The Early Years
Aaron was born and raised on the small island of Kauai in Hawaii, where he spent most of his formative years chasing chickens, snorkeling, going on wild adventures, and being oblivious to the rest of the world.
Being a child in Hawaii is an amazing experience, but there is little opportunity for higher education on the islands. Aaron moved to the mainland to take advantage of foreign concepts like math and English.
Having always had the need to create, Aaron was naturally drawn to art, design, and aesthetics. He is the type of person who looks at something and thinks “That could be better”. Aaron was admitted to a very competitive College of Design at North Carolina State University, only 12 applicants were chosen from thousands.
Although he graduated Magna Cum Laude from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design, Aaron was also teaching himself photography and Photoshop independently.
Aaron started photography probably just like you did. He had a camera and was bored. He saw people making incredible images, and wanted to do the same. So he decided to devote the rest of his life to making those images through photography and Photoshop.
He is now considered a professional at both; has over 32,000 followers and over 15,000,000 views of his images on Flickr alone. Partly thanks to his very successful 365 Photo project; has also had his work viewed millions of times online on sites like FStoppers.com, MSNBC.com, The Huffington Post, and AOL.com.
Aaron has taught a sold-out seminar at the B&H Event Space in New York City; has worked for reputable clients such as Simon and Schuster and Immersion Creative; and has been published in Recognize Magazine, Top Gear Magazine, Practical Photoshop Magazine, Zoom.nl, DigitalPHOTO Photoshop and others.
Aaron began teaching Photoshop and photography in 2008, specializing in live and one-on-one classes.Since then, he has taught online Photoshop and photography to over 100,000 people in over 170 countries.
Most of the techniques he uses come from thousands of hours of his own experimentation.
Aaron is the Founder and President of Phlearn. His goal is to bring passion and a positive change in people’s lives through Photography, Photoshop and Inspiration.
Most of all, provide a resource for people to feel like they are actually cared for, and not just being sold something. That is why he works over 100 hours every week to bring amazing free content to the Phamily.
The Huffington Post
Practical Photoshop Magazine
Top Gear Magazine
Zoom.nl Magazine (Cover)
DigitalPHOTO Photoshop | falkemedia e.K.
RECOGNISE MAGAZINE (London)
Soul Pancake (book)
|Digital Arts magazine
Altered Images (Back Cover)
Photomasterskaya magazine (Russia)
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Geek Revolution
The Men’s View (Radio Interview)
Questions For Aaron
I am a photographer, educator, and entertainer. Those are in no particular order.
I have spent the last 11 years of my life dedicated to making images & learning Photoshop. During that time I have made MANY mistakes, and learned from each. Now I get to bring all that knowledge to you, saving you 11 years of work.
Chat With Me.
I am very social, and love seeing what everyone is doing. The best way to talk with me is through TWITTER – you can find me @aknacer
If you would like to see more of my images, check out my Online Portfolio.
Photography is a part of the creative process for me, along with Photoshop, styling, painting, art direction, & storytelling.
Trial & Error
I taught myself for the most part. I know it makes me sound WAY old, but YouTube didn’t exist when I was learning. For the most part it worked a bit like this: Buy this program, figure out how to use it yourself. Any questions? Too bad. Of course I am being a bit dramatic here.
One of the big reasons why Phlearn exists is to save people from the headache and the thousands of hours I had to spend learning how to do what I do.
I made them up.
Mostly because I am stubborn and I don’t like to do things in a traditional manner. Most of the techniques I use, I came up with to solve problems I was having in Photoshop.
That is a good reason why we will never really run out of things to share, because we are developing new techniques all the time.
I make the time.
I believe people make time for what is really important to them. It is more than an active decision, there really is no alternative.
I truly believe that I can help to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives through Phlearn. Together we can change the world of photography. When you believe something like that, working on it day and night becomes pretty easy actually.
I wake up early and go to bed late. I don’t commute, and I work 7 days a week. I have a Phamily 50,000+ strong, and I am here to support them.
I print money at home.
No, I am just kidding. I am a salaried employee just like a lot of people. With a slight difference that I own the company that pays me.
Since January 2008
I started just like anyone else. I knew absolutely nothing, and was horrible. Special people in my life encouraged me, and with their help, I found my legs. Since then I have been running. (I am thinking about Forrest Gump as I write this.)
Since January 2000 – Photoshop 5.5
Photoshop started out as something silly to me. A chance to make fun images. At this time I didn’t own a camera, most of what I did was using images I found on the internet.
It is long gone now, but I remember my first composite. It was a man playing golf on the top of a small mushroom in a field of grass. Also, I am pretty sure there was a castle growing out of the moon. During the day.