I had an amazing opportunity to return to Seattle for another Creative Live workshop. This was my second trip this year to take advantage of a wonderful learning resource available to creatives and entrepreneurs! This trip was to learn from another iconic master wedding photographer. Yervant!! I’m still pinching myself that I was actually selected to participate as one of the 17 students who were hand-picked to join the live the classroom.
The class was called Creating a Successful Wedding Photography Business. If I can’t learn something from someone who has been in the business for 30 years , then I need to pack my bags and move on. I picked up plenty from this genius.
I have to be honest and say that I sat through the first few hours (actually most of the first day) without gaining much new knowledge or fresh ideas. Though, I’m willing to attribute this to the fact that I’ve been following Yervant and other photographers of his caliber (Rocco Ancora, Jerry Ghionis, Ryan Schembri, Roberto Valenzuela, Salvatore Dimino, Nik Pekridis, Cliff Mautner, Susan Stripling—just to name a few) for years. These other iconic virtuosos share a lot of business similarities with Yervant and they tend to walk in a lot of the same circles. In a sense, I had heard his spiel before… “market to your target audience, tell the bride’s story, specialize in a style, always find a solution, respect yourself and your craft, work like a pro, keep evolving, always be positive…” and so on.
Much of the first day involved business, marketing and advertising and per Yervant’s own admittance, “the boring stuff.”
However, when we hit the topic of actually photographing the wedding and post-production, Yervant’s eyes lit with excitement and his face was instantly a constant smile. He danced around the studio. He told jokes. He was alive with enthusiasm and suddenly relied less on his energy drink to get him through the afternoon. He said he never wanted to retire from this profession and I believed him.
Yervant’s Creative Live Review
This is a list of things I learned and have actually already started implementing into my business.
- Yervant taught us new ways of post-processing. In particular, to explicitly control shadows, highlights and colors. For years, I’ve tried to perfect dodging and burning with little to no success. Yervant’s method is so uncomplicated, I don’t even need his actions and came home and edited photos “straight away.” (I love this Australian phrase.)
- I learned and was finally convinced to include only a few signature edits in what I show to the client and for anything that goes into the album. This will help tremendously with the hours I spend post-processing in front of my computer.
- He demonstrated new ways of posing a subject using motion. I’ve never really seen this method. I don’t know that I’ll use this method exclusively, but I may incorporate it into parts of my portrait sessions.
- Yervant helped to encourage me to get the studio I’ve been wanting for years. He said, “You stop taking risks, you’ll never grow.” For now, that will be a small studio on my private property, but I’ll be moving out of the spare bedroom I’ve been using in my home.
Yervant is such a friendly soul. Like most of the photographers I follow, he cares genuinely about this industry and is willing to share his knowledge in order for the industry to gain and keep respect as a whole. Any bride who is lucky enough to hire him to capture their wedding day is an extremely lucky bride. Any photographer who is lucky enough to learn from him is an extremely lucky photographer. Anyone who is lucky enough to call him friend is an extremely lucky friend. This world is fortunate to have him breathe its air and walk upon its surface. Truly.
Our class was also treated to a studio tour by Mariangela! I’ve never seen behind the scenes at Creative Live. This was interesting. And I made lots of new friends I’m going to enjoy keeping in contact with in the future and watching them grow as well!! (Shout out to
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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 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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