So, I was finally able to make it happen, a wedding photography workshop in Iceland with two good friends and talented photographers Jason Vinson and Bud Johnson! Click on the image above to get more details and see what we have planned. Basically, it’s 5 days in Iceland that will be the fun and adventurous workshop that I’ve had in mind for the past 3 years. The sad news is that we can only bring 8 photographers with us, so if this is something you’re interested in I wouldn’t hesitate to grab your spot. Food and transportation are covered, plus Leica will be providing free gear for anyone that wants to take a loaner with them to shoot with throughout their trip! Really looking forward to this one!
BTS DRONE FOOTAGE
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...
Unless it happens to be a conversation between three friends late one night in a Vegas hotel room during WPPI. Three friends with a crazy idea that sounded more like a bad joke: An Aussie, a guy from Georgia, and a very handsome looking fella from New Jersey walk into a bar. The Aussie yells out, the three of us should team up for a workshop. The guy from Georgia said that sounds great, where should we do it? The very smart and handsome fella from Jersey responded with, how about Maine? All 3 agreed, shook hands, then changed the subject. None of them thinking it would ever actually happen.
Until it did.
While it didn't go down quite like that, the Narrows Workshop idea did start late one night during WPPI. Myself, James Day, and Bud Johnson really wanted to team up and host a workshop together. Not only are we close friends from across the globe, we are each very successful in this tough industry. While each of us shoot a little differently, run our businesses a little differently, the heart and soul of our success has been putting our clients first.
We ultimately wanted to offer a unique experience, in a remote location, that wasn't already very popular and overdone for wedding workshops. So, how did we end up hosting it in Maine? Well, that idea also came about during that same Vegas trip. Actually, the very next morning.
I had been in Vegas to give a lecture for, on The Art of Wedding Photography during WPPI. Glenn Charles, a talented Leica photographer, had seen the lecture announcement and hopped on my personal site to read more about who I was. By doing a little digging on my site, he saw that I had grown up vacationing in Maine. Glenn just happens to not only live in Maine, but is also the owner of the popular Cohill's Inn. A restaurant/bar and Inn located in Lubec, ME. While sitting in the Vegas airport waiting to board my flight back home to Philly, I received an email from Glenn introducing himself along with an invite to stop in at the Cohill's next time I was in Maine. As I read it, a light bulb went off - we had our location for the workshop! Lubec, Maine it was.
Fast-forward a few months, a ton of work, along with the help of some awesome sponsors, and the three of us found ourselves in Maine. There we were, sitting in the Cohill's Inn, looking out at an epic view of turquoise water, old lobster boats, bald headed eagles, seals, and islands that seemed to float about with the changing of the tide. Having never been to Lubec, which is much farther North than I had ever gone, I was taken back by just how beautiful it was. All of us were. Glenn was kind enough to let us take over the entire Cohill's Inn for three days, including the restaurant area where we held the lecture part of the workshop each day. He also had his crew serve us an awesome lunch and dinner each day while making us feel right at home with his hospitality.
The workshop was 3 nights, and two full days of awesomeness. The first night started off with an adventurous hike out along the cliffs near the West Quoddy lighthouse, in the pitch black, to do some star photography. It just happened to be one of the nights that was best for seeing the Perseid Meteor Shower which amped up the cool factor while trying not get lost or slip and fall before the workshop even started.
The next two days were filled with tears, laughter, learning, shooting, and making new friends. It was an awesome few days that far surpassed the expectations we had when first started tossing the idea around that night in Vegas. The three of us lectured each day until around 3pm, then went out to do some shooting. We spent time teaching how we shoot and interact with clients. One of the highlights of the workshop was having the talented Stacy Childers come out to style the shoots we did each day, along with three awesome models that we worked to the bone. A big thank you to Erika Hokkanen, Lindsey Whitacre, and Matt Whitacre!
We got to explore the coast of Maine, the most eastern point of the United States, as well as shoot at the top of the West Quoddy Lighthouse. We worked our butt's off and all left with the feeling that we had just been part of something special. Our original idea was to provide a unique experience, and we couldn't be happier with the one that was had. While there were many factors that helped create that experience, it simply wouldn't have been possible without the help of our sponsors. Each played a vital role in making this idea of ours reality, and we can't thank them enough.
Our biggest shout out goes to Vision Art, the album company that both myself and James Day use for our albums. Not only did they help make it possible for James to fly out to Maine all the way from Australia but also provided a nice discount for everyone to use on their next album order. We had a nice collection of our sample albums on display for everyone to see in person.
Leica had a rep, John Kreidler, come out and join us for the entire workshop with a nice selection of gear for all of the attendees to try out and shoot. Tim Hussey, the owner of Pixifi, attended the entire workshop and provided a discount along with brief overview of the software. ONA Bags provided one of their awesome Prince Street leather bags as a giveaway. The one of kind print lab, Atkins Photo Lab, provided discount cards for everyone. Magmod provided a Wedding Starter kit as a giveaway. The album design software company Fundy also provided a nice discount to all those in attendance.
Thanks to everyone who had a hand in making The Narrows Workshop such a success, especially Glenn and the Cohill's Inn. It simply wouldn't have been the same had we stayed anywhere else. Lubec is a unique and beautiful little town, especially for photographers or anyone looking to hit a place that isn't over-run with tourists. We will definitely be back, so now it's time to start thinking about how to make the next one even better!
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