DLS has officially moved!

Dirty Little Secrets is VERY excited to announce that we will be offering our workshops at Edmonton's only studio designed by and for anyone, including YOU! www.The PhotographerStudio.ca is currently under renovations, but will be ready on January 8th to host the first workshop in the series!!!

The Photographer Studio is located in West Central Edmonton with quick access from the Henday, Whitemud, and Yellowhead, and great access to public transit routes at the Jasper Place bus terminal. This 2nd floor loft features natural and studio lighting, professional backdrops and lighting equipment, and LOTS of free parking! (Who doesn't appreciate free parking, right?)

Only 4 spots remain for the 2012 series - get your deposit in quickly to reserve your spot NOW!!! Call us at 780.800.5530 ext 0 for more information!

NEW and IMPROVED Business End of Things

Hello, my pretties! After a rather intense market survey conducted in the last 2 weeks, a few things have come to my attention regarding where I need to BEEF IT UP for your benefit. As a result, I have employed the expertise of a marketing consultant (really, he does it 24/7 - insane!) and have been chatting it up with my new friend at the City of Edmonton to equip you with some KILLER tools during the Business End of Things workshop. I hope y'all are ready to rock out in January 2012!!!

2012 DLS workshop dates

Yes, folks, you heard right - it appears Dirty Little Secrets (about photography) will be starting in January of 2012!

Before you sign up, it's important to understand that these workshops are progressive and intended to build up your skills and style over the duration of the series along with supplementary online exercises, gatherings, and more. (Don't worry - we have so much fun you won't care that what you're learning is supposed to be boring and dry...) While there is occasionally limited space to sign up for just one or two classes that you are interested in, it may not be possible to answer all of your questions if your skills are not at the level of those who have participated in the entire series. In that same token, even though you aren't graded and there is no pass or fail at the end of it all, missing workshops and skipping the online exercises will be detrimental to your progress and will interfere with your ability to keep up with the course content. (I promise, the exercises are limited to 20 or so minutes out of your week - easy peasy!) The DLS workshops are also intended to gear you up for starting a viable photography business photographing people - while there are components of the classes that cover the basics of all styles of photography, I cannot accommodate those specifically interested in specializing in landscape, architectural, macro, stock, etc. photography as I only teach what I know and love best - how to shoot people. :)

The cost of the main workshop series is $500, tax not included, with the option of adding on the Wedding Workshop in June for $125. A $250 non-refundable deposit is due upon registration, with the balance due on or before December 31, 2011 or your space WILL be given to someone else. Snacks, water, & coffee/tea are provided throughout the day, however you will need to bring your own bagged lunch (no microwave.) Workshops are held at The Photographer Studio located at 15607 - 100 A Avenue in West Central Edmonton. Please send an email requesting a registration package to h dot walls at shaw dot ca or call us at 780.800.5530 ext 0 for more information.

January 8, 2012 - it's NOT about the camera
Start time: 10am
Finish time: 5pm
We'll learn a bit of photography history and by the end of the day you'll know what all the beeps, bells, and buttons on your camera are for, and have a basic understanding of photography lingo. You will understand how every camera on the planet is built on precisely the same technology, then learn what separates SLR cameras from P&S cameras. You will learn to love(hate) the phrase "Reciprocity Failure." We'll also go over a comprehensive list of the basic types of lenses on the market, what their benefits and drawbacks are, and what their common applications are. You'll probably go home with the urge to shoot everything that moves, and a rather pricey shopping list. Which is why it's good that you just learned that it's NOT about the camera... and will survive and thrive just fine without the $2800 IS f2.8 70mm-200mm lens...

February 5, 2011 - composition, understanding light
Start time: 10am
Finish time: 5pm
This is the one that makes your brain ache, folks. While the composition portion is a relative breeze and one of the building blocks of taking great pictures, understanding how light works and how you can manipulate it to your advantage when creating different moods and effects is the key to unlocking all the greatest secrets of natural/available light photography. Whether you plan to use studio, natural, or available light, or a combination of all three, you also need to know how your camera's internal meter works, and what to do when it fails you. You'll walk away with a headache, and a burning desire to move all the furniture away from your windows.

