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 reins 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.