Photo 101 :: This is what it looks like ::

I’m not the type to talk much about my workshops but a number of folks have expressed interest in the three day Photo 101 as to what that actually look likes if you were to attend one. Someone from this weekend’s workshop asked why I didn’t blog about my workshops. I said I didn’t want to seem like I’m trying to sell them all the time so I just keep quiet about it. They said they would appreciate seeing something about the workshops and a blog post would have been nice to read before coming to one. So…

First, what is the Photo 101? It is an intense three day workshop I’ve been developing for a year that is aimed at the hobbyist / amateur photographer that wants to take photography from a hobby or interest and move it into a job. It’s limited to 10 students per workshop.

Friday :: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm :: The first day of the workshop is lecture, lecture, lecture. Everything about aperture, shutter speed, metering modes, working with available light, and optimum camera settings for different photographic applications like portraits vs. events. Just before lunch I break the students up into pairs and have them photograph each other. We then critique those images at the end of the day. These images are shot at the beginning so I can judge the level of everyone involved before the class gets into the meat of applying the lecture material. We also spend a good deal of time talking about lens selection. Choosing the right lens for the picture you want to make is one of the most important things you do as a photographer.  If you don’t know your lenses and know what they do you are shooting blind.

The goal of all of this information is two fold. One is to understand the foundation of photography as it applies to shooting photos for clients and two; the importance of knowing the fundamentals and rules to get started with as you walk on to a shoot. Yes we want to be super creative photographers that push boundaries but if you start out never knowing those boundaries then you never have a rock solid starting point to build from. Starting out you have to be able to nail the fundamentals. They have to be second nature to you. You want things like reciprocal exposures, camera features and settings, and foundational lighting principles to be hardwired into your brain stem along with heart beats and breathing patterns. If you don’t have the foundation you are going to have a hell of a time trying to build something of value on… nothing. Well, that’s my philosophy about it.

Saturday :: 9:30 am – 7:00 pm :: This is the day of shooting, shooting, shooting. We started applying information from the previous day’s lecture to working with actual “off the street” clients. We started with simple headshots. Nothing revolutionary here but the goal is you should be able to fall out of bed and nail a headshot. We starteded with window light only, moved to window light plus reflectors, and then moved outdoors to use scrims and reflectors. We spent the first half of the day working with 5 clients to nail a headshot in and around our studio with the emphasis being you don’t have to have a “studio”.  Any old window light will do.

Since your first foray into professional photography most likely will include portraits that is what we concentrate on. Note that very little has been done to the photos in this post. Maybe a hair of color correction, a slight tweak of contrast, a bit of crop, and an occasional B&W conversion. Light is our photoshop.

After lunch it was time to start with the headshot and then find out where and how to break the rules and why you would want to do that and when you most definitely do NOT want to break the rules. For the rest of the afternoon and into the evening we worked with three models and two “clients” who were fellow photographers but easily opened up in front of the camera. Our amazing sexy location for this? My yard. We all descended on my yard for the afternoon to create portraits. The exercise was learning to shoot in any location. Please note that I do not have a manicured English garden for a backyard. I still have a dead old Christmas tree thrown in the bushes because the city never picked it up. One of those back yards.

For the first part of the day we had very clearly defined constraints we were trying to work under and then it was time to throw some of those constraints out the window and remind ourselves that our job is supposed to be fun. We can nail the safe or the expected or the needed shot but how can we go beyond that? Can we shoot an out of focus portrait? The answer is yes we can. I love this shot by Jessica Cook.

Here are some more from the yard… Find a simple background and get all up in it…

Light the eyes. Light the eyes. Light the eyes!

This is Meg’s recording studio in the backyard. We call her Loretta.

I love this image that Lisa created in the front yard of Esther laying in the grass.

Hawke Danger gets in on the action…

I don’t get to shoot a whole lot at workshops because that isn’t the goal. The goal is to have students shoot as much as possible. I don’t care for those gang bang shoots where fourteen million shutters are clicking 8 inches apart from each other. I would rather folks get a more hands on approach to building images with me roaming around giving feedback and answering questions.  I will piggy back off of you though from time to time. :) Here is one I squeaked out as Terry was setting up her own shot.

