What To Expect

At its core, this is a portrait lighting workshop. Not with only one light, but using relatively experimental and multiple lighting set-ups to further pursue our skill sets. Whether you’re looking to expand your current approach to location lighting or create dynamic lighting effects, we will move toward re-inventing the way we use studio strobes to spark a new level of creativity in our portrait shooting process. This workshop is geared towards the advanced photographer who has practical knowledge of off-camera lighting. We do not plan on covering or rehashing the basics of off-camera lighting in this workshop, so a working knowledge of manual camera and flash settings is required. It’s all manual here folks. Know your f-stops and shutter speeds so we can get our hands a little dirty…

“f/… what?”

We will explore how I approach shooting on white seamless backgrounds and shooting subjects with the intent of changing a background in post-production. I’ll demonstrate how I use multiple lights to create surreal environmental images, experiment with using unconventional lighting and backgrounds to bring a new look to our portfolio and explore the very basics of compositing photos together. I’ll spend time shooting through these scenarios, but at the same time we will let participants shoot from my set-ups. Later, we will spend time in Photoshop walking through the process of cleaning up white seamless photos, swapping heads, changing out backgrounds, and enhancing the visual impact of our work. We will also touch on the basics of compositing and learn to use simple color correction to give our images depth. You will be able to follow along in the post-production of the images we shoot and I will provide you with a better understanding of how I approach the editing process.

Yep. It’s gonna get rad.

Keep in mind this is more of a technically driven workshop, but we will also spend a little classroom time talking about vision; looking at why we use lighting in a particular way by examining photographs, lighting diagrams and getting your nerdy creative juices flowing. This will be a fast-paced day, so plan on taking lots of notes, spending time on your feet and drinking a disgusting amount of caffeine.
There will be coffee, bagel bites and mini-muffins on hand in the morning to help jump-start the day. We’ll order in lunch (included in the cost) and continue working into the early evening. The day will be generally structured, but I encourage you to interact with the group and fire-off random questions throughout. Plan on a 10-hour day beginning at 9:00am and wrapping around 7pm. After the day is all said and done, we invite you to join us for dinner at a nearby restaurant… but that cost is on you. Never fear, we’ll have plenty of breaks and beverages available throughout the day. Here’s a rather loose run-down of the topics we’ll cover during day:

* Introduction and an informal meet and greet. Be prepared to share something about your photography, areas within your work with which you struggle and individual goals
* Introduction and informal meet and greet in the morning.
* Morning classroom discussion regarding vision, inspiration and a look at how lighting is used in inspirational photography.
* We will also look at lighting scenarios, diagrams and spend time formulating the way in which implement different lighting into our work.
* Tethered shooting demos in which participants will be able to shoot from my set-up scenarios.
* Shooting in white seamless backgrounds, both high-key and gray using simple set-ups.
* Shooting with various light modifiers and look at how we can manipulate light.
* Using multiple lights to create dramatic portraits and environmental photos.
* Working with multiple subjects in a scene and shooting for simple composites.
* Using Photoshop in our post-production including swapping heads, cleaning up white seamless backgrounds, changing skies, adding atmosphere, color grading and creating simple yet dramatic final images. Also, an overview of how I implement Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4 and Silver Efex Pro into my post-production workflow.

…and more!

What To Bring

Please bring your photo gear and if possible, a laptop computer with Adobe Photoshop. Lighting equipment is NOT NEEDED, as I will be using my gear during the shooting portion of the day.

Nonetheless, please bring the following:

* Digital SLR, lenses and charged batteries
* CF cards and card reader
* Laptop computer with editing software (Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom is ideal)
* Note-taking materials
* Plenty of questions for me to tackle throughout the day
* A good dose of humor
* Funds for dinner and drinks, should you decide to hang out afterward.


The workshops will be at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center in Sturbridge, MA and will begin promptly at 9:00am each day. Plan on arriving about 30 minutes early to get settled, fed and refreshed.

Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center
366 Main St.
Sturbridge, MA 01566