Archive for the ‘PhotoKamp™ Workshops’ Category
Everyday, more and more up-and-coming photographers write me asking about PhotoKamp. So I figured, why not let past attendees tell you for themselves?
In this video, you’ll get a first-hand look at a PhotoKamp experience, seen from the eyes of our photographers. I am eternally grateful to these talented artists for sharing their experiences with others, and I am so proud of them for the innovative ways they’ve exploring their artistic visions, both at PhotoKamp and since graduation.
Our next PhotoKamp takes place in Germany on August 23-25. Early signup pricing is in effect until June 1. For more information, as well as a look back at past workshops, visit PhotoKamp.com!
Edited by Daniel U. Magana
Videography by David Rivera and Jessica Whitehead for SlickforceStudio
Skies are much bluer when they are not overexposed. Close your shutter down as far as it will go (while still allowing strobe exposure), then increase your light power to a key level that keeps the subject and the environmental exposures balanced.
(Photo taken at PhotoKamp 3. For upcoming dates on PhotoKamp workshops, visit PhotoKamp.com)
For the third year, we held our annual PhotoKamp workshop in Los Angeles. Students flew in from 6 countries—from as far as Morocco and Malaysia—to learn photography and lighting. Our attendees also illustrate the changing face of the modern photographer: we not only had an eye-opening 60% female turnout but also our youngest student ever. It is exciting for me to watch how this new energy will change the photography industry over the next generation.
On the first day of our 3-day event, we enjoyed Texas barbecue (with veggie options), courtesy of longtime SlickforceStudio friend Craig McNelley, owner of grip & lighting company Berkeley Avenue Productions. (If you’re in LA and need affordable motion picture grip & lighting gear, there is no one better.) After dinner, I took the class up to a skyscraper helipad, high above the LA cityscape, for an evening of long-exposure night photography.
On day two, we met at SlickforceStudio, where I spent the morning teaching the class about lighting modifiers, power packs, and grip equipment. Then I demoed several lighting setups for the students—from fashion to glamour to portrait—before turning them loose on their own. Models Lela Hazary and Vilayna LaSalle gave excellent performances for their photographers—who each built sets and experimented with many types of creative lighting setups from the inexpensive to the ambitious.
On day three, I took the team out to an amazing location in Lancaster for a day of complex pro location lighting. My Slickforce team taught the class how to build large-scale rigs, safety the equipment for the models, and work with generator power. Then I lit two lighting setups—one indoor and one outdoor—before letting them take the reigns with stunning models Remi Nelson and Regina Prasad. As with previous workshops, we separated the class based on experience level, and then rotated them between positions of photographer and various assistant roles. Many of the students expressed to me that they learned more assisting the other photographers than when they were actually shooting.
I’m proud to call so many of these talented photographers my new friends. I first met photographer Karim Tibari while traveling around Morocco for WMB 3D, and it was wonderful to see him again. I was also very happy to see so many repeat attendees this year, including photographers Kyla Schultz, Raffael Dickreuter, and Tracey Lea. My sincerest thanks go out to everyone who participated in this year’s PhotoKamp—I learn as much from the students as they learn from me, and let me tell you, the talent pool is growing quickly. 15-year-old photographer Julia even taught me to use Instagram! I could not pull off this workshop without my amazing SlickforceStudio crew, hair stylist Tony Jones, make-up artist Angela January-Taylor, and PhotoKamp coordinator Kevin Savarese.
Take a look at these cool behind-the-scenes taken by our team over the weekend!
CREDITS: Photography by Jessica Whitehead, David Rivera, Daniel Magana and Nick Saglimbeni for SlickforceStudio. ©2012 Slickforce Inc.
Last month we held our second PhotoKamp in Los Angeles. Students flew in from all over the US—including 2 graduates from PhotoKamp I—and from as far as the UK this year, which was both awesome and flattering. The three-day photography workshop is designed to teach up-and-coming photographers how to handle professional photography and lighting equipment, direct models to desired results, and light subjects in difficult situations.
On Friday evening, I took the photographers atop a downtown skyscraper, where they captured the LA skyline from sunset to night, and the results were incredible—especially in an era where even consumer-level cameras feature respectable sensor sizes, robust ISO latitude, and long-exposure capabilities. After the rooftop shoot, we headed indoors to a warmer meeting area where my amazing team arranged dinner during an informal Q&A session between me and the students.
On Saturday, we met at SlickforceStudio for an in-depth lesson in professional grip and lighting equipment. We also discussed budget-friendly options, which allow for amazing lighting setups at under $100. It’s always fun to see the wheels turning in the students heads as they learn about new equipment and contemplate exciting lighting setups based on their newfound knowledge. Each student then rotated between the positions of photographer, camera assistant/tech, lighting assistant, and fan operator (always the most fun.) Two models posed for the photographers, allowing for each student to have two full hours per day as photographer, in charge of the entire set. They chose the models’ wardrobe, directed their team and the hair & make-up crew, experimented with lighting, and built sets.
On Sunday, we awoke early and carpooled to Ultimate Graveyard in the Mojave desert. Two new models joined us, and while they were in hair and make-up, I showed the photographers solutions for dealing with harsh sunlight and extreme contrast, as well as safetying equipment in high-wind environments and using generators on location. Everyone always has so much fun out in the desert, and there is nothing better than seeing new photographers get excited about cool locations, as I have since the first day I picked up a camera.
For more info and upcoming dates, visit the PhotoKamp site!
Special thanks to Kevin Savarese for coordinating the weekend, the SlickforceStudio staff and amazing interns for their support, and to Joyce Park & Derek Eskridge for these fantastic images!
