MISSION STATEMENT - This site is dedicated to professional music photographers. Our mission is to advocate sound business practices, warn against predatory client practices, provide helpful and educational resources, and foster a sense of community. All discussions related to capturing, processing, cataloging and licensing music photographs are welcome.
Our yearly St. Lucian adventure in flash lighting has grown so popular over the years that we’re doing two straight weeks this year at the magnificent Anse Chastenet, Jade Mountain Resort, which is routinely rated amongst the top destination resorts of the world. And as usual, we have guest instructors for each week. Thrilled to have colleagues David Burnett for week one, and RC Concepcion for week two. We go to the Caribbean for the last two weeks of August! Hit this link for all info on the hotel and the workshop. As I always say, there is no more beautiful place to learn lighting and camera work than St. Lucia.
David is quite simply one of the quintessential photojournalists of our time, a truly, historically important photographer. During our time teaching this workshop together, there will be an emphasis on the journalistic application of light, and tactics about using small flash simply, fast and well. The keynote for this workshop is storytelling. We will go “off campus” on walkabouts seeking good light, street scenes, and portrait subjects. David will lead these walkabouts in his unique way, informed by 40 years of covering presidents, conflicts, Olympiads–in short, most of the major events of our time. I will, as usual, direct and inform on the ins and outs of lighting on the fly, recognizing and using light well, and integrating small flash into an off the cuff street scenario. There will be daily critiques, and then, at the end of the week, David and I will also run a special critique session, offering commentary and analysis of the participants work. Then, as always, we close the week with sunset flambos on the beach, running multiple, flash lit sets for all participants, complete with models, as the day fades into yet another surreal St. Lucian sunset.
RC is a one of a kind genius who knows the wherefores of shooting, post production and the web like no one I know. During his guest stint, he will teach modules on super simple digital video and editing, camera raw and PhotoShop, and lead an HDR bootcamp, shooting in the field and then back at class doing the post work. I will be teaching once again my usual component of flash lighting on the beach, at sunsets, in amazing hotel rooms and in the jungle with trail bikers. On the last day, RC and Joe combine for critiques and Q&A and then everybody hits the beach for a sunset flash extravaganza, complete with flambos, models, and big and small flash. If you are into making good light at the moment of exposure, then taking your pictures into the realm of post-production in simple, unique and beautiful ways, this week will be rich and informative.
Each participant in both weeks gets a free copy of Joe’s Language of Light DVD. There are discounts available for folks who want to come for both weeks. Here are the day to day descriptions of each week….
WEEK ONE, WITH DAVID BURNETT. AUGUST 18TH THROUGH THE 23RD. ASSIGNMENT ST. LUCIA!
Photographers have an opportunity to learn lighting, story telling, and camera techniques from two of the world’s leading photographers and educators at St. Lucia’s ANSE CHASTANET and JADE MOUNTAIN Resorts from Sept. 30 through Oct. 6 2012. Joe McNally, internationally acclaimed American photographer and long-time photojournalist, will conduct a week of education about light and its possibilities. The week will be about the language of light, and how to use small flash well and fast, travel with a minimal amount of gear, and make beautiful pictures and portraits.
Joining him as a guest instructor will be David Burnett, one of the world’s preeminent photojournalists. David, one of the truly significant photographers of our time, will lecture, critique and lead walkabouts that emphasize and demonstrate how to work with people on the street in spontaneous fashion and create wonderful, story telling portraits and scenes of Caribbean life.
Sunday Night Welcome Dinner (included in workshop)
Monday Morning Class with Joe: 9am
Held in an air-conditioned conference room, Each participant shows up to 8-10 images. This is not a portfolio critique. It is simply a “get to know you” session, with comments and discussion. Joe will then spin a slide show, offering lessons of light, and how to use it well and shape it, even in difficult circumstances. Environmental portraits, a “face in a place,” will be thoroughly investigated.
Midday break, from 1230 to 3pm.
