Palm Springs Photo Festival 2014

Another year, another Palm Springs Photo Festival!  I got back last Friday and I've just started to process all of the good things that came from my week in the desert.  This year I assisted fine art photographer Todd Hido in his workshop called "A Method Demystified."  I'm a big fan of his work and was excited to be chosen to assist his workshop.  We started the week with a meet and greet at the beautiful Korakia Hotel. Todd and his studio manager Jena met with the workshop attendees and we discussed the plan for the week.  The weather was great all week and we were fortunate to be able to sit out in the sunshine and chat. The first official day of the workshop was a time for Todd to discuss his work and process.  We brought in a model, the lovely Brooke Lynne, to give a demo on lighting and how to work with a model.  

*All photos shot with an iPhone.  I know, I know, I should have toted around the Canon, but my job this week was to assist and organize, not to shoot.  

 Meet and greet at the Korakia Hotel.

Meet and greet at the Korakia Hotel.

 Todd talking to the workshop attendees about his work on Day 1. 

Todd talking to the workshop attendees about his work on Day 1. 

Day two was where the rubber met the road.  We all (Todd Hido, 14 attendees, 3 models, 2 assistants) headed out to Bombay Beach in the Salton Sea.  It was very windy and hot, but not sweltering.  Each of the attendees got to work with each of the three models (Zoe, Ali, and Brooke) in the abandoned buildings that make-up about 50 percent of Bombay Beach.  The group made some fantastic images with the girls.  It was nice to see them experiment and grow in their ability to direct and stage the models.  

 Day 2: Our vans at Bombay Beach in the Salton Sea. 

Day 2: Our vans at Bombay Beach in the Salton Sea. 

 Scenes from the Salton Sea.  

Scenes from the Salton Sea.  

 Stephanie and Zoe shooting at Bombay Beach.

Stephanie and Zoe shooting at Bombay Beach.

 2013 vs. 2014 The Salton Sea is such a strange, ever-changing place.  The photo on the left was taken almost exactly a year before when I was assisting Roger Ballen's workshop out at the Sea.  The wind, the sun, the transient population all alter the landscape dramatically. 

2013 vs. 2014 The Salton Sea is such a strange, ever-changing place.  The photo on the left was taken almost exactly a year before when I was assisting Roger Ballen's workshop out at the Sea.  The wind, the sun, the transient population all alter the landscape dramatically. 

We spent about 4 hours at Bombay Beach shooting, and then we all headed over to the infamous Ski Inn to grab a cold beer and look at some work.  I can't recommend the Ski Inn enough.  The staff is really sweet, they have a great old-school jukebox, the beer is always cold, and it's basically your quintessential desert dive bar.  While we were there Todd showed some work that he had shot the previous day of Brooke, and then he did a mini-session with Zoe.  There was an old, beat-up piano next to a window that created a timeless scene.  The sun started to set and we headed back to the "beach" for a night shooting demo. 

 Todd showing work to the group in the Ski Inn. 

Todd showing work to the group in the Ski Inn. 

 Look for our PSPF dollar!

Look for our PSPF dollar!

 Todd shooting Zoe in the bar.

Todd shooting Zoe in the bar.

 Model shooting model.  Brooke is a great photographer and she had the opportunity to take a couple of snaps while we were out.  

Model shooting model.  Brooke is a great photographer and she had the opportunity to take a couple of snaps while we were out.  

Day three the group went out to Indio to the Western Sands Motel.  The Sands is an old motel that hasn't been renovated in decades.  It was the perfect place for us to work.  Each of the students got more time to shoot with the models and use hot lights if they wanted.  

 Day 3 at the Western Sands Motel in Indio, CA. 

Day 3 at the Western Sands Motel in Indio, CA. 

 Some of the guys shooting with Zoe by the pool.

Some of the guys shooting with Zoe by the pool.

 Ali in the "vintage" motel. 

Ali in the "vintage" motel. 

 Todd shooting with Brooke at the Western Sands Motel. 

Todd shooting with Brooke at the Western Sands Motel. 

The last day the attendees got to show the work they shot during the week to Todd and get feedback.  I must say that the images that they created were lovely.  I was very impressed. This was my sixth year working with the festival and this group was by far my easiest, most low-maintainance group. They made my job much easier than it could have been and I am very grateful for that!  

I got to see the magical Duane Michals speak, the weather was manageable, Todd was very cool, I got to see lots of old friends and make many new ones, overall it was another great year at the PSPF!    

 A much needed cocktail after a night in the desert. 

A much needed cocktail after a night in the desert.