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Crafting a unique workshop experience

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For those of you who haven't met Elizabeth LaDuca, she is wedding photographer based in Boston with a minimal, artful aesthetic. Scrolling through her images, I feel a sense of peace, which I am certain she brings to everything she does. I was thrilled to be a small part of her recent Halide workshop, and today she is sharing her approach in formatting this community learning experience. 

What was your inspiration in launching the Halide workshop experience? What sets it apart from other workshops?

I’ve been passionate about film photography for many years, and often receive inquiries from other photographers seeking to develop that skill set. The idea of Halide came out of numerous conversations surrounding how shooting with film has helped evolve my approach to storytelling on a wedding day. I wanted to create a safe space for fellow artists to explore their curiosity about shooting film in a way that felt true to their unique style, with lots of hands-on experimentation and guidance. Beyond just learning the technical “how,” I really wanted to share my “why” with our wonderful group of attendees.

 

How did the attendees benefit from having a second photographer there with a different speciality?

We wanted to create an experience that enabled and encouraged attendees to work intentionally within each styled vignette to try new techniques, push their art forward, and create work that was different than every other artist present. The choice to do a full day of classroom education, followed by a full day of shooting was a format chosen to help achieve depth in each respective area. I am so grateful to have had a team of film photographers to speak about their areas of strength; my dear friends Gabby and Arielle, who are both local photographers with a passion for film, spoke on day one and worked one-on-one with attendees on day two. Having multiple photographers teach helped enhance the feeling of community, and supported our thought process behind the workshop. I was amazed at the synergy and energy that arose from coming together as a group, discussing our differences and various areas of strength, and then applying those ideas on day two to create richer, deeper work.


What are your feelings on the number of attendees so that everyone gets the most out of the experience?

We limited the number of attendees to 12 to ensure that each photographer had time to work one-on-one with the models and vignettes. The feeling of having time to explore and play was really important to us. I loved that the group size brought a range of experiences and approaches, and helped fuel diverse conversations.


What was your primary goal for building this workshop brand?

My goal with the workshop was to share my love for film with others, and to grow our community in a way that supports and raises each other up. I’ve always enjoyed teaching, particularly in a hands-on manner like a workshop, so it was a very natural fit. It was incredibly rewarding to build a beautiful experience from the ground up, and to see other photographers get excited about applying film within their own businesses. 


What were the key elements in the workshop experience that had the most lasting impact on the attendees?

We heard unanimously that attendees loved our shared dining experiences. One of our earliest decisions in the planning process was to bring our friends at Uncommon Feasts on to curate lovely and delicious meals for each day. The opportunity to enjoy a leisurely lunch surrounded by other creatives is one of the most inspiring ways to spend an afternoon, and we were fortunate enough to incorporate two! The spirit of warmth and community was enhanced through the dining experience. We also received great feedback on the range of design offered in the vignettes, and the fact that there were a number of different ones to interact with. Each vignette focused on a piece of content or lighting situation you might be faced with on a wedding day, and all coordinated aesthetically; by keeping each separate, it made time and space to create uniquely beautiful work, experiment with metering and shooting technique, and learn from each other in a really dynamic way.


Workshop Vendors: Workshop @halideworkshop // Workshop lead: Elizabeth LaDuca @elizabethladuca // Venue Villageworks Loft @villageworksloft // Editorial Design and guest photographer Gabriella Riggieri @ggabriella // Guest photographer Arielle Doneson @arielledphotography // Florals Luna Moss @lunamoss // Videography Willow Tree Films @willowtreefilms // Paper goods August & Osceola @augustandosceola // Chef Uncommon Feasts @uncommonfeasts // Hair and Makeup Alicia Dane @aliciadane // Models Mary Navarro @marebearry, Jordan Blackwell @j.blckwll // Cake Soul Cake Shop @soulcakeshop // Jewelry Store Ore @storeore // Wedding Dress Ceremony @ceremony_boston // Clothing Forma of the West @formaofthewest // Tablewares Myrth Ceramics @myrthceramics // Surfaces Locust Collection @locustcollection // Styling goods @shopromanticist // Furniture Rentals: Kadeema Rentals @kadeemarentals // Linens The Bayith @thebayith // Film lab: Photovision @photovisionprints

Learn more about the Halide workshop at www.halideworkshop.com and view more of Elizabeth's work at www.elizabethladuca.com.