In May, I flew to New York to attend a Lara Jade Photography Workshop. The workshop consisted of two days at a Brooklyn studio with Lara Jade and a professional creative team consisting of two models, a makeup artist, hair stylist, wardrobe stylist, and technical assistant. Day one was all about the photo shoot itself; styling, posing the models, lighting setups, etc. Day two was about portfolio review, the business aspect of fashion photography, marketing, and retouching.
Day One: I'm not at all a shy person, but I can be a bit awkward when meeting new people, especially in situations where I am meeting someone I have looked up to since I began photography. I met a few people in the elevator and as we rode up in silence someone broke the awkwardness by asking if we were all a part of Lara's workshop and from there on we dubbed ourselves the "elevator crew".
Upon entering the studio, Lara was mingling with other students and answering questions, while an array of breakfast foods were laid out. Lara greeted each and every person that entered the room and spoke with each of us, which was such a warm and welcoming thing to do. We got a chance to chat with the other students over breakfast and take a look around the studio, while hair and makeup was being done on the models.
After breakfast, Lara began an introduction seminar on her background in photography, how she began, and how she got to where she is now in the industry. It was great to hear that she started out like many of us students. We went over different lighting setups and types of lighting for different effects and then broke for lunch (which was absolutely delicious!) When lunch finished, Lara demonstrated shooting with the models in two different lighting setups and then let us get some shots.
Both models were lovely to work with and I had a great time getting some incredible shots. They were dressed in elegant dresses that the Stylist, Mimi pulled. I loved that I got the chance to be creative with the models and direct them on my own; not that they needed much direction. After shooting, we chatted a bit more with Lara as a group and called it a wrap on Day one.
Day Two: Now that I had made friends, we met up before the call time at the studio to walk together in the rain. Again, breakfast was fantastic and since day two was a lot about editing, we set up out laptops and pulled up the ONE photo from day one we were instructed to choose to retouch. The day began with portfolio review, which was much less awkward and scary than I thought. Lara was very kind about her critiques, but not overly kind that you would think she just didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. She gave great advice on improvements.
Later, we moved onto the longest seminar of the workshop; business and marketing. Lara gave a great insight into what goes on in the world of fashion photography from marketing yourself on social media, to pricing estimates for large clients, to licensing photos. This section was extremely helpful, and I think I filled up eight or nine pages of a small notebook!
We ended the day with retouching. Lara began by showing us some before and afters of her retouched and not retouched photos, which was so great to see! A lot of my photos look good, but could be great with a good retouch and the demonstration definitely helped me understand it. Lara gives a great retouching seminar and taught us so many new techniques for skin retouching and color toning of an image.
Finally, it was the end of day two, and none of us wanted to leave. Lara took a bunch of selfies with me and my group of friends and I pulled out boomerang and got everyone involved. The wrap dinner was at eight pm at a local Brooklyn restaurant, where we all got a chance to talk and enjoy new friend's company one last time. Lara stayed well after she finished her dinner to make sure she had the chance to talk to everyone there, which was so sweet.
I highly recommend attending a Lara Jade workshop if you ever get the chance to. Meeting people with a similar passion and drive is amazing and I still talk with friends from the workshop. I even have plans to meet up with someone this summer to collaborate on a photo shoot! Lara is so sweet and really cares to share her knowledge of the fashion world with her students, the models and creative team were informative and did an outstanding job. Overall, I left the wrap dinner on day two with so many new ideas and techniques to improve on. It was well worth the time and the trip, and not to mention the two free days in New York City I had! 5/5 Stars