Pixifi

The First Narrows Workshop

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. 

(LEFT) James Day (MIDDLE) Bud Johnson (RIGHT) Jay Cassario 

(LEFT) James Day (MIDDLE) Bud Johnson (RIGHT) Jay Cassario 

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.

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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.

Photo: Jay Cassario

Photo: Jay Cassario

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. 

Photo: James Day

Photo: James Day

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. 

Photo: John Kreidler

Photo: John Kreidler

Photo: Glenn Charles

Photo: Glenn Charles

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. 

Photo: Jay Cassario

Photo: Jay Cassario

Photo: Jay Cassario

Photo: Jay Cassario

Photo: Jay Cassario

Photo: Jay Cassario

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!

Photo: Jay Cassario

Photo: Jay Cassario

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. 

Photo: Kate Kernutt

Photo: Kate Kernutt

Photo: Austin Wheeler

Photo: Austin Wheeler

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.

Vision Art Albums

Vision Art Albums

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. 

[CLICK HERE TO SEE A GALLERY OF PHOTOS TAKEN BY THE ATTENDEES]

Leica gear on hand 

Leica gear on hand 

John Kreidler (Leica) and Tim Hussey (Pixifi)

John Kreidler (Leica) and Tim Hussey (Pixifi)

Jean Bremner - Winner of the ONA bag

Jean Bremner - Winner of the ONA bag

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!

[CLICK HERE TO SEE FILM SCANS]

Hustle + (work)Flow Workshop

REVIEW

This is the first year that have decided to do workshops, but not on my own, by teaming up with other talented photographers to offer something a little more unique, special, and an overall more valuable experience. I teamed up with Chad DiBlasio, the owner of DiBlasio Photo and Design, and Tim Hussey, the owner and creator of the BEST studio managing software on the market... Pixifi. We held the workshop in Chad's hometown of Granville, Ohio.

Our main goal with this workshop was simply to offer something different then the current workshop trend of branding, style, editing, and business strategy. We wanted to offer an intimate and small workshop where we focused on "The Why" of what drives us, pushes us, and how we use that to "Hustle" in this over-saturated photography industry. We also wanted to focus on relationships, and the importance of building them, not only with other photographers and industry folks, but our clients. 

Now that I'm home, and settled back in and able to reflect on the 2 day workshop, I couldn't be happier with how everything went. We laughed, we cried (well, everyone except Tim), we opened up with each other, listened, spoke about things we are passionate about, and had one of the best workshop experiences we have all ever had. Everyone had such an awesome time and learned such valuable lessons to take home with them to put into practice, that we are doing it again this September!

To give you a little glimpse into what the workshop was about, and will be about again in September, we each explained a little about what we spoke on, and a few of our attendees gave us a short excerpt of what they got out of it! 

Teaser for the September workshop will come out soon, leave a comment at the bottom with your email address if interested in being kept in the loop on details :) We are only taking 10 total attendees to keep it small and intimate again :)


The Why 

The Presenters

I spoke about why I do this, how I got started, and what drives me. I shared the most personal story I have ever shared with a group of people, got a little emotional, and explained its impact on my life and photography business. I explained why I wear two wedding bands. What my tattoo means. I discussed why building relationships in this industry with other photographers, industry leaders, and your clients should be your number one focus. 


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Chad - DiBlasio Photo+Design

My story comes from my family. My grandparents especially: who they were and what kind of lives they lived have deeply impacted me and colored the story I know am telling with my life. I talked a lot about this in the "hustle" section of the shop b/c this now gives me the drive to live that life with my own family. I discussed how that love of life and family allows me to very cohesively build a brand focused on legacy and memories and tangible goods that MEAN something, not just are fashionable or make a solid profit. I also talked a lot about the business side of our work, retirement, pricing to profit and the ideology behind our sales approach with clients and family/love being our focus.


Tim - Pixifi  (ALSO A SPONSOR)

I started Pixifi right after I started shooting weddings, as I saw that I really needed to stay organized and use it to provide amazing service to my wedding clients! Pixifi was born out of necessity! What really makes me happy and why I do what I do is to help other people just like me, automate their businesses with my software! It's really amazing to see that something that I started for myself has helped and is helping so many people! What better feeling is there?


Quotes:


"This workshop gave me the confidence to explain my prices to clients and have confidence in the product or piece of art that I create and even increase my sales in the area of prints, canvases and albums. The biggest part of the workshop that really hit home was something I had known all along and had been told my entire life, "Relationships are everything" but for some reason that weekend that stuck with me and it's made a huge impact in how I connect with my clients which creates more successful, unique and authentic photography."


"The Hustle and (work)Flow-shop was more than it thought I needed. Who doesn't need a little help in their workflow? Tim from Pixifi, (who is an all around genuinely good guy), explained his system the way a friend would and not like a programer (let alone the creator of the company). I didn't feel pressured into using the software; it was more of a suggestion of “Hey, this thing helps. You may find it useful”. What Chad and Jay taught is that workflow doesn't stop at the computer, it continues on to the finished product and to the clients. It is not all about editing photos or what pre-sets do you use, it is making sure the client understands what they receive when they book with you and that their expectations are met. I thought I knew what motivated me to be a photographer, but I was wrong."

"Jay and Chad have a passion that drives them to do what they do. I was something that I thought I had lost. They helped me find it again. I spent the weekend sharing laughs and stories with people that seemed like old friends, all while learning how to be a better photographer along the way. Having what I learned sink in for the last few days, it was more than I expected to gain. I had every excuse not to go, but I am glad I did."


"When I signed up for the Hustle and {work} flow workshop I knew that is was going to be focused on our business and didn't really know what I should expect. Jay and Chad had a very personal approach and were truly genuine in their desire to help not only understand my business but me as a person. This workshop was amazing on so many different levels. There was so much laughter, sincere moments and even some tears. All creating amazing moments, that will leave a lasting impression on me. Was this workshop conventional? No, but that is what made it one of the best workshops I have attended in a long time. We didn't always follow schedule but what we did talk about was meaningful and important into understand what each one of us really needed. It was an experience I am grateful to have had. I couldn't think of a better more positive way to have spent my weekend. I made friends and connections that extend deep within me and I am grateful for each and every moment I had at this workshop."


A BIG THANK YOU!

 To our awesome sponsors!