Shooting & Learning This Past Weekend In Los Angeles


Remember week before last, when I said there was a workshop coming up in California on how to shoot home interiors, and do you remember how I said I’d really like to take that class? Well, this weekend, I flew to LA and took it (along with my buddy Matt Kloskowski).

On Friday Matt and I spent the day with our buddy Marv, and then we spent the afternoon at Warner Brothers Studios on the set of NBC’s Chuck, where we hung out with our buddy, (the show’s photographer), NAPP member Mike Kubeisy. After we left the studio, we headed down to Venice Beach for our own three-man photowalk until the sun went down.

Saturday morning we were up early for the workshop, which was conducted in two brand new, beautiful, fully-furnished, professionally decorated homes in Santa Clarita (about 1 hr. outside LA), and the instructors (well known interior and architectural photographers Thomas Grubba, and Scott Hargis), were just absolutely terrific.

There were 20 students in the class, including Matt and Myself, and in the morning they talked about camera and flash techniques (they use Nikon SB-800 wireless flashes), and then we broke into groups (10 to a house—five people shooting upstairs in groups of two, and five downstairs in each house), and they showed us exactly how they’d light each room.

After spending the first part of the morning arming the class with interior shooting techniques, they cut us loose to actually start lighting the rooms from scratch. Once you got a room lit, and got the flow going, one of the instructors would come in, see how you’re doing, help you tweak your set-up, critique your shots, and generally make sure you’re “getting it.”

They had a catered lunch served in one of the houses, and after lunch when Matt and I were switching houses (you shoot in both houses during the workshop), we both commented that we had already gotten our money’s worth. After reflecting later in the day, we agreed that we had gotten our money’s worth in the first hour. It was that good.

Thomas and Scott are the real deal—guys who are out there doing this for a living day in and day out, yet, they openly shared everything from techniques, to business advice, and they were friendly, engaged, and very attentive to their students questions the whole day (they worked us hard—we were all beat by the end of the day).

If you’re into this type of shooting, I highly recommend their workshop (it’s honestly under priced for what you get, at $225). Here’s where to find out more about their workshops, and their flickr group. Thanks Thomas and Scott for producing such a first-class workshop. We had a blast! :-)

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