I'm always striving to learn more about photography and improve my skills. This year one of my goals was to attend a workshop. With so many opportunities out there, I decided I wanted to focus on studio lighting. This past weekend I spent a day with Andreas Romijn, a dutch photographer, whose work is superb. I've been following him for a while and when I learned he was coming to Chicago to teach, I knew I needed to go.
Early in my photography journey, I swore up and down I would never shoot in any condition except natural light outdoors. But as time goes by and I see how much you can do with strobes, I'm finding myself using off-camera flash, or OCF for short, more and more. Lighting is tricky to learn in the beginning, but once you grasp general principles it gets easier. These days I have a dream of owning a home where I can set up a studio on my property. I'll never stop shooting outdoors in natural light, but I definitely want to integrate studio sessions into my business.
Andreas' style is pretty much the opposite of what I usually shoot. Dark backdrops, black dogs and dramatic lighting. Yet, I love it! I tend to lean toward light, bright images, with a pop of color. He showed us how he lights his dogs and different ways to use a number of strobes. Then he let us shoot and see this for ourselves. As artists, most of us tend to learn better visually, so this was the perfect way for us to grasp it. He was very involved answering our questions and encouraging us to make decisions on where to place the lights and what settings to use on our camera. I prefer this teaching method over the photographer who sets up the shot, explains why and then lets his students take a photo so they can go home with that "perfect" shot. No one ever learned how to be the best at their craft in just one attempt.
I came away learning more than I dreamed I would and can't wait to start practicing on my own. Here are a few shots I captured that day.