A couple of months ago we teamed up with one of the best photography instructors in the wedding industry – Tyler Wirken – to kick off the first of The Wirkshop Series. The Wirkshop Series focuses on documentary photography for the wedding day. Each installment in the series is be a little different, infused with the unique flavor of various guest instructors. Ben and I were honored to be chosen for the first one, held at Tyler’s gorgeous Kansas City studio. Even though it’s a documentary workshop, we included a portrait session for the shooting demo.
We have always used real couples for our workshop shooting demos, so Tyler asked one of his upcoming wedding couples if they wouldn’t mind spending a few hours in front of 15 cameras. Angela had her hair and makeup done while her fiance Matt sat beside her, probably spending the entire time laughing about the room full of photographers circling them, crawling under chairs, moving strobes around, and analyzing every angle and nuance of light. The prep session was shot totally documentary, with no interference from any of us. The makeup and hair stylists chose where to place our bride. After Angela was all gussied up, we headed out into the streets for a real engagement session, where Ben, Tyler and I fought for posing time with our couple. Angela and Matt were great sports and showed so much patience with all of us. We shot through sunset, and then rested our eyes and bones over martinis and barbecue.
The next day we looked at what we shot the day before and later had an open critique of every student’s current work. We also fit in a sales discussion, with a client sales demo from Tyler. What was intended to be a half-day turned into a full day, with a late-hour pizza order, and pricing discussions continuing well into the night, wrapping up at the bar downstairs. I think the last of us left Tyler’s studio around 2 or 3 a.m.!
We had an absolute blast watching everyone bloom, develop, experiment and figure things out. There were a few revelations and even discoveries of hidden talents, all of which made this workshop extremely fulfilling for us. We left exhausted, but with newly stretched brains and 12 new friends.
Definitely keep an eye on the Wirkshop blog for more Wirkshop date announcements. Tyler’s planning a few more of these with other guest instructors, and is also continuing the smaller advanced Wirkshop classes. Wish we could go again, but we’ve already had our turn. Can’t wait to see who’s up next!