Nick Tsakiris has a knack for multitasking. He’s a photographer, a husband, a father to three kids (and two dogs!), a teacher and an entrepreneur. He’s also the Lightroom Dude!
Pounds How long h ave you been a photographer?
Nick Although I’ve played around with shooting for years, I shot my first wedding in 2006. I got serious a year later and have been in the business “officially” a little over four years.
Pounds Why did you become a photographer?
Nick I just loved the idea of being able to look at something, freeze that moment in time and take it to another level. Creative freedom is a powerful thing. I fell in love with photography, the sense of excitement it offers and being able to be creative in camera and on screen. I’m also a people person and enjoy meeting people from all walks of life, so it’s a perfect fit.
Pounds Why did you choose wedding photography?
Nick There was so much going on the first time I shot a wedding. I realized I was able to keep up with all of the action and the inherent challenges of a wedding. Never knowing what is really going to happen on the wedding day keeps me on my toes. There is always the unknown element that makes it even more exciting.
Pounds You’ve taken on another life as “The Lightroom Dude.” How did that come about?
Nick Well, it was not because I walked into a phone booth, took off glasses and put on a colorful outfit! I’ ve been using Lightroom since the first release. I saw the endless possibilities of the software. Attending workshops and seminars, I would hear people talk about how hard it was to use, but I saw the perfect opportunity to ease workflow and creativity. I came to the conclusion that it was just different and sometimes we fear change! Lightroom, to this day, has proven to be the photographer’s friend. I found that you could do more than the help file might show. The unseen possibilities became my incentive to make the program do cool things.
Pounds How did the workshops begin?
Nick Pounds asked me to do a workshop in Houston. I was pretty nervous! The excitement of teaching was awesome. However, the thought that people would be listening to my advice and possibly using it in their business was really nerve wracking! Fortunately, it all turned out great!
Pounds A star was born!
Nick I was asked to speak at SWPPA, then IMAGING USA and we packed the Pounds Booth at both shows. I saw a crowd that stayed and listened and at times would say, “OK, show me that again!” Then more workshops developed across Texas. Now I’ll be speaking at a pretty good number of the Guilds in Texas. I was also invited to speak in Kerrville.
Pounds This sounds like a challenge! How do you handle wearing all the different “hats”?
Nick It has taken off quickly! I had to figure out how to separate the teaching side of the business from the photography side. It was perplexing. Then while I was watching an episode of Photoshop TV, Matt Kloskowski mentioned that you could find him on Facebook under the title of “The Photoshop Guy.” A light bulb turned on above my head in a matter of seconds…”The Lightroom Dude.” So I used the name Lightroom of course and since everyone knows that one of the words I use the most is “Dude” well, it just sounded cool!
Pounds What do you love most about teaching?
Nick This one has a simple answer! I love to show people how to do things that will help them increase their knowledge and their business. It is one of the greatest feelings in the world!
Pounds How often are you able to schedule workshops?
Nick As often as possible. In May alone, I am in Fort Worth, Dallas, San Antonio and McAllen! I think Lightroom is just now getting the recognition it deserves. We haven’t seen it hit full force yet, so there is a perfect scenario for me to go out and teach. There are users who have stepped away from the program because they feel the learning curve is too much. Lightroom at first glance, can be intimidating. However, once you know how to use it, the possibilities are endless. I am always ready to conduct workshops. If you’re ready, then let me know and I’ll be there!
Pounds Where do you see yourself in five years?
Nick I plan to travel more and teach worldwide. I’ll have a larger studio and I see my photography pushing the limits and being a part of something bigger than just shooting.
Pounds What advice do you have for a photographer entering the business today?
Nick Learn your tools and be yourself! Remember that everything happens for a rea son, so live and learn!