What started out as what was supposed to be my third workshop with Nik Pekridis (WPPI/WWPAsia Master from Greece) and my second with Salvatore Dimino (WPPI Double Master from Sicily) eventually turned into a solo workshop with Nik. This was supposed to be a small workshop with a handful of students with two dedicated instructors—which would have been fantastic.

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But due to reasons beyond my comprehension, ONLY three other photographers showed up! Yep! Only three. Five actually signed up, but one had a family emergency and one just ghosted—maybe they don’t keep a good calendar, who knows? Either way, that made this less like a workshop and more like a private lesson from Nik. Winning!

I loved knowing Nik well enough AND this being a group small enough to say, “Hey, Nick, can we try to shoot…” fill in the blank. And Nik would promptly agree and there we’d go trying to set up that exact shot.

I loved listening to him work through a shoot out loud and detail why he was trying something a certain way, or why the shot ultimately would not work, or why he’d need to add a grid to his light, change a setting, or adjust an angle.

I loved not getting the same results he was and being able to hand him my camera, him take a shot, look at my settings, and discover it’s because I was in spot metering mode and not in matrix AND after ten years of being a professional photographer learning that TTL flash will not work properly in spot metering mode. Who knew!?

Nik Pekridis’ Workshop Recap

On the first day, we photographed a wedding couple at Tapatio Springs at the newly rebuilt club house. In fact, workers were still putting on some final touches. Belinda and Halexis were not a real couple, but were so professional that it wasn’t even noticeable.

On the second day, we ventured to the infamous Pearl Brewery, NOT because of its uniqueness and the fact that you rarely see other photographer’s at this location (please note my sarcasm), but because Nik is a vegetarian and we had planned to eat at Green when we finished shooting. Dazja brought her A game and delivered!

Here we did crazy things like shoot really hard light, through yellow caution floor signs and other extreme compositions, grab pedestrians to participate as models, mimic the sunset with speedlights and gels, light paint with long exposure times, and so on. The most important thing… we had fun, we experimented, we learned, we connected, and we grew.

By the end of the workshop, I was trying to guess Nik’s exposure settings ahead of him announcing aloud to the group. Knowing that he always shoots outdoor images at 100 ISO, I was having some luck. It was more fun than anything because we were also introducing artificial light into each scene.

Are any of the images I took award worthy? Probably not. Will I ever retouch a photo with the same detail and specificity as Nik? That’s also probably a no. But the main takeaway is that I will be more likely and less intimidated to implement some of these techniques on actual paid shoots for clients.

Here’s our group, from left to right: me, Jersson Luna (who just opened up his very own studio on San Pedro), Angel Coggins, Linda Rukavina (our lovely hostess with the mostess and who has had her studio in Boerne for a very long time), Dazja (our model) and Nik (the master instructor who shares beyond imagine and specializes in destination wedding photography)! You can see Nik’s work here.

Guys, please stay tuned! On November 6th, I won an Antonian Award for Industry Innovation. If you stop by my booth at the Wedding Fair on January 5th, you’ll see that I’m launching even more industry innovation for all my lovely San Antonio wedding couples for 2020 and beyond!

If you enjoyed this blog post and would like to get your hands on 20 FREE interactive wedding planning tools that every couple needs, please take a moment to access them here.

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san antonio senior portrait photographers ata-girl photography since 2010

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 and senior 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, family or high school senior, 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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