Shoot Off Video Workshop Open Invite – by Johnny Bivera

Posted in Concerning Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2011 by A Photographer's Life

The Inaugural Video Shoot Off coming this week!

If you’re in the DC area late this week through the weekend, we have an open invitation for you to attend this Friday’s speakers series and Sunday judging critiques of the inaugural Shoot Off Video Workshop at the Navy League Building in Arlington, Virginia.

2300 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201

Speaker Highlights for Friday are:

Bethany Swain, a veteran CNN photojournalist, creator of CNN’s “In Focus” series, and the current WHNPA Video Photographer of the Year

Bill Gentille, award-winning independent journalist and documentary filmmaker, professor at American University

Pierre Kattar, Emmy Award-winning video journalist and filmmaker, 2007 WHNPA Editor of The Year, former journalist for Washington Post Digital

Arun Chaudharry, official White House videographer, producer of “West Wing Week” and a former New York University film instructor

Tyler Ginter, freelance producer and filmmaker, former operations officer for the Army’s 55th Combat Camera, and a DSLR Professor for FXPHD

Jim Fabio, award-winning producer, director & editor (HBO, ESPN, and NFL Films among others.) Currently a Lt Col in the Air Force Reserves

Emmanuel Etim, producer and videographer based in Washington DC with over 10 years experience in Film, Video and TV Production, currently working with RHED Pixel

Inaugural Workshop of Military Videography

The Shoot Off Video Workshop in Washington D.C. mentors military, civil service and government video journalists with an emphasis on storytelling fundamentals.  Participants are given the tools and advanced techniques to become creatively faster and better.  Whether you’re an experienced videographer or new to the field, this workshop is for you!

Fundamentals, Teamwork, and Mentorship

The four day workshop includes key training sessions, guest speakers and presentations. Students are split into teams and assigned mentors. Teams shoot, edit and produce a shot-form documentary or news feature. These products are critiqued and judged for awards. For more information, click o the button below to download our press kit.

Registration Open

Registration is open for the 2011 DC Shoot Off Video Workshop with a few seats left!  In this, our inaugural event, we will be accepting 45 participants and up to 30 mentors.  The registration fee to participate in the workshop is $75.00. Click on the button below or the banner at the bottom of the page to begin the registration process.


DAY ONE     12 May     Thursday

1400 – 1700    Registration and Optional Reel / Portfolio Review

1800     Mixer/Meet and Greet (Participants, Mentors, Staff, Guests and Sponsors) Location: Ireland’s Four Courts

DAY TWO     13 May     Friday

0730 – 0800     Breakfast

0800 – 0830     Intro Video/ Workshop General Rules

0830 – 0915      Speaker 01 – Jim Fabio (What Is a good story?)


0930 – 1015      Speaker 02 – Pierre Kattar (Editing)


1030 – 1115     Speaker 03 – Bill Gentile (BackPack Journalism)


1130 – 1215     Speaker 04 – Arun Chaudhary (Documenting History In Real Time)

1215 – 1315       Lunch

1330 – 1415     Speaker 05 – Bethany Swain (Nat Packages)


1430 – 1515     Speaker 06 – Emmanuel Etim (DSLR Shooting)


1530 – 1615     Speaker 07 – Tyler Ginter (Adobe DSLR Workflow / Interview Techniques) Break

1630 – 1700     Presentation – GoPro (Tyler Ginter)

1700 – 1730      ShootOff Ground Rules (Maureen Stewart) and Topic Selection

1730      Shoot Off Begins

DAY THREE     14 May     Saturday

• Teams & Mentors shooting/editing all day

• Mentor Updates (Mid Morning (1100) & End of Day (1800)

• Venue available for editing

DAY FOUR     15 May     Sunday

0730 0800     Breakfast

0800     All projects due/uploaded

0800 – 0845     Speaker 08 – Quentin Kruger (New Media)


