Monday, November 7th, 2011

We are continuing to work hard over on the light workshop and currently we are on assignment 6. I can’t believe there is only 2 more weeks left and it is at this point we start to sigh a sad sigh as we anticipate saying goodbye to our fabulous students. We all feel a sense of loss as the last assignment is submitted from each student and want to cling on to them tightly and not let them go out into the world again. Of course I jest, we feel excited for them to take their new skills out into their client work and wish them each the best as they continue to “find the light”.  I will have a post up of students work later in the week.

However despite our sadness at seeing the class end it’s an enormous thrill to follow the light filled journeys of past students. It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to a fantastic photographer (and friend) who consistently wow’s me with her masterful use of light in the stunning captures she creates whether with her own family, clients sessions or weddings. Rachel was a student on the Light Workshop nearly 2 years ago and continues to go from strength to strength with her amazing work. I want to be her when I grow up! :) ~ thanks for being a constant source of inspiration Rachel, arohanui – gail xoxo

Pop on over to see a gorgeous session she had with her beautiful daughter Emmie recently. HERE

you can view her work here RACHEL CHANEY PHOTOGRAPHY 

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

I get a little giddy putting together these posts and showcasing the work of our fabulous participants in the Finding the Light Workshop. I hope it gets you all excited to join us for the next one. Speaking of which – the next online natural light workshop will be the winter workshop and will most likely be starting at the end of January or beginning of February 2012. Keep a look out on the blog for updates on that. :)

Now on with the show.

Week 3′s assignment is about using the same delicious backlighting techniques students learned during the previous assignment, but for week three we ask them to throw in the addition of a reflector. Love or hate the reflector when it is used well it produces some stunning results. As you will see from the images I spotted on the forum this week.

Image by Rebecca, of Rebecca Spencer Photography 

Image by Anna, of Anna Debrenski 

Image by Gigi Herrera, you can view her work HERE

Image By Irene Hilhorst of

Image by Marissa, of Marissa Easterling Photography

Rashelle Cuperus of Rashelle Cuperus Photography

Image by Joanne, of Cowbrough Photography

Image by Mel McNamara of Cheeky Elephant Photography.

Image by Kim Benesh Photography

Image by Kylie Sabine

The bonus assignment was capturing silhouettes. I know what you are thinking, silhouettes are a whole lot of fun, and you are right! They really are. Here are some

silhouette  fun from some of our students.

Gemma of Gem Photography

Image by Janeen, of

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Here we are at the end of the week again, and the students have just completed assignment 2 of the Finding the Light Workshop. Assignment 2 is all about capturing images with full sun during the middle of the day and maintaining good skin exposure – it can be a challenge for sure as everyone knows full sun at mid-day is the harshest time of the day to photograph for sure, right? Right!

I {Gail} remember back when I first did the workshop (May 2010) learning to shoot in the mid day sun was the most freeing thing to happen for my photography, no longer was I trapped into photographing during ‘golden hour’. Sure, we all know that  golden hour light is truly ‘golden’ and absolutely delicious light but golden hour is also the most inconvenient time of the day for a family. It’s hard to have children be in the zone for photographs when they are tired and hungry, or just done for the day and ready to be horizontal and dreaming. So learning to handle harsh light is so helpful for scheduling sessions, and one of the many great things students learn during the online 60 day workshop.

Now shooting in the bright sun is one of my favourite times to photograph. So proud of the students as they continually ‘bring it’. There is so much more to come over the next few weeks – but for now, here are a few images I picked off the forum to showcase. – gail

Image by Alison, of Lollypop Photography

Image – Flo Dupuy of Yummy Faces

Image by Jen, of Jen Stafford Photography

Image by Jessica, of Jessica Marchetti Photography

Image by Rhonda, of Rhonda McMaster Photography

Image by Sunny, of Sunny Wright Photography

Image by Debbie Wibowo, her blog is here Delight in little things



The bonus assignment for this week seems to be the opposite of the full on sun, it’s what we call ‘bring on the rain’. Very pretty light can be found just before, or just after a storm.

ImagebyToni Raper of Maeve Photography

Image by Lori O’Brien

and here is one from me, there isn’t much rain around these parts currently …so he tried his new rainboots and umbrella out on the sprinkles.

