The Benefits of Quitting Social Media

Well, I finally did it. I finally decided to cut the cord with all my social media accounts. Some people may ask why. It's pretty simple. My social media accounts were providing me with no value, wasted a lot of my time and energy, and I wasted a good chunk of change trying to promote my Roger Younce Photography business using social media. I fell into the trap of trying to build an audience and like most social media addicts I wanted to have more likes, followers, clicks, and have my boosted promotions viewed.  After 2 years of using social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Vero, and Instagram I realized that using social media was a complete waste of my time. I even had 510 followers on my Roger Younce Photography Facebook page. I have no idea if I really had 510 followers, but Facebook wanted to make me think I did. Did I mention I hate Facebook?

I have been considering getting off my social media sites and apps for a long time. Then my son sent out a post about landscape photographer, Dave Morrow, who explained why he deleted his social media accounts. After reading his comments and watching his video about the subject, it made me realize I just needed to do it. I had been thinking about it for a long time. You can read his story, This Photographer Deleted His Social Media with 1.5 Million Followers or watch his video. 

Over the last 2 or 3 years, I have spent a tremendous amount of time on social media sites that I could have spent doing things to help me become a more productive photographer. I was focusing on the numbers of hours I spent on photography and the number of photos I could post. I figured if I posted a lot of my work on social media sites or got a lot of likes, received so-called friends, or followers that would equal success and be profitable. I was totally wrong. Sadly, it took me 3 years to realize my mistake. 

This morning was my first morning of not grabbing my phone and checking for new comments, likes, or followers on my social media accounts. It felt great to not have those accounts to check and I immediately felt I had new energy to focus on other things. I immediately began thinking about what I could do with my new free time. I began making a list of the things I wanted to do with my new free time. I will work more on developing my website, planning more blog posts, study videography and incorporate that art into my photography and other creative processes. I want to become a better photographer by studying others work, watch tutorials, and other photographers on Youtube. I want to work with other photographers and videographers. I want to travel and take better quality images than I have taken in the past. That will require me to go back to some of the same locations that I have visited in the past. I want to spend more time in nature and less time behind a computer screen. By not having wasteful social media accounts to read, I can do that now. 

As a photographer or a creative person, do you find spending time on social media sites helps you or hinders you? Some people say social media is just part of our culture today. I have said this before, social media is not social. It is an illusion. My advice is cut the cord and get off social media. Spend more time doing things that are much more productive and creative. Go out and create something awesome!

Until next time, keep shooting!


Dumping Facebook


It seems that Facebook is very much in the news today and in my opinion, the news is not good. I have learned a great deal about Facebook over the last couple of years and I have learned it is pretty much a waste of time for me and my photography business. My Roger Younce Photography Facebook page has been active for over 2 years. I have tried boosting ad for my business services and products. As a result, I have wasted a lot of time and money hoping Facebook would help me advertise my business. Getting a large number of Facebook clicks from a post does not equal earning money for one's services or products. I believe the number of clicks was actually fake anyway. What frustrates me the most is not knowing if my efforts were even worth it. As a Facebook user with a business, I have no idea if anyone is even seeing my post. I have been stuck on 510 likes for my Roger Younce Photography
Facebook page for over 6 months. I know that is not accurate. 

After some thought, I have decided to unpublish my Roger Younce Photography Facebook account. I have determined it provides me with no value, has wasted a lot of my time, and cost me money in boosting my post. Starting today, a large part of my business advertising and networking will be through my website. I have control of the content of my own site. I have access to analytical data I can review because I use Square Space for my web hosting. I can reach more users if I use the proper tools and methods to bring more visitors to my website. In other words, I don't have to rely on Facebook anymore. Facebook, in my opinion, is a dying platform anyway. I see no value in it. 

Do you have an opinion on the effectiveness of Facebook to advertise your business? Feel free to leave your comments. 

Until next time, keep shooting!




Stay Away from the Internet Trolls

Do you like motivational quotes and like to follow people that inspire you? I know I do. With the Internet and especially through social media, I see many motivational quotes from people that really inspire me. Now don't get me wrong, I don't need a lot of motivation when it comes to pursuing what I like and many of my goals. However, a nice quote never hurts. 

What I routinely see on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are people that don't seem to have any goals so they do there best to belittle others goals and aspirations. Those types of people hate motivational quotes and really don't little successful people. I chalk that type of negativity to pure jealousy. I call such negative people "trolls". According to Lifewire, a troll is "Someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”. Those that don't have goals enjoy making fun of others with goals, their goal in life. Below is a quote from a Casey Neistat, a guy that many people may not know but is a very successful vlogger on Youtube. Casey Neistt has an unbelievable number of followers and inspires a lot of vloggers, videographers, film makers, and photographers. 


For many people that follow him, he is very inspirational. I actually like the guy and he very entertaining. If you look at his quote, you may say his quotes are common sense quotes. However, those that don't know him or like him may not have any of that. Besides, how many of us have read a great quote and have said I like that quote, but 5 minutes later forgot it?  When I find a great quote that inspires me, I write it down and post it so I don't quickly forget it. 

