Schedule of Events 2013

Tag Along Workshops:





-2 day Tag Along


-manipulating light

-how to pose models



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Lighten Up And Shoot Tour!


We are excited to announce we are hitting the road like an old school rock band and bringing the lightenupandshoot philosophy a little closer to home. We have a ton of stops and events we want to share with you. Everything from Shoot-togethers to Workshops (Hey we gotta pay for gas money somehow). We are completely pumped to inspire, teach, shoot and have fun with all you Lightenupandshooters!!!


Locations, dates and more info after the break!

Lighten Up and Learn Workshop

This is not your everyday workshop! This is a photography workshop lightenupandshoot style.

What is lightenupandshoot style? Photography is fun! was created with simplicity, portability, education and most importantly fun in mind. We are team made up of a professional photographer and retoucher that love and we mean love to shoot.  We just got tired of pixel peepers, brand wars, conceited photographers, calculators and pretty much anything else that got in the way of

making photography fun.  This was simply not our style!

So after not being able to find what we were looking for, we decided to take it into our own hands and develop the lighten up and learn workshop.

The lighten up and learn workshop is a combination of our love of photography, our laid back attitude and our undeniable love of photography.  We do not believe you need thousands of dollars in gear to take amazing photographs.  We do not believe you need 12 strobes and a small army of assistants to take those professional shots. AND WE DEFINITELY DO NOT BELIEVE PHOTOGRAPHY SHOULD BE COMPLICATED AND EXTREMELY TECHNICAL! Armed with what we call our Backpacker's Studio we will show you the benefits of using minimal gear and maximum knowledge to get the awesome images you want.

What can I expect from the lightenupandshoot two-day workshop?


  • Photography is fun - Our philosophy is the main point behind everything we do!

  • The variables of flash exposure - once you know this, you know everything you need to know to get the proper exposure!

  • Composition - great light plus bad composition equals bad photo. We’ll teach you to add right!

  • Location scouting - Learn what to look for...but more importantly we’ll teach you how to see.

  • Light modifiers - Our favorite light modifiers and how to use them to their maximum potential.

  • DIY Projects - Save $$$$$$$, we’re all about saving money so great projects that do just that!

  • One on one time - This is probably the most important part of the workshop...your questions our answers just for you!

AND THAT’S NOT ALL!!! trying not to sound like an infomercial...

  • Mikey's essential tips to awesome street photography.

  • How to build instant rapport with a model.  This is crucial to capture fantastic images.

  • How to build a portfolio that sells without having clients.

  • How to get great looking studio shots without having a studio.

Do you ever ask yourself, "I have all this gear, but I just can't seem to get the shot?"

We are going to spend a lot of time talking about the three main components of light: color, contrast, and softness.  We will have some really fun assignments on finding models and using Lightenupandshoot's favorite lighting setups using only two light sources.  These lighting techniques are fast, simply and extremely effective. Whether your a professional photographer or just shooting the cat, these techniques will definitely improve your marketability.

The Approach (Psychology behind the photo)

A lot of Lightenupandshooters tell us they just don't have the courage to approach people to be models like we do in our videos.  We are going to show you the techniques on how to be comfortable approaching anyone for a shot.  Once you have the basics of lights mastered, you are really going to shine when you can have an endless supply of models to shoot anytime/anywhere.

FREE Bonus Stuff
  • Andy is a professional retoucher and this part of the workshop alone is worth the $$$ price of admission.  He's going to break down his Lightroom and Photoshop retouch workflow so you can spend more time taking beautiful pictures and not wasting valuable time on your computer.

  • Andy will also reveal his secret skin retouching techniques that he developed himself.  This is important information for any pro photographer.

  • Mikey is going to show you his hue shifting techniques in Lightroom to create dramatic effects.  He will also give you the presets he created for B&W conversion, 70's film, and his new favorite (Old Bar Room Light)

  • A copy of the Lighten Up and Learn Workbook covering all the important information we will cover during these intense two days

  • A DVD full of textures, presets and backgrounds to give your photos an extra touch!

