Friday, November 30, 2012

Special Thoughts, Special Memories! A Special Photo Project.

Calendar 2013Cover

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Today I thought I would share with you a little photo project LaDawn has been working on for a few weeks.  After our extensive Europe travels and a collection of over 18,200 images under our photographic belts, we decided to cull our favorites. From the extensive number of those images, LaDawn set to work designing a calendar for next year.

Not only was she looking for the best images, she also decided to search for special quotes that would add to the meaning of the images.  The above image is the calendar cover from her project.  I think it’s really pretty cool.  I also really like the quote she’s selected for this image.  It really fits how our fantastic trip came about.

Since we were married, just 71/2 years ago, we had always planned to go to Italy for our honeymoon, but never found the time.  We’ve been dreaming of that trip for many years.  All the stars aligned perfectly in 2012 and those dreams and plans became a reality for us this year. And regarding dreams and realities, another quote also comes to mind for me.

“Refuse to accept anything but the very best,

and you very often get it.”

W. Somerset Maugham


Have a great weekend everybody. Keep your cameras ready and pixels smiling, and I’ll see you on the flip side next week.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Into The Sunset"

Into The Sunset 2012

"Into The Sunset"
©David A. Ziser

All the morning sunrises and the even more spectacular sunsets are just beautiful in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  We’re here about the same time each year – the weeks after Thanksgiving, when I believe the sunsets are best.

This image was made while on a beach stroll back to our resort just a few evenings ago. The “famous” pirate ship was on it’s daily sunset cruise.  I was using my new Canon PowerShot SX50 HS camera which has the ability to zoom to a full 1200mm (35mm equiv) focal length.  I timed the pirate ships position with the setting sun and fired away.

This is pretty much a straight image – no tweaks in Lightroom. I love the colors, the masts rocking slightly to the left, and the super large setting sun in the background.

Camera specs:  Canon PowerShot SX50 HS zoomed to 615mm (35mm equiv) F8.0 at 1/1250 second, ISO 320.  Enjoy!  David

Business Day Thursday: How NOT To Conduct A Sales Presentation

Good Morning Everybody,

Into The Sea - IMG_0466Hope things are good in your part of the world – life is good at the tip of the Baja. And to celebrate how about I offer up my Business Day Thursday post from the land of sand and sun ;~)   Here we go.

Business Day Thursday:  How NOT To Conduct A Sales Presentation

I mentioned yesterday that we actually enjoy taking the “timeshare” presentations during our travels.  They offer a wealth of knowledge for any student of sales. And, to be successful in any walk of life and especially in running a photography studio, you better be a successful sales person.  Remember one of the most important things about sales:  Sales is not a dirty word! Sales is finding out what the customer wants and helping them get it.  It should be the center of any business.  It’s a customer service centered approach.  Professional sales people are looking for a WIN-WIN situation as should we as studio owners.

That brings us to today’s topic, How NOT To Conduct A Sales Presentation.  A sales presentation should be composed of six sections. 

You’ve Got To….

SalesPerson1. Be inviting, pleasant, congenial, and always hospitable to your prospective customer.

2. Be interested in you client, get to know them.  Any good sales person will tell you that before a customer can be interested in you, you’ve first got to be genuinely interested in them.  The sale should truly not proceed till there is a level of trust between the sales person and the client.

3. Provide a compelling offer to you’re perspective client.  Hey, everyone is looking for a deal these days.  The more compelling the offer, the better chance of closing the sale.

DAZNOTE: It’s equally important that YOU KNOW that your product is the best you have to offer.  It you don’t have confidence in your product, change products or change jobs, or find someone that does believe to conduct your sales for you.

4. Be prepared for the objections, especially the hidden objections.  Objections are part of the sales process and should not deter you from the process.  The best way to handle an objection is to raise that objection before the client raises it.  Good sales people know what the common objections are and simply bring those objections into the conversation or to light early on, and simply answer them for the client. 

Also look for the hidden objections.  Hidden objections are the real reason a client doesn’t purchase.  Once you can discern what that hidden objection is, you can then answer that objection and move on with the sales process.  Remember, we are trying to find out what the client wants and provide a way to help them obtain easily what they want.

5. Make the CLOSE.  If you’ve built client trust, made a compelling offer of your terrific product(s), and answered all the client’s objections, the sale should follow easily with a satisfactory outcome for the salesperson and the client.  Said another way – everybody leaves happy!


