Ben and Erin will detail how they approach an entire wedding, showing exactly what they do in every situation. Lens choice, where to stand, off-camera flash, how to interact with guests, what to wear, when to change positions, when to stay where you are, how to turn harsh light into beautiful light, how to make critical decisions in the most important moments, how not to be scared, how to photograph for your client, how to photograph for your future clients, how to photograph for you, how to photograph for people looking at your work 50 years from now. Everything they know and do every weekend will be in plain, easy-to-understand detail.
JVS will use his 20 years of experience to show you not only how to be more creative with lights, but how to make money from them. Interested in bringing more lights to a wedding than just your strobe? JVS brings them all. Interested in using one light to make a scene stand out? JVS will show you. Interested in learning dynamic head shots? JVS knows how. Want to take the most interesting food photos your favorite local restaurant has ever seen? JVS is a master at it. Want to make a bride look like a model in Vanity Fair? JVS will show you. No scene will ever look the same again after you see what is possible using JVS’ signature lighting skills.
Mauricio loves to make the obvious abstract, and the abstract make perfect sense. This is a unique opportunity to get inside the head of an experimental artist. He will demonstrate how every situation has endless possibilities once you learn to see everything as a unique part of life. By using challenging compositions, complex lighting and inspiring connections between his couples, Mauricio brings the simple magic of romance and art into every image he creates. Maybe it’s his Latin flair. Maybe it’s his curly hair. But whatever it is, he’ll show you how to do it so you can make your own art at your very next wedding.
Rich in history and character, Charleston is one of our favorite cities in the country for eating, drinking, and taking pictures. Autumn is a great time to visit, and you will get glimpses into life in this Revolutionary and Civil War era city, with its well-preserved architecture, grand old homes and cobblestone streets. Charleston is also a very safe, walkable city, so if you decide to bring your family with you, they will have plenty to do every day while you’re working hard at the workshop!
Lunch, coffee, water and snacks will be provided all three days. Breakfast and dinner will be on your own, except for the final supper, as they say in the deep South. We will treat you to a fun night out to reward you for all your hard work! And also because we just really want to hang out with you, perhaps with a good Southern cocktail in hand.
You will fly into CHS airport, which is about 15-20 minutes from downtown Charleston. There is a chance your flight into CHS will be on a smaller plane, so bring your gear in a small roller or shoulder bag so you don’t have to gate check your valuable equipment. You don’t have to bring your entire kit either. A couple cameras, a couple lenses and a flash will do the trick.
Charleston is home to all types of accommodations, so no matter what your budget is, you'll find plenty of options on where to sleep for the few hours you're not with us.
The American Theater is one of Charleston’s most iconic landmarks. Located in the heart of downtown, it is beloved by both locals and tourists for its beautiful, well-preserved Art Deco design. The theater opened its doors in 1942 as Charleston’s premiere movie house. We are beyond excited to host our first ChrisMAX workshop inside this amazing space, with its stadium-seating cinema, ballroom, and colorful, unique, interior details that will provide lots of creative possibilities for our shooting demos and exercises.
We’ve been teaching workshops for several years all over the world. In their own words, here are some experiences from past workshop students.
With my wife's encouragement I found my way to the Casa de Chrisman workshop, and it has forever changed my life. I went in with no business, no website, no real extensive portfolio, and no confidence. For so much of my life I have doubted myself and feared failure more than anything. At the workshop I learned photography skills that have made me a much better photographer and fundamentally changed the way I shoot, but the workshop was so much more than that. During my personal portfolio critique I was nervous and kept thinking of how bad my work was, but midway through Ben turned to me and said, "You're a really solid shooter. You need to start your business. You can make it as a photographer." It's one thing to just be told this, but I could feel the true sincerity behind it. As I was tearing myself up inside, Ben and Erin's overwhelming love and support hit me at my core. What they said then and throughout the entire workshop was genuine and from the heart. Ben and Erin are both such kindhearted people who truly cared about making me a better photographer. Their sincerity and the support of everyone else who attended the workshop with me has instilled a passion in me to move as far forward as I can and not look back. I now have a business, a website I am proud of, and the confidence that continues to drive me every day. I also learned that I will fail over and over again -- and that it's okay to fail. I accept it, explore it and learn from it. What I will no longer do is doubt myself. I can never thank Ben and Erin enough.Bryan Surgener, Cleveland
Last year I was looking to improve my photography. I was desperate to achieve what my eyes had seen the last couple of months: beautiful, well-composed and stunning wedding photography. I began to look out for the best wedding photographers in the world and I found Ben and Erin Chrisman. I was amazed at what I saw, and I knew that I had to meet them. With luck, Ben announced on his Facebook that a group for April was about to open. “If I want to be the best, I have to learn from the best,” I thought.
