Teaching Magic? Is it possible?
Well – I will try my best. For those who already know me – that is a good enough promise 🙂
What do I teach in my workshops?
Seeing light, seeing “Magic”, seeing opportunities.
And then, of course - Photoshop Magic and “Before” and “After” to see the full circle from start to finish of Magic.
I find it is the best outcome for students when we invite “real people” for a wedding or portrait workshop instead of models.
So the students can learn how to pose real people who have no idea how to pose;
who need a lot of help to guide, direct and encourage them.
Instead of students just simply watching a beautiful model in front of them, posed by instructor. Model, that already knows how to move, what to do and where the light is.
Unfortunately this is what happens at the majority of workshops that inundated the marketplace.
What students are really doing is: fighting each other over the best spot to take the photo
that was already orchestrated for them by the tutor.
Tutor has the idea; tutor poses the perfect model who knows what to do and students are just shooting over each other shoulder the set-up and the pose that is already done for them, using those images later for their portfolio.
Students don’t try to analyse how and why the pose or lighting works, they don't learn to think and make decision quickly, according to real client shape, age and confidence or lack thereof.
Students simply don’t have the time. They need to grab a shot while they can.
I can perfectly understand it – who wouldn't want to take a shot of a beautiful, elegant girl in a perfect gown that actually suits her, standing in a gorgeous light, at perfect location at the right time of day?
Who wouldn't want to take that shot and even fight for it? I would.
But then… students go home with “portfolio of gorgeous images” (probably genuinely thinking there were 100% their own “creations”).
They post those images on their website and facebook to attract clients and get bookings… and the clients book, assuming that what they see is what they get… and then what happens is ...
Our students start dealing with real people, but they have no idea how to pose and direct them in a flattering way, they have no idea how to deal with real people's lack of confidence, how to hide imperfections and emphasise their best features.
And the clients? They can’t understand why their photographers don't deliver the same quality of beautiful images they show online in their portfolio and so it goes…
Of course it is not always that black and white…But I hope it explains a bit why I am so
passionate about teaching students to photograph real people, how important our role as teachers is.
In our studio we run “Full two days with Kira” Intimate workshop limited to 4 students.
Students can also bring their own work for me to critique and give advice. I will get a real person, who doesn’t know how to pose (not a model) for students to take shots of. Students will be creating images everywhere – inside, outside – in normal day to day environment, learning to see Magic everywhere.
Here are a few a topics that can be covered in the Intimate Workshop:
1. A vision, implementation and polishing. Photoshop is just a tool, no more, no less.
2. Seeing Light
3. Seeing opportunities and creating “Magic” anywhere, even in the most boring environment. “Before” and “After”
4. Planning for Magic to happen.
5. Creating Magic with various body types: You will learn techniques of posing large, voluptuous,
thin, flat chest people, couples with different heights.
6. Psychology of Directing.
7. You will learn techniques to relax people and set the mood.
8. Techniques to avoid stiff or “fake’ poses. Getting “into the pose”
9. Right poses for right people.
10. Overcoming fear of directing.
11. Demonstration of techniques explained by posing real people.
12. Learning to see light, use a reflector, video light and other lighting options.
13. Boudoir versus Portrait, versus Glamour. Different techniques in directing, lighting and posing.
13. ‘Let’s cook some “Magic” together.
14. Together with Kira - students will be able to take shots, practice in directing and get a critique.
15. Leading students from the start of an image to the end result in Photoshop. How to finish the image in Photoshop so it takes the image to Art level and helps to portray the right emotion you want.
I devote a lot of time to physiology of posing and directing, of the ways to make a photograph
believable, true. Of the ways to extract those “special” emotions from people so the image portrays
a sincere, genuine feeling.
Workshops are offered in our studio in Sydney at St Ives are:
1. 2-days Intimate workshop for 4 people (where I tailor the workshop, according to what most of the students want to learn. You can book it for your own group.
2. Book Your Own Time Experience (bring a friend FREE) where I specifically tailor the workshop to your needs. Minimum 2 days.
The prices for 2-days Intimate Workshop for 4 people are:
2 full days from 9am till 5pm. $1450 per person. Includes Morning & afternoon tea plus home-made lunch.
Option to upgrade to:
2 full days + evening training on the first night $1750 per person
Includes evening training, home-made dinner on the first night and breakfast the next morning.
Students can stay late so we can all completely immerse in photography, including evening training; share meals together and talking Photography until one of us “gives up” from a pure Exhaustion. It is an unbelievably rewarding experience not only for the students, but also for me as I give so much more...
Please email us if you are interested.
