Denver Photography Workshop with Jerry Ghionis

Feb 18, 2011 | Portraits

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I spent last week at a pretty amazing workshop in Denver with one of the best wedding photographers on the planet, Jerry Ghionis.  It was a crazy intense five days of learning, and I’m still trying to recover.  🙂  Our first day was spent in critiques (nerve-wracking, but I came out with the tag “hustler” which was pretty funny), then days two and three were all about posing.

Before the workshop I was struggling with the whole idea of learning to pose better … As a mostly candid/documentary photographer, I spend most of the wedding day trying NOT to pose anything; I prefer photographing the moments as they happen, from the sidelines.  Why, then, spend two days learning how to pose people – and not just pose, but fine-tune?  Because, at the end of the day, I do spend part of the wedding day posing people (the family portraits, bridal party photos and couples portraits) … and if I’m going to do something, I’m damn well going to do it well!

During those two days, we each had two ten minute slots to spend with a model, practicing what we had learned.  My first ten minutes were spent with the gorgeous and ridiculously charming Melissa Ghionis, Jerry’s wife.  Melissa was instructed not to give us anything that we didn’t deserve, but you couldn’t ask for an easier model.  I love these shots of her!

The image on the left (above) was the one I submitted for critique the next day.  It was tough choosing just one, though.

And maybe my absolute favorite of the set – I adore laughter!

During those two days of shooting, we learned about all different sorts of light sources.  The remainder of the images are from situations/poses set up by Jerry, unless otherwise indicated.  We learned how to work wonders with a little window light and a dark background – this is our fantastic model/photographer/new found friend Jennifer Kelly:

We were blessed with some damn fine looking models to work with, including Patrick:

Another image of Jen, this time looking all forties-glam with a video light:

Our third model, Tammy, had the most amazing red hair.  Love these!

Jerry demonstrated some good couples poses for super harsh sunlight using Patrick and Tammy:

For my second ten minute session, I decided to really challenge myself by using a male model (posing guys is so different to posing girls!) and by not allowing myself to use my usual outdoor lighting techniques of easy open shade or shooting with back light.  I feel pretty good about the result – although I have to admit to freaking out a bit at the time!  🙂

And one final shot – a quick grab from the end of a demonstration of open shade posing:

I hope you enjoyed these.  Huge thanks to Melissa and Jerry for a great workshop.  I made some friends for life, and had a blast.  And, a week later, I’m just about caught up on my sleep again!

If you’re a newly engaged couple wanting some kick ass wedding and engagement photos, view my portfolio here; if you’re more interested in kids and pets, click here; follow me on Facebook here … or contact me here!


  1. As always, stunning lady! Can’t wait to see your new tricks on the blog from future weddings 🙂

  2. Thank you Corey 🙂 I’m really excited for wedding season to roll in. SO much good stuff to put to use!

  3. just gorgeous…as I said to leah…and it also applies to you as well…your pics were gorgeous to begin with but you’ve taken them to a whole new level of awesomeness! 🙂 looking forward to seeing more…

  4. I am a new published author searching for a book cover for my newiest novel. The name of the book is Finding Amy who has beautiful long red hair. It is set in winter time in Montana. I saw the photo of the lovely lady you took and saw my Amy.
    Is there any chance I could purchase the photo of the gorgeous red head in the fuzzy hat for my cover. She is perfect.
    I’ll be waiting for a response.
    Thank you for the great photographs. You are so talented.
    Carol Braswell, Author.


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