Though I thoroughly love working with people in group workshops I've often wished I could work with students in a more individualized and less distracted setting, where I could really focus my attention on them individually, honoring their particular learning curve. Which is why I began opening up my own personal garden, occasionally, for much more individualized instruction, one or two students (you and your friend), at a time.
Imagine it. You arrive at my garden early (as early as you're willing to get here once the skies begin to lighten). I hand you a steaming mug of either coffee or tea (it could be a rich, cuppa PG Tips, or organic peppermint or raspberry leaf, grown right here in my garden), and then we walk through the garden (it's not that big but it is full of visual possibilities), so that you can begin to feel at home in it. We'll have already talked about those areas you'd like most to improve in your photographic journey and you'll have already sent me examples of your work, several of your images that really please you and a handful of less satisfying images that help me understand those areas where you feel stuck.
I'll have already spent time with you by spending time with those images you've sent, and from them I will have crafted an 'assignment' for you to shoot that will help us build upon your strengths and address those areas that are still frustrating you.
As the light begins to build within the garden I'll set you free to begin to explore with your camera (it truly doesn't matter to me whether it's your iPhone, a Point-and-Shoot, or an expensive, SLR), shooting with your customized 'assignment' in mind, and either working closely with you or leaving you be within your exploratory meditations, depending on your particular learning style.
At some point I will excuse myself to begin to prepare your breakfast. You'll have told me everything I need to know about your breakfasting preferences (coffee or tea, cream or black, vegetarian or omnivore, (I make a mean frittata with goodies grown right here) or oatmeal, toast or muffins, bacon or sausage, any food allergies, etc.) While you explore and shoot, I will fuss and at some mutually convenient juncture, we will sit down together to converse and dine, either at the sunny kitchen table or out on the shady front porch, depending on the weather.
We'll talk, you sharing bits of the journey that has brought you here and hopefully, letting me know how your 'assignment' explorations are coming. Inevitably you will have glimpses to share and I will get to see, once again a garden that I am intimately familiar with through totally fresh, new eyes.
We'll make any necessary adjustments and while I clear the table I'll send you back out, perhaps to rework and improve certain images we've discussed or maybe just to continue forward, filling in some blanks. Again, I'll either coach from a close proximity or let you work in a more solitary manner, depending on what makes sense to your way of learning.
Eventually, I'll encourage you to bring your images inside so that we can project them on a much larger screen and study them in much greater detail. We may explore ways to crop them, open up the shadows, tweak the contrast, dodge and burn for dramatic effect, and finally, save those newly captured and enhanced images you've created so that you can take them with you. Along with your personally signed copy of my latest book collaboration, The Northwest Garden Manifesto, written by my dear friend, John Albers and published by Skipstone. So many of the images in our book were shot right here in this very garden that you'll be shooting in. I bet you'll recognize some of them after having spent the morning here.
Breakfast workshop prices for 2018 season: $325/individual, $435/for two (includes two signed copies of the book and 2 pre-workshop portfolio reviews.)
I have been offering a limited number of these private, custom, one and two person photo workshops in my West Seattle garden for the past four years and though it requires a great deal of thought and preparation to custom fit both a workshop and a delicious breakfast to each of my garden guests, I find it also allows a profound learning setting that has proven, again and again to be a learning journey for me, as well. I would love to talk with you about custom fitting one of these personalized experiences for you as you progress along in your storyteller's journey.
If, like some you want to add on to this experience, we can also extend your workshop, adding in assignment time in one, or a few of our region's finest public gardens, including, possibly a ferry ride to Bremerton to visit the wonderful, Albers Vista Gardens or to Bainbridge for a wander at stunning Bloedel Reserve, or closer to home, we can visit Kubota Gardens, Bellevue Botanical Garden, the Rhododendron Species Garden and/or the Washington Park Arboretum. If you're not sure which would be the best fit for you, I'm happy to discuss the pros and cons of each possibility.
And for a more budget-friendly experience, I'm happy to skip breakfast prep, meeting you, instead for a personalized workshop in one of our Seattle area public gardens, or your own garden. Prices begin at $250.