0900 – 0915     Judge Introductions (Bill Gentille & Pierre Kattar)

0915 – 1200     Project Viewing / Critiques (open to the public)

1200 – 1300     Lunch / Judging (closed)

1300 – 1400     Judges Comments / Questions

1400 – 1430    Award Ceremony

1430 – 1445     Multimedia Presentation

1445 – 1500     Feedback Session

1500     Workshop Concludes

For sponsors info and press kit:

Shoot Off Visual Media Workshops

Johnny Bivera, Executive Director,   202-251-8094,

Juan Femath, Workshop Producer/Director,   843-743-9013,

Blake Stillwell, Workshop Producer/Director,    814-504-2287,


Burn Magazine Extends Emerging Photographer’s Grant for 2011, also Retrospect Influences and LOOK3 – by Johnny Bivera

Posted in Concerning Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2011 by A Photographer's Life

$15,000 BURN Grant deadline extends to May, 15, 2011

Funding is designed to support continuation of a photographer’s personal project. This body of work may be of either journalistic mission or purely personal artistic imperatives. The primary intent is to support emerging photographers who will become the icons of tomorrow.

The Emerging Photographer Fund grant was initiated by David Alan Harvey in 2008, and is awarded by the Magnum Foundation, a non-profit created by the member photographers from Magnum Photos, Inc…Funding for the EPF has come from several private donors who have chosen to remain anonymous.

Previous jurors have been: Carol Nagar, Martin Parr, Gilles Peress, Eugene Richards, Maggie Steber, Fred Ritchin, Bruce Gilden, David Griffin, John Gossage, Susan Meiselas, and James Nachtwey

See more about BURN here:

A Restrospect of Influences I got from David Alan Harvey and James Nachtway

I am blessed, like the many other photographers who have been influenced by greatness.  I live and breathe imagery, the aesthetics of it, long discussed theories, the boundaries that are constantly challenged, other photographers work and those that influence.  It would be very hard to prove that in my over twenty year career I had not gone a day without having some thought to it.  And along that time I have compiled a list of great people from artist, activist and leaders that have given much influence in my life, enriching me to love this world and this life of ours more so than I could have ever imagined from the beginning.  Their time no matter how small or large, helped shape my life into what I believe to be a very successful existence today.  And in 2009 I was fortunate to have been given the time to learn from two mentor icons whose work and ethics I greatly admire, David Alan Harvey and James Nachtway.

If you have not attended a LOOK3 event in Charlottesville, Va., where one is coming this June 9-11, then you are missing out on a great festival.  I have attended two of its last three and found it to be an awesome experience.  Coupled with the beautiful location and creative vibe, it is a festival with like-minded individuals founded by a diverse and broadly tailored program of many interests.  This event is what provided me with the opportunity to meet and be influenced by two of my most admired role models.

What I learned:

Over the years there has been one constant to learning that has crossed over, and that is to learn and repeat, learn and repeat.   We continue to repeat things we should already know, but for some lessons require the right time, moment or level of influence before they sink in.  Even I who almost shoots daily, provide consultation and teach in all levels, require a kick or two of growth and direction for one’s own path to success, no matter what that may be, the point is to proceed in a forward and upward motion.  One must always be learning…

To study in a class between Harvey and Nachtway was like standing in the middle of two pillars housed on Mt. Olympus.  Yes, that may seem farcical, but I don’t mind placing my heroes on pedestals when there is no doubt as to the reasons why.  I came with no preconceived notion on what I was going to do when asked for what my project was going to be.  Which for a brief period after introduction was slightly embarrassed for myself as I became, along with a few others in the room, students with big floating question marks as to how providential our ideas were going to be.  With their careful study of my portfolio they began to catechize me as to the why and what concerning my work.  I was challenged to support it, which I did, but in the end I had an even deeper sense of asking myself the same question as to why?

They killed what I thought was going to be my project, “too literal, too broad, too little time to pull off your shots,” they said.  And all I could say to that was okay!  I’ve heard the same thing come out of my own mouth before.  They looked at a series of what I did show and they asked, “What was going on here concerning some of these singles?  You seem to have a love for horses,” they remarked, as they started to pluck individual images I had from different project stacks.  The new stack showed horses from different places in the world, performing different functions in society… “You know that you’re in horse country don’t you? asked Nachtway.  I replied nodding yes!  “Well then you might want to do something about that while you’re here,” said Harvey.  And with that my project for the next four days was to find a story in horse country and accepting the realization that I did have a love for horses.

The quest and having something to prove drove the adrenaline.  What in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains provided that treasure of a story… I drove for many hours and spoke to many people, and it was just my luck that this Sunday was the day all the major horse owners and ranch managers would be in Richmond, spending the day at the track.  The sun was going down and the eastern shadow was slowly creeping across the valley.  Did I just waste a day with no picture and no contact, but worst of all no story?  I was about to give up when out of the corner of my eye as I passed, I saw a little old lady driving a lawn tractor on a small family owned horse farm.  As I turned the car around, pulled in and lowered my window she called out above the barking dogs, “May I help you?”  I told her I was in search of a story in the setting of Virginia horse country, and without hesitation she walked up to me, leaned in and said, “Well.. it sounds like you were looking for me!”

Her name was Phyllis and she was a strong 70-year old woman who took care of the horses from sun up to sun down.  This was a wonderful family and she was the matriarch that allowed me in their lives for a very brief period, and this century old, family owned farm showed the love they had for this life and the struggle they faced in retaining this lifestyle for future generations, where the appeal to live and work on the farm fell on one little granddaughter.  As I worked, the voices of Nachtway and Harvey were never far away.

As the days went by with Jim and David (notice first name basis), I eventually earned their respect and to hear from them what I already knew but never took seriously to admit about myself.  I did start to believe in the prediction they bestowed upon us, that if we took to heart what we needed to learn, we were going to end up hating our portfolio, and we were going to see things differently (for the better of course).  Strange that I didn’t believe that possible, maybe it was with all the years of being institutionalized as a Navy combat cameraman or beltway executive photographer, that teaching an old dog different tricks was conceivable.  But here it was, creeping in like the silent night I slowly found, as I studied what I had in hand to what I was now producing that they were right… It was a great exercise and wonderful experience, one I’ve done and continue to do with my students, where I look forward to doing again for myself the next time I need a good horse kick in the head.  Jim and David matured me in how I viewed myself as a photographer, they taught me to slow down, to appreciate the next venture by making sure I finish the last one.

Tragedy Far Away in a Small World…by Johnny Bivera

Posted in Concerning Photography with tags , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2011 by A Photographer's Life

Nominees for Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award pay Ultimate Sacrifice

Wednesday, April 22 – I have many things to be thankful for like my family, health, friends and colleagues.  News struck today slowly about photojournalists killed and injured in Libya while I was out in morning traffic, and I asked myself if I knew them?  Then a little while later on NPR they said the names, my eyes glazed and my heart began to weigh, a sudden deep breath and I whispered “oh no”.

To be personally associated with photographers killed or injured while in the conflict zone sobers me into the reality of what’s at stake.  And that no matter how much we hide behind the false protection of our camera, we as photographers are prone to injury and fatality, as death plays out what I fear is, an indiscriminate act in who’s life it decides to take.  I assume it has no care for division but for soul.  And when it takes from someone we know, a part of us is taken with it.

We hear and watch the news of troubles from far away but yet, as for what the journalists bring back for us to read and see, we enjoy it in relative safety and comfort from troubles that do not directly affect us until the messengers are ones we know.  We are a society of desensitized humans; violence viewed in the media is a daily affair where our psyche has made it bearable for us to accept.  It is a human act in protecting oneself from emotion that could possibly prove overwhelming.  But that’s why our messengers must play their roles in places far and away for us in the safety of our peace and order.  We must all be thankful for those that sacrifice their life daily so that we continue to see the reality of poverty, chaos and despair, to never forget that it’s out there, nearer than we realize, that we are ever thankful for our blessings.

