Australian wedding photographer James Day and I are teaming up to bring the wedding photography community something a little different than the typical workshop or conference. In a mind blowing location, we have so much planned for 3 days that we most likely won't want to leave. It's a 3-night, almost 3-day workshop, with much more included in the price to make it worth every penny. We also have a pretty kick-ass team of sponsors made up of the best businesses in the industry. Leica and Vision Art being two of the big ones that each have something very special planned. There are only 12 spots available, so don't miss out on this. Earlybird price runs until this Friday at 5pm, please don't wait!
South Jersey wedding photographer Jay Cassario blog. Writer for SLR Lounge and Shotkit.com.
Today, my 2.5-year-old son Luke was invited to a small birthday party where Batman made an appearance. A very impressive Batman, not the kind you find roaming the streets of NYC looking for tips. Luke was the youngest of all the kids by at least a couple years, so I was really curious how he would react to seeing Batman in person. He just recently started getting into the whole superhero scene, so I was hopeful that he would be excited. Well, it was a pretty interesting first-time confrontation with a superhero. As soon as Batman entered the yard, I had my eyes on Luke watching to make sure he didn't get scared. Well, just like his daddy, his expression didn't really give any kind of indication of what he was thinking. He made sure to keep Batman at a safe distance, eyes locked on him, letting all the other kids run up first. The 10 minutes or so that followed made for quite the show. Not just for me, but for all of the adults at the party watching as the blonde hair and blue eyed little boy gave Batman a run for his money.
I couldn't help but throw these images into a blog post to show just how this experience went down for Luke. While all the other kids were super excited, you can see how Luke sat back and sized Batman up. At this point, I was still waiting for some kind of facial expression to let me know whether he was scared or excited. I got nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Batman asked the other kids, all of which had smiles from ear to ear, to go sit in the grass so he could have a talk with them. The other kids quickly ran off to sit down and wait, Luke didn't budge. Instead, he kept his eyes locked on like a laser as if to be questioning the Batman's motives. Now, one on one with the caped crusader, it was time for one of them to make a move. It was Batman, as he offered up a sign of peace and extended his hand for a high-five. With a quick glance over to me, he left the Batman hanging.
Batman walked over to the other kids seated in the grass to start talking to them about why he was there, and what he had planned for them. It was Mason's birthday after all and he was there to train them to be mini-superheroes. What he didn't realize was that there was a little blonde hair and blue-eyed boy named Luke that was going to put his skills to the test. Luke made his way over the group, still showing no emotion what so ever. Again, Luke made sure Batman knew he was there, and started to give him the stare down. I knew that it was only a matter of time until he cracked and let us know what he was feeling.
After a few minutes, you could tell that Batman was doing his best not to be distracted by Luke. This must have been the breaking point, as Luke glanced back at me with a smirk then stepped right up into the Batman's grill. It was obviously go time, and my son was calling out the Batman. You could tell that Batman was a little thrown off, as were all the adults at the party... including myself. What in the world is he doing? What is he thinking?
Face to face with the Batman, Luke still had no expression. I hopped up and walked over to get a closer look at this standoff, and I honestly still had no idea whether he was going start crying or laughing. The only conclusion that I could come to was the same as all the other parents there, and that was that Luke obviously wasn't a fan of this fake Batman. Just as I went to step in and break it up so that the other kids could have fun, Luke did something that no one, including myself was expecting. He opened his arms, stepped up and gave Batman a big hug. No doubt one of the best moments I've had as a parent, and looking at these photos I can't help but laugh. I guess he liked Batman after all.
Just about a month ago, my friend and Leica rep John Kreidler stopped in at the studio and handed me their medium format Leica S (Type 007) with the Summicron-S 100mm lens to test out in the studio for a few days. Well, they didn't have to pull my arm very hard, and luckily I had a couple shoots already lined up over that weekend. While I didn't have it long enough to put together a full review, I wanted to simply share a handful of shots from each shoot. I was blown away by the image quality and detail in the S images, especially the rendering of the 100mm f/2 Summicron lens. While there were a couple things that I didn't like about the camera, the lens was one of the most impressive I've ever shot with. I'll be getting my hands on it again in the near future to test a little further to hopefully be able to throw a quick review together for those interested in learning what the MF offering by Leica is all about and how it performs. Maybe even a head to head test against the GFX50... wouldn't that be interesting.
Relationships & Digging Deeper
Leica filmed my lecture that I gave during WPPI, but it's not crystal clear, and because it was held at a restaurant, there is a good amount of background noise. You can still hear me for the most part, and if you are curious about what I spoke about, it's worth checking out.
