2019 Holiday Gift Giving Guide for Photographers

Hey there! Gary Allard here, your APA | SD Chapter Chair. It’s holiday season and that means there’s probably someone on your list deserving of a photo gift. We put together this handy guide to share some ideas (or make it easy to share this wishlist). These are some of my favorite things, in no particular order:

FujiFilm Instax Wide instant camera
This was on our list last year and I still love this camera! This is just plain fun. It’s a great way to get my head out of the digital world and take time exploring analog photography. Fuji has been great at introducing new film formats and styles for the Instax line and the creative possibilities are endless. I’ve built an entire portfolio of instant film work with these cameras. Check it out in person at Nelson Photo and use your APA membership discounts to stock up on film.

MIOPS Smart+ Camera and Flash Trigger
This is a new gadget I picked up recently and have been playing with the diverse functions it has. It’s an all-in-one sound, laser, lightning, intervalometer, HDR, flash trigger and more. With the laser function, I can capture high speed movement with precision. The sound trigger can fire the camera or flash for a multitude of uses. And the Smart+ is mobile app supported so you can turn your phone into a wireless camera control device.

Litra Professional Adventure Lighting
These little guys are awesome. Not only are they great for photo and video work, they are super handy for nighttime adventures like climbing, cycling or hiking. With multi-level output and a very compact size, they are versatile enough for any job or adventure. With a 1/4″ screw mount they will connect to just about anything you can think of. And, extra bonus, they are fully waterproof to around 30 feet. I have two LitraTorches and have used them for photo and video above and below the water.  Order your kit and get 25% off the with the APA | SD discount code APASD25

G-Drive Mobile Hard Drives: Everyone can use some extra storage. I have a couple of the 1TB drives and I can fit my entire Users file from my iMac or MacBook Pro to take on the road. This makes it handy to backup a system or keep everything in one place. A little larger than an iPhone, it’s an essential workhorse and a bargain at around $100.

GoPro Hero
No secret that the GoPro is the go-to compact adventure camera for most videographers. The wide array of options and the recently introduced new models make it an easy entry into video.  I keep a little GoPro Hero kit on hand for behind-the-scenes stuff or when I need to get an interesting angle from a tight spot. The addition of voice-control is nifty, as well as the remote operation from iOS or Android. Visit George’s Camera or Nelson Photo to check out the whole line. Be sure to mention your APA membership for discounts.

Museum of Photographic Arts Membership
I can’t say enough about this place. Their programs and exhibitions just keep getting better and better. This museum is very unique because it’s one of only a handful of dedicated photography museums in the world, and it’s right here in our backyard. We have such gratitude for their continued involvement with APA | SD. Give a gift of membership that will last the whole year.

ThinkTank Bags and Cases
ThinkTank has been an ongoing supporter of APA for many years and their gear stands the test of time. They make a vast line of products to suit any level of photographer. I use the Airport Roller Derby and the Vision 13 shoulder bag. Both are high functioning, carry all the gear I need for a small shoot and fit neatly in the overhead compartment with elegance. Check out the ThinkTank discounts on our member benefits page.

CreativeLive Classes
I’ve been a big fan of CreativeLive since its launch. It’s now grown to include many more categories beyond photography and filmmaking so it’s worth a look for any creative mind. Need to learn how to make a motion graphic in After Effects®? Just get a new version of Final Cut Pro®? Brushing up on your Photoshop CC® skills? Head on over and get schooled. APA members receive a 20% discount on courses.

Bonus Round:
Lifeproof phone case: Make your phone waterproof and lifeproof. The latest e release includes cases for the iPhone 11 series. Mine is with me on all adventures.
Smove Gimbal Stabilizer: iPhone video stability with an economic price tag.
PDN Magazine: Use your APA membership discount for one the best industry publications out there.
Chrome Digital: Print your work! High quality local printing with excellent hands-on customer service. Make something beautiful.

Have your own great gift ideas? Drop a comment or connect with me on Facebook or Instagram.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at APA | SD!

