Chapped’Lypse, Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first iStock Mini’Lypse that I attended. Most of us were newcomers to the “stock photo” business. I had a few thousand downloads on iStock, and really started thinking about pushing my ability to take images, as well as uploading more photos in general. To this point, I had never worked with models and I didn’t know many other iStock contributors.

Female with Mp3 Player

iStock member, Deuelpics, knew that I was a Photoshop wiz and asked me to come to the event to  speak on some Photoshop Tips. I said “sure, why not.” So, it was cool, it was my first time to fly as an adult, by myself, to another city. Little did I know that I would soon meet a lot of new lifelong friends and realize how, so many in the iStock community really have a lot in common. Chapped’lypse was also the real start of my iStock addiction.

If I remember correctly, I was shooting with a new Canon 5D, and had a 50mm f/1.8, and a 24-135mm zoom lens. I was a little intimidated about using studio lights. Brent (Deuelpics) split us up into groups and sent us on our way. All of us were new to mini’lypses, so a lot of time was wasted. There were a few photographers who seemed to know their gear and had a lot of experience shooting, so, I tried to hang around them.

Workout to Dessert

TacoJim, had just hit 50k downloads that weekend, which just seemed like an unobtainable goal. DennysB was a gear nut and had brought everything plus the kitchen sink. He was so willing to allow us to use his stuff. For the first time, I tried out his ringflash. After this weekend I ended up buying the 70-200mm zoom lens and started borrowing studio lights on a regular basis.

Over the weekend, I could see that I excelled at concepts, and over time this has become a major part of my success on iStock. I may not have had the technical specifics down, but I could get the ideas. There were a few shots that I felt moved me one step forward toward being a better photographer.

Most Chapped’Lypse members have become friends and we get together now regularly to shoot. We have all grown and become better at our craft!

Dieter Spears is a Nashville Photographer, He shoots Royalty-Free Stock images for iStockphoto.com and Getty Images. He is an iStockphoto Inspector.

Chappedlypse Models and Photographers

Check out the images from the Chappedlypse weekend.

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