A future of winning together – Ralf Gerbershagen, CEO, Kodak Alaris

This is an exciting week for me as I begin my new responsibilities. I am honored to lead a billion-dollar startup company that has so much growth opportunity. Kodak Alaris’ great customer profile, strong teams, profitable products and solutions, and fresh start make it an incredible company.

To our customers, thank you for trusting Kodak Alaris with your business. Your loyalty means everything to us. It fuels success for both your business and ours, and we look forward to engaging with you more.

For some background about me, my passions include driving long-term growth by way of innovation, empowerment, and accountability. And those passions are behind everything I want to do for Kodak Alaris and our customers to enable success for all.

During the next few months, I will begin travelling to meet with customers, partners, distributors, suppliers, and employees. I welcome your questions and comments, so please write to me at ceo@kodakalaris.com if you would like to connect. I value open and honest communication.

We have much to be proud of during our seven months as Kodak Alaris and, at the same time, much to accomplish. I’m excited about our future of winning together. Thank you for your ongoing support. We are honored to work with you now and for many years to come.

Ralf

Skiing and My Kodak Moment’s app

It has been an epic winter for skiiing.  My family spent last Saturday tearing it up on the slopes; what a bluebird day!  I grabbed a few shots with my iPhone — I love the colors of downhill skiing, especially on a sunny day.

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These shots were so good I made a quick photo book with them, using the KODAK My Kodak Moments app.  It took me 10 minutes to create the book; all you need to do is download and start the app, select “Create and Order from Phone”, select “Simple Picture Books”, pick your size, and make it.  The app lets you use all those smartphone pictures you are taking but never seem to make it in print.  I picked 10 shots, did a simple reorder, picked my nearest Target store, and voila — I will pick up the book on my way home.

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A memorable day, now even more memorable with my simple photo book!

You can download the My Kodak Moment mobile app for your iPhone or Android device here and get started right away?

Film Friday: Talking with Jonathan Canlas

Cruise through Jonathan Canlas’ instagram account, and its clear – his two greatest passions are his adorable family and film photography. Canlas, isn’t just an extremely talented photographer, but he’s also the founder of Film Is Not Dead. He calls Hawaii home but travels the globe conducting his wildly popular FIND Workshops. He’ll head to the UK in February and team with the UK Film Lab to put on one of his two-day workshops. These workshops, in Canlas’ words, are part of a “community, family, a belief, a journey, centered around FIND-ing your unique voice through film photography.” If you’re lucky enough to be in Brighton this February, get your spot http://filmisnotdead.com/#workshopsektar100     We asked Jonathan to share some of the top 5 questions he receives in each workshop. Perhaps some of you have had these questions.

KodakPortra400We’re also lucky enough to have some of Jonathan’s work as well. For more of his work, visit ALOHA.KodakPortra160VC

1. Will shooting film make me a better photographer?

The answer to this is yes and no.

I mean, putting film in your hands is not going to make you see the world differently or make you magically better at your craft.  Meaning if you don’t see light, understand composition, or have a strong voice, film is not going to just give that skill to you.  HOWEVER, when film is put in your hands it forces you to slow down and shoot very differently than if you were shooting digitally.  With a digital camera that has cards that have the capacity to hold thousands upon thousands of images it is easy to just click away, taking multiple captures of one thing.  With no real limitation with digital in how many photos you can take, the discipline to take one and move on is just not needed.  It is really easy to get loose about what you are shooting with that mentality.  However, on film, every time you click it costs money and a certain discipline is usually adapted when shooting film.  With more intention combined with a slower pace, it will literally make you analyze everything that is going in your frame. And this I think can make you a better photographer in the long run.  Where the opposite can make you a sloppy photographer.  It makes you a lot more intentional that is for sure.

Another way it will make you a better photographer is it will force you to learn your exposures.  Obviously, there is no chimping with film.  And to get the perfect negative that requires no time behind a computer requires the perfect exposure.  And if you stick with one ISO for even one full day, you’ll really get to learn really quickly the exposures in different lighting situations.

