Last month I took a train up to Boston to spend five days at Jonathan Canlas’ Film Is Not Dead workshop with 12 other amazing photographers from across the country. We stayed in an insanely large old house a block from the beach in Plymouth Massachusetts. If you aren’t familiar with him, Jonathan is one of the most predominant film photographers in the industry and has had a big (meaty) hand in the recent film revival movement. The man is unreal. The way he works with his clients, his drive and business sense, his efficiency, the devotion he has to his family and obviously his photography are all something to behold…You can literally watch his brain working 1000 miles per minute…try to have a text message conversation with the man and you will see what I mean. He is just a truly inspirational person on so many levels that go a lot deeper than his skill behind the lens of a camera.
Last year, when I was considering coming to his workshop one of the most common things that I read online was that he holds nothing back and tells all…and I always just thought “yea sure…there is always something held back.” No, I was wrong…the only way that you could leave this workshop with questions unanswered is if you didn’t ask them…Jon will spill the beans on anything. The amount of information that I came home with on so many different topics is amazing…slightly overwhelming perhaps…but truly amazing and a lot of it is going to change the way I run a business and the way that I see the world as a photographer. Some of the things I learned I don’t think you can put a dollar value on.
The class spans 3 days with each day being split down the middle between classroom style discussion and shooting. The classroom discussion covers an insane number of topics like film stocks, workflow, editing, the importance of personal work, web presence/social media, storytelling, business practice, sales and getting published just to name a few. As for the shooting portion of the day, the first day was engagement couples, the next day was families and the final day was wedding couples. Each photographer gets to have their go after watching Jon work his voodoo. Watching his attention to detail, the way he directs people and how quickly and efficiently he works was one of the biggest things that I took away from the workshop.
Lastly, a mention needs to be made for Catherine Abegg…Jon’s assistant in putting these productions together and keeping them running smoothly. Seriously these two are like the Batman and Robin of photography workshops. Catherine organizes all the technical details of the 3 days…from food preparations, travel arrangements, providing late night comedic relief, and beating away annoying street fundraisers with her Hasselblad. She added the cherry on top to an already beautifully prepared sundae/workshop.
This experience is about so much more than learning about film and what it can do for you and your business. I came away not only with a ton of photography and business knowledge but also 14 new amazing friends, a few ridiculous stories and a renewed sense of direction that I want my photography to take.
It was worth every penny I paid and I would do it again in a heartbeat. If you are considering going to a 2013 FIND workshop…get on it now…from what I hear they are booking up fast.
Thank you Jon, Catherine, Angela, Mark, Kate, Rob, Amy, Mandy, Hilary, Meg, Bev, Brianne, Nicole, Lisa and Esther. Hopefully we cross paths again sometime soon.
Also thanks to all the models and to Sara Eller for the amazing food she provided us.
That is more than enough jibber jabber…let’s get on to some photos. All shot on film obviously. A mixture of Portra 160, Portra 400 and Portra 800. Mamiya 645 AFD and Hasselblad 500c.