Rick Sammon

Rick Sammon

Digital photography and travel expert

Areas of Expertise:

  • Digital Photography
  • travel photography
  • travel
  • photoshop
  • speaking
  • writing
Rick Sammon has published 28 books, including his latest, Face to Face - Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Photographing People. Other Rick Sammon titles include: Idea to Image, Rick Sammon's Travel and Nature Photography, Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Digital Photography 2.0, Rick Sammon's Digital Imaging Workshops and Flying Flowers - the beauty of the butterfly. Rick writes for PCPhoto, Outdoor Photographer and Layers magazine. This seasoned pro gives more than a dozen photography workshops (including private workshops) and presentations around the world each year. He also presents at Photoshop World, which Rick says is a "blast." Each year, he travels the globe in search of new images and gives more than a dozen photography workshops and presentations around the world. He's been to more than 100 destinations on the planet, including the Arctic, Antarctica, Africa, Bhutan, Brazil, Galapagos, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Papua New Guinea. Rick is also the author of the Canon Digital Rebel XT lessons on the Canon Digital Learning Center. He is also a Canon Explorer of Light. When asked about his photo specialty, Rick says, "My specialty is not specializing." See Rick Sammon for more information.

Face to Face: Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Photographing People Face to Face: Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Photographing People
by Rick Sammon
May 2008
Print: $34.99
Ebook: $27.99

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Rick blogs at:

CS-4U - Creative Stimulus For You!

March 06 2009

No doubt these are tough times - times that can get one down, emotionally and creatively. But heck, are you going to let a tanking stock market sink your digital imaging creativity? Hope not! However, if the winds have been knocked out of your creative sails, here are a few… read more

Got Tablet?

February 01 2009

As a Photoshop instructor and author, I need to be skilled at using both Mac and Windows machines. And like most of my Photoshop instructor friends, I use a stylus and a tablet for maximum brush control. For my Mac, I use a Mac Book Pro, and I tote my… read more


December 09 2008

I'm just back from one of the most incredible photographic experiences I've had - photographing the "blastoff" at Bosque del Apache in New Mexico with my friends from Naturescapes. I'm working on an article that will be posted on my site soon. It wiill also be posted on the Naturescapes… read more

Maine Media Workshops Rock

October 18 2008

Just back from teaching for my 4th time at the Maine Media Workshops. What blast! My students learned: painting with light, low light photography, shooting with reflectors and diffusers, Photoshop... and the big hit HDR. We used Photomatix Pro to craft our indoor and outdoor pictures - my HDR image… read more

Reality Leaves a lot to the Imagination

September 30 2008

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination" is one of my favorite John Lennon quotes. Think about it and you'll realize that it's true. I was thinking about this quote when I was experimenting with the HDR (High Dynamic Range) software Photomatix Pro from HDR Software on a set of… read more

Canon 5D Mark II - The Coolest Video

September 25 2008

How totally cool! Vincent is the man. I will be adding Canon 5D workshops (shooting and editing) to my 2009 schedule. Hope you can make one! read more

How Important is a Caption?

September 25 2008

Dick, a former RIT professor, adds: "I always reminded my students that a caption is part of the photograph, part of the gestalt--just as the choice of mat and frame, and the size of the print and the surface of the paper, etc." read more

What Does Your Photogrpahy Mean to You?

September 14 2008

Last week I had the pleasure of giving a short lecture at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in NYC. One of my Photoshop heroes, Katrin Eismann, Chair of the Digital Photography Program, had invited me to share some of my photographs and travel adventures from my books, as well… read more

Fun Facts for Better People Pictures

September 10 2008

The majority of famous painters “illuminated” their subjects from above and to the left. For whatever reason, we seem to like that kind of lighting. Here are three of my pictures that illustrate that lighting technique. Hey, if it works for famous painters and if it works for me, it… read more

My Two Most Valuable Business Lessons

August 30 2008

Many years ago, I attended a seminar given by a professional photographer who said something like this: “Every decision I make is a business decision.” I took his comment quite seriously, making many decisions over the past 20 years based on the final and potential financial outcome of the project… read more

Keynote + Garage Band + Snapz Pro X + Photos = Cool Preso

July 04 2008

Hey All Check out this video that I have on YouTube. I created it on my Mac using Keynote, Garage Band and Snapz Pro X. Basically, I first created a slide show in Keynote. Next I selected some cool music in Garage Band. Then, playing the slide show and the… read more

Must See "Mongol"

July 04 2008

I just saw the movie, Mongol. It is one of the most amazing movies I have ever seen. The photography is stunning, breathtaking.It's a must-see for movie-goers - and anyone interested in filmmaking. Check it out and I think you'll get some good ideas for photographing people and events. I… read more

Which Kitty is Different?

