The five guys

Meeting of the Masters

Meeting of the Masters; I’ve waited a long time to tell this story. I had to wait to get over some personal feelings of frustration, disappointment and hatred towards some of the guys. I wanted to wait until I was at a point where I was able to speak about this event maturely and after 13 years, I think I’m mostly there.

Never meet the people you admire (or look up to), you’ll be disappointed

Marcel Proust

June 2010 I was big into workshops and shootouts and wanted to gather some guys together, that had inspired me at one point or another, to get better. These were guys that were personal mentors of mine, people that I could call or write out of the blue and they respond with their feedback. Some made themselves more available than others. Some, were people I had thrown in there because of their name value. The original Meeting of the Masters list was;

Grecco is an amazing photographer, but out of the five, he was one that didn’t provide any inspiration to me nor had I spoke to him before I started putting together the event. I specifically went after him strictly for his name and wanted to use his name to get the event more exposure. It was discovered early on, with the assistance of one of the “Masters” -who was jealous of all the others, that Grecco was “difficult” and he began to pressure me to drop him. I ended up cutting Grecco from the line up (There was feedback from attendees that Grecco wasn’t a very good teacher) I still regret making that cut as I feel Grecco could have taught us a LOT, but unbeknownst to me, the event started to move from my vision and what I wanted, to more of what one of the other speakers wanted.

After the Grecco cut, I moved forward and continued on. I was advertising everywhere I could and doing the best I could. The event was initially going to happen at the Colorado Convention Center, but as the date drew closer, the overall number of people wasn’t enough to support such a venue, so it was moved to a hotel conference room in the Denver Tech Center. One of the speakers, decided he didn’t like the website I was using and recreated it and got more involved in the day to day dealings, even strongly insisting that I cut David Hickey from the program. It was at that point I drew the line as Hickey was FAR more important to me than him, and Hickey’s value was far more than his. It was at that point his and my relationship started to sour. I spoke to Art about the situation (Art was my friend, and mentor, and he told me “Time to pull your big girl panties up and run your damn event!” To which I did.

Thursday came and I picked the guys up from the Airport, well, Voclain caught a taxi from the airport to hotel because he didn’t have patience to wait for me lol. I ended up picking up Edelman and Otis and we went back to the hotel. The guys all had a few hours of down time and we started Thursday off with a meet and greet.

The event layout was:

Thursday June 3rd was meet and greet

Friday June 4 Ivan Otis was speaker and lead instructor for the shooting

Saturday Art Ketchum and David Hickey spoke – Masters round table in the evening

Sunday Joe Edelman and Kirk Voclain spoke and lead instructors

Ivan Otis and Paige W
Ivan Otis and Paige W

Ivan started the event off with an absolute bang as he brought to us, his amazing lighting and effective teaching. He taught fashion photography, fashion business, how to get noticed by agencies and how to work with your model and get them comfortable. Which clearly Paige’s face shows how comfortable she was 😉 My goal wasn’t to take photos at the event, but I snuck in there here and there. Ivan is from Toronto which meant he wasn’t very skilled in the U.S. ways, and I’ll speak more to that later on. Ivans’ energy started us off on the right foot and the weekend was a blast of learning. We went outdoors to shoot with Ivan and he took his model, Jacquie and did some poses and gave us a glimpse into his mind.


Because I wanted people to really take in all of what Ivan said, I had Ivan as the speaker for the day.

I will be updating soon with Day II and this is when it starts to get wild!

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