Friday, April 20, 2012

My Master Class Wrap Up – What A Great Week!

Hi Everybody,

We had a WONDERFUL week at my Digital Master Class, April 16 - 20. Our attendees hailed from coast-to-coast here in the US and even traveled as far as Canada and Australia to be part of our international photographic event.

0001 - Animoto MCSpr12-

Deck ClassThis was one of the smaller master classes we’ve had in the last few years but I think that made a great opportunity for everyone because the coaches and I could spend more time with each class member and everyone had even more time for photography. The class really started to gel on the very first day.  At our Welcome Party everyone got to know each other better and by the end of the week everybody was enjoying each other's company – it was a good week.

Another thing that struck me was how quickly everybody understood the lighting techniques that I  teach during my class. When we were doing class review of the images, the lighting was nearly dead on for just about all of the photographs presented by the class. I was one of the three coaches and didn’t get a chance to shoot as much as usual. It was fun interacting with each of our three groups and helping them capture the best photographs they could.  Below is a short Animoto video featuring some of my favorite images and some images of the class members working together.

A couple of our team also put up up few blog posts during the week. First, let me point you to a blog post by one of my coaches, Eric Cameron. Eric's post gives a good overall view of our first day of shooting and includes some images that help you get a feel for just how the week went. Here is the link right here.

Secondly, let me point you towards my Ace#1 Assistant, Nicholas Viltrakis’, post right here.  Lots of blow by blow description of the week and loaded with cool pics.

The next post was put up by one of our most energetic students, Michael Houlden, from Canada.  You can find his post and some of his images right here – again, another nice read.  Michael also had two of the most creative photographs submitted by the class for the week. I've included both of them below.

0001 - mike-22969

0002 - mike-23020

DAZNOTE: Just a note to the rest of the class. If any of you reading this have made any post to your blog please shoot me the links  and I'll include them in a later post at DigitalProTalk.

Tamron lens2Another highlight of the week for me was the fact that I got to try Tamron’s new 28-300mm lens. It arrived just in time for me to use it on both days of our shooting sessions. My first impressions are that this is going to be my “go to” lens at my next wedding.

As a wedding photographer, I need to be shooting quickly and efficiently  and a lens with a ten to one zoom range lets me avoid the “lens juggle” and possibly missing a shot. I know some of the purists reading this post today are probably rolling their eyeballs. But overall I found the lens to the good job in the context of how I plan to use it on my next wedding – plenty sharp, decent vibration control, quick and quiet focusing, fast to use.   I'm planning to do a complete, in-depth review of the lens sometime this week  so, please stay tuned.

I think our long day Wednesday – over 12 hours long – had everybody, including me, feeling a bit spent by the end of the day. Thankfully on Thursday it was back into the classroom.

SAles_000002902205XSmallAfter the image review in the morning we spent the rest of the day discussing sales and marketing. From the evaluations that the class turned in at the end of the week it looks like this was one of the favorite parts of the week for many.

You know, things are changing so quickly in the wedding photography profession that we need to be quick on our feet on how we market ourselves and sell our images for clients.  On Thursday I tried to cover the highlights of what has been successful for us at my studio for the past several years. But as I said, things are changing so fast that even I need to keep things fresh from year to year. Because I'm such a BIG fan of sales and marketing explains why Business Day Thursday is one of my favorite days to post.

Deck12We wrapped up Friday shortly after noon, gave away over $1100 in door prizes, had our graduation ceremony, and said our goodbyes. LaDawn and I arrived back at the studio by about 1:30 p.m. and just crashed for a few hours. It's a big week for everyone involved. That includes class members who were going from morning to night during the week, LaDawn who makes everything perfect for everybody all week long and myself who wants it to be the best learning experience for everyone involved.

From the looks of the evaluations that were turned in it sure looks like all the class attendees had a great week. My personal thank you to everyone, especially my assistant coaches, Nicolas Viltrakis and Eric Cameron, that took the time and expense to join us this week.  I wish for all of you the best success and I sure hope our paths cross again real soon.


Hey everybody, that's it for me today. Enjoy the photographs and the links included in today's post and I'll see everyone tomorrow.

Adios, David


  1. David! Thanks so much for the Shout-Out!!!! I keep saying this at the risk of sounding like a broken record, but thank you so much for last week. Your class enabled me to get past a major roadblock to success by helping me recognize that my imagery is there and it is good. Now I can focus on my last major roadblock which is getting beyond my fear of promoting myself.

  2. David, thanks so much for all your help during the master class. You and LaDawn are amazing and I learned so much. Your passion and technique is inspiring - it was an honor to learn from you.