November 26, 2010

Parkour . Behind the Scenes Shoot for BlackRapid .

A behind the scenes look at a photo shoot for BlackRapid Straps and CD Artwork for Paul Andrews. Shot at a castle built in the 1930's in Medellin, Colombia. "El Castillo" was inspired by a gothic castle from France. Check out for the new RS-Sport strap and to see Paul Andrews in parkour action. The last picture in this post was shot by Johanna who loves to do multiple exposures. I thought it suited my personality. Lightenupandshoot! Mikey

...more after the big JUMP:

November 9, 2010 website!

Guys and gals still following our blogger site, remember that we have a kick booty new website with a forum!

So go check it out today and post something in our forums!

Fixing Blown Skies - Photoshop Tutorial

Curse those blown skies! Sometimes there is nothing you can do, but you have to shoot! So for those situations here is a quick way to fix those ugly whites using photoshop.
There is a part 1 and part 2 so make sure you click on Read More to see both!

November 7, 2010

Return to Colombia (part 3) - - Saberstrip

Mikey took some photos of musician and parkour athlete, Paul Andrews.  Also,  there is a mini-discussion of a new light modifier (Saberstrip) that about to hit the market (including several photos taken with the Saberstrip).  Gear used for these photos:  50mm 1.4, 12-14mm 4.0, 105mm 2.0, Alien Bees lights, Saberstrip Lights,  Westcott 28" Softbox, Photoflex 60" Umbrella)

November 3, 2010

Mikey's Return to Colombia (part 1 and 2)

Andy and Mikey have just finished 8 weeks of the LightenupandLearn Tour.  Before Mikey and Andy set out for their next adventure Mikey returns to Colombia to catch up with friends and shoot some video.  Here's part 1 and 2 of "Return to Colombia."

October 20, 2010

Does my photo suck? A look into internet photogratrolls!


Does my photo suck?
Mikey and I are sitting at Peet's Coffee in Beverly Hills, California (that's how we roll!) and a fellow lightenupandshooter that really liked his image told us that some dude emailed him and said his composition was not good and blah blah blah!

October 7, 2010

Thanks Everyone!!! This is for you...

We have been in three continents over the past month doing our We love it! A huge thanks goes out to all of those who treated us like family in your amazing cities and countries. Our photography workshop tour started off in St. Petersburg, Florida when we kicked off the Westcott Top Pro Tour. Then traveled across the pond to Cologne, Germany where we checked out new products, met some cool new people and did some street shooting with Hasselblad Master: Joao Carlos. Next we flew to Dublin, Ireland to shoot with the lads from Dublin Strobist Group. Steve and Del from Dublin were totally excellent for letting us stay at their crib and coordinating everything. While in Ireland, Mikey had an opportunity to travel to some sleepy fishing villages for photos with John and Brian (too many pints at Lowry's Bar in Clifden). After Ireland we set off for San Francisco and did a workshop for a small group of really cool cats. We did some street shooting in Chinatown, Twin Peaks, The Condor strip club, and Jack Kerouac alley. Josh was cool enough to let us use his studio for the workshop. From San Francisco we took Amtrak up to Seattle...we are going to kick around some video ideas with our friends at Blackrapid. Thanks for your support and taking the time to shoot with us!!!! This video is for you guys:

September 23, 2010

Lightenupandshoot is at Photokina - are you in Cologne?

Andy and I have been at Photokina for two days...we are having a blast meeting some great people in the industry and checking out all the new goodies to hit the market.  I'm excited!  Okay!!!  We are shooting some video tomorrow with some cool people:  Blackrapid, Hassleblad Master Joao Carlos and some want to shoot with us?  Meet us at the main steps entrance at Photokina around 6pm on Thursday.   Over and out!  Mikey

September 2, 2010

The V-Book is available on Lightenupandshoot.come Sept 2, 2010!!!!!

The V-Book is out and it's amazing! GO TO LIGHTENUPANDSHOOT.COM TO PURCHASE. Over two hours of video, tons of images, total Lightenupandshoot style and filled with gobs of information. You can watch the new preview video and then go to to purchase now for under $10. On September 18th the price will go up. Also, if you aren't 100% happy with the V-Book we will refund your money. How can you lose? Enjoy the new V-Book!!!!!