Holiday Party and Print Exchange

Photo © Gary Allard

Join us and other San Diego photographers at what is now a venerable tradition: arrive at Coronado Brewing with a loose print and depart in the wee hours filled with winter cheer, your heart full of holiday spirit, your hands clutching a new and wonderful photograph. It’s a custom. It’s an age-old practice. It’s a party.

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Coronado Brewing Company | San Diego Tasting Room
1205 Knoxville Street | San Diego, CA 92110
Space is limited.

Email director@apasd.org by December 7 Continue reading

Untitled 2019 Winners Announced

We would like to thank all of the sponsors, attendees and participants who helped make the Untitled 2019 exhibition and auction a great event. More than 400 entries were received and our judge, Michele Romero, curated the top 20. The prints were displayed at You Belong Here for a one-night only event and silent auction benefiting the Museum of Photographic Arts and prizes were awarded for the top 3 winners and people’s choice.

Thank you for supporting our photo community!

Photos Courtesy of © Stacy Keck

Thank you to all of our generous sponsors!


Untitled 2019: A Photographic Exhibition

Join us on Friday, November 8, 2019 at You Belong Here for a one-night only auction and exhibition of the top 20 photographic prints from our Untitled 2019 contest. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Museum of Photographic Arts. See all competition entries shown in a rotating slideshow, sip local craft beer and bid on original art by some of the regions best photographers. Winning entries were judged and curated by Michele Romero and prizes will be awarded for the top 3 images.

When: Friday, November 8, 2019, 6:30-9:30 PM
Where: You Belong Here, 3619 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

Free and open to all.

Thank you to our Sponsors!


STAND OUT, Photographic Events, 2019

STAND OUT Photographic Events are designed to inspire, to educate and to motivate. STAND OUT Photographic Events bring together top-level photographers and innovative industry creatives to discuss their work and explore
new ways to differentiate both the art and business of photography. At each event, attendees will view spectacular medium format images, test out leading photographic equipment, and network with industry leaders and professionals.

Attendees at each event will also have the opportunity to schedule an appointment with Phase One technical experts who will provide complimentary cleaning and service checks on medium format cameras. Each tech expert will be at the event all day to answer any questions attendees may have about medium format equipment or related topics. Appointments are limited and attendees must register on Eventbrite for their time slot.

Wonderful Machine will be at each event providing 20-minute consultations or portfolio reviews by appointment. Appointments are limited and attendees must register on Eventbrite for their time slot, as well. See city pages on website for more info and the registration link.

September 25th

October 29th

November 7th

San Francisco
November 14th

December 5th


MEET. Stewart Cohen

© Stewart Cohen

Meet Dallas based Photographer, Director and APA member, Stewart Cohen.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
Top 5 out of the 6000 I follow? That is like asking which one is my favorite child. I follow photographers, filmmakers, models, designers, zines, hash tags of places I love. Instagram is the new encyclopedia of pop culture. I love it!! What about @toiletpapermagazineofficial  check that out 

What is your camera of choice?
Canon IDX-Mk2, Phase One, Red Helium and I always have a Fuji X-T3 in my backpack with me.

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
Varied mixed of Spotify playlists, depending on who the subject is.
Gravitate toward Mash-ups, high energy, fun stuff.

Who were your biggest influencers?
To name a few.
Robert Capa, Eugene Smith, Garry Winogrand, Henri Cartier Bresson, Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh, Jay Maisel, Ralph Gibson. Also my step-Dad who was a salesman and taught by example that life is about sales, subtle or not. You are always selling something.

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
It is a journey, not a destination. Some days are better than others but they are all better than hanging sheetrock.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far?
Highlights include, getting jobs to shoot on all seven continents. Traveling to places I did not even know existed. But as I type this I realize that the continuing highlight has been all the people I have gotten to meet while doing this. I love interacting with people from all walks of life.  

As for challenges, learning business without going to business school. Doing it the hard knocks way.

Did you learn through experience, school, other?
I studied and got a great basis in University and then worked as a photo assistant for a few years. I loved assisting and learned about the real world of photography by living that lifestyle. I worked for Joe Baraban, Arnold Newman and Helmut Newton.

