The Rawk Hard Workshop

On Friday, June 6th, I held my VERY FIRST workshop. I can’t even begin to describe how nervous I was!!! Months of planning and effort had gone into this one single day…I am SO relieved to say that I survived and that it went off quite well!

Our fabulous catering was provided by Thyme of Grace in Mishawaka. I was disappointed I didn’t get a picture of breakfast because it was a work of art as well!


To each attendee, we gave a gift box filled with homemade cakeballs…Bridget’s special recipe. I was pretty proud of the whole design because each branded box was hand crafted and wrapped with care. 🙂


We had two outdoor photo shoots. For the first one we focused on basic lighting principles with one model. Our lovely model, Carrie, did a fantastic job and now I can’t wait for another upcoming session I have with her this summer!







Between photo shoots we talked about branding, personalization, pricing, and post processing.

For our second shoot, we had the gorgeous Michelle and Mike model for us so we could work on posing, personalization, and properly lighting two people. I absolutely adored this session and could have photographed them ALL. DAY. I could have listened to Mike play his guitar all day!!!! I think I’m going to have to bring live guitar music to every photo shoot now…it certainly makes for a serene and romantic mood!

Michelle’s hair and makekup was done by the talented artisans at Emblazon Salon.








To top off the fabulous lineup, our sponsors provided some amazing door prizes! Showit gave away one free year of Showit Sites and a discount on Showit Web. WHCC gave away a free hard bound album and a free custom image box as well as 3 free months of PicPick proofing. Rebecca Lily gave away a complete set of her artistic presets. And B&H Photo provided Lighting Guides and 2 free copies of OnOne PhotoTools!

We wrapped up the day with dinner at Villa Macri’s. Saying goodbye to new friends was bittersweet. But what a wonderful day. Thanks to everyone who made the day a success!

The Rawk Hard Workshop


My first experience teaching was about five years ago when our pastor’s wife, Liz Miller, asked if I would come in and speak to a group of seventh graders about photography. I did not consider myself qualified to teach, but they were EXCITED about it and I knew that I could find SOMETHING to explain to them that they didn’t know before. So I decided to go for it. After that little class the students were given cameras and sent out to take pictures that would qualify a few of them for a regional competition. When I saw the enthusiasm that they had, when I saw the pictures that they took and the impact of the pictures I had shown them, I felt, in a small way, like they were mine. I felt proud of them. Since then, I’ve helped coach students every year for their competition pieces and begun teaching the online Raw Talent Class. I’ve seen my students win photography competitions. I’ve helped my friend Josef Samuel start a local photographer’s association called The X/Stop Project, which focuses on networking, education, and community service. I’ve held one-on-one mentoring sessions. This is not a laundry list of my achievements…this is me realizing for the first time that I’m drawn to teaching! Silly to just realize this, but for the past few years people have been asking me to hold a workshop and I’ve always said “I don’t think I’m cut out for that.” So it literally just dawned on me in the past couple of months that not only can I do this, but I am really excited about it! I’m excited about meeting current Raw Talent students who want to take their lighting to the next level. I’m excited about all the light bulb moments I’m going to be able to witness in person. I’m excited about seeing people grow, and having a part in that.

So thank you to each of you who have pushed me, asked repeatedly, and never let this thought leave my head until it became a reality. 🙂 You know who you are. You have helped me grow, and I hope I can do the same for others.

Click here for more info about the upcoming Rawk Hard Workshop!

The Raw Talent Class



When I first started taking pictures, I felt as if I had a bad interpreter. I would see stunning imagery before me and I would pick up my camera and clear my photographic throat, ready to speak to the world and express myself, only to find that my camera would completely botch it up in translation. I would say “WOW!” and my camera shrugged it’s shoulders and said, “Eh.” I ordered “Fillet Mignon” and my camera said “Spam.” It was a frustrating relationship! Fortunately, unlike most other relationships, my camera came with a handy dandy manual! I pulled it out and read it from cover to cover. I walked away with a little more confidence. I now knew how to speak my camera’s language. I was dangerous.

My manual told me that my camera was state of the art and very intelligent…put it on auto and it will work miracles! So I took it out once again to write a beautiful sunset sonnet and I put myself at the mercy of my camera’s intelligence, only to discover it was a Rebel, appropriately named! It soon became apparent that I was not going to become an artist, a diplomat, an orator, or communicator of any kind if I let my camera do all the thinking for me. So I decided it was time to take control and teach my camera how to see things MY way.

I welcome you…and your “interpreter”…to the world of seeing things YOUR way!

The Raw Talent Class Details:

WHAT: Raw Talent is an online photography course specifically geared toward beginning and aspiring photographers. If you have a DSLR but are still just aiming and firing like a point and shoot, this class is for YOU! If you are bravely accepting payment for pictures but need to brush up on the basics, YOU need this too! You will learn how to shoot in manual, basic natural lighting techniques, simple Lightroom and Photoshop techniques, and have access to picking my brain on any photographic subject you can think of. Each of the 8 blog lessons comes with a photo assignment which will receive my personal and individual review.

WHEN: Raw Talent II begins February 12th and ends April 9th.



1&2: Metering

3&4: Camera settings

5: Composing for Strength and Statement

6: Finding the Light (we do not discuss complicated flash techniques…primarily natural lighting)

7: Using your surroundings, personalizing, and getting in the ZONE

8: Post Processing
REGISTRATION: Class size is strictly limited to 15 at a time.
To add your name to the waiting list, please email