I really love these next two…

I love ’em all really. It was really, really, really hard to edit for this blog post. I just did it by gut reaction to photos and there are about 15 others that I’m not posting because the Internets would blow up with this many pictures in one blog post.

After a full day of shooting we headed down to the beer garden at the Marlay House for dinner, beer, conversation, and more beer. It was a gorgeous evening of beer and photography and beer. :)

Sunday :: 10:00 am – 1:00 am Monday morning :: Yes. We go until we go on the last day. We started the third day off with editing the work that was shot on Saturday and going through post production and archiving and file management and all of that fun stuff. We went next door for lunch and then had two models come in for a few hours in the afternoon. I split the group of photographers into two groups and gave them assignments. THEN… get this. I taped their screens for part of the shooting time so they couldn’t chimp. They couldn’t see if they got the exposure right. They couldn’t see what the photo was turning out like. They had to, get this… think it through and you know what? When you don’t see what you are shooting it is possible to still create great work! Like this…

After the shooting session we got into business and marketing and working ideas as you get started in this industry. We ate dinner, we kicked back a few beers, and we critiqued the images from the afternoon. It was a long, long, long day. You can expect 35 or more hours of workshop time in a three day period.

I’m really proud of this group. I mean, I’m proud of all the photo 101’s so far but as I get this class tweaked and focused I’m really glad to see the kind of work folks can produce after a relatively short amount of instruction time. You should see their images from the first assignment on day one!  😉

We have some spots left for November and we *may* be announcing one in June but the folks on the waiting list have first dibs on that. It has not been listed yet. Details will be on the OneLight Workshop site if we open that date.  Note that for now these Photo 101 workshops will only be in Atlanta and will always run Friday – Sunday.

So here you go Jessica! A blog post about the Photo 101! :)

Cheers, Zack


  • Harry Arruda said on May 5, 2010

    Hey Zack- Nice stuff ! Hooked up with OneLight Seattle Alumni Paul Pratt here in SF for a shoot. He really put a lot of your teachings to work and it was a great experience for me ! Some of the shot from our shoot :

    Also do you know when you will be sending out the lighting setup books you mentioned at Salt Lake One Light ?


  • Steven Skelton said on May 5, 2010

    Funny how the first 101 crew is the first to jump in and respond…

    I’ll say this much in terms of the 101. If you think you need college classes to master photography and start your own photography business, go to this workshop first. I promise, you’ll think twice about spending four years in a classroom – especially if you’re interests is portraits. No, it’s not lighting and weddings and such, but it’ll get you the foundations you need to walk out the door and make great photos on your own. You wouldn’t believe the before and after photos from this course. It really blew me away.

    These are all great photos! Good work to all who came.

    Zack, I’m glad you’re tweaking it. Keep it up!

  • Terrence Bibb said on May 5, 2010

    Great stuff as alway’s Zach. I attended your one light there last fall. I was so blown away by it that I packed up left Cincinnati, and moved down to Savannah. Had to rejoin clear channel though to feed the fam in the interim. Any chance of any one on one mentor opportunities?($$$) Could have ya come down to the SAV? Just a thought. Cheers

  • Doug Hall said on May 5, 2010

    Zack and the Zack clan,

    What will it take to get you out to Australia for a while? I can promise full classes and the best beer in the world. (I know, big call about the beer) hehehe

    Kindest regards,

  • Frank Sagastume said on May 5, 2010

    Zack! You should have used the jesus tool on my bald spot!!!


  • Doug Scroggins said on May 5, 2010

    Zack, thank you so much as always brother. You really are a master at what you do. I have a weird question I have to ask you though and I was wondering if you have had anybody else bring it to your attention. I have linked your blog to my “Yahoo” front page via the RSS feed and for some reason where the title for all of you blog posts should be it reads “Order Zoloft Online Legally-Lowest Prices Guaranteed”. I tried deleting the RSS feed and re-subscribing to it to no avail. Any idea’s on what to do to get it fixed would be greatly appreciated because I am not deleting it. You and David E Jackson have been my greatest influences. Thanks for your time and keep all the hot stuff coming man.

