Pay What You Want Workshop. When have you ever heard about something in the photo world be pay what you want. I about jumped out of my seat when I saw that on Facebook news feed. For once my hours on Facebook reading every post paid off. Seriously, there's this amazing photographer out there who's going to let me pay a tiny amount to come soak up his knowledge, in his amazing studio, in Nashville?! Not only was it pay what you want, but part of the proceeds went to help provide education for children living in poverty. And that makes it even more awesome. I emailed my friend Steph (the one that helped me design my logo), who lives in Nashville and asked if she'd like to come along to the workshop with me and if I could crash at her place. She of course said yes, and I'm pretty sure I signed up that week. This workshop was hosted by the super talented, David Bean. He's photographed some pretty famous people; Relient K, Newsboys, The Fray, Taylor Swift, LeAnn Rimes, and Jars of Clay just to name a few. As well as a bunch of other advertising things. You'd think that a celebrity photographer would be all stuck up and not willing to share their knowledge, especially to someone that can hardly pay them. Yet David Bean was exactly the opposite. I seriously wish that this workshop could have been at least 2 days. I really liked seeing photography from the advertising/commercial side. So far in my photography journey I've only even heard things taught from the wedding perspective. Not that there's anything wrong with shooting weddings, but honestly, I'd be a way more excited to get to shoot a clothing catalog.
We started off the day learning about how he approaches photography. It was so nice to hear a photographer say that they're much more interested in a photo with emotion than a photo that's technically correct. Sometimes I discard photos because they're not tack sharp, but have emotion, just because I think that people will think I'm a terrible photographer or not understand the "art" of it. Then we learned about lighting. More specifically studio lighting. I've never really worked with studio lighting before. Just a simple softbox, and really all I do is plug it into my camera and keep fiddling with it until I get something that looks decent. He gave us some tips for how to place the lights and what lenses to shoot with and what angles to use. Most of it seemed to be counter intuitive, yet it worked and produced results that I had always been wondering about. We got the chance to work with a model and try out the lighting. I wish we could have had more time with the model because honestly, I didn't really even give her any direction. I was feeling pretty intimidated with all the other photographers standing around watching and waiting their turn. So I just took a few shots and handed it over to the next person.
I really don't understand my fascination with headless shots, but I guess I don't really have to. I just like them.
I think that this one is probably one of my favorites.
The window light in this place was AMAZING! The whole front of the building was just floor to ceiling windows. Seriously a photographers dream.
After lunch we talked more photo stuff, duh, and then we were given a second photographing assignment. This time we broke off into groups of 4, I went with Steph, her mom who also is a photographer and jumped on the opportunity, and a guy, let's call him Tom (I think, sorry I'm terrible at names). We had an hour to walk around the streets of downtown Nashville to shoot images with the mindset that they would be for clothing advertisements. However, each group was given a different challenge to add to their assignment. One group couldn't show any faces in their photos. Another had to show movement in every photo. Our group had to have a traffic light in every photo. And some of the other groups had combinations of those three. We also didn't have any models for this challenge, just the people that were in our group. Thank goodness it was a cloudy day so we didn't have to worry about the lighting and getting a traffic light in our shots, especially since it was like 2 in the afternoon.
When we got back to the studio we chose our two or three favorite photos to show the whole group and David picked the one on the right as one of his favorites from the whole group. That kind of made my day. He said he loved because it broke all of the rules. Technically, when you have someone looking off camera they should always be looking towards the area with the most space, not right on the edge of the frame. And I chopped off part of his head. There I go with cutting off people's heads again. haha
This one didn't have the traffic light in it. I just like it. Steph is just so pretty.
Downtown Nashville is kind of weird. It was honestly nothing like I had expected it to be. It seems like so many people live in Nashville and so much stuff comes out of Nashville, yet I had no idea where any of that would be, or even where the people lived. It was a city that hardly felt like a city. Maybe it's just one of those places that you have to spend a lot of time in and really search to find things in. But I did like how there were random street musicians. These guys were actually pretty good.
David Bean, thank you for being so awesome and willing to host a workshop available to those people like me who have next to no money. It really was an answer to prayer.
And I will definitely be looking for more opportunities to be able to go back to Nashville. There seems to be a wonderful photo community there, and I went to a church with Steph that I absolutely loved, go figure.