Photography is a never ending journey to perfection. The world is constantly changing, the market competition is getting tougher and tougher. So it is important to continue to learn to keep up with your peers.
One good place to learn from the professionals is the yearly event in Dubai — the Gulf Photo Plus. There are a lot of workshops to choose from. I missed Chase Jarvis’ workshop in 2009 so this time I made sure I have allocated time and money. I registered to Melissa Rodwell‘s Advanced Beauty and Fashion Photography class. But before getting into the workshop, the GPP organizers would need to review and approve your portfolio. I have submitted them the link to my website and was lucky enough to be accepted. Booked my flight via Emirates and off I went.
On the first day of the workshop, Melissa taught us the basics of how to use a beauty dish. We had one young British model on the set and each of the students was given an opportunity to shoot. This shot was done using just one Profoto light on a beauty dish, directly above the model.
In the afternoon, we drove off to a hotel bar for the location shoot. This was where I’ve seen how Melissa works. I’ve watched first hand how she addressed the crew at the beginning of the shoot. She gave directions to the stylist and make up artist and gave them the look she was going for. This is where I met the wonderful make up artist, Toni Malt, who is very gorgeous and can be a model herself.
3 different lighting setups were done and Melissa asked us for some input, given the situation, what kind of lights are we going to use and where to place them. Here, I learned from Melissa and got some valuable inputs as well from the other students who happen to have very strong portfolios themselves.
So why am I sharing all of these? It’s because I wanted to stress out that it’s a very very competitive world out there. You should always spend time and effort to improve yourself and master your craft. Complacency does not have a room in photography, nor in any other industry. You have got to want it more than the next person.
Is attending classes/workshops going to do the trick? It surely wouldn’t hurt. Shoot more photos. Do more personal work. Collaborate with fellow photographers.
I would like to leave this discussion open and would love to hear from you what other things do you think we can do to hone our craft? Please hit the comments and let’s make this interactive. Cheers!