"I flew to Sydney last week to attend a "Cooking Magic with Kira" workshop, and it was so worth it! I was amazed the second I walked into her gorgeous studio. A full day was DEFINITELY not enough but Kira managed to cover methods of directing people, finding the magic in everyday places, and ways to enhance your images in post processing. I definitely recommend other people try to get to a workshop with Kira, its time well spent!
Thank you Kira, David, and Sammy for an awesome day :)"
- Dani Kimel
"Just did a photography workshop with Keira. When you step into Keira's studio, you step into Keira's unique world. Her studio is just amazing, worth making appointment just to have a look! Keira is very passionate about her photography and it comes out in her work. Keira doesn't do things by halves, whether it's posing her clients or visualising the next art piece. Every nuance is studied, every e...xpression, everything is noticed and taken into account, to make her subjects as beautiful as possible. Workshop dealt with lots of posing techniques, how to elicit correct expressions from portrait clients as well as covered some light techniques. Overall it was a great day of learning. Definitely worth doing if you think of shooting weddings or producing art pieces or you want to take your portraiture to the next level."
- Kathryn Jolly
"After attending a 2 day Intimate workshop with Kira I can honestly say that it was worth every dollar spent to attend. I went to the workshop with ideas of what I hoped to learn but my experience far exceeded my expectations. Kira is a brilliant teacher with a unique perspective and eye for detail matched by no other! The teaching is easy to understand and full of hands on experience which is great if you want more than just theory. Due to the intimate nature of the workshop the material covered will largely be directed by what you need to learn unlike larger workshops that are tailored to suit a variety of needs and skill levels. After the time I spent with Kira, I was armed with an invaluable amount of information and a new found sense of confidence to take my photography to new previously unimagined levels. The hospitality during my stay was sublime and I enjoyed every minute of my stay! I highly recommend this workshop to any photographer who may be considering attending. I guarantee, once you meet Kira you can't help but love her and enjoy your time spent learning with her!"
"We got home early last night and I fell into bed exhausted from my wonderful holiday and time spent with you! I'm so happy I got to meet you, you are an amazingly beautiful soul! I've learnt so much from spending time with you and I will perhaps need to implement some of my (extra) learning on hubby dear..;) Look forward to spending time you again some time. Lots of love kirralee "
"I highly recomend Kira's two day intimate workshop, from the detail and range in the material covered, the gourmet cooking (thankyou David), to the both David and Kira's hospitality and their genuine desire to help. On all levels, I had a thorougly good time. Because of the small numbers, I loved how I could ask questions about the things that I wanted and needed to know. I can only compare my experience to one other workshop that I have been to. This other workshop, was run by a well respected teacher in the industry, who I have nothing but good words to say about. That workshop was extremely well organised and taught in a classroom setting and ran over three days. However, because of the individualised nature of Kira's workshop, in the two days that I spent with her, I came away with 10 x the information that was of value to me, compared to this other workshop. And more than the information itself, I loved observing how Kira works - her passion, honesty, inspiration - these qualities are what make her images speak to the heart and why I wanted to do one of her workshops in the first place. And yes, I believe my time with her has helped me to conect better with that place within myself where real art comes from...:)"
You are unique, and you shared many tips about the 'reality' of guiding a bride to pose in a complimentary way. Of going beyond the obvious... What works, what does not work and why. Maybe its the woman in you, or just simply the Kira Factor!
I love your character and your style, which is so reflective in your creations - you are inspirational and its encourages me too, to be me, who I am and continue on my path of developing my own style. Not just photographically but also how I like to engage myself within the whole experience.
You are a gem Kira, and I feel so happy to have had the chance to meet you and your lovely husband David... He is a gem too! :)"
"I just wanted to say it was great to meet you and your husband at Gordon's workshop on the weekend. You are an amazing talent and very inspirational Kira.
Your passion shows through your work which is stunning and I took alot away from your advice you gave us.
Hope to catch up again one day in the future."
