Its that time of year again when the days get shorter, our schedules start to get a little less hectic and its time to look at where we can improve for the year ahead in our businesses. The number one thing I hear time and time again from photographers looking to hone their skills is that they want to be better at using their flash. Incorporating flash into your technical skill-set is paramount to becoming a well rounded photographer who can better tell the story of our clients most important day.
One of the things that is overlooked when I’ve seen other lighting tutorials and workshops is how to correctly light for not only your couple, but the details and ambience of an event. Your clients spend thousands of dollars working with talented professionals to create a very specific feeling for their wedding or event, and a poorly used flash can erase that dreamy candle lit glow, that hip modern club feel, or the eclectic special effects lighting your clients paid for and want to see. Our job as special event photographers is to capture every detail of our clients experience so when they open their album in 30 years or more, they not only remember what it looked like… but how it felt.
As a photographer who started her career in fashion and editorial portraiture, I was lucky to understand the inns and outs of lighting a bit better coming into the event world, but incorporating those techniques that came so easy in the studio into a quick, seamless and manageable workflow while photographing weddings was much harder than I thought when I first started. After 12 years in the special event industry and 14 as a working photographer, I’ve learned from some of the masters and have created an easy to understand, comprehensive technique to teach other photographers how to light like a pro and make their clients and other vendors swoon over their images.
Join me and the incredible team of designers led by Victoria Claus from Atmosphere Events Group at the timeless Armour House Mansion at Lake Forest Academy on Saturday December 3rd and my West Loop Chicago studio on Sunday December 4th for a full wedding styled shoot, and a lighting, business and marketing workshop. I will show you lighting techniques for every part of a wedding day from getting ready to the first dance using a combination of the natural ambient light and both on and off camera flash techniques to take your images to the next level. This is a very rare opportunity to have a beautifully curated event with lush details and designer fashion available to hone your skills and boost your portfolio, combined with in studio techniques for high end portraiture, photoshop tutorials, and ways to boost your business all in one weekend.
Day One: Armour House Style
Our styled shoot is based on the lush and detailed paintings of 16th century Dutch Still Life masters such as Willem Kalf and Rachel Ruysch and will feature a beautiful wooden table setting with lush velvet, fruit and organic floral arrangements mixed with candlelit luxury to create a firelit winter scene in the Library Room of The Armour House. We will also be creating a classic ceremony space complete with overflowing floral spilling out of the indoor marble fountain in the white marble Garden Room. The Armour house has many breathtaking spaces and we will also be taking advantage of the grand staircase, the upstairs makeup and getting ready suite, the outdoor garden architecture and the “Blue Room” to complete our wedding fantasy. You will be moving from space to space with me throughout the day to photograph our models going through a typical wedding day from hair and makeup to ceremony to the first dance, while having the opportunity to pose them, try different angles, and learn new lighting techniques that you can showcase in your portfolio. Lunch will be provided and we will take a couple short breaks to ask questions and focus on what is most important to you.
Day Two: Studio Life, Editing, and Business
Day two will focus on how to incorporate your off camera lighting techniques into studio quality portraiture using only your speed-flashes, a light stand, and some basic light modifiers. This will help you not only take your wedding portraiture to another level, but show you how to incorporate indoor pre or post wedding bridal portraiture into your packages, as well as giving you the techniques you need should your couple want an engagement or portrait shoot indoors when there is bad weather.
In addition to the studio fashion portion of the day, after lunch we will be discussing basic photoshop techniques based around the most frequently asked questions I get on editing and retouching and how to use these as a way to further sell your clients on your services. I will also cover other business questions on everything from which proofing software to use, how to incorporate your facebook and instagram into your marketing plan and what gear is worth investing in.
IMPORTANT: To attend one or both days you need to have a professional grade DSLR and have a solid knowledge of how to use your camera on Manual. It is also required that you have at least one professional grade speed-flash and a basic knowledge of how to use it either on TTL or Manual. I will be providing a couple sets of basic off camera flash triggers, light stands, and basic light modifiers such as umbrellas for your use, but if you have your own its best to bring it so you can incorporate your gear into your workflow.
You can attend one or both days of the workshop depending on what you are most wanting to add to your knowledge base. All images you shoot on either day can be used for your personal promotion, website, and social media but may not be submitted for publication or sold in any capacity.
Day One: $585 – class and shoot starts at 10AM and ends at 6PM. Lunch and snacks included
Day Two: $585 – Class and shoot starts at 10AM and ends at 6PM. Lunch and snacks included
BOTH days: $950 and includes lunch and snacks on both days, and a one hour private follow up session where I will answer your questions to help you further fine tune your lighting, business and knowledge in a one on one mentoring session.
A HUGE thank you to the other amazing vendors who are participating in curating this event including the following:
Atmosphere Events Group
Chicago Vintage Weddings
Elysia Root Cakes
Kate Johnson Artistry
Elaya Vaughn Designs
And a very special thanks to The Armour House for allowing us the honor of shooting in their beautiful space.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon!
With Love, Genevieve