Thru the Lens of Auey Santos

.what as I see as my camera captures it.

Bob Davis @ Golden Gate School of Professional Photography June 26, 2008

Filed under: Workshops — aueysantos @ 11:44 pm

Meeting a master photographer like Bob Davis of la Storia foto always makes brings out the fan girl in me. I had the chance to take a class under Bob at the Golden Gate School of Professional Photography this week. And while I was blessed to have been awarded a scholarship by PPGBA, paying the full tuition would have been well worth the money.

Lessons learned?

1. Practice, practice, practice.

2. Radio poppers are an awesome alternative to Pocketwizards, if you are in the process of learning off-camera strobe lighting. You might want consider picking up a pair of these beauts, which allow you to control the output of your strobes from the master strobe using TTL mode.

3. 90% of what you do is a result of your relationship with the subject.

4. Read your camera manual. Self-explanatory, really.

And the wonderful vocabulary word of the day: “FOOFING” Don’t know what it is? Look it up here! Take note:  I’m referring to definition #1, okey? LOL =) It’s a technique I have been using for years. I never knew there was a term for it. =)


Mamarazzi Workshop June 9, 2008

Filed under: Family Portraiture,Workshops — aueysantos @ 8:24 pm

I was recently invited by my friend Rathna to speak about photography for our Mothers Meetup group. I thought it was a great opportunity to bond with moms and teach them how to get the most of out of digital cameras. We coined the workshop, the “Mamarazzi Photography Workshop.” Catchy, isn’t it? I can’t take credit for the term, but the word has been thrown around photography forums referring to the growing group of moms who take up photography so they can document their children’s life.

Photo by: Rathna

The workshop was held in my living room and was very casual. In attendance were 5 mamarazzis and their cute babies. Fueled by Starbucks coffee, fresh strawberries and bagels, we discussed cameras and how to get the most of their gear, digital photography 101 and basic composition. Afterwards, I couldn’t resist not shooting their kids (with my camera, of course) and here are some of my favorites from that 1 minute per kid session. It was a lot of fun!


Bellies and Babies with Sandy Puc March 28, 2008

Filed under: Babies,Business,Inspiration,Workshops — aueysantos @ 7:09 pm

Master photographer Sandy Puc was in San Francisco to give a seminar entitled “Bellies & Babies 2008,” as part of a 30-city tour. I’ve heard and read so much about her in the photography circles and publications, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear her speak. And since I had missed WPPI this year due my recent birth, I was hungry for some new marketing and creative ideas for the business.

I wasn’t disappointed and Sandy (aka Sam to family and friends) was an awesome speaker. She was engaging, quick-witted and darn talented. What mostly touched me was her extreme passion for her work. I know this sounds cliche, but Sandy was the true article. Her photography was the result of her not just her talent and creativity, but dedication, hard work and keen business sense. Her pet project is the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation  which is a organization of photographers who donate their time and talent for infant bereavement.

If you are a portrait photographer wanting to make a niche out of baby and maternity photography, I strongly recommend you attend her seminar when it comes to a town near you.


Ed Pierce: Captivated by the Light Seminar February 25, 2008

Filed under: Inspiration,Workshops — aueysantos @ 7:51 am

I just got back from the Captivated by the Light San Jose seminar today. And while it didn’t blow me away, it was okey.

The “workshop” was given by 33 year photography veteran Ed Pierce. Over a course of three hours, he gave short mini-lectures, interspersed with several short video presentations illustrating the topics discussed. There was a little studio set-up on stage but since the area was too small and the time limit short, the videos provided adequate visual for the basic concepts he tried to go over. The videos were actually pretty concise and had good production and education value. So good, that I decided to subscribe to his Photo Vision DVD magazine, promo price of $39 for workshop goers.