"HI Kira - I just wanted to say a big thank you for everything you talked about at the Pro Photo Seminars event last Mon and Tues. You gave a fantastic talk about creating beautiful images and posing in different people and in different situations. It was very informative and I learned alot. Thanks you again- it was great to spend time with you too! Looking forward to seeing you again, Cheers, Danielle Steele"
"you did an amazing job kira! loved watching you! you are a very unique young lady and a brilliant artist! l have been on a high all day and have just come back from a long day shooting a very special lady! thank you!!!!! vicky papas xxxx"
"Kira, l just came back from a shoot and l felt soooo inspired all day after spending two amazing days learning from you, and the talented artist! kira, your images blew me away and l loved watching you! your story of how you started out inspired me and l have learnt so much! thank you so much kira! you are brilliant!!! vicky xxxxx"
- Vicky Papas
"I feel so lucky that I was able to spend two amazing days learning how you create "magic" photos. It was like no other course I have ever done, you have such attention to detail and the most wonderful ability to express so much emotion thro...ugh all of your photos. I have never come across another photographer who can capture moments quite like you can. I still cant believe that you are open and willing to share all your photography secrets to the rest of us. The lessons that you teach in your courses are exactly what every photographer needs to know. You so kindly shared priceless information and helped me with all the areas of photography that I needed guidance. I am forever grateful for giving me the opportunity to learn from you and for the kindest hospitality you offered me. Thanks again Kira I cant wait to do it all again one day hopefully soon. All my love...Laura xoxo"
"I just wanted to say thank you so much Kira for sharing your amazing knowledge and passion with us at your workshop. I can’t tell you how much you inspire me make me want to strive to be a better photographer. I feel so empowered after your workshop. I feel I have I walked away from my days with you knowing how to work with ‘real people’. There was nothing contrived or ‘set up’ about your workshop, and I know that I now have the confidence I need to pose, light, communicate (and have fun with) with my own ‘real’ clients. This was such an amazing learning experience for someone new (or even someone not so new) to photography. You have an such a fabulous way of conveying the way you ‘see’ and create an image, and were able to have us leave your workshop with just a little bit of your magic. Again, Kira, thank you, thank you, so much."
"I also feel extremely lucky to have had this opportunity but not as a student in photography but as a bride whos dream was to have "magic" images from my special day...... I had the opportunity to be a "real bride" model along with my husband and our 2 year old son... This was not only a fantastic opportunity for us to have Kira and her students Erin and Laura take amazing shots of us but also was alot of fun.... Kira has a way to bring out true emotions in people and as i had spoken to kira a few times this was first time we had met, yet myself my husband and our son Cody were all very confortable and i truly think this helped us to acheieve these images... I know alot of people who are dissapointed in there wedding photos and i dont think we realise how truly important it is to have "perfect" images of our special day. When planning a wedding not all of us have the luxery of a father of the bride who has alot of money to put towards, or inlaws with alot of money to help and being married becomes only about what it really is about and that is being married, well thats what it was like for my husband and i, so we used what money we did have and we set to work on making our day as cheap as we possibly could whilst having the day we had dreamed of. This was amazing and yes it worked out great for us everything and more we had ever hoped for. We are very blessed to have had so much help and have our special day be just perfect, But like so many people we found a friend or a friend of a friend who is a photographer who can take pics for us and not cost us more than we could afford, we were so lucky to have the photographer we had he was great and we could not afford any more than what we spent, so grateful for all he done for us.. but to then have met Kira and had her offer this amazing opportunity to us to have a shoot with her while she trained so that she could teach her students in workshop how to take images of not a model she had prepped up and a setting she had set up herself with lighting etc already for students to just take the pic, but of a "real" bride and groom who have no idea how to pose or what way to turn head or even how to stand, and a 2 year old who lets face it cant get more real than that, hahaha... Kiras work shops should be a must for every single photographer, yes our wedding pics are beautiful but as a woman i guess im not alone when i say we want more than that for our wedding album... So my message to all the beautiful brides out there who think its too late to have your princess magical images, ITS NOT TOO LATE!!! Kira can do amazing work and it dsnt have to have been on your wedding day, ( although that would be ideal) She is now working on our images from our wedding day along with images from our shoot with her to create the most amazing magical dream wedding album<These days with everyone having digital cameras its hard to get more from your photographer than you do off the friend sitting up the bcak, but with kira and the amazing photographers she trains they will most certainly be way more than you ever dream of, i dont know how ill ever truly thank Kira enough for this opportunity i have the most amazing wedding pics and i am soooo excited to see our final product our wedding album,and to have a few of our favourite images blown up and on our walls as they are truly works of art not just wedding picture at all,. Looking back now i would have one piece of advice for people planning a wedding on a budget, skimp and save on as much as possible but one thing you dont skimp on is your photographer, cause a great photographer ( like Kira ) would make even the most cheapest wedding look like a million dollars.. Kira thankyou so much and thankyou to Laura and Erin as well as you all made us feel so comfortable and made it possible to have pictures taken of us being real and not needing to fake it or have shots that i see so often just look like unconfortable poses, ( especially guys haha)!! Kira your my ANGEL!!!!! Love Debb xoxox"