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2. What limitations does film have?

Some, but not many.  I still think digital is king in low light situations in terms of shooting in color.  Even if I can underexpose KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 400 up to 3 stops, it has to be the right light and that light is not always available nor is your subject going to always just be hanging out in that light.  But on the b/w side of things, KODAK PROFESSIONAL TRI-X is incredible.  I’ve seen it pushed to 6400 iso and shot in the darkest of dank receptions and have amazing amazing results.  Other than the low light limitation in terms of color, its abilities outweigh the limitations.  The dynamic range is incredible along with color and most importantly, how images look straight out of camera when scanned by a good lab like the lab I use theFINDlab (http://thefindlab.com).

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3. How can I shoot film and not have it break the bank as digital costs me nothing?

I think the myth needs to be busted that shooting digitally does not “cost” you anything.  First, there is the initial cost of your DSLR, which as time has shown, is usually upgraded every year and some change.  Combine that with the depreciation of your “old” DSLR and you’ve got quite some costs accumulating.  Then there is the “cost” of the time of editing your images.  I don’t know many (any for that matter) that deliver clients images straight out of their camera.  Some time is needed to edit those images and as they say, time is money.  I honestly think that shooting film and shooting digitally the costs are the same.  Either I can shoot film and not have to sit behind a computer or I can “save money” and shoot digitally and then be stuck behind a computer.  Also, touching on the answer of question number 1, when you shoot film, you are not burning through thousands of exposures.  Less editing time and more keepers equals a lot of “money” saved.  Remember, time is money, no matter how you try to rationalize it.

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4. What is the best film stock to use in multiple lighting situations?

I have found KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 400 to be the best film for this.  I can effectively have an ISO of 50-3200, without having to change how I develop the roll.  That means I can overexpose up to 3 stops (I’ve even done up to 4 before) and under-expose up to 3 stops all on the same roll without having to pull/push the roll.  The Vision 3 technology in the new PORTRA 400 is absolutely incredible.  Now mind you, you can’t just underexpose PORTRA 400 by 3 stops and think it will look amazing.  You have to find the right light to be able to do this.  Meaning, when you shoot underexposed like this, you need to make sure that whatever you are shooting is lit or has some kind of luminosity to it.  You can’t shoot into a cave with no light and expect it to look ok.  However, if you have some dimly LIT subjects, try underexposing PORTRA 400 and be amazed by the results.

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5. I know you say FILM IS NOT DEAD but is it close?

No, not at all.  A good friend of mine, Mark Sperry, said something in regards to this recently.  Basically it has never been better for film shooters than it is today.  Even with all of our limitations.  We are missing a TON of different film stocks, camera makers, and labs that used to be around say 10-15 years ago are long gone.  But the ones we do have right now are the best of the best.  We have only a handful of film stocks to choose from but the abilities of said film (the new Kodak Portra line) stocks are amazing.  We only have a couple companies still making film cameras, but we have a HUGE surplus of cameras that people are no longer using and can be snatched up for pennies on the dollar.  And the labs that are open and thriving today (theFINDlab) are labs that are mostly run by film shooters and know how to scan color neg film.  It is a great time to be a film shooter that is for sure.  Arguably the best time.

FilmsNotDead Winner: Siim Vahur

The recent FilmsNotDead competition offered a little step back in time for film and Kodak film lovers. The challenge (or excitement) was to enter with images that were shot on a Kodak Box Brownie.

Siim Vahur from Estonia won the competiton by sharing the images below which were shot with his Kodak Box Brownie 2.   We, from Kodak Alaris caught up with Siim from Estonia to ask some questions about shooting film and what he enjoys the most.

We hope that you enjoy his thoughts and especially his hints and tips on shooting film.

Thanks
Lars.

