2 Day Wedding Photography Workshop – Downtown, Toronto.

In September 2012 I conducted a 2 Day Wedding Photography Workshop in Toronto.

Knowing how to shoot weddings and having a wedding portfolio is absolutely critical to the survival of any modern day portrait photographer. Income generated by wedding photography is probably by far the most stable and substantial part of most portrait and event photographers. Personally, if it wasn’t for weddings, I would not be able to survive as a professional and maintain a studio.

I have over 13 years of experience working in the wedding industry, and having shot over 300 weddings I have a vast expertise that I will share with you during this 2 day masterclass.  My extended wedding and engagement portfolio can be viewed here: http://www.photowedding.ca

This masterclass is designed to give you all the essential skills, knowledge and information to be able to start a wedding photography business. You will learn how to acquire a wedding client, shoot a wedding and produce a wedding album or a gallery.

Day 1, Field Work – Friday, September 28th, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM
Day 2, Wedding Photography Business Model, Portfolio Preparation, Saturday, September 29th, 12:00 PM- 5:00 PM

On the first day we will recreate and shoot an actual “wedding day”, beginning at the hotel suite with the bridal “getting ready” shots, including all the details shots, such as rings, flowers, shoes, dress, etc. Every student will rotate to make sure everyone gets all the necessary shots for their portfolio.

Once our bride is ready, we will shoot “home” portraits.

We will continue with limo shots outside. We will have a 1950′s vintage limo to work with and once we complete that, we will walk and shoot a few different Toronto downtown locations with the bride and groom.

Just like always, we will have both models from Canada’s top modeling agency – Ford Models, designer dress and wedding rings and custom made bouquet.

On the second day, Saturday September 29th, we will meet in studio and discuss all the business aspects of the wedding photography, beginning with advertising, clients interviews, signing of the contact, wedding photography packages design and continue with image editing, print and album making techniques.

We will visit the one of the Toronto’s leading printing labs that caters to wedding photographers and learn the latest trends in printing industry.

For this wedding photography workshop you will need:

  • DSLR camera with at least 8 GB storage cards
  • Portrait Lens, Macro Lens, Zoom Lens 24-70, etc.
  • Flash unit with fully charged batteries (optional)
  • Pen and a note pad to take notes

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Hope you can make it, as it will be an absolutely unforgettable and useful experience! Don’t miss your chance to get an amazing wedding portfolio and learn essential wedding photography skills.  In just two days of this workshop you will acquire all the knowledge necessary to start your wedding photography business, knowledge and portfolio that would normally take you years to get on your own.

Click here to register to this workshop. 

Kristina and Roman Engagement Photography – Niagara On The Lake


“Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies” – Gene Hill

Season’s Greetings!

I wish everyone safe and happy holidays and best of luck in the New 2012!  May the New 2012 bring you good health, happiness, piece, and prosperity!

Introduction into Digital Photography Course – Toronto

I am really excited to announce that by popular demand, starting in October, (the price, exact date and location of the class is TBA) I am introducing a month long, 16 hour Introduction into Digital Photography Program for beginners, that will consist of 8 classes: 4 – 2 hour theory classes and 4 - 2 hour practice sessions. More detailed description of the course will be soon posted here on my blog and on our school’s page .

It is very difficult to schedule the time for the classes that will be convenient for everyone, but I’m quite certain that we can find a time slot that will work for the majority of the students. Please select the best time slot for you to help us decide when we will hold this theory classes. Thank you for your time!

Theory classes will be held on weekdays, practice sessions will be held on weekends.

Please choose only one Theory time slot and one Practice time slot

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Photo “Dim Sum” Workshop – Toronto Photography Workshops and Lessons Group

I would like to thank all the participants in yesterday’s Photo Dim Sum Workshop. Special thanks to our model Alisse! We all had such an amazing time, that it feels sad that soon we won’t be able to do as many outside workshops as we’re heading towards the winter.

Here a few shots from yesterday – I didn’t try all the “Dim Sum dishes” as I have actively participated in many shots, thus was unable to shoot them. 

We tried out many different genres and styles of photography, and I’m sure everyone found something that really appealed to them – please follow this link to see our student works album.

Here is a quick review of things discussed and practised in the workshop:

  • Generally, in portrait photography we want to keep aperture as open as possible, thus shooting with aperture in mind, shutter speed needs to be adjusted accordingly for the correct exposure
  • On a sunny morning or afternoon – shoot against the sun, just like on the images above, and unless done intentionally, try to keep the direct sun rays from hitting the lens
  • In reportage photography, or any other fast pace environment, we want to keep our shutter speed as fast as possible to “freeze” the subject, aperture then needs to be adjusted accordingly for the correct exposure
  • As it gets darker, we may use much slower shutter speeds, and while shooting of tripod, we can show the “movement” of the moving subjects and objects
  • On camera flash is typically used when there is not enough available light on your main subject – keeping the shutter speed slow, such as 1/15s – 1/5s or even slower, will allow the background to develop as well, while your main subject will not be affected by a slow shutter, as while in darkness, your subject is only being lit by the flash – usually with impulse of 1/1000s or shorter, which becomes your shutter speed for the main object
  • Night street photography is also done on long shutter speeds, usually a few seconds and longer. You can achieve such long shutter speeds with a closed aperture of F16 or higher. Generally you should keep ISO at a low level, ISO 100 – 200, thus reducing the noise level to the lowest and allowing long exposures as well.

See you all soon at our future workshops and masterclasses!