Afternoon session, approx. 3 to 6pm
At the opening of the afternoon session, gear strategies will be discussed, buttons and dials explained, workflow explained, and participants will be introduced to the light shapers and grip equipment that will be available for them to use for the week. There will also be a sensor cleaning demo.
In the afternoon, participants are paired off with each other, the assignment being to take one small flash and one small, portable light shaper, and make effective, story telling portraits of each other. (The portrait can also be made with available light. This week is about using all manner of light well.)
Tuesday Morning: Critiques
Part of the morning is spent in class, discussing yesterday’s efforts, and evaluating results. The class then goes outside in the predictably, bright, harsh sun of the tropics nearing the noon hour, and strategies for using bad light well are discussed and shown. Bounce boards, hand held diffusers, raw flash, hi-speed sync, and large silks are all brought to bear to tame the raging sun. One of the most important skills any shooter needs is the ability to use bad light well, and to overcome situations where they encounter tremendous disparity of light.
Midday Break: 12:30 to 3pm
The class is sent out, each individually, to take camera in hand and, in three hours, create a journalistic impression of the hotel. This could involve photographing their spouse or traveling partner, hotel staff, other guests, the jungle biking areas at Anse Mamin, the dive shop, the bars, or the beach. It is important to feel and get used to that awkward, occasionally intensely uncomfortable feeling one has a photographer: “What do I do now?” Or, “How do I tell this story?” “Where do I start?” Moreover, you have to overcome the natural reticence one has about approaching strangers, introducing yourself, your camera and your intent into their lives, and trying to, as seamlessly as possible, tell their stories. Joe and his assistants will be centrally located during this stint and available for questions and problem solving.
Tuesday Evening: Photographic Legend and Lore with David Burnett 8-10pm
After a break and dinner, the class gathers for a truly special evening of historically important photojournalism, complete with Q&A, and tall tales from the field. (The amazing thing about David, given his stature and history in this field, his tall tales are all true.) Embedded in David’s lively lecturing style are lessons from a photographic life, and anecdotal, inspirational information about how and where to point your own camera, and tell your own stories.
Wednesday Morning, Critiques
The morning is spent in class with Joe, critiquing and evaluating the previous day’s efforts. At the end of the critiques, Joe shows a slide show detailing stories from 25 years of shooting for National Geographic, and LIFE. (Both David and Joe were members of the legendary photo staff of LIFE, and both go about story telling in their own, individual, provocative way.) As always, Joe is a complete open book, free with information on how stories get produced, client relationships, rights, rates, and the possibilities for the future.
Midday Break: 12:30 to 3pm
Afternoon walkabout with David and Joe
Locations for this could be nearby Soufrieres, or anyone of the tiny fishing villages that dot the coast. Transport to and from location by van or boat. TBD.
Thursday Morning Critiques
Once again, back in class with Joe, evaluating images, and discussing what went right and what went wrong. During all the crit sessions, Joe will have been selecting images that represent the best of the participants work for the week. That process will continue during this session. Also during this session there will be presentations from Drew Gurian and Michael Cali, two young, promising photographers in the field of rock and roll shooting and weddings. They will detail and discuss their beginnings, their setbacks and successes, and their developing strategies to “make it” in this industry.
Midday Break: 12:30 to 3pm
Afternoon Walkabout with David and Joe
Again, locations will vary depending on weather and availability of van or boat transport. Castries is a possible destination, along with the coastal villages, or in the interior jungles, parks and farms.
Friday Morning: Critiques
David runs this critique session, taking a look at the distilled, edited images from the week and the previous day’s shoot. He offers his journalistic take on what went right or wrong, and how to push forward with your photography in a powerful, storytelling fashion.
Midday Break: 12:30 to 3pm
Then: Return to class for a lively Q&A wrap up with both David and Joe. You can bounce questions off either, or both, or engage and solicit their opinions on all manner of photographic stuff, past, present, and looking to the future. After that……Flash extravaganza on the beach! During the Q&A, Drew and Cali are hard at work on the beach, where the St. Lucian legend, Junior, prepares his flambos for a sunset display on the beach. Two to three sets are available for participants to rotate through, all involving radio controlled small and big flash, gels, and the blending of the sunset sky with a flash lit foreground. All sets will be populated with models.