  • zack said on May 6, 2010

    Hey Doug,
    My blog has been hit by the WP pharma hack. We are still trying to find the the exploit. It’s a nasty hack.


  • Geoff said on May 6, 2010

    I’d second that Doug. Come on down Zach, you know you want to…

  • Radu said on May 6, 2010

    Hi Zack! It is a quite good idea to post this kind of info about your workshops. I wish I could come to Atlanta :-)

    On that note, are you still interested in coming to Romania next year?

    The beer is quite good, but you’ll have an experience that you’ll remember for a long time! Bring Meghan and the gang as well :-)

  • Henry said on May 6, 2010

    Hey Zack, sorry for OT but – what happend to dedpxl?

  • zack said on May 6, 2010

    Henry – Ahhhh. DedPxl. My schedule during April kicked my ass and something had to give… it was dedpxl. Reconsidering that project right now due to the time it takes and all the other stuff I have on my plate. David Hobby was right! :(


  • Ruben said on May 6, 2010

    Definitely have to second the coming to Australia. Would absolutely attend no matter which city you were in. Ruben

  • Todd said on May 6, 2010

    So basically, all of this shows us that you really get your money’s worth with your workshops. This ain’t your grandmomma’s workshop – get ready to work!

  • Howard Haby said on May 6, 2010

    Awesome. I think from time to time you should blog these workshops. I didn’t know you were doing them at all. Would love to attend one sometime. Alas!, I’m in another country. Looks like a lot of fun though. Good job.

  • Eric Doggett said on May 6, 2010

    Bring this on the road to Austin. We can get some people here.

  • Ethan Garrity said on May 6, 2010

    Hands down, the best instruction I have received. Like Mooney said in the studio on Saturday, “this is easily two years worth of photography school” in three days!!! The people I shot with became like a family that I didn’t want to leave Sunday night/ Monday morning. An outstanding weekend, Zack. Great crew you have! Even the one from Grand Rapids!! hehe. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Looking forward to Chicago OneLight July 12th.


  • Les Doerfler said on May 6, 2010

    Congrats to all of the students on creating some truly enviable photos. A really great job!

    For anyone sitting on the fence about this class, just stop thinking and grab the first seat you can. You will not regret it.

    The information and experience that Zack packs into those 3 days is nothing short of amazing. You will leave with a better understanding of photography and the business of photography than you thought possible.

    Throw in the fact that you get to hang out in the Decatur studio vibe with the awesome Sherri and the likely hood of a Hawke sighting, it becomes a no brainer. Plus the restaurant next store has these killer giant sized bottles of Newcastle.

    Zack and Meghan welcome you into their home and lives with true southern hospitality. You always feel like a welcome guest and a peer unlike some other workshops I’ve been to where it’s clear that you are just the paying client and at the end of the day you are expected to go away and leave the instructors alone.

    Oh…and did I mention the giant bottles of Newcastle?!?

  • Brian Davis said on May 6, 2010

    Welcome back to the world of blogging! I’ve been tuning in everyday to see if you would post something and it was worth it. This is the mother of all posts :)

    The Photo 101 sounds like a great workshop. I’d love to be able to go, but sadly I don’t have the time. I like the fact that you make it a comprehensive workshop that covers everything in great detail. I even like how you challenge the “students” by taping up the screens so they can’t chimp…almost like teaching them the Zen of photography or something.

    Great post and great workshop! Hope I can attend someday. Maybe next year…

  • Dave said on May 6, 2010

    I’m another from the first Photo 101. I’ve got to say that this was the most valuable learning experience and as someone mentioned, took 2 years of learning into one long weekend. I think everyone evolves into a better photographer after this workshop.

    It’s not just about creating better images. Zack goes into the business side of things as well. What to spend money on (or not). Things to look out for when starting a business (debt), how to figure out your prices and many other things to consider.

