Montréal. We loved it. The diversity, the bi-lingualism, the buildings, the restaurants, the awesome people we met. This trip was different from most trips for us – since we both ‘worked’ the entire time we were there.
We did eventually get around to seeing some sights on the last day… (this video isn’t really 7 minutes long…)
You can walk and bike and take the metro everywhere. You can even walk underground, through the maze of shops and pathways. Montréal is every bit as diverse as NYC. But the people are friendlier. We had so many conversations with so many strangers – people we met on the street, on the metro, in a store. We met a fantastic group of photographers. We had dinner with an awesome CARE colleague.
We tried poutine, which is actually quite tasty. We had Tibetan food. Greek food. French food. Chinese food. Locally-brewed beer. Pie! Bagels! Ohhh, so much great food.
This was our first trip out of the country as ‘photographers’. Our main goal was to make photos that were less tourist-y and more… something else. We were practicing for our trip next month to India & Nepal. The idea isn’t to photograph things or even people necessarily… it’s more about being able to photograph what you see. We wanted a more 1st person perspective to the photos rather than a regular ‘tourist-photo’ perspective. Of course we know that we tend to visit less of the tourist spots and more of… wherever the people live and hangout.
We took pictures. We learned. We taught. Nous avons parlé français.
Last Saturday we held a lighting 101 workshop in Montreal. CANADA! (Hey – this is all still kind of exciting for us since remember, we’ve only been shooting for about a year.) Now – if you ask most photography instructors, they rarely ever get to take any photos during class – because they’re running around teaching, checking shots, giving tips, moving lights – everything except shooting. So I made it a point to take a little bit of video (even if it IS from my phone and uploaded immediately using the qik.com app so I could post it to facebook/twitter asap. (ha – you can hear them all speaking French!)
We had about 15 photographers from all over Montreal attend the workshop. There were many, many different levels of photography experience – and about half of them were ‘working’ professional photographers. After we all got our name tags and introduced ourselves to the group – I went through the basic gear components, basic concepts (shutter speed controls ambient light, f/stops control flash) – and then we started shooting. Because even though I can do a text book job of covering the technical aspects, the real benefit of a workshop with us is that you actually start shooting, but even more importantly, you can experiment.
I went through a few different setups, showing how changing shutter speed or aperture (f/stops) can affect the photo – all without ever touching the power levels on my flash.
Along with showing everyone different looks as I took the photos for demonstration – there were a few shots that I ‘setup’, and then had each photographer make roughly the same photo with the same settings. You do this so that they have undeniable proof that with a little practice – they can make the exact same type of photos with the camera they own right now. Then we had them go back and experiment some more with different models in different conditions.
Of course I was running around answering any questions.
In case you haven’t noticed – we’re a little selective with who we want to work with. Whether it’s clients, or Interns, or even people that attend our workshops. With so many competitive photographers out there – we choose to work with photographers who understand that we’re all still learning – and just because you can take good photos it doesn’t mean that you need be mean to other photographers who are just beginning. In the same way that we look for ‘friendly’ people when selecting our Interns – we want the same type of photographers attending our workshops – and everyone in this group was quite awesome.
I’ll update this with links to photos taken by the attendees – but here’s one for now – a gallery by TOM!
We had a really great time in Montreal – and we even had dinner with a group of the attendees afterwards.
We have a lot going on this week – including a day trip (flight) up to Philadelphia for a family portrait on Wednesday.
On Thursday I’ll be speaking on a Panel about using Social Media for better collaboration over at my Studio Space at Renew Social Ventures. It’s from 2-4pm THIS Thursday. I hope you can make it. CLICK HERE for more information.
Then on Thursday evening we’ll be holding our Lighting 101 workshop that we hold specifically for our Interns. We actually have two more workshops that we give – an editing overview and our big one, the Photography Business Marketing workshop. Although we’ve begun holding lighting workshops to the public – the photography marketing workshop will always be only for our Interns. Hey – there’s gotta be some kind of benefit for being our Interns right? Especially since some of them move here from other states for the three month period.
So it’s finally Friday. Exciting times up ahead. Packing. No really, we are coming down to the wire now since the movers will come on Tuesday morning – so we’ll be doing the majority of the packing tonight and then all day Saturday and whatever’s left on Sunday.
Because writing an actual entry would take too much effort on this Friday… I’ll just talk about someone else’s entries. But first! Food that I’ve been meaning to post – but never got around to – these are from a birthday lunch that Leah’s Grandmother (Bubbi) prepared for Leah’s Father:
Homemade Fried Chicken!
And you may all let go of any self control. Eat good food this weekend. ðŸ™‚
After going down the links in my sidebar to catch myself up on everyone’s posts (I really should set up that rss feed reader) – I stopped to read the latest entries from our friend Ark A. – also an Atlanta resident/transplant – about her recent trip to Canada/Toronto/Montreal. – and in the process made me feel like I’m wasting my time posting nothing posts that meander about infinitely worthless subjects. *writes note to self: ummmm… nevermind I forgot*
So while I wait for the next season of No Reservations/Anthony Bourdain to verify that this past season is where the show truly ‘Jumped the Shark’ – I just have to keep looking for travel blogs/entries like the ones Ark A. posted this last week.
The trip to Canada started on a Friday morning. A simple two hour direct flight from Atlanta and we were in Toronto International Airport, the cleanest, quietest most spacious airport I’ve ever seen.
Dad picked us up. He couldn’t believe it had been almost five years since we saw each other.
He said I hadn’t changed a bit. I love him.
This is what I call smiling so hard it hurts…
I have a lot of history in that neighborhood. Loves found, loves lost, school, work, old friends, new friends, formulating the plan to get to Seattle to meet the whole other half of my family – it all happened there.
And then when they land back in Atlanta:
A two hour flight later, I was in what can only be described as severe culture shock… Hotter than hell, humid, southern accents all around me, no French, a pig carcass that had been cooked in the ground on a long buffet table, a live auction for football jerseys and country music star albums. Where am I?
And… apparently she’s back in Montreal now. Lucky her.
Here are the three posts in order:
Return to Canada – Part One: Toronto
Return to Canada – Part Two: Montreal
Return to Canada – Part Three: Montreal
Have a great weekend! – But obviously, we’ll have a new post up tomorrow.