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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Its a tough gig, but somebody has to do it...

Working together with Glynn Lavender in Creative Photo Workshops has been an absolute pleasure. Firstly, we are both able to work at something we find very rewarding, and secondly Glynn and I have been friends for many years. We both met as teenagers working for Fletchers Fotographics in Melbourne in the early 80's. Today, our unique combination of talents, our friendship, experience and love of photography come together to make something very powerful. Apart from that, we both just wanna have fun.

Model: Saskia Oosthuizen
Last night was exactly that...but not for the reasons you might think. Last night we initiated our Summer Series of workshops and it was the Swimsuit workshop. Yeah, yeah, I know what you are going to say. But the interesting thing about this kind of photography is that it is not in any way perverse or stimulating when your eye is in the viewfinder. Its not about flesh or sex.
We met on a beach in Port Melbourne. There were about 12 attendees, plus Glynn, myself and Richard Annable. There were a few wonderful people also from my digital photography tutorial website, the Five Minute Photographer. I always love catching up with the '5MP family' whenever I can. We had three models - Nims, Saskia and Nicole. Perhaps the real star of the night was the sunset. Melbourne pulled off one of the most incredible sunsets I have ever known it to produce. And there we were, complete with models. Yeah. It was pretty awesome.

However, there is one downside. I never get to perfect my photographs, and there I am, with a fantastic opportunity to really work it! You see, at Creative Photo Workshops, we make it all about the photography. Our philosophy is that people learn by doing. Our job is simply to show them how, and to move on. So, last night, there I was - a beautiful girl in the viewfinder, her backdrop a golden glow of the sunset's reflection on the water behind her. A flash was set to illuminate her from the front while the sun rimlit her from behind. It was magic. But, it was my job to give the scene to others. As the workshop leader, I cannot take the best shots, the best times, the best opportunities. My job is to set it up, make sure its working, explain it...and hand it over. That has to be one of the most difficult things about this job. Nonetheless, I still manage a couple of images with which I can be happy. The most important thing is that our friends go home having had a wonderful experience, having learned some new principles and techniques and with some great images in the bag. That is what we bring.
So, yes, certainly there are some images I would love to perfect, tweak, improve and build. But I just don't get the chance. Too many workshops exist in which attendees stand around watching the photographer do his or her thing. We don't want to be like that. We want our customers to have a great personal experience. We want them to shoot it for themselves.
As a result, many of our customers have built the confidence to move forward to the point where they begin to establish themselves as photographers in their own right, running shoots and earning some cash. We are proud of that, and not scared of it at all. For us, it is very rewarding. And, like last night, we get to have so much fun!

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Anonymous said...

MY HEART BLEEDS FOR YA MY FRIEND!IT'S -38 Celius here in Edmoton today! Wish you were here to grab some crisp winter shots - in fact I'll trade you places! :-)

Mark said...

Lust-perversion...yeah, sadly men are often under-rated here. I've done swimsuit shoots and that issue never arises for me. The models are mostly teens and I feel more protective and respectful of them than lusty. Trying to explain that to others is harder than herding cats. Maybe they WANT to believe the worst. Regards, Mark Loader, Perth

The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

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