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KA: Siim, you’re clearly a lover of film photography. Do you have a favourite camera that you regularly use?

S: As a mad collector – I’ve got plenty of them. Right now from my collection of 35mm cameras I like to use my Voigtländer Super Wide-Heliar 4.5/15mm with my 78 year old Leica III, a Canon Canonet QL17 G-III (as it’s the most handful light-weight fast lens rangefinder with full manual option), Horizont,  Fujica Drive (neat little half-frame)

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And from my collection of 120 it’s some simple boxes like my competition winning Brownie No.2, my Daci, a Seagull 4B (I really like the triplet lenses as well as square format) and my Arax 60 MLU (+Zeiss lenses).

My collection habit has even made me create cameras of my own. I have a self-made anamorphic pinhole camera http://www.siimvahur.com/anamorfoos/index.html and a

self-made half-frame fisheye http://www.siimvahur.com/commuud/fisheye/

I’m always ready and willing to try things that are new, the bond between me and film photography is strong and not something I see changing in the near future.  Today’s world is too fast for film, my everyday work is fully digital, I’m a fan of new technologies, but I enjoy shooting film. Not for a fun. Just. For a life.

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KA: So you mentioned you’re a collector, but are you an amateur or professional photographer?

S: Professional. I guess. For almost 10 years I have been full time theater photographer (my main job is at Tallinna City Theater, VAT teater ) and I’ve been working part time as a food photographer for magazines and cook books. When not shooting for  home/creative still life (i.e food photography) or work/portrait etc (i.e theater) I do like street photography. I don’t do wedding photography.

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KA:  OK, so you’re a professional, did you always want to be a photographer? How did you become a photographer?

S: No, but it just went that way. First I was interested in classic graphic art (you know – all those good old methods – from dry-point to lithography). But one day I found myself studying photography at Art College. And four years later I found myself taking pictures at theater.

In childhood I wanted to become a asphalt worker (at summer) and a street cleaner in night shift (at winter).

KA: How long have you been shooting film for and what do you enjoy most about it?

S: I’ve been shooting film consistently for about 15 years and really it’s just because I love beautiful things, including all those heavy and shiny cameras. I especially love using unique lenses that give me real feelings with real film. Shooting film is about thinking first  – not just point and shoot!

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KA: So tell us, what are your favourite films to shoot and why?

S: Again I like to use a variety of films, I shoot colour and black and white, so it’s a good mix for me.  The colour films I’ve used most are Kodak Profoto 100 as I find it the best value for money and I also use Fuji Velvia 50 as its deep blue, dark green tonality fits 100% into our the ’pessimistic’ Estonia climate. However with these being expired films, I am looking at experimenting further with Kodak’s Portra and Ektar films.

When it comes to black and white I’m a fan of hi-iso and push-process black and white, so Kodak TRI-X, Ilford Delta 3200 / Surveillance P3/P4, Agfa Traffic are my best friends.

I also like to shoot the now expired Kodak Vericolor III (when I can find it) as it offers neat tonality.

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KA: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to use film?

S:  As I said to the Films Not Dead team, don’t go the Lomo way (sorry, guy’s), look around, get a real camera (from a box brownie to a modern ultra wide Heliar equipped and a 30′s Leica or just a simple mechanical SLR with some fix lenses), find some neat films with real character and play and try and you can feel the difference between your smartphone and real thing. For camera colletors like me, it’s great to be able to use my neat and beautifil old gear.

KA: Finally can you offer the readers of this blog five tips on shooting film?

S:

1. Composition. See frames in your head. Think!

2. Light. See light around you. Use it, i.e move yourself!

(One light, one place, different angle of views and you can make really different results – awful ones and vice versa)

3. Light. Measure it! Know your film’s peculiarity.

4. DOF. Use it! Most wonderful thing in photography.

5. Don’t rush, just be ready.

KA: Tell us a little about Siim the person:

S: I’m just a 32 year old guy with wife and daughter. I have done photos for many cook books, books, theaters, posters, magazines, websites … so photography is my life.

