Thursday, September 30, 2010

My First Cover - Photo From An Event At The Smithsonian

In May of this year I was honored to be part of an event called Pens and the Post that was held at the Smithsonian Postal Museum. I attended as an exhibitor. For those of you who don't know, I collect fountain pens and fountain pen inks. Much to my wife's dismay, I have amassed a huge collection of vintage fountain pen ink bottles from the 1920s-1960s. Most of them still have usable ink in them. I even wrote a book about ink called Vintage Inks.

Since I've become known as "The Ink Guy" in fountain pen circles (yes, you should be very jealous), I was asked to host an ink table at this Smithsonian event. At my table I discussed the history of ink, had displays of vintage ink bottles and even had different samples of vintage ink that people could write with. The program was a huge success and was lots of fun to attend, both as an exhibitor and as an attendee.

Of course, I couldn't just go to an event like this and not take any photos. The day of the event was a little too busy for me to get any good photos, but the night before the event I was in event photographer mode. No longer was I "John the Ink Guy". Instead, I was "John the Photographer"! By the end of the evening I felt like I had snapped some good photos that could be used to promote next years event. With that done, I put my camera in the bag, geeked out about fountain pens and really enjoyed the experience.

A few weeks after the event I was contacted by the editor of The Pennant, a magazine published by The Pen Collectors Of America (PCA). He had seen some of my photos and wanted to use a few in their upcoming issue. I said sure, sent him the images I had shot and went on with business as usual.

Just about a week ago he contacted me and said that he sent a few copies of the magazine to me. I figured they'd show up while I was out of town, which they did, so when I got home yesterday and saw a package sitting in my mail, I knew it was them (the fancy writing on the address label also helped me figure out who it was from). When I opened the package and took a look at the magazine, I couldn't believe it. He had used one of my photos on the cover! I was expecting a few photos in the middle of the magazine (which were there), but I wasn't expecting a cover! Sweet.

To see the original image that was used for the cover, click here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Randomness - Telemarketers


I got a phone call from a telemarketer the other day. It kind of caught me off guard, as I don't know the last time I got a call like that. It's been years. So, she just dove in and started telling me how great Comcast Digital Cable is. She must have talked for a solid minute before saying, "So let's go ahead and get you signed up." I kindly told her I wasn't interested, which launched her into telling me all about the great channels they offer, "so let's go ahead and get you signed up." When I said thanks, not interested, we don't watch TV she asked what type of movies we like to watch and started rambling off a list of movie genres. I finally just said I was not interested, said goodbye and hung up.

I hate being rude, but come on! That's some high-pressure sales. OK, maybe not used-car sales high-pressure, but still intense, like drinking from the proverbial fire hose. Even when you want to stop you can't!

It got me thinking about my retail days. I never pushed anything on anyone. I was Mr. Nice Guy. I helped the customer, I informed them, I made suggestions, but ultimately it was their decision and their money. Treat people how you'd want to be treated. If I go out to buy something, I'm much more likely to purchase something from someone who treats me with respect and answers my questions than someone who pushes a product on me and can't wait to close the sale.

So, how do I apply this experience to my business? First, I have to start selling something. Sure, I offer prints and products, but I don't actively sell them. I try to let them sell themselves, but without any kind of sales meeting, it's pretty hard. That's all going to change in 2011. I'll hold sales sessions, but they won't really be about selling something. They'll be about getting feedback, figuring out what people want and showing them what their options are. No pressure, no expectations, just information and examples. The last thing my customers want to hear is, "So let's go ahead and get you signed up."

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Friday Fix - 9/24/10

I've been in Atlanta for most of the week and for some reason I haven't been listening to much music. I've spent a lot of time just sitting (on the bus, the airplane, at the airport, on the MARTA and at the hotel), but didn't actually listen to any music until this morning. Actually, that's not entirely true. I went over to the mall yesterday to sit and do a bunch of writing and planning and the muzak almost drove me crazy! Seriously, did the world really need a modern muzak twist on "The Girl From Ipanema"?

This morning I sat down to edit some photos, but I checked Facebook first. My brother had made a comment yesterday about Bob Seger, which instantly got "Night Moves" stuck in my head. I saw what everyone else had to say about Bob, but for some reason this morning I got Journey stuck in my head instead of Bob. I just had to hear me some Journey, but I didn't have the album on my laptop, so I started scrolling through what I had with me. Something had to satisfy this craving!

