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General DiscussionsKen Whitmire's "Wall Portrait Conference"

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Ernst-Ulrich Schafer
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Ken Whitmire's "Wall Portrait Conference"

Post by Ernst-Ulrich Schafer » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:10 pm

I'm off to Yakima, WA tomorrow morning to attend a 5 day Wall Portrait Conference workshop. Ken Whitmire put this workshop on for years. We lost him last year in a car accident at the age of 84. He was an Icon in the Portrait Industry and a Legend here in the Northwest. I had the pleasure of learning from him as he was also a member of the Professional Photographers of Washington, speaker at our conventions and you always saw him sitting in a sit taking in classes. He received the Life Time Achievement AWARD from the Professional Photographers of America two years ago. I'm quite excited to be attending this workshop and looking forward to making new friends.

See ya when I get back, promise to have a few more photographs, Ernst
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Post by minniev » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:25 pm

Have fun Ernst and bring us back some Pretty Stuff to look at.

(I confess to being a bit jealous of those of you who have strong communities of other photographers with similar interests. But I'm grateful for my online community of colleagues from around the world, and might never have met them if I had plenty of folks to learn from and share with hereabouts).
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Post by St3v3M » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:15 am

minniev wrote:Have fun Ernst and bring us back some Pretty Stuff to look at.

(I confess to being a bit jealous of those of you who have strong communities of other photographers with similar interests. But I'm grateful for my online community of colleagues from around the world, and might never have met them if I had plenty of folks to learn from and share with hereabouts).

Amen! S-
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Post by Ernst-Ulrich Schafer » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:10 pm

Well the Conference is a big game changer for me and my studio. It's all about the systems one puts into place, follow thru, follow thru, etc.

I took this image while Gregory Daniel was teaching an outdoor family session, all natural light. By the way even though I took the image, it's not one I would use to
promote my studio because the image belongs to Gregory, not me. Too many times I see students use an image from a workshop and call it there own.
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Post by St3v3M » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:38 pm

Ernst-Ulrich Schafer wrote:Well the Conference is a big game changer for me and my studio. It's all about the systems one puts into place, follow thru, follow thru, etc.

I took this image while Gregory Daniel was teaching an outdoor family session, all natural light. By the way even though I took the image, it's not one I would use to
promote my studio because the image belongs to Gregory, not me. Too many times I see students use an image from a workshop and call it there own.

It looks like the conference is a success and I love your ethics. Thank you for that! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by Duck » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:41 pm

One of my biggest points of contention with many photo instructors is the "cattle shoot". While well meaning, the session basically boils down to a setup, explanation of the setup and then a round robin of students shooting the setup. Early on I attended a few of these workshops not understanding much of anything and walking away disappointed because I felt I had gained nothing other than a few interesting images. Later, as I started doing my own instruction I realized there is a desire for the "cattle shoot" by amateur photographers who aren't necessarily looking for any kind of real training but want cool images for themselves. These types of photographers are very much happy being given the settings for them to go ahead and shoot. I, however, am not happy teaching that way so I try to find a happy medium between learning the fundamentals and getting some cool images.

Nowadays when I seek out instruction I purposely avoid these types of workshops. I could care less how you got that shot, I want to learn what lead up to getting that shot. What were the decisions that formulated that composition and why? I am more interested in the methodology of the thought process behind the image rather than the camera settings or how pretty the arrangement is. Those kinds of instructors able to convey that aspect of photography are rare. I guess that's why I don't attend too many workshops anymore. That's also what motivates me as an instructor, to teach the reasons behind an image, the foundations of lighting and composition, rather than just setting everything up, explaining it and having a photographic procession past the model.

Knowing your style, Ernst, it is very evident this isn't 'your' image and it succinctly illustrates the problem with this type of teaching. Having been on the flip side, I can also understand why this type of teaching is so common; time and space is a major factor for the structuring of a decent workshop. Specially in a large workshop like those presented at regional or national conventions. Hopefully there was more to take away from this from that day. There is no worse feeling than that of feeling like money was wasted.
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Post by St3v3M » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:47 pm

Duck wrote:One of my biggest points of contention with many photo instructors is the "cattle shoot". ...

I wonder though if even in a mass shoot if every shot is different and you can see their styles emerge. S-
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