Jeff Cable Photography

Shooting from the sidelines of each Olympic Games since 2008, Jeff is never far from the action. As a sports and event shooter, he loves capturing and sharing important moments in his subjects’ lives. Jeff is also known as an established educator and enjoys sharing his extensive knowledge with up and coming photographers.

Jeff uses Zenfolio for his professional website, showcasing his commercial portfolio and fine art images . He loves how easy it was to set up and how quickly he was able to go live. It is also very convenient for him to update his site from anywhere in the world as he travels often for assignments.
“I love that I can instantly update my website from anywhere in the world. It is so easy, that even with the crazy schedule here at the Olympics, I can do this myself.”

Where were you born and raised? Where have you settled?

I was born and raised in San Francisco and have stayed in the Bay Area for my whole life. Of course, that is not completely true since I have traveled extensively for much of the last 20 years, but I still call it home. I currently live in Saratoga, CA, which is about 45 minutes South of San Francisco.

What type of photography do you shoot most often? What type of photography are you most passionate about shooting?

I shoot a really wide variety of photos from local events to the Olympic Games. My passion for photography bleeds across all genres. There is definitely a thrill when shooting the Olympics, but I also love shooting family celebrations, landscapes, portraits, macro and teaching photography.

How long have you been a shutter releaser? What led you to this profession?

I have been shooting professionally for 9 years now, but been shooting photos for much longer. My entry into this crazy world of photography happened almost by accident. A friend of a friend asked me to shoot their daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. Everyone who was at their party saw the images I was projecting, and asked me to shoot their events. The rest is history.

How has Zenfolio helped your business?

I was using Apple’s iWeb program to create my own web site and did this for many years. But then, last year, Apple announced that they would no longer support that application. At that point I knew that I was in serious need of a new web site. And having a marketing background, I know how important my web site is to my business. At the time, I had a little over 11,000 fans on Facebook, so I decided to ask them what they were using, and many responded that they were using Zenfolio. I did some research, saw how easy it was to set up my site and was able to move my entire web site over to Zenfolio in a couple of days. That is incredible. I also love the fact that Zenfolio is web based (unlike iWeb) so I can make changes from any computer and anywhere in the world. This is a big deal for me since I travel so much. Now, I can add new images to my home page directly from the Olympics. I could not do that from Beijing, Vancouver or London. I can’t wait to do this from the next Olympics sidelines.

Tell us about your work flow, what editing program do you use?

Unlike most other photographers, I do not use Lightroom much. I use a program called Photo Mechanic to sort through all of my images and then I do my retouching in Adobe Photoshop.

Do you have brand loyalty for Canon, Nikon or something completely different?

I have been a Canon user for the last 10 years and I really love their products. They have amazing cameras and their lenses are superb.

What is the best part of being a professional photographer?

Honestly, I have to answer this with three different answers. First of all, I love the way that photography has changed the way I see the world. I see beauty in the simplest things now. Secondly, I love the people that I meet. Whether it is at a photography trade show or out shooting in the streets. I always meet amazing people. Lastly, I get a chance to travel the world and see things that most people never get to see. Every time I am at the Olympics I am amazed that I get to see all the action from up front. We have the best seats in the house, we get to mingle with the athletes, and we can go to any event we like.

Are your photography skills self-taught or were you classically trained?

Most of my photography skills were self-taught. But early in my career, I was fortunate to become close friends with some of the best photographers in the world, and they pushed me to become better with each shoot. Their honesty and willingness to share is what inspires me to share with up and coming photographers today.

What advice would you give a new photographer just starting out?

Learn as much about business and marketing as you do about taking and editing photos. This is a really tough business, and there are many great shooters, with bad business skills, who cannot make it. Also, be persistent and don’t be afraid to shoot images in your own style.

What was your first published work?

I honestly can’t remember. How’s that? I know that I had numerous photos published in some of the photo magazines in the late 90s, but it might have been the national ad campaign I shot for Lexar.

What inspires you as a photographer? Or who?

The feeling of getting that really killer shot! That is a feeling that cannot be described. I love that! As for other photographers, I have been inspired by Moose Peterson, Jay Dickman, Joe McNally and so many others.

Is there a trade secret you care to share with us?

If you are a proficient photographer, show your work to as many people as possible.

What is the very first camera you ever owned?

It was a Pentax ME Super. I loved that camera.

Tell us something about yourself that we would never guess.

I have been playing ice hockey for the last 13 years and love it!

Do you have any final words of wisdom on being a first class shooter?

Am I a first class shooter? Can you please tell United Airlines that so they upgrade me every time? Honestly, I feel lucky every day to be a mentor to people and to have followers who appreciate my work. I think it is really important for us established photographers to give back to the photo community and help spread the passion.

Jeff Cable

Sports and Event Photographer, Saratoga, CA