February 14, 2017

Joshua Tree |Heck Yeah Photo Camp | 2016

This past summer I headed out west for a week to visit one of my best friends in Portland and to also attend the Heck Yeah Photo Camp located in California at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center . The camp  is hosted by Ben Sasso with a group of other amazingly talented photographers who spoke, led guided shoots and answered a million questions. The days were literally jam packed with so much incredible advice, knowledge & friendliness. (oh and killer food).  There were so many photographers there that I respect and have so much admiration for. Getting the opportunity to get to know them and learn from them was pretty awesome. The photos below are a mix of some landscape stuff,  some friends I made at camp (hi maria!), some beautiful styled shoots as well as a few of the instructors. Looking back a few of the talks that stuck with me most were given by Jose Villa, Ben Sasso, Ed Peers & Ryan Muirhead. They covered the entire gamut and each talk was super different. They spoke  about everything from personal experiences, weddings, branding, posing, editorial work, getting published, and the importance of making  personal work.  During the styled shoots we shot alongside the instructors. It was cool being able to watch their diffrent approaches to shooting couples. These live shoots were beautifully styled and some of the instructors even jumped in as models themselves to let us get more experience instructing/prompting and posing. In addition to an abundance of really great photography education I also made a few new great friends. I’m really excited to finally share some of these images with everyone. I had never spent any time in the desert before. Coming from lush green, mossy Charleston the landscape literally couldn’t be more opposite which was a welcomed refreshing change. All in all I would definitely recommend Heck Yeah Photo Camp to anyone interested. Most days were spent in the retreat center’s auditorium (and out of the August heat) For me, the lecture style setup of the camp was great and how I personally learn best. I have to say that It far exceeded my expectations and I’m very thankful I got the opportunity to go. I feel like I learned so much about technique, business, posing etc. but even more importantly I left feeling far more confident and comfortable in my own shooting style than when I arrived. Being able to listen and shadow these very talented and successful photographers and  drawing many parallels between the way I already shoot, easing people up in front of the camera, lens selection and other things was really affirming. I definitely left camp very inspired and hungry to move forward both with creating beautiful authentic work & with a fresh perspective on business. A huge thanks to Riverland Studios for sponsoring me to go to the workshop!

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