Like so many of our professionals who have given unlimited support to me, my family, friends and colleagues; Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington who died today covering the Libyan conflict are those very people.  Chris was giving in his support to other photographers as he was to me a few years ago while visiting DC.  His mentorship and guidance helped me with a project that ended successfully.  And for that his words echo still.  Tim was supposed to meet my team this May in support of the very first DC video shoot off for our military and civil service photographers.  We are honored by his gesture but very saddened for the loss of a truly gifted talent and giving person.

To all those that are out there far away in harms way in our small world, I pray for your safety and very thankful for what you do!

Thursday, April 23 – Again in traffic and driving home in the relative safety of my car, I catch NPR’s Fresh Air as they release Terry Gross’ interview with Bang Bang Club co-writers, Joao Silva & Greg Marinovich as they talk about injuries and ethics of being combat photographers.  The interview was conducted on Tuesday,  the day before the Libyan incident with Chris and Tim above… It is an ironic sense of timing.

See more on “Restrepo”

FLASH Exhibit Closing Party

Posted in Concerning Photography on April 13, 2011 by A Photographer's Life

To celebrate my participation in this exhibit, I will be attending the closing party this Friday.  Let me know if you can make it.

Make your reservation here:  RSVP NOW

2011 DC Shoot Off Winners List – by Johnny Bivera

Posted in Concerning Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2011 by A Photographer's Life

The Subject Board and Trophy Awards – This years topic pulled by keynote speaker Clay Patrick McBride “On the Job”

This years winners come from a diverse group of photographers from as far as away as California and Florida and from as many different military commands, civilian agencies and university level photography students.    Over 90 competitors were on hand to participate of whom a half dozen competed on line for Shoot Off International.  This years winners are:


First Place – Meghann Roper

Second Place – Cooper Evans

Third Place – Erika Barker

Honorable Mention – Gina Morrissette

Honorable Mention – Samantha Ciaramitaro


First Place – Kurt Lengfield

Second Place – Shane McCoy

Third Place – Ed Buice

Honorable Mention – Annie Elis

Honorable Mention – Kathleen Gorby


Top Single Image – Erika Barker

Honorable Mention – Kurt Lengfield

Honorable Mention – Shane McCoy


First Place – Joshua Hudson

Honorable Mention – Keith Stevenson

Honorable Mention – Joe Kane


For Leadership & Team Spirit – Etta Smith

Winning photos to follow!

The Passing of Joey Moran – by Johnny Bivera

Posted in Concerning Photography, Family with tags , , , , , , on March 23, 2011 by A Photographer's Life

The Sicilian crew with Mt. Etna in the background. Joey Moran with the long flowing hair in the middle just above me and Jonathan Blosser.

My dearest friend Joyce ‘Joey’ Moran passed away in the early morning hours of Monday.  This stuns me to the core so much to now have both Moran parents removed from our world and their young son Dane.  Joey is a retired Navy Photographer’s Mate who worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence like her husband Gerald ‘Jerry’ Moran who was killed on 9/11 at the Pentagon.  The Moran’s treated me like family when I was a young sailor in Sicily.  They had this wonderful home on a cliff just south of Catania overlooking a small private beach they shared with a neighbor where many weekends were spent on the patio for cheese and wine.  They loved each other very much, you could feel it every day you were around them.Jerry was an exceptional chef, who loved to cook Italian for everyone while Joey was the ever-smiling host.  I remember Jerry, Shannon and Dane keep an eye on me while I was out surfing huge waves near SiracusaJoey ran the photo lab at Sigonella while Jerry worked at the base exchange.  They took care of every combat camera detachment that came through their area and any Photomate that needed assistance.   Jerry survived the barracks bombing during the Beirut conflict while working as a combat cameraman, but fate caught up with him at the Pentagon on that dreaded September 11th day.  We’ve lost three of the Moran family, to be survived by daughter Shannon. There was a viewing at Lee Funeral Home in Clinton, MD on Saturday March 26th where family, friends and colleagues paid their last respect.  I arrived at the last minute, I didn’t want to say good-bye, there’s been a lot of that around me lately.  Joey was interned at the columbarium in Arlington National Cemetery on June 1st 2011 at 11 AM.