August 8, 2010

Intern for the Lightenupandshoot project

Lightenupandshoot is looking for an intern for a project. Email Mikey
Lightenupandshoot is looking for an intern for a project. Email Mikey

July 3, 2010

The lightenupandre-shoot shoot! NO NAP TIME! YAY!!



Just wanted to update and show the video before anything, so stay tuned for the update! So for now, enjoy the video!

Andy and Mikey!

July 2, 2010

How to find a model in five words! Episode 3


We did it, well sort of. Not the best shots we've ever taken but some keepers. Michael has been hitting the Rosetta Stone a little harder than expected and used a couple more than five words. We actually got some people to pose and jump which was great so don't be too harsh! In any case, the main point behind this video is to show that you shouldn't put any barriers between you and taking pictures. We are in a foreign country, we speak barely any spanish, and taking pictures of people on the street is just not common, but even that is not going to stop us from taking pictures. You don't need hours of preparation, a professional model, a ton of photo gear or even a good day. Just lighten up and shoot!!!

Click on Read More for technical info and pictures of the shoot !!

June 30, 2010

Lightenupandshoot is part of the Westcott Top Pro Tour

Lightenupandshoot is hosting part of the Westcott Top Pro Tour.  Be sure to join us in the fun.  
September 18th, Tampa, FL
****We love your comments.  Please comment on the Westcott Blog what you would like to see from us on September 18th.  Don't hold back...let's get crazy****
Comment on the Westcott Blog (click here)

June 18, 2010

Mirador Shoot with Adventure Girl Shawna


Hey everybody!  Mikey here, a few nights ago I went up to Mirador de Las Palmas to do a relax and shoot with Shawna, Matt and Johannes (Andy stayed home to do some retouching).  Matt shot some video with his Nikon D90 and I thought it was so cool I decided to post it.  Thanks Matt!

A little update:  Andy and I have been busy shooting video in between our work schedule.  We plan on going into seclusion this weekend to edit videos and map out a two week trip we have planned in the US sometime in July.  So,  stay tuned for more videos and our summer schedule for lightenandshoot.

June 3, 2010

NEW VIDEO!! Our Backpackers Studio and where to buy!! Part 1


Michael is back from Estados Unidos...finally!! We decided to add a video showing the backpacker's studio and how easy it is to assemble! We also take two minutes and set up a speedlight on a stand. Part two will include a demo of the gear and different light modifiers, so stay tuned!

So what is the backpackers studio (remember I am going to patent this saying so watch out you terminology robbers)? The backpackers studio is our lightweight and extremely portable studio that has helped us so much that we want to share it with you. Through our thousands and thousands of dollars of gear purchased we realized one very big thing:


So with this new found knowledge we put together, the backpackers studio. Everything we need to be able to take the pictures we want with as little gear as possible.

All the links you need to buy everything we use is listed. I am going to list everything we have in the bag, and I am in no way implying that this is the Golden List. This is just what has worked out well for US and we thought we would share.

If you have any questions just leave a comment and I'll answer ASAP!!!

One very big note!! We signed up for amazon and bhphoto affiliate link thingydoodlemabobbers so we will make cash if you buy from the links below (the darker gray is a link).

Our great money making idea number 11,365 (yes we've had that many more since the T-Shirt idea)

Our backpackers studio after the break...

May 13, 2010

High Sync Speed - Lightenupandshoot


One of the most frequently asked questions we get is "How do you get your camera to sync faster than the maximum sync speed". In this video, we show our top secret government technique, ok so we're trying to be funny but it really does work.

Part of the entire lightenupandshoot philosophy is to know the boundaries of your gear and then go beyond them. Flash sync speed has been a very big problem for some photographers, but if you know your getting a black bar, then simply step back, recompose with the black bar in mind....then CROP!
Yes, it's that easy! Remember it's not a mistake if you know it's going to happen!
So as always, get out of your chair, stop reading this and go try it! When it works and you wipe that grin off your face...go tell someone about it!
If you have any questions, just leave a comment and we'll get right on it!
Mikey and Andy

May 12, 2010

Depth of Flash Exposure aka The Inverse Square Law or Flash to Subject Distance


The inverse square law or flash to subject distance video. It has so many names we decided to add another one - DEPTH OF FLASH EXPOSURE. This just makes more sense to us, so take it as you'd like. To us Depth of Field and Flash to Subject Distance have a lot in common. So much that it just computed easier if we renamed it.
Check out the video as we try to describe THE INVERSE SQUARE LAW in total lightenupandshoot style. See exactly how complicated this thing really is, but how easy to understand it should be with our new terminology...ok so maybe it's still complicated but we tried!
Now just to clarify, the measurements we give in the video are not exact. It is simply for you to be able to wrap your head around the concept that the closer the light, the less DOFE you have. The farther away the light, the more DOFE you have!
We are definitely not out measuring anything with a tape measure, but if you want'll see it's close.
We try to teach, like we like to any association with reality might be left far behind...but in the end, we know what we're talking about...and hopefully you do as well.
If you have any questions, just leave a comment and we'll get back to you!

