I’ve spent the better part of the weekend watching a CreativeLIVE workshop streamed live on the internet. This workshop was done by Mikey and Andy from Lighten Up and Shoot. I’ve watched several of these workshops, and even bought a few after, but I think this is my favorite one so far.

Lighten Up might be a play on photographic lighting but it also describes Mikey and Andy’s philosophical approach. Throughout the workshop they encouraged everyone to just get out there, shoot and have fun with it.

The workshop focused on street photography, which is their specialty. I had done my fair share of street photography for my Project: 90 Days in NYC and had also connected with Eric Kim online through his street photography blog. I had always thought of street photography as “drive-by-shooting”.  You walk around and shoot things that interest you. Eric Kim uses this method and is part of the school of thought that you must shoot the subject anonymously to get an authentic photo.

In moving towards portraiture, this style of shooting does not appeal to me as much. I would like to interact with the subject and catch more of them in the photo than an unguarded moment. Apparently, Mikey and Andy feel the same way. They are street photographers of a different kind.

Rather than making themselves as inconspicuous as possible, they carry around a ‘backpack studio’ with speedlites, stands , softboxes and all sorts of other portable light modifiers. I would consider them street portrait photographers as they seek out people they find interesting and shoot portraits right on location.

It was inspiring, not only for the knowledge and experience they shared about street portrait techniques and location lighting, but the new perspective for me on the possibilities of shooting on the street. I picked up a few lighting techniques I didn’t know and saw how they approached people on the street to take their portraits.

This is something that I need to do to hone my photography skills and also get used to approaching and interacting with strangers. It will help with future humanitarian photography endeavors, my NYC Buskers project and even some areas not related to photography at all.

CreativeLIVE is an awesome photographer’s resource. Where else can you get free workshops with some of the biggest names in modern photography? You can even buy the workshops you find valuable or the ones you missed and download the videos. And the cost is much less than attending workshops of this caliber. CreativeLIVE is worth watching and definitely worth supporting.