Many people like to stifle creators creativity because they don't have the desire to be better and a have no creativity of their own. They don't set goals for themselves. They have no interest in anything except putting people down. Trolls thrive on the Internet and throughout many social media platforms. They don't take chances or take action to achieve any specific goals. However, they do spend a great deal of wasted time putting down those that do. Take photography for example. I have goals that I set out to achieve. Some of my main goals are longterm. Many of my photography goals are broken down by daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly goals. I have plans and action steps that I work on to achieve my goals each and every day. I hate the word "try". If at all possible, I don't use that word. My photography and lifetime goals required action, not trying. Talk is cheap! One of my favorite quotes about taking action is from the late great Bruce Lee who said,“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” I have always liked that quote and strive every day to follow it in all aspects of my life. 

I admire those that are proactive in their pursuits in life. I love to read, watch, and study them. I like Casey Neistat because he is a man of action and that alone is inspiring to watch on his Youtube channel. You can find Casey's Youtube Channel by visiting "Casey Neistat". I personally enjoy hanging out with such people. However, it is hard to find those people anymore. Oh well, I will have to make it one of my new goals to find more of those people. Better yet, I will strive to help inspire others by taking action. 

Until next time, keep shooting!


Stabilization is Kind of Important for Sharper Images

Every photographer knows that there is more to taking a photo than just clicking a button. There are so many elements to keep in mind when it comes to taking a photo. But, one thing I find not mentioned enough for beginner photographers is the need for stabilization and why it is important to keep in mind when planning a photo shoot. In this post, I will explain how I forgot to keep stabilization in mind on a recent photo shoot at a car show in Greensboro NC called "Cars and Coffee". 

I decided to attend the car show for the first time even though I have lived in Greensboro many years. It is that time of year when I look for photo opportunities and like to photograph beautiful cars. So, I decided to attend the Cars and Coffee event. The event was a pretty big event. When I arrived I had no idea the event was that popular. There were cars and trucks of all types and it was interesting to see the cars and the size of the crowd. 

Prior to my trip, I had to decide what gear I would need for the event. I felt it was important that I took my wide angle lens, new Canon 80D, cell phone for taking a quick video, and my tripod. I even took my 50mm lens. I felt that was all gear I would need. I knew that I would need the wide angle lens and I would have to get fairly close to each vehicle to get a decent shot. My original plan was to use my tripod to help me get some very sharp images. But that did not happen. I decided when I arrived at the location that I was not going to have the luxury to set up for my shots and set a 2-second timer like I normally do. There were way too many people and I knew they were not going to cooperate with that plan. So, I decided to leave my tripod in my vehicle and just shot "hand-held". 

Here is why it is important to remember the type of gear you have and do a little additional planning for any photo shoot. In my case, I had no stabilization. My new Canon 80D does not have stabilization. I knew that. However,  I thought my wide angle lens did. I was wrong about that. You are probably wondering if my tripod would have helped. Yes, it would if I could have used it. The problem was there were too many people around for me to set up properly. That is why I left it in my vehicle. 

So, whose fault was it that I could not get the sharp images I wanted to get? Why that would be me. I did not take into consideration stabilization. All of my lenses have "stablization", except for my wide-angle. I forgot that little detail. So, what did I learn from my experience? I learned I need to do a little more in-depth planning and take into consideration all the obstacles I will have when I get to a location. A car show sounds like it can be an easy location to shoot but it is not. Every car show I have ever attended was very difficult for me and I can imagine it is for many photographers. The conditions can be very challenging. 

I learned that no matter how bad I want to use car photos for my gallery it is not going to happen. There are too many people getting into the shots, many times the sun is directly in your eyes, vehicle's glass causes a great deal of glare, and most car shows are pretty unorganized. The Cars and Coffee Car Show was very unorganized. 

With all that said, there really is no excuse for not properly planning for the car show. I learned a valuable lesson about the need to plan for stabilization issues. I can not blame anyone but me for not getting sharper images from the car show. Below is just one of the images I was able to salvage from the photo shoot with a little help with some Sleeklens presets and Lightroom. It is not a great image but the best one I got. I will do better next time. 


Until next time, keep shooting!


Does Your Photography Website Represent You

Do you have your own photography website? Does it represent you? I have always been interested in studying other photographers work and wanting to find out if their website (if they have one) represents them or does their website reflect what they feel their audience wants to see. A website can be important for any business and can be very important for photographers. Most photographers want to share their work and receive feedback from others using a variety of methods. Today, many photographers share their work on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vero. Those are great advertising methods but they really don't allow others to get to know a photographer. Sadly, having a good photography website is slowly becoming a thing of the past. But, websites can be very effective if a photographer can create a website that that truly represents them. My question is, do a lot of photographers give up their creativity to please others, achieve fame, or seek to make a buck or two? I tend to notice that with many photography websites. 

