Roots Workshop Recap from Matthew D'Agostino
Whenever I talk with potential Love Life clients, I try to communicate that we take care of them so well because we take care of ourselves, too. The LLI team is a team of great, passionate photographers and storytellers. We we push and support each other in our artistic development. In order to feel generous to others--and as photographers, open to whatever visual possibilities meet us--we know that such generosity begins at home.
So, this year, Jennifer, Joe, and I traveled to the Roots Workshop, which was held at French's Point, ME just over a short week ago. Roots, as I've come to understand, is a workshop that is as much technical as it is personal. Roots' instructors teach photojournalist techniques within a framework of supportive community. In a business where the connection to one's photographic subject is essential, the barriers to success for photographers can be as much external (gear, technique, lenses, etc.) as internal (anxieties, fear, permission to take risks, etc.). Roots works on both aspects of the craft.
For me, I had the pleasure of working with the indomitable Tyler Wirken and effortless storyteller, Rachel LaCour Niesen. With only four other teammates, we made a tight group. After some get-to-know-you's on Sunday and a photographic exercise Monday, we received our assignments Monday evening and shot them over the next two days. For me, it was shooting from 7a.m.-6:30pm, editing from 8pm-2am, and then up at 4am the next day for a long day of shooting that ended at 8pm. We edited until 3a.m. and then put together the slideshows the next day. I made 4,200 images those two days and they were whittled down to...
Yes, that's right. You want to know something else? Not a frame was wasted. Oh, it was tough to let two of them go, but they didn't fit the story arc. Maybe another day of shooting would have given them space to fit, but that's the process. The images have to rock and then they have to fit the narrative. I spied the workings of one image on day one of shooting, had my opportunity on day two to make it happen, but blew it. But it's my favorite failure now because it points to the future. If I could only fail like that more often!
Here is the final slideshow from my project. I hope that you enjoy it, but there's no way you'll enjoy them as much as I did. Getting up a 4am was never so easy!