Fall in Ontario – Landscape Photography Masterclass

All the details for the Fall in Ontario Landscape Photography Masterclass have been finalized.  Masterclass will be held on Saturday, October 8th, 2011 in Muskoka, Ontario, at multiple locations,  led by one of the most prominent Ontario landscape and travel photographers Igor Laptev and yours truly.  Masterclass will begin at sunrise and will end at sunset,  for a total duration of approximately 14 hours.


Photography by: Igor Laptev

Fall in Ontario, is by far, the most beautiful time of the year! And what else could be more quintessentially Canadian than forests full of red maple leafs?  Every Canadian photographer’s portfolio should include such shots, since we are extremely lucky to live in such unique geographic location where such amazing bright colours are possible.

This will be an unforgettable, educational and adventurous experience, a real treat for any landscape photographer. The group will travel to Muskoka, Ontario in two passenger vans, leaving Toronto at 3 A.M. to catch the sunrise, and then will travel to several most scenic Muskoka locations, finishing with sunset shots and coming back to Toronto around 9 P.M. We will shoot from amazing lookout points, catch fall colours reflected in the rapids and learn techniques of photographing the waterfalls.

The masterclass will be held in a very similar manner as all our workshops and masterclasses – with very detailed explanations and instructions of how to create great shots that will become centerpieces of your portfolio. We will share not only the secret locations, unknown even to most locals, but also many techniques that will help you take the landscape shots that you will absolutely be proud of!

Locations have been scouted very wisely taking into consideration the amount of equipment we have to carry. The group won’t have to do much walking - we will drive up to shooting locations as close as possible.

For this masterclass you will need:

  • DSLR with a wide angle lens (14-24 or 12-24 and/or 17-35 and/or 24-70m)
  • 70-200 or 70-300 is strongly recommended
  • Polarizing filter
  • Coking filter holder with ND graduated filter
  • Remote control is strongly recommended
  • Lots of storage space
  • Tripod
  • Comfortable hiking shoes
  • Warm clothing
  • Packed lunch
  • Thermos with tea/coffee

Do not miss this incredible opportunity, as this masterclass can only be held once a year. There is a very short window of opportunity for the most vivid fall colours, literally only one week when colours are the best before the leafs fall down. The group is strictly limited to 12 students - 6 passengers in each van. 

To register for this masterclass please follow this link: http://www.meetup.com/photoschool/events/33754612

Hope to see you there!

Studio Portrait Light Workshop – September 10, 2011, Toronto

Thank you all for attending Studio Potrait Light Workshop on Saturday! Special thanks to our beautiful model Alisse.

Brief recap of equipment used and things we learned and practiced:

  • Impulse light source -  Elinchrom self-contained 500 W strobes
  • Chimera small and medium size softboxes
  • Lastolight reflector
  • Pocket Wizard remote flash trigger
  • We have learned and practiced various classic portraiture schemes with one, one+reflector and two light sources

Equipment we have used can be purchased or rented in Vistek or Headshot Rentals in Toronto.

Artistic Nude and Boudoir Photography Masterclass – Toronto, Gladstone Hotel, August 28, 2011

I would like to thank all my students for attending yesterday’s Artistic Nude and Boudoir Photography Masterclass and creating a great atmosphere! Special thanks to my dear friend and comrade Katya Revenko for the wardrobe selection and help with visualization of the sets, our amazing model Annie for her patience and talent, and our wonderful makeup artist Michelle Calleja for making our beautiful model even more beautiful!

Nude Photography Toronto

To be continued…

Mike & Kat’s Engagement Photosession, August 22nd, 2011 – Toronto CNE

Macro Photography Workshops – August 2011, Toronto

I’d like to thank everyone who attended macro photography workshops. Weather wasn’t cooperating, but those who stayed despite the rain first time and returned for a repeat class were awarded with brief moments of ideal light for macro photography:

Brief recap of the things discussed during the workshop:

  • Just like with most photography genres, the best light for macro photography as well  is either during the morning or evening hours
  • Focusing in manual mode provides more control. Focusing may be achieved either by using focusing ring or moving camera back and forth
  • Aperture should be as closed or as high as possible. Macro shots have extremely low depth of field, high aperture will allow more planes to stay in focus
  • When shooting of hands, shutter speed as fast as possible given the light conditions
  • Tripods are great, but are only useful with static objects, in low wind conditions.

Gurd & Ceci, Toronto – Indian Wedding Photography

Fashion photography masterclass, August 13, 2011 – Toronto

I would like to thank all my students for attending the fashion workshop yesterday and, of course, our great team who made this shoot possible: our beautiful model Alana, our incredibly talented fashion designer and  stylist Katya Revenko, and our amazing makeup artist and hair stylist Evgeny Loukyanenkov - you are the best!!!

Wedding of Jenny & Chris, July 30, 2011 – Toronto

Studio Food Photography Workshop – Toronto

I would like to thank everyone who attended July 29th Studio Food Photography Workshop at Toronto Photography Workshops and Lessons meetup group! It was a great class.

food photography

Just a quick recap of was was discussed and practiced during the workshop:

  • Generally for any type of macro or close-up photography aperture range could be anywhere from f 2.8 to f 11, depending on how much detail needs to be in focus
  • For shots with single objects, focus generally needs to be on the front of the object, for shots with multiple objects, focus may vary
  • Tripod is necessary for batch shooting, however, with shutter speeds over 1/50 s it is better to shoot of hand – this provides better opportunity to change angles, focal points, etc.