Today I’m sharing my experience at my very first photography workshop, and I’m SO excited about it! Last week, I spent about 4 days in the forest of Tennessee with around 150 other AMAZING photographers. I road-tripped out there with my good friends, Meghan (of Generations Photography), and Hadassah (of Hadassah B Photography).
When Meghan first sent me the info about Forest and Falls, I looked at the list of speakers and was immediately sold. There were so many amazing people whose work I’ve looked up to for a long time, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear them speak. And then on the last full day of the workshop, we had the chance to see them photograph couples as well as a few editorial shoots. It was seriously so cool to shoot alongside so much insane talent. I think the biggest thing that I took away from this experience is the importance of connecting with your clients. Photographers have such an important job, and I’ve always known this, but the weight of it was really highlighted in a lot of the talks. Weddings are crazy and awesome and stressful, and they are one of the happiest days of someone’s life. When you truly capture the emotions and moments of a wedding day, those photos are treasured for years and years to come. I think about what it’s like to see photos from my own parents wedding day, and it’s so weird to think that I’m capturing those photos for generations to come. It’s a seriously big deal. The family photos, the emotional moments, the people are so important to capture. One of the speakers talked about how he has 2 photos from his parents wedding, and they are blurry and awful quality, but they are the most important photos to him. Another speaker talked about how she took some of the very last photos of a groom’s mother before she died unexpectedly, and the entire room was in tears because we were realizing that life is short, and wedding photography is so much more than taking pretty pictures. It’s about capturing relationships, and I know it sounds cheesy, but it really is capturing once in a lifetime memories.
We learned about workflow and editing, and showing what you want to shoot, posing authentically, and backing up your work… but the thing that rang truest was to always remember that your clients are people, and they are all different. Every love is unique and it’s our job to get to know that love and capture it in the best way we can. When a bride and groom look back on their photos, they shouldn’t just remember what their centerpieces looked like, or how pretty the day was, but they will remember how they felt when they saw each other for the first time, or what it was like to dance with their parents, sometimes for the last time. It’s a big job, and I don’t think I’ll ever do it perfectly, but then what’s the fun in that? It’s about growing constantly and doing the best that you can do for each person you come in contact with.
All of the feels, you guys. I want to bottle up all of these amazing things I’ve learned and keep them forever. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of what I took away from the week, but I can’t write a whole novel here haha! So have some of my favorite images from the week. They include adventures to the falls (seriously amazing), photos of teaching, photos from the styled shoots, and photos of fellow photographers. If you’ve made it all the way to this point, thanks for reading all of that, and make sure to scroll all the way down for links to all of the amazing speakers! <3
Speakers (every single one of these people are amazing, so definitely go check out their work!):
Robert J. Hill | Aaron Durall | Katch Silva | Chad Braithwaite | Margaret Jacobsen | Kristen Marie Parker | Cody Harris | Phil Chester | Keely Montoya | Sam Hurd | Nessa K | Sara Byrne | Ben Sasso | Gabe McClintock | Benj Haisch | Ryan Muirhead
Extra special shoutout to Cody and BJ for putting everything together, photographers, you can learn more about next year’s workshop here: http://www.forestandfalls.com/