Lighting

The first step to creating great images is understand how to create and/or capture light that highlights the drama that’s unfolding in front of you. Off-camera lighting can be a daunting task, and I’m here to help make it more understandable and give you the tools you need to create more complex lighting setups and elevate what’s happening in front of you lens.

Shooting

Hearing skills and theory is one thing, but in order to master it, you’ve got to put it to use! We’re going to get hands-on and shoot together to explore composition and how to make compelling photographs. Each class is small to make sure I’m getting 1-on-1 time with all of you and that we can come away with some amazing images that you can add to your portfolio!

Retouching

We start by creating something amazing in the camera, and we finish it in the digital darkroom. Just like film photographers spent a majority of their time in the darkroom with chemicals, we’re going to better understand the tools available to digital photographers. Understanding tools like Capture One, Lightroom, and Photoshop will elevate your photographs from good to jaw-dropping.

Studio Social

I want to get to know you and we don’t want to wait another minute! Join me at the Ruddock Visuals studio for a casual get-to-know-ya dinner the night before we kick things off. One of the most valuable things I’ve gotten out of the workshops I’ve attended has been the connections I made while I was there. I want to get things kicked off on the right foot by introducing myself over a casual dinner and drinks at the studio in North Houston. We’ll get to know each other, establish what’s going on during our time together, and prep for all of the incredible experiences we’re going to share over the next two days!

Photography Agenda

Whether you’re attending the Action Sports Photography or the Portrait Photography Workshops (or both if you want the full package!) we’re going to focus on what it takes to create amazing images. There are a ton of aspects that go into consistently making great images, and we’re going to take the time to look at them together so you leave the studio on the path to amazing imagery. I’m not only going to pull back the curtain on how I create images from start to finish, but we’re going to shoot prepare, light, shoot, and retouch together so you’re getting a full, hands-on experience that puts the skills to use and commits them to memory. Each day has a shoot lined up with a model or athlete, and I invite you to bring your cameras, memory cards, and laptops so we can work the entire process together from start to finish. Here are some more details on each step we’ll be taking below!

Action Sports Shoot

Action Sports Shoot (11/01/2018)

Day 2 is going to kick off with a jump start! We’re going to get after it bright and early with a Live Action Sports Photoshoot. While some of the lessons from the Portrait Shoot are going to carry over, there are some other aspects that are much more specific to photographic sports in a commercial setting.

  • Athlete Prep
  • Just like working with a model, working with an athlete takes plenty of communication, but I’ve always felt like understanding your athletes mindset and persona in the sport is extremely important in capturing them accurately.

  • Gear & Mobility
  • We’re not in the studio anymore… I guess we can be, but most of the time you’re going to be mobile for these shoots, and knowing how to prepare for that is a completely different task than shooting in studio.

  • Lighting & Style
  • A lot of the same aspects carry over from the Portrait Shoot day one, but we’ll be recapping on some techniques and teaching new techniques over the course of the second shoot.

  • Capturing Action
  • Some of the most epic moments in sports and the briefest moments and you have to know how to prepare for and capture those moments in every crisp, beautiful detail.

    Portrait Shoot

    Portrait Shoot (11/02/2018)

    We’re going to go through a Live Shoot in the studio on day 1 and I’m going to walk you through my creative process to help you understand exactly what goes into a commercial portrait shoot.

  • Pre-Shoot Logistics
  • The best way to make sure a photoshoot is going to go well is to put in the work beforehand. If you don’t know how to prep for a shoot, you’re more likely to miss something and catch yourself off-handed when it matters. We’re going to run through our pre-shoot checklist together.

  • Gear
  • Every photographer is a bit of a gear-head whether they’ll admit it or not, so I want to go over exactly what cameras and lighting gear I use when I’m shooting styled portraits in the studio on on the go.

  • Lighting
  • Lighting is where the magic happens. You can’t make great images without great light, and I’m going to walk through exactly how I build a lighting diagram and scheme utilizing an additive lighting approach. It’s so easy, anybody can do it!

  • Capturing "The Shot"
  • So much goes into capturing a great portrait, but once you identify your Creative Voice and find that quality light, it really comes down to just working with the person in front of you to tell a story only the two of you can craft together.

    Retouching

    That’s right! I'm pulling back the entire curtain and showing all of you not only how I capture images, but what I do in photoshop to refine an image and get it ready for delivery to a client. We'll be working alongside each other to finish our images from the day's shoot and you'll have a chance to try out the techniques I use in Capture One, Lightroom, and Photoshop to create a final image:

  • Workflow Management
  • Photographers take A LOT of images, and if you don’t understand how to quickly and accurately create a folder and workflow system to keep all of that organized you’re going to find yourself in a tight situation. Fortunately for you, I am going to show you how I go through my entire ingest and workflow to get my folders ready before an image ever hits my hard drive.

  • RAW Editing
  • RAW images are were the magic starts and whether you use Capture One or Lightroom, I am going to walk through my thoughts on both programs and how I use both to achieve different looks through my workflow before images hit Photoshop.

  • Image Clean Up
  • I’ll show you the techniques I use to clean an image and provide my thoughts on skin retouching and background clean up in a non-destructive, organized manner.

  • Dodging & Burning
  • The unsung hero of the digital darkroom workflow. I’m going to convince all of you why dodging and burning is a beautiful thing and work through image files alongside all of you to show how I use Dodging and Burning to refine the look of my images.

  • Frequency Separation 2.0
  • A selective yet extremely powerful technique, I’ll talk through how and when I use Frequency Separation on images without turning beautiful skin into muddy plastic.

  • Tone, Color, and Contouring
  • Refining your photos is all in these three topics and we’re going to look at my favorite techniques to give your photos a beautiful, contrasty feel with a color balanced finish.

  • Techniques for Unique Looks
  • You didn’t think I was just going to give you the basics did you? I want to give you all of the techniques I use to get different looks. We’re discussing the one-off techniques and special layers I like to use to create different styles in my image refinement.