funny, but it was also very instructive, because he always thought what he wanted to do was the thing that he was told he should do. He became passionate about something he really didn’t care for. When it came time for him to make the change, he just looked around to see where everybody was going, and he went the other way. Took him into a septic tank. Owned a business, couple of workers, very happy. So if you’re asking how do you know if you’re going in the right direction, how do you really foster a good work ethic, I think you have to identify the thing that most people don’t want to do, figure out a way to do it, and then figure out a way to love it"

Ramit Sethi | Chase Jarvis LIVE | ChaseJarvis

Chase welcomes business guru Ramit Sethi to The Garage to share his advice for what it takes to be successful as an artist. SUBSCRIBE: About Chase Jarvis: This is the hub for award-winning photographer Chase Jarvis' behind-the-scenes videos.

Chase Jarvis - “It is a global economy right now. 10% of my work comes from Seattle. And I have called this place home for the duration of my professional career. So I think there is something to think about that goes beyond geography.” 

Ramit Sethi - “It’s funny that sometime’s people believe they don’t have the time to learn the marketing part of it. So I knew this restaurant owner, and I wrote most of my book at his coffee shop, and one day I mentioned to him, “Hey what about marketing this and that” because I became friends with him. And he said, “yeah, yeah, I really should do that. I don’t have time to do that. And his restaurant shut down, not long after. So I agree that, if you’re the creative person, you need to take the time to articulate your vision. Otherwise it just looks like you’re delegating it off to someone else and you’re just a technician. That’s not a role you want to be in. A technician is a commodity, like salt. Do I care if I have one brand of salt or another brand? No. They’re the same to me. One dollar, I don’t care, they’re a commodity. Someone who has a vision, a narrative, a story, who can walk it and show me why it’s right for me, price out the door. And I want to work with you. You don’t want to be a commodity, you want to be a visionary.” 

Settings Goals & Reaching Milestones | Brian Rodgers Jr. South Bend Commercial Photography | Digital Art That Rocks LLC

This past year has been a crazy one. A lot of great things have happened. And rightfully so. I have found that when you set goals for yourself, and you actually put them down on paper (or in Evernote), you are more likely to accomplish them. I know, it’s hard to believe (sarcasm), but there are only a small amount of people who actually do this. It’s great to have goals. It’s even better to write those goals down and stick to them. I promise you, it will make a difference! 

It’s easy to forget what you've accomplished over the course of a year. That’s why I have a notebook in Evernote that is specifically dedicated to keeping track of milestones throughout the year. It’s a pretty simple idea really, but it allows you to reflect on your accomplishments at year’s end. I simply make a quick bullet pointed list for each month of the year. Anytime something note worthy happens, or a milestone is reached a new bullet point is added to that list for the month. 

Here are a few things that I was proud to accomplish this year:

  • Really pushed myself to create a better body of work this year
  • Won several contests 
  • Won 4 Addy Awards for Commercial Photography: American Advertising Federation (AAF) - ADDY Awards
  • My photography was selected as Image of the week twice by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals
  • I was asked to be a guest blogger for (Scott Kelby is the best selling photography and photoshop author for the past 10 years & is President & CEO of KelbyOne.) See my post here:
  • My work was featured on popular web show The Grid-The Path to Inspiration Episode 142 for My ford focus time lapse (I'm referenced at about 34:20 & 1:03:15)
  • Became a member of the American Society of Media Photographers
  • Started Digital Art That Rocks LLC - Commercial Photography Studio
  • Created a Digital Art That Rocks Youtube Channel & posted my first youtube videos
  • Taught myself how to shoot and edit video
  • Taught myself how to fluidly use Adobe Premiere
  • Taught myself how to create animated display ads using Photoshop & After Effects
  • Created TV commercials that ran on air and corporate videos
  • My work was featured on the Photoshop Daily News
  • My work was featured on the KelbyOne Blog:


Not all of the items listed were goals that I had written down. Some were just pleasant surprises. However, I can say that mostly everything I set out to do this year, I've accomplished. What are you goals for this upcoming year? Do you want to learn new skills? Further your career? Start a business? Donate to Charity? Run a marathon? Be a better person?

Even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. We are all living in "post industrial revolution," where anything is possible. Now more than ever, we have all have the resources the enrich the lives of others, whether that’s creating an amazing product and using Kickstarter to bring it to the market, through writing and distributing your own music, self publishing your own books, creating your own website, starting your own business and the list goes on. I encourage you to make 2015 your year!