I am really not very good at blogging, or writing in fact, and I usually don’t publicly review workshops on my blog. However, I feel a need to share this for a great experience for other photographers.
I don’t recall exactly how I found her website or her work, as it was many years ago, but I do remember how I felt the first time I found her work. As I gazed at her photos, my heart raced and fluttered and I was in love, for life. Caroline Tran is an international photographer, based out of California. She is one of the top wedding photographers in this country and her work is swoon worthy. Although I rarely have time to peruse photography blogs, I manage at least once a month to catch up on my reader list. I saw that she was offering her first workshop in California during the spring of 2012 and I gasped, and with excited shaky hands quickly filled out the application to apply to attend. Now, I have attended a lot of workshops around the country over the years, all from the top wedding photographers in the country at that time, but I don’t think I was as excited for any of them as much as this workshop. You see, Caroline used to be a physics teacher, so I knew that her love of teaching would bring a new level of learning to her workshop. I also knew that there would be a styled shoot and I was so very excited to shoot some lovely details that California weddings are made of.
From the time that I arrived, I was impressed at the amount of detail and planning that went into the day. There was absolutely no detail overlooked. A fabulous breakfast, materials (all in pretty branding) were provided and even the seating was arranged. One of my favorite sections of the workshop was that prior to the workshop, Caroline asked us to send in 5 of our photos. Of course, if you know me, I over analyze everything, and I was panic stricken! I had NO idea what these were for, so I sent in a mix of senior, child, engagement and wedding photos. We did a group experiment with the photos and that lesson in itself has forever changed the way that I look at my photography style and my branding. From top to bottom, every single thing was planned out. The videographers, the planners and every single vendor that was involved was top notch. They were the best. I could not feel more blessed to have been able to attend.
We were all pleasantly surprised with all of the details of the style shoots, a surprise tea party and details, and more! For those non-photographers out there, if you are like me, this is how I would explain it. Imagine that you got a personal invitation to attend a high profile fashion show. Imagine that you show up and were surprised with front row seats! Then add back stage passes! Then even better yet, they are going to give you each outfit to take home in your size, to keep, for free! YES, it’s just like that for photographers haha!!
I loved that I met so many new friends, and I was so very happy that Caroline let us pair off in small groups and have individual time to shoot the details and couples. Usually at any event of this type, you are fighting with 20 people at one time and you are forced to shoot what they are shooting. Caroline arranged the shoots in a way that we were able to create our own art and sense of style. It was very inspiring to watch my new friends work! I have this weird fetish of taking photos of other people working and photojournalistic type of photos, so I felt like a creepy stalker taking photos of them as they worked haha, but they said it was okay. Whew!
I have totally re-worked my branding style and how I have approached branding, and I have a lot of good changes that are in the making! There were so many things that I have taken away from this workshop, including the branding experience, learning her artistic viewpoint, a lot of things that I should have been doing for years and had NO idea, my post processing, but most importantly I have achieved my personal private goal that I’ve had for 7 years that I shared in confidence with the group at the workshop. There aren’t enough words to express the joy I have just from revisiting thoughts on the experience. It was a lovely, fun day and I can truly say that the video on her Propel workshop page portrays the excitement of the day!
So, would I recommend it – of course! A million times over again!! I wish that California wasn’t so far away or I would attend another one of her workshops. It was that much fun and I learned so much from her. I truly believe that because she was a teacher it gave her an edge on lesson planning for the workshop because there were things that she thought of that were catered to us personally. She did homework, and knew about us, our work and more before we even arrived. I was (and still am) very impressed. Her personal attention and interest in each of us, not herself, and our success to “propel” in this business, before the workshop, during and even after, is remarkable. In short, I adore her, her husband and her team – and you will too!!
You can visit the Propel website for information here!
Here are a few of the photos I took during the day!!