Such a lovely surprise to see a recent photograph win the Wedding Photojournalist Association’s contest!  I love this moment from Kerry and Evan’s wedding at the lovely Thompson Hotel Chicago.  It’s hard not to smile when I see this photograph!  Thanks so much, Wedding Photojournalist Association, check out all of the winning photography here!Foundation Workshop Europe

 

PHOTOGRAPHERS:

I couldn’t be more excited to return to London this May 2-3!  My Moment-Driven Workshop: LONDON  is a two-day shooting workshop is designed to help you step outside your comfort zone. You will photograph strangers, learn how to capture moments without posing, and work on what is holding you back as a photographer.  You CAN capture authentic, emotionally storytelling images without posing or direction, and no longer fear getting the camera where it needs to be.  Book before March 18 for a 50 pound discount!

I also have TWO spaces available for my Moment-Driven Workshop: CHICAGO April 4-5.   Tired of posing your couples?  You don’t have to!  Here’s what’s involved in the Moment-Driven Workshop.

YOU’LL LEARN

how to make stronger images, how to capture moments during a portrait session, and how to overcome any anxiety you may experience in documenting and interacting with strangers

YOU’LL RECEIVE

an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, learn how to document moments during portrait sessions and join a private Facebook group of moment-driven alumni for future support!

YOU’LL PARTICIPATE

in shooting assignments in downtown Chicago documenting strangers. This is not a “stand around, watching Candice photograph models” session. This is a hands-on workshop – the best way to learn something is to do it yourself!

I’m also thrilled to introduce my Shoot With Your Heart Workshop: CHICAGO on April 6.  This 1-day Street Photography and Intuition Workshop for Photographers will focus on using our intuition for not only nailing the shot but propelling our business.

-Create the 2017 vision for your business

-Learn how to use your intuition to capture powerful moments

-Shoot photos on the streets of Chicago to practice your new skills

-Stop worrying about posing your subjects and compose shots with feeling

-Learn my favorite techniques to use manifestation to reach your goals

-Build your own happiness routine to stay resilient in the face of setbacks

 

If you’d like to attend the Moment-Driven Workshop and the Shoot With Your Heart Workshop, get $100 off!

 

When was the last time you screamed at the top of your lungs?  Or ran through mist-covered cobblestones in the center of town?  I just spent two weeks in Spain, surrounded by olive trees, glorious mountains and, of course, my absolute favorite.  Photographers!

I’m so honored to teach at the Foundation Workshop Europe, an incredible photojournalism workshop.  We gathered in the intimate town of Ubeda, Spain, for a week of shooting, instruction, laughs and love.  And vodka tonics served in small punchbowls.  And fresh olives, bread and olive oil at every meal.  I can still taste them.  🙂

Here are some photographs from my trip, including dancing in the mist with my fellow photographers, some street photography and, my personal favorite, shouting photographs.  This is one of my new favorite things to photograph… shouting seems like such a small thing until you actually do it and let go.  Then it’s incredible.

Thanks so much to these wonderful people, I am truly lucky to have you in my life.  🙂

 

PHOTOGRAPHERS:

I couldn’t be more excited to return to London this May 2-3!  My Moment-Driven Workshop: LONDON  is a two-day shooting workshop is designed to help you step outside your comfort zone. You will photograph strangers, learn how to capture moments without posing, and work on what is holding you back as a photographer.  You CAN capture authentic, emotionally storytelling images without posing or direction, and no longer fear getting the camera where it needs to be.  Book before March 18 for a 50 pound discount!

I also have TWO spaces available for my Moment-Driven Workshop: CHICAGO April 4-5.   Tired of posing your couples?  You don’t have to!  Here’s what’s involved in the Moment-Driven Workshop.

YOU’LL LEARN

how to make stronger images, how to capture moments during a portrait session, and how to overcome any anxiety you may experience in documenting and interacting with strangers

YOU’LL RECEIVE

an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, learn how to document moments during portrait sessions and join a private Facebook group of moment-driven alumni for future support!

YOU’LL PARTICIPATE

in shooting assignments in downtown Chicago documenting strangers. This is not a “stand around, watching Candice photograph models” session. This is a hands-on workshop – the best way to learn something is to do it yourself!

I’m also thrilled to introduce my Shoot With Your Heart Workshop: CHICAGO on April 6.  This 1-day Street Photography and Intuition Workshop for Photographers will focus on using our intuition for not only nailing the shot but propelling our business.

-Create the 2017 vision for your business

-Learn how to use your intuition to capture powerful moments

-Shoot photos on the streets of Chicago to practice your new skills

-Stop worrying about posing your subjects and compose shots with feeling

-Learn my favorite techniques to use manifestation to reach your goals

-Build your own happiness routine to stay resilient in the face of setbacks

 

If you’d like to attend the Moment-Driven Workshop and the Shoot With Your Heart Workshop, get $100 off!

