walk … smile … breathe … relax … take your time … have fun … SHOOT!

I learned a lot last weekend. A LOT. I did a one-on-one workshop with Rinzi Ruiz. I met Rinzi when he was assisting Eric Kim at a workshop held at Think Tank Gallery in Oct 2011. Then in 2012 I attended a workshop that Rinzi hosted along with Bellamy Hunt. I really have great feelings and memories from these workshops. I still see and shoot with many of the friends I met at both of them. My problem is, that I don’t shoot enough, I get rusty and worst of all, I allow myself to get all caught up in my own head … So I reached out to Rinzi to inquire about a one-on-one workshop, to get me back on the right track.

If anyone reading this is considering a one-on-one workshop with Rinzi or attending his co-hosted workshop with “That Nikon Guy” in March, I cannot recommend him enough. He’s knowledgeable, friendly, easy to talk to, full of experience and happy to share knowledge and ideas.

I don’t really want to give a play-by-play recount of the workshop because I don’t want to type that much – But I do want to type about the highlights and some of the things I learned.

First and most importantly, Rinzi showed me to look for the light. Find the direction of the sun and position yourself to use it in the best way to illuminate your subject. Of course, the day we chose to go shoot was overcast, there was still light, it was just a little harder to find …

Rinzi taught me to work on my patience in the street and to take my time. In every other workshop or photowalk I’ve done, I walked, and kept walking. I shot while I walked, I rarely stopped … With Rinzi, we would find a good location with good light and camp out there letting people come to us. Letting people walk into the good lighting situation instead of walking and hoping to meet the subject I want in the lighting scenario I need. This sounds very logical and obvious, but it feels weird to me to simply be hanging around on a corner … But that “weird” feeling is all in my head.

Shooting with Rinzi for a day allowed me to realize that a lot of my anxiety is in my head. I need to relax, smile and have fun. I’m going to do some breathing and visualization exercises that will help me be calm and positive and enjoy what I’m doing. Rather than stressing out and worrying about what I think other people are thinking, when I really have no idea what other people are thinking … I will be positive and have fun .. that’s what this is all about – Having fun …

I could type pages and pages more, but I won’t. I don’t read long blog posts so I don’t really want to create one that’s any longer than this already is.

Here are a couple images from that day …

First is at a Metro stop entrance, the light was good and we camped here for a couple minutes.

Argyle and 7th

Argyle and 7th

These next 2 are from an alley entrance that we stopped at briefly. I really like both of these images, though I’ll admit that I wish the guy in the hat was looking at me, but I do love his neck tattoo that would not be visible if he had been looking.

Circles and Squares

Circles and Squares

Tattoo Glide

Tattoo Glide

This last one was shot much more on the fly. I saw these kids run into the alley, I brought the camera to my face and when they looked back at me I fired the shutter.

Mischief Alley

Mischief Alley

Last thing I want to put in print or type or whatever: I am committing to doing a portrait project. I will take at least 25 (hopefully more like 50) street portraits within the next 2 months. I will ask each person for permission to take their portrait. Some of them will say NO, many will say YES. I will decide during the project if I will blog during the project or at its completion. This will be different for me. Even with my anxiety I rarely ask permission. Of all the pictures I’ve taken over the last couple of years, I’ve probably asked permission only 3-4 times. I’m looking forward to it.

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