I love my country. And I love this kind of bad weather.

My life – my pictures: www.siimvahur.com

My life – my wife – my pictures, all of them: www.marudesign.eu

My collection of cameras – http://www.flickr.com/photos/siimvahur/sets

Film Friday: “Long Live Film” documentary and Indie Film Lab

Last spring, five guys – Luke, Nick, Josh, Alan and Matt – loaded up an RV and set out for Las Vegas from Alabama. This group, better known as the team from Indie Film Lab, took video along the way and what started as a short video has become the documentary, “Long Live Film!”  You can watch previews of “Long Live Film!” here and here on YouTube. The film captures not only their journey across the southern United States, but also their passion for film photography. The guys tell us a bit about their experiences here.

Q. How did you come up with the idea for the documentary?

LUKE LINDGREN: Before our road trip to Las Vegas for WPPI we wanted to document our trip. As we planned out our trip the idea evolved from taking pictures to documenting our trip by making a short video. We wanted our focus to be on film photography, and about why we and other photographers still love film.

But after talking to all the awesome film photographers we met in Vegas there was so much depth and heart in what they had to say. It went from a simple youtube video to a documentary.

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JOSH MOATES: It was an organic transition from a road trip to fun blog video to documentary. It definitely was a slow progression and grew very quickly.

Q. What was the most surprising thing you saw while on the road?

MATT ROBBINS: The most surprising thing I saw on the road was the snow for sure. Living in the south my whole life, I had never seen more than a few inches of snow. The first time I saw more than a foot of snow while we were on the road I was literally like a kid in a candy store. I just wanted to run up and play in the snow. I was pretty pumped to see snow that was up to my knees.

ALAN EVANS: The antics of (professional photographers) Ryan Muirhead and Tanja Lippert; How awesome everyone was at Joshua Tree.

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NICK DROLLETTE: The most surprising thing I saw on the road was how big our country was. I have done a good bit of traveling up the east coast and I have also been to Haiti and Cuba but I have never been out west in our own country. I was really shocked to see what was out there. The landscape and the terrain were absolutely beautiful. I have never seen any rock formations like they have out there. It was really nice to get out of Alabama and see a change of scenery.

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Q. What was your favorite location?

JOSH: The Grand Canyon.

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ALAN: The Grand Canyon, however the company I was around during the trip would have made any place awesome.

MATT: While we were driving to the Grand Canyon, we would see cracks in the ground while driving through Texas and Arizona. I was getting excited about seeing a few that were 10-20 feet deep. Then we got to the Grand Canyon and I was just astounded by its size. It was my favorite location on the trip by far.

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NICK: When I was photographing Monument Valley, I started walking down into the valley just shooting away and after about 30 minutes of shooting I realized I was close to a mile away from the RV. It was just an overwhelming experience that I had to capture.

LUKE:  Joshua Tree, CA was awesome because there were about 20+ film loving photographers just hanging out, shooting film, and learning from each other out in the California desert.

Q. What films did you bring and how did you shoot them?

LUKE: KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 400 @ 200, KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 160 @ 100 or 80, KODAK PROFESSIONAL TRI-X @ anything from 200-1600 and KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTAR 100 @ 100. Both 35mm and 120/220.

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ALAN: All KODAK PROFESSIONAL Film: PORTRA 160, 400 and 800; EKTAR 100; KODAK PROFESSIONAL BW400CN; TRI-X

JOSH: We had every type of KODAK PROFESSIONAL Film you can imagine. But I shot TRI-X and PORTRA 160 most of the time.

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MATT: The films that I brought on the trip were EKTAR 100, PORTRA 160 and 400, and Tri-X 400. I wanted a bright look, but with the highlights still there so I was shooting all my film at slightly lower speeds than the box speed. I shot a few rolls of EKTAR 100 at 80, PORTRA 160 at 100, and most of the PORTRA 400 at 200.