What I see when reviewing a lot of photography websites is a lot of repetitive information given by photographers that is not that original. That is not really the photographer's fault. Photography information and topics can be very repetitive. Repetitive photography tips, tricks, and technological information can become very overwhelming to many people and sometimes, very boring. When having your own website it can be very easy to get hung up on repeating the same information over and over again and losing your audience on your own website. What most photographers struggle with is creating new content that is informational and entertaining while hopefully keeping an audience. Many of today's photography websites do not do that. 

In my opinion, a photographer's website can be more interesting if it can effectively represent the photographer and what he or she wants to photograph regardless of all the advice by other photographers. Some photographers say you should focus on a particular style of photography and make that one style your specialty. Some photographers say you should shoot all types of photography and be well-rounded.. I really don't follow the logic behind either view. I feel that you should photograph the type of photography you enjoy and are passionate about. I feel one's website would be more effective if more photographers would do that instead of trying to follow the same model as others. Many times being original as a photographer can be very cool and personally rewarding.

Not that my website will win any awards but I do like to create and build my website based on what I like to photograph and how I feel about photography in "my world". I like to express my views on having my own photography business. I can do that because it is my website and I can be as creative as I want to be.  I am aware of what types of photography that I don't care for or enjoy doing. If you look at my website you will not see a definite theme. My website is not technology based. I don't share a lot of tips, tricks, or gear information. I am actually all over the place. I photograph landscapes, wildlife, nature, and even biker portraits. I photograph such subjects because that is what I like and I find creatively rewarding. I don't photograph images just to please others. If others like my images, , products, services, and views, that's great. But, pleasing everyone is not my main goal. 

Trying to develop a website and a style that will please everyone is not my ultimate objective. My website reflects who I am as a photographer and as a creative person. I enjoy creating new images, styles, unique products, and services that I find fascinating and interesting. If one looks at my website one can see that it does represent me. I love to visit landscapes and photograph their beauty. I love to capture interesting images of nature. I enjoy photographing amazing animals. I am very passionate about capturing images that tell a story. I want to offer products and services that I find interesting and I believe others will too. I want to share my thoughts about photography and life in my blog to anyone that might find my views interesting. I want others feedback. Those are just a few things about my website that represents who I am and my photography journey. 


So do you have a website that features the same information that other photographers post? Or, does your photography website reflect your style, creativity, and your uniqueness? My advice is not to follow everyone else but study them, learn from others and share yourself with an interesting website. Keep in mind anyone can build a flashing website with all types of information that is many times very repetitive. People will visit a website with a personal touch. Allow them to take a journey with a photographer. If you have a website that truly represents you, people will want to follow you on your journey. 

Until next time, keep shooting!


Number of Social Media Followers and Likes Mean Nothing

Have you ever wondered how some people that use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other popular media platforms get so many likes and followers? One would think that some people that have so many likes and followers must be doing something right to get such a large following, right? The reality is the number of followers or likes mean very little when using some of the most popular social media. Take my Roger Younce Photography Facebook page for example. It is a small Facebook page that has over 500 likes. One would think that I have a lot of people that like my content. The reality is, I get very little traffic to my Facebook page and many people don't realize how much control to our Facebook pages and content we DON'T have. So the question is, why is it?

Facebook is not the only useless way to think we have a lot of followers and likes. Twitter, Instagram, and Vero are just as bad. I like to do a little experiment when studying my traffic to my social media outlets. I like to see if I can view just how many people visit my website and view my content. I am pretty proactive when it comes to putting out content, uploading photography news, adding new photos, updating information, and putting out a blog post on a consistent basis. When I do put out content I like to view my traffic source details to see where my visitor originates from. I use Square Space and they have great analytical tools that allow me to review my web traffic views from all over the world. The analytical tools provide me with some interesting and detailed stats of my overall web traffic. 

One of the things I like to do is post some content on my website and then go to my social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Vero, and Instagram and post that new information that has been posted to my website. I always create a hyperlink to the resources to make it easier for visitors to view the content. So all they really have to do is click on the link to visit a page where the content is loaded. Here is the interesting part. When I put content out to the social media outlets I get a lot of new likes and followers on the social media platforms. That sound awesome, right? Not exactly. The reality is 99 percent of the people that say they liked the content never visited the site. That brings up an interesting question;


I feel that social media platforms give people and businesses false data that they should never rely on to measure success. Social media data is very unreliable. If you have a business and a website that allows you to track real-time web traffic and you can use the data to help build your business I suggest you take advantage of the analytical data and not so much on how many followers and likes you have in your social media feeds. Follows and likes mean nothing. One last thing, using emails or email advertising is just as useless. Many times, when you sent out information via emails, very few people click on those links too. 

The bottom line is, those that truly like your content and actively follow you will appreciate your work. Don't waste your time or your productivity in an effort to reach those that really aren't following you or liking your work. You don't need them anyway, right?

Until next time, keep shooting!


Photography is More Than Just Getting the Shot

We have all heard the motto that "it is not all about the reaching a goal that is most important, but it more about the journey". When it comes to photography and wanting the capture a nice photograph of a location you have never visited that motto can be a great one to remember. Recently, I visited a state park in North Carolina that I had never heard of before even though I from North Carolina. The state park gets very little publicity, but my wife read that the park had a waterfall as one of it's major attractions. Those that know me know I really cannot resist photographing a new waterfall. With the information I got from my wife and the photos she found of the waterfall I thought we would take a road trip and check it out. My objective was to get a new image of a new waterfall and add it to my collection of photos of waterfalls from North Carolina. 

