Saturday October 16th 2010 was the last Portable Portrait workshop of the year. With a full year of workshops held here at the studio behind me, I thought I'd write up a end-of-season post covering my thoughts.
Overall I am very happy with how the workshops this year went. I've had a chance to work with all kinds of shooters from all walks of life; professional, amateur, natural light shooter, artificial light shooter, student, and even other teachers. The most important thing that jumped out at me over the last six months of workshops is that shooters need to have the basic technical skills of shooting manual. You need to understand what your settings do, and how to go about changing them if needed, and why. Many of those that attended the workshop commented over and over again that they were now starting to understand what a setting does, and what happens when it is changed. I had many people, pro wedding photographers, teachers, etc, tell me that up until that point they would see the results they were shooting, but didn't fully understand how they were getting there. With this workshop I helped them understand their manual settings, and watched them as they started adjusting their camera and flashes manually. This workshop isn't about learning how to shoot like I shoot, its about understanding your camera and understanding your light. Its about learning and expanding your technical know-how. Improving your craft. Its about understanding what your aperture and shutter speeds do. Its about knowing how to make a change on the fly when something doesn't look right on the back of your camera, and being confident in making those changes. It isn't easy and it takes work. This is a good step to help you get going. Once you learn how to make changes and understand why you are making these changes, the ability to craft an image begins.
I've enjoyed greatly watching the "aha!" moment go off in their heads, when suddenly they realize what needs to be changed and why it needs to change.
In going over the dates that I scheduled workshops, I realized that enrollment was very low in the summer. It seems families go on vacation, and people generally just can't make workshops that fall during the summer vacation months. I'll keep this in mind when I plug in dates for 2011. Spring and Autumn seem to be the best times for the workshop.
Thanks are very much in order:
Thanks to my sponsor Glass & Gear who loaned out speedlight kits during the workshops. It gave us the chance to break into small groups and work together. Affordable kits are available to continue practicing what you learned at the workshop.
Thanks to Sara and Dave Seah for behind-the-scenes stuff; making sure laptops were working, lightstands were held and generally keeping me sane and confident that I could do this. Thanks to Ray Peeples for loaning me a digital projector until I could get my own.
Thanks to all the models who let us take pictures of them this year; Rob F, Jennifer Willis, Sinehan, Kelley Kipperman, Katrina Davis, VanessaLeigh Budd, Kate Holowchick, Marjorie Kasten, Jeremy Gillam, Myles Moriarty, Amberlynn Gifford, and Trevor Osgood, Thank you all for working with us, no matter what kind of weather was thrown at us, and for sitting in the evening chill while we took turns photographing you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thanks to everyone that has posted images at the Portable Portrait Workshop Flickr group.
And thanks to everyone that took the workshop this year. Judging from the positive feedback, y'all seemed to enjoy it and learn something. If you did like it and would recommend it, please tell anyone you know that who you think would be interested. I love doing this workshop and I love watching your faces lighting up when you get that killer image.
If you would like to be updated about the 2011 workshop and dates, please email info(at)ceaserphotography(dot.com) with the subject "PPW 2011 Dates" To see more images from the October 16th Workshop, Click Here
To see images from every workshop to date, Click Here