So I saw Justin & Mary at Creative at Heart Round 2 in Virginia a few months ago. I have been following them for awhile, always reading the latest on their blog, and watching some Walk Through A Wedding youtube videos on lighting. When I saw Mary that day at Creative at Heart across the room, I surprisingly had an internal fan girl moment. After listening to her photography talk that day, I was just so in love with her passion, wisdom, and word-smithery.
I have been wanting to increase my knowledge of off camera lighting. For all you non photography people, translation: the lighting stuff we setup externally, off of our cameras, on lightstands somewhere.
I didn’t go to college to be a photographer so Justin & Mary are how I become educated on topics like these!
The Lighting Intensive was just what I needed. Off camera lighting is an overwhelming topic. There is so much equipment out there, so many types of modifiers, and so many opinions. Justin & Mary gave us the down and dirty, applicable lighting info with the WHY behind how it works, why it works, and how to achieve YOUR natural light style. It was the perfect amount of education balanced with application. I loved that they explained the reasoning and a bit of the technicalities of light, lighting setups, and how it works because I’m the type of person that needs to understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. I don’t do well with “just do it this way because it works, go!”
So here are 5 reasons why YOU, as a photographer, should do the ligthing intensive too!
1. It’s practical. As I mentioned before, The Lighting Intensive is the perfect amount of technical education mixed with application! Justin and Mary not only explain the important of light angles, the type of angles, different types of modifiers, how they’re used, etc but they make you DO it. They look at the back of your camera, they answer your questions, and give you suggestions on how to improve it. I learn so much better by doing. So this was perfect for me. They really put you on the spot (in a good way) to actively figure it out with your own two hands while you have them in the room to ask questions.
2. Justin & Mary are awesome. What else do I need to say? They’re down to earth, pros at their craft, and dedicated to creating authentic, timeless looking images. They’re great teachers and they WANT you to get it. No question is too small. They will surely inspire you to become a better photographer.
3. It’s the first step to emulating your natural light style with artificial light. Isn’t that what we all want?! And in order to get there, you have to just start. The Lighting Intensive made me realize that I don’t need a huge studio or a high fashion photographer education to achieve the look I want in less than ideal lighting conditions. It IS possible to achieve your same natural light photography style when paired with the right lighting equipment, a lot of practice, and the right education.
4. You CAN be prepared for anything! Pitch black church? Wood walls with a green ceiling? Church nursery getting ready room? That getting ready room with no windows? Or just the room with an awful color cast? Having knowledge of the right gear and how to use it can get you through it!
5. Good reminder. I’m not shooting weddings to trend on Pinterest, be featured in this or that publication, or brag about all the places I’ve travelled to shoot weddings. I’m doing this to serve couples on one of the most intimate, biggest days of their marriage! To craft images and save moments that will capture them at their happiest and most in love for the days that they don’t feel that way and the times are hard. As Justin & Mary reminded us, it’s important to stay grounded on “the why” behind your business – whatever YOUR WHY is. This business is a crazy, oversaturated, rat race industry. However, it can also be a community filled, giving, fulfilling, super satisfying one, too. It’s how you choose to conduct yourself, your business, the “why” behind your business, and how you treat your clients.
Honorary #6 – meeting with so many other local photographers and making lovely friends! I was able to sit with one of my lovely brides to be, Miss Sarah Brookhart, see Caroline Logan in bride form (oh when it’s her REAL turn to be a bride, wew), and see some gals I follow on social media in the flesh! Shout out to Ashley Elizabeth Photography, Kelsey Renee Photography, Brittney Kreider Photography, and Olivia Rae Photography :)
If you have any questions, doubts, or want to improve your knowledge on off camera lighting and lighting in general, go see Justin & Mary.
I took a stab at using some off camera stuff for about 3 minutes at close to 10PM. There’s hope friends!