Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Moonlight in Vermont...

I had the pleasure of spending two days in Vermont at the photography workshop "Studio Success from K to V" with Kevin Kubota of Kubota Image Tools and Jed & Vicki Taufer of V Gallery Haven.

This seminar covered it all from soup to nuts, the goal of the seminar was to provide a frame work for managing a successful photography business starting with capturing the images and ending with marketing, promotion and sales.

By the time the seminar was over the goal was more than met.

If you have a chance to see these folks, either together or separately, you should jump at the opportunity.


I have seen Kevin before (on video), interviewed him, and reviewed several of his products (like here, here, and here) so I was really looking forward to seeing him live over an extended period of time and with the ability to interact (and ask questions as he went through the two days).

My very first impression was that this was not his first rodeo, he was obviously comfortable in front of an audience, he was funny, informative, and connected well with the group. Add to that the wealth of information he brought to the table from getting the shot, processing images to client relationship and studio management and it was pretty darn impressive.

The coolest thing I learned from Kevin (though not the most important) was the time to get the shot of "the kiss" was not when they were actually kissing, but during the "pre" kiss, when their lips where just a fraction of an inch apart.

I can't tell you how many times I've shot people kissing and too often it doesn't look as good as it should, noses bent, lips askew, and one person is always more hidden than the other.

But if you hit the shutter just before their lips meet, it is a much more impressive, emotional picture. Try it and see for yourself.


Kevin shared the stage (and the two days) with Jed & Vicki Taufer, who I had just seen the month before at WPPI on Boston, so I knew exactly what I was in for and looking forward to it.

Vicki is the photographer and Jed is the technology obsessed graphic designer behind the scene.

I swear Vicki can talk for a half hour straight without inhaling, no stuttering or rambling, just information packed purposeful speaking. She knows a great deal and is more than willing to share what she has learned (including mistakes) with you.

When Jed takes the stage, he has a slow and deliberate way of speaking, and is much more low key and laid back compared to Vicki and I know the first time I saw him speak I was wondering what I was about to get. What I got was a wolf in sheep's clothing, the man is brilliant.

It was fun to watch the audience the second time around, it only took them about 2 minutes to sit up, take notice, grab their pens, and start writing feverishly.

Jed's focus is on efficiencies, what I learned from him is that I need to stop doing things that aren't profitable for my studio and if there is something I do more than twice it needs to have an action and a well thought out workflow.

Much of what Vicki and Jed talked about over the two days is part of their "studio in a box" which I am fortunate to have and will be reviewing on the blog next week.

It is the most complete package of information for running a studio I have put my hands on, and though it is one of the most expensive items I have reviewed I'll share why you should elbow your way to the front of the line to buy yourself a copy. So be sure to come back next week for that.

So to summarize, it was the kind of seminar that you left with a notebook full of ideas and a head bulging with knowledge.

The following quick video will hopefully give you a little taste of what transpired during "Studio Success from K to V" seminar.


1 comment:

james said...

love this blog. can't believe ive never commented before. some of this photographs are absolutely breathtaking and the tips are great. i fancy myself an amateur photographer, though i have a long way to go before i reach this level. this article also has some great tips that did me a lot of good.
/www.life123.com/hobbies/photography/great-photographs/seven-photography-tips-for-the-artistically-challe.shtml