I'm not sure why, but I stopped on Editors. They would do. Although they sound nothing like Journey, they were exactly what I needed to hear this morning. I first heard them on WOXY (RIP), and then heard them live at Monolith (also RIP). These guys put on an amazing show! What was even better was seeing them hanging out listening to other bands at Monolith. On stage, they're kind of intimidating and intense, but in the crowd they were just young guys hanging out having a good time. Very good memories from that first year at Monolith! And, as it turns out, great music for editing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Randomness - A Teaser From Atlanta


I'm currently sitting in a hotel room in Atlanta. Before flying out here, I picked up a book, The Zen Of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani, at the library. I pretty much read the entire book on the plane and took copious amounts of notes.

You'll hear a lot more about this book in the future. I'm hoping I'll be able to write something like, "I read this book 3 months ago and it completely changed my business. I don't know how I ever survived without it!", but we'll just have to wait and see. Regardless, it's a pretty amazing read and I'd recommend it to any business owner, even if you don't know the first thing about My Face or Tweety.

Also, I just want to say this: Atlanta, you are hot and muggy, but I can manage. Please be nice to me during my photo shoots. This photographer isn't used to the humidity!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tech Tuesdays - Hama Lens Hood

I had been looking for a good Gegenlichtblende for my 50mm f/1.4 for quite a while. Oh, sorry. Don't speak German? Neither do I, but that's what my Hama lens hood is called on the packaging.

So, as I was saying, I had been looking for a lens hood for my 50mm lens for a while. Although I love some good lens flare, there are times you just want to keep the sun off of the lens. Considering this is the lens I use the most and I’m usually shooting outdoors in natural light, a hood would be a good thing to have.

Imagine my surprise when I walk into a camera shop in Victoria, British Columbia of all places and find a whole rack of lens hoods! The shop, Lens and Shutter, had all kinds of goodies, but most were just a little to expensive considering the exchange rate. The Hama hood was only $15, so I figured I’d go for it.

The hood screws into your lens’ filter thread, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility between lens brands. It’s got a collapsible rubber hood that acts as a bumper for your lens when extended or collapsed and takes up very little space when collapsed. I think it’s a brilliant design!

The big question is: Does it work? So far it does! I’ve found situations where the lens might have been hit by some sun without the hood, but with the hood there’s no light on the lens, giving me better color, contrast and saturation. Of course, lens hoods don’t work miracles and I’ve still got to be careful when I’m shooting into the sun or when the sun is right out of frame.

I’ve also found that the hood doesn’t show up in the photos. The packaging says it can be used for lenses with a focal length of 45-55mm, so my 50mm is right in that range. It’s also got an filter ring built in, so it’s still able to accept filters or lens caps.

I don’t think my Hama lens hood has left my lens since I purchased it. At $15, it’s one of the best deals around. It protects my lens, it shields it from glare and it takes up very little room. Once I got home and did a little research, I found out I got a great deal as well. B&H sells their Hama lens hoods for $25 each. I almost saved enough money to pay for an extra meal in Victoria! Almost.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Friday Fix - 9/17/10

My Facebook post for Monday morning read: "Ever have one of those mornings where you just know it's an 80s music kind of day? That would be this morning." That pretty much explains this entire week. I started out with some Dexy's Midnight Runners and Toto and ended with The Cars on Monday. On Wednesday I listened to a lot of current music with an 80s vibe like Phoenix and Ladyhawk. Today I was rocking out to We Are Scientists, who only have one song that sounds like it's from the 80s, but they're just as much fun as Boy George to sing along with. The 80s... gotta love 'em!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


There are times when the forces of the universe work together to create golden opportunities. Maybe a butterfly was really flapping it's wings in some rainforest on the other side of the globe or maybe it was just a good photo session. Either way, I'm so happy that I got to spend some time with Stella and her family!

I've known Stella's parents, Shane and Amber, for quite a while... Amber since high school and Shane even longer. Shane and I grew up together. We used to get into all sorts of trouble together. Somehow one of us (usually me) always ended up getting hurt, but we never held a grudge or placed blame. It was just the way things worked. The fact that they made the trip up to Denver from Pueblo (a 2-hour drive each way) to get Stella's 6 month photos taken shows what good friends they are.

