A funny thing happened overnight when photography evolved from film to digital.
Besides the obvious photography businesses popping up everywhere you look, now, those who used to do it professionally find they have a new revenue stream: teaching other photographers.
It’s great for the established ones who know their craft.
Small Flash Lighting workshop
A sampling of images taken by Peter Phun and students during the actual Small Flash lighting workshop.
Photo by workshop participant Javier Mercado[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0056.jpg]1680©Martin Sesuca
©www.peter phun.com/blog[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_img_0272.jpg]1580©Jina Jani
Photo by workshop participant Jina Jani[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_dsc0345.jpg]1550©Martin Sesuca
[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_mg_0793-edit.jpg]1460©www.peter phun.com/blog
Caitin lit by one Speedlite on the left and window light on the right[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_dsc0181.jpg]1420©Martin Sesuca
©www.peter phun.com/blog[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_dsc0189.jpg]1360©Martin Sesuca
©www.peter phun.com/blog[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_mg_0824.jpg]1320©www.peter phun.com/blog
©www.peter phun.com/blog[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_7836e-3.jpg]1310©Alan Sponholz
Photo by workshop participant Alan Sponholz[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_peterclassoutside001b.jpg]1300©Rigo Peña Photography
©peter phun[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_img_0674-edit.jpg]1210©www.peter phun.com/blog
Lindsey lit by one Speedlite (behind her and to the right) and one reflector on the left[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_img_2448.jpg]1180©peter phun
©www.peter phun.com/blog[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_mg_3447-edit.jpg]1140©www.peter phun.com/blog
Lizelle lit by one Speedlite behind her and one reflector on left.[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_img_0066.jpg]1020©www.peter phun.com/blog
[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_img_0087.jpg]1080©Greg Matthews
Photo by workshop participant Greg Matthews.[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_dsc1556.jpg]1030©Martin Sesuca
©www.peter phun.com/blog[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_mg_3477.jpg]1070©www.peter phun.com/blog
Colleen lit by one Speedlite in homemade beauty dish and one reflector[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_mg_3476.jpg]1020©www.peter phun.com/blog
[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_mg_9976.jpg]1010©peter phun
[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_dsc_0302.jpg]1010©Marco Rodriguez
Photo by workshop participant Marco Rodriguez. Lizelle was lit by one Speedlight behind her and window light on the right.Speedlight was off-camera on a long cord behind her.[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_mg_9539.jpg]960©peter phun
Samantha lit by one Speedlite shot into umbrella.[img src=http://peterphun.com/blog/wp-content/flagallery/small-flash-lighting-workshop/thumbs/thumbs_mg_0118.jpg]940©peter phun
Samantha lit by one Speedlite and lens was zoomed during the long exposure.
Not so good for those eager to learn because there are a lot of ‘hacks’ out there.
It’s tough for the newbie to sort through the ones who are hawking their gear and those who are actually teaching and sharing technique.
Because photo gear is so expensive once you get to the level of wanting more control and learning to light, it’s important that everyone takes at least an overview type lighting class.
That way, you can educate yourself on what gear to buy.
Beginners seeking out workshops need to realize it’s a business and those who are good at marketing tend to draw the biggest crowds but they aren’t necessarily the best bang for their buck.
Sadly, many of these so-called gurus like Jasmine Star and Doug Gordon may not be as skilled as they portray themselves to be.
I don’t know or follow Jasmine Starr or Doug Gordon.
And I don’t know of their work.
But what I do know is that they have been caught plagiarizing content from other photographers.
More importantly even when caught, they didn’t exactly come clean.
Their supporters who blindly follow despite these revelations point out that the haters are just jealous of their enormous success.
There are some very worthwhile experts like Joe McNally whose background and credentials are proven.
Even though Joe McNally is sponsored by quite a few photo gear manufacturers, when asked what ‘brand’ the reflector his assistant was using, I could sense in the pause before he answered he was thinking, “Pay attention to the technique, not the gear.”
Joe doesn’t need the likes of the super marketing machinery like the Wedding Portrait Photographers International (WPPI). There are tendencies for any organization once they get a certain size to not do anything self-destructive like remove guest speakers of questionable integrity.
On a personal note, now that I find myself teaching more, aren’t you at all curious why I do it?
Besides the obvious, like you, I have bills to pay.
There is an ulterior motive.
By teaching, I’m actually becoming a better photographer.
I have to break down my technique almost one-step-at-a-time so that I can explain the rationale behind the approach.