A Jose Villa Mexico Workshop {November 2008}

If you are in need of a little inspiration, encouragement, a kick in the photography-business-pants with a twist of vacation and a whole lotta fun; then go to Jose Villa’s next Mexico Workshop! I can’t begin to describe just how powerful it is when almost 20 photographers get together to learn, grow, and shoot. Jose is a world class photographer and really pours his heart and his brain out so that everyone can soak up bits and pieces of his amazingness and make it their own. I have been changed as a photographer and a person just by watching him; the way he shoots, the way he directs, and especially the way he cares for people.

I was so honored to be invited as one of the guest speakers this year! I shared my work, my story, and my heart for what I do. There were so many others involved to make the workshop possible and a gigantic success! Karina Puenta is a talented artist that spoke and led the group in some be-ing exercises. We stayed at the Hacienda Del Carmen. Their staff is so warm and loving; my maid hugged me because she remembered me from our trip in September! Mar Romero did a fabulous job with the Citro Modelos hair and makeup. Joel Serrato documented the workshop with Super 8 film. It is going to be gorgeous! We also had some bonus guests; Gene Higa and Ann Hamilton who generously shared their greatness with the class.

Be prepared for lots of images!!!

After Jose shot with the couple for about 15 minutes I demonstrated my Ingalls Photography style for 5 minutes. I talked about my favorite backdrop ever; sunlight! Each student had 3 minutes to work with the models. The next day we showed a slideshow of everyone’s favorite 2 images. It was amazing to see the different talent and perspective that was represented in the workshop.

I shared my story and some words of encouragement on the first day.

One of my favorite parts of the workshop was the individual time I got to have with each student. I learned so much from everyone and hopefully was able to pass a little bit of love on to each person as well. The mornings started out with one-on-one sessions for about 20 minutes where Jose, Karina and I would review portfolios, answer questions and talk about whatever it was the student needed to discuss. Some amazingly inspired conversations happened!

Here I am hanging out with my new Columbian friend, George Moreno.

The grand finale came when we took a field trip to another Hacienda for the bridal shoot. Jose took a couple and 7 students while I had another couple and the other half of the class. After we demonstrated and allowed the students time to shoot the models individually, we switched the groups.

Here are some shots of the students in action taking their turns to shoot the models.

Ken Kienow, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Natalie Williams, San Diego, CA.

Ronnie Ruiz, Billings, MT.

Paula Luna, San Diego, CA.

Gene Higa, San Francisco, CA. Here he is rocking his fashion-red Holga.

All of my amazing new friends!