Friday, October 7th, 2011

We are slowly getting into the swing of things again over on the Fall 2011 class of the Finding The Light Workshop. The students are producing some fabulous work and giving one another wonderful encouragement and support. It’s a beautiful thing to see in the industry, because we could all use a pit crew hanging off our camera strap from time to time. Detra, Jenny and I are grateful to be a part of that kind of goodness.

The students have just finished up the first assignment – the dramatic black and white, along with the bonus side lighting assignment. These are the assignments that challenge the photographers the most in the workshop and the participants have been really working hard at honing and perfect their skills, based of the feedback given to each individual photographer. Often it takes several attempts but they just keep clicking away until they get it. Love that fighting spirit lol.  I am so happy to share a few images from our photographers showcasing light kissing their subjects in all the right places. Keep up the great work guys!








I never get sick of seeing assignment 1, not only is it a great moment when people conquer it, but also by week 8 sometimes there has been a striking transformation that has taken place. it is truly such a thrill to be at this point with the excitement of anticipation of what may lay ahead. I hope you will tag along for the ride and/or perhaps consider joining us on the next one – most likely around end of Jan/beg Feb 2012. perfect time for our Southern Hemisphere people to make us all jealous with your sunshine and beaches! .  Next assignment is shooting in full mid-day sun. My FAVOURITE – g

Friday, August 26th, 2011

We are so excited to announce the ‘Finding the Light Workshop’ facebook page, we love being able to keep in contact with past, present and future students. Come join the party by liking us, because let’s face it, we are adorable. Click the like button to the Right…             ————————————————————>

and because no post is complete without a photo (or two), here is some delicious light found by Jenn Reno of New Bern, NC in a recent senior session. You can view the entire session HERE.
Thanks so much Jenn for keeping in contact with us and sharing your stunning light finding ways! It was lovely to hear from you, you rocked it for sure!!
In her email Jenn said “I did your Light Workshop earlier this year and just had to share two recent shots from a senior session. They were done totally because of the skills I learned from the workshop. Could have never pulled these off before! All I did in editing these was add a florabella texture and that was it! :-) ” That’s how we roll here at the Finding the Light Workshop.. we get the gorgeous stuff in camera!

Monday, July 11th, 2011

I am so excited to share another set of images from some of the students of the spring Finding the Light Workshop (Workshop 12) held online over the last few weeks. It is always a thrill to be able to watch the development of each photographer as they walk their journey in “finding the light”. We absolutely love being a part of this journey together and are truly excited to see where these roads might take them.

Dana Yannone

Toni Raper of Maeve Photography

Val Spring of  The Red Balloon Photography

Sherry Ferrante of Ferrante Photo

Penelope Carrington Wallace from Petite Shards

Michelle Eichelberger of michellediane com.

Melissa De Luna

Thanks everyone for your commitment,  patience, desire to learn/grow/challenge yourself and one another. Thank you for embracing the beauty in finding the light – may the “sunflare’ be with you. xoxo -gail

Check back on Wednesday for another installment of student work.

For the upcoming fall workshop (starting on either Sept 12th or 19th 2011 TBA), please check out THIS LINK for more information. Registration will open soon.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Another great workshop class just ended and many people are feeling the loss of the community built during the workshop. It’s so neat to see groups of students forming facebook groups so that they can continue their online support, learning and sharing. That’s how we roll here at The Light Workshop.

Detra, Jenny and I (Gail) are so grateful for each student and their willingness to learn, push themselves and keep on trying. Remarkable images full of  delicious light have been produced in the last 9 weeks.  All the best in your light finding journeys! And we can’t wait to meet the new students in September.

I asked students to share a favorite image they had taken during the workshop here is the first installment. xo Gail

Chris Henning 

Dawn Damori

Claire Bunn (alumni)

Christine Battad

Sarah Julis (alumni)

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

There are only a couple of weeks left in the spring 2011 class and some amazing work is being created here on the Finding the Light workshop. I (Gail) thought it would be fun to hear from a few participants on the class and see what they have been coming up with. It is always such a thrill to see each photographer take what they are learning and apply it to their work and blossom beyond our wildest imaginations. Here is a taster of students ‘Finding the Light’.  Well done guys, it’s been a pleasure to watch you grow -g xoxo

Sunny Wright

“This class has helped rejuvenate my love and passion for photography. It has helped me to step out of my comfort zone, experiment and to see the light in a whole new way. I remember now, why I got in this business in the first place.”

Chris Henning

“I’m loving this class, the assignments are challenging, fun and it’s really pushing me to get out of my comfort zone of underexposing to find that light.  I never would have taken images of anyone in full sun before.  It’s such a nice feeling to feel confident of taking pictures in any lighting situation.  What I’m learning will really help me since I travel to different locations for my clients.  Now, I don’t have to stay in open shade for all of my sessions.  I also love all the support from everyone, it’s a wonderful feeling to get feedback from others, both postive and constructive.”

Steph Baliff

“I am now in my third session of “Finding the Light” and I am still learning! I look at photos that I did a month ago and think about things I never would have considered at that point. There are so many layers to this class and Detra is such an inspiration. I would highly recommend this class to anyone looking to push their creativity and photography to the next level!!! Highly!!”

Steph BailiffSteph Bailiff - natural light workshop
Steph Bailiff, natural light workshop

Toni Raper -

“I truly feel confident taking pictures at any time during the day now and have learnt to ‘see the light’ in ways I just couldn’t before this workshop started.
Toni Raper Natural light workshop
Elise Sleeman 
“This workshop has been amazing. I was a little hesitant to take it since it is an online workshop and I learn much better when someone shows me something than when I just have to read about it. But all the videos and virtual classes have been so great in helping me to understand the concepts. I used to shoot only in open shade, but now I feel so much more confident shooting in different types of light and during different times of day. Detra does a wonderful job explaining exactly what to do to get best results in all types of light.”
Elise SLeeman, natural light workshop
 Maureen O’Shay
“I can’t say enough about this class! Detra has opened my eyes to the light and color around me and I really appreciate it so much more than I did before. I am able to capture memories in such an artful way now. Love this class!!” 

Amy Lucy of Amy Lucy Photography

“I realized early in my photography journey that images with beautiful and creative use of light are the ones that move me the most. So taking Detra’s class was a easy choice for me, and now I am joining again this spring as an alumni student. I can honestly say that I use the knowledge learned in Detra’s class on a daily basis. I use her techniques in every session I do for a client as well as when taking pictures of my own children playing in our yard. I see light differently now, I approach photography in a new way, and my editing skills have improved.

Beyond learning all about natural light and how to make it work to my advantage, there are numerous creative assignments that have pushed me to think about photography in clever and artistic ways. There is a lot amount of technical information, but there are also assignments that are creatively challenging. I am so thankful to Detra and her wonderful assistants Jenny and Gail for sharing such a wealth of knowledge and helping me grow as a photographer.”

Amy Lucy Photography, natural light photographer

 Amy Lucy - backlighting, natural light workshop

Amy Lucy Photography, natural light workshop
Amy Lucy Photography, natural light workshop

Dawn Damori
“When reading reviews about this workshop before signing up, more than once I read the words, “It transformed my photography.” I didn’t understand what that meant…until experiencing it for myself. It has transformed my photography!! Prior to this class, I always looked for the safety of open shade. I didn’t realize how much more dynamic my images could be simply by finding the right light. I now feel confident shooting in full sun and being able to find the right light in any situation to capture beautiful images. The assignments are challenging, yet fun. The forum has brought together an amazing group of gifted photographers who are willing to share openly and teach each other. Detra is readily available to give constructive feedback and answer questions. I can’t believe how many people come back and do this workshop again. Before I enrolled myself, the idea of participating in the same workshop twice seemed silly, but now I understand why…there is so much to learn about finding the light.”

Dawn DamoriDawn Damori - natural light workshop

Monika Eisenbart

“Since taking Detra’s workshop, I have learned to see light in completely different way. Possibilities are endless”.

