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Lessons learned during the Mendocino Photography Workshop

"Catching the Evening Light"

This is a photo of Howard, one of the many great participants who took part in my recent Photography Workshop in Mendocino, CA. He’s looking for that elusive shot in the waning evening light – just as so many of us were during that weekend. The next scheduled workshop is a Travel Photography Workshop in Croatia on the Dalmatian Coast of the Mediterranean, September 16th through the 24th, 2011.

As always, I walked away with some great insights into how I can get the most out of workshops as a participant and a leader. Here’s my take:

Starting with an idea of what you want to learn is critical but being open to the unexpected is essential.

For me, that’s certainly true and this workshop only further deepened my understanding of what it means to approach life and photography with “a beginner’s mind.” I look forward to continuing to instill that in my own photography and to putting what I learned from this last workshop into practice in my workshops to come.

Students from this last workshop gave some great feedback. Here are some highlights:

  • “Jay has a deft and gentle touch with people. He listens carefully, supports and guides, helps his students expand their vision. He also inspires. He handled a pretty diverse group (in both skill and personality) with grace. Got everyone feeling both comfortable with each other and energized. And I believe inspired new photographers to keep moving forward and more experienced photographers to shake up their vision.”
  • “Everything you showed in Lightroom was great. I didn’t know most of the tricks you showed.”
  • “Jay is an excellent teacher with a very calm demeanor that makes it a pleasure to learn from him.”

It was a fantastic turnout for the workshop. Participants ranged from the “eager to learn” to bona-fide professionals, and questions asked spanned the spectrum. Interests included macro, architectural, and landscape photography. In addition to some great sessions photographing in and around the village of Mendocino, we fit in some afternoon sessions during which we covered Lightroom cataloguing and developing, website design, composition,  and RAW vs jpeg capturing.

As expected, The Brewery Gulch Inn was a hit with all the participants and was the perfect place to host the workshop. We will definitely be making a return trip. If you have any ideas on places you’d like me to run a workshop, let me know. I’m open – still working with that beginner’s mind!



  • sabrina - May 24, 2011 - 12:48 pm

    If you plan to have another Mendocino workshop, please let me know. I would love to join.

  • Jay Graham - May 25, 2011 - 4:08 pm

    I’ve put you on the list. Would love to have you at the next workshop!

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