Adorama talk coming up Oct 11!

Rain Can't Get Us Down

I’ve been talking so much about the full-day workshop on Oct. 12 and 13 that I haven’t really highlighted the separate Adorama talk on Monday. At the last talk, I saw a lot of interest about the process and potential of flash composites, so I want to devote an entire lecture to laying it out in a way that’s clear to understand, both in terms of how to put a composite together and some of the practical applications.

There’s nothing new to the idea of erasing your lighting equipment from a photo — the idea is almost as old as commercial photography itself. But that’s the beauty of it — so many of the looks that are in our visual vocabulary come from this process, and what I’ve tried to do is streamline it to make it really easy. I shoot well over a hundred jobs every year. I can’t do anything that requires a lengthy bout of mucking around in Photoshop. The photo above took three minutes to shoot (it was raining after all), and about three minutes to put together. I processed it over a few bites of dinner at the reception that same day. And it achieves an effect that would be quite tricky to do with independent lights — throwing up grid spots to light under their umbrellas is not something I’d like to do on a rainy day in Central Park.

No to mention all of the potential for supplementary lighting, such as the highlights on the walls here:

Love and Mansions

Again, three minutes to shoot. So for $35 and a couple hours of your time, you should walk away ready to do this yourself. Sign up here!

Workshop: “Lessons Learned the Hard Way,” Oct. 12-13

As previously announced, I’ve got a workshop coming up on Oct 12-13. Everything is set, and I’m really excited about how it’s going to turn out. Unlike the previous full-day workshops, this one is aimed squarely and solely at people who want to be in the business of wedding photography. And I’ve based everything around this idea: What do I wish I’d known when I started shooting weddings?

Years ago, when I entered this industry, I had already spent years as a photojournalist and a photographer for Columbia University, but there are a lot of things you have left to learn about how to translate that into a world of clients and of running a business and of the very specific skills required to do your best job on wedding days where it sometimes seems that everything is working against you, and you have absolutely no room for failure.

I like simplicity. I base my wedding packages on the simple question: “What would I want from my wedding photographer?” And so what I will be giving is exactly the workshop I wish I’d been able to attend years ago.

How to make your mark? How to stay passionate? How to make very particular clients happy? (Among other things, there will be a mock client meeting where you’ll see me handle every difficult question I’ve ever heard) How to run a business without running it into the ground, even if you’re the type of person who hyperventilates when you see a spreadsheet?

And we’ll be shooting, not just to take cool photos, but to solve the sorts of problems that are the common bane’s of a wedding photographer’s life. Bad weather (we’ll fake it if we have to), bad lighting, bad locations, tight timing, awkward subjects.

Let’s face it — a lot of people can take photos of a model on a tropical beach. You could make that look good if the camera went off by accident. But it’s the ability to solve problems that makes a wedding photographer consistently successful, and there are a lot of lessons I’ve learned along the way, mostly the hard way. By the end of a day and a half, I hope we’ll make them a bit easier.

Only $500, and six slots left (as I write this). E-mail for more information and to sign up.

I like pictures, so here’s one I made at the last workshop.

Workshop update!

flickr_100206-161040 16 mm.jpg

We still have some slots open for the October 12-13 workshop, given that I haven’t made the formal, full announcement yet. But I’ve been working on the syllabus like crazy in-between my even crazier shooting schedule, and I’m ridiculously excited.

You can read reviews of some previous workshops here. What makes this one different is that it is focused entirely on professional wedding photography, while my previous workshops were more generalized. Not only will we be working through location shoots, solving the sorts of problems we constantly deal with on wedding days, from bad backgrounds to bad light to lack of time, but there will also be an extended session on the business of running a photography business, with a focus on client relations. Most “bridezillas” are really just people with understandable concerns about a stressful time, and I’ve learned a lot of tricks along the way about how to make people as relaxed as possible.

Or, in other words, my photography business is booming so much I don’t even have the time to make a proper workshop flyer.

The best part? Even though the workshop is based in the swanky Garment District, it’s one of the few things left in Manhattan that are affordable. Registration is $500 before Sept. 15, and $600 thereafter (if any spots are still open). Register at

I also am giving a $35 talk on flash composites at Adorama on Oct. 11, and if you sign up for both, the Adorama talk will be reimbursed!