NICK: I shot mostly with PORTRA 160 and 400. I did shoot a bunch of TRI-X though. I have shot Tri-x a few times before but nothing like I did on the road trip. Tri-x 35mm and 120 are simply stunning. They just give a look that digital can’t give you. I also fell in love with a film that I was not familiar with at all. EKTAR 100 was such a cool film to shoot with. I shot some of my landscapes with EKTAR 100 and I am super happy that I did. One of the places I shot EKTAR 100 with was the Grand Canyon. The colors that I got back from it were pretty awesome. I was super happy with them when I started scanning them in.

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Q. What do you hope that people take away from this documentary?

LUKE: Our greatest hope is that people see shooting film as more than just the look, and they begin to understand the feel film gives you. There’s a lot of beauty in film, and this documentary explains it all. It’s the entire process that can really take your art to a new place.

ALAN: Do what you love to do!

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JOSH: I hope photographers that started with digital will see how amazing, expressive and rewarding film can be

MATT: I hope people can really understand what film is all about, and that it isn’t about shooting 2000 images at a wedding and not using 1800 or just bracketing one shot to make sure you get the right exposure. It is an art form and you really have to know what you are doing and time your shots just right. When you get to the point of having a 80% return rate on the shots you take with film, and it seems like every shot you take is awesome, that’s when film becomes an addiction. When you shoot 15 rolls of 120 and get back 195 or 200 images that are  awesome, that is a great feeling.

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NICK: I hope that people take away from the documentary that film is not dead. I don’t want people to think that we are trying to push that film is better than digital. They both have their uses and I encourage people to shoot what they want. Whether it is an iPhone, disposable camera or a Hassleblad, shoot what inspires you. I just hope that it educates new photographers and helps them understand the roots of photography. I think that if people understood film that they would have more of appreciation for photography. I know for me personally film has changed the way I shoot and it has brought more of an excitement to it.

Check out “Long Live Film!” on the Indie Film Lab YouTube Channel, available today.

In addition, you can see the team’s journey on Instagram, Facebook and on Twitter.

Click here to find more information on Indie Film Lab online.

Kodak Alaris, Kodak Professional and PhotoPlus Expo 2013

Tomorrow kicks off the annual PhotoPlus Expo and Conference in New York. While our team works on getting the booth up and running, I wanted to tell you a little bit about what you’ll see from Kodak Alaris in the coming days.

First, you’ll see our new name – Kodak Alaris. We’re excited to show how our new company preserves the heritage and legacy of the KODAK brand, while quickly addressing needs and changes of the professional market.

Sarah Vaughan PPE 2013 Tanja Lippert PPE 2013

As always, we’ll have our full portfolio of KODAK PROFESSIONAL Media and KODAK PROFESSIONAL Film on hand. You’ll see those products brought to life by through the photography of Jeff Yeats, Tanja Lippert, Sarah Vaughan and Martin Grahame-Dunn in our booth, printed on our KODAK PROFESSIONAL ENDURA Premier Paper.

MGD PPE 2013 Jeff Yeats PPE 2013

In addition to showcasing his photography in our booth, Grahame-Dunn will also present two sessions at PhotoPlus, entitled  “Collections: Elevate your expertise; Control your future!” on Thursday 11:15-12:00 and Friday 2:15-3:00 in the PhotoPlus Show Floor Theater.

Grahame-Dunn’s presentation illustrates the value of our new solution for photographers and professional labs, called KODAK PROFESSIONAL Collections and Creations Software. The solution is designed to help both professional labs and photographers deliver products in a way that more directly aligns with how consumers purchase today. Consumers crave immediacy. Let’s meet that craving.

How do we meet that craving? We provide them the soft-copy. That’s right. A company that creates some of the highest quality media available for photographic printing says “give consumers the digital file.” As an industry, we need to meet today’s consumers on their terms.