Some sales people just don’t get that essential rule.  When objections or concerns are raised they totally lose respect for their customer/client. Too often they don’t listen to the client and have only a “canned” presentation.  They figure that they have nothing to lose so why not go for the jugular to try to make the sale. This is such a “brain dead” sales approach to me.  I’ve said it a million times, NEVER, EVER get into an adversarial relationship with a client!

The NIGHTMARE at the Solmar Resort Presentation

Before I proceed, let me say that the Solmar Resort in just beautiful.  The suites are spacious and well appointed and the facilities are truly first class.  It’s the "timeshare” department I take exception.   Nightmare

Our tour began well enough with a tour of the property and suites – as I said, all very beautiful.  Our host and hostess were pleasant and hospitable.  After the tour we proceeded to the sales room to hear about the offer(s).  Only about 5 minutes into the presentation, we were handed off to the “real” sales rep – let’s call him the “closer”.  After the hand off things started to go south.  The salesperson did not listen to our vacation desires but droned on about golf, which we are not interested, he talked on and on about fishing opportunities in this area, another subject that holds little interest to LaDawn or I.

Unfortunately, the presentation went from bad to worse as we told him his offer was not the least bit compelling – $240,000 for 2 weeks in Cabo – what was that guy “smoking”?  It was just crazy and every time we said we weren’t interested he continued to ramp up the pressure. He had already exceeded his promised 90 minute time-line by 30 minutes and we simply asked that we end the presentation. Instead he continued on and on. 

It ended with him literally insulting us because I called him out on a few of his misinformed facts which I could easily verify. He even threatened us with writing us up to his manager – WHAT???   He’s writing US up?  For what? I don’t think so. 

We were invited guests to this presentation, we certainly didn’t walk up on our own. After I assertively asked a few times to see his manager, Jason, the manager, appeared and I explained what just happened during our presentation in detail.  Professionals just don’t conduct themselves that way. 

We received the obligatory apology and left the build with the worst taste ever of our many timeshare experiences.  Avoid the Solmar Resort “timeshare” presentation at all costs if you are in fact in Cabo – you’ll be put under extreme pressure to buy and it’s a waste of your time.  The entire presentation was a perfect example of how to NOT conduct a sales presentation.  But, please read on…

Doing It Right At Cabo Villas Resort

Yesterday we were invited to another presentation at Cabo Villas Resort. Juanito was congenial when he picked us up from our hotel. During our ride to Cabo Villas I conveyed our earlier experience and he was appalled.  He assured us that we would enjoy our presentation at Cabo Villa Resorts.

Cabo Villas

After arriving at the resort and going through a short meeting with the receptionist, we were introduced to Vince, a really nice guy originally from Toronto.  He met the love of his life in Cabo about 7 years ago and decided to stay.  Over the next hour we took the tour of this beautiful resort.  LaDawn and I were both very impressed with the room d├ęcor of this property.

Vince, LaDawn and I enjoyed the our conversations, getting to know each other and we all knew as the clock was ticking away the time to hear the offer.  Vince in the most thorough and professional manner possible laid out how the plan worked. He laid it out simply and clearly and answered all our questions.

Next we moved on to our main objections – the barrage of AMEX bills just coming in from our trip to Europe.  We just were not comfortable at this time to make a further financial commitment for a few more weeks of vacation time.  Vince and his manager, Mitch made one last offer for less money and for less time, and it was much closer to what we might have accepted if the timing was better.

Vince and Mitch knew they made their best offer, they offered a great product, but the timing was not right for us and both of them respected that.  Respect being the operative word when it comes to being a good sales person.

Stop By Cabo Villas and Ask For Vince

That right, I give Cabo Villas a big “thumbs up” for the level of professionalism they exhibited during our presentation.  Their entire team from bottom to top was first class.  It was truly a pleasure to meet all of them. They closed the presentation with several gifts and a FREE return visit to their property for a future 4 day-3 night stay!

There’s a t-shirt you can purchase in Cabo that reads, “I survived the Grand Mayan timeshare presentation.”  It’s sometimes true, but our experience has been mostly positive and we have purchased several timeshares through-out the years.  But in closing, let me say that Cabo Villas gets it right and I invite you to stop on by and visit Vince and his associates.  The fit may be just right for you.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  I’ve got a pretty cool post planned for tomorrow, so please plan to stop back.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

Adios everybody,


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"The Edge Of Tomorrow"

The Edge Of TommorowIMG_0182

"The Edge Of Tomorrow"
©David A. Ziser

I borrowed today’s title from an Isaac Asimov sci-fi book title but I think it fits this image perfectly. We were up really early – 2:00 a.m. – on Saturday for our flight to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico that by the time we had boarded the plane 4 hours later in Dayton, Ohio it was still dark outside.  No problem, I was sitting in the window seat, my favorite, and the window was really clean on our Frontier Airlines jet.  That meant that it should be a kick to get some really cool shots at 38,000 feet.  That is, whenever the sun came out.