South Mountain State Park in North Carolina was not a far from my home. The trip was only going to take about 2 hours from my home. According to what my wife and I read about the park was the park offered clean campsite, hiking trails, a beautiful flowing creek, and best all the water that is called, "High Shoals Falls". Finding the park was not that easy and took my wife and I deep into the back roads of North Carolina. On the back roads, we saw large farmlands, old country homes, and nice roaming pastures. I was actually surprised that the state park was so far off the beaten path and at times wondered if we were lost. After about 2.5 of driving, we finally made it to the state park. 

When we entered the park we found the park to be rather nice, clean and there were very few visitors. We kind of planned it that way. We decided to visit the park on a Monday to avoid the crowds that we read could be large on the weekends. We made the right decision to visit on a Monday. Once we entered the park we entered a very nice visitors center and got directions to the waterfall. The waterfall was only 2 miles from the visitors center.

We had read the hiking trail to the waterfalls was only one mile, one way. We also read the trail was flat, and it was a moderate trail. Well, the trail was one mile long but the trail was not flat or moderate. The first part of the trail was flat, but about halfway into the hike, the trail became a little more difficult. The trail had large roots from nearby trees near a nice flowing and beautiful creek. The trail had some steep steps that had to be taken to get to various parts of the trail, and more importantly, the last quarter mile of the trail consisted of steeper steps and large boulders to confront. As we got closer to the base of the boulders my wife decided she would stay by the creek side and enjoy the nice weather and listen to the flowing water from the creek. She was the smart one. I decided to venture to the top to get a photo of the waterfall that was not visible from the location where I departed from my wife. My guess was, I was not too far from the waterfall. I was wrong. 

Once I departed my wife, began the short but tiring journey of climbing steep stairs and rocks to get to the summit. On my way to the top, I passed a few people. I passed two young girls on my way to the top (or should I say they passed me). I also had an older gentleman pass me that was coming done from the falls. He had a great deal of difficulty coming down the step stairs descending from the upper falls. I knew the hike was very difficult for him and he stated he had a lot of physical issues. Walking was one of them. I had a lot of respect for the old geezer. He could barely walk but he did not let that stop him from venturing to the top to snap a photo or two of the waterfall even though he had taken the trip many times before. 

Once I reached the top and beside the High Shoals Falls, I was impressed by the amount of water from the falls. Recently, the area had received a great amount of rainfall. So the volume of water was impressive. However, I was disappointed in the view. I found out very quickly that there was no real way to get a good composition for my shot. Another issue was the direction of the sun. I had to shoot directly into the sun and that was not going to work at all. There was a small platform to work from and I was continually dealing with mist from the waterfall. I did take a few images but after I reviewed them they were not worth keeping. After being a little disappointed I packed up my gear and began my journey back down the trail to meet up with my wife. Coming down the trail was a little tricky and it was a place that one would not want to fall, sprain an ankle, or break a leg. As I came down the trail I began to think about the old man I passed and wondered if he made it down okay. I did locate him resting on a boulder 30 minutes after I originally met him. He was taking his time and being careful in his decent. I could tell it was not his first rodeo.  

After meeting up with my wife, I informed her that I did not get a good shot of the waterfall. Then I started thinking that the trip was not a total waste of my time and getting a special image was not that important. What made the trip special was I got to enjoy an adventure of visiting a location that I had never heard of before. My wife and I got to spend quality time together enjoying a beautiful day. My wife got to do a little mediating by a nice flowing creek and enjoy some private time in nature. 

Those in photography, including myself, sometimes get so hung up in getting that "special image" that we can work with and share with others. But, the image is not what made the journey membeable. What makes a journey special is the what happens throughout the adventure. Sometimes is best to go with the flow and enjoy the experiences, sights, sounds, and challenges from an adventure. If one is too focused on getting a great image, one can miss out on what is most important and it living in the moment. 

If you get a chance to visit South Mountain State Park in North Carolina, enjoy the park. It as very nice campsite, a beautiful stream to fly fish and hike by, numerous hiking trails, and most of all a nice waterfall if want to push yourself to the top. Just remember to enjoy the journey. 

Until next time, keep shooting!


Biker Portrait Photo Shoot

Just recently I had the honor to photograph a biker friend of mine. I had been wanting to do a portrait session with my friend, Buster for the last few weeks. The weather was our biggest factor to deal with. I was pretty eager to do the portrait session for a variety of reasons. Not only was I looking forward the shoot, I was eager to test out my new camera body. I recently upgraded to a Canon 80D DSLR. I also purchased a new Rode microphone, and I was still testing my new Tamron 18-400mm zoom lens. So I had a lot to look forward too. 