Casa de Chrisman workshop was a huge eye-opener to me. I said before I needed to improve my photography, but before that, I needed to understand it, to understand about composition, light, moments. Ben and Erin gave me all those tools to start from the basics. I saw them as my big siblings who always are guiding me for the best path.
My photography has improved since then, and I have always my notebook with all the notes and advises Ben and Erin gave me. I always read them the night before a wedding day. They are my inspiration and reference for me and my girlfriend as photographers, and I will always have them in my heart.Juan Millán, Colombia
Your workshop was f***ing awesome! I had a great time and truly craved your critiques. Every thing from the lectures to the tequila shots were truly amazing!
I really enjoyed how you guys made such a great effort to provide an excellent experience. The service your provided during the workshop was a great reflection of the type of service you guys provide to your couples and a good example of how to treat your clients and peers. Both of brought something different to the learning experience and watching the way you guys prepared, listened, and even took notes showed me a lot. You pointed out things that I had not known and incorporated that have since set me on a path that has improved my photography and my business. Despite all the information I received, one of the things I valued most is the connections I made during my time. I appreciate your hospitality and recommend your workshop to everyone!Jay Jackson, Dallas
I am as overwhelmed writing this review as I was attending the workshop. But suffice to say that Ben & Erin opened their hearts, home, and wealth of photography talent to us with nothing held back. They shared their business model, their client contracts and other details which are indispensable to run a photography business.They are super nice human beings. In addition to being great teachers they played a great host. For two days we were walking, shooting, dancing, learning, chatting, playing with their cats all over their house while enjoying great food and drinks. This revealed to us another secret for their success: they are great people persons.Their concern and love for people is just unimaginable. And one can see how this translates into the enthusiasm for their subjects and ultimately into great images. On the last day of workshop they treated everyone to a great dinner. After that we were invited for the dance party at their house, and the fun continued. While we were enjoying the party Ben had an eye on everyone's drink, the moment one finished the drink, Ben would grab the glass and refill it. A small detail that shows how humble and nice they are despite being the top photographers in the world.M.P. Singh, San Jose
After eight years shooting weddings following a shift from my beginnings as a newspaper photojournalist, I settled into a comfy but predictable style - not only with my photographic vision but also my photo biz as a whole. I knew all the spots, had decent success and was making money. The problem was that I was increasingly unsatisfied. I was getting "lazy with my light" as Ben told me during the two-day workshop.
It was an intense two days, but being there and being open to the changes Ben suggested has really invigorated my photographic vision. Those two days and those two people taught this old dog some new tricks. I needed a good kick in the ass and that's what they gave me.Glen Cooper, Boston
I attended Ben and Erin’s Casa de Chrisman workshop in February 2015. Having participated in many professional, high-level business workshops in the past, I’ve been underwhelmed by most photography offerings - they seem canned, preaching just what they think people want to hear. The environment and premise of this sounded very different, and right up my alley - so I went in with the plan to roll up my sleeves, work hard, and stay open to honest critique and learning new things. I am so glad I did. It was the perfect balance of challenging assignments, critique, theory, business, and fun - in a candid, open environment. I came away from the workshop with so much more than I had planned - not only do I have a clear vision for my business going forward, but the confidence to execute it in a way that will be gratifying, profitable, and sustainable. I can’t thank Erin and Ben enough, for sharing their home and their expertise, and for providing such an incredibly valuable experience. I would work with them again in a heartbeat.Karin Belgrave, New Jersey
I went into the workshop looking for a spark; a different way to see the world through my lens. Loving Ben and Erin's wider shooting style - which is very different from mine - I was hoping for a broadening of my perspective both literally and artistically and I wasn't disappointed.