The main meat of the workshop was understanding light: quality, quantity and direction. He went over various possible lighting scenarios for both studio and location set-ups. He also discussed ways and tools to modify light. Of course, a basic book on studio lighting could tell you the same thing. However, if you are an amateur or beginning photographer and have never taken a lighting workshop in your life, this seminar could provide you with the fundamentals.

The pace of the workshop was well-timed. The topics were organized well and it flowed. Ed was an engaging and humorous speaker. And oh, there was a little mini-raffle which was kinda cool. Uncool was not winning anything. Darn.

Oh, and don’t get misled by the seminar website. Many photographers were mistaken in thinking that the seminar would feature other leading industries photographer “hotties” Sandy Puc, Jeff and Julia Woods, Parker Pfister, among others. Well in fact, these other quote-unquote participants are actually featured in a free DVD that comes with the seminar registration. Since the video presentations were so well made, I’m actually looking forward to watching the DVD freebie tonight.
All in all, not too shabby for 4 hours of my time and $19 (with PPA discount). The Captivated by the Light workshop is touring 68 cities nationwide. Check and see if there’s a city near your hometown.


A Taxing Day October 12, 2007

Filed under: Business,Workshops — aueysantos @ 3:30 pm

I really hate dealing with money matters except when I’m receiving a check or spending it at B&H. But being in photography business, I realized that you can’t separate the lines between wedding photography as a business and a service.

So in line with being a registered business owner (pat back, pat pat), I decided it was a good idea to get educated about my responsibilities regarding paying taxes. The Board of Equalization had just sponsored a FREE one-day workshop at California State University Hayward for Small Businesses and I decided to attend. The day consisted of various workshops catered to two different tracks: 1 for those considering going into business and 2 for those already in business. It was a great resource of information. But being sponsored by the Board of Equalization, you could expect a lot of emphasis on proper payment of taxes: income tax, sales tax and use tax. But what I did enjoy about the seminars were all the little secret deductions they also shared with us. Of course, they also stressed proper record keeping and documentation to justify these deductions. It was a day well spent, me thinks.

The classes I attended included:


Sales and Use Tax: Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Succeeding in a Home Based Business

If you are interested in attending a future workshop sponsored by the California Board of Equalization, I highly recommend it! Visit their website at
for updates.


Meeting Matthew Jordan Smith June 23, 2007

Filed under: Inspiration,Workshops — aueysantos @ 12:23 am

I’m just fresh off attending two great days at the Golden Gate School of Photography, held at Mills College in Oakland. I studied under one of America’s top portrait photographers Matthew Jordan Smith for his course entitled: “Turning Passion Into Profit: Contemporary Portraits”.

I had first read about Matthew Jordan Smith in a Photography magazine and later watched him on America’s Next Top Model. I knew he was a top celebrity and fashion photography but seeing his work up close and personal just blew me away. His personality made the initial impact because he was the genuine article: a true artist with passion for his work and making people feel good and ultimately, look good.

So for two days, we poured over various topics from producing the photography session, motivating the subject, mastering light set-ups, dealing with clients and branding work.

It was an awesome two days, learning and refreshing our minds to come back to work with new ideas and new motivation!





4/4 Nights with Jules Bianchi May 30, 2007

Filed under: Workshops — aueysantos @ 12:40 am

Los Angeles based photographer Jules Bianchi’s vibe is unbelievably infectious. Knowing her makes you want to be her. Jules is practically defined by her mile-a-minute monologues, her spunky fashion style, and talented eye for great images. I first stumbled upon her blog five months back in the Open Source Photography forum and immediately was drawn to her plaid background and cutesy logo. So I was pretty psyched at hearing her speak the PPGBA sponsored 4 Nights. She shared everything from marketing secrets, work flow, inspirational techniques. It was awesome night of learning and getting inspired. Check out her blog, she’s the cutest photographer with some serious talent. You just want to shrink her and bring her home in your pocket!

And that concluded the PPGBA’s 4 Nights. Money well spent for tons of inspiration.