May 11, 2010

New Website is up! Please HELP!!!!!

Hello all you lightenupandshooters! For the past couple of months we have been working on a new website.

The blog has been extremely friendly to us, but we decided that since lightenupandshoot is more of a philosophy instead of just Mikey and Andy, we needed a place with more interaction.

The site is still in BETA, although very close to being finished. Everything is working including registration!

All suggestions are welcome, good or bad.

Our main goal is easy navigation, we know with the blog it is sometimes hard to find articles. Let us know if the layout is pleasing and everything is easy to find.

We also wanted to include a forum so that there could be more community interaction. You must register to use the forum, this way we can kick anyone out that is being unproductive to the rest of us! Let us know if there is a topic that you would like, or if we have to many. Again, any suggestion is positively received!

Thanks for being lightenupandshooters!

New Website : The New Lightenupandshoot Website CLICK HERE

Andy & Mikey

April 29, 2010

Lighten Up and Let Them Shoot - The Amazon

Sometimes in life you think you have it all planned out...then suddenly nothing goes as planned. So what do you do? You give up? Do you put your tail in between your legs and go home?

That is just not what lightenupandshoot is all about!

So what did we do? Find out after the break...

April 28, 2010

El Amazonas - lightenupandshoot heads to The Amazon River!!!!!!!!!


Andy and I just returned from 10 days in the Amazon. Anacondas, mosquitos, indigenas people, jungle trekking, and awesome video footage of us teaching kids photography in the rainforest. Stay tuned for a series of videos that will be sure to inspire you to break out the camera and take a trip to the Amazon River Basin. ENJOY THE SNEAK PEAK AND AS ALWAYS: LIGHTENUPANDSHOOT!!!

April 6, 2010

Lighten Up and Snoot : The Envigado Shoot, Bar La Sierra


Alright people it's time to learn a thing or two. So Mikey and I head out to what we think is the coolest bar in all of Envigado, La Sierra which is owned by our good friend Carlos Mario. It's a tiny and I mean tiny bar with some of the coolest atmosphere you can ever imagine. It is true what they say, good things come in small packages.

We went out with Gaby as our model and we wanted to play with a snoot technique we wanted to share with you. We love snoots! Unbelievable creativity in something so simple!

More info, photos, and brand spankin new Lightroom Presets after the break

April 2, 2010

6 Months of Lightenupandshoot!!


A quick video to show what lightenupandshoot has done in the past 6 months. We love this rollercoaster we're on, and we hope it never ends!!

Thank you for being part of it!! Share it with everyone!! is not about Andy and Mikey, it's about a photographic lifestyle!! It's about living life and capturing moments that would normally slip away!! It's about feeling like you've changed someone's life with a quick press of the shutter button!! It's about being you!! Not what some camera company wants you to be!!

Thanks again!! And stay tuned for more!!

Andy and Mikey

March 31, 2010

New Addition to the Backpacker's Studio


The new Strap. We know a little expensive for a strap but I'm telling you its like Tivo (DVR thingy), until you get it, you don't know how you lived without it! Trust us on this. It's freakin awesome!

Buy from by clicking here or Buy from by clicking here!

Mikey and Andy

March 8, 2010

Lightenupandshooters!!!! THANKS FOR COMING OUT!!!!!


Andy and I invited photographers from Anaheim, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville to shoot with us over the past three weeks.  The turn out was more than we expected and we can't thank everyone enough.  Stay tuned for more lightenupandshoot videos and events!  Until next time, Lighten Up and SHOOT!!!!!!


PS  Andy and I would love to see your pictures on our flickr and facebook pages.

March 3, 2010

*** Lightenupandshoot will be in Jacksonville, FL March 5 - 6 ***


Andy and I have three awesome events this weekend and a special guest appearance from our favorite lighting company!!!!!

