Photo © Keith Ciampa

An Inside Look at a Private Group Photography Workshop

Once in a while, we receive a special request for photography instruction tailored to a specific group, or perhaps a location. And sometimes, we get a request for both, allowing us the opportunity to create a truly unique experience for students of photography in a fascinating place.

It all started with a phone call from the Director of the design department at Healthline. The conversation was quick and to the point; Keith wanted to know if someone at The Image Flow would be able to provide some fundamental photography instruction to fifteen of the company’s employees during a team building day at a meadery in Point Reyes. Though a little out of the ordinary, the answer was most definitely “yes!”

Healthline is an online medical resource company that publishes about 1,000 articles a month. The vast majority of those articles were previously illustrated with stock photography images. The goal of the proposed workshop was to help Healthline’s employees gain a better understanding of their cameras and light so that they can begin to create some of the necessary photography for these publications.

With a group as large as fifteen people, Stuart decided to take a second Image Flow instructor with him – architectural and location photographer Henrik Kam. We met the group at the Heidrun Meadery, where we first received a tour of their impressive facilities and learned firsthand about different types of meads. The owner and founder of the meadery, Gordon Hull, was very generous with his time, as were his employees.

The instructional part of our excursion began with the very basics; set your camera to manual mode, shoot in RAW file format, read the light with spot metering, and so on. From there, the group was in what we would refer to as “ready-to-shoot” mode. Here at The Image Flow, we strive to reach this level of understanding quickly in all of our beginning workshops. It is our belief that one has to know the basics in order to take control of their camera, as opposed to the other way around.

We followed up the initial lecture with a few lighting demonstrations, taking advantage of plentiful open shade and a covered patio area. With the use of simple reflectors and scrims, we were able to refine the light on our subjects and give the participants an expanded view of how easy it is to refine one’s lighting possibilities.

Then, we moved on to a short discussion on subjects such as composition, how to keep an eye on distracting elements in one’s photographs, and controlling depth of field. At the conclusion of the workshop, we gave the participants a stack of handouts and guides that will motivate them to continue shooting and refining their personal work.

After a few hours of instruction and shooting, the group was generously treated to some lovely local oysters and artfully crafted mead. Some of the participants actively photographed the shucking of the oysters, while others chose to relax and enjoy. All in all, you can’t go wrong when you combine a gorgeous location, interesting subject matter, and quality food and drink to boot.

One-on-One Photography Lessons and Private Group Photography Workshops are designed specifically for the needs and interests of you or your group. They are perfect for employees, friends, or family looking to explore photography, no matter what your experience level may be.

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