Also considering the fact that the plane was traveling westward into the darkness, sunrise was going to be later for us than if we had stayed in Dayton.  I still just love gazing out a plane window to see how the sky changes with the clouds, weather, and time of day.  Anyway, about two hours into our flight the rotation of the earth overtook the speed of the plane and I could clearly see the edge of night or edge of the new day – which ever you prefer.  I thought the sight on the 38,000 foot horizon was really interesting – the easy lines, smooth tonalities, and almost monochromatic colors.  You can actually see where the darkness meets the light of the new day right in the center of the image.

I took several images but this one was my favorite.  I like the fact that the plane’s wing and engine are included in the composition.  That gives the image a sense of space without the image coming across as a totally abstract composition.  I also like how you can discern the curvature if the earth in the image as well.  Like I said, a very cool view!

The camera I was using may come as a surprise to you.  I had just picked up Canon’s recently introduced PowerShot SX50 HS camera – a little jewel of a camera, But, more on that in a later post. The articulated viewfinder allowed me to easily frame up the shot from my bulkhead seat.  I adjusted the exposure to under-expose the scene slightly in order to better define the “edge of tomorrow” that you see in the image.

Post production was minimal – a slight tweak of the vibrancy slider, reduction of the noise, and slight edge sharpening gave me the finished result.

Camera specs: Canon PowerShot SX50 HS at 4.3mm (24mm-35equiv.), F3.4, 1/40 second, ISO 800.  Enjoy!  David.

Technique Tuesday on Wednesday: Shine A Little Light On Me

Good Morning Everybody,

SunsetWe have easily settled into the Cabo lifestyle these last few days with walks on the beach, enjoying the sunrises and sunsets, the waves, a little tequila flavored drinks, the swimming pools and taking “timeshare” tours. It’s true, we have taken two “timeshare tours.”  I’ve mentioned before that I’m a student of sales and I like to see what new “sales” approach will be taken in each presentation.  Some consider these kinds of presentation just a waste of time, but, in reality, I really enjoy seeing the properties and experiencing new insights I can gain from their sales techniques. 

So with that said, let’s get on with today’s post.

Shine A Little Light On Me

As you know, while we were in Spain a few weeks ago, I presented a convention program and then did a day-long workshop on Monday after the convention. In today’s post  I’d like to cover a few of the window lighting techniques I shared with the class.

Today’s video will show you how finding the direction of light is so important to creating a flattering portrait.  I’ll also show you how you can augment the lighting to enhance the finished portrait even more. The lighting was perfect and our model was beautiful so why not hit the PLAY button below and enjoy the presentation.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  We’re burning daylight and LaDawn insists we get outside and enjoy it.  How about I see you tomorrow for a brand new Business Day Thursday post:  How NOT to Make The Sale!

See you then,  David

p.s. To get the video up today, I took a short cut on recording the sound and just used the camera’s on board microphone, hence the difference in sound during the video.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I’ve Been MIA For A Few Weeks; Must Be Blogging Doldrums

Good Afternoon Everybody,

I sure hope everyone survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  I’m glad I was nowhere near all that chaos.  Man, did you see some of the YouTube videos – it was craziness. You know for me, life is just too short to make Black Friday part of my holiday experience. Just my personal opinion!

I’ve Been MIA For A Few Weeks

MIAOn to more important things.  As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been MIA for a short while.  I know it’s been troubling to me and maybe even to a few of my DPT readers.  After our two month travels to Europe, including the cruise, my batteries sure did get a tremendous recharge.  Maybe even life took on a different perspective.

Cruise ShipThe fact of the matter is that most of us are running in way to many directions missing special moments in our lives. I know that was true for me.  For most of the fall, LaDawn and I did not miss many of those special travel moments  and perhaps even enjoyed a life time’s worth in that time period. The fact of the matter is that I’m finding it difficult firing up my after-burners and continuing at the breakneck speed I’ve lived most of my life. It seems that I have found myself in the blogging doldrums and I’m having a little difficulty getting back up to speed with my daily posts.

