Sometimes You Just Need to STOP and BREATHE

In the day-to-day hectic world of running your own business as a visual artist, it gets very easy to be consumed by work. Marketing. Accounting. Taxes. Shooting. Editing. Networking. Blogging. Back to marketing. It’s a never ending cycle. As you get caught up in it, there are so many times when you feel “What’s this all for? Why am I killing myself.” We forget why we picked up a camera in the first place. But you know what, sometimes you gotta give yourself permission to STOP!

Here are two videos we’ve produced that I hope will encourage you to take time and remember who you are as an artist. To reconnect with people. To rest and mediate on all the blessings in your life.


This is the first part of the third film in the Pictage PartnerCon keynote series we produced last year. This film was part of the INSPIRE theme. If you remember the backstory of this series, this was not the intended production. We were supposed to tell the inspiring story of someone who had changed his life around. But, he sort of went AWOL. So, our inspire film became this spoken word piece. Written by my ever so talented wife and photographer, Tasra Dawson. Be sure to read the fun film facts at the end of the blog post.


Breathe – Pictage Inspire Film from Ron Dawson on Vimeo.

For other inspirational films, blog posts, photos, and more, be sure to check out

STOP and Stand Out (An Oldie but a Goodie)

This next clip was actually a video we produced 2-1/2 years ago. It was shot during PhotoPlus Expo 2007 as one of Dane Sanders‘ Photo Minute series. In the hustle and bustle of professional photography, how in the world does one actually stand out?

Dane’s Photo Minute – Just Stop from Ron Dawson on Vimeo.

Fun Film Facts

Here are some interesting behind the scenes tidbits on each film.


  • Pictage’s CMO Simon Anderson did the presentation at PartnerCon about the theme “Inspire” right after this video aired. In it he educated the crowd that the root word for “inspire” comes from the Greek meaning “to breathe.” We had no idea that was the case at the time Tasra wrote the piece. It was very cool to find that out for the first time when Simon gave his keynote.
  • The star, Pedro Oliveira, was actually the production assistant we hired to help us on the originally intended inspire film. When we came up with the idea for the spoken word video, we wanted someone of color (but not me). We had no idea if Pedro had any acting experience. I already knew he was a talented filmmaker (he’s part of the Whitestone Motion Pictures crew. The owner of Whitestone, Brandon McCormick, is featured in the CREATE film of this series.) Pedro knocked it out of the park.
  • Shot on a 5DMarkII with a single, 4′, 2-panel Kino flo. A black cloth blanket was hung over our homemade CYC set up for the background. No color grading. What you see is how it came out of camera.
  • Tasra’s original poem was longer than what is here. But we were running out of time so had to shorten it. It took us three hours to shoot. Much of that was because we gave the poem to Pedro when he arrived. So he memorized it in chunks as we shot it. That’s one of the main reasons I have it jump around. But, it actually is more visually interesting that way.
  • The look of the film was inspired by the I Am Second film series.
  • The original title Tasra gave the poem was “Smoke Trails of Dying Dreams”
  • We had Chipotle burritos for lunch. (Not useful info, just thought I’d throw that in there because I remembered).


  • I had just finished eating breakfast with Dane as we strolled the streets of New York towards the convention center. He wanted to do a photo minute series off the cuff.
  • The traffic and city noises you hear in the video are all added in post. There was some city noise when we shot it, but I wanted much more to give the feeling I wanted.
  • SPOILER ALERT (read this only after watching the video). When we pull back at the end to reveal the empty staircase, it really was that empty. We did not have to tell anyone to move or stand back.
  • Of all the videos we produced in 2007, I voted this one my favorite.
  • Shot with a PD150 in 16×9 mode and available light. Color graded with Magic Bullet.
  • Of all of Dane’s photo “minute” videos, to my knowledge, this was the only one that was actually just over a minute (most were 6-11 minutes. )

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