in my quest to never stop learning i was lucky enough to get a seat in the latest anti-workshop. this round was in las vegas. the usual suspects showed up to share their seemingly infinite photo wisdom (and a few pints).

suspect #1: John Michael Cooper aka: JMC. we have admired john’s work for years. he is the originator of “trash the dress” sessions, or as he calls them, anti-bridals. needless to say, we owe him big time. the least i could do is attend his workshop. when i heard it was going to be in vegas the same time as WPPI i jumped at the opportunity to soak up some of his brilliance while repaying a portion of my debt of gratitude. along with being one of the coolest guys on the planet, john is one of the nicest, most humble professionals you will ever meet. he is a true artist in every sense of the word. if you haven’t already done so, please make some time to visit his site and see what i’m talking about. john’s super sweet wife, and suspect #2, dalisa was also in attendence. she’s an awesome photographer in her own right and an even awesomer hostess. the best. the coopers are sooper cool. go share some aloha with ’em.

as if having john and dalisa there wasn’t sweet enough, enter suspects #3 and #4…doug and chenin boutwell. doug rivals our pal nate for title of post-production jedi master. there would have to be a steel-cage death match to proclaim the one true master, but that will never happen. i guess they’ll just have to both hold seats on the post-production jedi council. i’m cool with that. computer skills aside, doug is also an incredible photographer and a lighting guru. he showed us how to use light in some amazing ways. chenin’s work inspires us as well. we love the way she captures motion and “life” in her images.

how’s this for the coolest classroom environment ever? the in-room portion of the anti-workshop was held in the vip room at the Brass Lounge. it overlooks the Freemont Street Experience in old Las Vegas.

on day one we hit the streets to have a little fun with Elvis. doesn’t everyone?

elvis had a little too much fun and wound up in a black and white taxi.

here are some of my super talented classmates. Karey and Greg.

this gentleman was a really cool local who has been homeless for over 20 years. he shared some tales about his past and allowed us to take a few shots of him. such an interesting individual. before leaving, we chipped in for his bus fare and a meal at denny’s. it was money well spent.

walking around old vegas was pretty sweet.

lots of neon.

this one’s for melissa. :)

this one’s for all the baby mamas.

one of JMC’s anti-brides “stepped up” for my team’s class project.

her shoes were so rad.

here’s something you don’t see everyday. chenin was demonstrating how to try to get a flare shot in the mid day sunshine of las vegas. they closed down the whole street just for us. all that construction in the background had nothing to do with it. :)

here’s doug giving us the low-down on studio lighting.

JMC also had some lighting tricks up his sleeves. here’s a little painting with light a la JMC.

on the last night of the anti-workshop our good friend ed pingol and his lovely wife monica arrived in vegas and we all went out for a late night photo session. we ended up staying out until 4am. that’s the beauty of vegas.