July 01 2008

Hey All - Here are a few pictures of some kitty cats that I've photographed around the world. They have several things in common: they were originally RAW files (which have a wider exposure latitude than JPEG files), all were cropped (because I like to fill the frame with the… read more

Join the Fun, Join My Live Web Cast!

June 19 2008

Hey All I hope some of you can join me for my live Web Cast on June 26 at 1 PM NY time. I'll be sharing my favorite photographs (including this "love bite" photograph that I took in Botswana) and, of course, my favorite tips and techniques. Basically what happens… read more

Face to Face Tech Info & Location

June 16 2008

Hi All - I tried to pack so many photographs and so many practical tips (as well as my favorite photo philosophies) into my latest book, Face to Face, that we ran out of pages for the tech info for each photo - as well as the location. The good… read more

Last Great Photo Adventure

June 10 2008

Hey All! Just back from Papua New Guinea (PNG) - one of the last great adventures left on the planet. An adventure due, in part, to the clan wars that have been going on for generations. The other parts? I'll share some stories at Photoshop World. Hint: has to do… read more

Antarctica Anyone?

March 18 2008

And now for something completely different: A special journey to the bottom of th world! read more

The Camera Look Both Ways

March 17 2008

The camera looks both ways, in picturing the subject, we are also picturing a part of ourselves. read more

Light it Right with a Ringlight

March 16 2008

Ever use a ringlight? read more

Perspective Control?

March 12 2008

I am sure some of you use this technique in Photoshop for fixing the keystoneeffect read more

Perspective Control?

March 12 2008

Hey All - Like some of you, I often use the Perspective Control feature in Photoshop (Select All > Edit > Transform > Perspective > pull out top anchor point) to correct the keystone effect you get when photographing tall buildings from close up with a wide-angle lens. (Good for… read more

Venice Carnival Photos

March 11 2008

Hey All - Just back from Carnival in Venice. Here is one of my favorite photos. More to come. Just wanted to share a photo. read more

Recent Posts | All O'Reilly Posts

"...if you are looking to improve your people photographs and find yourself not knowing how to handle your subject, then this is the book to rely on."
--Samira Sukhija, Better Photography

"Sammon's photography is striking, and you'll learn many of his secrets in Face to Face. His friendly writing style makes for an easy read...This book is ideal for beginners as well as professionals in need of inspiration. "
--Photoshop Creative, Issue 43

"It's an excellent guide for any photography library, particularly those specializing in portrait photography. "
--James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review - The Bookwatch

"The book is well laid out, printed to a high quality, and enjoyabe to read. It has many illustrations (including a fair number of duplicates), but perhaps the best are the side-by-side comparisons of images with and without the technique under discussion."
--Roger Spooner, Edinburgh Perl Mongers

"Rick does a great job of writing and illustrating his ideas with images: his writing style is clean, accessible to beginners and experts alike, and it has a real person’s voice behind it. It doesn't read like a textbook as much as it sounds like Rick talking to you in a workshop setting. He shares anecdotes, recalls stories from past workshops and photo shoots and isn’t afraid to show some photos that fall flat in order to teach you how to overcome easy pitfalls. The more I review books in this industry, the more pleased I am to see good photographers who are also good writers. Rick Sammon continues that tradition."
--Jeremy Schultz, Designorati

"If you want to take your people photography to the next level, I highly recommend this book."
--Markus Jais, Marcus Jais Photography

"Sammon is an enthusiastic author and that comes through in the writing. He also takes interesting, colorful and exciting pictures in exotic places that will catch the reader’s eye, including Venice, Namibia, and ranches in the American Southwest."
--Conrad J. Obregon, TWIP Photo Book Reviews

"There are several other great choices for some more in-depth information once you have the basics and the general terrain of your camera down. Face To Face by Rick Sammon (O'Reilly) takes the tools you have learned in the beginning and directs their applications towards one kind of photography -- portraits."
--John E. Mitchell, North Adams Transcript