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Labor Day is on its way and along with it the unofficial close of summer.

So are you ready for fall?! The colorful foliage, the BEST seasonal brews (inarguable) and of course, FOOTBALL! What's not to love?

And as far as your profession goes, we're not going to let you get soft on us. But how can you push yourself to the next level with less sunshine to work with?
Super Monday is a good start.

On and around October 14, 2013, dozens of studios from coast to coast (and Korea!) will open their doors and offer insights to their fellow photographers (that's you!). Whatever you need help with, there's sure to be a workshop for you. Super Monday will span portrait and wedding photography, posing and lighting, digital retouching and workflow, and sales and marketing strategies.

If you're in the California/Nevada area, instructor Laurie Warta, CPP, will bring her passion and expertise to offer a unique, hands-on learning opportunity.

She's heading out to Sparks, Nev., just east of Reno, for a Super Monday Shoot Out on
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 Sunday, Oct. 13. There's no need to worry about being bored in a classroom for this one! Laurie's taking it outside for an on-location, learn-as-you-shoot experience, where she's hoping students will get outside their visual box and try something new. 

"I've wanted to do this for a few years. I love a good challenge, and I love getting inside the heads of other professionals and watching how other photographers do things." 

Warta says there's not usually a lot of 'why' behind the 'what,' but that's the focus here.

"'Why did you pose your subject that way? Why did you use this lighting? Why did you use these settings?' Everyone has a reason for the way they light things, but I want to know why. These are some of the questions we're going to explore. It's about challenging ourselves to expand our thinking."

Here's a glimpse into Laurie's plan for the October 13 program:

You'll meet Laurie at a location (to be confirmed, most likely her daughter's home near Reno), and briefly get to know the other students. You'll discuss the plan for the day and go over your lighting options.

After you get acquainted and gear up, you'll head to the shoot location (stay tuned for details). Waiting for you on site will be models--a senior boy, a senior girl and a couple--and a few props. You'll shoot one model and break for lunch before you photograph the others. Make no mistake, it's more than a simple photo shoot. Like Laurie said--it's a lighting-posing-coaching photography challenge!

Each student will get a turn posing, lighting and shooting the models individually; no shooting over the shoulder allowed! And this is where the props come in. When Laurie decides to throw the prop into the mix, you must somehow incorporate it into your creation with the model. The choices are yours and yours alone, Laurie and the other students will watch and learn as you explain why you're doing what you're doing. Then the roles will switch! 

"It's about taking ingredients and making something that will come out totally different from anyone else. It's amazing what you can do with a chair.

"Our personalities are all different, we communicate differently, but we can all learn from each other. It's all about creating a space for other photographers to learn, learn, learn; it's all about observing, learning and having fun."

If all works according to plan, the class will be setup with CamRanger to send selected images directly to an iPad for each photographer to further explain their tactics and for everyone else to critique the images--right there on site! The instant critiques will be more impactful because you will be able to learn from details you might have missed while being caught in the action, and the group feedback will help you improve right away. 

This class certainly isn't for the faint of heart, nor for the beginner photographer. You must have knowledge of your camera and light and how to control it. You'll need to use your creative vision in a challenging way. But the worst that can happen is you'll get better!
A dedicated photographer, Laurie has deeply loved photography for 35 years, and her focus has only sharpened in recent years. Her passion and enthusiasm for photography comes through while talking about the class. 

"I love teaching and I love photography. With this small, intimate setting, we can do so much more, especially since it's hands-on. The personal benefits are remarkable. It forces me to really know my content and learn more. I have to consider 'What can I bring to expand my horizon?'"

Laurie's not stopping there either. Two days after her Super Monday Shoot Out, she's heading an hour up the road to Kings Beach, Calif., near Lake Tahoe, to teach an additional class. 

In her second class, Laurie will partner with friend and fellow photographer, Danielle Hankinson, for Extreme Lighting at the Lake. In this course, you'll discover how to deal with harsh and challenging lighting situations, such as the beautiful Lake Tahoe area. How do you manage light when it's reflecting so harshly off of the water? You'll practice techniques to manipulate light and create cool and edgy or soft pretty lighting. 

The goal is for you  to leave Laurie and Danielle's class not only a better technical photographer, but a more confident one as well.

"When you know something and when you believe in something, you can be confident. The rest is easy--just shoot."

Head over to the Super Monday page for more information on Laurie's two classes:
Super Monday Shoot Out, in Sparks/Reno, Nevada
Extreme Lighting at the Lake, in Kings Beach,California 

And check out Laurie's website at lauriewartaphotography.com

IMAGE © LAURIE WARTA


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