If you have read David Jackson's two mega posts on Tiffinbox, you already know what his photography and lighting workshops are going to be like: Raw and real.
Haven't read the posts yet? Here you go: An Open Letter To A Photographer and On Chasing Rainbows And Unicorns.
I have had the pleasure to visit his Appleton, Wisconsin studio twice in one year – once to attend his Breaking The Rules workshop and the second time to attend his then new f/what? workshop.
“The Breaking The Rules workshop is essentially designed to give emerging photographers a fresh, new start on re-evaluating the way we approach creating dynamic images by examining the struggles faced in finding our unique voices.”
“Whether you’re looking to expand your current approach to location lighting or create dynamic lighting effects, we will move toward re-inventing the way we use studio strobes to spark a new level of creativity in our portrait shooting process.”
If memory serves me right, at both workshops, the number of students were limited to between eight and 10. The level of instruction and demonstration was high. I recall working late into the night until David had answered everyone's questions about photography, business or lighting. We also played a lot. By that I mean, we experimented with lighting scenarios. If something didn't work, we moved quickly to some other set up that did. We were challenged. We were asked to discuss our “why's” and “how's.” On the whole, a lively group of people joined me; all inspired to make better images for themselves and their clients.
David and studio manager, Trevor Nackers, made me feel at home. There was always something to munch on, when I got hungry. The lunches were simple and fast, but healthy. The dinners were truly communal and welcoming as well.
I've been asked before why I attend so many workshops. Trust me when I say I am hyper-selective when I choose to go to one. I've done my homework. I've often reached out and badgered the workshop instructor with questions (just as David!) and I've made darn sure there will be a return on investment. From what I experienced in the two workshops I have attended, David put his heart and soul into making this a successful workshop for each attendee. If you have specific questions about lighting, David goes to great lengths to address them and provide you with a solution. One isn't left wondering about how to approach a portrait session.
The other bonus is meeting other photographers. Often they become friends of mine who contribute to Tiffinbox. Amanda Reesburg and Brett Stoddart are both fine examples.
It was also such a thrill to meet and get to know Brandon and his wife (and photography blogging phenom) Jamie Swanson.
Ok, so you are probably wondering why I decided to post this now. Here are a few reasons:
1) In my opinion, beginner or advanced photographers can always learn to light better (read this interview with Joe McNally about why lighting matters the most to us) and this is an awesome opportunity
2) David and his crew have incredibly large hearts and want to help you become better photographers today
3) The cost of each of these workshops – $250 – is laughably low (and yes, I have told David this), so you are getting tremendous value. Sign up for both and David's going to save you an additional $50!
4) These workshops will be the last ones David is offering for 2013
5) Tiffinbox is sponsoring / partnering with David and will be responsible for the bagels and cream cheese for both workshops (how appropriate, eh?)
Please know that I am not getting paid to promote David's workshops. In fact, I am planning to be at the June 10th & 11th workshops and am footing my own bill to get there. So, yes, not only is Tiffinbox sponsoring the workshops, but I am solely responsible for my hotel, flight and rental car. I intend to be at the workshop only as an observer/participant. It is one of the handful of workshops I truly believe in and I look forward to seeing you there. If you are interested, register for them here.