Workshops in Florida | Photography Workshops – Kate Benson Photography

I enlisted the help of my intern Nadia to put together a list of different Workshops in South to Mid Florida which may be of interest to the photographers and enthusiasts in the audience. We broke them down to levels and included the details of each Workshop. To be honest, I don’t think anyone can go wrong signing up for workshops. It is a place where we can network with other photographers as well as find deep learning. I’m sure we just scratched the surface with this list so if anyone has recommendations of other Workshops in  Florida or has comments on any of these workshops, leave a comment. I would love to hear from you and I’m sure the rest of the audience could find it useful too!
In no particular order other than experience levels:

What: Break Out of Auto Mode Workshop |
Experience: Beginners
Where: 210 Almeria Ave. Coral Gables, FL (Photo Workshops)
When: Contact 305-740-5401 | 305-305-5823
Instructor: TBD
Requirements: DSLR camera, camera manual, lens.

Here beginners will learn how to break free and use other settings besides auto mode with their cameras. This is class where you will be able to learn how to be more comfortable and confidant using your DSLR. There are only twenty spaces per class, so it would be a good idea to call for scheduling and make sure you have a space. ISO, aperture, shutter speed and all the basics will be covered in this three hour course. You should be prepared to have your camera, your cameras manual and your lens when arriving to this class. Workshop materials, drinks and snacks are included. $150.00 per person.

What: Composition in the Field |
Where: Miami, FL | Greynolds Park
Level: Beginner
When: Sunday Sept 15, 2013 10 am – 1pm
Instructor: Bernardo
Requirements: $99

Test and push your cameras capabilities with the direction and assistance of your instructor. This course will be a three hour session of shooting strategically and using all of your cameras capabilities to the fullest. You will be able to improve the quality of your photographs and it will give you a stronger foundation for shooting more advance photographs in the future. Each workshop will begin with a lecture and a questions and answers segment.

What: Inside the Frame Photography Workshop |
Level: Beginner
Where: Selby Gardens Sarasota, FL [941] 366 – 5731
When: Call for details Instructor: TBD
Requirements: Bring whichever camera you wish to experiment with (Polaroid, camera phone, DSLR, point and shoot etc…)

In this class you will learn the importance of taking a good photograph regardless of your gear. Having high quality equipment is always a plus, however, great images can be made using all different calibers of equipment. Composition and having a creative open mind will determine how one can take a compelling image. You may bring your DSLR or a point and shoot to this workshop; whichever gear you want to experiment with. The subject focus of this course; people, places and things.

What: Lightroom and Digital Photography |
Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Where: 415 Clematis St. WPB, FL Sponsored by the Palm Beach Photographic Center (561) 253-2600
When: Nov 14 -16, 2013 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Instructor: John Reuter
Requirements: $775

In this course photographers will become better acquainted with lightroom features and using it as a resource for retouching and organizing photographs. Creating catalogs, applying copyrights, and metadata are some of the topics the instructor will go over. They will also go over the vast improvement of lightroom and how it can improve an array of different images you may be working with.

What: Lighting Essentials |
 When: Saturday July 20, 2013 and also 8/10/13, 8/31/13, 9/21/13, 10/12/13
Where: 1001 N. Federal Hwy, Ft. Laud, FL 954-522-6500 | Calumet Photo Studio
Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Instructor: TBD
Requirements: $65.00 Camera, paper and pencil

In this workshop students will be able to learn and understand the effects of studio lighting and how to effectively use them. The instructor will also go over a wide array of tools and equipment that photographers use in studio lighting. Students will receive a workbook in this course so they can follow along through demonstrations. Modifiers, fill light, portrait lighting, and location flash fundamentals will all be discussed.

What: Miksang Photography Workshop |
Experience: All levels
Where: Hyatt Place 104 N.E. 2nd Ave. Delray Beach, FL
When: Aug 30, 2013 – Sept 2, 2013
Instuctor: Dennis Connor Email: [email protected]
Requirements: Must have your own camera and laptop to bring to this workshop

Different perspectives can create much different images of the same subject. It is always fascinating as an artist to see other photographers perspectives of the same thing; thus this is also true throughout different cultures – perspectives change. Miksang Photography is an Asian perspective of Photography; the Tibetan word that literally translates as ‘Good Eye”. Perception based photography with a simplified eye; sometimes so obvious we as a western society don’t necessarily hone in on it. All levels are invited to join.

What: Lightroom 5 Workflow |
When: July 23rd -July 26 9am – 5:30pm
Where: 1143 Vinter Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens FL 33410
Level: Intermediate or above
Instructor: Seth Resnick + Jamie Spritzer
Requirements: $1099.00 You must bring a digital camera that shoots raw, lap top (PC or MAC), flash card, card reader, external hard drive (2), Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CS6 is suggested.

This course is recommended for intermediate to pro level students who will get a broad understanding of Lightroom 5. Course fee does not include meals or any transportation.

What: Canon EOS Emmersion Workshop | Seminar
When: Oct 19, 2013 10 am – 6pm
Where: University of South Florida | Tampa | College of the Arts – Theatre 1 3839 SF Holly West Tampa, FL 336
 Level: Advanced
Instructor: Jeff Green + Shannon Levy
Requirements: $89

This workshop will be full of lectures and demonstrations. You will be able to take full advantage of your cameras features while shooting an array of subjects and learning what setting to use for each one. Lighting will also be discussed at length and how utilizing it correctly can enhance the creativity of your images. Most of the content in this course is related to Canon. There will be time set aside for questions an answers as well. Emmy award winning journalist Shannon Levy will go over the capabilities of video. She will discuss frame actions, structor, angles, composition and video technique.

Professional Photographer Miami | Kate Benson Photography | File workflow

This week I did my final interview with my new intern/assistant/protege (welcome Nadia!) and it keeps becoming clearer with each new helper that I really do love teaching. Photography, especially becomes a guarded secret that many hoard close to their hearts in fear of someone taking their clients. But really, clients will come and go whether or not you share what you’ve learned. At least by helping other people learn how to do this (because, as is often pointed out to me, not everyone can make it) I can help build a higher standard for photographers overall. Or maybe it’s just because I’ve never cared if other people know as much as I do (or more). This, I’m sure, is a result of being the middle dyslexic child stuck between to geniuses. Yes, real ones. Like, both went to Washington DC to either compete in national Mathcounts competitions or meet the president to receive a gold metal for her brain. I’m serious. That really happened. Meanwhile I’m over here like “look mom and dad! I painted you a picture!!!” Anyways, getting off track! What I want to share today is my typical post production workflow. I gave Nadia my notes describing this because I thought she would find it useful and since my last intern Matt is getting ready to go full time shooting I figure he’ll need this too. So I figure, why just send it to him in an email when I can share it here with everyone else who may want to know!
So keep in mind, there are different shoots that command different variations on this. If I can, I always shoot tethered, which combines quite a few steps in here into one. But Since most of the photo enthusiast out there are shooting to cards, I’ll go over these steps for shooting to cards. If any of this gets beyond what you know, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try and answer any questions you have. Because I’m not going to write down how to use Lightroom or Photoshop. That is a HUGE project and other people have already taught it better (especially on If you haven’t subscribed and want to learn those programs, do it!!! It is one of the best professional investments you can make).

  1. Load your shot cards to computer (and it’s not a bad idea to back them up on an external HD right now too). I organize my files by date, so if I were doing this today I would put these new files in a folder titled 06_06 NameOfTheClient. I also keep my folders organized like this in the Pictures folder, put a year folder so 2013, put a month folder 2013_06 JUN, and then your new shoot). 
  2. I open the folder in Adobe Bridge and do a first edit. ANY shots I like or the client has said they like gets a rating of 1 star (on a Mac hold down the command key and hit 1) if I REALLY love a picture, it gets 3 stars (hold down command and hit 3). Go through all the images and rate them like this.
  3. Use the filters in Bridge to only show 1 star selections. Now I check the focus. This has to be done at 100% so I select the first image and hit space bar to fill the screen with it. Then click on the place that should be in focus. It will take a second to load and if it is in focus change the files rating to 2 stars (hold command and hit 2). Go through all the files this way.
  4. Select to only see the 3 start files in Bridge. Now that you’re starting to get to know your files, go over those ones you really loved and check the focus on those. This is a bit heartbreaking because every now and again an image you love isn’t in focus. If it isn’t in focus change it’s rating to a 1. If it is in focus and you still love it, change it’s rating to a 4. Check all the 3 star files for focus the same way you checked the others, spacebar, click on place that should be in focus, hold command and the appropriate number for the new rating.
  5. Now you have really narrowed down your images. Sometimes take a short break here to look again with fresh eyes, or if you good keep going. Now go through all the 2 stars and pick favorites. One of the reasons to use Adobe Bridge is because when you have a picture selected you can hold command down and click on another shot (or multiple shots, up to 9) to view them side by side. Your favorites should be marked with 3 stars.
  6. Depending on how many files you have, go over those AGAIN. Narrow it down further and mark the ones you really, really love with 4 stars.
  7. And if you still have a ton of files, do it all again and this time mark the ones you love as 5 stars. I know this seems super repetitive but viewing images are. And if you are tired of a photo after seeing it 5 times it’s probably not worth taking to the next step. Your client will be looking at these images way more than 5 times so take the extra effort to make sure you don’t bore them.
  8. Make a folder in Bridge (make sure you aren’t viewing only 5 star items, if you are you won’t see the folder). Rate that folder 5 stars and then select to view only 5 star items. Now the folder should be within your 5 star selections (or 4 stars, or 3 depending on how many levels of editing you had to do, always rate your folder the highest level of stars you went to). Move all the top rated files into that folder and open it in Lightroom (click and drag the folder into Lightroom or use Lightroom’s navigation to find the folder).
  9. In Lightroom, import all the images you’ve selected to the Library.
  10. Then select Develop and give the images a quick white balance, contrast fix, or apply filters you want. I’m going to be less descriptive here because it takes time to explain how all those items work in Lightroom and this blog would go forever if I did it.
  11. Once you’ve done all the image, Export them. Just for safety I export a high res tiff first and then export them all setting them to be small jpgs for an online gallery.
  12. Post these images somewhere online where your client can view them (, dropbox, picassa, private gallery on your website, wherever).
  13. Send the client and email letting them know where to find review the images at. Ask them to let you now their choices of what they want to use and therefore what will be retouched.
  14. Once they get back to you with the files they want retouched. Open the large files from Lightroom in Photoshop and retouch them.
  15. Once the images are retouched upload them to a place your client can download them from or email them to your client (high res or low res depending on what they ordered).
  16. IF, this doesn’t always happen, actually rarely it happens but it does happen, the client has further retouching they want you to make on the file go back over it make the requested changes. Then send the fixed file back to them.
  17. Backup again, now with the edited finished files. Backing up twice doesn’t hurt either. About 4 times a year I backup my external HD to another. Two copies is better than one. Once they are full, I send them to NH for storage. Totally paranoid I know but a lot of good a double backing up of your archive is going to do you if they are both in your house and it burns down.

Of course there is also invoicing and payment collecting that happens in there somewhere. It differs depending on the client so I left that out.

I think it is important for everyone who wants to be a photographer to see these steps. I didn’t even include in this the steps to retouch in Photoshop or how to correct an image in Lightroom because each photo needs something different and it would take a book not a blog post to describe it. But when you quote a job, and someone feels like the quote is too high because they just wanted a quote for “an hour or two of shooting time”. It’s important to know that for ever shoot you have 16-17 steps to cover to just get the files to a client, without including steps in file retouching. So when you bill your time, you have to consider how much time this is going to take too. I did a shoot for a friend this weekend, we shot for 6 hours Sunday morning and then it took me 8 more hours to get the shots ready to send him. Not retouched.  Just getting to step 12. So be smart about your time and if someone wants to hire you for an hour because they don’t think it will take more time than an hour to capture the shot they want. Always consider how many files your taking and how much time it will take to get the files to them!

I hope this helps some of you who read this!


Miami Photography Studio | Intern/Assistant needed | Kate Benson Photography

So I was going to post this online but then decided to put a call out here first. I’m in a little over my head at the moment and I need some help here at my studio. It will be part internship, part assisting. Pay will depend on what your doing. If anyone is interested in working with me send an email to [email protected]. What I would like to know is:

  • Your full schedule. Classes and any other commitments you have, please include times as well as days.
  • What part of the city you live in.
  • Do you have a car? Do you require mileage compensation?
  • Your skills! But the more info you can give me the better, if you say photoshop is a skill, send a before & after example.
  • Your assisting experience (if you have any) listed
  • Any references you have please include (photographers you’ve worked with, teachers, etc)
  • If you want to send examples of your photo work feel free but that is less relevant to what I’m looking for.
  • How long are you interested in this position?
  • What equipment and software do you have (camera? Lights? computer? what’s installed on it? What versions? etc)
  • Skills (of course, list them all)

What I am needing help with:

  • Retouching, both creative images and high volume images
  • Assisting on shoots
  • Business help (let’s copyright some images together, this is a skill you’ll be glad you learned)
  • Research
  • Archived file management
  • New file editing
  • Blogging

There will of course be other things that come up. Right now I just don’t feel like I have enough time in the day and need help with everything. I’m happy to say that all of my past interns are now full time photographers (except one, but he’s a special case and I still have my fingers crossed that he’ll quit his insanely amazing job and go for it, but I don’t blame him for taking that job, it was an opportunity of a lifetime). Of course if you like, I’ll give you contact info of some of my past interns to talk with them about the experience. This is a serious learning position but also a working position. I need the help, which is great, but I also teach. So it is not the place for you if you are just interested in meeting a credit requirement. There are other places where you will be able to get that which will require less of you, and hey, no hard feelings, college is a lot of work so not everyone has this much energy. My last 2 interns already had graduated and that was great because they were able to get a really intense training.

What (I hope) you will learn:

  • How to shoot better and more creatively (of course)
  • How to edit and find your best images (we do portfolio reviews together)
  • How to identify an images needs (It may look great to us but will it look great to an art buyer? Straighten this, crop into that -if your a cropper, etc)
  • Waaaay more Photoshop that you know now. There is going to be a lot of Photoshopping in this.
  • Lightroom work flow
  • Business practices
  • Client relationships
  • Website management
  • Blogging with WordPress (let me know how much you know about WordPress too)
  • More things that I don’t have time to list, hence I need help!

So send me an email, with as much info as you can. Then I’ll get back to you letting you know if our schedules and skills are compatible. I’m posting here first to give anyone who already knows me a chance to respond first and then I’ll post online elsewhere.




Photography equipment unavailable?

Have you looked into purchasing new photography equipment lately? Your finally ready to buy that Canon 5D mark II? Or perhaps a new lens? Having a little trouble?
Last week I picked up the 100mm Macro 2.8L from B&H, and as with most of my lens and camera purchases I suffered a huge internal debate as to if I really needed to buy this. As I’ve posted before I often rent my equipment from but I’ve already rented this lens before and how many times can I justify renting it before it’s worth buying? So I did it, picked it up. No regrets. Done. If I had heard any of the things last week that have come to light this week I wouldn’t have hesitated as much to buy the lens!

Perhaps it’s because of this recent Canon Lens purchase that my awareness is heightened, or perhaps it’s just because this is a new week, but this week has been the week of where the @#%^! is the photography equipment! Guess I got lucky because I know where all my photo equipment is. But having two of my friend (Matt & Nami) in the market for new cameras I’ve noticed they are having a problem. Come to think of it, everyone is having a problem or will be soon (myself included). And this problem is not getting better or going away, it’s getting worse!

Wednesday night I went to a great talk by Seth Resnick, a Canon Explorer of Light (living the dream Seth…. living the dream.) sponsored by ASMP. He mentions this gear shortage.

Look familiar?

It will only be getting more and more common. Resnick said that after the Earthquake-tsunami-meltdown tragedy Japan’s camera power players Canon and Nikon are both barely running. One of the hardest obstacles for the companies to deal with is frequent power outages at the factories. If you haven’t guessed, this means little to no new production. Resnick was told “if it’s not at B&H, it’s not going to be anywhere” and that delays “could be as long as a year” in getting everything back on track. I  would guess that pertains to after the current supplies run out. But it is as bad as it sounds. Already your seeing the only big player selling the 5D Mark 2 is Andorama, and it’s about $200 more than it would be sold for at B&H, if they had it in stock.

Want to play a disturbing game? Go to B&H’s website, search for Canon L series lenses. Looks fine and dandy for the first page, but about 2/3 down the second page the unavailable items start, then continue through the end of the 3rd page. That means about half the L series lens inventory is already gone from B&H till Canon works out the kinks and gets product again. Scary, I  know.

PDN has some great reading on it and recommends a VERY useful site is where you can see who still has inventory.

Guess if anyone is sitting on used equipment, the time to sell it for the max amount is just about here. Or if any of my readers are on the fence about purchasing new photography equipment just the rumor of this being true should move you to get it while you can. Good luck everyone. Now all we can do is wait and perhaps be a little more careful with our equipment.

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