London and Baltimore: Going Out With a Bang
The good news: I just landed what will almost certainly turn out to be the coolest gig of my career. It's a dream project, and I could not be happier nor more excited about it.
The bad news: It will be very time-intensive, so it will have an impact on my life going forward. Which my upcoming seminars in London and Baltimore/Washington are probably gonna be my last. If not ever, then certainly for a long time.
So let's sweeten the pot a little bit for the last go-round...
Just as when I left my job at The Baltimore Sun in 2007, the main reason for cutting back from teaching is to keep hold of my family time. The 6- and 9-yr-olds I wrote about back then are both teenagers now. Time is going really fast.
But you guys have grown to feel like a family, too. So there's no way I am quitting Strobist. However, there will be some changes coming next year. I am still working through that plan, but they will likely involve decreasing frequency and increasing quality.
I think that's a win-win. Zack Arias is right. God knows there is enough noise already. I am willing to sacrifice some noise in the quest for better signal.
No matter what the final choices with regard to Strobist, it is clear to me now is that these will likely be my last two seminars. That's because teaching involves the double-whammy of time plus time-away-from-family. And besides, the new gig is travel-heavy. So backing off from teaching was an obvious choice.
So for these last two classes, I am going to do something I haven't done before.
London, September 28th and 29th
I am so glad I got to be a part of this London photo weekend before the meter ran out on my time. Gulf Photo Plus is a wonderful organization and it is exciting to be able to help to bring it to London.
The early-bird discount seats are long taken at this point. But at $449, the Gulf Photo Plus' Pop-Up London weekend is a fantastic opportunity nonetheless. It's sorta like FlashBus squared, but better. If you are in striking distance of London in late September, I can say with absolute certainty at this point that you'll never get this opportunity again. Best go for it while you can.
You won't be disappointed. I have spent significant time in the audience of Mssrs. McNally, Arias and Heisler, and have never regretting a moment of it. I love learning from these guys, who collective have so much to offer. And as for my own segment, I honestly believe that what we'll be talking about is far more important than anything I could teach about lighting.
Yes, Strobist is about lighting. But my bigger passion over the last seven years has been to study the ecosystems connected to photography and to learn how to create, exploit and leverage them. As I sit and write this, I realize that this is the knowledge that specifically led me to my next photo gig. Especially when you consider that project will not involve the use of a flash at all.
So for my last photo-related seminar, my hope is to leave some folks in London with the best advice I could possible give them. For the people who are truly successful in photography, the photo-taking part is actually a very small part of the overall skills. This stuff matters.
And to sweeten the pot a little bit, I will have on my person 25 copies of Lighting in Layers. Not on DVDs which, granted, wonderfully repurpose as a set of coasters. But rather on something more useful: an SD card.
The first 25 people who walk up to me and say this code phrase will get a copy of Lighting in Layers on SD card:
"No offense, but I am here to see Heisler."
That's the phrase. Say it and you will get the card. Say anything else and you will get a dumb look. Because I have no idea what you are talking about and, what SD card? Huh?
And if you are too late to get one of the 25 SD-card LIL's, I'll have with me a thumb drive for you to borrow and move the content to your laptop. So bring a laptop with you that has 3GB of free space, just in case.
And please, be discreet. Ask it out of earshot of other people. This shit is compartmentalized security. And mind you, I'll be wandering the streets of London for a few days before the GPP weekend. So if you see a devastatingly handsome middle-aged white dude wearing shorts and a T-shirt, well, you know what to do.
More info on the GPP_PopUP weekend: My Earlier Post | GPP London Webpage
Baltimore/Washington, October 21st
This October, my final planned seminar will be on blogging and social media. That's actually a bit of a confusing title. It's really about how to use the web and social media to amp whatever it is that you are doing, but that proved to be too long of a title.
There will be a little crossover with London. But this is more of a 50,000-foot view, and it should be useful whether you are a photographer or small businessperson or a cog-in-the-machine or just someone with an idea in the back of their head who wants to learn how to digitally incubate it.
When I realized I was going to leave The Baltimore Sun to go to the web, I brought to bear a journalist's skills, focus and passion to learning all I could about the way the social web worked. And I have never stopped doing that over the last 7½ years.
This ecosystem affects everything. It's like a river. You can sit there and just watch it go by, or you can recognize that it carries energy that you can harness and shape and use to power things in the way that you want.
It's like everyone has a house right next to the river, but relatively few people spend much time figuring out how to harness the free power. We're gonna build some water wheels.
It was originally scheduled for June, but due to a sudden tragedy in the local blogging community we decided out of respect to reschedule it for October. This is a smaller in-house gig, and thus I am able to keep the costs down. The price for the day is $159, or $99 for nonprofits/students with ID.
But given it's the last dance, I want to amp this one a little bit, too. And since I have a little more control, I am going to do it in two ways.
I think this is valuable stuff, hard-won through experience. But afterwards if you disagree and think it was a mistake of your time and money, just say so and we'll refund every penny. I can't offer you better than that.
Except to add this: as in London, I'll also have 15 copies of Lighting in Layers on SD cards. You can grab one the same way, with the same password phrase as above. Again, please be discreet. Besides, given the context it would likely confuse the hell out of any muggle non-lighting bystander within earshot. Also, when/if I run out I'll have a loaner thumb drive, too.
More info on 10/21 seminar: My Earlier Post | Sign-up Page
So there. I'm sad that these will be my last two seminars. But so very excited about my future plans (more on that as it develops). And it goes without saying that I am grateful for the many virtual friendships I've built over the years through this site and the many of you I have met in person at various events over the years.
I hope to meet a few more of you in September and October.