On Top of the World at PhotoKamp 2


Last month we held our second PhotoKamp in Los Angeles. Students flew in from all over the US—including 2 graduates from PhotoKamp I—and from as far as the UK this year, which was both awesome and flattering. The three-day photography workshop is designed to teach up-and-coming photographers how to handle professional photography and lighting equipment, direct models to desired results, and light subjects in difficult situations.


On Friday evening, I took the photographers atop a downtown skyscraper, where they captured the LA skyline from sunset to night, and the results were incredible—especially in an era where even consumer-level cameras feature respectable sensor sizes, robust ISO latitude, and long-exposure capabilities. After the rooftop shoot, we headed indoors to a warmer meeting area where my amazing team arranged dinner during an informal Q&A session between me and the students.


On Saturday, we met at SlickforceStudio for an in-depth lesson in professional grip and lighting equipment. We also discussed budget-friendly options, which allow for amazing lighting setups at under $100. It’s always fun to see the wheels turning in the students heads as they learn about new equipment and contemplate exciting lighting setups based on their newfound knowledge. Each student then rotated between the positions of photographer, camera assistant/tech, lighting assistant, and fan operator (always the most fun.) Two models posed for the photographers, allowing for each student to have two full hours per day as photographer, in charge of the entire set. They chose the models’ wardrobe, directed their team and the hair & make-up crew, experimented with lighting, and built sets.


On Sunday, we awoke early and carpooled to Ultimate Graveyard in the Mojave desert. Two new models joined us, and while they were in hair and make-up, I showed the photographers solutions for dealing with harsh sunlight and extreme contrast, as well as safetying equipment in high-wind environments and using generators on location. Everyone always has so much fun out in the desert, and there is nothing better than seeing new photographers get excited about cool locations, as I have since the first day I picked up a camera.


For more info and upcoming dates, visit the PhotoKamp site!


Special thanks to Kevin Savarese for coordinating the weekend, the SlickforceStudio staff and amazing interns for their support, and to Joyce Park & Derek Eskridge for these fantastic images!