So, this week I got the chance to go to Sam Hurd's Epic Workshop in Charleston, SC. Saying this workshop is epic is a bit of an understatement. I learned a whole lot. One thing I already knew, but was re-enforced was that I need to start blogging. SO, here we go....
I had followed Sam's work for a while, and leading up to the workshop, I had gotten several emails telling me what we would be going over and such, so I kinda knew what to expect. I knew I would be getting an insight into the workings of a truly amazing photographer, and would be learning how he pulls of some of his magic shots. What I didn't realize is that Sam would be such a great person and wonderful teacher.
It was clear right from the start that Sam was a positive person. As we settled in, and he began his presentation, it was obvious that he really cared about what he is doing. We went over more than just some camera tricks. Honestly, when I saw the itinerary, and saw that a lot of the techniques were later in the day, I thought I was going to be itching to get past all of the "intro" and business stuff. Nope. Just as honest and forthcoming as Sam is with his techniques, and style, he is with his approach to business, social media, client interaction, and much more.
It was really refreshing to hear Sam speak honestly. One thing that always worried me about the world of wedding photography is that every time you talk to a wedding photographer, the conversation always drifts towards the "Bridezillas" or the nightmare clients. Sam relieved my worries here. He explained how he vets his clients, so they really know what to expect, and hence rarely ends up in situations like that. But beyond that, he showed that his positive attitude and approach can contribute greatly towards your success. At some point in the workshop, Sam quoted the Walking Dead, saying "smooth seas don't make good sailors." Well, that kinda summed up his approach toward this type of thing. Get the job done, and you will be better for it. He never once talked bad about his clients. He may have poked a little fun, but it was in the way that you would with a friend....Sam had made friends with these people, not just taken their pictures, and I think that is part of why his photographs are so magical.
So, yeah...We went on to learn a lot. We went out and shot, and watched him show off some of his techniques, which was obviously great. Some of the things I learned...
- Sam turned down a job at NASA so he could follow his calling of becoming an amazing photographer.
- Using live view is tremendously helpful, especially when doing some of his techniques.
- Charleston has some amazing food. The scallop appetizer with leeks, peaches and mushrooms from The Macintosh, was the best thing I have eaten in a long time.
- Exposing for the highlights is a wonderful thing. All of those times that I felt like I really liked the post Lightroom product of a shot that came out of the camera "underexposed"....I should have trusted myself. That is pretty much how Sam shoots, and the results are obviously amazing.
- Smart Previews and Standard-Sized previews in Lightroom can make a HUGE difference in my editing process.
- Sam has a lot of amazing gear, but that is not what makes Sam and his pictures awesome.
- Traveling light can be a great thing.
- Sam is in a band. Ironically, the name of the band is Prisms. They just released an album today. I look forward to checking it out.
- Sam has some great stories. My favorite was him trying to direct George Clooney in front of the camera.
- I was all well worth it. If you are considering attending one of his workshops, don't hesitate. FOLLOW THE HURD!! (Credit to Tyler MacKenzie for the catch phrase...we need to make the shirts!)
The list goes on, but I will leave it at that, and get to some of the pictures that I took on the walk around. I processed these using some of the Lightroom techniques that we discussed during the workshop....