February 06, 2010

The OneLight Workshop

I had the chance to attend the OneLight workshop with Zack Arias's this past Thursday. It was a great learning experience. I typically am a natural light photographer and while I learned lighting in college, I rarely use it. Zack explains everything as simple as possible and shows you how it's done.

On Wednesday night there was a mixer open to the local photography community that I attended. It was great to me some other local photographers who were not participating in the workshop. We got the chance to talk with Zack and also learn a little more about his background.

Thursday's workshop started at 9:30 am and went past midnight! But, we all knew we were looking at a long day before we even started. The first half of the day Zack shared his knowledge, reviewed the basics of lighting with off camera flash and gave us suggestions for the gear to get the job done. The best part, Zack is totally into staying out of debt and has come up with extremely inexpensive options for working with off camera flash. Later in the afternoon we broke into 3 small groups and worked with our models to see what different types of looks we could achieve with our one light setup. God bless our models, we made our way outside into the Ohio cold as the sun was setting to work more with the one light setup. Once back inside, Zack reviewed any problems we were having and broke it down even further for us.

If you've thought about using off camera flash or working with one light and you haven't in the past, this class is a must. If you're like me and you know about lighting, but you just aren't sure how to use it when you're photographing on location, it's a must for you too. There was a variety of photographers at this workshop - about half wedding and the other half portrait. The skill levels and knowledge varied a bit from photographer to photographer. I think most of the class was extremely pleased with what they learned. The class was $800 and I thought it was worth every penny I paid. Just keep in mind that this isn't going to answer all your lighting questions and I know I have to continue to work on my off camera flash lighting to make it work best for my clients and their needs. But OneLight has been a great springboard for me to push myself into a different aspect of working with light and continuing my education!

February 02, 2010

Always Great Customer Service at Portfoliositez!

I love, love, love the gang at Portfoliositez.com! I just upgraded to their new Jackson template and it's so cool!! There are so many advanced settings I haven't even gotten into half of them! I have to admit, I was getting pretty bored with my previous template, Dorthea. It worked, did it's job but I needed some freshening up on my site. I have been following Portfoliositez on Twitter and saw before the holidays that they were planning on a few new templates after the first of the year. The day Jackson was released, I signed up!

These guys are great. I purchased the upgrade on Friday and they had it posted to my site by Tuesday. I hit a few snags, probably more user error than anything else, and my support tickets were answered within 24 hrs (even on the weekend I got answers!). Every problem I had they had a solution or they checked and made the back-end fix for me. So in just over a week I was able to go live with the new site. It would have been quicker, but I was dragging my feet on re-sizing images for the galleries.

Some things I love about this new template - bigger photos!!! My last template the photos were what seemed like half the size of the new template. Plus this template re sizes based on the width of the viewer's monitor. So if they've got a giant screen - it fits, if they have a tiny laptop, it fits! You can directly link to each page in the flash website - which is fantastic if I'm blogging about something and what to direct my readers directly to that gallery! There is also a video option which I haven't had the chance to use yet. They also include a shopping cart, but since I already use PhotoCart and I'm happy with it, I can't give you details on the cart. With all the updated features and options I'm also hoping that the Jackson template will improve my SEO as well.

I HIGHLY suggest Portfoliositez for website templates. In the over two years I've been with them and the three template changes I've never had any problems and their CS is top notch! Be sure to check them out, they will be releasing more new templates in the next few weeks. Best part, when you become a customer, it's very inexpensive to change templates if a new one comes out that you love more than your current!!

Full Disclosure: commission on sale via my link.