Virginia Beach portrait and lifestyle photographer specializing in comfortable portraits and candids
Dear Justin and Mary,
I registered for Walk Through A Wedding at 5am the day after Thanksgiving. Deciding to give up going to WPPI, I talked with my husband about how it could and should potentially be more beneficial. But I honestly didn’t know. The reviews were good, but who posts bad reviews? I was nervous it would be similar to What’s Next and that the information would be repeated. I should have known better, but I just didn’t know what I was getting into.
As I started making plans, I realized there were two other VA photographers going, so we started an email chain. We were like children passing notes, giddy, excited, but really nervous. Amanda and Stephanie and I decided to drive up and room together. And when y’all decided to make the facebook group for the workshop, we quickly started talking with the other attendees. Mary, thanks for replying to everyone’s posts – it made us feel special ha!
The day you sent us an email with the schedule, I started to pack. But let’s be honest – no one could have prepared us for the cold that is Connecticut cold. [I ended up buying a hat and gloves while I was there!] Anyway, I charged my gear, picked out my warmest shooting outfit, and put my pillow by the door. [Because let’s face it – there isn’t a hotel pillow that is as squishy as mine.]
The day came to make the 7/8 hour drive up to CT. But after getting in the car with those two girls, I realized the trip would fly by. Except during the NYC traffic. But somehow, with it’s missing exit signs and crazy 16 wheelers, we made it through to the right road. The hotel you recommended was AMAZING. Seriously – free breakfast, free wifi, and really comfortable pillows – who could ask for more?! Our room was basically a suite – we had a couch and a mini bar and joked about how we should have hosted the workshop in our room.
Anyway, Day 1 came, and I’m so my though processes began to change. You challenged us to think about WHY. Why are you even a wedding photographer? Why do you do what you do? Why are you shooting that bird cage veil on the box? UGH. I felt challenged within 10 minutes. I started to get frustrated, but remembered that you gave us permission to make mistakes and to rethink the way we do things. Frustration turned into excitement about the way things could change. And then you brought out the bride and asked who would be willing to stand up in front of everyone and learn how to direct. I volunteered as I knew I would, given that challenge. Because, Mary, we had talked about it on our way up, and I said that I was so afraid you’d ask us to do that! I was shaking, but still feel pretty awesome about the portraits I shot.
Justin, your passion for good technique is unmatched in our industry. Before this workshop, I used “natural light” to excuse my mediocre images. No more. I went to school for this but always assumed studio technique was meant for the studio. You have raised up the industry by squashing that idea. The Rembrandt triangle CAN be found on a bride! World = rocked.
Day 2 was a doozy as well! Although it began a little later than the last day, we were all pretty tired from not only shooting a wedding the day before but also from the fire hose of information shot directly at us. But that didn’t stop y’all from doing it again. All the information is in ink, permanently in my notebook and I still have to take time and allow it to soak into head. You guys are just crazy how generous you are with your information. Crazy good.
All of this just begs a thank you. Thank you for all of it. The little things, like the box of chocolates and the chicken and mashed potato pizza. The big things, like the knowledge and ideas you shared. And thank you for all the in between, and for the what is to come.