PPSNYS Imaging Workshop

Hobart College 300 Pulteney St, Geneva, NY 14456

" Lighting on the run, when there isn't enough time on the job. "

About the 5 day intensive Workshop

New York City event photographer Will Cadena shares some of his quick tricks and tips for how to get the commercial-like imagery, in camera. You'll see how he works fast, and uses what is around him to create imagery that will impress your client, when there isn’t much time to spare on the job! He will show you how he uses hard light, soft light, and available light along with reflectors, and color gels.

His teaching methodology is unique in the sense that he opens up your mind so you can see photographic potential quickly in any situation and gives you the tools to correctly practice and hone your skills from the comfort of your home. He understands the difference between simply showing you how “he” does something and actually teaching you how to do it for yourself. Will’s goal at workshops is to transform his students into independent problem solvers especially when there isn't anytime on a job/project.

Besides this objective, others topics that will be discussed are:

  • · Student photo review session by Will Cadena
  • · Go over how to best use natural light, flashes, and strobes based on the pose and the location
  • · How to read and harness a location's photographic potential based on the desired pose.
  • · Understanding how to pre-visualize the shot before you push that shutter button.
  • · Pushing yourself creatively. (framing, sculpting light, video lights, and reflectors)
  • · Posing both men and women with intent.  Posing is not a set of rules, it is a set of decisions you make.
  • · Shaping different face types with light
  • · Hide what you don’t want to show
  • · Why and when to choose certain lenses and understanding angles
  • · Standing shots, sitting shots, and laying down shots
  • · How to achieve natural and believable expressions
  • · Positioning hands, legs, and spine
  • · Understanding posture
  • · Groom portraits with style
  • · Posing men
  • · Separating yourself by creating gorgeous bride and groom portraits
  • · Identifying posing problems and creating solutions
  • · Deliberate practice techniques and how to practice posing at home

Business Topics: (If the need arises or students ask)

  • · Client meetings
  • · Preparing for a client meeting
  • · Setting client expectations ex. available light, post production editing, blemish removals vs. liquifying. Removing objects, etc.
  • · Limiting album choices
  • · Pricing albums for strategic upgrades on layouts and products
  • · Educating your clients on top issues and timeline management
  • · Giving a client something that won't cost your anything and look like a hero.
  • · Closing a deal with a prospective client by understanding how they think
  • · Using your own (personal) social media to get clients and make others to talk about you without spending money on sites to promote you.
  • · Why to consider to outsourcing your work production work

What to bring

  • Bring a camera and a couple of lenses (preferably a 16-35mm 2.8, 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/2.8 if you don't have a 2.8 is not a big deal at all), flashes and whatever you use to do off-camera flash, and a reflector/diffuser.  Please don't bring a ton of lighting gear, you won't need it.  What is mentioned above is all you need. 
  • Bring 7 photos on a USB thumb drive (JPEG) that you posed but you didn't like the outcome. Something you need help with and you would like to improve on.  This is very important so don't forget! No Photojournalism shots please.  These have to be photos you actually directed to get the pose to look good but was not successful.  
  • Bring 3 photos that you posed that you are proud of. 
  • A Laptop for post production/notebook and a pen to write with and take notes.
  • To maximize your learning experience, I ask you to to know the basics of Photography and know your gear! (We are not there to show you/teach you about your camera/flash) The workshop will go a lot smoother for you if you understand your gear.
  • Comfortable shoes: We will be doing two long photo shoots outside and inside.  So bring comfortable shoes to walk in. (keep your gear light, to have an idea how light, WC will have (1) camera body, (2-3) lenses, light stand, (2) speedlite flashes (maybe a strobe depending on location)

Usage rights for portfolio images:

Will Cadena wants you to be proud of your images and use them, however, we do ask that you mention somewhere in your blog/Social media that the images posted were taken at a workshop and NOT at a real wedding.  This is to keep the integrity of the work we show prospective clients. images can not be used for print competition.

Monday:   July 17 / 8:30am

Our week begins with a short introduction and some time to get to know each other.  

We will start by photographing our talented models.

  • Each student will have approximately 5 mins to photograph models.  Sounds easy enough right? But there will be a TWIST, so I hope you’re ready!
  • Then we’ll settle in and start with individual image critiques which should last into the evening. 
  • Everyone will have a chance to showcase their images and WC will provide helpful critiques on the subtleties of lighting, posing, cropping, etc. with on the spot demonstrations to accompany these theories.

Tuesday: July 18 / 8:30am

We will spend the second day focused on photography skills.  In the morning, WC will share the many sources from which he draws inspiration.  He’ll also discuss how he approaches every scene before he begins shooting as well his “formula” for creating his signature images.

  • WC will reveal his approach to posing and provide you with solid foundation so that you never run out of poses again. 
  • He will discuss how to pre-visualize each pose and also how he approaches challenging situations such as odd height couples, plus size brides, etc.
  • You’ll then have the opportunity to see WC put it all into practice by watching him as he photographs a couple during a live shoot and also see the results of the shoot as he unveils the secrets of how he captures images. 
  • You’ll see firsthand how he finds the light or creates it, how he exposes correctly for each scene, and how he interacts with his couples. 
  • He will demonstrate exactly how to bring out the best in your subjects and how he makes his subjects look glamorous but natural at the same time.
  • You’ll see how he works in any location and creates an impactful look. He will also demonstrate the art of creating drama using shadows, reflections and the clever use of lighting. 
  • He will explain how to maximize use of available and artificial light including video light as well as the proper use of on camera and off camera flash. 
  • You’ll then have an opportunity to practice these new techniques right away.  Each student will have time alone with a couple to practice the techniques they have just learned.  Your goal during this short session will be to create one image which will then be critiqued the following day.

Wednesday: July 19 / 8am

We will leave school 8am sharp to be at Watkins Glen State Park by 8:50 am (location where to meet at school will be updated here and stated on Tuesday morning in class)

  • Watkins Glen State Park Six Nations Camping Area
  • 1009 N Franklin St Watkins Glen, NY 14891
  • We will meet at the Watkins Glen Gift Shop (If you go on your own)

We will break for lunch at 12:15pm-1:30pm (be sure you have your boxed lunch, or you bring whatever you need ie. bagged lunch or money to buy lunch there-WC will not be responsible for your lunch) after lunch we will head back to the school.

We will return by 2:30 pm and start downloading your images to choose the top 3 from the week for critique

Thursday: July 20 / 8:30am

The morning begins with one last shooting session…

  • then everyone will share one image and WC will provide a customized critique of each image to see how much you’ve progressed in just a few days.  
  • The morning will continue with learning how to choose images for proofing and edit images for an album.  You’ll then work with FUNDY Designer (If you don't have it Click Here to download) to create an album of the images collected throughout the week.  The afternoon will be spent discussing business and social media.  

There is a discount code for you which will be shared in class

Classes start in the classroom at 8:30 am. We will recap the week and answer any questions you may still have.  At this time you will also be asked to give feedback about the week.  What would you like to see/learn more of?  Was there something WC didn’t talk about that you’d like to learn?    


  • Please take a moment to complete our survey CLICK HERE (your honesty is appreciated)

Friday: July 21 / 8:30am