Besides the weather, I had an issue with finding a good location for the photo shoot. I always like to find locations that are a little rundown or bring a historical feel to the photos for my biker shoots. Most of the time selecting a location can be a challenge. I have to factor in the look of the biker, the type of bike, lighting, weather conditions, accessibility, and safety. The place I found required me to contact the owner to get permission for the photo shoot. It is always a good idea to seek permission to conduct your portrait sessions if the location is not normally available to the public. The place I chose was an old gas station in historic Jamestown North Carolina. The owner was very nice and allowed me to shoot my session there. 

The biker I photograph was my friend Buster. Once Buster arrived for the shoot we discussed some posing options. I always like to discuss with my client what type of photos they would like taken and not base the images on my option. Getting feedback from the client is very important and makes the client part of the overall process. I believe that is very important for a successful portrait session. If you have never shot biker portraits it can be difficult to choose the proper poses for a biker. However, Buster was a great guy to photograph. He had the type of biker look I like to photograph and my options to photograph him were a little more flexible. Bikers like Buster allows me to create biker images that can be nostalgic and some images can be more modern. I had to consider Buster's look and the even the type of bike he wanted me to photograph. He has a beautiful Honda Goldwing that was great to photograph. Below is an image from my biker portrait photo shoot with Buster. 


I really enjoyed my photo shoot with Buster. He was a great guy to photograph and was easy to work with. I look forward to more biker portrait photo shoots this year. 

Until next time, keep shooting!


Colors of Spring are Coming!

Well, it is that time of year when the great state of North Carolina and other surroundings states get to enjoy some much-needed rain. Some people don't like rain but I do. Rain is vital to our area producing some of the most beautiful colors in Spring. I created a simple slideshow of some my images of flowers in the Spring of last year. The images are part of my SquardUp Collection. For those that don't know, the SquardUp Collect offers some beautiful metallic prints in three sizes, 10x10, 12x12, and 16x16. Most people that purchase the SquardUp prints use them to brighten up there homes. I actually have 3 prints for my home. 

Below is my "Colors of Spring" slideshow to help get everyone pumped up for Spring. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce

Planning a Biker Portrait Photo Shoot


It is that time of year again to start planning for some awesome portrait sessions. I love this time of year. It gives me a chance to enjoy being outside and shooting all types of photography. One of my favorite types of photography is portraits even though I don't do too many session throughout the year. I am mainly a landscape, nature, and wildlife photographer, but I do like to challenge myself to shoot all types of photography (except diva weddings). That is why photography is fun, but yet a challenge. A good photographer and creative person understand they have to step out of their comfort zone to grow as an artist. Sometimes that can be difficult for some photographers. 

One of my favorite types of photo shoots this time of year are biker portrait photo shoots. I love to photograph bikers because the portrait sessions allow me to be more creative and work harder to come up with a unique image that a client or customer will enjoy and want to share with others. Since I do not have the luxury of a fancy studio I have to be a little more creative in where, how, and when I shot my biker portraits. Biker photo shoots require me to do scouting for unique locations and many times the location is selected based on the biker, the bike, and the overall objective of the what would make a great and unique biker portrait image. 

Things that I have to take into consideration is finding the right location or scene I need for my biker portraits. Lighting is very important for all my photo shoots and can be a challenge. I like to use natural lighting for all my outdoor photo shoots. I have to consider the time of the shoot, shadows, and the weather conditions. Permission to shoot at a location is very important and it is important for me to a little planning to get permission from an owner of a property before my planned photo shoots. I have found that is always a great idea to find different locations to shoot in case my original location will not pan out. It is not uncommon to have to switch locations for biker photo shoot. Sometimes, switching location is needed to get a particular shot you cannot get at a single location. 

I will have an opportunity to conduct a biker photo shoot with a great guy. I will call him, "Buster". Buster and I met to have a discussion about his biker photo shoot. It is always a great idea when planning a biker photo shoot to sit down with your client to discuss the plan for the photo shoot and work out any details like what to bring to photo shoot like props, clothing, gear, and equipment. I find it is a good idea to discuss what the plan is for the photo shoot and work out any details that might be misunderstood. When I conduct any photo shoot it is very important to work out the details of how the photos will be used and to get a signed photo release contract signed. Many photographers fail to do that and that can sometimes be something one may regret later on. 

As or 10 am today, I receive confirmation from the owner of the property I want to do the photo shoot on Friday afternoon. So as for now the next biker shoot with Buster is a "go". More to come...

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce 



A New Social Media Sheriff in Town Called Vero!


Well, by now thousands of people and creatives from all over the world have heard about the new social media platform called Vero. So many people that the new social media app can't handle the request by users to join. If you are not familiar with the new app you need to check it out. The new social media app is going to give Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram a run for their money. It is advertised as a platform that allows a user to post a variety of post that includes web links, photos, media, and other options. The display feature for photos is much better than Instagram and the company uses no algorithms for a post. I love that. 

I recently became a user of Vero. However, it wasn't easy. The provider was and still is getting so many requests that I feel they were not prepared for and their servers cannot handle the volume of requests. It took me over 3 hours to get an access code that is required during the sign-up process. That was a little frustrating but I dealt with it. Connectivity has also been off and on. I can understand that due to the massive demand for the new service. Speaking of service, Vero is free. The rumor is that the first million subscribers will get the service for free. Another great feature about Vero is there is no advertising. After the subscribers reach over a million, I would expect the company will charge a small fee for the services for those that did not sign up early. 