    I really liked the real world situation he puts you in on the second day. Working with clients around his home is typically how most people start out. It prepared me when working with my clients and to think creatively when locations are not the most ideal. I actually prefer locations to a studio because it’s always a challenge and my environment changes even if I shoot the same location. Most of all, this experience gave me the confidence to get out there and use what I’ve learned.

    Many of us from that workshop have become friends and stay in touch with each other. We bounce ideas off one another, share ideas, and help each other out. I met some wonderful photographers that weekend and I’m happy to be friends with them now.

    I can’t say enough good things about this workshop. If you’re on the fence, just do it. It’s the best investment I made in my photography education.

    I blogged about my Photo 101 experience last year, if anyone wants more details.

    Zack, as always thanks for sharing and giving back to fellow photographers. You and the entire Used Film crew rock!


  • Robin said on May 6, 2010


    One question… how do you reconcile these workshops, this one and the OneLight stuff, with your statements in Range Finder magazine about there being a flood of photographers? You and the others, such as Hobby, Jarvis, et al are partially responsible for this. Those of us who spent time in a multi-year program, such as yourself, know that creating stunning work is a lot easier when your mentor is along side encouraging your direction however, the real trick is producing this level of work consistently once the mentoring ends. I hope at the end of the day your students understand this and realize that this program is in part a revenue stream for you.

    Don’t mis-read me I love your work, you and your story and one cannot blame you for cashing in on peoples desires to take accelerated paths or as you yourself put it having developed a program “aimed at the hobbyist / amateur photographer that wants to take photography from a hobby or interest and move it into a job.” I myself use education as a small revenue stream or as a way to build my business.

    The bottom line for me is this… man you’ve made it! I want to be at your level of celebrity! I want twelve thousand plus people to give a rats ass about how my day went or how busy I am! I want to be invited to teach in Dubai! What I don’t want is for someone I have a lot of respect for make reference to the glut of photographers in a magazine and then sell the dream in a three day workshop. Pick and stick my friend. Sell the dream or rail against the glut. You can’t do both.

  • Rick Wenner said on May 6, 2010

    Photo 101 was the best educational experience that I’ve had when it comes to my photography career. Period.

    Honestly, I thought that I knew the fundamentals of photography but my goal was to really make sure that I had it all down solid before I went full time with my photography. Photo 101 made me realize 2 things. First, that I did not have all my fundamentals in order. Second, I needed this class more than I realized. Zack really helps you fully understand what you need to know to become a technically proficient photographer. When he puts that tape on your screen and you can’t chimp anymore, that’s the good stuff right there. YOU HAVE TO GET IT RIGHT IN CAMERA! If you can’t and you find yourself saying, “I’ll just fix that in Photoshop”…just smack yourself and try again. It’s worth it, believe me.

    Zack, Meg, Sherri and Erik were all extremely helpful and informative throughout the workshop. If you’re considering this workshop, just go for it. It’s worth it.

  • rags said on May 6, 2010

    Lovely work Zack. One day, God willing I will get enough guts to come to one of your workshops.

  • ferry said on May 6, 2010

    love it Zack, thank you for sharing it. It’s been a long time of waiting for me coz attending your workshop will cost me a fortune since a live in Germany 😀

  • James said on May 6, 2010

    Zack, top stuff, the 101 looks fantastic. Now get over to the UK and do some over here, I think you’d fill it in a matter of minutes. My names down already..

  • Rhonda said on May 6, 2010

    Another Photo 101 alum here. I completely agree with what others have said about this workshop. Whether you’re brand spanking new to photography or like I was, comfortable but not 100% confident in what I was doing or where I wanted to go, this is a wonderful way to get grounded. In 3 days you get all the basic technical nuts and bolts of photography covered, as well as experience shooting with models and non-models (AKA ‘normal’ people not used to having their picture taken…including each other) in various natural light settings and challenges, a solid processing and organizing workflow, as well as business and marketing talk, all wrapped up in an organized yet fun and relaxed environment.

