When I signed up for a photography workshop, I thought, who am I kidding? Then I thought, it doesn’t matter who I am kidding, because I am going to have fun and even if everyone else in this thing is some kind of professional with a $5000 camera, it will be fine because sometimes a steep learning curve motivates me better than easing in.
As it turned out, it seemed like we had everyone from me (total photography n00bness) to people with thriving businesses. The nice part about this was that our leaders were able to make all the information interesting and palatable to all of us, regardless of level or background. Not to mention feeling like I was learning from all the other participants.
This workshop was exactly what I needed, in terms of both a boost of confidence, a pathway to technical knowledge, and the ability to see how a professional photographer interacts with models. Although, I’d argue that Me Ra & Brian are pretty unique professionals.
I can’t pin myself down to just kinetic, aural, or visual learning styles. I can’t rely on just one but if I were going to rely on one more than others, I believe it would be kinetic. During Anatomy classes I would have to do little arm gestures and movements in order to remember many of the terms, not to mention having to touch my head to remember the name of some of the parts of the brain.
So what this workshop was able to do for me was to wrap up all three of those things, most importantly kinetic and aural, allowing me to get a much better feel for my camera and for all of the details that are happening when you’re moving beyond just snapping photos. Imagine me reading a website about photography with the camera in my hand – it seems like information doesn’t stick or make sense. By the next day, the whole concept is gone. But surrounded by other humans, listening, writing down notes, and manipulating the camera – suddenly using the metering tools in my camera is a piece of cake when before it was an inscrutable menace.
That’s just the nuts and bolts. There is a whole other thing going on at Me Ra’s workshop which helped me over the course of the weekend, and that’s Me Ra and Brian’s excellent attitude. It’s been said before but I’ll say it again: What a wonderful, novel thing to be taught by people who are open and empathic and take a humanist tack towards teaching. Who are forthcoming with their own troubles and open about how they conquered them. I’ve been to lots of technical training sessions over the years for my work to the tune of way more than this workshop and if those guys could just borrow a fraction of the inclusive, helpful technique that happened to me a week and a half ago, they might find it much easier to reach new generations of engineers. And maybe there wouldn’t have to be so much punditry about why the lack of female engineers still persists.
But I digress. I am still going through my 20 pages of notes I took over the course of two days trying to make sure that everything I learned sort of gels. But I also know that to make it work, I need to get out and shoot. So, anyone need an, um, book jacket portrait? Christmas card family shot? Based on the business discussions had in the workshop, I’ll only be cheap for so long*!
* Actually I have zero interest in monetizing this hobby, unless my idea for a coffee table book about bedrooms comes to fruition.