In November 2010, with the help of my elite SlickforceStudio team, I held my first photography and lighting workshop. For years, photographers have been asking my advice on which lights to buy, what lenses I prefer, and how to direct models. So I compiled the e-mails and years worth of feedback from our Slickforce forum into a wishlist of features that would form what I believed to be the mother-of-all-photography workshops, and Nick Saglimbeni’s PhotoKamp was born.
On Friday evening, I met the attendees high atop what we affectionately refer to as “Slickforce Tower”. We enjoyed a barbecue dinner with the studio team while everyone introduced themselves, and then we went into an open-forum Q&A on the business of photography. I relayed several stories from my own experience, as well as those of fellow photographers. The energy of our class was amazing, and it was clear from the first night that it was going to be an exciting weekend.
Saturday morning, we met at SlickforceStudio to learn studio lighting. Here, I covered the many different types of lighting and modifier options, and then everyone watched me demonstrate live on one of our lovely models. Finally, we split the class into two groups, where the students rotated between positions of photographer, camera assistant, lighting tech, and even the fabled fan operator (which incidentally was nearly everyone’s favorite job.) They shot both fashion and glamour looks, and each student got a minimum of one-hour of complete creative control as the photographer.
Finally, we met early Sunday morning and carpooled out to Ultimate Graveyard in the Mojave desert, where the team was introduced to our new models for the day. Here, we covered both simple and complex location lighting, ranging from working with natural light to large-scale magazine-style lighting setups using strobes and reflectors. It was so much fun to watch the photographers’ excitement shooting in the desert—it reminded me of why I love shooting there so much. Once again, the students took turns creating their own lighting setups, directing the models, and assisting each other. I looked over their shoulders while they remembered why they LOVE to create art—and I realized we had created the ultimate playground for photographers.
After sunset, a few photographers experimented with long-exposure photography in the desert, capturing everything from the Milky Way to writing “PhotoKamp” with a flashlight. On the ride home, though exhausted from three days of power-teaching, I couldn’t get over what a pleasant and thrilling experience PhotoKamp was. The new dates for Spring 2011 have just been posted! But don’t take my word for it, here are a few quotes from our PhotoKamp attendees:
“PhotoKamp was one of the best weekends of my life. I was surprised how enthusiastic the crew was, and how they went out of their way to help each one of us.”
Visual Effects Artist, Iron Man
“Of all the workshops I’ve been to, this one featured the smallest class size, the best models, and longer shooting time than expected.”
“Shooting at SlickforceStudio was like being in a photographer’s candy store—they had a beautiful assortment of lighting, modifiers, and even lenses for me to experiment with. But the biggest surprise was the models! They were not only professional and beautiful but had NEVERENDING patience!”
“I enjoyed watching how Nick’s team works together to achieve a work of art. I wish PhotoKamp was a month long—it is an experience I will never forget.”
“PhotoKamp was a life-changing experience for me—it was AMAZING. It would have cost me far more time and money to rent all of that equipment on my own and figure out how to use it through trial and error.”
In 2008, the SlickforceStudio team and I started ModelKamp. For years, models had been asking us not only for help with their portfolios, but also for magazine referrals and tips on how to navigate the often-intimidating modeling industry. As with nearly every spin-off of the Slickforce brand, the idea for a modeling camp was sparked when countless aspiring models came to us after being scammed by shady producers of “super-shoots,” which ultimately over-promised and under-delivered. We’ve always prided ourselves as being the most professional photography studio in the world, so the “model-camp-to-end-all-model-camps” seemed a logical step, especially given our unique position in the magazine and modeling industries.
This October we held our 6th ModelKamp, which sold out a full two months in advance. The three-day workshop began on Friday, opening with a panel of industry guest speakers. First, I spoke with the new models about building their portfolios, how to work with photographers and styling crew, and tips on magazine submissions. Then, 20-time Magazine cover-model-turned-actress Vida Guerra spoke to the ladies about her career, avoiding the pitfalls of the modeling game, and not losing yourself in Hollywood. After Vida, SHOW publisher Sean Cummings spoke about his magazine, what he looks for in models, breaking in to the business when you’re brand new, and the payoffs of persistence. Finally, the models did fittings with their wardrobe stylist, selecting their outfits for the next two days of shooting.
On Saturday, the girls arrived bright and early for a full day of shooting at SlickforceStudio with myself and magazine-photographers Christian Arias & Cherry Gardner. Cover-model Brittany Dailey then arrived on set, so the models could watch a professional photo-shoot first hand. Brittany and I then coached them on poses and facial expressions while they shot fashion, glamour, and headshot looks.
On Sunday, the models were ready for their final exam. We met at 5:30am, hopped in passenger vans, and carpooled out to Slickforce’s Ultimate Graveyard location in the beautiful Mojave desert. There, the girls experienced a large-scale supershoot, usually reserved for celebrities, as they shot fashion and glamour looks with our three top photographers. It’s always a treat for me to take people to the desert for the first time, because watching their excitement reminds me of the awe I experienced when I first fell in love with the California desert.
As we wrapped at sunset, one of the models, Yvonne, threw her arms around me for a tearful goodbye, saying she never felt so good about herself, and that she was sad to be leaving her new family. I reassured her that she would always be part of our ever-growing Slickforce family, but it was still a warm reminder of why I take so much pride in our company.
All in all, our models left with a minimum of 6 looks, over 700 photos, and free retouching. To date, we’ve had 11 models land spreads in various magazines, two of them covers! Registration for ModelKamp 7 opened this week. Get more info and hold your spot at ModelKamp.com!