Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Jerry Ghionis Workshop

Review: Jerry Ghionis Seminar

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

Website: http://www.akronphotoseries.com/

Presenter: Jerry Ghionis

Date: June 14, 2011

Location: Akron, Ohio

Price: $375

Included: All day workshop with Jerry Ghionis

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

What I Expected: To learn a bit more about posing and see how he would work with a "real" couple.

Expectations Met: Yes! Jerry packed a lot into the time we had with him and he far surpassed my expectations (yep, again!!)

Summary: After seeing Jerry present the night before, I was pretty excited to see him the next day and see what he is like in a smaller setting on a normal-ish type workshop. The class was supposed to be 25 but we were easily approaching 30-35 people but it wasn't too big of a deal. The workshop was hosted at a local photographer's studio.

We started out the morning with some questions and answers and a bit more in depth talking from Jerry. Once the couple arrived Jerry went straight into the posing portion of the day and so many of his tips immediately made sense. I, like I'm sure many photographers, tend to learn visually more than by just reading so to see him "walk the walk" so to speak made a world of a difference than just hearing him "talk the talk" the night before.

I should note here that Jerry expressed the night before that since we were so limited on time (Jerry rarely does one day shoots) instead of bringing our cameras and spending time trying to get a "money shot" he'd prefer that we watched and learned and only brought point and shoots to the workshop the next day. He expressed quite a few times during the workshop this as well, this was NOT to be a gangbang style workshop where everyone is vying for a shot, this was to learn from him and if we *had* to take a picture, use it for learning purposes.

Jerry spent a lot of time indoors and outdoors showing us a variety of poses and things he does in situations. It was really fascinating to see how he worked and how he evokes emotion in his couples to achieve the candid feel to his images. I also loved seeing how he handled poor light and many of his tips that he gave were pretty fantastic as far as finding good light and what angle to shoot at. One thing that was brilliant about watching him work was that he never got flustered and always shot with a purpose and didn't spray and pray. He also almost always nailed the exposure in one shot. That's pretty impressive in itself as I've been to workshops in the past where the instructor shot about 20 images off to get one good image.

The workshop included lunch and Jerry and Melissa both made it a point to go table to table and chat with everyone there and make everyone feel welcomed. They are both really sweet and kind people and it was nice they took the time to do that as often that doesn't happen.

After the shooting & lunch we went back to the studio where Jerry showed the images from the day and did a bit more talking about his work. He also showed some images for his own wedding which was really lovely to see (he shot a lot that day himself!). He ended up staying again past his "quitting time" and I felt again that it was kind of him to do so when others have not done so.

The only thing that was a slight bummer was that people DID bring their cameras and shot like crazy at the couples and it appeared it wasn't JUST for learning purposes. I did take a few shots with my P&S but for the most part I just wanted to watch and learn which wasn't always easy with all of the cameras and people vying for the best angle to photograph the models in. Photographers, when you go to a workshop and the instructor says to learn, get your moneys worth and LEARN! You can't use these images for promotional purposes so invest in yourself that day and really take in what you are paying for!

Jerry did NOT pimp any of his products other than one small mention of a discount that was available to our group. The only item he DID have that we all wanted was his nifty video light called the Ice Light which is pretty dang cool and they are hoping to have it for sale sometime soon. Keep your eyes out for it as it's going to sell to photographers like hotcakes (or should I say actions?).

Recommend? Abso-freaking-lutely again!