 

 

 

Moment-Driven Photojournalism Workshop Chicago and London

NineDots Gathering 2016 from Thompson Granger Films on Vimeo.

I am so happy to see this video, made by the very talented Thompson Granger Films, of myself and fellow speakers at the Nine Dots Gathering in London last November.  When they asked me to speak, I had no idea how I would fall absolutely in love with London, the very special folks who put this experience together and the incredibly talented photographers who attend it every year.  It really is an honor to have this job, to educate others and to follow my own passion.  To quote myself in this video, find what gets you out of bed in the morning… and channel it into your photography.  Sometimes life itself gets in the way of our personal and professional growth, and photography can take a back seat when we aren’t getting paid, but that’s the challenge.  Take your camera to the grocery store.  Pack your camera along with your wallet.  Go out and find good light, then wait for the moment.  It’ll come, and you’ll be happy you took the time to discover it.

I couldn’t be more excited to return to London this May 2-3!  My Moment-Driven Workshop: LONDON  is a two-day shooting workshop is designed to help you step outside your comfort zone. You will photograph strangers, learn how to capture moments without posing, and work on what is holding you back as a photographer.  You CAN capture authentic, emotionally storytelling images without posing or direction, and no longer fear getting the camera where it needs to be.  Book before March 18 for a 50 pound discount!

I also have spaces available for my Moment-Driven Workshop: CHICAGO April 4-5.   Tired of posing your couples?  You don’t have to!  Here’s what’s involved in the Moment-Driven Workshop.

YOU’LL LEARN

how to make stronger images, how to capture moments during a portrait session, and how to overcome any anxiety you may experience in documenting and interacting with strangers

YOU’LL RECEIVE

an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, learn how to document moments during portrait sessions and join a private Facebook group of moment-driven alumni for future support!

YOU’LL PARTICIPATE

in shooting assignments in downtown Chicago documenting strangers. This is not a “stand around, watching Candice photograph models” session. This is a hands-on workshop – the best way to learn something is to do it yourself!

I’m also thrilled to introduce my Shoot With Your Heart Workshop: CHICAGO on April 6.  This 1-day Intuition Workshop for Photographers will focus on using our intuition for not only nailing the shot but propelling our business.

-Create the 2017 vision for your business

-Learn how to use your intuition to capture powerful moments

-Shoot photos on the streets of Chicago to practice your new skills
-Meet like-minded photographers

-Stop worrying about posing your subjects and compose shots with feeling

-Learn my favorite techniques to use manifestation to reach your goals

-Build your own happiness routine to stay resilient in the face of setbacks

 

If you’d like to attend the Moment-Driven Workshop and the Shoot With Your Heart Workshop, get $100 off!

 

 

 

Want to know what it feels like to judge one of the strongest wedding photography contests with the best wedding photographers in the world?  Awesome.  Inspiring.  Overwhelming.  And fun.

With Fearless Photographers leader Huy Nguyen and fellow judges Dennis Berti and Dorota Kaszuba, we tackled the Fearless Photographer’s Collection 35, one of the largest collections ever.  This photographic competition had over fifteen thousand entires, and we narrowed them down to 89 single images.

I remember entering photo contests as a photojournalism student in college and attending the live judging.  This insight was tremendously helpful and confusing at the same time.  One thing photographers don’t realize, when they enter their photo for a competition, their image gets viewed for one second or less.

One second.  What can you say in less than a second?

Each photo is viewed and sorted with a photo being edited Out or In.  Watching a judging is monotonous with each image being judged “Out.  Out.  Out.  Out.”  One year, it seemed the “Out’s” were endless until one image appeared on the screen.  You couldn’t see what the photograph was, if it contained people, it was an indecipherable, blurry mess.

The judges disagreed.  “IN!  IN!”  they shouted.  None of my friends in the audience could understand what they were voting on, and what it meant to them.  A minute later, they realized they had judged two images (in slide form) that were stuck together.  Everyone had a polite chuckle, the judges viewed each photograph separately and, you guessed it, both were OUT.

I learned at a young age that photographic competitions are extremely subjective.   You can learn a lot sorting through fifteen thousand photographs, so I thought I would share some insights with you.

Don’t stop shooting.  Many of the award-winning images were tiny little moments in one very busy wedding day.  When you are hired to photograph a wedding, sometimes it’s difficult to separate yourself from what you are hired to do and what is actually a nice photograph.  It’s easy to get stuck in the mindset of “How does this photograph add to the story?”  This thought can be limiting to your coverage and it doesn’t allow you, the photographer, to have some fun.  Play with light.  Forget about the subject (typically, the bride) and just make a strong photograph because you want to, not because it’s one photo on a list of hundreds you must take during a wedding day.  Keep the camera to your eye and just keep exploring!