Amber warned me that Stella was the cutest baby I'd ever see. Stella is definitely a super-cute baby, but here's where the stars aligned or that butterfly flapped around or I just got lucky. I had a new technique that I wanted to try, Amber brought a bunch of cute hats for Stella, Stella had just gotten her first tooth and she was in a good mood! When all of these got put together, we got some amazing photos of Stella.

I think one of my favorite moments of the day came when Stella was just about done. Shane suggested we give her a random object to hold for a few photos. He went out for a minute and came back with a curling iron (cool, of course). When Amber asked why Shane wanted a photo of Stella with a curling iron, he just replied, "Because it's funny." It was pretty funny (and cute) and Stella definitely thought it was interesting.

I can't wait to meet up with Stella again for some more photos. Maybe I can talk Shane and Amber into something before the end of the year. If I do, you'll hear all about it!

Here's a short slideshow I put together with photos from Stella's session:

You can see more photos from the shoot here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Randomness - Kitchens


Ever notice that when you're at a party, or at home with family during the holidays, or even just over at a friend's house, you almost always end up standing around talking in the kitchen? It doesn't matter if the kitchen is the smallest room in the house, it's hot, and all of the food is sitting in another room, everyone will end up hanging out in there.

Well, add another time to the list that you end up standing around the kitchen talking: When you visit a food photographer's studio! I recently had the pleasure of visiting Souders Studios. I'll have to tell you more about that trip some other time (hint: it was amazing!), but for now I want to focus on this kitchen thing.

During the tour, I saw a very nice client lounge area, a fun meeting room and an outdoor patio. Where do you think we ended up standing around talking? Yup, the kitchen. Not that I'm complaining! It was a really nice kitchen. It just occurred to me that evening that you just can't get away from the fact that if you're going to have a conversation and there's a kitchen anywhere close to you, somehow the conversation will end up taking place in the kitchen.

OK, I feel like there's some sort of joke about alphabet soup here (you know... words, talking, food, kitchens), but I've got nothing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tech Tuesdays - Lastolite TriFlip Bottletop Covers

If you remember reading my post about the Lastolite Tri-Grip, you'll know that I love it. I almost always have it with me. It's awesome for diffusing direct sunlight, providing a large, diffused light source that bathes your subject in a pool of glowing light.

So, what happens when you need a little reflected light instead of diffused light? You buy a reflector. When you go shopping for a reflector, you'll have to decide if you want white, silver, gold, white/silver, gold/silver or black (not really a reflector of light, but still a reflector). That's a lot of options and their cost adds up quickly. What if I told you you could grab them all for the cost of one? Then what if I told you that you you could pick up a set of covers that slips over your beloved Latolite Tri-Grip so you could use it as a reflector? Interested? I bet you are!

Lastolite makes a product called the TriFlip Bottletop Covers. It's a set of two reversible sleeves that fit a TriGrip perfectly. They include all 6 colors I mentioned above (two colors are included twice since there are 8 sides). It's such a simple idea it's kind of ridiculous. Just slightly collapse your Tri-Grip, slide it inside the cover, pop it open and you've got a double-sided reflector instead of a diffuser!

If you're considering purchasing a set of these, let me clear something up. If you look at any description of the TriFlip Bottletop Covers, it says that they fit "regular size (original 33" version) Tri Grips". If you look at the descriptions for Tri-Grip diffusers, you'll see that some say 33" and some say 32", but if you look at the tag that came with your Tri-Grip, it will say 30". Don't worry. For whatever reason, they all seem to be the same thing and the Bottletop Covers will fit. I'm not sure why there is so much inconsistency with the sizing, but they all appear to be the same size in reality.

So the big question is, "How do they work?". One word: Awesome. These things are so amazing! They're very easy to use. They slip on in about 10 seconds. They're very secure and tight. You get all of the benefits of using the Tri-Grip. You have 6 different reflectors at your fingertips (not to mention the diffuser). The best part? The hardly take up any space at all! If you were to carry around 6 different reflectors (especially Tri-Grips), it would take up a lot of room and weight quite a bit! With these, I can actually zip the diffuser and the covers inside the laptop compartment on my backpack and not even notice they are there!

