I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly…FosterBlog01

So, I met Ben on kind of a self-dare to try and be better about meeting up with creatives. I had been/am sort of burned out on the networking end of art mainly because I can’t handle a lot of the ego involved – maybe #humblebrag?. I didn’t really know his work but had seen some and knew it was good. I was going to offer to get a beer with him… he doesn’t do beer. I was going to take him out for coffee… no coffee either. It seemed all that was left was to churn butter and raise a barn, but I settled for a lunch and he had juice, I still got coffee.

That meeting happened right in the midst of a reflection in my life about how distasteful the attitude of treating people like leverage was to me. I know a couple of famous people and have been around a few myself. The conversations that surround them are equal parts obvious, painful, and annoying. It’s a lot of how-much-can-you-help-me thinking. If a person can’t enhance their position or pull them up a wrung then there isn’t much time for them.  I’ve seen people talked down to by ones they admire because they weren’t at a similar position professionally, and I’ve felt that myself. Ben talks a lot about community over competition and that is one of the reasons I was most interested to watch his progression in photography and education. Jeremy Cowart is another inspirational figure in how he is an expert, encouraging, and empowering. The photography community needs more of these kind of people.

I was invited to this first #fosterworkshop to help/watch/cook/chill and enjoy the mountains. The day I graduated from Fuller Seminary I had lunch with my wife, her and my families, and then met Ben outside of a Von’s to carpool up into the Frazier Mountain wilderness. I was able to connect with people in the hustle – some beginning and some long in the game. Jordan Voth was the second speaker, which was another welcomed surprise because I had found him randomly on 500px and stalked him to ask him about color toning, because he’s basically incredible at that. Here’s some from that first workshop.  I had never really been to a photo workshop, but it was rad. Some of these people give me digital hugs often, and they are buddies. Oh and meeting TeamWoodnote is pretty much rad as well, they came and modeled for us, pink hair and all.

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The second Foster was at the same cabin, new crew, and this time with the terribly downtrodden Katch Silva (read as much sarcasm into that as you can – because she is as jovial as an elf on it’s birthday). Escaping to the mountains in the fall used to be a yearly habit of mine that I fell away from over time, and this being my opportunity to do that in 2014 was timely and awesome. It always amazes me how even total strangers can become friends when locked up in a cabin with bunk beds and having to share stories, make jokes, cook together and make the most out of the, umm, unique cabin issues that come along. We also had a chance to shoot one of ANTM finalists, Shei Phan, which isn’t a bummer at all.

I remember this one being colder, and I was cool with that (that was actually a really good joke)

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Basketball had the ’96 Bulls, photographers in February of 2015 have Ben Sasso, Katch Silva AND Benj Haisch. The Foster Workshop has always brought a variety of perspectives on business, creativity, and the unique processes of artists, and this one was definitely a highlight of that. Ben, Katch, and Benj all have different ways of approaching business/social media/editing/client interaction/and business. One thing they are clear about is not having the market cornered on how to be a successful photographer, which gives everyone attending the breathing room to adjust as their market/vision/hopes are unique to them.

This one just wrapped yesterday morning and it was awesome getting to talk more to Benj who is another source of challenge (or depressing, rage-inducing jealousy depending on the day) in the picture-taking world. We also got a little further from the cabin, played in the wilderness, Ben fell in love with a Bronx-accent-weilding-neighbors dog, and got to shoot some Foster alum, Liana McCain and her radly-bearded husband Brian.

Benj was also a male model for Ben to pose, so just know you could have seen that, which is scientifically more rare than spotting Nessie. Check out www.fosterworkshop.com to get your name on the list of more upcoming, who knows, I might get to take your picture

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Agree with Tom. Perhaps these workshops are not as terrifying as one might think. Loved the commentary on the community building.