Some pics from the workshop held at Dr. Prem’s Muthu house in March.  Scroll to the bottom for my review.

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Portrait 1

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Portrait 2

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Portrait 3

This was my first paid photography class/workshop, so the comments should be taken as such. Prior to this I have attended the free workshop Prem held at his place.

People: Prem was the main instructor. He was helped by two assistants. Each group had 3 students. Of the three, at any time there was one primary student and he/she made use of the trigger. There were 4 models and 1 model coordinator. There were a few others hanging around which was a nuisance.

Location: Workshop for my batch was held in Prem’s garage. There were two groups side by side. Space was ample. However it would have been nice if the two areas were separated by a curtain/partition. The extra models/helpers sitting area was also in the same garage. Again it would have been nice to move them out to keep the focus on photography.

Equipment: Equipment was plentiful considering this workshop was for novices. For each group, there were 3 strobes, multiple reflectors and backgrounds. Each group had one wireless trigger.

Teaching: Dr. Prem covered the basic styles of portrait. During the shoot, the reviews and feedback was prompt.

Activities: Each group was asked to try out various styles one by one. Overall it is a good approach, but since no fixed time was allocated both groups in my batch spent a lot of time with their 1st activities, thereby leaving little time for the remaining activities. I believe better time management is required.

Price: Rs 1400/- which includes the use of equipment, veg lunch and chilled beer. Priced very well compared to others I have seen.

Other Notes: Generally, in a group, there was a tussle to grab hold of the transmitter and then hog it for as long as possible. In a group of three, this left one photographer taking a large chunk of time/shots while other watched. It was not a pleasant experience trying to wrestle the transmitter from other participants, but that became a necessity.  A better approach would have been:
1. Setup a style – model position, lighting, background.
2. Let one (and only one) photographer shoot for a fixed time. Let’s say 15min. Keep everyone else out of the way. Only the model and photographer can talk. The instructor can chip in when needed. Everyone else keeps out of the way.
3. After 15 min, next photographer takes over. Everyone else stays out of the way.
4. So we get 3 photographer done in 60 min which includes the setup time.
5. Move on to the next style.

Another problem was distractions to the model and the photographer. Several times there were more than one person shooting the same model at the same time. Time and again, the model would start looking at the alternate photographer. Sometimes, the alternate photographer gave his own count of 1-2-3.
There needs to give more isolation to the photographer and the model. Once the instructor is done with his instruction, there should be no interruptions either from other participants or from teaching assistants.

Overall a good 1st experience with some of the best staged portraits I have got.

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