Emily Soto Workshop // NYC

This has been the year for travel! CSM has been to some incredible places this past year, and now we can add NYC to the list!

I had the pleasure of attending the incredible Emily Soto’s workshop in New York City a few weeks ago. Normally I would try to blog something a little sooner, but BOY have things been busy around the Johnson household! With packing and moving, weddings every weekend, church work all week and a little BABY DAUGHTER on the way – things are action-packed around here! We are SO excited and I was really happy to take a few days and meet new photographers, learn some new techniques, and spend some time with a photographer I really respect – Emily Soto!

First let me give a quick review of Emily Soto’s NYC workshop.


Okay, that was cheating. But seriously, it was really cool to meet so many talented new friends in such a rad place – NYC!

Emily and her husband Victor are class-acts. Super friendly, smiles all around. No haughty ‘look at my gear – it costs more than your house’ attitudes. (the gear doesn’t cost more than your house.) I was met at the door by Emily herself – not an assistant, she was happy to say hi while she and everyone else were still setting things up. (I got there early.)

Everything was very organized, plenty of space to shoot, talk, have a seat while she went over her workflow and introductions. Name tags, some SWAG, pizza in a bag (yep. photos below), and a really friendly team, to boot. Things started out really smoothly – I always get a little anxious at things like this, surrounded by so much talent. Emily and her AWESOME team helped ease that anxiety and were really really helpful.

It’s clear that Emily really respects her team and they are so excited to be there helping – it’s a really nice relationship.

Emily works with talent. She brought in an amazing stylist all the way from Australia, Penny Adams, from P.S. I love you. She was amazing with local flowers, gown coordination, and everything else a stylist does that I have no clue about :) (mood board collaboration, styling, hair and makeup input, etc – I’m still learning haha) Hair and make up artists from the city (links at the bottom of the blog) and models from NYC as well.

Really cool gear to play with! Emily does a lot of work with the film from The Impossible Project. It was really cool to see that in action, and I think my only regret from the trip was that I didn’t get to check out the brick and mortar HQ for T.I.P. It was awesome to see Emily’s gear, her workflow, and watch in real time how she gets the look and feel for her images.

Here’s a few photos to hold you over – still a little more review and more workshop photos below!

storyboard108 storyboard109 storyboard110 storyboard111 You’ll see a few BTS photos in this post – the lighting set up was really much more simple than I expected, and really motivated me to start using a lot more OCF (off camera flash) in my work. Emily and Victor were both really willing to talk lighting, the pros and cons of certain gear, and their experiences. I love sharing what I’ve learned with others, and it was refreshing to hear a couple so talented and experienced doing the same.

Without making this super elaborate and the longest post on Earth – I’ll summarize with this: Emily and Victor were REALLY fun to meet and spend time with. They joined a few of us for supper Saturday night, talked travels and funny stories, things they’ve learned over the years shooting incredible work. The second day of editing and fashion work-flow (from photo-day, to publication, and everything in between) was super educational. They gave us an introduction to her actions (the best documented and most useful set of actions I’ve ever seen) and we all shared a delicious lunch together.

Again, the friendliness and patience exuded by Emily, Victor, and their team – really really special. Everyone was so happy to be in New York together, shooting amazing photos and meeting such cool people – we’re all instagram and facebook friends now, and some of us are coordinating meetups and photo shoots – all over the world – now!

I couldn’t write this blog post without thanking Brandi, of Alexis June Weddings. The kindness of she and her family, allowing me to stay in NYC – 1) made the trip possible and 2) extremely memorable.

Loads of funny stories about this trip – lots of walking, shooting, walking, eating, walking and did I mention you have to walk a lot in New York City? It was awesome meeting new friends and I sincerely hope our paths cross again very soon. Enjoy a few more of my photos below!

p.s. I’m looking forward to seeing Dave Geffin’s video from the weekend – that dude is crazy talented!

storyboard106 storyboard107 storyboard112 storyboard113 storyboard114 storyboard115 storyboard116 storyboard117 storyboard118 storyboard119 storyboard120 storyboard121 storyboard122 storyboard123

Stylist: Penny Adams from PS, I Love You
Make up artist: Alyssa Lorraine : Makeup Artistry
Hair Stylist: Hair x Andrita Renee- NYC Freelance Stylist
Gowns: The last two looks – the blush gown and white gown are by Leanne Marshall
Gowns: The first white gowns are from Lovely Bride
Models: Ivanka Kukolka and Spencer



Leave a Reply