A couple of weeks ago I found out I was chosen to participate in the Creativelive worshop: Foundations of a Working Photographer with Zack Arias.
Today was Day 1 and what a whirlwind it has been so far. In some respects, I thought I knew what to expect as I had watched previous Creativelive workshops. However, being part of the audience was a completely different experience. Forgive me for sounding so nerdy but it felt so cool “being on set” to watch an entire crew organize and prepare for showing a live internet experience. After all the participants were miked, we were reminded to be aware that everything we said would be recorded. I then immediately became paranoid I would say something silly or develop a spontaneous and persistent cough that the sound guys would have to deal with.
On to the workshop. Foundations. How aptly named. Zack covered the fundamentals of photography; including the camera, exposure, focus and white balance. That may sound very basic but he stressed how important it was to understand and know your gear. What it can do for you, what it can’t and in what kind of situations. Zack has been asked for advice over and over on the business of photography. His response, “When you press that shutter, that IS business.” I think what he meant was that until you master and test (and re-test) your equipment and understand the technical aspects of photography there’s no point in moving on to a discussion about branding and business and all that jazz.
After the taping ended, the other students, as well as some crew members, and I went out to dinner. It was then I was reminded why participation in these kinds of workshops is so special. In addition to learning and getting some no-nonsense advice from a talented photographer like Zack Arias, you also get the opportunity to meet other photographers. As a freelance photographer, you often if not always, work by yourself. Unlike a typical office environment, professional creatives spend their time working/thinking/planning in isolation. It was great to exchange stories and advice and experiences. It inspires me to participate and take a more pro-active approach in my own photographic community.
So, tomorrow is Day 2. See you then.
(The team at Creativelive has already posted a portion of the pre-show banter here. Does my voice really sound like that?)