Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review: Jerry Ghionis Seminar

This is another seminar I attended this week that is part of the Akron Photo Series.


Presenter: Jerry Ghionis

Date: June 13, 2011

Location: Akron, Ohio

Price: $60

Included: 3 hour presentation from Jerry Ghionis

Bonuses: 10% of the proceeds went to Akron Childrens Hospital (I believe that Jerry donated all of the proceeds)

What I Expected: To learn a bit more about posing.

Expectations Met: Yes! Jerry packed a lot into the time we had with him and he far surpassed my expectations.

Summary: I saw Jerry present a couple years ago at WPPI and his presentation was strictly on albums. While I learned a LOT during that seminar, I have always wanted to catch one of his posing seminars but I've always managed to sleep through his WPPI platforms since they are at 8AM (dear WPPI gods, please rectify this!). Beyond that the first time I met Jerry was at a party and I had a wee bit of alcohol in me. A friend introduced us and I asked him if he was a photographer. Whoops. The lovely thing is that he laughed it off and thought it was amusing instead of getting on a high horse like others may have done. Ever since then I've always thought of him kindly.

Jerry spent the time prior to the seminar starting wandering around the room introducing himself to everyone. I thought that was really kind. No cut directs this time ;) He and Melissa (his wife) made a solid attempt to make sure to talk to everyone.

Sadly the turnout for this presentation was not quite what it was for Jasmine. I'd guess there was about 100 people there? I know it is summer and scheduling things can be a bit of a nightmare with kids and vacations but it was sad to see. I hope that if this series continue that we give a better showing for people in the future :)

Jerry spoke for a little over 3 hours (going 45 minutes past the end time of 9:30 to make sure that all of what he wanted to speak about was covered and that all questions were answered which I appreciate!) about posing. He began with a slideshow of all of his greatest hits so to speak and then went into his presentation basically about how to adjust your attitude to see the beauty in every person and how as a photographer to make the beauty shine. He touched on posing, lighting and setting up locations to not look nearly as gnarly. What was really great was that he would show before and afters of really awful rooms and what he did to make it work. He then showed action/reaction shots where he had the client in a good pose but it needed some emotion and what he'd do to evoke the emotion. Since we're all visual people, I feel that was really helpful to see. Often there was also a video that accompanied the pictures so you could visualize everything together and what occurred.

Jerry spoke concisely, slowly and was very relaxed. He was very easy to follow when taking notes and it wasn't all in the accent ;) I loved that he wasn't too stuffy and would freely throw out a curse word here or there. In a past life I swear I was a pirate so I appreciate it when people swear (yes, I am weird).

I also wanted to note that while he mentioned the things he had for sale (picpockets, Ice Society) he did NOT overly push it nor mention it more than once or twice. At no point did I feel that we were in a commercial for his items. I know that in years past, this has been a bone of contention with his seminars but it appears that he's listened to the choir on this and backed off a bit. It was nice though that he did give a set of his picpockets out to the person attending that had been in business the longest.

Recommend? Abso-freaking-lutely. It was a shame if you missed this and you need to see him whenever possible!

I will be following this up with a review of the next day's workshop in a few days where we got to see him in action with a couple etc.

Corey Ann is a wedding & lifestyle photographer from North Canton, OH. She is a mix of everything - fashionista (runs Clothes for Pros, clothing suggestions for photographers), travel guru, deal hound and geek rolled into one. She's had a website online since 1997 and a blog since 1999. When not plotting world domination or her next trip, she can be found reading one of the 100+ books she reads a year. Follow her on Twitter.