Up until last week “Flash” was a dirty word.  Yes, I must admit the word “Flash” made me quake and cringe, and was occasionally followed by nausea.  Not because using lights was intimidating, but more because it was deeply seeded in my head that I didn’t like the look of flash photography.  Shooting in the golden hours with natural light made me giddy and I just couldn’t see artificial light giving me that same feeling of elation.


After spending the weekend at Nichole Van’s lighting workshop I am a convert! I love “off camera lighting”!

Nichole is not only an extremely talented, creative and award winning photographer but she is also a phenomenal instructor. I am a firm believer that just because you have skills doesn’t necessarily mean you are able to teach those skills to others.  I think the ability to teach is a gift in itself, and not only does Nichole possess that gift but as a former college professor she is experienced in helping students grasp concepts previously foreign to them.

Off camera lighting is an extensive topic, so much so that one cannot become an expert in only a few days. Nichole’s approach takes this into consideration and she not only presents you with the vast topic of lighting in an easy to understand way,   but she also trains you throughout your time together how to think in terms of artificial lighting.  This is huge!  No, you will not leave ANY workshop an expert but when you leave Nichole’s workshop you will leave with the tools to think through the process and troubleshoot in the field.  Those skills are invaluable and when you combine them with all of the reference materials she sends you home with (as well as other goodies; Nichole loves goodies) there is nothing standing in your way.

So here I am with all these new skills and knowledge.  The word “Flash” no longer makes me cringe; it now excites me and as with any new skill I will have to practice, practice, and practice. But now thanks to Nichole’s incredible workshop the creative possibilities are endless and I am excited to explore them all!  If you are looking to increase your knowledge, gain new tools, become more skilled at what you love and of course have fun then I HIGHLY recommend attending both of Nichole’s Workshops. I can honestly say that they were both one of the best investments I made in myself and my craft. THANK YOU NICHOLE!

Oh and extra thank you to the fabulous girls who modeled for us throughout the weekend. You guys are all so pretty in your own way and you were a pleasure to work with! Trust me, if I lived in Utah I would harass you to model for me again and again and again.