Ron Clifford – The Arcanum

Ron Clifford shares his vast history and how he has given back through his teaching and sharing with others.  His latest teachings brings him to The Arcanum, a fantastic resources for every photographer.

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Ron Clifford

(Ron’s website – go here for his write-up – some of it is below.)

Ron Clifford
Ron CliffordMaster - The Arcanum
I am a professional photographer, shooting Fine Art Outdoor Photography, Weddings, Events, and Nature. Well, that’s why I call this site “Ron Clifford, Photographer“. You’ll also see I am a mentor/educator and community builder. That makes me want to interact with people in a variety of ways… like… currently, I am offering interactive online Mentorships in photography for small groups and individuals wanting to grow and learn and find or enhance their own talents. Because I like to educate and use my talents to see people do well with theirs. I am also offering creative, topical Workshops and Tours. Because I like to be in the community, using my talents to be out there with people and watch them do well. I co-direct the “G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers”, too. Because its a community where I can be and where I can share with people. Beyond my camera – yes, there is a place beyond my camera – my creative tools include Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop – teachable… learnable tools that help build up people and their talents.



Ron Clifford –  Website / Facebook / Google + / Twitter / Flickr / 500px / Smugmug / Pinterest / YouTube/Linkedin

  • Tell us about Ron?

    • Photo restoration artist…embracing digital photography

    • Started with anything but also did weddings and portrait work to help pay for the bills…ended up realizing I like working with people.  Now weddings are limited to ten or less.  Online education is prime focus.

    • Passion is teaching and mentoring

  • How did you get into photography?

    • Doing a drawing of bambi and knew that he was an artist.  Moved toward art in High School and was encouraged to take photography…thought I was going to be a painter and realized I was into photography. 

    • Never anything else on the radar…always stayed toward being an artist

    • In the middle years there was a time money forced work into restoration and contracting with photography being a side hobby

    • Getting a digital camera in 2007 changed my focus

  • Is photography a full time job for you?

    • Photography and photography education

  • What type of photography is your favorite to shoot?

    • Two favorite things to photograph…all about the moment:

      • Photograph people…capture “who they are” where the camera disappears

      • Outdoor world and infuse artistic character

    • Any lessons you have learned over the years that someone just getting into the field could use?  It’s a hard profession to make a living at, any advice for someone wanting to be a full time photographer?

    • Not really a defined path such as a lawyer or doctor…very diverse field with parts changing rapidly. 

    • Challenge is to not think about what will make money but what is the “value thread” where I have a passion and most likely be successful.  Very difficult to make money

    • Take a business / marketing course to know what makes people tick…what are peoples purchasing behaviour.

    • Most photography paths have already been taken…look to specialize and cater to specific clients / market

    • Deliver more than you promise

  • Question:  Enjoy shooting all subjects, how to narrow down the focus to a specialty:

    • Is it important to specialize? Your style / voice will come by exploring the world, the journey starts by making your “heart sing” 

  • You do a “Photoshop Show”, PS has come a long way but is there anything you still feel is missing or needs to get better?

    • Where you an early user of PS?

      • No…started late.  Taught at a local college someone asked if PS would takeaway the business of “hand art”.  Thought I was years ahead, however, six months from the conversation I was out of business.

      • Now embrace PS as a digital studio

    • Where is PS going in the future?

      • At the cutting edge of photos

      • PS integrates video now and foresee the ability to pull the best image out of a video…scary for the photographer

  • You are big on G+, is that your primary social outlet?  If so, why G+?

    • Google+ has changed my life…game me the opportunity to engage with other photographers.  The platform allowed strong connections with meetups local and faraway.  Created communities to place people in specific groups

    • Hangouts allowed us to get together and broadcast to a larger group

    • Google asked me to be on the “getting started” list which built up followers.  Google didn’t look for superstars but rather brought together active users

  • How did you get into photography education and why?

    • Always looked for the opportunity

    • 10 – 12 years ago was a turning point…asked myself when was the happiest.  Teaching and taking photographs.  This led me toward what I would retire into. 

    • Google + accelerated the process as there were plenty of people looking to better themselves

The Arcanum

  • What is The Arcanum?

    • A very old… ancient, in fact… way of learning and growing your Art through a Master & Apprentice relationship, powered by a NEW kind of academy. Imagine a type of Hogwarts, online in Augmented Reality, where you always have a connection to your Master and your fellow Apprentices. Get your head around that, and you’ll see where this is going…

    • A learning platform…based on the old master / apprentice, however, much large with a group of twenty or so apprentices being taught by a master

    • Each master brings along their own specialty

  • Tell me about the teachers

    • Who are they?

    • What does it take to become one?

    • Are they looking for new teachers?

    • Any specific areas of photography?

  • What type of photographer is a good fit?

    • What skill level?

      • All skill levels and all apprentices start at level one regardless where they are in skill level

  • Tell me how it works?

    • Do I get to pick my Master?

      • No, the master picks the apprentice and there is a waiting list

    • How often will I interact with the master? 

      • Is kind of like a part time job

      • Masters are carefully selected to ensure the culture remains the same

      • Waiting list is approximately

  • What should I expect if accepted

    • An invite to Arcanum to become a cohort

    • Required to make an introduction

    • Level one – upload five photos and complete task and move toward to the next level.  As you move on the levels are less general and more specific based on the cohort

  • Do all members see what the cohort does?

    • The cohorts are responsible to help you to grow with and the community helps each other.  Crowdsourcing of knowledge is very powerful.

  • How much does it cost / commitment?

    • $79 / month…access to

      • the community

      • grand library which continues to grow…information from Masters

      • ability to see other cohorts grow to assist you in your progress

    • Is it worth it?  That is an answer

  • You will learn:

    • Shooting skills

    • Creative skills

    • Editing skills


Images displayed during the show:



Ron Clifford




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