Set Building Workshop



Join APA-DC for a two-part exploration of set construction and the ways in which focused pre-visualization can expand your creative possibilities, increase your value to clients, and enhance the quality of your photography. Each part covers different subjects, and together they offer a comprehensive introduction to the approach. Join us for one or both!

Part 1 is a presentation showcasing an actual photographic production that is strongly dependent upon pre-visualization and set-construction. In addition to the details of the production itself from beginning to end, an evaluation of the purpose and approach, a case-study comparing alternatives, and a discussion of business implications, return on investment, and pitching such an approach to clients will all be covered. Open Q&A/discussion will follow the formal presentation.

Part 2 is a full-day, hands-on workshop during which participants will construct the actual set featured in Part 1 and build a warm and exotic beach-themed shoot location… from scratch, indoors, during the winter. It is not a turnkey tutorial, but rather a guided exploration of applied pre-visualization, practical problem solving, and set construction tools and techniques with an emphasis on photography-specific considerations. Participants will experience the implementation of a specific vision, but more importantly, they will also learn about the importance of mindset, and how the underlying approach can be applied in non-conventional ways and places to realize their own unique creative visions. Intended for photographers and assistants who want to cultivate a value-added skillset in order to extend/enhance their creative capabilities in-studio or on location, but don’t quite know where to begin.


Part 1 (Presentation)

  • Tuesday, January 12th, at 6:00
  • HOIST Studio, 2807-E Merrilee Dr., Fairfax, VA 22031
  • $15 for APA members, as well as members of our sister organizations (ASMP, ASPP, NPPA, WPOW, and students) ; $25 for non-members.



Part 2 (Hands-On Set Construction Workshop)




November Coffee Break: 11/18, with Colin Winterbottom




With cold weather inevitably comes cabin fever.  Fight back those cold dreary days with another installment in our Coffee Break series at The National Building Museum on Wednesday, November 18th.  Our guest will be architectural fine art photographer Colin Winterbottom, who currently has a show, Scaling Washington,  up at the Museum.

We will meet in the café area at 11:30AM for an informal conversation with Colin Winterbottom.

This Event is Free, however if you choose to view the exhibit there is an entrance fee of $10. We have a limited number of guest passes at our disposal, so email Matthew Rakola if you’re interested. There’s only four, so it’s first come, first served.


Here are a few of Colin Winterbottom’s featured photographs-


WEBSITES: Under the Hood


Often, our website is the first point of contact between a potential client and ourselves, and that first impression can be the difference between a dream assignment and eating ramen noodles… again. The problem is, it can be really difficult to tell if a website template is right for you without getting “under the hood” first. Is it easy to use? Do you need to know code to customize it? How does the client section work? Does it crash? Is the customer service any good? How does it look on mobile? And, most importantly, what do your clients think?
This event, aimed primarily at commercial and editorial photographers, puts us in the driver’s seat of each website to experience it from image upload to final viewing.  We’ll be driven by an experienced tour operator who knows it best– the photographer whose businesses relies on it. We’ll explore the good, the bad, the joys and the frustrations of each offering. No sales pitch, just real life experience.
The website templates we’ll cover:


The Details


Monday, November 23rd from 6pm to 8:30pm.


Washington, DC
(first floor conference room)
Nearest METRO – Judiciary Square on the red line

How Much

$10     APA/ASMP/ASPP/NPPA/WPOW members and students with ID
$15      general public
Ticket Prices increase $5 at the door.





Join us October 4th – Collodion Wet Plate Demo


Join us as we welcome Daniel Afzal to HOIST Studio for a wet plate demo.  Daniel has been working with this process for years and has studied under the legendary John Coffer.  See images come to life as Daniel demonstrates the process from beginning to end.  Daniel will discuss the history, process, chemicals, and safety.  He will have a variety of cameras on site.

Space is limited!

APA Members $10.00 On sale now!

General $20.00 Ticket sales start September 1, 2015

Purchase your ticket HERE

Show-Off, May 27th at Hoist




The modern freelance photographer spends most of her or his work week alone in the glow of a monitor, editing images or trying to pick just the right ones to show clients in order to get more work. It can be a very frustrating experience. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to share that burden? To display your images to a room full of people who know what it’s like and can even help by lending an additional set of eyes, a pair of ears, and cumulative years of experience?

Our Show-Off series is just that: a space to share your images, get constructive feedback, or just practice talking about your work. We take the number of participants present and divide that into amount of time available to determine the length or each time slot. What you do with that time, usually 10-15 minutes, is up to you. The audience is your sounding board, your therapist, your photo editor.

So, pack as many images as you’d like to share in 10-15 minutes onto a thumb drive, sized at around 2400 pixels wide, and join us! Or, if you’re feeling a bit shy, stop in to see what others are doing and offer some (constructive) criticism and advice.

Doors open at 6 pm and we’ll have plenty of time to socialize, tour HOIST, and get our thumb drives downloaded before we start the program at 7 pm. We’ll have pizza, beer, and other munchies to enjoy during the presentations.

This event is free for APA members and $10 for non-members (this offsets the cost of the food and drink.)

In a nutshell:

Wednesday, May 27th, 6-9 pm. (presentations start at 7 pm)

HOIST Studio
2807 Merrilee Drive, Fairfax, VA
Just 4 blocks to the Vienna station on the orange and silver lines!
There is plenty of free parking in the immediate area.
Free for APA members/ $10 for the general public. 
HUGE thanks to HOIST  for hosting this event. Hoist is a fully equipped rental studio available for all levels of commercial, advertising, editorial, personal and retail photography.

May 20th – Members Only Happy Hour – Clarendon

Members_Only Happy Hour_v2

It’s been awhile since our last happy hour. We’re changing things up, this time around, and having a members only (plus one guest) happy hour on May 20th at Whitlow’s on Wilson, in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, VA.


Members, enjoy a pair of happy hour drinks on us. Keep ’em both or bring a friend, we don’t care. Either way we’ll also have some food out will likely be hitting the pool table as well.

While this is a free event, please RSVP to Erika (director at apadc dot com) so we know how many people to expect.


Hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, May 20th
6 – 9 pm ish.
Whitlow’s on Wilson
2854 Wilson Blvd.
Arlingon, VA 22201
steps from the Clarendon Metro Station on the Orange Line
Because you you deserve to relax a little.