An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
— Benjamin Franklin
 

Workshop II
Intro to Using Flash

Who this is for:

This is for photographers who want to learn how to begin using flash to add to their skill-set. If the only flash you've used or seen is the kind that pops up on your camera and takes a snap-shot, then you'll be happy to hear there's a whole new world waiting out there for you. Bad flash photography is awful, but good flash photography is what happens in Vogue fashion spreads, BMW ads, high-end food shoots and is used by virtually all photographers who have decided to go beyond using just "natural" or "available" light. 

Who this isn't for:

This isn't for people who are looking for the least expensive workshop they can Google. I know of plenty that are closer to $100 for a half-day ($200+ for a full-day) and have 10 to 20 people in the classes. Well, I'd bet a new Canon 5D mark III that if someone quizzed one of their students versus a person who'd worked with me for a full day, the scores would be so far apart that it would seem like the person who took my workshop was actually an instructor. I'm serious. There's a tremendous chasm between someone who teaches as a business and someone who teaches because it makes them feel a deep down satisfaction to help another person learn.

Also, group instruction is limited by curriculum needing to cater to the student who's at the lowest level. By doing that, all the other students just re-hear what they already know. Or, the class begins over your head and you're struggling to play catch-up the whole time. Finally, the knowledge transfer and personal attention that occurs during a 1-on-1 or 1-on-2 workshop is so vastly different than a group setting that it's difficult to really convey. I'm not necessarily saying that group workshops are bad. I'm just saying that from my experience and from knowing several people who teach them, most students will learn a whole lot more when it's just a couple of us, instead of 12 of us.

I teach these workshops sparingly and I only want to teach them for people who really want them. I charge less than 1/2 what I earn in a day, making these what some would call, a poor use of my time. So, why do I teach them at all? The answer is that I genuinely love helping others who share similar passions, become as good as they possibly can. A few people were very instrumental in my success as I was starting out and I promised myself that when it was my turn, that I'd pay it forward and give back as much or more than was given to me.

What you get:

This workshop is a full-day, scheduled at a time that is good for you. I teach it as either a 1-on-1 or 1-on-2 class. We'll typically start at a casual place like a coffee shop or public library. Then for the 2nd half of the day, we'll head to a studio and put all your new knowledge to use! Expect to take a lot of photos as we go over lighting set-ups, techniques and styles. I generally use studios that are in the downtown Phx area, so if you live in Tucson or Sedona, we may have to figure out a creative solution.

The workshop is for 8 hours... from 9 am to 5 pm. It's a long, but fun day. First, we'll meet at 9 am and go over what I call the knowledge-transfer for the first 2 1/2 hours. At 11:30 am, we'll break for lunch and head somewhere casual and nearby. Trust me, you'll want the break. You're brain will be starting to get a little mushy.

We'll continue to chat over lunch and review what we've talked about so far. You can ask more Qs and we can start to get ready for the studio portion of the workshop. Lunch is kind of a break, but it's actually just a casual way for me to continue putting more info into your brain... while eating something delicious and drinking something refreshing. Around 12:30/1 pm we'll get to the studio and begin what I call the experience-transfer. We'll start setting up scenarios and popping flashes, etc. I'll show you various set-ups and the differences that light modifiers make. At 3 pm, a model will arrive and you'll get to take photos using your new techniques of him/her. We'll do that for 2 hours and finally wrap up at 5 pm.

You'll feel completely different than when you arrived only 8 hours earlier. You'll know what you want to buy, what you want to sell and how to use flash to make your photography better, cleaner and more effective... which is exactly how you should feel if you either want to make money at this or just be a well-rounded, high-quality hobbyist.

What you can expect to learn:

- The differences between exposing for ambient light and the light from a flash
- Small flashes vs. Large flashes (speedlights vs. studio strobes)
- The beauty of wireless triggering... and why Pocket Wizards are so expensive
- How to balance flash with daylight/ambient light
- When, how, what and why to use light modifiers, like umbrellas, grids and soft-boxes
- Why the existing light in a room doesn't always matter that much when you're using flash
- How light fall-off works for and against you
- How to light a head shot, a full-body studio shot and much more
- Recommendations for flash equipment purchases, given your budget, skill-level and goals
- And... as much as you can drink in until the end of the day! 

I recommend that you're at an "advanced beginner" level or greater:

If you're coming in at a complete beginner level, then there will be too much that you still haven't learned. A lot of flash photography builds on the basics, like knowledge of aperture and shutter-speed. If you still shoot on Automatic, then this may be way too challenging of a workshop for you. In that case, I recommend you consider my other workshop, "Photography Essentials" or look to get that information from somewhere else first.

Requirements:

- A digital SLR camera, or something similar that has manual settings
- At least 1 compatible, fully-charged battery
- At least 1 compatible memory card
- At least 1 compatible lens (can be a prime or a zoom)
- Ideally, you have a speedlight, flash or flash kit that you can bring. If not, however, that's completely fine... but just know that you'll be working with my gear, which is part Canon and also part White Lightning.

Arrive ready to learn:

Also, it's really good to have a clear mind and a strong urge to learn as much as possible. It's a lot of fun, but it's also work (but in a fun way!). A pounding headache from too many glasses of wine the night before will not set you up for maximum success. Hey... I'm just putting it out there. I really want you to get maximum value for your time & money!

Workshop Pricing:

$600 - for a 1-on-1, full-day, hands-on workshop 
$700 - for a 1-on-2, full-day, hands-on workshop ($350/person... bring a friend, spouse, etc.!)
(Both versions INCLUDE a studio for the 2nd half of the day and a model to photograph for the last 2 hours. If for some reason you don't want a model, we can deduct $100.)

I accept cash, checks (that clear!) and credit cards (Visa, MC & Amex).

Payment is due in-full in advance to secure your scheduled workshop day. I work full-time as a producer and director and I live in a world that measures time with $ signs. If you find you must cancel or change dates, that's okay. Life happens. However, I completely open up a full day for these workshops and put a lot of energy into them. In other words, you will never get a sleepy, crabby, out-of-it instructor. Instead, I'll always be extra excited, super pumped and very motivated to give you the finest knowledge transfer that is humanly possible for me. So... with that said, you may cancel or reschedule up to 48-hours in advance. After that, your workshop fee is non-refundable, so please be sure that you want this before committing. Also, I'm a nice person. If there's something crazy and/or awful that just happened, let's talk and I'm sure we can work out a solution that makes us all happy!