I Did Some Intense Training: Cliff Mautner’s Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp


I thought I knew what good photography was: even light, smooth skin…then about 3 years ago I happened upon an article in Shutterbug Magazine about one of the world’s top wedding photographers. I didn’t care to read about him because I couldn’t get past the photographs he had taken. They were different; made my eyes “think” and I couldn’t stop staring. His photographs made me…feel. I still have that magazine article today and keep it to be inspired. The man behind the lens was Cliff Mauntner. His work reminds me of the old movies and the Italian painter Caravaggio.

I wanted to create images that lasted, that were like his, that were…different. He offers a three day intensive workshop, Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp. I knew I had to go. In a world saturated with “wedding photographers” with the same style, the same poses I wanted to stand out. A wedding is a powerful event in a person’s life and should be remembered that way. Cliff reminded us that all the wedding magazines are leading us astray with the photos of details and such. Photography is about capturing moments. Special, one-of a kind pieces of history we can never get back but only cherish in a print.

There were 19 of us so teaching was really personal and we all became close. From 9am- about 10pm we learned about technical and artistic skill and business. Cliff was so helpful and open about anything we wanted to know. One afternoon we worked on outdoor shooting, the next was indoors with off camera flash- both in Philedelphia. He’d hired real models to make working and learning that much better. And not to be unsung, breakfast and lunch were provided each day and those had to be the BEST chocolate chip pancakes ever!

Below are some images from my time at the bootcamp. I can’t wait to put these skills into practice in my work.