DPT Is Still Important To Me

The blog has always been important to me.  It has always been a way for me to share with you my observations on photography and lighting, Photoshop and Lightroom, insights and experiences with new gear, tips and ideas on how you could enrich your businesses, and hopefully a healthy dose of inspiration along the way.  

There is just so much I want to write about - but the time continues to get away from me as other projects seem to take precedent.  So that has been what’s happening for me these last several weeks – finding the time and motivation to punch out 1,200 words a post at least three times a week knowing I’ve got a book to finish and the PPN Convention marketing campaign to launch.  I promised myself, and now I’m promising you my DPT readers that I will strive to get at least three new posts up this week.

PelicanWe are once again on our annual trip to Cabo San Lucas and are lucky to be here for the next few weeks.  I know, I know life is tough isn’t it.  Nobody gives us any mercy back home either ;~) For the next week I’ll be spending time getting the the marketing kicked off for our exciting PhotoPro Expo 2013 Convention.  Please, if you live anywhere within 600 miles of Cincinnati, Ohio and want to see the largest line-up of tremendous speakers in the industry, you owe it to yourself to check it out right here!

Let’s Get Ready To Roll

That said gang, tomorrow I’ll make it my TOP priority to get things moving again.  I thank everyone for their patience during this blogging doldrums days-of-my-life. – let’s just call it a blogging mid-course correction.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  Tomorrow I’ve got a post planned on lighting.  If I can get the internet to cooperate, I just may turn it into a Technique Tuesday on Wednesday.  Anyway, check back – something is sure to pop here at DPT.

Have A Great One Everybody!



Monday, November 26, 2012

The Candid Frame #163 - Emilio Banuelos

Emilio Banuelos has worked as an editorial photographer and consultant for newspapers in Mexico, Panama and the United States. His documentary work earned him fellowships from the Poynter Institute, The Marty Forscher Fellowship for Humanistic Photography and an award from EnFoco Inc. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Emilio teaches documentary photography for the Academy of Art University, and has conducted workshops for the University of California Santa Cruz-Extension, the University of Coahuila and Black Boots Inc. You can discover more about his work by visiting his photo website or the site for Black Boots Ink

Emilio Banuelos recommends the work of Donna Ferrato

You can also subscribe to the show via iTunes by clicking here.

Or you can directly download the MP3 file by clicking here.

Visit and subscribe to my YouTube Channel by clicking here.

To take advantage of the special offer on Adobe Lightroom 4 visit the link below or go to

And take advantage of the a 14-day free trial of Squarespace to create your own photo website and blog. Click below to get started. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

How to Create a PDF Folio

Here is a short video on how I use Adobe Lightroom 4.0 to create a PDF Folio of images using the book module.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Candid Frame #162 - Joel Meyerowitz

Joel Meyerowitz is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world. He was born in New York in 1938. He began photographing in 1962. He is a “street photographer” in the tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, although he works exclusively in color. As an early advocate of color photography (mid-60’s), Meyerowitz was instrumental in changing the attitude toward the use of color photography from one of resistance to nearly universal acceptance. His first book, Cape Light, is considered a classic work of color photography and has sold more than 100,000 copies during its 30-year life. He is the author of 17 other books, including the newly released book by Aperture,Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks.You can find out more about Joel and his work by visiting his website.

Listen to our first interview with Joel on Episode 19 of the Candid Frame. 

Click on the image above for more information on his latest book, Taking My Time. Visit the Phaidon website to view the short video mentioned by Joel in our interview. 

Joel recommends the work of Paul Strand  and Alex Soth 

You can also subscribe to the show via iTunes by clicking here.

Or you can directly download the MP3 file by clicking her

Visit and subscribe to my YouTube Channel by clicking here

To take advantage of the special offer on Adobe Lightroom 4 visit the link below or go to

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mari & Swapnil

Meet Mari & Swapnil.
Mari and I studied together. When we graduated Mari went to work on one of the cruise ships as a photographer and that's where se met Swapnil and fell madly in love.
I loved doing this shoot so much and the love they have for each other is electrifying.

All of the best for the two of you. Good luck with the wedding planning!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

4th Year Farewell Function

I was honored to photograph the 4th Year Farewell Function of the Wellington CPUT group. After these past two years I've worked on multiple shoots with them and got to know them pretty well, some of them I can even call friends.
They arranged a small fancy function in honor of the 4th Year SRC group at Kleinevalleij's Festa, where each of them could bring a friend or family member to join the celebration. Speeches were made, awards handed out and lots of tears were shed as they said thank you and good bye to the good times they've shared.

Good bye and good luck to all of you, you will be missed.