Category Archives: business

(Phillip Stark’s) Photos of the Day: Workshop Review

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Studio picture by Phillip Stark

Given that this is a blog devoted to my photography, generally I’m going to feature … my photography. But today I have a good excuse. Phillip Stark, owner of 2 Stop Brighter Studios where I conduct my NYC workshops, sent over some great shots of last time. He has a great space over there, and I thank him for all his help!

I am extremely excited for the workshop on Friday and Saturday. We were full to the level I wanted, but there are a couple spaces open now due to two last-minute personal emergencies, so contact me if you’re interested! We’ll be spending a lot of time talking about advanced techniques that can pull off good shots no matter the ambient lighting you have to work with. In addition to all the great things that we did in the February workshop, it will be a bit more intimate, and I promise the weather will be warmer this time. The reviews show happy attendees despite the freezing weather.

There’s a huge hoopla going on right now in the wedding industry about which workshops are rip-offs — 95 percent of you will have never heard of this debate, and you are lucky, as it’s pretty ugly. I don’t have anything to say of consequence, since the alleged scammers are people I’ve never heard of before. But someone exclaimed I was “giving it away!” by offering workshops at $350. Maybe. But I also know how much 10-week courses at the International Center for Photography cost, and they aren’t $30,000. I simply bring the same philosophy to my workshops that I do for my weddings: Price as low as supply and demand will allow me*, and hustle like crazy to do good work. As a long-term strategy of someone who wants to stay in this business for the next 40 or 50 years, and who wants to make sure as many people as possible have great wedding photos, it’s working pretty well.

I’m not alone in this idea. I don’t know any wedding photographer who knows lighting as well as Joe McNally — I mean, really, the guy has evenly lit up coliseum-sized telescopes while standing in a crane — and you might be amazed at the low prices of his workshops. I’m not a rock star, I just know some neat tricks and like to share them. Information wants to be free, I just don’t have quite that much time.

There is also some extremely exciting news to come on the workshop and lecture front, but I can’t tell you yet.

Onto the pictures:

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*I should probably point out that this only works well if, by working hard, you are continually raising demand.


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Mmmmm … albums …

The wedding albums for Kristy and Mike’s gorgeous wedding at the Belhurst Castle came in this week, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to show it off. These are from Kiss Wedding Books, one of the three main companies I work with and one that is very popular with my clients, because they do one thing and do it very well. If you like stylish, minimalist leather books with some great accessories, you like them, and I certainly like their great customer service.

I’ve been relaxing a bit to gather myself for the coming season, but I’m really aching to get out, shoot and shoot and shoot and try some new things. So here I asked myself “How have I NOT seen a lot of product photography done?” Well, I haven’t seen a lot of products shot at 1/8000th of a second to take advantage of high-speed sync flash. So I had a bit of fun:

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Next Workshop! April 16-17th, 2010

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Our first workshop was a huge success (you can read reviews here), and so we’re going to get one more done before the season starts in earnest. This will be the last weekend workshop I’ll be able to offer for a loooooong time.

It would be great if life were always fabulous, if the light were always perfect, if everything happened according to your schedule, if your subjects were always naturally comfortable in front of the camera. But that’s not the world in which we live. So my workshops focus not just on tools that will let you create beautiful imagery, such as “the Brenizer Metho”d of bokeh panoramas, but how to make the most of less-than-perfect situations. What do you do when you want to create dramatic lighting, but it’s high noon, you have a giant wedding party, and one tiny little speedlight? What do you do when you want to create great portraits, but it’s pitch black out? What if the weather is horrible and you can’t go outside, and you’re left with no obviously interesting locations to shoot in?

These are the situations I and other photographers face all the time, and I’ll show you how I work through them, as well as showing you advanced tools for artistic expression like quick-and-easy flash composites, mixing strobe and continuous lighting, and basic flash techniques that guarantee perfect exposures every time.

But photography is more than just exposures. There will also be discussions of documentary style, how to make uncomfortable subjects comfortable, and how to further develop your own artistic style.

Lastly, these workshops are great opportunities for networking, and I want you to have as much fun as possible, so there will be a social mixer at the studio on Friday night (April 16) as well as the full-day workshop on Saturday (April 17), as well as official hotel accommodations for those who need it. Both the mixer and the workshop will be at the fantastic 2 Stops Brighter studio.

And, because I think some workshop prices are a bit nutty, all this is just $350.

To show interest or sign up, e-mail me here!


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