The voice in my head picked up an accent.

About one year ago I attended an all day photography seminar in Detroit. It was scheduled to run from, I think, 9am to 9pm. The speaker was Australian photographer Jerry Ghionis, one of the top 10 photographers in the world. The day was jam packed with practical information and I couldn't believe that this amazing world-famous photographer was not only giving away just about every secret we'd ever wanted to hear, but he was ENTERTAINING! I had never learned so much in just one day. At 9pm when it was time to wrap things up, Jerry (who had been talking to people during his breaks and had only had one meal all day) said he had more information to give us and "Should I keep going??" We all cheered and he continued on till amost 11pm! That single day changed my entire year.

But the week I spent studying with Jerry in Dallas this month changed my entire life.

From the moment we arrived till time to say goodbye, we felt like Jerry was there to give us every ounce of his attention, every answer to every question, and most of all, his friendship. He's such a personable guy, we all felt completely comfortable with him. Of the five days, we spent two of them shooting with Jerry, watching him dissect a scene and dream up photo concepts. He personally reviewed our work, our businesses, and met with us one-on-one to answer questions. He started class earlier than planned and extended it later. After eating dinner together, we all wandered around and shot some more. It seemed the only limit to what he would give us was our need to sleep. Ours, not his!

I can't begin to reiterate everything I's overwhelming and so very very detailed! But that's ok because I came home with a little voice in my head that says "Mum" instead of "Mom" and "fringe" instead of "bangs." And somehow makes "staircase" sound like "steakhouse."

After an overdose of instruction, we were set loose with our models to put it into practice. No pressure...the timer was set to 10 minutes and the SOTC photos would be reviewed in class the next day. pressure at all. This was the shot I submitted. I was very happy with it and Jerry gave it a good review. Our lovely models did a fantastic job...Ben and Amy are actually photographers themselves and I really liked them a lot.


Here are the other two shots that I took in my 10 minutes and I considered them but they didn't make the cut. I love them BUT...I could only use one!



When I came back from my 10 minute shoot, I shot over Jerry's shoulder and caught these shots. These are all SOTC and some may be imperfect or cropped badly but I left them as is because they're purely documentary anyways. We were all crammed in a small space and usually couldn't choose our angles...I shot to help me remember what Jerry was saying while he was shooting on each of these sets.










This is my own shot from day 2. Jerry gave it a rave review which put me on, oh, cloud 9.5.


More shooting. The set...


The shot...



There are so many more pictures, but this is getting long already...I'll move on.

One of the BEST parts of the week was my awesome roommate, Pam. We really connected and enjoyed many late night conversations. I know that God sent me to Dallas as much to meet Pam as He did to meet Jerry. I came home encouraged in my home life and my was a fantastically balanced week. God also allowed me to make another wonderful friend on my flight home...again, I was so thankful for every single person I encountered.


Here's a shot of me taken by Mariae of Pink Posh Photography.


And a shot of me and Mariae together. She is a VERY talented photog from Austin. I wish I had gotten pix with more people but we all had flights to catch and ran out of time. So many GREAT people, new friends, and fabulous talent!


We went out on Thursday night to Jerry's favorite kind of venue...a karaoke bar! He totally ROCKS...if he hadn't been a wedding photographer, he'd have been a wedding singer! lol. But since the rest of us were less vocally inclined, he sat down for a couple rounds of Jenga between numbers. And that's when we found out he does have a weakness...he flat out sucks at Jenga! HA! I guess you can't win 'em all, right?


Jerry's groupies!


Baby got Back...starring Pam, Mariae, Leslie, and Kelly


Look at how happy Jerry was to see me! (vs. last time) :) I didn't have to photoshop it at all!


I can't say enough good things about Jerry's assistant, Sally! She is SO sweet and hospitable, intuitively helpful, organized, and amazing. We all just fell in love with her and still enjoy keeping in touch every so often.


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