    My only complaint about the workshop is that Zack will completely spoil you for potentially all other workshops. He says it up front and truly means it: his time and focus is 100% dedicated to his students at the workshop. He is not coming in as the high and mighty successful photographer graciously bestowing bits and pieces of his knowledge to the newbies, but rather as a more experienced and humble colleague wanting to help others not make the same mistakes he did. There is no question too basic or no photography topic not welcome. He is not out to sell secrets or magic workbooks or further his own career/business with add-ons and products. If anything its the complete opposite. Rather than tell you that you need this new camera, that expensive lens, this type of website, or that fancy lighting rig, he’ll tell you to buy a cheap 50 1.8, get a reflector and a shady alley and start a headshot business.

    Zack is not only obviously very talented, but also has the gift of teaching (as well as a great sense of humor). The two do not always go hand in hand.

    Him, Meghan, and the rest of the Used Film crew (including cutie little Hawke) could not be more welcoming and generous. This is evident by the fact that the workshop does not end at an appointed hour and you are sent on your way. Zack stays until all the questions are answered and you feel that you got what you came for. Maybe there is, but I haven’t seen another workshop instructor that does that.

    I know I’ve written a novel here, but I also know from experience that deciding to invest time and money into a 3 day workshop can be a little scary and intimidating when you’re just starting out, and I just wanted to try and reassure someone wondering if it’s worth it.

    It is. :)

  • Sylvia said on May 6, 2010

    Zack – I’d drive 14 hours to learn from you. These folks are seriously lucky!

  • Jordan said on May 6, 2010

    Zack –

    I’m registered for the One Light in Nashville taking place in July and I want to attend the Photo 101 workshop as well.

    My question is, is it better to attend the 101 workshop before going through the One Light workshop?

    Obviously this would be difficult to make happen since the One Light I’m registered for will take place in July and the next Photo 101 isn’t until November. But I could always push attending the One Light workshop back to next year if needed.

    Any thoughts on a preferred order for attending the workshops?

  • Geo said on May 6, 2010

    I have been thinking about attending this workshop for sometime now. Didn’t know what to expect. This post has set me in the right direction. You should have posted this months ago!

    Great info, I’m so motivated. Thank you Zack!

  • Sebastian Zbijowski said on May 6, 2010

    great post! Write more frequently ;D

  • Jack Pope said on May 6, 2010

    Hey Zack,
    Can you explain the “Light the eyes” concept?

  • Mike Wilson said on May 6, 2010

    Great post, Zach! I’m totally going to tape over my screen for my next test-shoot!

  • I agree with Sebastian (28). Great post – keep em coming. As well as website critiques!

  • Steve L said on May 6, 2010

    Terrific shots – congratulations to all of the photographers.

  • Nick Everitt said on May 6, 2010

    Great insight into your classes and super images.

    Please please come to the UK, ive watched your onelight DVD at least 5 times all the way through now and would so like to do one of your classes. If I cant convince you to come to the UK maybe another holiday to the USA is in order …. i wonder if my wife would miss me if I went off to do one of your workshops for a few days though :-)

  • Erin Wilson said on May 6, 2010

    You know, I read the description of ‘Photo 101’ on the website and thought ‘yeah, I don’t know…’.

    I read this post and thought ‘start saving, girl!’

    Dude, you tell stories for a living. Don’t be afraid to tell your own.

  • Jessica Cook said on May 6, 2010

    Zack! I love it. That was a perfect retelling of the events. How on earth did you remember it all? For anyone considering this workshop, DO IT! It’s worth it in so many ways!

  • Lisa Thompson said on May 6, 2010

    Wow – how fun to see a blog post about our workshop! :) And you even used one of my “cliche” railroad photos. ; ) LOL

    Seriously, I had a great time last weekend. I’d say there’s a tie for the two biggest things I came away with after the workshop:

    1) You are such a genuine, kind and wonderful person whom I considered a friend by the time I left. I really felt like you let us all see a piece of the real you – not just Zack, the photographer, and somehow that made it easier to believe that “little ‘ol me” could really, possibly, make a go at this whole photography thing! : ) Thank you for being so open and giving. Wish I was closer so I could ask you to lunch once in awhile and check and see how you’re doing. : )

    2) You opened my eyes to things that I KNEW but didn’t REALLY know about photography, if that makes any sense. I think the way you showed examples with your photos and forced us to do things that really made us think, just took my skill set up a big notch. Thank you so much for that! Just wish my studio had any decent natural light so I could apply some of those great available light techniques we learned!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Too sappy? Too bad. : P


    P.S. I’ve been watching some of your critiques on your blog and if you ever check out my blog (site is under major construction), please be warned there are several photos with selective coloring! 😀 LOL

  • Jennifer Nunn said on May 6, 2010

    I want to take a Photo 101 workshop! It sounds perfect for me. I’ll have to start saving now for November.

