Jobos, Puerto Rico shot exactly this time last year. About as chill a surf spot as one can find. I’ve been in the last month over consumed by US political direction. Whew! So this PR bubble of non conflict appeals at the moment. Besides it’s warm there and it’s cold here, so I’m headed back to Puerto Rico on March 12 to mentor a max of 6 serious photographers. One spot open. Link in my Instagram profile. Some of these photographers may want to be photojournalists who will take on social and political problems, and some may want to explore photography through a poetic serenity. Both help mankind in my opinion. We need information and we need art to survive as human beings. Conflict exists and should be documented with gusto and peace also exists and should be photographed with equal aplomb. Balance of imagery is the key. My job as a mentor is to aid in whatever direction a photographer is bound and determined to go. Help them to speak with their inner voice, their authorship. Given the freedom to speak visually panics many. Everyone asks for artistic freedom, yet ironically few instinctively know how to use it. Again, my job is to unlock individuality not to direct. I will be shooting myself. Not as demonstration but for real. I’m not a professor. I’m simply a working photographer who may be able to provide insights to emerging photographers because I face the same fears as do they. It’s the pursuit wherein lies the sublime. Link in my Instagram profile.

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentines Day Mom and Dad ❤. You two had the sweetest love story of all time. 58 years worth of being in love from day one of junior high school in Moville, Iowa. Thank you forever for your love, integrity, for setting a good example, and for teaching the whole family to never pass judgement on others. I carry your teachings and spirit with me always. 🎈


JOIN ME IN CUBA. LAST MINUTE CRAZY IDEA .Late afternoon light brightens Cuban teenagers who are offering me a ride. I was on foot and looking lost I guess. Or they just wanted to talk to a gringo with a camera. No matter. Warm light is appropriate for the Cuban attitude and personality. I haven’t been to Cuba for 10 years but I’m headed there Saturday. Keep your eye on IG Stories. I’ll be shooting heavy and at the same time have a full class of 14 through the Santa Fe Workshops program. That’s a week. I feel compelled to stay longer as you may imagine. So I’ve decided to do what I recently did in Playa del Carmen, México. Open up the idea of a one to one workshop. It worked so well with Alexandra @al.nielsen on that shoot for BeachGames that I thought I’d try it again. Un matched mentoring experience for an advanced photographer. FaceTime or Skype interview required. Portfolio review required. I’ll be shooting heavy and mentoring by both example and critique. It’s rare when I can have somebody with me in intimate people situations. Yet I can here. This is coming down fast. I have a window open from March 1-7. If you are serious, want to explore Havana, and feel mentoring by me would advance your photographic life, then write DM to @michellemaddensmith for tuition/application etc. Please don’t write to me directly. Michelle produces/organizes. This photo appears in my book CUBA (published by NatGeo) . My main goal with those I mentor, is to get them to a published book or commissions or exhibitions or all 3. Not everybody can do this. Yet my track record for advancing photographers in a real way makes me so proud of those who have realized a dream or two. It’s bust ass work and it’s the most fun you will ever have. I bond with those I mentor and stick with them way beyond the week they spend with me. Photography is my passion, my life. Not my job. I’ve never had a “job”. Don’t want one. Join me if you are ready to walk the walk. Viva Cuba!


Outer Banks NC 2-9-17. This photo only makes sense if you have a good neighbor named Frank who has creative control over many things around my place. Things I’m throwing out, he will make yard art. Frank and his wife Dawn look out for my house, cats, etc when I travel. Good neighbors to be sure, and that makes sense. @obxhomepage


Fog on Pamlico Sound, NC. 2-8-17