What's the experience level needed to attend?
At its core, this is really a workshop and retreat about creativity. Photography just happens to be the medium we’ve chosen to express ourselves. It’s not a workshop designed to teach the basics of image making. Attendees don’t have to have an exhaustive knowledge of cameras and lighting (or computers for that matter), but a solid understanding of the fundamentals of crafting an image are a must. If you’re still trying to figure out how shutter speeds, f-stops, and ISO ratings interact, then this workshop might not be the best fit for you. This is for the professional or advanced amateur looking to push his or her own creative boundaries.
I'm a portrait / commercial / wedding / art / etc. photographer. Will Rebirth help me?
If you are interested in pushing yourself; exploring new techniques and places; meeting new people; examining who you are and what you are doing; having thoughtful conversations about art, creativity, and how to lead an artful life; then, yes, Rebirth can help. This workshop is designed to teach you how to teach yourself. It’s designed to help develop the creative soul that exists inside all of us. It is not designed to teach you how to become any one type of photographer. It is designed to help you become the person and artist you want to become. If you are looking for a check-listed map of how to become a portrait / commercial / wedding / art / etc. photographer, then Rebirth probably isn’t for you. If you’re looking for an experience that will help you determine who you are as a photographer, then we’re pretty confident a visit to the Delta can be of benefit.
Who will be leading the photo shoots and mini-sessions?
The majority of Rebirth will be led by us, Chris, Will and Sarah. However, we will also have several guests joining us for our shoots and discussions. We’ll be announcing many of these guests as we confirm that they can join us. You can follow along and stay up to date via our blog or through our twitter feed.
What gear do I need to bring?
The majority of what we’ll do revolves around a digital workflow, but we’ll be addressing film methods as well. We’re going to have a selection of digital and film bodies, tripods, lights and light stands; and we’ll also be setting up a small production area with computers, hard drives, and printers. You’ll have access to all of this gear, but please keep in mind that we most likely won’t have enough to go around for each attendee to use this gear exclusively. We recommend that you bring whatever cameras and lenses you are comfortable using – whether they are digital or film – as well as a laptop and external hard drive. We will be working on a Mac platform with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Your own copies of the software are not necessary, but they will be helpful if you’ve got them. Our philosophy is that it’s not about the gear, it’s about the creativity. So don’t fret if your equipment is not the newest and most expensive. The most important thing is that you know how to use it.
How do I register?
You can register right here on the Rebirth website. You will see a registration tab on the main page, click that link and then follow the information provided. Once we have your non-refundable deposit we will follow up with you in a few weeks with links to complete your registration. It will be at that time you can choose the Solo Shack rate, the Share a Shack rate or the No Shack rate. We will be breaking up the remaining balance into two payments. You will receive a notice letting you know that the 2nd payment will be due December 1st 2012 and final payment will be due, February 1st 2013. You can call (662.846.6800) or send us and email (which you can find under Contact on the main page) anytime if you are experiencing problems registering online.
What are the deadlines?
We will end all registration on February 1st 2013 or whenever all 16 slots are full. Your final payment will be due February 1st 2013. If you have any questions about payment or deadlines please give us a call (662.846.6800) or shoot us an email (which you can find under Contact on the main page).
What other expenses will I have?
We will be providing breakfast basics (cereal, milk, fruit, coffee, juice, etc) each morning, located in the main shack (Bill’s House). We will also provide minimal amounts of bread and cold cuts should you want to make a bag lunch on site or “to go”. Each shack has a small refrigerator and a microwave, we encourage you to stock up on breakfast or lunch items if you are on a budget. You will
want to budget for dinner “out” for at least four nights and lunch daily if you are not “bagging it”.
The food scene in Clarksdale boasts everything from the famous “Abe’s” BBQ joint, to a fantastic coffee shop/cafe that is a must upon visiting Clarksdale, called “Yazoo Pass”. There are also great pizza options “Stone Pony”, a delightful downtown Menonite bakery and cafe “The Dutch Oven” and Freeman’s “other” bar/restaurant “Ground Zero” where you can get your groove on with a side of fried green tomatoes.
You may also want to consider grilling out at least one night at the shacks. There are charcoal pits available and the nearby Kroger will have everything you need to make a great meal. We also hope cooking with your “new” and “old” Rebirth friends will be a way to continue the collaborative creativity which we at Rebirth want to foster. P.S. It is the Delta, so there are a few wine/liquor stores to choose from. The Shack Up folks are also now selling cold ones on site!
You’ll also have opportunities to go hear live music at a few local blues clubs. We suggest a food/entertainment budget of $175-250 depending on whether you are a martini/filet mignon or beer/bbq kinda gal/girl. The Shack Up Inn also has a pretty nifty little gift shop with all the regular stuff (posters, coffee mugs, t-shirts,beer etc.), but they also have some wonderful artwork and music. That’s something you might want to think about as well.
Do I have to stay at The Shack Up Inn?
No, you don’t HAVE to stay there. If you’d prefer to make other lodging arrangements you are certainly welcome to do so. Just register under the “No Shack” option. That being said, we do encourage it. Even if you are a local we think you’ll get more from this workshop by staying with the other attendees. If you stay somewhere else, it’ll be a bit harder to have the entire experience of community that is sure to form.
There are a couple of shacks that are suitable for two people. However, they are limited. Most of the shacks contain a single queen-sized bed, but a few have two large beds and a couple more have a queen-sized and a single bed. Shacks and Bins will be assigned on a first come first serve basis. If you are wanting to share a shack or bed, you will see those options on the registration page with more info. As always, if you have specific questions about staying at the Shack Up or sharing a bed/shack please call or send us an email.
What are the shacks like?
Perhaps their website says it best: “The Ritz we ain’t.” This doesn’t mean the shacks aren’t comfortable. They are. They are extremely unique and tons of fun. We have good number of free standing shacks available. The original 10 standing shacks have been joined by at least 5 new ones and they are still building. This is called “Shack Row”. Also available are “Bins”. These are rooms that have been built in the old gin. They are more like a traditional hotel room than the shacks. We anticipate that most of y’all are going to want to stay in a shack. Because of this, we will be assigning lodging on a first-come-first-serve basis. The first person to sign up gets the first pick of where to stay. If you want to see a bit more you can check out the Shack Up Gallery on the main page. You can also check our blog as we’ll be posting lots of pics and information from the area, Shack Up Inn included. http://www.shackupinn.com
How do I get to the Shack Up Inn?
Well, the first thing you have to do is get to Clarksdale, Mississippi. Once you get to Clarksdale, you’ll find the Shack Up resting just behind the old Hopson Plantation Commissary. You can see the Hopson Commissary just past the railroad tracks that run along Old Highway 49. You get to those tracks by turning off of New 49 onto Hopson-Pixley Road. You’ll see the Commissary pretty quickly at that point. Just turn down the gravel road, past the Blues Brothers-esque police car, a couple of tractors, some assorted yard art, a defunct gas pump or three, and a few old train cars. The Shack Up Inn will be right in front of you. You can’t miss it. For those inclined for somewhat more specific instructions: click HERE
if you’re driving and HERE
if you’re flying. All airports mentioned have at least one national car rental company.
How many photographers can attend?
Due to the intimate nature of this retreat, we are limiting it to sixteen photographers this year. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis. Once the slots have been filled, we will create a waiting list. Should a position open, we will begin to contact the people on the waiting list, starting in order with the first person to be placed there. If you are on this list and we have been unable to contact you via email or phone, the opening will go to the next available attendee.
What will we be photographing?
You have lots of possibilities. By design, you’ll have enough room to find subject matter that is compelling to you. The goal is to get you to see new things, to experience new things, and to learn from that. If you decide you want to roam the area and create landscapes, there’s plenty of places you can visit. If you want to explore the documentary tradition a bit, we’ll make trips into town and make that happen for you. Interested in still life? Texture abounds. If you just want to be by yourself and wander until inspiration presents itself, this is a good time to do it. You need space to explore, and resources to complete that exploration. The mission of Rebirth is to give you that time, that space, and those resources; and to challenge the way you think and create. It’s not to provide you the answers, it’s to help you find your own. With that in mind, we invite you to shoot us an email (which you can find under Contact Us on the main page) or give us a call (662.846.6800) if there is something specific you would like to work on while you are here. We’ll do our best to make that happen for you. Kinda like a little “Fantasy Island” for photography. Except it’s not an island. It’s the Delta.
What's the weather like?
In the daytime, temperatures will be between 65-75 degrees but it could be cooler. Early March can be quite chilly to cold (think possible snow fall). There is also the possibility it could be quite warm (think 80*), so layers are a must! At night temperatures will be somewhere between 45-55 degrees. We’ll most likely have some really beautiful days, but we could have some soggy ones as well. Bring some rain gear to be safe, and pack some boots or old sneakers in case we wander down some gravel roads or open fields.
What are some cool places I might want to visit / photograph?
The Delta is filled with old, out of the way places. Sometimes it’s best to just get lost and see what pops up. There are lots of old buildings and textures filling the numerous small towns that seem to present themselves just when you least expect it. We’ll be visiting many of these areas during the week, but if you want to spend a little more time down here there’s lots more to see. Disney World this ain’t, but if you have a passion for discovering the unexpected, this is your place. Art, history, culture – all are bountiful here, but sometimes to get to the best stuff, you have to explore a little. And recently there has been an iPhone app released called Delta Blues Trail. If you have an iPhone, this is a great app to download (and it’s free). The Blues Trail App is “your unforgettable journey into the land that spawned the single most important root source of modern popular music. Whether you’re a die-hard blues fan or a casual traveler in search of an interesting trip, you’ll find facts you didn’t know, places you’ve never seen, and you’ll gain a new appreciation for the area that gave birth to the blues”. You can find out more by visiting the website of the Mississippi Delta Tourism Association, or if you’d prefer, give Will a call (662.846.6800). He’ll give you the local’s scoop. http://www.visitthedelta.com/touring/