Archive for the ‘workshops’ Category

Four workshops to choose from this year

by Sue Dawson

EVER WANTED to do a workshop with Alison? This year, there are four locations to choose from. Alison loves teaching, and has been doing it for decades. The workshops are a great way to immerse yourself in photography for 3 to 7 days, and really get inspired creatively. You’ll learn tips and techniques, make new friends, and take some awesome photos. Click each location for more info.

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Introducing our two new workshop assistants



Wayne Smith’s photograph of a fisherman at Wasque, where blues are running like they were in the ’70s.

by Sue Dawson

ALISON’S BEEN TEACHING week-long workshops on Martha’s Vineyard since the mid-1980s. They were first hosted by Atlanta’s Southeastern Center for the Arts (owner Neil Chaput then moved to Montana, where he founded Rocky Mountain School of Photography). Classes were held in a different place every year – even in Alison’s living room. Those were the days of shooting with film cameras, so Alison had an assistant who dropped off at least 50 rolls of film at the airport each morning, so they could be flown to Logan Airport, driven by courier to a lab in Boston, and rush-processed. He or she would pick up yesterday’s processed film – now slides – and bring them back to the group each day. No one knew for sure how their images would look, until they saw the slides. Students “bracketed” their shots, meaning that they shot multiple images of the same thing at different exposures, to increase the chances of getting a good one. When the slides came in, they’d be spread out on a light table, the best shots chosen, and loaded into a slide projector for group critiques.

Things are so different now… 

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Can’t help it but we’re creative …

A guest blog: by Eli Dagostino

FOR 25 YEARS Alison Shaw and her students have posed together for a group photo at the end of each of her fall photography workshops. Alison has always enlisted the help of her partner in crime (the workshop assistant) to take the photo. Last year was my first year assisting the internationally renowned fine-art master, and when I was put to the task of taking the traditional photo for our group, Alison made it clear that she didn’t want the shot rushed and that it definitely had to be something fun and creative.

I made the same mistake as assistants past and waited until one of the last days to take our group photo. We planned to shoot in Menemsha that evening, and I decided this would be a great time to get everyone together and quickly (without taking the students away from their shooting adventures) take THE shot. We notified the students in the morning and proceeded to put together a shot that night. It was eh….

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September workshop on Martha’s Vineyard

by Alison Shaw

I JUST FINISHED TEACHING my September workshop (otherwise known as “photo boot camp”) on the Vineyard. It was a great and talented group of sixteen students, my trusty assistant Donna Foster, and our “shadow” Jonathan Hart, a Vermont-based photographer who spent the week observing.

DAY 1, Sunday:
7pm: Meet-and-greet session at the Mansion House, fueled by Chilmark Chocolates and red wine. Jen Sayre broke her own record for the most Alison Shaw MV workshops – she’s taken six workshops with me on the island since 2003. She gets re-inspired each time, and we love having her.

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