I was ecstatic when I learned that Clay Cook would be coming to Portland, Oregon as part of his 2015 West Coast Workshops tour. Clay is an incredibly talented photographer that in just a few short years has managed to grow his brand and become one of the biggest names out there right now.
Going into the workshop I had several things I was greatly interested in hearing Clay talk about, but mostly marketing and post-production. These are the two areas of my photography business that could use the most work. I have always struggled with marketing my own business and post-production is something that I can never make my mind up on.
Clay is a master marketer and part of his workshop was focused on what he does to build up his brand and market his business on social media. Some of the information shared was incredibly helpful in helping me develop a marketing strategy for my own business; such as the ideal time to post on the various social networks and how often to post to keep your followers on each platform engaged with you and your brand.
Another thing that I always look forward to when attending workshops is just being able to see how each photographer interacts with their models. This is something else that I have always struggled with; knowing when and how to give direction and how to verbalize what I am seeing. While these were not topics covered directly in the workshop, it is always interesting me to observe other photographers work.
The post-production part of the workshop is what myself and a lot of the other attendees at the Portland workshop looked forward to. Clay took us from capturing the images all the way through his editing process and the steps he uses to take his images to another level.
Probably the most important piece to this was that unlike at other workshops I have attended, Clay actually provided the files he was working on so we could follow along with him as he was processing the image. I am a visual person, and I learn even faster when I can do what I am seeing, so this piece of the workshop was incredibly helpful to me in developing my post-production skill set.
One of his techniques in particular that stood out to me was his sharpening method. This is something that anyone with Photoshop can do, and it does a great job of bringing out detail and allowing you to sharpen your image to taste. He has a great video tutorial on it via his YoutTube channel that I embedded below. Make sure to check it out.
Overall, I left Portland that afternoon incredibly impressed with Clay and what he put together for his 2015 Workshop tour. I was able to learn several things to help improve my social media marketing strategy and my post-production workflow. I also gained valuable insight into working with models, and shooting in the hot mid-day sun.
I can’t recommend his upcoming 2016 workshop tour enough. The plan that he shared with me was to tentatively go on an East Coast tour in the Spring of 2016. So if you are interested, I highly recommend heading over to his Workshop website and subscribe to his feeds to get the low down once more concrete information on those workshops become available.
Portland, Oregon! What a blast. We talked market challenges and really explored on-location lighting in the bright-hot-sun. It’s really inspiring to work with photographers from all over the country everyday. We are in the homestretch of our West Coast workshops tour; what a indescribable journey. Seattle, you’re next!Be sure to follow our video updates from the road on my social journal; www.claycookworkshops.com/social
Posted by Clay Cook | Photography on Monday, July 20, 2015
You can learn more about Clay and his incredible photography over on his website here. Also, as I mentioned above, make sure to take a look over on his Workshops website to get the most up to date news on his upcoming workshops.