For a full detail of what happened and all the great fun things we did on our trip, check out Luisa's blog at http://www.nateandluisa.blogspot.com/. Here I'm going to talk more about the photography side of the trip.
So the workshop was needless to say incredible. We met him at his house, actually in his gorgeous backyard outdoor gazebo type sitting area that looked out over the ocean (Newport CA area). It was honestly beautiful. We talked about technique's and marketing and selling, and life and about what an amazing job this is.
He fed us breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even hired professional models in designer gowns to go out and do a live photo shoot to apply what we had been learning. The shoot was my favorite part. Here are a few images from the shoot.
This one Mike took of me. I traded him lenses for a bit, so here he is shooting with my dinky lens and I have his 200mm f/2 lens (one of my dream lenses, but it comes with a pricey tag, about $5,000).
I honestly learned things that I truly feel has made me understand photography so much better. But the workshop wasn't only about photography. Mike Colon is a big advocate of "paying it forward" or just helping people out, of being honest and developing strong relationships with people. One thing that I liked that he said was if he were at a party, he'd rather sit down with one person and make a friend for life than be the social butterfly that meets everyone but doesnt really make any lasting friends.
But as for photography, there are a few things that I feel that I've learned that I want to pass on to anyone that might read this. The first is thing is, Mike taught us how to shoot on manual exposure. So instead of using P mode or even apature or shutter speed priority, and especially not the green auto mode, he taught us the importance of getting the exposure right with manual mode. You see, light can trick a camera. It can expose for bright backgrounds or foregrounds causing your subject to be too dark or light. So instead of hoping your camera gets it right, here are a few easy steps that I've learned ALL from Mike Colon.
1. Stand your subject between you and the sun and have them face their shadow so no hard sun light is hitting their face.
2. Select Manual exposure on the camera. Crank your f-stop or apature all the way open (smaller number)...so depending on your lens that could be 2.8 or 3.5 or even 5.6. The lower the number the better (the shallower your depth of field will be causing a more blurry background causing your subject to pop).
3. So now with your f-stop as low as it goes, the only thing you have to change and adjust is your shutter speed. So look at your subject, expose for their skin meaning take a few test shots until they are lit pefectly, and once you have it, you dont have to worry about your camera changing it on you. Just leave it there and shoot away! This leads to much more consistent photos and a much better exposed picture. This was also the VERY shortened version, so hopefully it makes sense.
So lastly, here is a picture of Mike and I right before we left.
The trip was amazing and please check out mikecolon.com for more of his work. I came away wanting to be a better photographer, friend and person. Amazing experience!