After being out on my own for a few years, I went back and studied film at USC which started me on a road to creating a career doing combo live action and still shoots.  This was 12 years before digital, we were shooting film so things were a little different.

When were you first introduced to Photography?
My dad tinkered with cameras when I was a kid but I started on my own accord  in high school

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was a guitar playing long haired high school student.

What 3 words describe your photography style?
Honest, quirky, lighthearted

What do you want people to understand about the industry?
You know all that matters is that they like your images and you are fulfilled. The behind the scenes of the industry is probably like any other industry, parts of it are alluring and parts can be a little ugly.

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
I’d be an Options Trader. (That is my hobby)

What do you do when you get stuck?
Exercise is a great way to get past stuck. I always keep pushing through and know that blue sky will emerge at one point. 

Do you have a favorite podcast?
American Scandal and How I built this.

What is your best marketing advice for your peers?
Be nice, make friends, be out-going, don’t burn bridges and put your money where your mouth is.

I have always bought placement in magazines that I though my market was attune to. I want the world to see what I shoot.

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
Don’t listen to the naysayers. Go bigger yet. Don’t be intimidated to do anything. Remember it is not brain surgery, have fun every day.

Check out more work from Stewart Cohen.

Meet Our Untitled 2019 Judge | Michele Romero

We welcome this year’s judge, Michele Romero.

Michele is a renown creative image consultant and former Photo Editor at Entertainment Weekly Magazine where she produced award winning magazine photography for 29 years for a National Magazine with a focus on Global Pop Culture. Romero is a concept artist who’s incredibly passionate about photography and is looking forward to curating this year’s Untitled Personal Work exhibition.

Michele will curate the show of the top 20 photographs
and prizes will be awarded for the top 3 images. Find full details and submission guidelines at untitledshow.org.


MEET. Michele Romero

Which photograph do you wish you owned if money was no object?
Andreas Gurskey, “Die Tote Hosen”, it’s a gajillion dollars and I think at The Broad but I saw it at MoMa and wept because I love his work and also rock and roll.
What is your process when selecting a photographer to work with?
It depends on the job, which seems like an obvious answer but it is not. For commercial magazine photography, actual lighting skills are a must or were a must. I like concept photography so veered towards photographers who could make narrative work well in one panel. I like a surprise too. One of my favorite assignments was shooting Marilyn Manson at his home in New Orleans. The photographer Max Aguilera-Hellweg had just put out a book called “The Sacred Heart” which was entirely beautifully haunting surgery photographs. I sent the book to Manson and he greenit the assignment. And the shot was perfect. This question always deserves a longer answer.
What is your preferred method for a photographer to reach out to you?
I like seeing great work, period.  And I think building a great instagram profile is paramount.  It is a turnoff for me to see a photographer take selfies with talent or to not keep their feed focused on great work. My colleagues and I discover great new photographers on this platform and I hired a great assistant because her Instagram photographs were fantastic
What makes a great photograph and what is your process when selecting images?
This question also deserves a long answer. A great photograph to me begs a question.  It means I look at it and wonder about it and question it but never solve it.  So I want to keep looking. The intrigue can be beautiful or weird or funny or smart or sublime or exciting. Or it could be iconic which means it happened for the first time. For example, Jimi Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire at Monterey Pop. First time anyone did that. Shot by Ed Caraeff.
A photograph should also ideally show us something new. In reportage it means take me where I cannot go. For portraits it is beauty and intimacy. I am nuts about composition. Many photographers pay no attention to background and think only the foreground is important. All of it is important. For magazine covers, we tried to go for images that would excite or ignite the reader.
As a photo editor at EW you must have faced issues or constraints when putting together the magazine. What were some production challenges and how did you overcome them?
My favorite challenges involved problem solving. Not knowing how to do something makes me want to figure it out always. You can learn to be fast by knowing when you have the picture. The key is pre-planning. Stand-ins or sketches but the image needs to be worked out before talent arrive. Lit and ready to go.  You really only need them for 10 minutes which they LOVE!  I’ll give you an example of a challenge that I overcame with Matthias Clamer. We photographed James Corden for an EW cover for Carpool Karaoke. I thought, “well, what if he is on a car in a pool”, quick pun, getter done.  Matthias is a brilliant problem solver and so it is super fun to give him a challenge to puzzle out. He shot Corden in a studio on an old Mercedes he bought for $1000 (we would later set this car on fire). Matthias put blue plastic beneath the car so he could get a water reflection in post later. Corden stood on top of the vehicle and sang. That was one part of the photograph. Then we had to shoot the car in a pool and comp it together. For days Matthias refused my calls asking how the pool hunting was going. No one would lend him their pool. And so I remembered this scene in a making of the Titanic movie where Cameron was in a pool on a soundstage and I clicked to “above ground pool”. So I bought one on the internet for 200 dollars and had it trucked down from Northern California and we drove the car onto the plastic liner and build the pool around the car, filled it with water and VOILA, SUCCESS.


