On February 5th and 6th, 35 avid and awesome photographers came to 2 Stops Brigher Studios to talk shop and learn about some of the crazy stuff I get up to as a photographer. I figured I couldn’t teach a workshop about how to be fabulous, since I’m just a pretty normal guy, or how to run a business, since the most important thing I know is to work with other people who know how to do that stuff, or selling actions and presets, since I don’t use them.
What I do know as a New York City photographer is how to make the best of situations that aren’t always in your favor, and I thought it might be useful for some people to get my perspective. Also, I’m always looking at photographic gear and saying “Is there anyway I can use this in a weird way that would make some pretty cool pictures?” and we spent most of the day talking about some of the things I’ve found that can give you some new tools for bad situations — things like the “Brenizer method” of bokeh panoramas, video lights and light-painting for low-light, using flash composites for dynamic shots on bright days, and more.
I had such a wonderful time, and so many people have been asking about it, that I am going to host another one soon! I’m thinking April. Watch this space.
There are going to be a lot of photos in the full write-up, so click below to read the rest!
The weekend started with me hosting a mini-convention for photographers of Flickr’s Starting a Wedding Photography Business group at my studio. It was cold, but a lot of fun, as we walked around NYC, and I showed them the NYC way of shooting gigs — work quickly before the security guards come and yell at you. In NYC, there are always security guards.
Here was a little fun we had when I was showing off video lights, and how I would work the ambient of a night-time scene:
Then I showed off a little light-painting before we all froze and headed back inside:
On Friday night, everyone was invited to a mixer at the studio. It was important to me that people see this as an important networking and social opportunity as well as a learning seminar, so I threw this in for free, and will be doing it at all future seminars. Then we all piled in for the workshop!
I knew I would spend most of the day talking about the “Hows” of photography, so I started off with perhaps a more important question: What are your “Whys?”
Here is my brand-new intern Isla, also an attendee, already hard at work on one of the models’ dresses:
We went into with a full demonstration of the “Brenizer method” of bokeh panoramas, because, well, I know a little something about it. I showed everything from pre-visualization to capture to the Photoshop process:
I gave a short demonstration of good techniques for bouncing flash properly. I took a bunch of bad bounce shots I won’t show here, but I also showed how to set up your cameras so you can quickly bounce the light from exactly where you want it to hit your subject:
Then, just to show that you can bounce flash in situations you might not expect, I took this one with the flash bounced off a black fleece jacket! Not art, just a proof-of-concept:
Next was an instructional seminar on flash composites. This is a technique commercial shooters have been using for decades, but I wanted to show them how to do it in five minutes, not five days. So first we set up Lydia alone:
15 seconds of photoshop. Next we set up a mock bridal party:
Four minutes to shoot, two minutes in Photoshop.
Then I challenged myself to get some shots in a horrible, boring situation, and walked the group through how I would handle it. You’ve seen one of these before:
Then we headed out for a bit of street shooting, but it was really cold! April’s seminar will be a bit warmer, I promise:
Still, the participants had fun and did yeoman’s work as light stands:
Thanks so much for coming everyone! We didn’t think to take a group shot until 10 or so people had left, but it was so great to have everyone there, and to see how many photographers wear black: