Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking a class at the Washington School of Photography in Bethesda, MD. Right now they are celebrating their 35th year of being opened, so they are doing classes at $35 per class!! I couldn’t resist!! It was a nice long drive but nothing kills a commute like good conversation, so that’s what I did the whole way there and the whole way back! (Thanks Tiff & Alicia you ladies rock) Anywho the class was taught by Daniel Peppel, he is the owner and operator of Portraits of Life Inc. He specializes in portraits of people — family portraits, mothers and children, models, weddings, and special events. He was absolutely WONDERFUL!! What I loved most about him was the fact that he wasn’t afraid of saying what needed to be said. If he needed to cuss, act out or display the bad way to pose a client to get his point across he did just that! Dan was one of those teachers who was very hands on, he doesn’t teach by showing you a slide show or graphs. He had a model on sight and also used audience participation to display different poses clients need to do in order to get “the money shot” as he put it! The best part of class was “posing children”, kids can be the sweetest most lovable beings on the planet but they can also be an absolute PAIN! He told us a story about a kid that kept making faces while he was trying to take a group wedding shot, he pretended to fix the child’s bow tie and whispered in his ear “if you mess up my shot one more time I’m gonna rip your heart out your chest”… I couldn’t hold my laughter in! Not only did I believe him but I understood why he had to be so drastic, some kids like to just be jerks and you have to bring them back to reality. He also said lie when you need to get a shot in for a child “look out the window there’s a butterfly that’s going to fly to your finger….” of course it’ll never happen but you got the shot, the parent’s happy and the child forgets in about 2.5 minutes anyway! Everybody wins! Needless to say the class was worth the hour+ drive and I can’t wait to put the poses to use!! I took a few shots while he was explaining how to take couple shots, enjoy!