Learning From the Best

I've been fortunate to have surrounded myself with some of the very best photographers/teachers in the world today.  It seems to me that photography is a constant learning experience.  I really do enjoy the education, especially when I have a great teacher to learn from. 

I first heard Randy Kerr speak at the Ladybird Wildflower Center in the Fall of 2013 at a seminar  that he participated in with Doug Box and Tim Babiak - all three pro photographers who work hard to help others.  Randy provided a slide show that day of international and mission based work that  simply mesmerized me and I knew at that moment that I wanted to learn from him.  Randy Kerr, author of the global award winning Westway Method of Photography, wrote "Photography plays a role in teaching me how to become a better person by learning how to connect with my surroundings and the people in my life. My hope for you in this program, is to become more aware of the light present and become mindful of how to interface with the light while creating an image you envision."  How utterly inspiring!

I came to learn that Randy is not only an Austin legend as an outstanding photographer, but he is also a passionate human being who truly cares about helping others who are struggling to comprehend photographic techniques and seeking the light. In the past year and a half, I've been blessed by participating in some of his classes, getting to hear him speak at Austin Professional Photography (APPA) and becoming a part of his motivational concept of a "Nikon Fellowship" where we can all connect as a forum to showcase our work and help one another out. 

He taught me to "slow down," and be mindful of the existing light, it's quality and distance before ever attempting a shot. He took time out of his busy schedule to spend a few hours with me, helping me to actually SEE faint shadows on the face and how those shadows can be enhanced to make a better portrait.  Best of all, though, he invited me to enter his magical world, Eleven Savannas, 15 acres in the Bastrop/Smithville area where he lives and has literally carved the land as an outdoor studio.

Eleven Savannas is truly amazing. Randy personally cleared eleven meadows, after intensely studying the sun and the way it enhances his subject. We tried several different scenarios with the lovely Jennifer Lynn Larsen. In the shade with a Westcott Octabox,

Then natural light and reflectors beside a wall he built that had lovely texture,

And finally in an archway that he built, again using the Octabox to bring out a pop to her eyes at a time when the sun was strong, but we got to control the light.

I highly recommend taking advantage of any workshops that may be offered at Eleven Savannah's in the coming months and growing as a photographer by slowing down and listening to Randy's suggestions whenever you can.

Keep shooting, friends!


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