So, if you are a photographer or a creative looking for an alternative to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, check out the Vero app. Getting registered may be a pain, but I believe it will be worth it in the long run. One last thought, be patient with Vero when trying to sign up. I am sure they are doing the best they can in addressing the high demand for the app. I hope you see you on Vero. You can find me there. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce 

I Finally Got the Chance to Photograph Linville Falls!

Well, I finally got the opportunity to photograph the Linville Falls in North Carolina. It is hard to believe I live in North Carolina and haven't photographed the falls before now. I have been through the area many times and never had the chance or time to visit one of the most photographed waterfalls located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. The Linville Falls located near milepost 316.4 or about 66 miles from Asheville North Carolina. There are a variety of locations to photograph the falls but I was looking to photograph the falls from a familiar location to others that have photographed the falls before. 

When I arrived the visitors center was closed and there were a few people there. After doing a little exploring of the area map my wife and I started our hike. The hike to the spot I wanted to photograph the falls was not very far from the visitors center. Actually, it was only about a mile to the overlook I wanted to do the photoshoot. The overlook I chose to photograph the falls is called the Chimney View. The Chimney View Overlook would allow me to photograph the upper falls and the lower falls. The view also had some very nice cliffs. So, I knew from some of the photos I had seen before online, that was the location I needed to find. 

One of the main things I wanted to do was to experiment with my new Tamron 18-400mm lens and see how well I could zoom into the waterfall. I had seen many other photos of the Linville Falls that were taken from the Chimney View Overlook and many of them were taken from a distance. I wanted to see how well I could zoom in with my new Tamron zoom lens. I was very impressed with how well I could zoom into specific spots throughout the scene. Having a new zoom lens for such a shoot provided me with a variety of options to find specific shots and allowed me to be a little more creative and seek out unique compositions. End the end, I found that a vertical shot of the upper and lower falls was my best option. 

I was very happy with the photo I got from the Linville Falls. It was nice to finally get the shot that I wanted to get for several years. In the end, it was all worth the wait. If I had taken the same shot without my Tamron lens, I would not be able to get the shot I got. Sometimes waiting for the right time is worth the wait. 


If you ever get a chance to photograph the Linville Falls, I suggest to select a time in the middle of the week and not wait until the peak season. Even in the middle of February, the place got pretty crowded and the Chimney View Overlook is pretty small and it will be difficult to set up your gear to get a great shot. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce 

Why Do Photographers Do What They Do?

Roger .jpg

Have you ever wondered why people like to do photography? I am always been fascinated by why people like to take photographs or shoot video. It is fun to explore why some people find photography and videography so interesting. Some people love the artistic aspect of the two mediums. Some people are very creative and like to create new things and share their work with others. Many people get into photography and videography because they want to make money and want to do it as a business venture. Of course, there are many other reasons. 

For me, it is all about capturing life and in a way, leaving a legacy after I am long gone. Many years ago, I started taking photos to capture special events. Some of the photos I have taken over the last 40 years are some of the most important treasures of my life and the images are priceless to me. I have always enjoyed taking photos and shooting video. While on a cruise, my wife and I met an interesting couple who we had dinner with one night. I got into a discussion with the husband who was an amateur photographer. He and I talked about photography and I was fascinated in hearing how much he enjoyed photography. He told me he takes hundreds of photos where ever he went. My wife picked up on the fact he had a nice looking camera that was much better than mine and said: "you like to take photos, so we need to get you a better camera". My wife understood that I enjoyed not only taking photos of interesting locations, but I loved to take photos that had special meaning to me. From the beginning, it was all about the moment and the ability to capture special memories and preserving past images of not only my life but the lives of others. As I get older, my passion for capturing memories and special moments continue to be my main reason for taking photos and shooting video. My passion for photography is not understood by many people like family and friends. I tend to drive a lot of family members and friends crazy.

As my photography journey has grown I realized that the more I studied the art of photography and how important video could be, I have learned I could do more and I am not limited to one specific form of photography. I have learned over the years that I do not need to learn everything about all forms of photography. I have learned that there are some forms of photography I do not like to do. For example, I love to shoot landscapes, wildlife, nature, simple portraits, couples, etc... However, I have learned I have no desire to shoot weddings all day. I don't want the hassle of shooting a wedding or dealing with the drama and stress of shooting such events. That is why I love to shoot landscapes so much; mountains don't talk back and I don't have to please a landscape. 

It is important to learn what motivates you and to learn what you really love to do regarding photography. The art of photography is a creative journey that is unique to each photographer or videographer. It is a never-ending journey that never ends because there is so much to learn and the art of photography continues to evolve very quickly. That is a good thing. 

