March 16, 2009

V. 2.0 Testimonail - Ali Smith

Ali just sent over her uberly awesome testimonial from the workshop last Nov...

"I got lucky in 2004 when I selected Jon to shoot my wedding without so much as a referral or testimonial. I spied some of his images in a Utah bride book and liked what I saw: photos that were fresh, candid, colorful and slightly editorial … and kept my fingers crossed. Five years and countless referrals later, I’ve never looked back.

What I didn’t know then was that the age of online social networking was just around the corner (as was Jon’s reputation as a totally legit photographer), and, as a freelance writer and editor, blogging would soon become a professional outlet for me. And what blog doesn’t need good photographs? Jon was an immediate supporter of local-centric Your Heart Out, which I operate and edit, and knew of my dabbling interest in photography thanks to my Flickr account and personal blog.

He suggested that I look into his “Film Is Not Dead” workshop to learn not just about film photography and photography in general, but to boost the photos that are vital and necessary to any semi-professional website. Everyone likes a pretty picture.

So, how much photography know-how did I have? Not much. I had taken a couple four-week courses, but my know-how paled in comparison to the professionally-trained attendees who became my classmates. Still, Jon tailored the class to fit my needs by providing one-on-one counseling, sharing his business savvy, and by taking the time to answer each and every one of my novice questions—even when they dealt with my novice camera. His open-door policy is no joke. You can ask this guy practically anything and you’ll get an honest answer.

Though I still haven’t converted to film, the composition and quality of my photos have improved tenfold. When I head out to a new boutique or bakery, I am confident that my images will be publishable.

Note to bloggers: You will never regret an investment in your photography skills with “Film Is Not Dead.” Your blog will love you for it; your readers will love you for it. Your advertisers will probably love you for it, too. And your stomach will thank you for eating Callie’s delicious food. My 7-month-pregnant tummy definitely did.

Thanks, Jon! Not only for being a great mentor, but also for driving all the way to our apartment in Salt Lake’s Avenues a few years ago to drop off one photo for me in time for Christmas."

There are still a few spots left for V. 3.0 in July out in San Francisco. Check the website for more information or shoot me an email at:


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