March 4, 2011 - technical critiquing, photo manipulation (in Adobe Photoshop) demo
Start time: 10am
Finish time: 5pm
I know - it sounds SO dry and boring... BUT - technical critiquing is a huge part of photography. We'll spend the first part of the day going through the process of deconstructing images using proper terminology so that you can develop the diagnostic tools that will be instrumental not only in looking at other photographer's work and being able to draw technical instead of just aesthetic inspiration, but in how YOU will master your OWN style and technique. Following this, we'll begin exploring some of the basics of Photoshop. I will do a brief demonstration of: skin smoothing, using unsharp mask, creating and using layers, tinting (vintage, antique), actions, and as much else as we have time for. This portion of the workshop is meant to give you enough basics that you have the confidence to explore and discover more on your own; you are welcome to bring your laptop and play along :)

April 1, 2011 - portraiture and controlled lighting
Start time: 10am
Finish time: 5pm
Get ready for LIVE MODELS! Once we've gone through the fundamentals of how and why portraits are done (the easy part) and look at a couple of different controlled lighting set-ups (OCF and continuous) we're going to hone our skills on making the connections that are so important to separating cold and heartless snapshots from gorgeous, engaging portraits that have as much meaning to you as they do to your client. We will then have a group of models at our disposal for you to work individually and in teams with doing a variety of individual and group portraits. Always a fun workshop, be prepared to be surprised! If you have a flash for your camera, this is a great workshop to bring it to as we'll have a bit of time to play around with them!

April 29, 2011 - breaking the rules, the business end of things
Start time: 10am
Finish time: 5pm
While we spent the first 4 sessions learning shooting skills, there comes a time when we get to break all the rules and just HAVE FUN! If we decide as a group we'd like to do a final project together, this will also be our opportunity to plan and discuss those details. The last portion of the day will be spent going over the NEW and IMPROVED Business End of Things - taxes, copyright, business licenses, professional printing, model releases, contracts, blogs, websites, marketing, advertising and promotion, and all other manner of things you need to consider if you intend to charge money for your services, whether as a portrait photographer, stock photographer, or art photographer. Even if you do not intend to shoot for full-time or supplemental income, there is a lot of valuable information to be taken away from this workshop that can help protect your interests even as a straight-up hobby photographer. Lastly, we'll look at something I like to call the "photography pyramid" which breaks down into simple terms the different types of clients and photographers, and how to get (or not get) yourself to where you want to be on that pyramid.

May 26-27, 2012 - all-night field trip with Team Clickin' Cancer's Butt at the Relay for Life
Start time: 3pm May 28
Finish time: 7am May 29
Location: University of Alberta's Foote Field
This has become a highlight of the workshops, where participants are given the opportunity to contribute their skills to an amazing event in support of the Canadian Cancer Society. Their largest single fundraising effort, which spans across Canada in countless cities, the Relay for Life is a powerful experience. If you are able to come and if you are interested in learning what photographilanthropy is from the ground up, slap on some comfy shoes and your camera, and let's go!

June 10, 2011 - WEDDING WORKSHOP: wedding photography, mock wedding
Start time: 10am
Finish time: 5pm
Location: TBD
This is wedding photographer bootcamp. Instead of the love and marriage aspect, we're going to dive right in to the finer points of what every person dreaming of becoming a wedding photographer needs to know, from pricing strategies, wowing your client at your initial consultation, and contract inclusions/exclusions... to knowing the 'money shots' and some of the classic pitfalls of working with weddingpartyzillas and obnoxious guests. We'll spend a bit of time looking at some trends and tactics that work like a charm and others that fail miserably, discuss how to avoid getting price-point pigeon-holed, and then open the can of worms on all those little things you need to consider like bad weather contingency plans, assistants vs. second shooters, and to take or not to take destination weddings. You'll have the insider's look at the grit and the glory of shooting weddings, from start to finish, and once we've had the in-class theory, we'll waste no time in having you shoot a mock wedding ceremony & formals. (2012's theme is truly inspired... full details will be announced in January...) And, of course, while we're hoping for good weather, if it decides to rain... you'll be getting your feet wet for real...

This workshop is NOT limited to previous workshop participants. Up to 20 persons can be accommodated. Registration and payment deadline for this workshop is March 31, 2012. Cost for workshop and wedding: $175 ($125 for series participants) and INCLUDES a pizza lunch for all models and participants. If you are interested in shooting the wedding just for fun, it is $25 for the mock wedding portion ONLY and does not include pizza lunch (unless you want to come a bit early and chip in a few extra bucks or bring dessert or something...)