I finally managed to attend one of Cliff Mautner’s Lighting & Skillset Bootcamps. It was such wonderful experience. Pushing yourself and furthering your education in whatever field interests you is beneficial in many ways. I’m so thankful that I stepped out of my comfort zone and made this trip to New Jersey. I’m also thankful for my best friend Laurel for going on this adventure with me. We learned a lot about each other and really supported each other the whole way. Also, my amazing husband for taking time off of work so that I could make it happen! Finding great support is so important!
I’ve been a fan of Cliff’s work for quite a while. It stands out from the others in more ways than one. The raw emotion he manages to capture on a wedding day is amazing in itself but the way he sees light is really mind blowing. He described it so beautifully, “Shadow is my canvas. Light is my paint”.
I knew going into this that this wasn’t just a workshop or relaxing retreat. Bootcamp is in the name! But wow! We were all pushed to work hard! I was surprised at how much I learned from both the speaking portion and the hand-ons stuff! Cliff doesn’t go for styled shoots. We did have some seriously amazing models but these photos weren’t just for us to take beautiful photos. He wanted us to push ourself to shoot in a way we hadn’t before. Philadelphia has so many amazing backdrops for photos and still Cliff took us to spots that we wouldn’t have tried to use. On a typical wedding day, we often don’t get to shoot in the perfect sun set. But Cliff showed us how to make that harsh lighting work. He also took us to dark cave like area under city hall. Definitely not something I ever would have went for before this bootcamp! Check out some of these amazing images! Keep in mind, this was all made with natural light streaming in to “paint” our subjects.
After booking my spot in this bootcamp, I worried a bit. I feared that I wouldn’t be good enough. I especially felt uneasy knowing people were traveling from all over the world! I immediately thought I got in over my head and wouldn’t fit it. My fears were cast aside when Cliff first said hello. He really is such a good guy. He made us all feel welcome and genuinely wanted to know us... and more importantly wanted to help us succeed. He’s also really funny which made the 12 hour "work" days fly by!
The same can be said for all of the other attendees. The people I met I now consider friends. We laughed together and cried together. We are continuing to stay in touch and I’m so thankful to have a connection with all of them. Cliff's assistant Heather was also wonderful to work with. She took such great care of us and ensured we were all comfortable and had amazing food. She really took care of us and then some! She allowed us all into her office to watch her editing workflow!
I took away so much from this bootcamp. I really can’t believe it was even an option for me... and that I waited so long to go for it! If you are looking for your next opportunity to improve your photography, click here and book now. You’ll be so glad that you did.
Thanks again Cliff!