July 1, 2015

Roberto Valenzuela’s Picture Perfect Posing Workshop | Seattle, Washington

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After taking Cliff Mautner’s Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp last year, I knew that I would not easily find a workshop that moved me, pushed me and made me see things in a completely different light (literally) like his did.  I won’t go into what his workshop is all about on this post – you can see my review here (READ IT!).
The next natural step for me was posing.  I had the skills to find and use great light to my advantage, but kinda froze in the posing department and found myself using the same poses over and over.  Enter Roberto Valenzuela, an instructor, author and wedding photographer.  He literally wrote the book on posing “Picture Perfect Posing“…which I pre-ordered after reading his first book “Picture Perfect Practice“.  The book is fantastic, but nothing beats live instruction – so off to Seattle I went to attend a stop on his workshop tour!  And, lucky me! two girls I met during Cliff’s workshop last year decided to join me!
My favourite things about this workshop:
1. We were divided into groups according to our skill level.  This made a huge difference.  Those at the same level are speaking the same language, on the same page, and all are learning at the level that they need to be.  No one is quietly scratching their head, afraid to speak up because some members of the group are more advanced, and the advanced group aren’t spending more of their time helping beginners with camera settings than learning the material.
2. There was A LOT of time for hands-on practice!  Roberto is known for saying it’s not talent, but hard work.  So very true.  Practice, practice, practice and practice some more, makes perfect.
3. We were challenged.  Anything that comes easy is sometimes not worth having, is it?  Roberto’s friend, Collin Pierson helped him monitor the groups, interrupted when needed, made you explain out loud why you wanted that arm there or hand here, or tell them what look you were going for and how to achieve it.  “Because it looks good?” was not a valid response.
4. It made the book make sense for me.  If you own a camera, and you’re passionate about making great pictures, most likely you learn hands-on, like me.  There is no doubt in my mind that the book could ever replace the two days spent learning from the man, himself.
5. I met some amazing photographers and shared a lot of laughs (Roberto is hilarious, btw).  Our team was a team; we helped each other, tweaked each other’s poses, added interesting elements and removed distractions for each other, and looked to each other for input and support.
I’m so happy with my decision to go, I feel like a whole other level is coming with practice.  I highly recommend any workshop that brings your work to another level, whatever your profession.
Since this was a “posing” workshop, I do feel compelled to mention who created the pose.  Unless noted underneath the photo, the pose was mine.

 

Collaborative effort between my friend Janie and I.

 

 Collaborative effort between my friend Janie and I.
This was Janie’s pose, with a few minor suggestions from me.
This pose was all Roberto!

 

 This was all my friend, Jenn!  I love it!

 

 Oh Hans!  You’re such a poser 😛
 Not my pose, at all.  I was creeping another group and saw this delicious light.  I couldn’t resist!

 

Some behind the scenes fun!
A little behind the scenes action of last photo.  Heidi is working some magic with these two beautiful people!

My two beautiful friends and I loved Seattle.  We made the most of the time we had to see the city, but of course, we spent time practicing on each other as we walked the streets!

The “Cliff Mautner Girls” will become the “Cliff Mautner Team” next year with 9 of us attending a workshop together in North Carolina!  I can hardly wait to see everyone and learn with them…it’s going to be an intense one!

Read about my experience at the Cliff Mautner workshop here:  https://blog.chrystalstringerphotography.com/2014/08/cliff-mautner-wedding-photography_21/

Learn my about Chrystal

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