WEEK TWO, WITH RC CONCEPCION!
Photographers have an opportunity to learn lighting and camera techniques from one the world’s leading photographers and educators at St. Lucia’s ANSE CHASTANET and JADE MOUNTAIN Resorts from Sept. 30 through Oct. 6 2012. Joe McNally, internationally acclaimed American photographer and long-time photojournalist, will conduct an intensive week of small flash education, emphasizing advanced techniques. “There is no more beautiful place to shoot, and to learn about light,” says Joe McNally who has had a longstanding photographic love affair with the resorts.
Joining him will be one of the world’s preeminent visual educators, the brilliant RC Concepcion. RC will join Joe in teaching about light, color and composition, and add to the mix his mastery of virtually all of the necessary post production wizardry all photographers must know, from HDR techniques, to Lightroom to shooting quick and easy video.
Morning Session: 9am. Class meets in air-conditioned conference room equipped with digital projector. Morning is devoted to assessing participant portfolios and determining objectives for the week. Each participant to bring no more than 10 images for review and discussion. They can be the participant’s images, or images not their own that they admire and wish to know more about, or emulate in some way.
Joe will do a slide show based on lighting strategies that emphasizes the use of all manner and color of light to create effective portraiture and story telling pictures. The key this week is to explore techniques for excellent small flash use, finding a photograph, shooting it well, and then, given RC’s amazing post production expertise, finishing that photo well.
Break from 12:00 – 3:00 pm.
In the afternoon, gear strategies will be discussed and buttons and dials explained. There will be a demo of sensor cleaning techniques, and an overview of work flow for the week, followed by a review of basic lighting techniques.
Special Short Lecture: Capturing video with your DSLR!
Your DSLR camera can be used as an instrument to produce wonderful video that can complement your images. In this short workshop, RC talks about how to setup your camera for quick video capture, what are some of the tools of the trade for capturing great video, and quick workflows for capturing footage while making great still images.
This short, informative presentation from RC will enable the participants to shoot quick simple video clips throughout the week of their St. Lucia adventure. After RC’s quick talk, there is an afternoon shooting session consists of small teams with a model assigned to each team. Basic assignment: Use one light well.
Part of the morning is spent in class, discussing yesterday’s efforts, critiquing and evaluating results. The class then goes outside in the predictably, bright, harsh sun of the tropics nearing the noon hour, and strategies for using bad light well are discussed and shown. Bounce boards, hand held diffusers, raw flash, hi-speed sync, and large silks are all brought to bear to tame the raging sun. One of the most important skills any shooter needs is the ability to use bad light well, and to overcome situations where they encounter tremendous disparity of light.
Break from 12:00 – 3:00 pm.
Afternoon demo and on location discussion of shooting interior/exterior environments effectively, with emphasis on using flash to balance exposure zones encountered in the open air rooms of Jade Mountain. Each team disperses with models to a selection of rooms to shoot for the afternoon. Assignment is to create mood and ambiance, while effectively using small flash techniques to blend interior and exterior environments.
Special Tuesday Evening Presentation: Camera Raw and Photoshop, From Start to Finish, RC Concepcion 8-10pm
After a break and dinner, the class gathers for a start to finish workflow seminar. RC will go over his workflow for importing and organizing images into Lightroom. Once completed, RC will go over key things to keep in mind during the post processing of your images – focusing on making the most of your raw files in the Develop module in Lightroom or Adobe Camera RAW in Photoshop. Finally, RC will take selected images from RAW and arm you with solid Photoshop techniques to make the most of your images- covering things from sharpening, post processing effects, masking, layer blending, and image recovery.
Meet in conference room at 9:30 for image review and critique with Joe. Time in class available to select and edit images for max of 3 per student to project. Break from 12:00 – 3:00 pm.
A visit to the Soufrieres Fire Department! An afternoon with firefighters at their home fire station in downtown Soufrieres. Firefighters make for iconic portrait subjects, and Joe has a long relationship to the department. Strategies, demos will be offered in how to do single, and group portraits, on location, using an environment to tell a story.
Thursday Program in Class: Special Session! The HDR Bootcamp
In this class, RC will teach you how to make the most out of your HDR experience. RC will cover what images make great HDR, and show the camera technique needed to make sure you have the source files you need. After the hardware is complete, RC will go over the entire HDR process from a software point of view. From capturing the image to tonemapping. Layer blending to photographic effects, RC will show that this technique can not only be something that you can control and master – but effectively use for creating stunning images.
The above is followed by quick critiques of the firehouse adventure.
Break from 12:00 – 3:00 pm.
Photography in the jungle. Panning and blurring techniques with flash and jungle bikers. Demonstration by Joe in the art of creating images that move. Also portrait techniques demonstrated in the intense, beautiful jungle environment. Teams assigned models to shoot for afternoon. Each team will have access to an experienced biker.
RC is also there in the jungle, leading an HDR walkabout, and students can participate in the “flash and blur,” and or the HDR field trip.
Both Joe and RC run the critique session, and field questions from the week in a lively Q&A and review. All techniques, strategies for going forward to take the next step in your photography, are up for discussion, including business strategies for the photographer. Given RC’s expertise on the web, he’ll offer excellent strategies for building a web site and projecting a visual presence.
Break from 12:00 – 4:00 pm.
Final Afternoon session: Meet in class to for final Q&A session and review of techniques learned. Last session late on Friday, class gathers on beach for spectacular “flambo” sunset session, with fires on the beach, models and flash lighting with gels. The famous Junior of the Anse Chastanet staff creates a wondrous environment on the fire lit beach, and individual sets are created, running off of Pocket Wizard flashes, that each participant can rotate through to create their own flash at sunset tropical masterpiece.
All session times and subject matter subject to change pending availability of subjects, weather, rooms etc.
See you in St. Lucia! More tk…
April Verch will release her latest project, Bright Like Gold April 2nd. This latest release features music that covers her broad range of styles from bluegrass to classic country. There are some wonderful guest artists contributing to the album also.
April Verch has never sounded more comfortable in her skin than she does now, in the second decade of her career as an internationally touring Canadian fiddler, step dancer and singer-songwriter. Her ninth album, Bright Like Gold, captures a woman who’s fleshed out her identity and is in full command of her gifts, a woman who’s grown from a prodigy into an enduring artist—one of music’s most unforgiving public transitions—with grace and grit to spare.
The April Verch Band—rounded out by bassist and clawhammer banjo player Cody Walters and guitarist Hayes Griffin, who has a Masters in jazz improv from the New England Conservatory—is an energetic, virtuosic, tradition-celebrating outfit, not to mention one that’s not soon forgotten when they depart the stage. It doesn’t hurt that the thrilling grand finale involves Verch fiddling and step dancing—and often executing two entirely different intricate rhythmic patterns—at once.
Something else that’s downright impressive is the range of material Verch, Walters and Griffin inhabit on the new album. She’s so fluent in folk traditions—the Canadian ones she was born into and the American ones she later found her way to—that old fiddle tunes like those featured in the Canadian medley “Dusty Miller,” “Fiddle Fingers” and “Grizzly Bear” and the Appalachian medley “Edward in the Treetop,” “Yellow Jacket” and “Quit That Tickling Me” sound positively reinvigorated. Originals like her instrumental waltz “Morris & Boris” and country courting number “The Only One” are clearly made to last.
What makes the latter song even more special is that Bluegrass Hall of Famer Mac Wiseman’s voice is on it, and he’s not the only guest of note. Premier old-time fiddler Bruce Molsky joins Verch for some handsome dual fiddling on “Evening Star Waltz,” and bluegrass banjo icon Sammy Shelor appears on “Davy Davy” and “Folding Down the Sheets.” Griffin’s “Foolish Heart” offers a playful take on western swing, Walters' “Raven In the Hemlock” unfurls melodic surprises and Verch’s “Broken” and “Sorry” have real emotional heft. The fact that she also chose to include “No Other Would Do”—the only song her dad’s ever written—perfectly completes the musical circle.