Joey’s Obituary

Joyce “Joey” Athena Moran, 51, was born in Morrison, Illinois, on September 27, 1959, to her parents, John “Jack” Brearton and his wife, Jo Ann.  Joey graduated from Morrison High School in 1977 where she was a member of the yearbook committee and when she realized her passion for photography.

Joey turned her photographic passion into a career in 1978, when she enlisted in the U.S. Navy.  It was the navy that brought Joey together with the love of her life Jerry Moran.  Joyce and Jerry wed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1984.  Jerry was released from the Navy after completion of his initial five-year contract to travel with Joey to various photo labs and duty stations to include Sicily, Hawaii, Orlando, Norfolk and Little Creek, Va.

She often told stories of their travels throughout Europe, like camping in Germany and time spent on Italian beaches.  Joey organized family cruise trips, weekend ski trips, and often hosted social gatherings at her home for barbecues, Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday parties for colleagues, friends and family.   Her daughter Shannon is a graduate of Towson University while son Dane pursues his love of specialty car maintenance.  Joey was an avid cook and shared that love with Shannon.  Joey surrendered to Jerry’s love of football and learned everything she could about the NFL and eventually became an avid Washington Redskins fan.

In 1998, Joey retired from the Navy as a First Class Photographer’s Mate after a successful 20-year career.  Following her retirement from active duty, Joey worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence as a civilian data collections expert after a brief period of employment with BAE Systems.  Throughout her naval career and her subsequent employment as a civilian with the Department of the Navy, Joey was famous for mentoring and taking Junior Sailors and new employees under her wing.

Joey earned the following commendations during her naval career; the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, three Navy Unit Commendations, three Meritorious Unit Commendations, four Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal, Navy “E” Ribbon, three Overseas Service Ribbons, Armed Forces Service Medal and nine Flag Letters of Commendation.  Joey was named Junior Sailor of the Quarter and Sailor of the Quarter several times throughout her career and was named Sailor of the Quarter in the first quarter of 1996 while serving as the leading Petty Officer in the ONI-3 Directorate.  In 2005 she was awarded the Cooper-Moran IT Distinguished Civilian Award, named in part for her husband Jerry, who gave his life in service of his country on September 11, 2001 during the terrorists attack on the Pentagon.

Joey died of natural causes on March 21, 2011 at her home in Brandywine, Md.  She is survived by her mother Jo Ann Brearton and her siblings Judy “Jess” of Wichita, Kansas; Jerry of Brandwine, Md., Janice “Janie” of Morrison, Ill., step sister Cindy of Morrison, Ill., and half brother James “Jimbo” of Charleston, South Carolina.

FotoDC FLASH Opening Party – by Johnny Bivera

Posted in Concerning Photography with tags , , , , , on March 16, 2011 by A Photographer's Life

Please join me this Friday night March 18 between 8 to 11 PM for FLASH, a collaborative photo opening of which I will be exhibiting.  I will have work from my Antarctica series “Whale Song Endeavors, A Mariners Guide to World Travel.   FLASH is a celebration of 55 DC photographers presented by FotoDC.  The location is 2450 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202 between the 12th & 13th floor.  It is on Crystal Drive but just south of 23rd St.  You don’t want to miss this opening!

Whalers Boat, Antarctica

Come to one of DCs premier photography party...

Far and Away, Antarctica