Through talking about stepping back, slowing down and layering, Ben and Erin challenged us to fill our lens with more than the subject, using our 35mm and working creatively with what was in the frame vs. shooting long and tight to exclude difficult elements. Within that, learning to walk into a room and make intentional decisions about how you were going to use the light, was also really inspiring to me. Deciding how to creatively use ISO to incorporate or eliminate certain parts of the story, or pushing yourself to work with more challenging light for dramatic and unique results, reminded me to continue taking chances with my work to grow and remain inspired.Lisa Richmond, Sacramento
I just wanted to share my thoughts on my time with Ben, Erin and Mauricio at Casa de Chrisman. What an amazing experience! Having attended other workshops prior to theirs, I thought I knew what to expect. Boy was I wrong! The time I spent with them exceeded my expectations in every way. Not only did I learn how they accomplish many of their signature pictures but I felt like a part of the family by the time I left! They were able to dig into each of us and figure out what fears and obstacles are holding us back. They were then able to provide us with the motivation and understanding to break through these barriers and put us on the path to becoming a better photographer. Unlike most workshops I have attended, theirs was more challenging. Some of the things I learned require practice and time to accomplish. I have implanted many changes to my workflow and shooting style since attending. While I’m not where I want to be yet, I know I have the tools and direction to get there. Thanks, Guys!Sean DeWitt, Virginia
Everything the Chrismans do is done at the highest level. You can expect the same quality from their workshops that their clients expect from their wedding images. Ben and Erin take the time to learn about each individual. Touching on certain aspects that they should work on to help take their imagery and understanding of the wedding business to the next level. There was never a feeling of disconnect. You will enter the workshop open-minded and leave feeling extremely motivated with a new skill set to implement and complement your style. If you want to be the best you have to learn from the best. Ben and Erin Chrisman are not only incredible artists/storytellers, but two of the coolest people I have ever met and damn good educators. If you are trying to decide on a workshop there aren't many better than this. Ben and Erin changed my life and I am forever grateful.Shaun Baker, San Diego
It was 3 a.m. and I was still editing images on my slow IMac, frustrated about my images, my editing, my computer and my husband’s snoring coming from the bedroom. That’s when I decided to put my headphones on, open Spotify and do what I was not supposed to do while working - log into Facebook. That’s when I saw that the Chrismans had added new workshop dates. I had been thinking about that workshop for a while but I was scared to spend the money. Flights from Miami were not cheap and I would have to add hotel, taxis etc… I think no matter if you are starting in photography or if you are Seliger, Schoelller, Clinch at some point you think, “I suck at this photography thing.” So I took out my credit card and hoped for the best. And the best did come! In the end it was totally worth it and I would highly recommend anyone to be part of such an awesome experience. And even if you are not sure what type of photography you want to do, I think we all want to say something with images. I cannot think of any better people than these two for wisdom and inspiration in that matter.Chantal Lawrie, Miami
I have been shooting since 1993, and your workshop proved that you can truly teach new photographers with no off-camera flash experience in the same workshop as people with plenty of experience with off-camera flash. Your knowledge of different triggering systems is profound, as is your knowledge of different camera systems. You also demonstrate that there is often more than one way to solve the same problem…and the more ways you know, the easier your job is. Some people light to create drama. Some people light to properly expose a subject. Some people light to flatter bodies. You know when to do each, and how to blend them to create the look you are hoping for better than most photographers out there. You show all of this and more in your workshops, while also giving everyone a chance to try their hand with any modifier or light that they are interested in. Amazing workshop. Amazing presenter. Can’t wait to catch up with you for a beer the next time we are within 25 miles of each other.Kevin Ferguson, New York
I just attended one of JVS’ workshops recently. I was truly inspired by it. Working primarily with natural light (and loving it), I had the urge to add something to my photography. He made it happen. Trusting trigger/receiver systems for the first time is a huge step for me. Happy to be happy to pack new toys for playing and experimenting with light in a totally different way.Stefy Hilmer, New York
