Monday, July 13, 2009

Workshop with Joe.

A few weeks ago, I attended a "One-Day Lighting" workshop presented by Joe McNally. He's become somewhat of a rockstar lately, following the success of his latest book, The Hotshoe Diaries (which I own), and through some consistent, quality social networking (he has recently gotten into twitter, and just updated his blog). There's tons of info about him out there, so I'll skip the history lesson and move onto the details of the class.

Long story short - it was pretty much exactly what I'd expected.

Having been hip to Joe's style and approach for the past year or so, I've done a fair amount of research and ingesting - watching any/every video of his I could get my hands on, reading his blog and book(s), etc. The class was basically like a live-action version of what I'd been reading and watching. No real new or ground-breaking info, but it was definitely inspiring and exciting to actually meet Joe and see him do his thing in person.

The workshop also wound up being an excuse for my old pal Seth to come out for a visit (we attended the class together), and we got some good hang-time in. The first night he arrived - literally right from the airport - we ended up at a Coney Island freak show, where I was fortunate enough to snap a quick shot of this guy:

And in the spirit of making the most of our time together, we organized a photo shoot with my friend Michelle and her friend Coco. Coco is a burlesque performer, who happens to be a fire-eater (among other things). Michelle was interested in learning how to eat fire, so I shot some pictures of the two of them in Coco's backyard:
CoCo Fire

Michelle Fire

Pretty cool. Or, "hot", I guess. (sorry)

Anyway, it turned out to be a pretty good week.

Oh, I almost forgot - what wound up being the most valuable take-away from the workshop was a networking connection that I made. For this series of classes (there were two week's worth), Joe called upon many of his friends and colleagues to help him out - both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. One of the folks he had up to help out with modeling for our class was a guy named Kent.

During some down time, I struck up a conversation with him, learned that not only was he a professional photographer himself, but he also worked as an assistant to Joe in the past. After hearing this, I asked him for some advice (the basic "do you have any suggestions/tips for an up-and-coming pro?" thing). We didn't have a ton of time to chat, but we did exchange contact info.

I'll talk more about Kent in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.

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