"For a moment I thought I was apart of "Inside the Actors Studio" starring Melissa Rodwell, we were just missing the host James Lipton haha"

Jaymer Delapena
Seminar Student '09

"To me just hearing Melissa talk first hand about her experiences throughout her career in her candid, honest demeanor was worth the time and money I spent."

Byron Valino
Seminar Student '09

"The retouching portion was top notch. I learned alot of new techniques from David that are already making my life considerably better and for that I am GRATEFUL!"

Dana Pennington
Seminar Student '09


  • Limit to 15 People so you get the upmost time and attention learning and shooting.
  • For Advanced Students that are looking to learn REAL and Useful tips for the longterm.
  • Real Models, Real Shooting
    Spend the day with Melissa shooting in a real studio with real models.
  • Learn from a PRO Fashion Photographer
    Melissa Rodwell's Portfolio speaks for itself.
  • The Business Side
    Includes Q&A with Melissa on how to promote and organize your photography career.
  • Professional Retouching
    You will learn Non-Destructive PRO secrets that will boost your photos to the next level!

  Fashion Photography Portion: Whats in Store?

2 Professional Models; One for Fashion, One for Beauty...
It seems like everybody now wants to be a fashion photographer! and why not? It's an exciting career set in a fast-paced world where travel to exotic places and meeting fascinating people is part of the job description. But it's also an incredibly competitive industry and demanding of not only photography skills, but understanding of fashion and the industry itself. My seminar is unique to other seminars because this is strictly about fashion photography. From lighting to styling, from retouching fashion photographs to how to organize a portfolio to get work, it's all about fashion photography and how to become a stronger one to make your mark in the industry.

So many seminars bring in mediocre models with little or no styling and have them do their own make up. Not at mine! I bring in professional, working models from some of the biggest agency names in the world, hire working hair stylists, make up artists and wardrobe stylists. I show you how to communicate with them in order to get the looks you're after so your photography comes out shining. I remind my students, repeatedly, that your crew and model are tantamount to a successful shoot!

Fashion and Beauty; Learning How to Light, Organically...
My seminar is limited to 10 people in order to give everyone fair and equal time shooting the looks we create. In the morning, we conquer beauty lighting. I go through at least 3 lighting set-ups on how to light for beauty. Our model goes through 3 changes and I explain the lighting set up that I think works best for each look. After we break for lunch, we head straight into fashion lighting. I show you how to light for the different fabrics and styles. I'll explain the lighting set ups as we go through each one.

The thing that sets my seminars apart from other ones is that no two seminars are like. There is no script, there is no formula, I believe in letting the day develop organically. I have no idea what the stylist will bring, so it's like a real job in that we have to tackle the issues that come up with a fashion shoot. Even as we are in the middle of shooting one look, if we want to change the light around then, we'll work together to do that.

Promotion, Portfolios, Agents, Websites, and Everything In Between..
On sunday, after David is finished showing you some top pro retouching tips for retouching fashion and beauty photographs, I will speak about the business side of fashion photography. I will bring my own portfolio in, along with my promo pieces and explain how to market yourself as a fashion photographer. We'll go through estimates, call sheets, budgets, etc. My seminars are small, private and intimate. It quickly starts to feel like a family getting together to figure out the ins and outs of shooting fashion industry.

We work together as a team to set up the lighting because I believe that you'll learn more if you are part of that process. You are welcome to watch the make up and hair team work on our models. You can talk to the wardrobe stylist and ask her questions as we go through the day. This is a top of the line, totally professional workshop that conquers the ever growing, hugely expanding and overwhelming competitiveness of the fashion photography industry! If you want to hone your skills, learn some creative ways to conquer beauty and fashion lighting, learn about marketing and promoting yourself in the market you're in, then this workshop is for you!

Retouching Portion; What's in Store?

David Skyler has been a professional retouch artist for over 5 years. He spent 3 years working at one of the top Post-Production Houses in the world. Where he got the chance to learn some of the most coveted retouching techniques in the industry. Aside from his freelancing jobs he has also been Melissa Rodwell's exclusive Retouch Artist for the past 4 years and is the designer and creator of the fashionphotographyblog.com.

A Short List of His Clients Include:
Biotherm Vogue Barneys New York
Dell Computers Philosophy Interview Magazine
Genlux Flaunt Douglas Little

What is Non-Destructive Retouching and Why should I learn it?
Non-Destructive Retouching is working with a very fine tooth comb and using tested techniques toensure you don't degredate the quality of your images and are careful to keep every pixel intact. Over the years and because of the "Digital Age", the photography industry has been inundated with quick, easy, fast, techniques/plug-ins to enhance an image without ever taking into account the integrity of the photograph. When you use these techniques, you can very easily start to blur, distort, and damage the quality of your images.

These methods become easily noticeable to a trained eye and are almost impossible to print without some level in loss of quality. Because of mis-information, these techniques are becoming very popular among the new generation of digital photographers. What people seem to forget is that before "Photoshop" and Digital Photography ever existed, there was only way one way to do things, "Get it in the Camera". Now that we have these tools, art directors, agencies, and clients expect an even higher caliber of work and flawless output for photographs. BUT, with one thing in mind, they still want the images to look as if they where taken "Directly From the Camera". The ONLY way to reproduce this effect is to work non-destructively when retouching your photographs.

David has learned that High-End advertising and Fashion Publications EXPECT this as an industry standard to be maintained in your images. When you learn how to work NON-DESTRUCTIVELY you will gain that "X-Factor" that potential clients are looking for and you will open up a whole new level of possibilities when working to create Stunning images using Post Production Techniques

One of the Most Coveted Secrets of the Industry; Revealed
The origin of the Dodge and Burn Technique dates back to before photoshop ever existed and is the quintessential tool in every professional retouch artists arsenal. With Dodge and Burn, you can work "Non-Destructively" to correct almost anything on an image. From re-creating and smoothing out shadows to de-wrinkling clothing and erasing blemishes without jeopordizing even a single pixel. The technique can vary widely and although some may tell you it is a "Well Known" method. Most techniques only touch the "Surface" of its true power in creating flawless images. Thats why we say "You have to see it, to Believe it!"

Stretch, Slim, Scale, Re-Shape and More.
Liquify is the most common tool used in photoshop for Reshaping and Slmming down a Models Figure; their waist, hips, face, etc. But did you know that 9 times out of 10 people have little to no knowledge about the other and sometimes better technique known as the "Warp" tool? Most people have no idea how to use these tools correctly and which one to use in a certain situation. David will open your eyes to new techniques to accomplish virtually any Re-shaping task you may have. Knowing how to use these tools correctly, you will finally have the right knowledge to accomplish any shaping task without jeopordizing the quality of your image.

Other Things you will Learn...
Utilizing the idea that there are only 4 tools that you need to know how to use correctly to achieve great results when retouching your images; David Believes he can effectively teach you some of the most important tools in a short amount of time so that you can start adding them into your workflow immediately. David will also be teaching how to correctly use the Healing Brush and Clone tools. As well as a quick introduction on Camera RAW and how to get the best quality and exposure out of your image before you start retouching. You will also gain tips on finalizing your image for print/media output and Color Correction. Industry Standards and Techniques. All of the techniques are meant to be simple yet effective.