Whatever your passion or reason for doing photography is, continue to develop your skills each day.  There are so many ways to improve one's photography skills. The first step is to find your passion, and go for it. That is what great photographers tend to do. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce 



Paper Print vs Metal Print

Have you ever considered a metal print for your home, office, or as a gift? Metal prints are a great option and many people are unaware of how unique metal prints are. Let’s look at what makes metal print a better option over a paper print for an image. 

When it comes to deciding to print an image on metal there are some important factors to consider. The most important thing to consider would be, is the image good enough to be a high-quality metal image? It is a good idea to use an image that was taken with a good camera or have a photographer take the image for you. A good photographer can use post-processing software like Photoshop or Lightroom to make an image detailed enough to put on metal. Plus, a good photographer's skills can come in handy by enhancing an image and making the image quality better for a metal print. The last thing you want to do is put a bad image on metal. 


Regardless if an image is a beautiful landscape image or portrait image, a great image should contain a high level of sharpness. If an image is not photographed properly and is not sharp the image will not be worth printing on metal. The level of sharpness is very apparent for metal prints. It is important to keep in mind that the level of sharpness should be based on image and the effects used to create the image. It is important to be selective in what images you want to put on metal. Sharpness matters!


The colors, contrast, and expose of an image is very important. The reason why the three elements are so important is because you want your image to really “pop” and you can make a great image come alive if you have the proper colors levels, contrast settings, and proper exposure for your image. Another factor to consider when printing on metal is the size of the image. Where do you want to hang the image? What should be the appropriate size? As with any image, the quality of the image is affected by the size and detail is lost if you attempt to print an image too large. That is true for any print option. However, many metal images do retain their quality and clarity up to some impressive size options.  

There are some great advantages for printing on metal. One of my favorite things I love about metal prints is they don’t have to be framed and they ready to hang up right out of the box. Framing can be a hassle for some people. Framing a paper print requires finding or ordering an expensive frame, selecting the proper glass, matting, and selecting the right hanging option. Metal prints do not require a frame (but you can frame them), do not require glass and ready to hang up where ever you like. Since you don’t have to frame a metal print, metal prints are lighter in weight. Metal prints are much more durable than other print options. Metal print do not break or bend and they are scratch resistant. Unlike paper prints, metal prints are even waterproof. 

Paper prints and metal prints do differ when it comes to cost. Metal prints do cost more. However, framing a paper print is not cheap. When you factor in the cost of framing, glass, matting and hanging options, the price of a metal print is not so costly. You save time and money in the long run by purchasing a metal print. When I talk to my customers and explain the cost differences between a metal print and paper print, most of my customers go with metal prints over a paper print. 

Metal prints can make a great addition to one’s home decor or office. They also can make a great gift. There are a variety of sizes and shapes to choose from when selecting a metal print. If you have any questions about metal prints, would like one of your images printed on metal, like for me to photograph an image for you, or would like to order a metal print from "The Store" or my "SquaredUp Store", feel free to contact me. Once you see a metal print, you will never want to print on anything else. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce


Getting the Image

 Living Country

Living Country

Photographers are always looking for great images. It is what we do. We look for compositions, lighting, angles, and other elements that could make a great image. In the past, I have had jobs that required me to travel. I am not a big fan of traveling unless it is for pleasure like a great photo shoot. On one business trip a few years ago I traveled to a another part of my state and I and my trip back and forth between home and my assignment required me to drive. I really don’t have a problem with driving because it gives me an opportunity to explore new locations and of course, photo shoot opportunities.  

On one of my trips I passed by a location that really caught my eye. The location featured a pasture and farmland off of the main highway. Those that know me know I love to take photos of old historic locations that represent a part of the past. My job required me to travel pass by a beautiful county side location for about 5 days. Each morning and each evening I told myself I have to get the shot before my assignment was up. I really had no reason not too, but each day I put off stopping to get the shot. Each day was a nice day for the photo but not a great day. The skies were clear, cloudless, and blown out. However, on my last day, I told myself, no matter what the conditions I will stop and get the image.

On the last day, the conditions were completely different from the other four days. On the last day and my last opportunity to get shot, the weather began to become rainy, stormy and a low-level fog blanketed the county side. Most people would think that the conditions were too bad to get the shot. Of course, I did not. I felt the conditions for the shot provided the mood I was looking for the the image. The mood was perfect.

I learned a valuable lesson about putting off getting a shot. I learned to never think I could always get the shot anytime and get the results I want. Sometimes it is better to be patient and wait for the right conditions to get the right shot. I also know that sometimes there may never be a good shot. I was lucky to photograph the image that I call “Living Country”. Those that grew up in the country understand what this image means and it creates a warm feeling for them. I love to hear stories of how others grew up in a place just like the one I photographed. When others tell me how the image touched their hearts, I know I got the right image. A great image should move people, regardless if it is the viewer of the photographer. My advice is, never pass up a great opportunity to get a great shot and never take for granted the image will always be there. 

Until next time, keep shooting! 

Roger Younce  

Measuring a Photographer's Success Using Social Media

If you are like me you probably spend a good amount of time following and watching other photographers on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, and other social media channels. But have you really wondered how successful some really are when it comes to having a successful photography business? 

