As a photographer I try to always keep pushing myself and learning new techniques. Each year I try to find one good photography workshop to help me be a better photographer 🙂
As it would be for this year, I feel VERY lucky that I was following a photographer I admire on facebook because it lead to a gem of a workshop. He only made one teeny tiny post about it on his facebook page – so if you weren’t following on facebook then you would never have known about it!
So what was it??? I got to hang out with this cool cat …. Zack Arias. Not only is he a great photographer but it’s his personality that really draws you in. He honestly and truly cares and wants you to be a better photographer. He wants to help you grow. It’s not all about the money money money (totally hearing that song in my head now) but about the passion and paying it forward to newer photographers of all walks.
So what did we do???? It was an informal workshop -a small group of us met up at his studio and he asked us each what was the main lighting issue that we wanted to learn and work on. Each of the 9 of us got a chance for him to answer our very own personal lighting need/issue. You NEVER hear of that! There are all sorts of workshops/mentoring etc but NEVER have I had someone answer my direct question in such detail. I was the only one there with ZERO off camera lighting experience and I was so nervous that everyone would cringe at this newbie but man – NOPE – they were all helpful and patient! He walked me through an entire set up for corporate head shots from where to place the umbrella to what type of flash and how the remotes communicate with each other and the camera. THEN – I got to be a fly on the wall and watch as he went through all sorts of other lighting set ups – how to quickly get a different look just by moving the umbrella. He had a model there so we got to shoot our own images with each set up. I’ll post some for you but be easy on me – I was just trying to get the settings right – not trying to build a portfolio 🙂 OH ANDDDDDDD he let me try out all of his fuji gear (I have a new Fuji x pro 1 that i’m still trying to learn)! I got to use and play around with all of his lenses – I’ve never seen another photographer just let me have at their camera bag/gear to man handle all of their stuff!
The informal workshop lasted from 9am until I dunno – about 10pm I think? Not only did he give us all personal attention but he provided the BEST food. I got to experience my very first doughnut covered in caramel and get this BACON! It was AWESOME! He also provided lunch and then we got invited back to his house as his wife (Meghan Arias) with a KILLER voice baked us up some gluten free lasagna (seriously the cheesiest lasagna EVER – so cheesy you didn’t even miss the gluten). They had yummy local beers for us and some wine as well. I still can’t believe it. WHO does that? Who feeds you at their own home AND provides all the drinks too????? I think I may have paid more for my hotel stay than I did for the actual workshop (ok, not really but it wasn’t far off!)
So – find yourself needing a kick in the pants? Keep an eye out on Zack’s facebook page for the next informal hangout- I promise you won’t regret it! In the mean time – browse around his new dedpxl site – filled with lots of good tutorials, assignments and critiques and other random gems to expand your mind.