Verch, leader of this self-assured ensemble, is claiming her power as an artist and a woman, and taking charge of her recording process. Produced by Verch, Walters, Griffin, and their engineer Chris Rosser, Bright Like Gold is, quite literally, the album of Verch’s life.
It’s a wonder to behold Verch pulling off those pristine double-time triplets with her feet, and the myriad other ways she’s made good on the promise she showed at a tender age by becoming an artist in touch with roots and in her element. She won't be the one to mention her championship titles to you, or even the fact that she represented Canada's fiddling tradition by performing in the Opening Ceremonies at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
“The accolades are important and noteworthy and special to me,” she says, “but what I think is most impressive to me is that I’ve been doing this full time since 2000. We make a living playing music that we love and it touches other people. I feel like we’re extremely lucky to do that, but also I work really hard, not just at the music, but at every aspect of our career, to make that happen. That we find a way to make it work, and have had that kind of longevity, that's impressive to me.”
Sarah Jarosz has as rich a skill set as anybody in acoustic and bluegrass music... She plays- not just one instrument, but enough of them to be a one-woman string band! She sings in supple tones that transcend the boundaries between folk and pop. And, she writes- old-timey ballads and modern singer-songwriter ruminations alike.
Sarah released her debut, Song Up In Her Head, on Sugar Hill Records the year she graduated from high school. This young talent already has earned a Grammy nomination and performed on "Austin City Limits" and "A Prairie Home Companion," as well as at prestigious music festivals like Bonnaroo and Telluride.
Sarah Jarosz’s music — from her own original material to her exquisite interpretations of songs by others — seems to exist outside any frame of reference, managing to weave time-honored tradition with a bold, adventurous spirit of discovery and independence. Growing up in Wimberley, Texas, Sarah, a singer from an early age,was 9 years old when she received a mandolin for Christmas.
Spurred on by a weekly jam session near her hometown, she worked tirelessly to learn the instrument, picking up clawhammer banjo and guitar along the way. Shortly after turning 11, Sarah traveled to her first bluegrass gathering outside of Texas, the respected Rockygrass Festival in Lyons, Colorado, and over the next several years she earned a reputation as something of a young phenom, traveling the festival circuit and channeling the traditions of her musical elders while aspiring to the creative heights of her heroes as well.
In the summer of 2007, after her debut set at Colorado's Telluride Bluegrass Festival, she was approached by Gary Paczosa, A&R representative for roots label Sugar Hill Records. He expressed his admiration and invited her to Nashville to cut some songs. She accepted, and from those early sessions a professional relationship blossomed. They corresponded over the next year, and at the age of 16 she signed her contract with Sugar Hill and spent her senior year of high school cutting her debut album, Song Up In Her Head.
See for yourself why she's become one of the hottest young stars in bluegrass music today. This performance is part of The Place for Everyone series. Tickets: $10, $25, $35 and are available at the Peace Center web site.
For over 20 years, Michael Bilbrey has hired and worked with countless photographers to develop advertising campaigns for Leo Burnett – the 9th largest global ad agency and one of the most awarded creative communications companies in the world.
Our conversation with Michael will focus on photographers’ self-promotion and how you can effectively communicate your vision, showcase your professionalism and address all those intangibles that go into the hiring decision. This program will help you develop marketing and sales strategies that work. Join us for an unprecedented opportunity to learn what top advertising professionals are looking for.
You can submit questions via chat or twitter (#ASMP) during the live webinar. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to interact with one of our industry’s leading experts.
Michael will take additional questions at www.Facebook.com/ASMPnational after the webinar concludes (~2:00 – 2:30 pm eastern).
Live attendance is absolutely free! Register Today!