You probably got the email from us promoting a roadshow touring the United States and Italy presented by world renowned commercial, portrait, wedding, event, everything photographer Clay Blackmore.

Now that the event is nearing the halfway point, several of our staff have had the opportunity to sit in on the seminar and send back reports.

We ask our friend Bill Vahrenkamp and Darkroom’s very own, K Raminiak, what they took away most from the event.

Bill Vahrenkamp attended the Fort Worth event and explains: Clay is an old friend. We went to college together. I always try to go to his seminars as he is an excellent photographer and always has really innovative ideas.

K.R. was in the back of the room during the Austin seminar: I had only heard of Clay in the PPA circles. I had seen his work, including the Kris and Bruce Jenner wedding photos, oh, twenty years ago. I was really eager to see what he was willing to share with these rooms and rooms of people.

DARKROOM: What advice really stuck with you?

Bill: The mantra of the evening was “position, light, lift and refine”. Clay showed us over and over again to position the subject quickly, fix the light, lift the body and chin correctly to the light, refine everything and then shoot. The quick and simple of the mantra was really effective.

K.R.: The mantra stuck with me as well. I also recall how utterly easy he made it seem. It made me want to practice and shoot more. That also reminds me of how he talked about confidence. During the master class the models told him that the main difference between him and students was his confidence in posing them. It was succinct and self-assured.

DARKROOM: Any tips that you will use immediately?

Bill: During some of the discussion on weddings when using a second light slaved to your camera flash, place a couple of fingers over the light to soften it and make it the fill instead of the main. Brilliant.

K.R.: Shooting babies, they love to look at themselves in a mirror. Laying a mirror on the ground and then putting the baby on the mirror will get you an amazing shot. Just don’t forget to warm the mirror with a hairdryer before hand – otherwise you’ll have a crying baby.

DARKROOM: Does he mention Darkroom?

Bill: Yes! He talked about the software extensively. For example, he discussed when he was shooting a Presidential Inauguration party. He was using both Darkroom and another [competitor] software. Darkroom produced more prints and products by four to one.

K.R.: I was in the back of the room demonstrating Darkroom Version 9.1. Clay shared a story of using Darkroom during his very large events. He could not stop telling the audience that he couldn’t do it without Darkroom Professional Edition.

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All-in-all, everyone we’ve talked to has had a great experience at both the standard and master seminars. Both K.R. and Bill recommend the, rather inexpensive class ($59 with “DARKROOM” promo code), to any photographer that wants to improve their shots.

Click here to learn more about the remaining dates (again, don’t forget to use “DARKROOM” as a promo code for a $10 discount).

In addition, members of the Darkroom staff are planning on attending more of these and other events. If you would like for us to attend the How to Photograph Everyone seminar in your area, mention it in our comments or email us. If you would like us to look at a similar photography event, also mention it in the comments section. We will be sure to take your advice to heart.

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