It’s been a few days since my 3-day class at creativeLIVE wrapped. My intention was to blog about the experience immediately afterwards, but my body was seriously having none of it. Neither was my family ;) 

After catching up on some overdue everything time, I found out that it was a good thing that I didn’t blog right away, as I was able to collect some fabulous behind-the-scene shots and had time to navigate through some of the prizes we have left to give away!

We will be giving away the three following items by selecting comments from this post – we’d mostly love to hear what you thought, what you learned, and some ideas you might have for a future class I am in talks to teach with creativeLIVE. Just comment here, and we’ll select three winners to receive the following prizes:

1. White House Custom Color Gallery Wrap, 24×36″ canvas, with laminate
2. AsukaBook Zen Lay-Flat Hard Cover 8×8 20-sides
3. Triple Scoop Music – $60 Gift Certificate

Other huge thanks-for-supporting goes to Kubota Image ToolsWestcottBorrowLenses.com and Animoto.

ALSO a major hug-thank you to Image Experts Bambi Cantrell and Jerry Ghionis for joining us for Image Critiques!

Okay, so back to the class! One of the most interesting things about working on this production was the sheer amount of time, energy and effort that goes into pulling off one of these master class weekends – there’s about 25 people working behind-the-scenes on the production, in addition to the six who joined us in our live audience, the two who appear on-camera to represent the internet, and the several who navigate all the chat room buzz, off-camera.

This very fun image from Sarah Clemence (& shot by Nikko) represents only a fraction of the crew, albeit a vital fraction:

L to R, with some jumping up and down just to see if you’re paying attention: Craig Swanson, Alison Henrie, Celeste Olds, Nikki McArthur, Sarah Clemence, Jesse Clements, Susan Roderick, Katie Fulton, Jim Catechi, me, Joy Bianchi Brown, Kenna Klosterman, and Chase Jarvis.

The entire experience started with a 7am call time to meet at the creativeLIVE production studio to ferry out to Bainbridge Island. The crew consisted of me, Celeste Olds (the producer), Nikko (the camera operator and video editor), Jacob (camera operator) and Craig Swanson, the co-founder of creativeLIVE.

We met up at a home, graciously supplied by photographer Katie Brase (who shares some cool stories on her blog) and family, and photographed 4 1/2 sessions back to back, filming the entire experience.

Afterwards, during the live class, I was able to play back each session, switching between camera A, camera B, the Straight Out of Camera Shot and the minimally-processed shot (I had very little time to turn around the images). Craig Swanson and I had spent some serious time brainstorming how this could work beforehand and were kinda thrilled to be able to pull that off, simply from a teaching experience.

In addition to the new title image, here are some other photographs from that day:

Whew – and that’s just a quick sampling of all the images. 

If you watched Day One, the detailed walkthrough of these shoots, you got a pretty good idea of what goes on behind the camera – the technical settings, the interaction techniques, the equipment used, and some of the post-processing techniques utilized. You’ll also remember that it was SO COLD and SO RAINY. We were shooting in the high 30’s nearly the entire time and if it looks like there is some haze in a few of the images, it was the sheeting rain that fell between me and my subjects!

Day Two was the Budget Design Challenge. We zipped around a number of stores in Seattle with $250 to find a variety of posing options, props, reflectors, lighting tools, and background considerations and, miraculously, stayed under budget. Here’s an image Celeste shot with her iphone, outside of the first store, flashing all the dollar bills:

We ended up mixing the design challenge in with the shooting, using some of the products we bought and created as background during the lighting/studio setup scenes – then dragging them back out again towards the end of Day 2, to show the full booty we collected ;)

Speaking of studio lighting set up, it ended up being this very instructional experience completely by accident. My job was to teach simple studio lighting, but we raced so quickly into that segment that I was suddenly on air while we were still pulling Westcott gear out of the box.

In addition, I was competing with some rather severe ambient lighting issues in the form of a variety of video lights that were shining on the set, as we were filming the live production. As I walked from light to window to non-existent light to video light, trying to subtract and add where needed so that white seamless would look white (not gray), the experience proved my point better than anything I could come up with: studio lighting can be quite complicated when not set up correctly.

Sidenote: the wonderful, smart, beautiful Joy Bianchi Brown joined me in Seattle as my assistant but was also just such a bright light throughout the entire weekend, as well as a great additional business mind who really helped out on Day 3, The Business of Kids Photography (which ended up being about a lot more than children’s photography). She and I met up early, early Sunday morning to see some of the live rewatch of Day 2 and were completely cracking up about how hilarious the initial lighting section was.

We noted that I did manage to cover how one combats glass glare in harsh lighting more effectively than expected ;)

After we came back from break, we had tracked down all the Westcott lighting gear (thank you so much, Westcott!!) and had killed the studio lights, so I would no longer need to compete with them. I only photographed two subjects, as the rest were photographed by our brave live audience. But my images of Wyatt went straight to the Live Feed, so I don’t have those to share (although you can see them on the Day 2 download.) I did, however, have a rather clean takeaway image of one of our other lovely models, Reilly:to share (although you can see them on the Day 2 download.) I did, however, have a rather clean takeaway image of one of our other lovely models, Reilly:

The rest of the behind-the-scene images of the lighting setup, and a whole bunch more, was captured by a combination of the live audience, the crew, and some internet watchers sending in photos of their screen. There’s a lot more imagery and wonderful storytelling of how much was happening on the following blogs, listed in no particular order… 

(Chat Room Commanders:)
Kenna
Susan

Jesse (live audience and midnight video blogger)
Nikki (live audience, known as the epicdanger ;)
Alison (live audience, mom of – wait for it – five children)
Sarah (live audience, flew 20 hours to battle sickness and dr’s visit and didn’t miss an hour)
Katie (live audience and blog includes fantastic breakdown of creativeLIVE crew)
Joy (“assistant” must be used in quotes because so much more!)

Feel free to rage against Jim Catechi for not having a blog yet. The other option might be to just encourage him to get one going. (live audience and consistent fruit-bringer to the teacher; this teacher totally loved the incoming fresh food with Washington themes :)

Also, if you blogged about the creativeLIVE experience from your point of view, let me know, and I’ll add your section in here…
update – a partial list of blog posts from viewers (will keep adding later, thanks!):

Scott Webb, Pre-Workshop
Scott Webb, Day One
Scott Webb, Day Two
Scott Webb, Day Three
Kim Bauer
The Flickr Group
Anne Buennig
Stephanie Miller
Danielle Larcom
Jessica May
Scrapgeek

This is just as we got started, on The Business of Photography …. notice the completely white whiteboard.

This is where we ended up, an image of filling in the last of the blank space on the whiteboard via the ustream screen …

This exercise was to show how much goes into setting up a photography business – especially one you want to run efficiently, grow well, and continue to build upon over time. The only downfall of the business section was that we honestly could have used 2-3 more days to fully round it out!

Another sidenote – fun images of Wyatt, Craig’s son (while I was showing avoiding glass glare in harsh lighting) and Craig, resting between live feeds. I love how similar their expressions are.

Lastly, we stepped through the Work/Life Balance section of the day which, so darn ironically, got squeezed in at the very end. I was incidentally joined by co-founder Chase Jarvis, who spoke quite candidly about his own experience trying to manage work and life, as well – a spontaneous and meaningful end to the class.

I’m continually struck by how often the most intriguing conversations are also the unplanned ones.

And then, all at once, it was over. We were out of tape and fives days of filming had passed … and I don’t quite know how it all went so fast. 

In the interim, the sheer amount of individuals who watched, purchased downloads, buzzed like crazy on twitter, facebook and via the chat rooms completely astounded me. We ended up crashing three sites that I know about, simply by mentioning them, and we left with way more questions unanswered than I would have preferred.

I have a million people to thank, but mostly I want to show appreciation for the two individuals behind the creation of creativeLIVE

Did I mention that I truly don’t know how it all went so quickly?

Remember – we’ll be choosing three winners based on comments below – looking forward to hearing from you!!!