After taking my first workshop ever I was excited to sign up for some more classes. For me, these were excellent opportunities to grow and learn, but also give me focused assignments since I am not doing client work right now.
My second workshop was Environmental Portraiture with Children with Kerry Varnum run over at In Beauty and Chaos. I consider myself a lifestyle photographer so I was interested in the differences and adding some tools to my arsenal for turning some of the documentary style images into portraits. But, being 100% honest, I would say I took the class more to work with and learn from Kerry, I had admired her work for a really long time. Kerry’s photography is truly, environmental portraiture. She has a fun way of making you feel like you’re inside moments.
Kerry puts a lot into her class. The PDFs were well written, easy to follow, and jam packed with information. This class ranged from basic to advanced just by how much you wanted to take in. It included everything from lighting, composition, color theory, engaging your surroundings, and techniques to engage your subject in order to strengthen relationships.
The class was particularly challenging for me because I prefer to be invisible. I went through a phase of begging, bribing, and crying over shots and it just wasn’t for me. My family (and my mental well being) much prefer capturing the shot how it is and not making a production of it. However, Kerry’s class was a great tool to add to the arsenal. For starters, I would use almost all of her techniques for doing in home sessions for clients. While documentary images are great, I would feel that adding some documentary style portraits would make my clients happier. Secondly, if and when I pick my battles I can really turn an ordinary shot into a more extraordinary one. And lastly, the information about connections is important regardless what type of photography we are after.