What we're about

Feel free to skip this group if your photography career is going great, you've found your proverbial inspirational muse, and you're happy with your work. Enjoy the rest of your day, friend, this meetup is not for you.

For the rest of you... gather. I want to tell you a story.

The story of the first time I shot at a studio.

*Palms sweaty, knees weak, arms heavy... mom's spaghetti. *

As a distant voice explained something about remote triggers and soft boxes and beauty dishes, I struggled with silencing a louder voice in my head-- "Aperture mode or Shutter priority mode? what is my ISO again? is it "ai-so" or "ai-es-oh"? how do I focus on the eyes OH MY GOD HOW DO I FOCUS ON THE EYES!!"

Suddenly, a piece of black velvet unrolled from somewhere up high and covered the only window of the tiny downtown apartment, where the workshop was taking place, casting the place in the deepest shadows. Then, a myriad of lights in all shapes and sizes came on and illuminated a chair at the center of the stage. Behind me, my fellow photographers murmured in approval and confident excitement. Why had I volunteered to shoot first!?

As the model strode across the room, she shot me a meaningful glance and said: "sorry for the delay; just wanted to make sure I covered all my wrinkles." *Wink* Now, this model was the real deal: slow, confident pacing, neatly combed long hair, tight-fitting black dress, high heels, in the prime of her youth! And she had just made a joke! Of course, she had really meant that statement for the whole group, but because I was closer to her I felt a real pressure to say something witty. I knew I'd regret the whole thing for all of my life even before the first words left my mouth: "Great job! you can barely see the wrinkles!"

SMOOTH.

As I felt the daggers of my peer's gaze (and the model's, and the instructor's) slowly digging themselves into every inch of my soul, I felt myself reverting to the mental age of a toddler. The silence in that room was thick enough to cut with a knife. I can barely remember what else went down for the next hour and a half. I tried to play it cool but nothing brought me out of the pit of self-shame I had dug myself in.

That day I learned that shooting at a studio can be a really intimidating experience... for a new photographer.

Now you may be thinking... "ok, that wasn't so bad." And you'd be absolutely correct! In hindsight, things were not as bad as I remembered them at the moment; and that's the point: the instructor could have done something to smooth out the learning environment, and normalize my behavior. Who DOESN'T get nervous when put on the spotlight? Because of a bad instructor and bad first learning experience I almost abandoned what I now consider to be my third greatest passion (family and teaching being the first two.)

Anyway--As the third anniversary of my hottest comeback ever rears its ugly head, I was reflecting about what would have made my first studio photo shoot a less jarring experience -- and after thinking and talking 'bout it with some peers, I came up with this idea to create a group for new photographers that embraces and welcomes mistakes as part of the learning process. A place that does not assume you *should* know certain stuff, and starts the lesson by first learning where each student is at. Thus, Workshops for New Photographers was born.

Please feel free to check out the workshops being offered for comments and photos of other members. Currently we have only a few workshops available, but more will be posted as time goes on.

If this sounds like a place you'd like to join, please feel free to request a membership!

TL;DR:

* Who is this group/meet for?
In short, this meetup group aims to become a platform of education and networking for new photographers (defined here as a person who owns a DSLR or mirrorless camera, but has with little experience using it).

* What do you need to bring for the workshops?
For most workshops, you just need to bring your DSLR or mirrorless camera with fully charged batteries. If there are other requirements (such as laptop), they will be specified in each meetup description.

* Is there a cost?
Some workshops will a fee; others will not; however, whenever a model is involved, it is customary to tip the model. They work hard!

* Have a question about something not covered here?
Drop me a line at carlos.charris@me.com

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