I can't even begin to express how excited I was to host my very first workshop. It has been a few years now that I have been interested in bringing creatives together and showing them that they can create exciting images on a budget using near by locations, natural light and props/costumes hand made or bought at a local value shop.
This type of image creating has been the way I create images since 2008 and still to this day. I was a bit nervous that I wouldn't be able to deliver a top notch workshop and even thanked my attendees for their patience with me. Though I have been a speaker at a few different photographic events I haven't really dipped my feet into teaching before.
The first workshop:
I awoke that morning to the sound of howling wind. I checked the weather station everyday for two weeks before the workshop. Every day it showed clear sunny skies except the day before the workshop. We really can never prepare for bad weather. A storm was coming in and I had a feeling it was going to rain on our parade.
However the workshop was all about showing others that you can create in the most drastic situations. What I can say is that the weather definitely gave the images an atmospheric beauty. It was amazing to see how every creative handled the crazy weather and how it came through within their images.
As soon as we got out to the location it immediately started to rain. Part of my heart sank and I felt awful for dragging out 6 eager photographers and 2 cold models into a field in the middle of nowhere. Alas, the show must go on and the two groups of three parted ways and began shooting with Marissa and Bri.
The rain came and went then came again heavier then the first few times. I saw Marissa looking like an exotic rain forest princess through some bushes and Bri by the mini creek, hair wet and dress flowing in the wind looking as if she was a mermaid or siren coming from the sea. The girls were cold but they held it together and posed beautifully.
Four hours of shooting and everyone was ready to head back to the house to warm up and eat some munchies.
Day Two found us huddled around my dinning room table with our laptops. We talked about the previous days shoot. The challenges we faced and the exciting moments. One of my favourite things about the workshop was the ability to see everyone in their creative zone. Watching how other creatives work within the setting that I normally find myself. I loved looking at everyone's final images and seeing how they differed from person to person.
There were darker and lighter images and themes. The outfits and location were the same but the perspectives were so different. I think that is one of my favourite things about photography in general. Photographers abilities to see things in such a different and unique way.
The experience of the first workshop was wonderful for myself both creatively and internally. Getting to meet so many talented photographers and being able to discuss various topics within the photographic world with them was exciting. It's not everyday that you get to sit around a table with so many people who share the same concerns with you, and also have great advice and new perspectives on the things you go through and feel as a photographer.
After the workshop I received e-mails and msg's with inquiries about when the next one would be happening. I was so excited by this and by the positive response that I decided before the cold weather officially sets in I would host a second smaller workshop for those who felt that they missed out.
It was a much smaller workshop then the first with only myself, 2 photographers and our beautiful model. I enjoyed how both workshops had their sort of vibe or feeling. I truly felt that both workshops were small enough that I could really get to know everyone and we could all sort of learn from one another. Rather then it being a day filled with so many different photographers who wouldn't have the time to get to know one another. I felt like I came away with some great new friendships.
The second workshops weather was much better then our first workshop. It was still a bit chillier then it should have been for that time of year. Again, I like to see the weather and nature as a challenge. Whether you have rain and clouds that create perfect diffused light or a nicer day with the sun poking out creating harsh shadows. It's all about finding your images through all of those curve balls that nature often throws at us outdoor photographers.
What I found with both workshops was that everyone really seemed to enjoy the actual shooting part the most. (haha I think it's pretty obvious why) but seeing this sort of love for just being out there and photographing from everyone really helps me think about the future workshops I will be hosting. :)
I want to thank everyone who came out to both the workshops. For their patience with me and for the friendships I have made. Everyone is so talented and so unique in their own way and I truly hope that you took something away from the experience.
Here are some behind the scenes shots from both workshops!
Behind the scenes:
(A shot of me showing how I shoot/pose BTS photo by Julie Nikota- http://www.julienikota.ca)
Take a look at these gorgeous shots by some of the photographers from the day:
In order of appearance:
MICHAEL ZAHRA- http://www.michaelzahra.com/ featured in VEUX Magazine
JULIE NIKOTA- http://www.julienikota.ca
LAURA JEAN - http://www.laurajeanphotographer.smugmug.com
MAUREEN JORDAN - http://www.thevelvetbigtop.com/
SUSAN LEITE- http://www.susanleite.com
Daniela Majic (last few images)