Happy Wednesday, interneteers!

I will be leaving town tomorrow evening for some family time in the mountains, so the blog will be quiet for awhile until next week. Have no fear though, I promise there will be more when I get back! We’re going to go tubing and sit in the hot springs. Which sounds amazingly awesome to me, but I have to admit, the 77 degree weather on Saturday that is being promised sounds pretty good. Not as good as the hot springs though!

Today I wanted to share with you some information that I have regarding workshops. Doesn’t it seem like everyone and their mothers are offering workshops now? Everywhere you turn, photographers are offering workshops. And some of them are NOT cheap either. Some of them are easily over $1000, and when your funds are limited, how do you know which one is right for you? All you can really do is to research, check, read, and research some more.

I will say though, there is a resource available to EVERYONE that is pretty stellar. Meet Meetup.com . The whole idea of Meetup is to connect people online with others that have the same interests, so that they can meet each other OFFline. Which is cool, because online relationships only go so far. Now, don’t get me wrong – I have online friends that are very important to me, and there are some amazing relationships being built every day, online. There is absolutely nothing wrong with online relationships. But that real life connection is so important. To see a friend in need on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall is completely different from calling them to see how they’re doing. There’s just a more personal touch with certain things, ya know? And with Meetup.com you can meet new people that want to do the same things you want to do, and then get offline to do something fun! There are Meetups for everything imaginable – wine tasting, hiking, sailing (obviously not in Colorado…), PHOTOGRAPHY, mommies, networking, and more. And what’s cool is that if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can start your own group. And Meetup will email everyone that wants to know about those types of Meetups, and voila! You have yourself a group.

I am the organizer of a mommies group on Meetup that is getting to be HUGE, and I’m a member of several others. There are a ton of photography Meetups, and one of my favorite is Focus Photography Workshops. Again, TONS of workshops. But I’ve been to a few that these guys have organized, and their information is awesome! The opportunity to do something that you normally wouldn’t do is also a chance to force yourself to grow and get outside of that box. Be uncomfortable. GROW!

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of doing one of their Build-A-Workshops. When I first got the email, I didn’t really know what to think. Umm… a workshop – aren’t YOU guys supposed to know what you’re teaching? But here’s the cool thing – I got to choose what I wanted to learn. Mark, of Mark Alison Photography, was heading the workshop, and I told him exactly what I wanted to learn, and it definitely surpassed my expectations! Kyle and Nathan were both helpful too, and I always learn so much when I take advantage of these workshops. I can’t share exactly what I did at the workshop just yet. I know that sounds stupid, but I’m really trying to get all my ducks in a row before putting everything out there for this particular part of my business. But it was studio related – something that I feel COMPLETELY uncomfortable with. I’ve always worked primarily with natural light, and with this workshop, I learned a TON about lighting!

The different types of lighting, posing, and not just the basic stuff. Anyone can light a subject, how do you really create DEPTH and get the look that you’re going for? How do you keep it from looking totally fake? What will set you apart from the million other photographers that are out there, doing the same thing?

What’s awesome about these workshops is that they’re affordable, fun, and informative. And the build-a-workshop means that you get to learn what you want! If there’s something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t done it because you don’t have a studio, set it up with them! They’ll help you, and joke and laugh in the process. I don’t take myself too seriously, and it’s nice to have an environment to ask questions and mess around. What can I say, I’m a smartass!

Check out Meetup.com. Look to see what’s out there in your area. If you’re in the Denver metro area, check out Focus. I’m a HUGE believer in the fact that I’m always learning – it never stops! And these workshops are a great opportunity to not only learn something, but meet new people. There’s some neat stuff coming up in this group, and maybe I will see you there!

I will leave you with a very sexy photo of Mr. Mark Alison, demonstrating a pose. A little sunburned, but still HAWT Mark! ;) The other one was better, but since I had to get it so quickly (he was pretty slick) it was out of focus.

Happy Wednesday everyone!