Category Archives: Project 52

Project 52: My Journey of Light and Discovery

Last year I joined Project 52 – the brainchild of photographer Don Giannatti. Our assignment this past week was a book cover for the title 52: My Journey of Light and Discovery. Over the past year I have learned so much through Project 52 with Don’s weekly critiques and the support and encouragement of  just the most wonderful group of photographers out there on the web.

And when I thought about this assignment and the imagery of the words and how I learn best, the photo that emerged was one of the books that have shaped my journey and informed my photography over the last year.


Each week, we gather in a Vokle web conference and Don provides critiques and information and there is a chat function where we can make comments and ask questions. When my image was up for discussion, there were inquiries about the books in my photo and requests for my book list.

When I finally sat down and compiled all of the print books, Kindle books, ebooks, videos, and online instruction that I completed last year, I was even surprised. And that’s saying a lot for this self-proscribed research and study-a-holic. My first place to start with any new endeavor is with books (in so many exciting formats now). Don’t get me wrong. Shooting and shooting and shooting – the practice is vital and I did a lot of that too. But I enjoy reading and studying so much and have amassed quite a collection. And I’m quite sure that it will continue to grow over the years.

And so here it is…kathy jan’s book list.

Print Books

  • Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way
  • Don Giannatti – Lighting Essentials A Subject-Centric Approach
  • Zack Arias – One Light Field Guide
  • Kevin Kubota – Lighting Notebook
  • Joe McNally – Sketching Light
  • Linda Bellingham and Jean Ann Bybee – Food Styling for Photographers
  • Nicole S. Young – Food Photography, From Snapshots to Great Shots
  • Jodie Otte – Studio Lighting Naturally


  • Zack Arias – One Light Workshop
  • Nikon School – A Hands-on Guide to Creative Lighting

Kindle Books

  • Henry Todd – The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice
  • Susan Carr – The Art and Business of Photography
  • Bruce Barnbaum – The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression
  • Kirk Tuck – Commercial Photography Handbook
  • Kirk Tuck – Minimalist Lighting
  • Kirk Tuck – Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Location Photography
  • Twyla Tharp – The Creative Habit
  • Steven Pressfield – The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle
  • Steven Pressfield – Do the Work
  • Hugh MacLeod  – Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination
  • Denise Vivaldo – The Food Stylist’s Handbook
  • Selina Maitreya – How to Succeed in Commercial Photography: Insights from a Leading Consultant
  • Hugh MacLeod – Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity
  • Barbara Sher – It’s Only Too LAte If You Don’t Start Now: How to Create Your Second Life at Any Age
  • Steve Simon – The Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Toward Becoming Great
  • Michael Freeman – The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
  • David duChemin – Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images
  • Stuart Brown, M.D. – Play: How It Shapes the Brain, opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul
  • Jason Fried – Rework

Audio Programs

  • Selina Maitreya – The View from Here
  • Selina Maitreya – Clarion Call I
  • Selina Maitreya – Clarion Call II
  • Selina Maitreya – The Photographer’s Path

E-Books and Articles and Other Electronic Stuff

  • Don Giannatti – The Heart of Portraiture
  • Don Giannatti – Going Pro: A Strategy in Three Parts
  • Selina Maitreya – Selling from the Heart
  • Ashley Ambirge – The Definitive Guide to Getting Off Your Butt, Finding Some Focus, and Jump Starting Your Biz
  • Ashley Ambirge – You Don’t Need a job, You Need Guts
  • Michael Clark – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: A Professional Photographer’s Workflow
  • Creative Live: Photoshop CS5 Intensive with Lesa Sneider
  • Creative Live: Food Photography with Penny De Los Santos
  • Kelby Training: A Day with Jay Maisel
  • Kelby Training: Another Day with Jay Maisel
  • Kelby Training: On Location Photography with Jeremy Cowart
  • Kelby Training: Lighting for Environmental Portraits with Joe McNally
  • Kelby Training: Creative Lighting for Photographers with Joe McNally
  • Kelby Training: Photographing with One Light with Joe McNally

Wish List

Modernist Cuisine (the photos are to die for!)

So tell me. What are your favorite books?


The Incredible Sandwich

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I’ve been participating in a photography group online. No, that doesn’t really describe it. It’s become more of a family of sorts. A group of us all  supporting one another and cheering each other on for various weekly real-life commercial photography  shoots lovingly assigned by our mentor Don Giannatti (aka wizwow). Go here to join in. It’s fun. It’s challenging. It’s, well, some days there are no words to describe it. Just do it. Go now. Lighting Essentials Project 52.

Anyway. This week’s assignment was “The Incredible Sandwich”.

Sometimes the photo doesn’t translate from the vision in my head.

Here are the contenders so far. I have more work to do….