Thursday, December 22, 2011

Early Christmas Present: The Genesis Workshop

Let us give you a brief background about The Genesis Workshop.

In 2008, we discovered and followed the work of a Filipino Wedding Photographer, based out of the Bay Area named Ed Pingol.  We were just starting to use off camera flash at that time and we were amazed by Ed's work and technical know how.  A few months thereon we also came upon this blog of a certain Tony Hoffer, a photographer based out of the Philadelphia metro area.  His work mesmerized us to a point that we wanted to quit the photography business altogether (well not really quit, but we felt so subpar).  Most of his blog posts really inspired us to improve our Image capturing and branding.  Never really wanting to copy what Tony and Amy Hoffer does, it was just that we wanted to get to his level in our own style.

Then in 2010, while we were doing some market analysis of big city markets, to help boost our Philadelphia branch, we chanced upon this blog post.  Shot after shot after shot, we were in awe at what this guy can do with a 24mm x 36mm piece of image sensor.  His name is Sam Hassas, from the Bay Area as well (not Chicago) and you better check out that blog post above.

We are kinda not in a brief background territory anymore so lets cut is short.  It is a big coincidence that all three photographers above would be teaching at the Genesis 2011 in The city of the KING; and we thought we could not miss this workshop.  Its like Robert Jaworksi, John Wooden and Bob Knight together, conducting a coaching clinic in a span of 3 days.

Fast forward to November 14, 2011.  Bags are packed, but the inevitable happens, our connecting flight to Cleveland was cancelled and we were the only passengers who were non-booked on another Airline.  Thinking the first session starts in 13 hours, we decided to drive the 800 miles across Michigan, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas to Tennessee to make it to Genesis.  We made it in 11 and a half hours plus we had a chance for 30 minutes of shut eye at the Hotel.

The very first activity was this:

Evan Baines, Sam Hassas, Ed Pingol, Tony Hoffer and Melanie and Jeff Mansfield in an Instructor shootout on Beale Street in Memphis. WOW!

After Mackie and I eavesdrop on Tony and Ed respectively.  We quickly gravitated towards Nashville wedding photographer Evan Baines.  His teaching of posing and rules of light (to enhance beauty) is simply superb.  All throughout the week, we were lucky to have Evan assisting our group (40 kids were divided into 4 groups of 10).  And he made sure we left the workshop with the fundamental knowledge of positioning the subject and much more.

As the shootout progressed, we were shooting less and less and listening more, but we still got a few snaps.

Just as the 2 hour Instructor shootout has ended and we were about to ride our very first Memphis Tram ride, we thought, this is so worth it.  Just seeing these Photographers work is well worth the price of admission.  And we knew, without mentioning it to each other, that there is a lot more in store for us.

During the rotations, we learned more from what we can from videos, books, magazines and years of plain practice.  It is also worth mentioning, that the students engaged in the learning by asking questions, which were answered diligently by the Instructors.  That truly helped us.

The first topic was, Balancing Family Life and The Business.  It was a topic we really looked forward to and Jeff and Melanie Mansfield did an excellent job conveying their experience of having a family and a Studio.

Here's more from the Rotations.

Photos by Mackie

Yes, a posed (soon to be bride or bride) can look beautiful by the dumpster.

Photos by Pat:

There were more opportunities to shoot these amazing models, but we elected to absorb what our Instructors and co-participants had to share, who by the way were all extremely talented.  We felt that Genesis was an experience for life, a 3 day workshop with 38 other students, and a myriad of subjects which was jampacked but not rushed over 40 hours of instruction.

If there was a workshop to go to, this was it.  At the end of it all, and as we drove up to Michigan, we  felt this is just The Genesis.

Update:  On March 20 - 22, 2012 you can experience The Genesis.  Another workshop is in the works and registration is now open.  An added bonus, it will be in VEGAS!  In a mansion, with private chefs, pools, jacuzzis and more, MTV Real World style.  Im not kidding, check it out: