Kirsten and Jenna’s workshop was an amazing experience. The environment they created was a safe and fun space to share our lives, what led us to family photography and what we wanted to get out of the experience. It was structured enough where we had set goals for the day but flexible enough to allow for what the students needed it to be. It also worked for people that were at all different levels and timelines in their craft and/or business. Everyone was critiqued for the level they were on, from a true beginner like myself to more established photographers, and all were given next steps to take their particular work forward.
Kirsten and Jenna’s nurturing, but still honest, spirits encouraged us to be there for each other as peers.
(Greg and Tristan, being photographers themselves, were just as generous with their time to share their expertise.) I’d say it was a once in a lifetime experience but the knowledge gained and friendships made continue long after the workshop is over.
Christine Aguirre Sanchez
Jenna and Kirsten’s workshop was incredible. They really know how to create a comfortable learning environment — felt like it was three days of just hanging out with Jenna and Kirsten while they discussed photography. They are incredible women – not only are they insanely talented, but they really know how to present their material in a clear, simple manner that has a way of really sticking in your mind.
They are so kind and disarming, and are great about encouraging their students to freely ask questions and participate in discussions.
I saw my photography work improve exponentially after the workshop. And did I mention how funny they are? Be prepared to laugh A LOT! I am definitely not done learning from them, and will absolutely signup for another workshop with them in the future!
This past summer I was fortunate enough to attend a photo retreat in Denver with the wonderful Jenna Shouldice and Kirsten Lewis. I had heard of Kirsten and Jenna via Kirsten’s first appearance on Creative Live which I watched in December of 2014. These 2 ladies sparked my passion for Documentary Family photography. As I was trying to put some of Kirsten’s lessons into practice I noticed via twitter an add for a photo retreat with her and Jenna and immediately began to make arrangements to go and learn from my photography idols. Well, this retreat did NOT disappoint. not only did I get to meet Jenna and Kirsten and their wonderful photographer husbands who took amazing care shuttling us and feeding us (thanks Tristan and Greg!) but I also got to meet a small group of peers from different parts of the North America. It was such a treat to be able to see everyone’s take on documentary photography and to be able to learn and grow together. At first, I’ll admit I was completely intimidated by the talent I was surrounded by, but, once I opened myself up to critique and attempted to put some personal space between me and my favourite images, which as an artist is often difficult, I was able to push myself to be a better photographer. Kirsten and Jenna are AWESOME at critiquing, they did not diminish my work but they certainly did not tell me everything was amazing! (I mean if you’re looking for somewhere to go where all you get is praise, this might not be the place for you). They took the time to look over every image we submitted and offer us up extremely constructive criticism.
I don’t think I can put into words how helpful this retreat was, in fact, I didn’t, I put it into my work and came back stronger, more focused and with a clearer sense of purpose.
To this day I can edit and cull much faster, and am constantly looking at shoots I’ve done and learning what I could improve on for next time. I feel like I have both of their voices stuck in my head….and that’s a good thing! I am still a work in progress but the lessons I learned and the bonds I formed in those 3 days was priceless and ultimately made me a better and stronger story teller/photographer.
It was late at night and I was being a responsable person (for a change) paying my credit card on time and IN FULL! (so rare of me). Then I decide to open FB, and there it was. Workshop with Kirsten & Jenna. “Crap” I thought to myself. “I will spend the money I just paid 2 seconds ago”.
I remember my mom’s voice in my head saying “never regret using your credit cards on books and workshops”
And my mom was SO RIGHT.
I flew to Colorado in July not only to change my way of shooting but to meet the most incredible group of people. Kirsten, Jenna, Greg and Tristan are the most amazing and talented group of people I have met.
The entire workshop was a combination of hanging with friends and getting a ton of information.
We learn about composition, light, dealing with clients, review portfolios, day in the life, births, pricing, technical stuff such as back focusing and other camera related aspects.
My conclusion on those days: Amazing, worth every single penny and more.
What I would like to emphasis more than the workshop itself. It’s what happened after. Once I got back home.
I changed my entire website and portfolio
My clients even wrote me saying how much they liked the site, saying I was becoming an artist more than just a photographer.
I started showing what I wanted to shoot
So I got more calls for days in the life and less baby in a basket (which there is nothing wrong with it, just not my style) I guess that is a big point I FEEL I BECAME MORE OF MYSELF AS A PHOTOGRAPHER. My images express more who I am since the workshop.
I shot births….. and cry in every single one of them
I experience the most amazing thing ever BIRTH photography. And suddenly the power of the camera became even a more powerful tool I could ever imagine.
I raised my prices and got even more bookings
I am still pretty dumb regarding prices, but that is not because of the class. Just my human nature doesn’t get numbers unless they are in shutter speeds, apertures or ISO. I still have lots to learn, but I raised my prices once I got home and booked even more gigs since the workshop.
I tend to think my work is not good enough. I came back feeling better about myself and my work. Even after critique I felt all the thing they were saying were just making me a better photographer.
The feeling of wanting to grow
I got a list of new photographer to follow and get inspired.
Sense of community in the photography industry
Kirsten and Jenna shared everything they know without hesitate. They really want us to succeed. And seeing their portfolio was not only educational but inspiring.
Made me remember the importance of finding your own time and projects beside work. Shoot for fun, The importance of shooting for yourself, I started an entire new website with my travel images. I am really enjoying it. A documentary approach to traveling.
I made friends, Kirsten and Jenna created an environment where everyone felt at home from the moment we stepped into the house. And I think is because of that we were all able to share personal experiences and became friends in only 2 days 😃