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Rolando / Arny Freytag private instruction
Old 01-23-2010, 06:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Several months ago Rolando approached me to ask if I would be interested in private instruction with Arny Freytag in the Playboy Studio West facilities in Santa Monica. He quoted me a price that was rather substantial -- but I said yes immediately, hoping that exposure to one of the true gurus of glamour photography would give my photography a needed leg up.
Finally, last week the day arrived for the shoot. My wife, our model, and I arrived at the studios just a little early last Saturday morning. Rolando was already there. All too soon the day was over, far surpassing my expectations.

I was admittedly intimidated in front of Arny. Unnecessarily.

Arny turned out to be extremely helpful, open, and a genuinely nice person with extraordinary knowledge of his field. My concerns that he his team would be put off by me as a stranger in their midst was completely wrong. The makeup artist, the stylist, his IT specialist, photographic assistant, intern, and Arny, himself, rolled out the red carpet.

During the day we shot on three sets. Arny and his team went over the lighting, posing, and set design. Arny was insightful. Indeed, what I took away from Studio West has radically changed my approach to studio shooting.

There were some additional pluses. My wife, Alison, who has become quite proficient at photographic makeup, used the opportunity to observe and learn from both the makeup artist and stylist. Both of us came away enlightened – albeit, for the price of one.

Finally, the third member of our team – our model, Eleya. We had worked with her before and were impressed with her professionalism. Eleya arrived in LA in time to celebrate my birthday with Alison at me at In-n-Out with candles on my 4x4 cheeseburger. We not only had our extraordinary day at Studio West, we shot at a beach in Ventura County. Plus Eleya and Alison made two shopping trips to the L.A. Fashion District.

Despite some recent misgivings about dealings with Rolando, I am glad to say that in this case, he hit a home run. For my part, I don’t expect that instantly I will be a clone of Arny or can reproduce Playboy centerfold quality. But I am now working to incorporate many aspects of what I have learned into my own photography. (And, Arny, if you are reading this, I’ve ordered sandbags.)
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Re: Rolando / Arny Freytag private instruction
Old 01-23-2010, 11:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That is awesome that you enjoyed your experience. Hope you received great images of your wife as well that makes her proud. I am sure it felt great for her to be the one getting your attention.
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Re: Rolando / Arny Freytag private instruction
Old 01-24-2010, 06:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Here are shots of Eleya from last weekend. Both from Studio West and from the beach.

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Re: Rolando / Arny Freytag private instruction
Old 01-25-2010, 10:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As great as shooting at the Playboy Studio would be and as great as working with Arny and RG would be and as great as being able to work with your wife and a great model would be oh my god a giant birthday In n Out Burger. To me that is the highlight of the weekend.

I so miss those in the midwest. LOL

Congrats on a great weekend.
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Re: Rolando / Arny Freytag private instruction
Old 01-25-2010, 07:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You are right. I need to post a picture of the birthday burger.

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Re: Rolando / Arny Freytag private instruction
Old 01-26-2010, 12:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Robert,

I just returned from Atlanta where we had a wonderful three-day workshop with six beautiful models and even there, Eleya and I were not only talking about the Freytag experience, but others were asking--word gets around and it's drawing buzz. Not many have ever shot in that studio, much less set foot in it, so that alone is a caveat--and you were the first for this concept and Doc. Cesar was the second and we have a few more spots opening for this year, and yes, while it comes with a price, it's a lasting experience.

And yes Robert, while our strong personality types have butted heads, ultimately friendships are decided by how you recover and you and Alison have been wonderful over the years and the experience in Santa Monica was great for all of us--except somehow I didn't get the "In and Out" burger experience, but hey, we're in Vegas next month for a workshop.

For those interested in the Freytag experience, I posted behind the scenes shots that same day via my iPhone on my Facebook and we only have a few spots left for this year, as this is a very limited experience. And if you can't make that, our Phoenix workshop in June, Arny will be there for a few days like he was this past December for the Las Vegas experience at the Palms Casino (also photos on Facebook) and he's joining us next Saturday for our Los Angeles Castle workshop. (see http://www.rolandogomez.net)

And finally, like Robert said, it was a home run, but it was a team that won the game, so thanks to Robert, Alison, Eleya and the entire Freytag team, without the team effort, it would have been a foul ball. Thanks, rg sends! (back from a great success this past weekend in Atlanta, and exhausted)
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Re: Rolando / Arny Freytag private instruction
Old 01-26-2010, 01:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Glad to read the feedback here...sounds like a truly enlightening experience. Can't wait to get my own workshop done.
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Re: Rolando / Arny Freytag private instruction
Old 01-28-2010, 10:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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An interesting thought has occurred to me. I have attended workshops conducted by a number of different people. I'm thinkin about putting myself back in high school English and writing a post comparing and contrasting them all ... it would be interesting comparing notes with others who have similar experiences.
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