Friday, July 31, 2009

Finishing Up Friday: What Did I Learn This Week?

Good Evening Everybody,
Yes, today we wrap up a great week of learning, sharing, capturing some outstanding images,
camaraderie, good food, and good times. Sing along with me.... "Now it's time to say goodbye to all the family. M - I - C...." Sorry, I'm really dating myself with that one. Seriously though, there was a lot to be learned by everybody this week, including me.

Sure, we all get to know each other, joke around, and have a great time, but amidst the great times happening, something else happens too. You learn more that the nuts and bolts of digital photography. The class members bring their own experiences, perspectives, and ideas to the mix. It's that kind of experience that can only make the class richer for everyone, - including myself.

So what did I learn this week - here are a few impressions:
1. I learned that my week-long classes want even more time shooting - I've been slow to hear that message - but in October we have planned nearly two days of shooting scheduled.

2. I've also learned with more "coaching" by me or my staff, the better the class enjoys the experience. In October, I'm planning to have 4 additional, well trained team leaders on board who will work one-on-one with our smaller 4-5 member breakout groups.

3. With our rained out Tuesday shoot we stumbled on a new location that offers 5 distinct locations for shooting - inside, window light, compositional backgrounds, outdoors, and urban shooting. I can't wait to put these additional compositional elements into play at the Fall Master Class, October 27-31.

4. I learned that even with my slick PowerPoint presentation, which makes creating outstanding imagry look so easy to do, that it's like learning Photoshop - when you think you've got it, you probably don't. Seeing lots of class images from our shoots pointed out to me other refinements I can bring to my teaching methods and class resources.

5. I learned that the class want to shoot the models and be able to use the images in their portfolio development. We are lining up extra models and securing model releases for the entire class - yes, this fall you will be able to use you images for your portfolio.

6. I learned that with everyone shooting the same lighting gear, thanks to Quantum, the learning curve was ramped up considerably. A BIG THANKS to Quantum for the use of their gear!!

7. I learned a lot about the higher ISO settings on the various camera bodies. Seeing the images from everyone's cameras really brought out a few surprises for me. I was amazed by the lack of noise in some cameras and the heavy noise in cameras which were touted to be low noise wonders. More on this down the road.

8. I like learning how wedding can vary from different parts around the country and around the world. The styles, routines and obstacles each photographer faces can seem overwhelming until experience and practice become the norm.

9. I learned that at the end of the day, there is a lot to be gained just by sitting and visiting with each other. Everyone brings something to the table at my classes. I'm glad we all able to get together and I thank everyone for sharing experiences, interacting with one another and being part of a great week.

These changes are pretty much what my team and I have planned for October. Because of the substantial increase in costs for lots of additional staff, we will be raising the price of the class $100 on August 9, 2009 to cover most of the additional expenses.

So, if you this experience is for you - it's what everybody is asking for - give Jennifer a call next week at 800.292.2994 and you can still reserve your seat at $895 and save $100 till next Friday. After August 7th the price will go to $995. Our Fall Digital Workshop is scheduled for October 26-30, 2009. Hope to see you there.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. LaDawn and I are both looking for a little R&R today, it is our 4 year anniversary, you know. Have a great weekend everyone. See ya' on the flip side. Adios, -David


  1. I love that you told us all that you learned and how this knowledge will translate into an improved program for the fall. Thanks for listening to so many students.

  2. I had such a great time at the class, thank you to everyone invovled! I wasn't ready for it to be over :)
    Met a lot of great folks from all over, and learned a TON over the week. The fall class sounds like it'll even be better. Thanks so much for the all the fantastic info and hospitality! I'm really looking forward to utilizing this past week's learning's in my projects.

  3. Your line "Seeing lots of class images from our shoots pointed out to me other refinements I can bring to my teaching methods and class resources." blew me away.

    I attended a week long seminar by one of the famous names in our industry. The focus of the week was on him, not on us. While I learned a lot, about taking better photos, I was quite put off by the "Here's why I'm good" rather than the "Here's how you can be better" attitude.

    Kudos for taking the latter approach.


  4. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, I am so glad that I decided to take course. There is a huge benefit from learning from the master!

    It was awesome to watch how you work through your events and setting up the shots (Lighting and composition), giving us your marketing secrets and also sharing your choice of software.

    A Huge Thank you to Ladawn for the Hospitality at your home. It is not to often that you take a course and get invited to an instructors home and treated to a wonderful meal.

    Highly recommend taking this course if you are looking to build your business, learning new techniques and ideas.

    thanks David and Staff!!