responsiveslider_lol_02 The Language of Light DVD - More
MeetJoe_02 Meet Joe McNally - More
inthebag What’s in the Bag? - More

Thanks to the Philly Gang….

Apr 8

In Seminars & Workshops at 6:49am

Had a great time in Philly yesterday. Nice folks, packed house. They even put up with me while a camera exploded in the first hour. Seems it was the one from the sandstorm last week, and it just gave up the ghost right there on stage. Always an interesting moment when you have 600 people in the room with you and your exposures are 3 stops hot. Oops! But here’s the thing. It’s nothing new. It’s camera work on location. Stuff goes wrong. Folks were interested and patient with me while I worked it out and pulled things back on the rails. I also got some offers from audience members to borrow a Canon camera:-)


Did this in about 3 or 4 minutes with Isidor. Two flashes two tri-grips.


And we did a quick “commercial” looking shot with Kate, who is a dancer with the Philadelphia 76ers. (I’m a Knick fan, but we got past it. Honestly, there hasn’t been much to argue about in the last few years about either team.) Bright white background, Ezy Box Hot Shoe softbox up front, with some low fill. All TTL.

Move pretty quick on these Kelby days. Got a couple on more on tap, Denver and Sacramento. I talk fast all day, and try to get as much done and as much info out there as I can in the 5 hours we have together. Yesterday was a hoot, good bunch of folks in the audience, though Drew, Lynda and I were pretty zapped at the end of the day, which made for an interesting drive back up the Jersey Pike….more tk….

Skip says:

on April 8, 2010 at 7:07 am

The class was terriffic. More than worth the time and although I read both of Joe’s books and a lot of websites, seeing it in real time really brought it all together. Learned a good, practical approach to lighting and light tools. Joe is a great instructor and very skilled in getting a lot of material covered. The team was very professional and the models were great too.

Looking forward to taking some on line courses of Joe’s too.

Bo Vejgaard says:

on April 8, 2010 at 7:08 am

Hi Joe,

Can’t you arrange one of them fast-talking-info-pushing-photography days in Denmark at one point? We would love that.

Thanks for yet another nice little insight into your world.

Joe McNally says:

on April 8, 2010 at 7:16 am

many thanks skip….glad you enjoyed…best, joe

Nate says:

on April 8, 2010 at 7:21 am

Wish I could have been there, work was calling and I had to miss it. Heard it was great from some folks that went! Dito on the Knick-76er thing :)
Definitely going to be out to see you at some point (Pittsburgh, Philly, NYC, DC, Balti, where ever).


Mitch Stein says:

on April 8, 2010 at 7:38 am

Great seminar! Alot of great info was passed on to all who was in attendance! It is truly amazing what light can do to a photograph and how a minor adjustment could make the world of difference!
Again thanks for the for the great day !!!!

Arik says:

on April 8, 2010 at 7:39 am

It was a wonderful workshop. Joe delivered everything that was promised and much more. In addition to the excellent delivery of the technical aspects, Joe was inspiring with his high level of energy until the last minute of the workshop, his handling of the crew and models, and ability to keep 600 attendees on-board through an intensive day of training.

Steve says:

on April 8, 2010 at 7:57 am

Hey Joe,

Can you arrange anytime to teach a one day class in West Palm Beach, or in Miami Beach? The weather is great right now, before hurricane season starts.



Sandy says:

on April 8, 2010 at 8:20 am

As always Joe’s personality, humor and passion for what he does (including teaching) is infectious. I completely enjoyed the day, and your examples and explanation illustrated all of the many options we photographers have at our fingertips to create with light. Thanks Joe for putting so much of “you” into your teaching. Kudos to Drew and crew who are also quite impressive!

Ken Toney says:

on April 8, 2010 at 8:21 am

Joe, Hope to make one of your classes soon. I’ve been watching everything you produce since you made the first Nikon CLS video.(love the joking around too, what good is anything if you can’t have fun!)

Joe McNally says:

on April 8, 2010 at 8:27 am

Hey Ken…you’re right…ya gotta have fun doing this…..see you soon, Joe

Bill Bogle, Jr. says:

on April 8, 2010 at 8:32 am


Switch sports. The weekend home and home between the Rangers and the Flyers might be a tad more interesting than the Knicks and the 76ers. But it would not come with the dancers (unless you consider the Islander’s skaters to be a dance team).

I will always remember my workshop experience with you when I pilled out my 70-200mm f2.8 lens from my camera bag and it sounded like a kaleidescope. Luckily it was just a broken filter, and I was able to clean it out, but you were most gracious offering to let me use a lens of yours for the same. It is about the work, and sometimes the mechanical/electronic things let you down, but it is how you adapt that is important.

Thanks for all of the insight and inspiration.