If you've got a Lastolite Tri-Grip diffuser, there is no reason not to pick up a set of the TriFlip Bottletop Covers. They add so much versatility to an already useful tool, it's almost unfair. Now my only problem is that I want to buy another Tri-Grip so I can use both covers at the same time!

Friday, September 10, 2010

We Have Power

As a professional photographer, it's easy to get caught up in the business side of things. I don't think that I've ever gone to a photo shoot and didn't have fun, but there have been times when I shoot, process the photos and move on, not thinking about why the family or individual wanted the photos in the first place. Hopefully the prints that they order bring a smile to their face every time they look at them, but I've been pretty bad at following up to see if that's the case.

I realized all of this last night while attending an ASMP workshop at Souders Studios. Rick Souders was talking about surviving in a bad economy and he believes one of the most important things any business can do is to create and nurture client relationships. After hearing his reasoning, I couldn't agree more. So, if you're a client, expect to hear from me soon. I'd love to know how you like your prints!

Another recent experience really brought home how much of an impact photography can have. A few weeks ago I partnered with Children's Outreach Project (COP) to create an image for the Good Spark Get Up And Give Digital Media Challenge. The goal was to create an image that would tell a story and encourage people to want to learn more about an organization and be inspired to give. So, on a Thursday morning a few weeks ago I went down to COP, took some photos, submitted two to the contest and moved on.

This Wednesday I received a phone call informing me that my photo had been selected as a finalist and that we'd need a representative to attend an event on Thursday evening in the event that the image won a prize. I talked with my contact at COP, Rebecca, and let her know that I was already scheduled for the training event at Souders Studios in Golden on Thursday night. She said she could attend the event.

After the training, as I was driving home from Golden, I got a text message. I didn't check it until I got home, but when I did, it said "Hope you can see this" and had a picture of a hand holding a piece of paper. When I looked a little closer, I saw that it was a picture of a check. The photo had won First Prize and in doing so won Children's Outreach Project $750! The winning photo is at the top of this post.

Rebecca and I had discussed what we'd do if we won a prize. She wants me to decide what how to use the money at the school. In the past, I might have moved from one project to the next without realizing how my photos affected my clients, but not this time. I know that the school can use this money and I am going to have a say in how it's used. When I took that photo, I was a photographer doing a job. Now I get to be a person making a difference.

We, as individuals, as artists, as professionals and as citizens, all have power. It doesn't matter if you take photos or not, you have something that non profit organizations need, even if that something is just your time. Find an organization that you care about and volunteer.

Earlier this year I did a photo fundraiser with COP and was able to raise around $300 for them. That means, combined with this recent prize, John Bosley Photography has raised over $1000 for Children's Outreach Project this year. Do you think I'm done volunteering with them? No way! They need more than a little money. Something that Rick Souders said last night really seems fitting here: You can always make more money, but you can't make more time. Please, go give a little of your time to an organization you care about. You won't regret it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Jill and Mike's Wedding - Estes Park, CO

I remember sitting over at a friend's house on a warm summer evening in 2009.  Jill was engaged and was starting to plan her wedding.  Wine was discussed and plans were made to go dress shopping.  Then she turned to me and asked if I'd photograph her wedding.  When I told her I had never photographed a wedding and wasn't sure if it was something I wanted to do, she reassured me by telling me that it would be a very laid back wedding, that it was going to take place in a big field and the guests would all be sitting on blankets.  She also said that she had a few other friends who were going to be taking photos as well, so I wouldn't be the only photographer.  To me, that sounded like a pretty good deal, so I said I'd do it.  Might as well get the experience, right?

Fast forward to a week before the wedding.  Jill and I meet in a coffee shop to go over the wedding and finalize everything.  Unfortunately, Jill has a broken foot, there's a forest fire near Estes Park where she's getting married and her reception site is currently occupied by an army of firefighters.  Still, her spirits are high and I promise to do everything I can do to make sure her wedding day goes smoothly.

Fast forward to the day of the wedding.  Belinda and I show up in Estes Park early Saturday morning to help decorate the reception site.  Thankfully, the army of firefighters has been replaced with an army of guests who are helping to decorate the pavilion for a fabulous reception.  Although I love decorating as much as the next person, I'm there to do a job, so I pull out my camera and get down to business.

It doesn't take long before I spot the other photographer (it turned out to just be the two of us).  Bart is a family friend from Michigan who also does some photography.  We chat and make a plan for the day and then go back to doing our own thing.