  • Rick Wenner said on May 6, 2010

    @Jordan :: I saw your comment about attending OneLight before Photo 101 and thought that I could help answer your question in case Zack doesn’t get a chance. I actually found myself in the same situation where I had signed up for both workshops with OneLight a month before Photo 101. I asked Zack & Meg what they thought about this and they said it’s recommended that you attend Photo 101 first because EVERYTHING is covered and it’s more or less a basics kind of workshop. OneLight builds on what you learn in Photo 101 and deals with, as you would expect, more advanced techniques of photography in using flash and modifiers.

    I had an okay understanding of what is covered in both workshops so I didn’t have too much of an issue attending OneLight before Photo 101. If you don’t think that you have enough understanding in how to use your camera, choose lenses, metering, etc. and using a flash is scaring the crap out of you because of all that, I say skip OneLight for now and just go for Photo 101. If you are like how I was then I say go for it.

    I hope that this helped answer your question. Good luck!

  • Doug Scroggins said on May 6, 2010

    Thanks for the quick response Zack and good luck getting it figured out man. I look forward to meeting you some day as a student.

  • zack said on May 7, 2010

    @Robin (#20) – I appreciate your viewpoint. Here are my thoughts…

    In the Rangefinder article I wasn’t complaining about the number of folks entering our industry I was simply recognizing that since there are so many people entering the industry you need to realize that specializing in something can help you stand out from the crowd. I don’t see it as a bad thing. The very elements that are letting everyone get in on this industry are the exact same elements that allowed ME to get back in this industry. So who am I to complain about there being too many photographers? I’m one of the “too many” myself.

    You’ll hear me talk about this more in the follow up interview I did for their podcast. Should be out today or next week. The problem with the written word is you never hear inflection and that’s one thing I hate about reading. Reading is stupid. 😉

    Also, I would counter that it isn’t Chase, Hobby, McNally, et al that brings people into photography. I would submit that new photographers have never heard those names until after they have bought a camera, fell in love with the craft, and then started researching and looking for information on how to become better.

    My other thought is if there are going to be a lot of photographers buying cameras at Best Buy and entering the industry then they need training. Like real, honest, from the ground up training. Not the “follow your heart” and “make an experience” kind of training that leaves everyone in aperture priority but the kind of training that a solid and healthy career can be built on.

    If I was really, really, really concerned in a negative way about the influx of shooters I sure as heck wouldn’t want them to know what I know. Know what I mean? I would keep my cards held to my chest and hope they all dry up and go away.

    I don’t think anyone is blind to the fact that workshops are part of my revenue stream. Especially the folks coming to them as they have had to pay to do so. Right? So there is no hiding that. I also cover the fact that this is a career and a craft you are going to struggle with and spend the rest. of. your. life. working on. You’ll never truly master it. There are no magic bullets. The fastest track I’ve seen is the fast track to nowhere. It takes time.

    The goal with all of these workshops is to lay down a foundation and series of starting points that can always be gone to but the goal is to grow from there.

    Hope that clears somethings up. I really hope I’m not coming across defensive because I completely understand what it can look like from the outside if we don’t know each other. You asked a very valid set of questions that I didn’t want to go unanswered for you.


  • Dawn Camp said on May 7, 2010

    I’m inspired just looking at all those gorgeous shots this morning. Thanks for posting this!

  • Robin said on May 7, 2010

    Not offended at all. Thanks for the straight up answer. All of your points are valid and reflect my thinking as well.

