Photography at the Summit


william albert allard and david alan harvey at the summit series of workshops in jackson wyoming.

At the Cowboy Bar on Jackson’s main drag, Bill Allard gives a little extra body english
to his shot. David Alan Harvey and workshop attendees watch from the other end.

In 2006 I attended a workshop in Jackson, Wyoming. The Summit Series of Photography Workshops. It was an experience that will live with me forever. I met and learned from the likes of William Albert Allard, David Alan Harvey, Mary Ann Golon and James Hill. I met one of my best friends there, fellow attendee and now photojournalist Jeremy Wade Shockley.

It was a week of all out exploration. And not only the world of photography, but equally important, of our selves as well.

Early morning shooting, daily critiques, workflow and post processing classes, portfolio reviews. Every evening a lecture from one or two photographers and/or editors. Afterward, dinner and drinks at one of the local bars. These moments of unscripted, off the cuff, freewheeling conversations that arose when everyone was “off the clock” were some of the most important and enlightening. The refrain of the attendees quickly became, “Eh, we can sleep next week.” It was a nonstop buffet of photographic nourishment.

Rich Clarkson created this amazing workshop series. Here he explains his idea of Team Teaching and its benefits.

Workshop founder Rich Clarkson on Team Teaching from Summit Series of Workshops on Vimeo.

I will attest to the concept of team teaching. Getting such a comprehensive review of your work, receiving the wisdom of a variety of top notch professionals, each with vastly different experiences from their own photographic lives… these benefits just are not found in a one-on-one setting.

That one grueling week challenged me in so many ways. It tested my confidence and my abilities. And it pushed me to challenge myself. Clarkson and his team got me to consider new ideas and thought processes even before I look through the viewfinder. Ultimately, the workshop instilled in me a desire to be more than just a better photographer.

Oh, and hey, they’re running a contest right now. The winner receives free tuition to the workshop of his or her choosing! Go on over to their site and sign up.

Keep shooting.