Bill Bogle, Jr.

Carl Licari says:

on April 8, 2010 at 8:39 am

Yikes! Which body Joe, D3s or D3x?
Great lighting and images!

Dennis Pike says:

on April 8, 2010 at 8:52 am

is it ever not an interesting drive up the Jersey turnpike?

Jason says:

on April 8, 2010 at 8:54 am

Hey Joe! Looking forward to the Denver day. After Bryce a couple years ago, me and my buddies always enjoy hearing you talk. As we speak I am dumping useless “work knowledge” from my brain in hopes of sucking up more lighting knowledge :) Schedule more Denver jaunts!

John O'C says:

on April 8, 2010 at 9:46 am


The workshop was phenominal (except the part where my wife was kicking me under the table whenever I said, “we need to buy one of those”). Not only di we learn a great deal, but we walked out greatly inspired. Be proud knowing how many folks you mentor.

Mike Paterson says:

on April 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Always fun to hear the stories… would LOVE to have you bring the seminar to the Seattle area. We need our fair share of “Joe” too!

Howard Haby says:

on April 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Sounds like a fun time. Wish I could have been there. Ever do seminars in Canada?

roberto adrain says:

on April 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm

hi joe, amazing blog.
how do you get the dancer with white background using TTL?

Michael Straub says:

on April 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Hey Joe!
Great seminar…quite honestly the best I have been to! You are so right …the camera is a tool and it can stop working anytime, anywhere. You handled it well! You still nailed it even before the switch out! Why??? Because you know what you are doing and the limits to the tools we use. I am very happy that you shared your knowledge and experience with us. More than gaining knowledge, I was inspired by your teaching. I now see there is a lot more possibilities than I thought. I am in the process of setting up a creative, fun shoot now to test out what I’ve learned.

hfng says:

on April 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Canon wouldn’t break down in the middle of a shoot 😉

Glyn Dewis says:

on April 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Superb photographs Joe, and yeah I totally agree with Ken when he says about the fun element.

Planning to come over from the UK in 2011 for one of your Workshops in Santa Fe so hopefully see you then Joe.

All the best to you,

Jared DiMartine says:

on April 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Hey Joe,

Thanks for the great workshop. I had a blast. Feel free to send me that broken D3s, you know, since it’s broke and all…

– Jared

Jack McGinnis says:

on April 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Joe, yesterday was even better then I dreamed ti would be. I have been a long time admirer of your work and couldn’t wait to see you in person. It is great to see someone of my age show such passion for their photography. I wasn’t sure if the camera broke or you were trying to show what can occur on location. Either way it was a great lesson.

Thank you for a fun day of learning, that was over way too soon,


Grant Perry says:

on April 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Looks like it was a great time. Joe – you always do a great job – need you to come to southern VA. soon!

Kelly Ann Jones says:

on April 8, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Great seminar yesterday! You a great teacher, an inspiration, and a lotta fun!!

Kelly Ann Jones says:

on April 8, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Sorry for the typo…but you get the idea.
Thanks again…

Doorgunner says:

on April 8, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Do you use the Lasolite #3 exercise trampoline (as seen on tv) or the pro version gold reflective coated version for these new jump shots you are doing?

Paul Wolke says:

on April 8, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Great seminar and a great new perspective learned on approaching shoots. I enjoyed the unexpected moments as well (i.e. an audience member asking to see what the orientation of the reflector was like on the floor by, um… well, taking a picture of it). Good time! Great control over everything, too… 2 models, 3 assistants and 600+ Art Directors!

sandeep says:

on April 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm

like the lighting in the first image. Perfect as always!

what was wrong with the equipment? was it your d3 or the flash?

Howard says:

on April 8, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Thank you for a great day of training. Besides being an excellent photographer you are a fantastic instructor. You grab our attention and make it interesting and fun at the same time. Making mistakes and coming up with solutions of the fly sure beats the hell out of the typical power point presentation. This was the second time I attended this class and each time I learned something new. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and for signing my Canon flash.

Edd Carlile says:

on April 9, 2010 at 12:11 am

Europe calling Joe…..Europe calling Joe…

Gordon says:

on April 9, 2010 at 1:15 am

Now all I need is for you to do a workshop or 10 in Australia. *hint*


Chris says:

on April 9, 2010 at 1:21 am

Howard get in your car and drive.I drove down from Toronto to see Joe.
Best damn day of learnin’ I have had in a while. Thanks Joe.

Jan-Anders says:

on April 9, 2010 at 2:30 am

Nice portraits as always! I would love to attend one of your workshops. Love the light of the EzyBox. Have you tried the new 76cm x 76cm (30″ x 30″) version? I’ve got the smallest one and considering getting a second bigger one.

Thanks for sharing you knowledge and inspiring work!