Andrea Ferenchik

“I have really loved this workshop so far. I am seeing light everywhere, whether it is the signage in the Victoria’s Secret window (hmmm, that looks like my dramatic lighting assignment), to the blownout look I never realized how they achieved, to the way the light is shining in my kids eyes, I see it everywhere! I have learned not only different techniques to capture light but also how to position my subject in the most flattering way and what to look out for based on both the critique from Detra and the critique from others and of other’s assignments. I signed up when it came with an alumni spot and I can’t wait to take it again even though I am only 1/2way through the first time. I would highly, highly recommend the class. I am using it even in my “everyday” photos and capturing amazing pictures at swim meets, out at the lake, etc. I couldn’t be a more pleased customer.”

Valeria Spring

“I have no words to describe how thankful I am to Detra for teaching us all of these priceless techniques. I’m in love with light and this workshop is giving me all the tools to be able to shoot on any type of light at any time of the day. Love the inspiration I get in here so much as well and can’t wait to keep learning during the next few weeks.”

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

I’m very excited to announce the Spring workshop dates with you ! I will be starting a new class April 25th 2011. This class is my most popular class, be sure to sign up now !!
With early registration you will receive an awesome discount ! If you sign up with in the first 24 hours for a full participating spot, you will get $100.00 off and receive a free non participating alumni spot for my fall workshop. If you miss the 24 hour mark and sign up with in the first 72 hours after this post you will receive 100.00 off the full participating spot. If you want to sign up for the non-participating spot you will get 50.00 off the regular price , but you must register and pay with in 48 hours ~! I hope you can join us .. My workshop includes over 12 hours of live classes with access to the 24-7 workshop forum! I have 1-2 videos included and content with your assignments and I have more videos located in the video selection for you to watch. Each workshop I add and improve :) I have been teaching these for over five years . Don’t miss out! For full class details click on info tab.

Regular pricing for 2011

(split payment option available only for FULL PARTICIPANT students.. for limited time only.

Alumni Spotlight & Review – Marina Pershina (read below) Her work from workshop & current !

Last year I had the great opportunity to spend 8 weeks of delight, encouragement, inspiration, discovering, lots of communications … and it’s all about Detra’s workshop!!!
It was my first experience of learning online and I was really blown away!!!
This woman definitely knows her business and shares openly her skills with us.
Until last May I had no idea how to use the natural light and benefit from it. I had tons of pictures with overexposed sky or dark objects. She covered everything – backlights, flares, haze and halo effects, using reflectors, capturing the sun and the sky, lights and shadows… What’s more, her bonus assignments were as interesting as the main ones! Should I add that her actions that I won are invaluable and I use them all the time.
Everything just makes much more sense for me now and my sessions are nothing else but having fun with my little clients! Please feel free to see my progress here
P.S. See you at the spring workshop 2011 ☺

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

I had not had a chance to share this, I have been so busy with the workshop that just started. This is her blog post in her words. My Alumni and “Alumni helper for 2011″ the talented Gail Pomare

“On the eve of starting our first workshop for 2011 we look back to the last workshop of 2010 with fondness.

Many wonderful students from all over the world, experiencing many magnificent “ah-ha” moments in their photography and therefore producing some incredible images. But that’s not all, a passion for photography is shared, the desire to help one another becomes a reality and friendships are formed that continue on after the last class.

We all start out excited on the first day to find a new way of seeing light and learning to shoot in midday sun. The funny thing is we have no idea how much more we will gain and what a gift we are given by no longer being constrained to what we previously understood as good light for natural light photographers.

The liberating outcome of taking Detra’s finding the light workshop is that you learn to comfortably shoot at any time of the day and be able to find the good light when you need it most. Boy does that free up your time to book sessions. But it takes some work. You do have to invest the time to reap the benefits, however it is beyond worth it!

It is always so exciting to see the growth in each student as we/they progress through the 8 weeks of the finding the light workshop. Initially my fellow students start out with many questions that usually start with “but how do I?” progress on to “um, I think I got it” then toward the ultimate “this workshop has changed my photography”, “has freed up my life” and “The best investment in my craft I have ever made” all very common responses to the information and skills each photographer learns as a result of their time and effort invested and the instruction and feedback from Detra integrated into their work.

It is an honor to be a part of the Finding the light team with master crafts person Detra at the helm. What she can’t do with light, simply can not be done J

To get you all excited about the upcoming workshop, here are a few images from students on the last workshop.

Gail Pomare. ”