I was so lucky to be sponsored by Riverland Studios to make the trip out west to Joshua Tree to be a part of the Heck Yeah Photo Camp. The camp was located in the Joshua Tree Retreat Center and was hosted by Ben Sasso with a group of other amazingly talented photographers who gave lectures, led guided shoots, and answered a million questions. The days were literally jam packed with so much incredible advice, knowledge, and comradery (oh! And killer food!).
Getting to know photographers that I respect and admire so much was really inspiring. A few of the talks that resonated with me most were given by Jose Villa, Ben Sasso, Ed Peers, and Ryan Muirhead. They covered the entire gamut of the photography industry. Talking about everything from branding, posing, editorial work, getting published, and the importance of making personal work.
During the styled shoots, we shot alongside the instructors. It was cool being able to watch their different approaches to photographing couples. These live shoots were beautifully styled and some of the instructors even jumped in as models themselves to let us get more experience instructing, prompting, and posing. In addition to an abundance of great photography education, I also made a few new great friends.
I’m excited to finally share some of these images with everyone. I had never spent any time in the desert before. Coming from lush green, mossy Charleston, the landscape literally couldn’t be more opposite; which, was a welcomed refreshing change. All in all, I would definitely recommend Heck Yeah Photo Camp to anyone interested. Most days were spent in the retreat center’s auditorium (and out of the August heat!). For me, the lecture style setup of the camp was great and how I personally learn best. I have to say that it far exceeded my expectations, and I’m very thankful I got the opportunity to go. I feel like I learned so much about technique, business, posing, etc., but even more importantly, I left feeling far more confident and comfortable in my own shooting style than when I arrived. Being able to listen and shadow these very talented and successful photographers and even drawing many parallels between the way I already shoot, easing people up in front of the camera, lens selection, and other things was really affirming. I definitely left camp very inspired and hungry to move forward both with creating beautiful authentic work & with a fresh perspective on business.