Untitled 2019: Call for Entries Now Open!


APA | San Diego is calling for photography that represents your best Personal Work; Images that show your unique vision, creative passion, and individualistic style, titled or untitled. 20 images will be selected for display at a one-night only auction Friday, November 8th, 2019 at You Belong Here to benefit the Museum of Photographic Arts.

We welcome this year’s judge, Michele Romero, former Entertainment Weekly photography editor and independent creative consultant. Michele will curate the show of the top 20 photographs and prizes will be awarded for the top 3 images. Find full details and submission guidelines at untitledshow.org. Deadline to enter is 9.29.19

APA | SD Personal Work Roundtable

© Weston Fuller

As photographers, our personal work helps define our voice, vision and work ethic; the very essence of what we are hired for professionally. If you’re not actively pursuing personal projects, you’re not fully realizing your creative potential.

Join APA | SD for a Personal Work Roundtable and share your latest and greatest project and learn how it can attract clients, generate commercial work and fuel your artistic passion. Send us a link to your project or bring it to the event to share. We will be reviewing work and discussing how the projects have shaped your approach to photography.

Space is limited so RSVP here today!

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 | Doors open at 6:30 pm, Event begins at 7:00 pm

Riverdale Studios | 6314 Riverdale Street | San Diego, CA 92120

Free to APA Members
Non-members: $10

Sponsored by:



2019 APA Awards Call for Entries



2019 APA Awards Call for Entries

Our annual competition is open to all photographers at every level, worldwide.
All judges are solely responsible for selecting the images. There is no pre-edit. 


Architecture / Interiors
Beauty / Fashion
Celebrity / Musicians
Conceptual / Altered
Corporate / Industrial
Documentary / Photojournalism
Food / Still Life
Nature / Animals
Personal Projects
Sports / Adventure
Travel / Landscape

Include a CANON EOS 5DS and items from PhotoShelter, ImageRights, ARRI,
Think Tank, Blazing Editions, Adobe, and more.
All winning images appear in a printed book (printed by A&I Fine Arts)

APA members save on each entry. Pricing per entry based on your APA
membership level:

Leader: $25
Professional & Associate: $30
Supporter & Contributors: $35
Non-APA Member Entry Fee: $40

Final Deadline: Monday, July 8th 2019!

Cameron Barnum
Sr Producer, Art Buyer

Owen Bly
Sr Art Producer
Pereira & O’Dell

Jacqueline Bovaird
Photo Producer

Helaina Buzzeo
Art Buyer
Jane Smith Agency

Jessica Carroll
Major League Baseball Photos

Donna Cohen
Director of Photography
Bloomberg Markets

Ali Martín Filsoof
Design Director

Carol Henry
Gallery Director, Curator

Charlie Hess
Design Director, Photo Editor

Patricia Hom
Sr Art Producer

Jennifer Lamping
VP Director of Art Production
Rubin, Postaer and Associates (RPA)

Pilar Law
Gallery Director, Curator

Tania Pirozzi
Art Buyer, Photo Editor

Allyson Torrisi
Deputy Director of Photography
People Magazine