Last weekend, I hosted a photography workshop in Albuquerque, and had a great time meeting with 9 other photographers in the area, all willing to learn new techniques and take their photography and lighting to the next level.
The workshop itself was 8 hours long, 2 hours longer than any other workshop I’ve taught in the past. The topic was Outdoor Lighting, and covered everything everyone needs to know about lighting modifiers, lighting techniques, ND filters, and properly using the tools on location to insure the best possible shoot.
While this workshop was a success, I do want to address some challenges that came with it.
Training Your Competition?
A question that many people asked while setting up this workshop was the act of training your competition in the industry. Some skeptics spoke to me about this and said that if I divulge my secrets to other photographers in the industry, I’m potentially hurting my own business. I simply do not believe that.
I want a competition heavy environment. By teaching my techniques to other photographers within my market, I’m doing three different things.
The first, is that I’m increasing their knowledge, and (hopefully) teaching them a new way to look at photography. I’m not just building their skillset with photography, but in turn, I’m building the communities general knowledge and skills as well. Having a stronger community of photographers in Albuquerque, I’m increasing the value of photography among the general public here in Albuquerque. When potential clients see better photographs from all of us, we can demand higher prices, and get more work.
The second task and motive in this education center plan is to increase my competition – which is good. I got well versed in lighting because not only did I find an interest in it when I began taking photos, but it was also because I had to. I started my photography business in Michigan, and was surrounded with photographers who all knew more than me, were more stable in the market, and were flat out better than me. I learned lighting because I had to to keep up with my competition. By building a competition heavy market, you can bet that only the strongest will survive. I want competition, cause I want to have to constantly improve and adapt my photography talents. I want to be the cream that rises to the top.
The third thing I’m doing with this workshops, is building a community here in Albuquerque. By the end of the day, myself and everyone who attended the workshop were friends. We were able to bounce ideas off of eachother, offer up gear for those who ran into last minute problems, and help carry each other along the way. Photography is in my blood, so why wouldn’t I want to be friends with others who share that same passion?
The overall workshop went exceptionally, and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and learned a lot. Here are some of the reviews that my students were saying about the workshop.
From the moment I learned Zach was offering a lighting workshop I immediately knew that the investment had to be made. I have followed not only his incredible work but his fantastic articles for Fstoppers. Both the in class workshop and on location shoot were incredibly insightful. Zach was patient, hands on, and willing to share his vast knowledge of outdoor lighting and beyond. Absolutely nothing was off limits. I sincerely feel that the course is a game changer & will push you & your photography business to that next level.
- Alicia Padilla
Zach’s workshop was outstanding, both in content and hands-on experience. The material covered was valuable and readily translated into applicable skills during the field portion of the day. I would recommend it to anyone looking to improve their outdoor lighting techniques – and photography in general.
- Webb Johnson
The class portion of the workshop was full of information, examples, and extras like tutorials for later use. The outdoor hands-on part was really fun, and he let us use his own gear, which is awesome. I learned a lot and can’t wait to use it.
- Beth Waldron Yuhas
Zachs workshop was such an eye-opening experience for me. I had zero knowledge of artificial lighting and he was patient and willing to answer all the questions I had. I am so excited to practice all the tips and techniques he had to share.
- Ashley Shaw
It was like a class for the everyman. There was discussion, opinions and laughter and out of that was this freedom for creativity.
- Malik Daniels
I’m excited to continue these workshops for the Albuquerque area and all over the United States. I’ve already had a few people call, comment and email me that they missed the Outdoor Lighting Workshop and would still like to attend it if there was an additional class. For that reason, I’m announcing that I’ll be teaching that again soon in a few weeks for those looking to attend. I’ll have more info in the coming weeks. Special thanks to Kata Baron of The Pretty Committee for always doing a great job with makeup, Brittany Dale for being our lovely muse for the day, and The Sandbox for providing a classroom for the workshop.
If you’re more interested in my workshops, please check out my workshop website.
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