The most important thing to me about JVS Workshops is that it gives you a whole range of skill-sets that enables you to set yourself apart from your competition. Being able to walk into ANY situation, be it harsh sun outdoors or a dimly lit room indoors, and being able to use lighting to walk away with professional photographs every single time is an invaluable skill for any photographer.Jason Hudson, Fayetteville
Being one of my first smaller intimate workshops that I have attended, JVS made every aspect not only fun, but packed with information and knowledge. Armed with bags full of affordable gear that he does not keep a secret, but have you use all day. Years of experience and countless scenarios are all part of the workshop that has been the best workshop that I have been to. Joseph is tireless and will not turn away from any questions. The community of people and ongoing knowledge you will gain from attending, has been an added bonus to an already outstanding experience.Brad Coupland, Vancouver
Mauricio’s INSPIRATION workshop was just like the title said: it inspired me. There is clearly a before and after in my career. I’ve been to many workshops where they showed techniques or tricks that I incorporated in my workflow. But in this case, Mauricio inspired me to expose myself, the ME of my photography and a reflection of how I see life.
He showed his techniques, his vision and ways to work and he did it from a very humble and close way. He taught us to search the complex into something simple or something simple into the most complex, but mostly he urged us to go our way and fight for our vision. THANKS FRIEND.Pedro Cabrera, Canary Islands
Mauricio is magical and inspiring. Tireless, great criteria, and very observant. Those are some of the adjectives that come to mind after spending a seminar at the hands of Mauricio. Certainly a shot of fresh air and energy to face the new season. I needed it.Victor Lax, Spain
“You need to ask yourself, what is this photo about?”
This was more than just about photography as a visual art and a way to express emotion. Mauricio’s passion first and foremost is for LIFE and for FAMILY and I believe his personality and his way of seeing the world reflects in his work. What we received was a honest and humble man standing in front of us, talking about how he creates his images and captures the feeling and emotions of the moments in front of him.
I wanted to learn a way to see things differently and to strengthen my storytelling abilities. I left the workshop inspired, driven and motivated to be a better photographer and to create something special for my clients. It made me think about how I could show my personality better in my work and not just be obsessed by ‘eye candy’ photos but also have a determination to provide something which is timeless.
Thank you Mauricio for being so open with your work and your perspective of life.SHAAMIL SEDANI, London
I could write so many wonderful things about Mauricio and what I've learned by attending his workshop, but let me get to the most important points.
The person. What I appreciated the most at Mauricio was the fact that he is REAL. He is a very open person and gave insight into how he truly approaches the wedding day.
Inspiration. I never attended a workshop before. I learned everything by myself and built my success alone. It was so refreshing to listen to Mauricio and learn how he finds inspiration for his incredibly creative wedding pictures. He really made me think before taking a picture at what I want to transmit. Now, I think about emotions, don't set any limitation and always look to create something different. Another important thing I've learned is to practice. I now take pictures literally every day, perfecting my craft and pushing myself to find a photograph where there is no obvious one. My life changed a lot since March and I now approach each wedding with so much more confidence.Fran Boloni, Paris
When I first signed up for Casa De Chrisman, I did not expect to come out shooting on par with the best of the best. However I hoped that I would be inspired and steered in the right way to grow as a photographer, both which I can honestly say I walked away with. I have been to other workshops before, but the thing that stands out most with Erin and Ben is that they are truly artists at heart. There are people who shoot for a living who are business people first with photography coming second. However you can see that the two of them are truly passionate about what they do, and you cannot helped but get sucked into it while you are with them, resulting in wanting to be a better photographer yourself. On top of that I love how brutally honesty the 2 of them can be during the critique session. Without having someone telling it to you to your face, you can not honestly grow. I cannot emphasize how great this workshop is, and I encourage anyone wanting to challenge themselves to attend.Chris Pui, Toronto