A Photographer's Workshop
For Those Looking To Make Positive Changes in 2017
It's pretty crazy just how much can change in the span of 10 years. Back on June 4th of 2005, Sandi and I got married in the Pocono Mountains, at the Mountain Springs Lake Resort. Back then, neither of us were the slightest bit into photography or even owned a camera. Fast forward to this past weekend, and I found myself hosting a 3-day long wedding photography workshop at that same exact resort. Taking photos of a married couple modeling for us, standing in the same exact spot where Sandi and I exchanged our vows.
It was only a little over 4 years ago that I officially jumped into the wedding photography industry and shot my first wedding. Since that time, I've accomplished more in this industry than I ever could have imagined and built one of the most well known and successful multi-photographer wedding studios in the country. With that being said, I have also been very active in the educational side of the industry, but have held off on hosting workshops of my own.
I've helped out other photographers, but for the past 3 years, I have purposely held off on hosting anything myself. I honestly wanted to wait until I felt that I was ready, and that I had something valuable to offer. I also wanted to wait until I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and what I wanted others to get out of it. As I watched 2016 bring a tough year for many photographers, for a number of different reasons, something clicked and I began planning. I thought that hosting a workshop near the beginning of the new year would be a great idea. Hosting a workshop based around the idea of RESETTING, and getting 2017 kicked off with new ideas, changes, and confidence. This is where the idea of Camp Reset was born.
I wanted to have it be myself and two other speakers that would bring something completely different to the table. Three different styles, three different shooting techniques, and three different business approaches. I also wanted to make networking and making new friends a huge part of the workshop. I brought in Bud Johnson and Douglas Polle as the other speakers and decided to hold the workshop at the Mountain Springs Lake Resort in Reeders, Pennsylvania. This is the same place that I had gotten married at 11 years ago. Mountain Springs Lake was the perfect place to hold the workshop because they have a beautiful piece of property hidden in the Pocono Mountains of PA with a large lake and rustic log cabins for everyone to stay in.
The workshop sold out in one day, filling up to 25 attendees, which was great to see. Everyone arrived at the resort around 4PM and the festivities began. Everyone hung out that night, we ordered pizzas, and had a beer or two... or three. Everyone got to meet each other, talk a little shop, and just unwind a little before a long day ahead. Saturday morning we got things officially kicked off and we spent the day at the main lodge which offered a great spot to hold lectures. Bud, Doug, and myself each spoke for an hour before the resort served an awesome buffet lunch, did the same after, and then everyone was served with a buffet dinner that was even better than lunch. Dinner was one of the best catered dinners I've honestly ever eaten, and they had more than enough food for everyone to have not only 2nds, but 3rds. No joke.
As far as what we focused our lectures on, it was based on providing everyone in attendance changes that they can implement into their businesses going into the new year. From marketing, to working with clients, building relationships in the industry, shooting techniques, wall art sales, and other different business strategies that could help make 2017 the best year yet for everyone. All 3 of us speakers have a different background, have different stories of where we come from and what drives us. We each have different marketing and business strategies, shooting techniques, editing styles, and relationships with our clients. Everyone in attendance was able to see how all 3 of us are very different, but also very successful, and offer something different in terms of what made us each successful.
Sunday morning was spent photographing a married couple that came to the resort to model for everyone. I demonstrated my posing techniques, how I work with my clients, and how I make my photographs of them look so natural and photojournalistic while being a little more hands on. Everyone was back on the road and heading home by 2pm, and the first Camp Reset was officially in the bag, and an absolutely huge success.
Besides the lectures and shooting on Sunday to practice the new techniques that were taught, the biggest take away from the entire weekend was the time spent simply getting to know each other. The first night, Friday night, was great for getting to meet everyone and making introductions. Everyone hung out at one cabin and had a good time. The 2nd night, Saturday night, was a different story and really the meat and potatoes of the workshop. Everyone was a little more comfortable with each other and it was a great night hanging out, having awesome conversations, doing a little partying, and really letting loose with a group of new friends. I can't wait til the next one!
Reading the reviews that were submitted, I was blown away by how special this workshop was for everyone that attended, and just how much of an impact it had on them. I'm glad to see that waiting like I did, and then putting a lot of time into putting this workshop together really paid off!
- READ THE REVIEWS -
A few other key parts of the workshop that I don't want to leave out:
- Tim Hussey from Pixifi spent the weekend with everyone and gave a brief explanation and demo of Pixifi. Along with Tim, we had a great group of sponsors that provided awesome giveaways: Allens Camera, Fundy Designer, B&H Photo, G-Technology, Atmospheric Aerosol, and The Refined Union