"the workshop was awesome in that it was so one on one and unlike anything else. i learned a ton and it helped tremendously with giving me the kick in the butt i was looking for but didn’t even know. i can truly say yan connected with every person at our workshop and opened up so deeply. it was inspiring for me and definitely a game changer for finding my style. my only wish was that it was either longer or that i could attend more often to get that motivational boost that is always needed. definitely worth every penny and then some :)
just do it!" - jill marzion
"Yan's workshop came along at the most perfect time for me. I was so stuck in my photography, and my whole life really, and blind to all the things that were paralysing me. I think of her as such a gift, because she was able to look straight into my soul and help show me what I needed to do to move forward. And in just a few days, she changed the direction of my entire life, and I found my photography mojo again. Without her, I don't know if I would ever have found my way on my own. If you are feeling 'stuck' like I was, like you don't know what the next step is, I would totally recommend Yan's workshop." -Melanie Leighton
"yan's workshop was a such a cathartic experience for me. I was struggling on many levels. There was a disconnect between me and my work, and yan helped me discover changes that need to be made to be more authentic. This is still a work in progress, but I feel like a shift has happened and I'm finally going in a better direction. I am so happy that I experienced a yan workshop! I highly recommend it!!" -Danielle Beck
"The part of your workshop that actually touched me the most was the review. I think you are right - I know all the right things; the tips in the workshop were things I knew and many of them I've already been implementing on my own, but it's always good to be reminded. But what you really hit home on for me was when you spoke directly to me.
I was having a bad day the day I got your review. In January I had a crazy, unexpected episode where I passed out, they rushed me to the hospital, found out I had internal bleeding, ran multiple tests in the ICU, and found out I had a melon-sized gastro-intestinal tumor. Yes, just crazy - had always felt totally normal and healthy. It felt like a nightmare and now that it's been removed and I just take a pill to keep it from growing back and the occasional dr. visit, it feels like "did that really happen"? So anyway, that morning I went to get blood drawn for a routine test. It should have been an easy in-out deal, but there were complications with our health insurance covering it...and then they wouldn't take my prescription...my dr's office was closed...so I had a little frustrated cry in my car. It just set the mood of my day as depressed and frustrated and the "why me? why am i even having to deal with this and i'm not even 30 yet?" pity party.
So then fast forward to later that day your email popped into my mailbox. My heart was pounding as I began to read it; I care so much (exactly like you pointed out at the workshop) about the opinion of others that are farther along and better than me in their art. And you were kind, direct, detailed, personal. You definitely have a way with words - of describing a feeling, but not with the usual adjectives; you have a way of painting a picture with your words and that is so helpful to me.
That email was what my soul needed. I haven't had a real critique from a fellow artist since college. I think I miss that encouragement. In college, I studied graphic design, and in my last year switching over to photography as my final project I remember the professor that impacted me the most seemed a bit disappointed that I was not pursuing the graphic design avenue anymore. So although in my other work, I heard encouraging things, it had never come out of my photography.
But to have you pour over my work (which is flattering and scary at the same time), to know that someone cares to actually look through your portfolio and not just a few images and a pat on the back...just that in itself - I felt like "wow, really this matters to someone else? my work is important enough for someone to spend their time to look at it? And I honestly thought it would be a couple bullet points of items to fix and what to improve on, but I was blown away to see you had taken the time to write so much and obviously really look at my work.
So tying it back in to the whole intro on my bad day...as I kept reading, I was overwhelmed with someone actually seeing me. I guess when you put yourself so much into your work, and then someone that 'wears the right kind of glasses to see it the way you see it' they are actually describing your soul and desires in a way. It's so personal to have someone go that in depth to describe my work and even open up my eyes to ways I hadn't really looked at it before. When I got to "---your work felt like being out on the deepest part of a lake, sitting in a canoe. when the water had completely gone still. it is serene, so peaceful, and yet there is a depth there that is exciting, profound, and undeniable. it is comforting, quiet, simple, but still complex" I was in tears all over again, but good tears compared to the ones that morning. :) You hit the nail on the head - again opening up my eyes to see the value in my work that I hoped was there and you said it was.
So maybe it's not what I realized I needed signing up for your workshop, but this validation was huge. It was like a gentle as a "good job. now keep going". yes, you are making art that is worth something, but quit worrying about the end result and keep putting your soul into your work...if you just try to be you, it will take shape.
So, thank you so much. You could not have been more spot-on as to what I needed to hear at this point in my journey. You made me feel special and that helps me value myself, my vision, my work. It makes me take more pride in my work and makes me excited to see what's in store next!"
"Yan gets all those gushy lovey-dovey reviews and you are probably thinking, are those things for real? I'm here to tell you they are! And I'm not even one of the people who fell super hard for Yan, not that life-altering way others seemed to (sorry Yan). But you know how there are a few people you meet that are like magnets and you want to be around them, watch them, absorb their energy, (dress like them - I'm off topic now) and you immediately want to be BFFs with them? That's Yan. That happened to me too! I just don't want to marry her, not yet any way ;)
On top of that, the workshop was unique in that Yan is soooo open and giving. She somehow figures out what each person needs to hear at this moment in their careers, the nugget of wisdom that gives them extra confidence and she says it. And she's spot-on. For the price you get so much, most of all her portfolio review and shooting time with her. I now wish I would have video taped her shooting the clients because she does some posing magic and creates some wonderful vibes. Yup, you guessed it. They fell in love with her too. Yan makes this shit personal, because it is. No other workshop I've been to does that." -Cathlin
"No matter what photography type/level/genre you classify yourself as, Yan's workshop will benefit and change you in a big way—and that's a total understatement. Yan is a gift to this industry, and she conducts her workshops with so much personal attention, it's seems almost impossible that there are enough minutes and hours in a day for all of the people that she touches. Her words are poignant and lasting, her suggestions are constructive, pragmatic, and at the same time, they hit parts of your heart that you never knew existed. She's almost not-of-this-earth, and I mean that in the most positive, sincere way—she will push you to your next level and beyond, and build you up in a way that you never thought was possible. She is a true teacher and a phenomenal artist in every sense of the word, and the day you spend with her and other talented photographers is the best gift you can give yourself as a creative. But don't take my word for it... ;)" - Nikki Sabastian
"I found Yan's workshop to be transformative, layered and immensely helpful. Have you read "The Artist's Way"? The author prescribes "artist dates" and this workshop was the ticket. Yan meets you wherever you are to guide you in the perfect direction. Her simplicity belies sophistication. And if you're truly open, the work of the workshop will continue to bring more atmosphere, emotion and grace to your images. " -Melanie Mauer
"Yan's workshop was the missing piece of the puzzle for me. The workshop pushed me to explore and embrace my creative voice in the most encouraging and authentic way. It was a roller coaster of light bulb moments, laughter, smiles and even a few tears. (Yeah, that happened too) Yan will fill your brain with insightful tips to engage clients, create great work, stay inspired and break out of safety shooting mode! You'll also meet some wonderfully talented photographers in addition to Yan! Don't miss out! "
"The thing that blew me away about Yan was how deeply intuitive she is with EVERY participant. I came away from Yan Fam Way with not only a clear idea of the direction I want to go in with my career, but in my personal life too. It’s like she reaches in and grabs all your hard, big, bold life-stuff and shows you it’s actually your gift, and it’s beautiful."
"I was quite new to photography and struggling to find my style and voice...I didn't want to just copy others. Yan's workshop was a revelation for me, she drilled into my soul and helped me see the potential she saw in me. It's a gift she has that really changed my life. I feel like it fast forwarded my career by about 5 years! Xx" -Michelle Sokolich