I am a huge proponent of continued education, no matter what your field of work is. The most amazing part of my job is that the only person I’m in competition with is myself. I know that I can always be better and one of my goals this year was to attend at least two photography workshops, one that was wedding focused and one that was not. I’m excited that I’m certainly going to go above and beyond this goal by attending numerous 2015 wedding photography workshops.
This past January, I traveled to Austin, TX to attend the Anytime Light Workshop from Azul Ox Visuals. Azul Ox’s team creates dramatically different images than I normally do: bold cinematic photography with exceptional use of OCF. It’s extremely important to be able to modify light to your needs: I would never want to turn down a portrait session simply because their only available time slot was noon. At this small, intensive, hands on workshop we learned how to photograph at high noon in the Texas Sun while mitigating strong overhead light with all the tools available at our disposal. From there, we worked on interior head shot lighting, sunset lighting with speedlights for dramatic evening portraits and finally, portraits in the dark after nightfall.
I was so impressed by the entire experience, I’m bringing Anytime Light to Tahoe for an extended three day workshop. This workshop will give hands on experience, provide portfolio building images, and extensive learning for the small batch of students in one of the most gorgeous locations California has to offer.
Anytime Light Lake Tahoe still has spots available. I honestly cannot impress upon you how amazing this workshop was in reiterating, reinforcing, and reminding me of all the tools I have at my disposal during a wedding or portrait session. If you attend Anytime Light Lake Tahoe, you’ll learn everything you need to know about OCF (off camera flash) including how your flash power and distance and camera decisions work together. You’ll learn about all the light modifiers you have to choose from and why and when to use them. You’ll learn what type of OCF to use. Speedlight? Strobe? During all of this, you’ll be able to build your portfolio using real models at styled shoots in one of the most gorgeous locations on the planet! I can’t imaging a better way to experience an OCF Workshop this year. In addition, model Jennifer Lynn Larson is going to do a session on communicating with models per my request because I actually found that communicating with professional models and my lack of knowledge on this topic hindered my ability to get the types of images I wanted at the workshop in January.
Whether you are new to wedding photography or an established professional, this 2015 OCF workshop will help reinforce the knowledge you need to have to create the best images possible for your clients, despite the light conditions you experience.
In February, I attended Imaging USA 2015 put on by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in Nashville, TN. I specifically needed to source out new vendors for my business at the massive photography expo offered at the event. I was searching for a new high end fine art album maker and found exactly what I was looking for in Finao. I struggled, however, with the rest of the conference, which I took very little away from. Many teachers or speakers tried to cram the same amount of information that I learned in a hands on all day session at Anytime Light in Austin into a one hour presentation. The massive lecture halls filled with hundreds walked away more confused than they entered. I think huge conferences are great for certain things: networking and vendor sourcing specifically. While I met some amazing photographers whom I still keep in touch with (shout out to Michael Faga and Jennifer Oates), I can’t say that I walked away with any specific educational knowledge at all, despite sitting in three days worth of one hour lectures.
This June, I’m looking forward to attending FOSTER 2015 led by Ben Sasso and Katch Silva. FOSTER is a hands on workshop of education and discussion. They will lead us in live shoots using natural light, posing, directing and then finally, leading discussions about the most important aspects of the wedding photography business including editing, workflow, social media, style and branding, client interaction and more. It takes place in Joshua Tree and I’m ashamed to admit: I’ve never been there!
What I’m most excited about this year, other than hosting my own wedding photography workshop here in Lake Tahoe, is that I was recently notified of my early acceptance into the prestigious and highly competitive Missouri Photo Workshop. This year will be the 67th anniversary of the workshop, which moves to a different small town in Missouri every year documenting small town life. For over six decades now, photographers from around the world have worked to visually tell the stories of the people and institutions that come together to make the community chosen for the year. They are directed by David Rees and Jim Curley with the help of dozen talented faculty members and a team of University of Missouri students. It will teach me the fundamentals of researching, shooting and editing while emphasizing ethical practices. I am overwhelmed, honored and unbelievably ecstatic to be offered this experience!