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Local Photography Workshop(s) I Recommend…

Water Lilly, Mission San Juan Capistrano. JPG image captured at 150mm, f/2.8
Processed in Lightroom 3, only +3 blacks and a re-size / watermark export preset.
(I love in-camera colors. D2Xmode3, +3 contrast & +3 saturation, it’s like Velvia!)

Hey everybody! The past couple weeks have been AWESOME and I’ve got a ton of new images to share in the next few days. I might even post some photos of our new puppy Chloe, if people ask nicely. But I know that puppies (and babies, and flowers) are kinda cliche…

I digress! This past Saturday I had the good fortune of helping out at what is ALWAYS an amazing workshop- Scott Robert’s signature posing workshop. I’ve attended many of Scott Robert’s workshops, including an amazing adventure in Seville, Spain back in 2008… It was definitely a life-changing experience.

(Insert some sort of segue here, I can’t figure it out though…)

From time to time I give small lectures on photography. When it comes to portraiture, I try and explain to people that there are four basic elements that go into a memorable portrait- Composition, timing, posing, and lighting. Composition and timing are the first two things that a hobbyist tends to master, because mostly all it takes is practice. But these days, with EVERYBODY getting good at composition and timing, how do you make your work stand out? With posing and lighting, the two things that are VERY difficult to master on your own. And for this nature / landscape photographer, that is where Scott Robert came in. Everything I learned about posing, and portraiture lighting, I learned from Scott Robert. Okay, I can thank my friend Skunkabilly for introducing me to Nikon CLS, and I did take a few studio lighting classes here and there, so I have a pretty solid background in commercial photography lighting. But a wedding day, where I find myself most often, is a whole different beast. What if you just have a few minutes with the bride? Do you panic? Or do you rock it out and set up a killer image in just a few seconds flat?

I’ll always be improving, but thanks to Scott I can at least go into any job without getting butterflies even when things run behind. I think this is a very important part of being a wedding photographer; you gotta have nerves of steel.

Anyways, the images at the end of this post were made this past Saturday at Scott’s most recent workshop at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, in South Orange County. The un-official word is that Scott will host another workshop in November, this time on group posing, again at the mission in SJC. Honestly I think it is one of the best investments you could possibly make as either a hobbyist or aspiring professional photographer; if you take pictures of people, you need to learn from Scott Robert. So keep an eye out on his mentoring site for details to be revealed, or of course on Facebook, etc. etc… (NOTE: Scott will actually be at tonight’s OC SMUG! Crazy! He’s going to talk about basic wireless lighting. Check out Hanssie’s blog for more details…)

Before we get to the images, I also want to quickly mention a few other workshops that I would like to endorse. (As a co-leader for SoCal Photog Shootout on Facebook I try to send out a bi-monthly message to members about misc. upcoming (affordable) workshops held locally around Southern California. I hear about tons of local workshops, and these are the ones I know of that are coming up soon:

If you’re looking for a 1-day workshop that is a complete intro to wedding photography from start to finish, images to business, I can highly recommend the next Gavin Wade workshop. Gavin and Erin know what the heck they’re talking about, plain and simple. Professional, knowledgable, and personal. I don’t know if their workshop page has been updated for their next date yet, but if you check their website and follow them on Facebook, I’m sure details will be revealed soon for a November 7th workshop.

If you’d like to focus on images, lighting and workflow, my good friends Stephen Knuth and Dan Fields are super talented (and geeky) and they’re doing their next lighting + workflow workshop on October 16th, I think. These guys know their technical stuff really well, and are extremely helpful teachers. Again, I don’t know if details or registraion have been released yet, but check the workshop’s page for details.

If you’re a new (or not-so-new) professional, I definitely want to mention that Jeff Jochum recently revolutionized my business philosophy. THANK YOU Jeff for inviting me to be a part of Startup-Strategy! It’s exactly what it sounds like- STRATEGY. Without strategy you’ll just spin your wheels, or worse you might shoot yourself in the foot. Honestly I think time will show that Startup-Strategy was one of the best things for my business in 2010, and ever. Definitely follow and if you’re free this coming October 5th, sign up NOW.

…Of course you’re always welcome to contact me about private coaching, if you would like to talk about camera skills, natural light portraits, in-camera colors, or workflow. ;-)

SWEET, it’s time for images!

Take care,











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by Matthew Saville

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September 30, 2010 - 2:40 PM MarieSam Sanchez - Wow Matt these images are ridiculously beautiful!!!! Your work never disappoints :)

September 30, 2010 - 2:43 PM Jeff Jochum - I was honestly moved when I heard that the Startup-Strategy workshop and philosophy had such an impact on you and your business. I couldn't possibly ask for anything greater than that. Thanks for taking the time to mention me, Matt. :) jeff

September 30, 2010 - 3:46 PM Courtney - Great post, Matt! The only problem is now I want to attend ALL of these workshops. :) Images at the end are STUNNING, amazing use of natural dramatic lighting.

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