A few weeks ago I went to Glen Rose, TX for another round of the Foundation Workshop (I also attended Foundation Workshop 9). Foundation is described as “the original and toughest photojournalism workshop for wedding photographers”. It’s an experience which challenges you to push both your creative and personal boundaries. Each person is given an individual assignment and is sent out to photograph it over two days, with late night critiques and mentoring along the way. This year, my team leader was Tyler Wirken, with mentors Ben Chrisman and Erin Chrisman. Tyler was recently named one of American Photo’s Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World, an honor that has been given to both Ben and Erin in previous years. Needless to say, I was excited for the week.

My assignment was to follow Wayne, a lieutenant in the Somervell County Sheriff’s Office. I envisioned ride-alongs in the police cruiser and witnessing dramatic arrests. As it turns out, Glen Rose is a sleepy town, and not many calls came in during the two days I was there. In fact, Wayne did not go out on a single call. That week, though, he was certifying his men in firearms, which meant spending most of the days at a firing range. This, too, sounded really exciting, but, as I soon discovered, it actually meant spending long hours in a huge, empty field with…well, not a whole lot to photograph.

It’s safe to say that this was the most challenging story I’ve ever photographed. I owe huge thanks to Tyler, Ben, Erin, and team assistant Elizabeth Lloyd for their help in getting me through the two long days of shooting. Learning from each of them (both in and out of the field) was inspiring and humbling, and I am grateful looking back on the week where I had to fight through boredom, frustration, and fatigue to find a story in a situation where at first there appeared to be none.

We were asked to limit the number of photos that are shared publicly. These two photos probably don’t make a lot of sense out of context, but they are small pieces of my story of a day in Wayne’s life.

Sarah Kang Wedding Photography Foundation Workshop
Sarah Kang Wedding Photography Foundation Workshop

Here’s one of me in the field, getting familiar with my subject (and one very large gun)…turns out I’m a pretty good shot from 100 yards out 😉
Sarah Kang Wedding Photography Foundation Workshop
(photo by Elizabeth Lloyd)

I’d like to thank Wayne for agreeing to be photographed and for kindly allowing me access into his life. It was a pleasure to spend time with you, your colleagues, and your family. Thank you for your trust.

On a final note, Foundation has been one of the greatest influences on my photographic development. I also have to thank Huy Nguyen, the founder and leader of the Foundation Workshop, for the opportunity to learn from the best documentary photographers in the business and for challenging me to always keep improving my craft. Thank you, Huy, for another eye-opening week!

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Elizabeth Lloyd - March 8, 2013 - 10:43 PM

I love these two photos and wish I could see them all again. You did an awesome job and I’m so glad I was on your team. Great job finding Wayne. Even if it wasn’t what you’d expected it was a great challenge. And a ton of fun getting to see you in action and having Wayne make us shoot guns.

Shauna - March 9, 2013 - 2:13 AM

Sarah! Such a great recount of your experience and brilliant photos.. You’re awesome!

SARAH KANG - March 9, 2013 - 1:31 PM

Thanks, Beth! And thanks for all your support throughout the week. I’m so glad to have shared my first gun shooting experience with you! 😉

SARAH KANG - March 9, 2013 - 1:32 PM

Aw, thank you, Shauna! You’re too sweet!

Katrina - March 11, 2013 - 12:43 PM

Yeah Sarah!! Love these photos too! You did a great job and it was so nice to be your roommate!! It was fun to get to know you more! You did an amazing job Sarah!

Dexter Lo - March 11, 2013 - 12:54 PM

So proud of you Sarah!

SARAH KANG - March 11, 2013 - 5:51 PM

Thanks, Katrina! You’re an awesome roommate 🙂 Thanks for all the support and those great hugs!

SARAH KANG - March 11, 2013 - 5:53 PM

Dexter, my week wouldn’t have been the same without your help – thanks so much!

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