I am proud to be a lifelong learner. This desire to constantly add to and refine my knowledge base was instilled in me from as young an age as I can remember. Learning not only helps me hone my skills in whatever I am passionate about, but it truly feeds my brain and my soul. I really am in my element when I am in an environment that allows me to apply and improve my passions.
I feel that you can never learn everything there is to know about any given subject. Although I feel that I am a pretty decent photographer, I also acknowledge that I can always keep improving my craft. My commitment to learning is not only beneficial to myself, but also to my clients who put their trust in me to produce the most beautiful art for them that I am capable of creating. In order to continue to grow as a photographer, I try to attend at least one workshop or conference a year. When I heard that Cliff Mautner was offering his Lighting Bootcamp only 1.5 hours from me, I knew that I had to attend this workshop. Cliff is a renowned wedding and portrait photographer, and is also very real and down-to-earth. (That can be a rare combination in the world of wedding photographers, especially for those artists who have won as many awards as Cliff has.) So, I signed up!
Finally, that much anticipated August afternoon had arrived - I threw my camera gear and an overnight bag into my green VW bug, and headed to New Jersey for 2 1/2 action-packed days of learning. The first night started off with an informal reception where Cliff got to know all 18 of us attendees (who had gathered from all over the world), and we all got to know Cliff. Cliff promised to be an open book throughout the workshop, and he kept that promise! No question was off limits, and Cliff personally made sure that everyone was made to feel heard and valued throughout the entirety of our time together.
The learning and sharing continued over the next two days, where Cliff gave us pointers, hands-on demonstrations, and assignments incorporating both natural light and artificial light. We started early in the morning and worked long after sunset. Cliff kept our bellies full and our brains working. I left the workshop about 10 pounds heavier and with more insight and knowledge and inspiration than I could have hoped for.
I would do you a disservice if I gave away anything that Cliff taught us over those 2 1/2 days. You really should attend one of his workshops if you have the chance. So, instead, I'll just show you some of the photographs I created during my time at the workshop. On the first full day of the workshop, we shot in a few hotel rooms in Haddonfield, New Jersey. On the second full day, we ventured into Philadelphia and shot at a few of Cliff's favorite public parks. We had every lighting situation thrown at us during our time together - from dreamy natural light, to harsh afternoon sun, to shade. And Cliff helped us all gain confidence for creating stunning portraits regardless of the lighting challenges we faced. He truly helped us learn to SEE the light.
Big thanks to Cliff, the amazing models that worked with us, and to my fellow artists who showed up and allowed themselves to be vulnerable and humble. And thank you to his talented wife, Susan Stripling, for sharing him with us that week! I knew that taking his workshop would be a game changer for me and my photography business, and I was right.