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Learn your Lights Ottawa Photography Workshop Results

Justin Van Leeuwen Portrait Photographer

First workshop taught. Check that off my to do list.

I had a great group of students at Saturday’s “Learn your Lights” Photography workshop at the JVLPopUp studio here in Ottawa. I chose to do a one-day intensive so we could all keep our Sundays as a weekend day and not run into any trouble with our significant others. Sarah, Don, and Correen started their day at the reasonable hour of 10am as I fed them SuzyQ doughnuts and started to talk about light.

Workshop diptych

Ottawa Portrait Photographer Justin Van Leeuwen

I covered some basic principles of light, how it can be hard and soft (heh), how it can be shaped, how we see it, when we see it, and then started to pull out all the gear I’ve accumulated over the years. Desirae served as our tireless model, subjecting herself to blast after blast of speedlight and camera flash through Softboxes, umbrellas, and Softlighters.

Desirae workshop 3

Ottawa Portrait Photographer Justin Van Leeuwen ©2013 JVLphoto.com

An advantage to teaching a workshop in the fall is that you get a chance to head outside and take some night shots. Truth be told, I had planned to have the students work on a sunset photoshoot, but the disadvantage to working in the fall is that wind and cold rain didn’t compel them to stay out for very long. My learn-by-doing approach meant I couldn’t just dictate my methods to them the whole time though, I did force them out in the cold to apply a bit of what they’d learned.

So yeah, I had fun, I think they had fun, I really hope they learned something and I’ll be keeping an eye on their work to see if they apply it practically in the future. If not, I’ll have to crack down on them hard. That said, I’m pretty sure Des had a great time.

Desirae Workshop

Justin Van Leeuwen Ottawa Portrait Photographer ©2013 JVLphoto

It was my first photography workshop, but I don’t think it’ll be my last. I had a fun, though exhausting, time. When I got home I was excited and immediately wrote down things I’d want to change for the next one. I’m really appreciative of the three brave photographers who decided to try me out. After all, I wasn’t a sure thing.

Super special thanks to my corporate sponsors who helped make sure every participant left with some speedlight and flash photography gear - FJ Westcott, ThinkTank Photo, and EnlightPhoto.

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