The use of social media creates an illusion that many photographers are very successful. The measurement of success is commonly measured in the number of likes, followers, retweets, clicks and other unreliable methods. The question is, are the numbers correct and do they really mean anything? I use some social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to post some of my images and blog posts, but I do not trust the statistical data they provide. The numbers of likes, followers, tweets, and repost are worthless to me. That is why I limit my posts on the sites today. To me, much of social media is a complete waste of time and money. Let me give you an example. I use to have my own Roger Younce Photography Facebook page with over 500 followers. That sounds great, doesn't it? The reality was. I had no real connection with all of the followers and having so many followers did nothing to help me build my business. Many of the followers were inactive on the page. When I posted an image, many would like the images or messages and I had only 2 people out of over 500 followers that would leave a comment. So, who question is, who is really following my page? After 2 years of posting on Facebook and advertising on it, I realized it was a complete waste of time. The use of Twitter and Instagram is not effective either for one with a photography business. Advertising for me was very ineffective. I received a lot of likes, clicks, and retweets, but that does not help me build my business. Anyone who has their own business knows that having a lot of likes and followers does not pay the bills. The goal for any business to make money. It is frustrating to spend money and not truly know if the money I was spending was being used effectively. I have never really trusted Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for marketing. From my experience, it is a total waste of money. 

The use of social media for photographers is a great way to create an illusion that a photographer is very successful. I watch a lot of videos of some very popular photographers that are full-time photographers and I wonders how they can afford to take trips all over the country and other parts of the world. Many times we seem to measure a photographers success by the number of trips one takes or the locations they visit. We think those photographers are so lucky.  I would like to how they can afford the latest and greatest gear. I actually believe that some of the most well-known photographers are probably broke. Of course, you would not know it by their social media posts. I actually would not have a problem with watching a photographer that was honest with what it takes to be a full-time photographer with his or her own business. I would like to hear the pros and cons of being a photographer in business for themselves. That would be refreshing.

Below is a great video of a real estate photographer that is totally honest about what it takes to be a successful photographer. He explains how much time, money, and work goes into being a full-time photographer. Check out Understanding What Full-Time Looks Like 

Most photographers that I follow on social media are very entertaining, have nice photos, and seem to have large audiences. My question is, are they truly successful? In my opinion, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites are useless to build an audience and market one's images and services. What I feel can be more effective is the use of one's own photography website. I would much rather spend my time building my own website and using the analytical data provided by great websites companies such a Square Space to monitor my visitor's visits, visitor's geo-information. and visitor's comments. Yes, creating an active website can be a challenge and a lot of work but I find having my own website provides me with a home to post what I like and my customers and clients want to see. I am not restricted by the number of characters I can use, the subjects I want to cover, and the images I want to post. 

I found an entertaining post from a photographer on Youtube. Photo Tom used satire to illustrate how photographers can present an illusion of what makes a photographer seem successful and how many photographers, including myself, waste a lot of time and money when it comes to a photography business and measuring if we are successful. To see the video visit The Secret of Great Photography - A Photographic Satire

So, what are your thoughts about using social media for your photography business? Are you successful? Do you find the number of likes, followers, and retweets really represents a measure of true success for your business? Do you have your own photography website? I would love to hear your comments on these topics. Feel free to leave a comment. Since this is my website, I can promise you I will read them. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce 


Capturing a Unique Image

As a photographer, it always fun to experiment with all types of images. By experimenting, it allows a "creative" photographer to try new things. I love to photograph landscapes, nature, and wildlife, but I also enjoy capturing unique portrait images. One of my favorite portrait images came from a visit I had the honor to go to in North Carolina. The event is only held in October and getting tickets is very hard to do. I was lucky because I knew someone that had connections that could get me in the event. I was told the event featured an environment created to represent a special place in history. I love attending such events because it allows a great opportunity to capture unique images of the past. 

 The Lady on the Porch

The Lady on the Porch

During my visit to the historical event, I was fortunate to see players that represented individuals of the past. The players walked around the site and portrayed their characters very well. I was able to photograph soldiers, adults, children, a schoolhouse the children, animals, old buildings, and unique and historic items from the past. However, my favorite image came from two women who simply sat outside a cabin on the porch. When I saw the two women in their costumes I knew I had to get the shot. Not only was the setting great the women played their characters with no regard to the people around them. The image of the lady I captured was very special to me becuase the lady was willing to work and pretend I was not around. However, the best thing she did for me was to pose for me. When I started to take the shot, she actually stopped sewing until I got the shot. I loved that about her. I knew immediately what I was going to do with the image. I wanted to create an image that looked like a painting. I wanted to create a feel for the image and the feeling had to represent the past. The image is called the "Lady on the Porch" and is one of my favorite portraits. 

For me, photographing a variety of subjects only makes me a better photographer. Photography can allow all photographers to shoot a variety of subjects and situations. I personally cannot understand why any photographer would ever become bored and say there is nothing to photograph. There is always something to photograph. I love to photograph all types of subjects and events, except for weddings. I do not have the patience for weddings. However, I do respect those that do. 

Until next time, keep shooting!

Roger Younce