I first met Lanny and Erika at the annual Canadian Photo Convention in 2011. It was their love of adventure, their sincerity and their devotion to epic photography that made a lasting impression on me. I knew that it was the beginning of a great photography friendship and that I would visit them in Canmore one day. The opportunity to take part in their Balls Out workshop with my friend Karen McKinnon from Courtney was too good an opportunity to pass up.
The workshop was set at the Grande Rockies Resort in Canmore. A small group of 9 participants guaranteed lots of one-on-one mentorship and the ability to really connect with the other photographers that had come from many parts of the world, from Belgium to Washington, D.C and Montreal.
The first day, I knew I was in the right place when the title of their presentation was “Psyche, Magic and the Art of getting Lucky”. To me, mindset is everything. When photographing, you need to fully present, in the moment and able to intuitively feel what is going to happen before it happens. This is the greatest development of a good photojournalist. And in order to develop the ability to anticipate moments, a person needs awareness, mental clarity and magic.
‘Balls Out’ was the name of the workshop. I like this approach. Lanny and Erika’s philosophy is that in order to maximize visual impact, you need to be ALL IN, BALLS OUT. To maximize total available creative energy, you need to have your techniques simplified and dialed. You need a certain degree of mental fitness and you need to work your ass off. You stack your cards for luck and you open yourself to the magic and mystery of art.
You have to have a lot of balls to shoot like Erika and Lanny. They work hard to create unique and powerful image. Their tool box is full of unconventional ways to create images. They not only capture images to help their clients remember their wedding day, but they enhance those memories through their work.
I learned a lot this week and I’m excited to put what I learned into action. My journey as a photographer is an ever-evolving journey to understand light and to communicate emotion. Thank-you Erika and Lanny for shining your lights and inspiring me on this journey!
“Beauty is so much more than what it looks like. It’s how it feels to be there in that moment.” –Two Mann