Over the years, I have been extremely fortunate to learn from many photography masters. I will continue to learn from the masters. I feel it is a duty and a debt I must pay to my clients. I feel strongly (extremely) that any photographer who only takes money from their clients without reinvesting in their craft is basically stealing from their clients. We owe our clients the very best images we can make. We can’t learn to take the very best images from YouTube and Facebook.
In an industry without any sort of standardization and where our clients hardly realize the level of difficulty involved to make really great images, professional photographers must invest in their own education. Doctors do it, accountants do it, certified electricians and plumbers do it and every profession does it as a means to keep the consumer safe and/or protected. They are forced to do it if they want to keep their certification. While a photographer isn’t performing surgery or wiring your home with electricity, you are paying us to capture life events that cannot be re-created. I wished customers were more selective when hiring photographers and just didn’t shop based on price alone.
I am grateful I have been invited back to Seattle to attend Yervant’s presentation: Creating a Successful Wedding Photography Business. This will be my second trip this year and I am so excited to hear Yervant and learn from him. He is an Australian grand master photographer who has a lot to teach me.
He is internationally celebrated as “the most influential wedding photographer of our time.” He received the WPPI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He is an iconic master of wedding photography and was the first to coin the phrase, “fashion meets wedding.” He was born in Africa, studied in Italy and then made his home in Australia. I absolutely cannot wait to learn from this true master.
Learning from Another Master: Yervant
No matter how skillful I become with my photography, I will always continue to seek out avenues to better my craft. There will always be someone better than I to learn from. There will always be ways to provide a better experience and better photography for my clients. Learning from these masters today is the equivalent of learning from da Vinci, Picasso, van Gough, or Rembrandt from yesteryear. That is truly how talented these photographers are.
If I started to pencil the details of my curriculum vitae, it would begin to read something like:
- Wedding & Portrait Professionals International (WPPI) Convention, Las Vegas, 2013 to present
- How to Wow Tour with Jerry Ghionis, 2014
- WPPI PhotoWalk with Rocco Ancora, 2015
- Shutterfest, St. Louis, 2015 & 2016
- WPPI Master Class with David Beckstead, 2016
- WPPI Master Class with Nik Pedridis, 2016
- Three-day workshop with Nik Pekridis and Salvatore Dimino, 2016
- WPPI Plus Class: Ryan Schembri, Creative Lighting on Location, 2017
- WPPI Plus Class: Rocco Ancora, The Anatomy of a Fine Art Print, 2017
- Two-day Creative Live workshop with Rocco Ancora: The Anatomy of a Fine Art Print, 2017
- Out-of-the-Box Business Intensive Workshop with Fabrizia Costa, 2017
- Two-day Creative Live workshop with Yervant: Creating a Successful Wedding Photography Business, 2017
- Three-day workshop with Nik Pekridis, Johnson Wee and Keda.Z, 2017 (October)
- Currently working toward a photography certification through WPPI and the New York Institute of Photography
In addition to attending all of these workshops and conventions in person, I have continually entered the WPPI photo competitions as a means of learning AND purchased numerous Creative Live on-demand video classes. AND, I am currently shopping for a live, in-the-flesh person to mentor me. This photography world is advancing so unbelievably fast and becoming so extremely imaginative, I am having a really difficult time keeping up. Even with all the investments I have made towards furthering my education in photography, I cannot keep the same pace as the masters in this industry let alone even catch them.
I have no choice but find ways to grow and advance—even if that means at my own pace for now.
**The images contained in this blog post were shot under the direction and for assignment of Shelly Beck Photography. The images are copyrighted but used herein with permission.
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I am San Antonio’s most unique wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.
I am a full-time, internationally-awarded and WPPI-C certified professional wedding photographer based in South Texas near San Antonio. I offer a premier and personal service coupled with an unforgettable photography experience. I cater to clients who appreciate quality photography and help them to create family heirlooms that will last for generations.
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
When I’m not photographing a wedding, I love to spend my spare time hiking, camping, cycling, reading, listening to Elvis and Prince. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of!
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