After decorating we head up to the cabin to photograph Jill and Mike getting ready for the wedding.  Since all of the bridesmaids knew Bart, Jill thought it would be best if he took the photos of her getting ready while I photographed Mike and his brothers getting ready.  I really enjoyed my time just hanging out with the guys.  It was good to have them on my side.

From there, it was on to the wedding and reception.  Guests were transported to the site of the ceremony in school buses.  It was wonderful seeing big school buses pulling up and all of these guests piling out in their suits and dresses.  The wedding took place in a big field and, as promised, almost everyone was sitting on blankets.  Although Jill and Mike might have been laid back about the wedding, there was nothing lacking in the ceremony.  It was put together beautifully and they couldn't have asked for better weather.

Jill looked absolutely amazing when she appeared out of the shade of the aspen grove into the sun-drenched meadow.  There was a slight breeze that helped to flutter dresses but not enough to blow off hats.  The guests looked on as Jill and Mike made their vows and there was a lot of laughter when Jill gave Mike a good squeeze during the first kiss, which made Mike's foot kick out behind him like he was in a '50s movie.

After the ceremony everyone got back on the buses and headed back down the mountain to the site of the reception.  The music started playing, the beer started flowing and everyone enjoyed a beautiful sunset and the beginning of Jill and Mike's life together.  Congratulations Jill and Mike!  Thank you for giving me a chance and allowing me to photograph your wedding.  You turned what could have been a very stressful experience into one that was quite enjoyable, educational and something that I won't ever forget.

Here's a slideshow of a few photos from Jill and Mike's wedding. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tech Tuesdays - Wacom Tablet

Has there ever been something that you've heard everyone talk about, that you've heard nothing but good things about, but for some reason you just don't think you'll like that much? For me, that something was a Wacom Tablet. Everyone says that once you use one to edit photos, you'll never edit without one again. I'd heard that they were so much better than using a mouse. I believed everything I heard, but I didn't think that there was anything wrong with the way I was doing things.

The strange thing about my hesitance towards converting to a Wacom Tablet is that you use a "pen" to work with. It's so much easier to use than a mouse. It's just as natural as using a pen... and I collect pens! I collect fountain pens. For a while, I was completely addicted to improving my handwriting. I practiced every day. I got callouses on my fingers. I had ink stained hands. My collection of pens grew to almost 200. Yet I didn't want to convert my worflow to the use of a pen? Seriously!?

Everything changed once I shot my first wedding. When I was looking at so many photos to retouch, the thought of using a mouse just made my wrist hurt. Plus, Belinda was out of town and I have a reputation for buying things when she's out of town. So, I broke down, did a little research and decided to go with the Wacom Intuos4 Small Tablet. Now I have to say, like everyone else said, since I've used a tablet to edit photos I wouldn't use anything else.

The tablet itself is about the size of a piece of copier paper. The actual surface that you use is much smaller. There are keys and a dial that can be customized to perform just about any action you'd like. The pen has a few switches on the barrel and an "eraser" on the end. Again, these can all be customized to perform any function you'd like them to.

Since I use the tablet for editing photos and nothing else, I haven't had a chance to use all of the cool features it has. It can detect the angle of your pen, so if you're using a chiseled tip brush, it will affect the look of your brush stroke. It's pressure sensitive, so by pressing harder or lighter you can control the flow of your edit. But, I haven't used those, so I can't comment on them. Apparently they're awesome.

One of the first things that threw me for a loop was the fact that the location of the pen on the tablet maps directly to the screen. With a mouse, if I needed to move the mouse across the screen, I might make two small movements with my hand, picking up the mouse between movements, so that the mouse never left a small portion of the mouse pad. With the pen and tablet, the left side of the tablet is the left side of the screen and the right side of the tablet is the right side of the screen. This means that when you want to move from the left to the right side of the screen, the pen has to travel that distance on the tablet. Two short movements doesn't do it!

Once I figured that out, using it quickly became second-nature. I found I had a lot more control when using brushes and editing small things. My wrist didn't get sore after hours of use (although my fingers did get a little tired, like I was writing a long letter). I can imagine, in this digital age, if you can't remember the last time you physicaly used a pen to write anything longer than a signature at the bottom of your Starbucks receipt, it might take a while for your fingers to get used to using the pen.

