Chris and I decided to do a recap video of our Pre-Conference (Pre-Con) workshop. The workshop was entitled Photographing Fashion Live! with Kevin Ames and special guest Jim DiVitale. The session was geared towards providing the attendees with a good working knowledge of how booking and executing a fashion photography shoot actually gets pulled off. Kevin brought two wonderful people to assist him with the pre-con, Marci Duarte (Fashion Stylist) and Mariolga (Makeup & Hair). You can find their portfolios on www.teamtheagency.com. Marci explained the importance of booking a stylist that can help you (as a photographer) realize your vision of what you want the shoot to be...or more importantly...what you client(s) want their shoot to be. It was very intriguing to hear the process of how stylists shop for high fashion items and the little tips and tricks they use to keep the shoot within budget and looking great. Mariolga worked with the model, who appeared in Kevin's other classes, Virginia. Jim DiVitale took care of all of the technical aspects on the laptop. (Always great to have an experience assistant, right?) The thing that I really loved about the session, and of all the classes I attend at Photoshop World is that it's very conversational. You don't feel intimidated to ask questions because hands down, the instructors love to teach. That comes across abosolutely. I think we've all had instructors in high school, college, what-have-you, that just didn't seem to really understand their audience, and that set up an atmosphere that didn't foster learning. At Photoshop World, you have such close contact with your instructors and they are so approachable; it just makes the leraning environment second to none.
Kevin showcased an assortment of different lighting gear and setups, many of which we'd tried before during our Kaufman Kramer Photography Weekend. It was interesting to compare Kevin's class to Jack Reznicki's Canon Live Shoot last year. Jack seemed to be much more about the technical side, and Kevin seemed to follow the mantra of do what it takes to make it look good. I think Chris and I definitely appreciate both points of view. I tend to side with the "do what it takes" approach, but like you always hear..."you have to know the rules before you can break them".
The session concluded with Kevin using his ring flash, which I actually had never seen in person before. It was very interesting to see the effect of the ring light on Virgina. It was also worth noting that working with a professional model is simply wonderful. Virginia understood precisely how she wanted to be photographed, what her highlights were, and how to come up with new poses during each shot. The only downside of the entire shoot that Chris and I noticed was that the Canon EOS software used to control the camera through the laptop kept crashing. It's unfortunate because the same thing happened to Jack Reznicki the year before. (Although Jack and Eddie Tapp were transmitting photos wirelessly, and Kevin and Jim were tethered). It's a bit glitchy, but hey, if photography were predictable, it wouldn't be any fun. To quote Kevin Ames from the session, "Mistakes are where the magic happens".
All in all, a great session. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how fashion photography works.