Day 20: Craig LaMere of Moz Studios:
Was it worth flying across the country when it wasn’t in my budget to see Craig LaMere at his workshop? AB. SO. FREAK. IN. LUTELY.
I first saw Craig’s work on a forum I don’t even know how long ago. As soon as I saw it, maybe even after looking at 3 pictures, I knew he had a magic touch and emailed him right away to ask him when he was going to have a creativeLIVE, a workshop or come be my personal photography guide/trainer. He was immediately responsive (a trait I admire in him to this day) that he wasn’t ready yet but that things were in the works. In the meantime, I sat back trying to research how to learn to be as bad ass as him, but it wasn’t working.
Image after image, Craig’s work speaks volumes about his attention to detail and his unbelievable creativity. Whether it was intense, beautifully lit high school seniors and sports pictures or glamorous models, Craig’s work stood out. TONS of people shoot the things Craig shoots, but I can identify a Craig LaMere image in a crowded room any day.
He created a Facebook forum for fashion where you can easily be inspired not only by Craig but by his many fans that are also absolutely incredible artists. It’s a bit intimidating to post in that group amongst all of the talent. But Craig is a genuine and inspiring person and doesn’t at all make you feel intimidated. He posts challenges for the group which keeps it motivating to experiment with your own lighting and photography.
So when I saw that Craig was hosting the workshop of a lifetime in Idaho, Gabe and I decided at least one (wish it could have been both) of us needed to go. I told him it should be him and then I immediately heard myself speaking out loud and I got insanely jealous and decided selfishly that I should be the one to go. We went home and emailed Craig and the son of a gun had already sold out! I was seriously bummed, but I knew I would have my chance one day. Then one morning a few weeks later when I was setting up my lights on a shoot and once again complained that I wasn’t Craig LaMere, Gabe said, “well, you’ll have plenty of time to learn his skills in Idaho.” He just dropped that all nonchalant like it was part of my plan all along. It turned out that Craig was instructed to tell me it was sold out because my sweet husband had already gotten me a ticket. I should be onto him by now since he pulled the same stunt when we went to [F}ramed, but I was blown away.
Well, here I am on the last day of the workshop and I have to say, Craig has not disappointed. He and his brilliant, and I do mean brilliant makeup/hairstylist/model, Brooklynn Mooney thought of everything. He is so open and giving with his technique and teaching. You can ask him anything and he is willing to share. One thing I find insanely inspiring about Craig is that he has a dream to take the world by storm and he’s doing it. Maybe it’s too soon for him to have become a diva yet, but I don’t see that in his future. Craig has a way of being seriously confident but not the least bit cocky about it. He’s worked REALLY hard to get where he is and that shows in every bit of energy he put into making this workshop worth every penny. So you too can become this incredible if you eat, sleep and breathe photography…..and by sleep, I mean you stop sleeping. Craig doesn’t sleep. Ever. No, really, ever!
Some great advice that he offered may sound obvious, but how many people actually do it? When he’s not shooting for clients, he is shooting for himself so that he can improve and learn and refine his skills so that he can teach the rest of us. There’s no better way to get what you want out of life than to practice, try, live, breathe and bleed it until you get it. Craig wants his gravestone to say “there lies the most bad ass photographer on the planet earth” and when he’s through with it, I guarantee it will.
So yes, this workshop has been well worth it. He has every lighting set up under the sun set up for us to play with all day/night long. His models were gorgeous and easy to work with. He even made sure the accommodations were easy and perfect for us. The workshop is being held in the hotel that we are all staying at with the fabulous Craig LaMere discount. The Shoshone-Bannock hotel is the nicest, friendliest place I’ve ever stayed. My only critique of the workshop is that I wish he would double the price and half the number of attendees to get a little more intimate feel within the workshop.
If you have a dream, spend some time around Craig and you’ll find the confidence to make yours a reality. www.craiglamere.com
You can follow Bonnie and Gabriel Al-RIfai on Facebook here. You can check out my fine art/conceptual work at www.bonniealrifai.com. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our 31 Days of Photographers that Inspire.