1st Street Photography Shoot in downtown Jax.  No model provided because we are going to hit the streets in search of a model to shoot.  3 pm March 5th

2nd  Creative Lighting Workshop at  We will cover studio lighting tips and tricks from 9:30am -  1:00pm.  This is limited to a small group of photographers with knowledge of flash.  Check for details on how to sign up.  Or visit our facebook to see how to sign up for the event.

3rd  Photo-Shoot-Together which is open to everyone at 3:00pm at the Pier in Jacksonville Beach.  The last two Photo-Shoot-Togethers have been awesome.  We cover anything you want to go over during a shoot with models.  Everyone goes home with an awesome shot!

Lighten up and come see us!

March 1, 2010

Meet the coolest president of any camera company!

Meet the coolest President of any camera company: not only because he likes us...his vision on photography really is in line with the lightenupandshoot philosophy!

February 25, 2010

Photoshootogether in St. Pete/Tampa, FL - Feb. 28th, 2010


Ok, so after the great turn out we had in Anaheim, we decided to do a round two in Florida. From one coast to the other...lightenupandshoot style!

In any case, here's the scoop! We have a couple models, we have a lot of time and we have a lot of desire to meet you what better thing to do, than do a photoshoot and invite everyone that wants to go and make this all FREE! (Ok, not everyone but about 20 people max I would say).

HOTEL info too!!!!!

Also!!!!!  We will be in Jacksonville Saturday March 6th...Location TBD

More info after the break..

February 6, 2010

Aperture Controls Flash Exposure - PLUS Behind the Scenes -


Andy and I cover the basics of how aperture controls flash exposure. Simply put, aperture controls the exposure of whatever your flash is hitting. For example, if your subject is over exposed by one stop at f5.6 you are going to close down your aperture to f8.  Andy and I demonstrate how to get proper exposure of our subject while taking pictures of a model in the studio.  Also,  shutter speed controls the ambient light or any continuous light source, i.e. sun, candle, light bulb (watch the Speed Light Series on this site for more detailed information.)  As always,  lightenupandshoot!

Photo examples after the break!

February 5, 2010

Backlighting with the Sun - Shutter Speed Controls Ambient Light -


Here's a quick walk-through of two scenarios where I use the sun to to backlight my subject. I usually start with a natural light shot before I resort to using a flash.  Using flash will give you the ability to control the background/ambient light (shutter speed controls ambient light) while properly illuminating your subject with flash (aperture controls flash exposure.)

Photo examples after the break:

January 26, 2010

Colombian Caribbean RELAX and SHOOT!!! (part 1 & 2)

24 comments heads to Covenas, Colombia for some Caribbean relaxation...and photos of some of the locals.  Andy and I decided to bring both the Backpacker's Studio and Backpacker's Studio Plus (addition of the Alien Bee 1600 head and the Vagabond II for battery power).  I suspect to receive a few emails for carrying something other than the Backpacker's Studio.  But,  when on vacation it's nice to bring out the big toys.

More after the break...

January 12, 2010

The Free Running Shoot! Crapola, Crapola, Crapola!


Curse you nap time, because of you we screwed up!  Not to say there aren't some cool shots, just not what we planned...and that sucks! Ok, frustration rant over, lesson learned, here's what happened...

Photos, the rest of the story and where you can comment cursing nap time after the break!!


January 6, 2010



Okay everyone, we're not even one week into the new year and crazy/might work idea numero uno has already flourished.

We have received a lot of emails asking for portfolio reviews from different photographers. We thought it would be an amazing idea to not only review the portfolio online, but to also have a conversation with the photographer while we are doing the review. A one on one that could help not only the photographer better their photos, but just about anyone else that is watching. And don't worry folks IT'S FREE!! YAY!! (But of course, donations are always welcome but not necessary...hint hint...wink wink!)

More info after the break!

January 5, 2010

Happy New Year! Manizales - Behind the Scenes


Happy New Year everyone!! We're very excited to start this new year and see what turns into! We're all very excited to have the amount of followers, visitors, facebook friends, skype contacts that have boarded this bus! So buckle your seatbelts, this 2010 is going to be an amazing year for all of us!

We have a ton of fun stuff planned for all of you folks and we can't wait to share all of it. But, first thing is first. The ebook!! The ebook should be done shortly, like we said in the video we just keep adding and adding and adding stuff to it, so delivery has been a little delayed! Don't worry you should have it by 2011, Just kidding!!

More info and pics after the break!