Another great thing about the tablet is it's very portable. It's currently in my laptop bag, next to my laptop, and doesn't take up any more room than a magazine. I was just using it earlier today to do some editing while I was away from home. Wacom even includes two USB cords so you can keep one at home and take one on the road!

If you've heard the hype before, I'll just say it again. If you've never given a tablet much thought, listen up. Once you use a Wacom Tablet to edit your photos, you will never want to use a mouse again! Now, if only I could cram the guts of the Wacom pen into one of my fountain pens, I'd be a happy camper.

 A quick note on the photo at the top of this post: I thought I had gotten all of the dust off of the tablet.  Apparently I didn't.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Friday Fix - 9/3/10

I'm not sure how I stumbled across Moloko. It seems like I might have heard a remix of one of their songs and then gone looking for more of their music. Maybe I just came across them when I was in my trip hop phase. I do remember their first regular, un-remixed song that I heard: "Fun For Me". If you've never heard this song, it's pretty hard to describe so just give it a listen.

Tuesday I sat down to edit some photos. I wasn't sure what I wanted to listen to or even what I felt like listening to. To be honest, I couldn't even remember what I had been listening to on Monday. So when Moloko popped into my head out of nowhere, it sounded like a pretty good idea. I put on Do You Like My Tight Sweater and got busy. Once the album was over, I was still in the mood for Moloko, so I headed over to Grooveshark and gave a few other albums a listen.

I was very surprised at how amazing all of their albums are! They all have a distinct feel and are all full of good music. I picked out 4 albums, made a playlist and have been listening to it on repeat all week long.

It's so good to discover new music from an artist that you enjoy. I'm happy that I stumbled across 3 new Moloko albums that I hadn't heard before... almost as happy as I was the first time I heard them!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Randomness - Efficiency


As I've said in the past, I subscribe to a lot of magazines. At the moment, I have so many magazines, I'm actually stressing out about reading them all. I wonder what kind of information is sitting there, just waiting for me to read it. Will it be out of date or irrellevent by the time I get around to picking up that magazine? Is there something that I totally need to know about that through some strange twist of fate never found its way onto the internet? I doubt it. But I still want to read them before they get too old.

While I was watching the Creativelive broadcast of Jasmine Star , something she said struck me as quite insightful and important. She was talking about how she made a decision early on in her career to outsource her photo editing. Because there's only one of her and she'd rather be taking photos than editing them, she decided it was worth it to her to spend money paying someone else to edit her photos, while at the same time she was out making more money taking more photos.

I didn't have my epiphany at that moment. I just thought, "Makes sense," and kept watching. Later that evening, though, when I was reading a magazine and came across an article about a large format printer or something like that, it struck me. I. Don't. Care. I don't care about large format printers. I don't use them, I don't plan on using them, I don't need to read an article about them. Sure, someday I might care about them. When that happens, there will be new ones on the market and I can read about them then.

Then I started flipping through the articles in the magazine and found a few more that just did not apply to me. Review of a new Canon lens? I shoot Nikon. Next! Aperture techniques? I use PCs and Lightroom. Next!

It was so liberating to not feel like I have to read something just because it's in a magazine! I was done with that magazine in record time. I don't feel like I missed anything. I don't feel guilty. I feel like I was just given 30 minutes to do something else I enjoy more than reading articles about gear that I don't care about and am not considering purchasing in the near future. Instead of reading an article out of some obligation to a magazine that cost me $10, I should instead be using a camera and lens that cost me a whole lot more than $10. Or I should be editing photos from a recent photo shoot so that I can make some money. Or I should type a blog post telling you all about my epiphany. Yeah, that sounds good.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Check... Check... Is this mic on?

Comments: Show or Hide?

I've been looking at that button for a while now. I've been wondering if I should change it from "Hide" to "Show". The question that I keep wondering is, "Why?" What is the benefit of enabling comments? I know that it can create a sense of community. I know that it can encourage conversations and open communications. So, really, the question should be, "Why not?"

I guess I've been hesitant to enable comments because there's nothing I dislike more than seeing "0 comments" below a blog post. It's even worse when I see that after every single blog post on a page.

So, I'm opening up the comments to you. Please, let me know if you're reading. Let me know if you like what you read. Let me know you're out there. Your comments are much appreciated.

By the way, the guy in the image is my good friend, Sammy T.