This was the first of my early riser workshops. Aargh 7am for classes was brutal, only because it required getting up at 5am in order to make it to the conference center by 7. I am so glad I didnt think I could drive back and forth between Banff and Calgary every day of the conference.
Helene's Thoughts on Photography are as follows:
-all the technical aspects do not matter if the relationship isnt there, the body needs to communicate the personality
-you need to know what you see
-expression-This is the most important
-4 main types of lighting- Loop, Rembrandt, Split, Paramount/Butterfly
-Make sure that the lighting you choose works for the face of your subject
-Never talk about photography with your client, get them talking about things they are comfortable with. THe best thing they can say is that it was a good experience for them.
-Analyze your subject before you shoot them. Never shoot cold turkey-Meet beforehand to figure out how to capture them.
-Make the person look good and feel comfortable.
Suggested Photographers to Look at: Dean Collins, Frank E. Cricchio, Don C.Blair, Monte Zucker
Here are a few shots that I have worked on from my shoot with amazing wedding photographer Flavio Bandiera from Italy. WOW! his work is phenomenal, and seems to effortless. It was interesting, and so helpful to see how he works. (This is going out of order of my notes, so you will get the rundown of his presentation later). Check out his website anyways, www.flaviobandiera.com
You have to imagine the shoot scenario here, there are probably 30-40 other photographers trying to capture this exact same shot, and it is quite chaotic, we all wanted to see what Flavio was seeing. Tough to do. No one wants to give up their place, and yet you dont want to be rude and shove anyone out of the way.
Our model is an actual bride getting married in a few weeks at the Banff Springs Hotel. When you go for your wedding there, the hotel does not let you take photos in the front lobby, however because it was for our conference, the shots were allowed, so she has some very special shots.
A very different idea.
Hand posing is always a challenge, getting it to look natural and not claw-like. Tough. I think this one worked out well. Although, how natural lying on the floor and grabbing your veil is, I am not sure. :)
So, I am nearly a week behind the actual conference itself, however, the conference was so full of information, I had no time to actually post what I was learning and doing.
This is going to be the Cole's notes version of what I picked up while I was there.
Friday was a full day spent with Celebrity photographer Matthew Jordan Smith. IF you have never heard of him, you need to look him up and see what this man can do. Definitely a creative genius in the photography world, and an amazing speaker for photographers to listen to.
Here are the highlights of what he had to say:
-Do not lose sight of the creativity because of your focus on the bottom line.
-Show your clients ideas, storyboard the ideas so that they understand what you are trying to create with your vision.
-In order to discover your creative vision you need to first discover what you love, and to discover that you will need to do lots of research.
-Whenever you get an idea, you MUST ACT ON IT!!! right away. or you may lose it.
-Enter your work into photo contest, because you never know who may be juding the work and have a chance to see you as a photographer regardless of whether or not you actually win.
-Try to find ways to make your work timeless
-In order to find creative success, you must take action with your work right away.
-In order to master lighting you must expirement constantly, test continually. You will not see the subtle differences at first, and then you will.
-do not be afraid to go out and try new approaches with your lighting.
-Always measure the height and distance of your light.
-Exhaustive testing will pay off in understanding how to see light and how you like it as an artist.
-Music is essential to your sessions, it will set the mood and set the clients at ease.
-Always test your lights
-Master one light- How many different ways can you use that one light?- Check out the video "Ten ways to use one light" by Matthew Jordan Smith.
-Recommened reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People"- Dale Carnegie
"Selling the Invisible" -Harry Beckwith
"The Alchemist" -Paulo Coelho
"Think and Grow Rich" - Napoleon Hill
-Do what everyone else isnt doing
-People dont look beautiful util you make them feel beautiful- Don't be negative- make them feel good- use positive words. Make a connection with who you are shooting.
-The magic of the images lies within the photographer, not the gear.
-Look at the work of CINDY SHERMAN- photographer
-The people we meet, the places we go, and the books we read are the things that will enhance our lives.
That is the extremely condensed version of the full day session with this incredible man. He has captured the images of some very beautiful people and he had very captivating stories to share. He was motivating and helped refill the tank for the love of this art that I have. It was incredible to be able to spend the day watching how he works and hearing how he approaches what he loves.
Brandie Sunley B.Fa, B.Ed