Excuses, excuses…

I have not posted a new blog post in three months. My reason: in that space of time we have moved from our home into temporary (a hotel room for 10 days and now a furnished apartment for a bit longer) homes while we wait for our biggest and final move in October to San Antonio. We will move soon after our new baby’s arrival in the next couple days (or hours). Things have been slightly stressful to say the least and blogging has fallen off my to do list. Completely.

Now that I am in a week or two of hurry-up-and-wait downtime, I thought I would try to catch up on sessions and posts that I have wanted to share.

Several months ago, I was finally able to attend Zach Arias’s One Light workshop. I wanted to attend this workshop for a couple years and had read tons of reviews about it. I had very high expectations for it and it did not disappoint.


There are definitely some workshops I have attended that I seriously wish I had saved my money on but I was 100% satisfied with the One Light Workshop.

The workshop is an intensive “One-day” event that focuses on getting you comfortable with using one off camera light.  Zach has a wealth of info to deliver in and is adept at making it easy to understand.  His main focus was on getting us unafraid of our lights and he also delved into post-production, working with clients, equipment, exposure, modifiers, location scouting, and work flow. I think the format of his workshop was the best I have been to yet. He kept the class small enough to break us down into groups that were not “paparazzi like” when it came to shooting the provided models. There was plenty of time to cover material in lecture and then he would take us out and show us how to do it. He would then follow-up by making each and every one of us do it. He used that same format through out the day and by 10pm we were exhausted but educated and confident to go out in small groups and try our newly learned techniqueson our own.

Other things I loved about this workshop, First off he referenced “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, so he had me at “May the Force be with you”. He is a very humble and down to earth guy. There was not one-ounce of pretension or smugness to him. That was such a breath of fresh air in this somewhat “Look at me! Look at me!” industry. It was also nice to hear his philosophy and thoughts about buying what you can afford with the money you earn, buying only what you need, and not relying on credit cards. Amen to that.

Another plus was that he provided all the lighting equipment and gear needed for the class, which saved me the hassle of getting light stands and umbrellas on a flight.

Unlike other workshops where the food is extravagant and the meals are long, Zach feed us pizza and sandwiches and gave us xeroxed copies of his power point presentation. I appreciated this because it made the workshop affordable. Although the expensive food is nice, I would rather eat food for mere mortals and save some cash. He also maximized our time by keeping the breaks short and teaching until close to 2am the following morning. He calls this a one-day workshop but technically it was closer to 17 hours of instruction. This was more instruction than I have received in two-day workshops I have attended (but half the price). He answered each and every question I asked (and yes, I had a long list), and didn’t stop until all questions were exhausted.

Every attendee had a chance to work with three different light modifiers. Umbrellas…


Soft boxes (ok, honestly I don’t remember what if this was an umbrella or a soft box)…


And my new favorite, Gridspots…

Here is Zach getting down and dirty while using a grid spot. I have to admit the gridspot is now one of my favorite lighting 

If you have any interest in off-camera lighting or want to broaden your skills as a photographer then save up your pennies and go to this workshop. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Several weeks after the course, I was able to watch Zach once again through Creative Live, an on-line learning site for photographers and creative types. His course is focused on  “what you need to know to be a professional working photographer”. He covers business, natural light, strobe + ambient, client interaction and posing guidelines. You can check out and purchase the course here.

I’m just hoping that he’ll come out with a “Two Light workshop”.


Leave A