But note, we don’t say “give them the soft-copy for free,” which is where the nuance lies. We believe that any photographer who simply gives away the digital content leaves money on the table. At the same time, we believe any photographer who doesn’t offer digital content missed opportunities as well. Our message is to offer today’s consumer a Collection of photo products that include soft-copy offerings in conjunction with prints, albums, books, keepsakes and more to commemorate life’s treasured moments. Once you’ve provided the option for the soft copy and have captured the consumers’ interest, you then show them just how much more they can do with the professional content to preserve their memories for a lifetime.

With the Collections and Creations Software, products are organized into thoughtfully created sets that follow a logical flow to help photographers guide their clients through the story-telling process, from start to finish.  Photographers will be able to show how they take the professional content and deliver an experience that creates an emotional connection among the consumers, their images and their story.

This in turn, enables the consumers to:

•Promote their memories by sharing with family and friends anytime, anywhere

•Produce their memories in story form

•Preserve their memories for a lifetime

The goal of the solution is enabling photographers to function as consultants, artists and trusted advisors for their clients, rather than providers of a commodity. Because we believe that’s what photographers, in conjunction with their lab partners, are. They are consultants who have made the investment, in the form of equipment, time and energy to develop a craft that includes a vision and a skill to make beautiful photographs that tell a story that preserves memories for a lifetime.

We hope you’ll come by the booth in New York to learn more. We’ll be at booth #855 in Javits Conventions Center Thursday – Saturday.

Tori Johnson: DIY Kid’s Magnetic Educational Photo Board

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As a mom of a rambunctious two-year-old I am constantly on the lookout for do-it-yourself ideas that are fun, affordable and educational. When I saw this idea on Pinterest I thought it was the perfect DIY to try out and I immediately had a cool idea on how to make it even better…use PICTURES instead of flashcards! Another bonus, you can do this entire DIY for approximately $30! Can’t beat that!

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Supplies:

  • Variety of Kodak photos
  • Oil Drip Pan (purchase at any auto supply store for approx. $10)
  • (1)  8x11in dry erase magnetic sheet
  • Variety of magnetic photo holders
  • Magnets
  • Scissors
  • Dry Erase Marker

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 First, I decided what the “categories” were that I wanted to feature on the board. I knew that these would change as my son got older so I decided to go with a magnetic dry erase sheet so that I could easily make adjustments. I then just cut it in to strips to use at my category names.

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After I decided my categories I found some pictures on the Internet and ones that I had taken as well that fit in to my categories. I then dropped them on to a USB and took them to my local Kodak Kiosk which is right down the street at CVS. Within minutes I had all my pictures printed out. What is so great about using pictures is it is much easier for a toddler to understand what you are asking them is in the photo because they are true-to-life unlike cartoons that you see on flashcards. Additionally, you can make basically any category you want vs. being confined to what is available on a flashcard.

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Then you just slide the photos in to their magnetic holders so they are protected from little grubby toddler hands.

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That’s all it takes! Now ask your toddler all sorts of questions to drive their development! Some questions that I ask my son are, “Which photo is a cow?” “How does a pig go?” “Point to the color green.” Among many others! You can also use your extra magnets to hang photos of your family on the board as well!

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 Tori Johnson writes about fashion, mommyhood and everything else in between on her blog The sTORIbook (www.thesTORIbook.com). You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

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ESSENCE Festival™ Photo Booth Powered by Kodak

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The ESSENCE Festival™ kicks off starting on the Fourth of July running unti Sunday, July 7 in New Orleans. Kodak will be adding to the fun at the Festival by powering a photo book where guests can get a photo on an ESSENCE cover or with other cool backgrounds.

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Look for the ESSENCE Festival™ Photo Booth Powered by Kodak  in the Fan Zone and other high-traffic locations in the Convention Center as well as Woldenberg Park during Family Reunion Day and the Superdome for each night of concerts. Photos are $20 each.

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