I had an amazing three days in Tampa at Shoot with Beckstead, an intense three-day workshop. David Beckstead is a world-renown international wedding photographer who has worked hard at creating imagery with composition. The three-day workshop was just the break I needed to get the creative juices flowing. The first day David talked about his photographic experience, composition, and business practices. He delved into ways to experiment and have fun with wedding photography – which really opened my eyes to how much better photography is when it’s fun.
On day 2 we went on a model shoot with David at Lange Farm, University of Tampa, and Ybor City. David found locations and gave directions to the models, and then explained how he was approaching the shot and what compositional elements he wanted to incorporate. Then we were encouraged to play with the scene. I really pushed myself to use my 16-35mm lens so I could become more comfortable with wide angle. I love David’s approach because it isn’t as formulaic as many other photographers. He doesn’t have any hard and fast rules that he uses to shoot – he looks for composition, and then plays around. We were shooting for nearly 10 hours – I won’t even admit to how many pictures I took. I really took the experimenting to heart.
On day 3 we were back in the studio. The night before we had to pick out our 30 best shots and edit them. We gave them to David and he took time to critique each of our work – in front of the class. I learned so much from listening to what he had to say about each photo – the good, the bad, the ugly. I now have a means of critiquing my own work and a new approach to photography. It was exciting!