There were hundreds of photographs with tiny wedding clients and vast landscapes.  How can you make yours stand out?  You have to have the killer package.  Great light.  Strong foreground AND background.  And yes, even the miniature clients MUST have a moment.  Too many photographs were beautiful, but had bored subjects.   There has to be a worthwhile moment, or the image is instantly forgotten.

I ask my students the same question.  “What is the intent of this photograph?”  If you don’t have a clear answer, then the photo isn’t as strong as it should be.  We saw so many photos of wedding couples in locations and situations that didn’t make any sense.  Before you ask your clients to stand in a wheelbarrow, for example, there should be a good reason behind it.  You can add in lighting and location to help tell the story, but it should start with a strong foundation, and it should always try to answer “Why?” the photograph was taken.

If you are going to ask your clients to mug and pose for the camera, what is the reason behind it?  How can you make this a strong, emotional image?  You can create some fun and entertaining images this way, but it should be an elevated photograph with strong lighting, moment and composition and leave the viewer feeling satisfied.  Otherwise, it’s a party picture with folks hamming it up simply because a camera is on them.

It’s a wedding.  You see one every week.  Stop shooting what it looks like.  What does it feel like?  Go beyond the standard imagery, try something unique and different.  You don’t need to see your client’s dress, face, etc. in every single image.  A strand of hair can be the subject of the photo.  So can a hand.  An eyelash.  A teardrop.  Don’t limit yourself with shooting literally all day, keep trying for something you haven’t seen before.

I want to congratulate everyone who entered this contest, because it takes courage to do this, and it means you are invested in furthering yourself in your wedding photography business.  I hope some of these tips help, but the most important tip is to not take photographs just for contests.  That’s one of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make as you can lose your emotional connection that way.  Don’t be a contest photographer.  Just shoot for you, and make yourself happy.  This will make your clients happy.  And a happy photographer is what we all should be.  🙂

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Candice C. Cusic started taking photographs at age six and ruined her mother’s countertop with darkroom chemicals while studying Photojournalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Her career includes 11 years as a staff photojournalist for the Chicago Tribune, 13 years as an Adjunct Photojournalism Professor at Northwestern University and 3 years as an Adjunct Photojournalism Professor at Columbia College.  Candice is the founder of the Moment-Driven Workshop: CHICAGO April 4-5 2017, the Shoot With Your Heart Workshop April 6 2017 and the Moment-Driven Workshop: LONDON May 2-3 2017.

I received a Facebook message yesterday that transported me back to my college Spring break.  I’ve been a photographer all my life, so my Spring breaks weren’t filled with Daytona and debauchery, they involved rolls of film and my camera.  In 1995, I rented a car and drove to Selma, Alabama to document the 30th Anniversary of the March for Voting Rights.  I wore a borrowed jacket, slept on YMCA floors with the marchers and spent a week shooting roll after roll of Tri-X film.  I was also featured in a local news piece, along with a marcher who uploaded the video to YouTube and kindly emailed it to me.

During the march, I photographed an historic moment when former Alabama Governor and staunch anti-Segregationist George Wallace held hands with SCLC leader Joseph Lowery, a leader in the original march, and sang “We Shall Overcome.”  This moment taught me that anyone can change, and it’s never too late to take that first step.

I’m so thankful to receive this video of myself as a very young and inexperienced photographer (though I wish I were dressed better, but hey, I was in college) at the start of the New Year.  I always wanted to become a photographer, so I became one.  I’ve made many mistakes along the way, had several setbacks of self-doubt that can cripple growth, and have grown stronger as a result.  I’ve made many changes recently to embrace the photographer I was in college, because amazing things can happen by simply visualizing who you want to be.

I’ve ditched my zooms and only shoot prime lenses (See what’s in my camera bag here), work with associate photographers and lighting assistants, and keep my business goals at the forefront by building a strong team.  You really can achieve what you want in life by visualizing it, and my career is proof that Manifesting works.  In 2016 I traveled to Porto, Madrid, London and held 3 Moment-Driven Workshops (2 in Chicago and one in London).

In 2017 I am so pleased to teach at the incredible Foundation Workshops in Texas and Spain, and will return to London as a featured speaker at the Snap Photography Festival.  I’ll also hold my second Moment-Driven Workshop: London and have several Moment-Driven Workshops: Chicago.

I’m also launching the Shoot With Your Heart Facebook group, come Join us for tips on how to grow your business (and change your life) with positive thought, how to conquer self-doubt and step outside your comfort zone, and how to capture great moments by being present IN the moment.  Stay tuned for Facebook Live updates, Workshop info and one-on-one Mentoring with me!

 

I’m so thankful for the photographer I was then,

 

And NOW!

PHOTOGRAPHERS: JOIN the journey HERE!!   Let’s grow our branches together and make 2017 the best year yet!

 

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