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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Florida Magazine Association - Conference Review

Florida Magazine Association Board 2013-2014
The Florida Magazine Association Board 2013-2014,
minus a few key players.
It's the middle of a long week for me, and I wanted to take a second to write about the fantastic few days I had at the annual Florida Magazine Association conference last week. It's an amazing group of people who attend the conference, and they all joined us during a revolutionary time in the industry. The publishers, writers, art directors and others who attend the conference are the ones who are on the ball. They are craving knowledge on the industry and how to grow themselves as individuals. (I may have a seat on the board of directors, but I'd like to think I am not biased.)

The amazing speakers who joined us are top dogs in the industry right now. Josh Field and Jeff Piersall, founders of SCB Marketing and publishers of SpaceCoast Living and SpaceCoast Business, gave us an inspirational "coaches pep-talk" on evolution and revolution amongst magazines and the industry. Our keynote speaker and CEO of Sandow media, Adam Sandow, emerged from the shadows for a rare talk about how he started New Beauty Magazine during a recession and his methods of expansion during a downed economy.

My favorite talk was with Kristen Standish, publisher of Boston Magazine. Just over a year after the Boston Marathon bombing, she went into descriptive detail about how the staff, who does not normally cover timely news, handled the news-worthy event that hit them so close to home. She talked about how their owner missed being in the middle of the bombing within seconds, and how Kristen heard the blast and began running on the sidewalk while pushing her daughter in a stroller. The issue to be released had just gone to press, and they had to completely stop the presses. The team came together to rebuild the feature and the cover within a few days. The cover lines changed from "Why Everyone Hates Boston", referring to the city's sports teams, to "We Will Finish the Race". (What horrible timing for the original cover lines!) Runners who ran the race were profiled in the feature and their shoes, some still covered in dried blood, were photographed. I feel honored to have heard the story first-hand from someone who was in the heart of it all.

One more thing. I want to take a quick second to thank the board for inviting me to speak about photography. I got rave reviews from everyone who attended, and I am humbled to have shared my knowledge and experience to those who listened. Thank you!

Make sure you sign up next year!

Florida Magazine Association Conference 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Joy of Being Busy

“Never be so busy as not to think of others.”
Mother Teresa, -The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living

I've been quite busy the past couple weeks. So busy that it's difficult for me to fit in this post, but as a commitment to myself and my career... I must write! I made a promise to myself in December, let's call it an early New Year's resolution, that I would keep my work life balanced. My vow was not to take on more work than I can handle well and to make sure I carve out the occasional block of personal time. I want to keep things steady and beautiful, not crazy and insane. The great news is that I've been working with some absolutely amazing clients recently, and I cannot express how thankful I am to have them!

I've come across two inspirational sayings this week; the first by Mother Teresa, listed above. The second by Saul Williams, who said, "I speak into a microphone, and with that comes responsibility". What I have been trying to figure out recently is how to combine the two ideas. How does one manage a life of busy, and keep a cool confidence enough to be a good leader to those around them? It's tough! In any profession, the higher you climb on the work-ladder, the more responsibility is laid in your lap. This is why the news/media loves to cling onto the mistakes of politicians, actors and business people. These are our leaders, and they are held to a certain expectation, an expectation that is too high for any real and honest human being. There is no room for error, and the speedy life of social media and instant gratification doesn't make the process any easier.

So, today, I just leave you with those two inspiring quotes and much to contemplate. How will you tackle these situations in your own life?

XO - Betsy

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Portraits with Portfolio LLC

I wanted to share the result of a recent shoot I had with the advisors at Portfolio LLC based in Arizona. Lee Munson approached me in need of some fun and young yet professional portraits of his team. The idea was to have the end result be multiple shots of the team that potential clients could relate to. The asset management and wealth advisory business is in an area where they are facing a young demographic, so their need was to break out of the old-money mold. He had a very clear vision of what he wanted, which helped me in creating the imagery.

On an insider's level, I'd have to say that these photos were in no way out of character. The group was laughing and goofing the entire shoot, which made my job easy! There were plenty of jokes going around, including one about running bathtub water that was a bit x-rated, so I wont share that one here.

As we wrapped the shoot, they requested that I be the one to select their final images because I could give it a third party perspective. They didn't change a single shot that I selected, which is a huge compliment in my book. This great looking group didn't even have retouching done on the portraits. They are real and raw! I love it! Thanks again to Lee and Portfolio LLC for the invitation to be a part of such a fun shoot!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hannah West with BMG Models

I recently shot with Hannah West, model with BMG Models, Orlando office, and daughter to the owners of Charylis in downtown Winter Park. When the agency sent me her portfolio, most of the images were fashion-oriented, showcasing a full-length Hannah. I decided to go out on a limb, like I like to do a lot of the time, and photograph beauty imagery in studio. She looks so much like a porcelain doll, and her skin is just glowing.

We created the looks around headpieces from Hazel Faire. Typically promoted for bridal, the headpieces softened up the look of the entire shoot. They are super girlie, and somewhat "hippie-esque", which I love!

See more of Hannah's images at:

Thank you to our team:
Paula Abraham, Hair & Makeup
Lindsey Warren, Photo Assistant
Marie Llewellyn, Hazel Faire Accessories
BMG Models Orlando

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mel Weinberg, The Man Behind the Scam

It took me a while, but I finally had time this morning to pull up the Telegraph article in which my photograph of the very captivating Mel Weinberg appeared back in December. Unfortunately, my credit is misspelled and shows as "Betty Hansen", but I promise I was the one who took these photos. ;)

It was an interesting shoot, not so much because the photographs we took would blow you away, but because the stories this well-lived man had were straight out of a movie, literally. American Hustle, the movie, was based around this man's life. The Telegraph describes him as "the womanizing con artist enlisted by the FBI". His stories were just that. He didn't boast so much of womanizing, but proudly spoke of his undercover work and how he and his team took down corrupt politicians in 1980 in the states of Florida, New York and New Jersey. Originally a con artist arrested by the FBI for wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy, Weinberg made a deal with the FBI. His three year prison sentence would be turned into three years of probation in exchange for going undercover for three cases. He posed "as the representative of a fictitious Arab sheikh who wanted to invest in American businesses, buy stolen art, and bribe politicians in return for help with immigration issues."

The stories go on, and if you want to read more about Weinberg himself, pop over to the article where you can also find additional references with reading material:

As for the shoot, Weinberg being of elder age, could get around, but not easily. I tried not to take up tons of his time with portraits. Half the time I photographed him while he was being interviewed by the writer. The other half we staged the photos. The Telegraph requested images of him holding items from the Abscam days, but he was resistant to have anything photographed because, as he stated it, he didn't want to get into any trouble. My solution was to photograph him with the images on his walls, which consisted of a portrait of a young Weinberg looking confident and smoking a cigar, a drawing by actor Peter Faulk, sketches of his boat (confidently named Up Yours) and two images of him being interviewed by famous newscaster Mike Wallace for 60 Minutes. (See the interview here.)

My favorite images from the day were the very close portraits of his face. I love the detail and the fact that you can see so much. I find it fascinating that behind this man's face is a lifetime of unique experiences.

I am honored to have been in the presence of a man who made such an interesting notch in American history.

The Original Undercover Abscam Video: