Escalate Live – A Review of Day 2 – Sachin Khona Photographer


Hey, I hope you liked my review of Day 1.

Here’s the follow up for a mind blowing Day 2!

Jerry Ghionis – Ordinary is no Longer an Excuse: Transforming Any Shooting Environment into Extraordinary

Jerry Ghionis was quite frankly, unbelievable. I was buzzing after this talk and the whole room at Escalate live must have been electric. Jerry Ghinios is one of those photographers who make me want to run out with my camera and start taking pictures right away. I felt so inspired after hearing all the talkers but Jerry for me stood out the most.. and I’m sure he did for many others..

He shared not only his great artistry and images, but all the way down to how he set up the shot, the before and the after. He shared clips of videos of how he spoke to the clients and what can be achieved! He shared so much and the importance in finding and seeing the beauty in everyone.

He appears to make images like this with such ease – but from seeing his videos you can see it is hard but well worth it!!

[Funniest moment for me was his set up of the couple inside a car. Jerry was on the outside shooting the car palced in front of famous landmark, with the Bride and Groom’s heads showing in the back seat window. This needed flash for the shot therefore the driver sat at the the front of the car holding a flash faced onto the couple. However, there was too much light on first test of shot, so he told the limo driver to just point the flash in his face and close his eyes .. *laughing histerically* .. … but what a shot! (I’ve tried to describe this moment as best as I could  ;) honest)

Ok, so here are the key points I learnt.

– Photographers: Slow down and look for the light
– Don’t be afraid to remove lights from a scene. e.g. turn off lights in a room and use flash to illuminate key areas.
– Have the right mindset ”What would you do if McGuyver was shooting this wedding?”
Slot Machine Photography – Jerry asks the audience to think of ways to shoot tricky scenes that they come across in every day life. Keep testing yourself.
Research – ”If you copy another photographers work, you are a fraud. But if you copy from many, its called ‘research”’. Although I’m sure Jerry doesn’t mean to actively copy others, he does promote learning and getting the creative juices flowing from others.

VISION – ”If you don’t see it, how are you going to shoot it?”

Overall, as a photogrpher, Jerry asked everyone to take their time. Slow down. Be cool. – Don’t just rapid fire shoot.

”How many shots are you going to delete later?”

Again… Take your time. Slow down. Be cool.

Keep critiquing your shots. How often to you critique?


1. See the light
2. Focus on the posture
3. See the beauty

When shooting, Jerry described his workflow in that he first looks for lighting, then location, the concept (action or pose), technique and finally expression… Then he picks up his camera.. ! A great lesson to learn from …

Two key quotes from the day that really struck me were ”You don’t have to be the best, you just have to be better than last week”


” I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of not living ”

In the Q&A session, Jerry asked every photographer to challenge themselves and to keep practising, after all, Roger Federer didnt become the No.1 Tennis player in the world by not practising day in day out and giving it 100% each time.

I plan on pracisting as much as possible and getting out there shooting and brushing up on my skills. I hope you see improvements in my work over the coming months!

Jessica Claire – Intent, Images and Illumination: A Creative Walk-though of a Shoot

Jessica described how she shoot with intent but also on how she provides images to clients that they wish they had. Keeping client focus is key and she regularly asks them which ideas they have and what they would like to be captured.

David Jay Escalate Special Topic

Unfortunately I missed the majortiy of this segment as I lost my internet connection .. after trying to get it working, I decided to race to Dr. Rave’s house to catch the rest.

From what I briefly heard, David Jay talked about focusing on the positive and contributing to the industry. Hopefully Ill be able to catch David Jay speak live sometime soon ;)

If you heard it, how was it? Did you blog about it? Post up a link for me to read please! Thanks!!

Jeremy Cowart Vision is Everything

Its important to follow other types of photographers for inspiration. Don’t just focus on those within the wedding industry.

He showed a great video ( on how the Help Portrait movement began and a lot of photographers worldwide used their time, equipment and expertise to give back to those who are less fortunate and encouraged others to do the same.

Please do check out the video.

My Final thoughts.

Passion. Vision. Right Attitude. Collaborate. Work hard. Keep Improving…

All of these guys are successful because you can see their passion and their drive to succeed.

Thanks to everyone for setting up and making this an unbelievable conference. I woke up at 1230 pm today.. After solid editing for 2 days in a row and then watching online from 5pm-1am London time, I definitely needed a rest!…

Did you found my blog useful? How did you find escalate live? Did you attend or watch it online? What are your thoughts?

I’m certainly tired but definitely inspired.. Now to get to work!



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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by tp photography, Jeff Cruz, Charles Showalter, Escalate Live, Sachin Khona and others. Sachin Khona said: A review of Day 2 on my blog @escalatelive featuring @jerryghionis […]

Ghionis really was amazing. I've heard a lot of speakers over the years (not just photo related) and to be honest, most photography speakers aren't actually that great on stage. But Ghionis…WOW! I agree with you that his excellence wasn't just in his charm, but the way in which he went through things. Providing inspiration through example – his thought process, his technique, and his vision. He was definitely the highlight of the two days. Sorry to say Claire was a let down after Ghionis, but I did find it interesting that she talked a lot of making/setting up photos rather than just capturing what's going on. This goes against the grain of what everyone seems to call themselves: Photojournalists. But she makes very good points about that manner of thinking and it's something I need to work much harder at. I learned that lesson a few yrs ago and her preso was a reminder of that.


Great post!! Very detailed but yet compressed enough that the main points are there. I was lucky enough to go and it was a life changer for sure. I recommend anyone wanting to elevate their businesses to go next year (keeping fingers crossed)

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