Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Genesis

‎...but were afraid to ask! First and foremost, if you're not following us on Twitter and Facebook, that needs to change NOW! We want to share all the great things we have going on!

Sometimes we get calls or emails asking “who is Genesis for, anyway?” That's a great question! Genesis is for any photographer wanting to “up their game”. It's for any photographer who is ready to take their work to the next level... whatever that level might be. The beauty of how we designed Genesis, is that there are four groups of students, placed together so as to maximize the individual learning experience. Those just starting out will be with others in the same position. Those who have been shooting for years and have honed their work more closely to what they want from themselves, will be with those who are also nearing the top of their goals. This way, the instructors engineer each rotation to meet the needs of those who are in front of them at that moment, instead of mushing it all together for people to pick out what information is for them, and what is under or over their heads.

The Genesis after-care is something in which we have taken great pride. Last year, we had thirty students from all over the country (plus two from Canada!). And even though we ran the full gamut of experience levels, each student left feeling as though they had made 29 new friends that they could call on and receive encouragement from. What better way to support that new family than to create a private forum where they can come together to post their images, share their thoughts, and ask their questions. The instructors strive to stay active in the forum so that any questions that are thought of can be asked, even though we're not still sitting in a classroom calling on raised hands. Your $1600 goes so much further than just the week of the workshop... the education and help continues after you return home, which is quite possibly the time you need it most! The forum has even been used numerous times to hire second shooters and/or assistants! Everyone wants the help of someone who was Genesis trained! ;)

When we were planning Genesis, the number one thing we wanted to ensure was the integrity of the topics being taught. With that in mind, each instructor chose their courses based on their personal strengths, not based on the subjects that we thought people would pay money to hear. There are too many workshops out there where one or two people act like they can teach it all. The truth of the matter is, so few can excel in every area (well, Tony comes close). So it's best to have several teachers who simply teach what they know... what they've been through... and what they have success in pulling off within their own business. So when you have Ed teaching you lighting, it's because he's awesome at it. When you have Tony teaching you workflow, it's because he's perfected it. When you have Sam teaching you group posing and client interaction, it's because he can nail it. And when you have Jeff and Mel teaching you how to balance family and business, it's because they screwed it up for so long and want to make certain you don't fall into the same holes they did.

Each instructor was asked to give a brief synopsis of their specific rotation & elective. Here's what was delivered!


Posing Group Shots/Drawing Inspiration: Famous last words from photographers JUST BEFORE completing a rotation with Sam Hassas include...... "I suck at posing"... "I suck at group shots"... "I suck at being creative". You'll understand not just the mechanics of a good group shot but the execution as well. "How the heck does he come up with all those creative images!?" No secrets! Everything is given and no question is denied. Skills will be built upon in a classroom setting along with a hands on real time group shot with YOU as a participant. A lot can be learned when your on the other side of the lens. Feel what a heavy person feels. Or a skinny, tall, short, white, black, GREEN... whatever! Everyone and anyone can be posed and feel like a rock-star. Come sucking. Leave not sucking.

Reception Lighting: Couples were hiring me because my images didn't look like everyone else's. They saw a difference even when they couldn't put their finger on what it was. The difference was off camera lighting techniques. During my reception lighting elective we will simulate an ACTUAL reception complete with music, strobes and dancers on a dance floor, (guess who the dancers will be). The EXACT lighting set up that I use EVERY TIME I shoot a wedding reception will be employed. We'll take photos and then reverse engineer exactly how I did it! A complete gear list will be provided and you'll hit the ground running your next wedding reception. Don't forget your dancing shoes!

Jeff & Mel

Better than Reality: You scroll through pages and pages of wedding galleries from the top photographers and think, "If I had THAT venue, I'd hit it out of the park, too!" Not all of us are lucky enough to end up shooting a reception in a glamorous five-star hotel. Our ceremonies aren't in cathedrals built in 1780. More times than not, we're in a dark church with wood panels walls and a bride getting ready in the nursery. The receptions are at the local Hampton Inn or the church fellowship hall with cinder block walls and a drop ceiling. Can beautiful images come out of locations that limiting? In the same regard, can you capture the best side of the bride who hates her profile? Or the one who worries about her double chin? How about the girl wearing a strapless dress even though she hates her arms? As professionals, we're sometimes given difficult people and places to shoot... but this is why they come to us. To make certain that even though they aren't the cover model, or their locations aren't the Ritz, we can still make them feel like Cinderella at the ball.

The Perfect Interview: It's the constant topic on all the forums for photography... "our market is over-saturated!" How can you make the most of the time you have with the couple? How can you stand out from the crowd? How can you make your studio be the one they trust the most? The one they feel will best cover their day? We'll go through steps that help strengthen your inter-personal communication AND give your potential clients the much needed boost in confidence they need to make the decision to hire you over others in your market.

Balancing Family & Business: You spend so much energy getting your studio off the ground... and just when you're ready to celebrate the success, you realize everyone around you is frustrated because you haven't given them the time of day in months! It's tough to put the effort into both sides of your life, but it's critical to remaining grounded and plugged in. Let us share our personal struggles and the concepts we've developed to ensure that all of our friends and family show up when we want to throw a party. ;)


From Brain to Photograph: Every photographer I know struggles with one thing. They spend so much of their time looking at photographs they admire, practicing how they'd like to shoot, conceptualizing ideas, purchasing things to help them process better and just generally freaking out about everything that they want to do. Then they get out on a shoot and promptly fall back into the same patterns that they're always in. Photographers always have ideas of what they want to produce, but often don't have the time/skills/equipment/guts to make it happen. In this portion of Genesis, I'm going to be addressing how we change that. We'll be talking about how the decisions that we make about how we shoot directly affect our work and how we can use the personalities we already have to mold a style. Then, we'll go from concept to production where you'll be able to come up with the ideas, then we'll execute them step-by-step and walk through how we decide what to do. It promises to be challenging and eye-opening.

Workflow: If there's one thing that I think needs to be integral to a business, it's a solid and consistent workflow. An inconsistent (or just plain bad) workflow can do irreparable harm to a business and a reputation. In the second part of my presentation, we'll use the images we created and talk about how we process them quickly and how we make our workflow an important part of creating our style without having it overwhelm our lives. This is a critical presentation that your sleep-deprived body will thank you for!


Comprehensive Lighting: Photography is light. There's simply no other way of looking at it. But the truth is that many photographers jump into their business without a knowledge of what that means. And often it's not just a matter of if we know what a Rembrandt pattern is (which we all should), it's if we know when to use it, how it's going to affect our subject and if it's appropriate for what we're shooting. My goal with lighting is to make it accessible to everyone. There's a lot of information out there, but light properties are always the same. At Genesis, we'll be diving into just that. We'll be defining light, refining light and showing down to earth demonstrations of how to control light like you never have before!

Gear and DIY: When most of us start in photography, we don't have big budgets or fancy tools. So most of us improvise. As we grow, we start to pick up on these things, but it's important not to lose the ability to create. Making gear that works for me has been a passion of mine since I started and I'll be showing just how I create tools that make me better and save tons of money in the process.

Need more convincing? Why don't you let Sam's Crib do it for you...

Genesis "CRIBS" - Sam Hassas from Melanie Mansfield on Vimeo.

Are you sold on the Genesis Workshop? Please give us a call and let us get your spot secured! Once you've registered with us, you'll gain access to the Facebook group for all of the 2011 attendees. It's a great place to hang out and get to know each other before you all end up in the same room for three days straight! We're already having fun in there, just waiting for the rest of you to join us! Call 252-525-3535 to reserve your slot today!