Lightenup $$$$ Back Guarantee

It's going to cost you two full days of your life having fun taking amazing images, but the minimal monetary investment will guarantee you success in creating beautiful images and getting more work as a photographer.  We want your photography taken to a new level, if you aren't satisfied after the end of the first day we will refund 100% of your money with no questions asked.  Price $220.

What do I need to bring to the workshop?

Camera, lenses, laptops, modifiers, notepad, pen, speedlight, pistachio nuts and triggers.  If you don't have triggers, you can use Mikey's Cyber Syncs. The most important this is relax and have fun;  it's going to be a long two days of intense learning.  Don't worry,  we plan on feeding you breakfast, lunch and dinner...the pistachio nuts are for us!

Who is Lightenupandshoot?

Michael Thompson - Westcott Top Pro and international photographer that splits his time in between Tampa, Florida and Medellin, Colombia.  Michael decided to quit his job as a mortgage specialist when he landed his first professional job merely by accident.  "I love the excitement and unpredicatability of where photography can take you.  I have been paid to take pictures in amazing places and met the most incredible people along my photography journey.  I can't imagine working behind a desk ever again.  And I love sharing my passion with others."
Andy Strachwsky - A Professional Retoucher and Photographer's Advisor throughout South America.  Andy got his start in photography by working as a computer programmer.  Andy knows the ins and outs of photoshop through his background in programming which has led his to career in professional retouching.  Photographers began asking Andy to assist them with professional photo shoots because Andy is a master of light and knows what works for print.  He's also a damn good photographer but doesn't like to brag like Mikey does.

What even more people are saying about us!

“They're great guys and really good photographers...”

-Ned Bunnell, President of Pentax



Workshop Dates and Locations! Sign Up TODAY!!!!



San Juan, Puerto Rico - July 9th - 11th, 2010 - SOLD OUT

A Special 3 day event with the photography group in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Some fun in the sun as we shoot in paradise! We also have an added day helping a local photographer named ANTO VEGA with a full production on July 12th (everyone is invited to this event).

Atlanta, Georgia - July 17th and 18th, 2010 ! - SOLD OUT

At your request, Lightenupandshoot is coming to HOTLANTA!! Everyone is invited to hang out with us the night before (July 16th). Sign up today, it's going to be happening!!!


Toronto, Canada - July 24th and 25th 2010 ! - SOLD OUT

Oh Canada!! We'll be in Toronto, so don't miss it!! Sign up now it's going to be way and I mean way too cool!


Tampa, Florida - September 18th, 2010 - Westcott Top Pro Tour!

Lightenupandshoot Day sponsored by Westcott! As a Westcott Top Pro we are helping kick off their cross country lighting tour in September! This a going to be an amazing all day event so be sure to come out and see us. This is sponsored by FJ Westcott so all the details of the date is on their website:


Westcott Tour Information.


Dublin, Ireland - September 25th and 26th, 2010 -SOLD OUT

We love Guiness Beer, and what better country to follow lightenupandshoot day where it began! We are packing our bags and going to Dublin, Ireland!

San Francisco, California - October 2nd and 3rd, 2010 - SOLD OUT

Beautiful San Francisco is going to be one of our favorite places to stop and do some street photography!

Los Angeles, California - October 9th and 10th, 2010 - CANCELLED

We love LA, so much stuff to shoot, we are totally excited to have a stop here!


San Diego, California - October 16th and 17th, 2010 !

Oh the weather! We can't wait!

Phoenix, Arizona - October 23rd and 24th, 2010 !

This is a special event because we plan on doing some night photography in the desert one night! Full moon is to our advantage and we plan on taking some spectacular shots!

Las Vegas, Nevada - October 30th and 31st - CANCELLED

Good old Las Vegas, Halloween and Lightenupandshoot...what an event! Watch out Celine Dion here we come!



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