Barbara Thorbjörnsson says:

on April 9, 2010 at 6:06 am

Beautiful, pensive shot of the black man. Lovely.
As a side note: Binghamton, NY would be a lovely place for a future workshop and the scenery is beautiful along Hwy 17.

James Cox says:

on April 9, 2010 at 7:59 am

WOW!!! what an awesome day. i was so ticked that i missed the DC event a few months back and yesterday totally made up for it.

i learn so much faster when someone shows how they did something, and walk through some of the problems that you could run in to when shooting. i can’t wait to play around with some of the stuff i took away from this, now buy some more off camera flash’s

thanks again

Christopher Cherubin says:

on April 9, 2010 at 9:32 am

Philly was my first seminar of this type and Joe was amazing! Thanks to joe and his crew for an awesome learning experience.

William Chinn says:

on April 9, 2010 at 9:44 am

Caught the seminar in Los Angeles and it was well worth it. Out of curiosity what was the shutter count on the dead camera and does it come back from the dead or is it sent to the salvage heap?

Bob Baker says:

on April 9, 2010 at 10:16 am

Joe . . . how about coming down to the Nation’s Capital (maybe YOU can straighten things out)! Or at least provide some of your outstanding lighting techniques instruction to us photographers in the DC, MD, and VA area.

Jeff Kloss says:

on April 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Joe, great session in the cradle of liberty. Learned in one day what I’ve missed in many, many photo flash books I’ve read over past couple years. Hope to have you back in town soon.

Dominik says:

on April 10, 2010 at 4:14 am

Joe, I’m looking forward to your workshop the 23 of April in Zurich / Switzerland. I got a mail from Nikon yesterday and I waited not a minute to book.

AlanA says:

on April 10, 2010 at 8:52 am

Joe… Thanks for coming to Philly. I really enjoyed your style of teaching and it made me decide to put attending one of your workshops on my list of things to do. I also wamted to let you know that I had a shot of the lighting setup you used for Isidor’s portrait at

Martin says:

on April 10, 2010 at 9:59 am

Great shots Joe, looked like fun !

Micheal Hall says:

on April 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Hi Joe!

I just found out you are coming to Sac and had to sign up.

Just wanted to say I enjoy your work and visit your blog often. Thanks for sharing what you do.

I currently shoot all Canon digital – don’t hold it against me! – I shot Nikon way-back and have a D3s on order. I’m expecting to get more from the creative side of the seminar than from Nikon-specific technical.

But I’ll take whatever I can get. :)

Looking forward to seeing you in May!


Michael Leon says:

on April 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Dear Joe what a great class in philly. I learned a lot and my wish list keeps growing. I do this as a hobby and cant learn enough to making my photographs better. Only thing that could be better for your class would be a video camera projecting the setup of the studio. There were a few times that we could not see how the flashes were setup on the flash.

Well worth the time and money. Thanks Michael

Alexander Cortez says:

on April 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Hello Mr. McNally, Neko and I had an awesome time in Philly. It was worth the drive from Ohio! It was wonderful that you re-enforced the thought of “let’s see what the camera and flash thinks.” You’ve eased our minds with the tech part and we’re more focused on the creative process :)

Stella says:

on April 13, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Joe, thank you so much for this amazing class! I feel that I learned sooo much and the class really exceeded all my hopes and expectations. Even the episode with the malfunctioning camera was educational, especially the way you used it as an opportunity to demonstrate your approach to staying cool on a shoot, no matter what happens. The way you started with one on-camera flash and worked up from there really made me see the purpose of each light and even more importantly the process of building up the lighting for a shot. Most importantly, I feel that you took a lot of the intimidation out of lighting for me and I am now so thrilled to try out some of the concepts you demonstrated. Your energy, enthusiasm, and humor really made the class a lot of fun!!

Russ Devan says:

on April 14, 2010 at 12:56 am

Joe, Thanks for an amazing and informative workshop last week. I truly learned a lot. I’ve read both of your books (The Moment It Clicks and Hot Shoe Diaries) and ate up everything in them, but your workshop just made it all gel for me. As an added bonus, I got to meet Kate in person after the workshop at Reading Terminal Market across the street and exchange business cards. Icing on the cake! Great job.

Michael Kent says:

on April 15, 2010 at 11:14 am

Joe, I was in the audience at Mystic in January and must say it was a phenomenal time. I’m sorry I missed you while you were here in Philadelphia. Just wanted to say thanks for all your inspiration. Hopefully you come back to Philly soon.


karl bratby says:

on April 26, 2010 at 2:35 pm

cool stuff joe as usual.

Gursimran says:

on March 22, 2011 at 7:42 pm

How can I find out about possible workshops in the NY area. Your work is mind blowing.

Leave a Reply