  • Franklin Fitzgerald said on May 7, 2010

    I’ve been contemplating whether I should do the one light workshop or the 101 workshop. I’ve been messing around since late 2008 with my camera and I in no way claim to know everything. I was intrigued by taped camera viewer. Having the skills to shoot and know you got what you wanted is important. I like the 6/28 date and the 11/12 dates in Atlanta. I have to decide. BTW, awesome post.

  • Jeff Simpson said on May 7, 2010

    Zack, you hit the nail on the head in #41 (third paragraph). I came from the graphic design world so I knew a small amount of the top photo ‘artists’prior to my photography endeavors. However though, your name is one of the first big names I came across and started following.

  • Tim said on May 7, 2010

    Is the OneLight Class as hands on as your 101 class? How many Students do you allow per session for OneLight?

  • zack said on May 10, 2010

    Tim – The OneLight is hands on as well. It is limited to 14 students.

  • Mishelle Lane said on May 8, 2010

    It’s my absolute dream to attend a workshop of yours. I will someday, I swear!

  • Toby said on May 9, 2010

    Your shot of the woman in the car looks like an outtake from ‘Finding Nemo:The Stage Show’…

  • Matt said on May 9, 2010

    Question for Zack and for everyone who has previously taken this workshop – I know people have mentioned a real learning curve in terms of understanding over the three days (and that is pure awesomeness), but does that translate into the images?

    In other words, I look at the images above and think of those as pretty strong images and as images I would like to be able to shoot but probably can’t with my current skills. I’m wondering if people came in to the workshop similarly situated and were able to make real strides in just the three days that actually show up in the images.

    Not looking for any quick fixes or magic bullets, but just interested in hearing more about what sounds like a really great workshop. All answers appreciated!

  • zack said on May 10, 2010

    @Matt – By no means will three days ever turn anyone into a master right? Right. My goal for the workshop is to teach real world foundational information that will allow someone to grow right away. One of my main goals is to drill certain aspects of this craft into your head so that you are thinking them through as you go out and shoot. Look at the eyes… Head in a clean spot… remember that pesky 8×10 crop… find your exposure and stick to it… know your camera… are those eyes going darK? Better fix it!… Is that the right lens you are using? Need to compress that background more? Grab that telephoto. Etc, etc, etc.

    I can say that I’ve watched people make great strides in three days time because they are focused in on the craft without any other distractions of life. It’s hard to carve that kind of time out of a busy life. The 101 is built for people who can’t stop what they are doing to go to school or leave a job to assist for a few years. It’s made for people who want to grow but still need to keep the day job and take care of the kids. A lot of times people get started in this industry and they don’t know what they don’t know. I want to connect some dots and walk you through the information and the techniques that will get the job done and the check collected.

    At the end of the day it falls on the shoulders of the participants as to how much they go out and shoot, shoot, and shoot to hone these skills. In the workshop I liken this to going to the gym. If you only go to the gym once every six weeks you can never expect to see any change. But if you’ll go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week then you will see some change. BUT… going to the gym without a plan or without any training may do you no good at all so you need some help in how to get started. That’s where good workshops come in. They get you going in a good direction so you know what “exercises” you need to be working on.


  • Mars said on May 9, 2010

    I would give anything to learn from your workshop Zack! But i live in Australia bummer:( Any chance of a selling a dvd of a 3 day workshop for those who can’t attend in person? I already own your onelight DVD and have worn the living crap out of it!


  • Matt said on May 10, 2010


    Sincerely appreciate the response and the gym analogy makes perfect sense to me (unfortunately, in more than a few ways 😉 ).


  • Zack said on May 11, 2010


    What’s your favorite bunch of reflectors to start out with?


    Many situations these would be great vs a soft box and yield still great results.

  • Paul said on May 18, 2010

    Hey Zack,

    Would be awesome if you could make it to Australia sometime.

    Must be time you had a holiday!

  • vicki loader said on June 16, 2010

    Come to the UK – I will supply all the required brown soda stuff!

  • emma said on May 4, 2011

    your pictures, and the fact that you are not just a wedding photographer inspire me!!! Thank you!!

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