I’m addicted to photography workshops. If I had all the money & free time in the world, I’d just spend most of my days traveling the world to learn from all the amazing photographers that host workshops, conferences, and mentoring sessions. There’s so much to learn & absorb when it comes to photography, and after my workshop last year with Andria Lindquist, I’m pretty much obsessed with meeting my fave photogs, picking their brains, watching them shoot, and getting to spend time with so many other awesome photographers from all over.
This summer, I got the chance to fly across the country to Seattle for the Cascade Workshop hosted by the man himself, Benj Haisch. Benj is an extremely talented photographer & he’s known for his wedding & elopement work that highlights nature and landscapes along with the people he photographs. I don’t know how or when I started following him, but I’m so glad I did. I landed in Seattle on a Tuesday morning & my friend Bri picked me up from the airport so we could grab breakfast. She showed me around Capitol Hill where she lives and then she let me be a total tourist at Pike Place Market. (Side note: Everyone says Seattle is always rainy, cold, and gray, but the weather was just gorgeous the 3 days I was in town. It only rained as I headed to catch my flight home!) I met with some of the other workshop-ers and we all got in a van to drive out of the city to the Cascade Mountains in Leavenworth, Washington. I was basically in awe through the whole 2-hour drive because I’ve never been around mountains as HUGE as the ones out west! They were snow-capped and some had waterfalls coming down and they were all SO beautiful. The house we all stayed in had an unreal view of the mountains right outside the main room windows. It felt like a painting.
On our first day there, we all mingled and unpacked (and I got to meet Benj’s adorably fashionable wife Maddie and their new baby Oslo!), and then we all got to have our pick at a sponsor gift. I was SUPER excited to be one of four people to get a Holdfast Moneymaker double camera strap!! I’d been eyeing them for a while and just a few weeks before the workshop, I was so close to buying one. I’m so glad I didn’t because I got one from Benj fo free! The rest of the day, we went out on a photo walk & got to use some film & cameras from Indie Film Lab.
The next day we got to learn from Benj! He talked through different presentations about shooting, booking the right clients, composing your shots, etc. Later that evening, we all got to shoot with three different couples out in a beautiful location by a river & the mountains. I’ll be posting those pictures real soon 🙂
Besides the amazing tips, techniques, and tricks we learned from Benj and each other, I walked (well, flew) away from Leavenworth with a deeper sense of why I do what I do. Why I take pictures, why I choose to spend time photographing weddings, why I run a wedding photography business. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the what and the how, but Benj really challenged us to start with the why and let everything else flow from that core answer. This thought process has changed how I shoot so much because I focus less on Instagram likes and followers and more on how my photos will impact my clients, their families, and their legacies.
Enjoy this glimpse into my time in Washington…