Life has been CRAZY for the past few months! As soon as I finished the Flashfire Workshops Tour Casey and I took the looooong trip down to Argentina for a couple of weeks. SHOOTERS (which is comprised of myself, Hiram Trillo, and Danny Cuevas) was asked to come down there and put on workshops in Rosario and Cordoba. I really had no idea what to expect since I’ve never been to Argentina, don’t know anyone who has ever gone, and didn’t know anybody in the country but the incredible hospitality of our hosts and the people of Argentina was abundantly clear as soon as we arrived.
(Side note: Our hosts picked us up from the airport and nobody had informed me that in Argentina guys and girls alike greet you with a kiss on the cheek. So here I am trying to think of what to say in Spanish as I reach out my hand for a handshake when I’m suddenly pulled into a hug and a kiss on the cheek from 4 dudes in a row, haha.)
They drove us 4 ours to our cabana in Funes where we would be staying. We arrived there at about 2 p.m. and they had a FEAST prepared for us! We quickly realized that in Argentina there are 3 major food groups. Meat, bread, and wine! These people eat like lions and drink like fish, haha. The food was one of our favorite things on the trip.
After lunch some of the attendees for the workshop started to pour in. I was blown away that people had driven 20 hours to come learn from us!
We spent a day relaxing and getting settled in and the following day was the day of the workshop. I have another funny side note to share here. In Argentina most people drive very little cars. As we road to the workshop, I was crammed in the back. We pulled up to the location and all the students were standing outside waiting for us to arrive. Hiram got out of the front and I was trying to get out of the back. The car was really small so I grabbed ahold of the door frame to pull myself out. As soon as I did that Hiram slammed the door and smashed my hand. My hand was stuck and my fingers were sticking out of the car while the rest of my hand was on the inside! Of course, right when that happened I shouted “@*&#!” (use your imagination) at the top of my lungs… right in front of all of our students. They had no idea what was going on and I don’t think they saw what happened to my hand. They probably just thought “man, this gringo is crazy! He’s either a psycho or really ready to do this workshop!” I told Hiram to make sure he explained what happened… he didn’t. My first impression to these people was screaming the F word at the top of my lungs. Nobody seemed to mind though.
We had about 70 people for our first workshop. I was blown away at the reception we got. I never thought I’d travel over 5,000 miles and have fans. And not just like “oh I’m your fan on Facebook” – I’m talking about fans that want autographs and pictures! That was pretty crazy. Somehow I even got tricked into performing one of my original songs.
(at the beginning they said to play something they know so I sang La Cucaracha. I also tried to introduce the song in Spanish which failed. I managed to sneak a little Spanish chiste into the lyrics of the chorus although it didn’t work out as well as I would have liked. It is very difficult to play guitar, sing in English, and think in Spanish all at the same time.)
(To my friends in Argentina – you suck at clapping and keeping a beat! Trollos!)
Here is another video that our friend Gaston Memoli of Primer Piso Producciones made for us! Thanks so much Gaston! The very end of me is totally out of context and really funny. They kept trying to get me to say something in Spanish and the only way I could say it is with a gay lisp. Luckily that was caught on film, haha.
The workshop in Rosario was great and there were so many fun and energetic people. I really had a blast teaching and hanging out with everyone. Here are a few images from that workshop!
I find this image rather hilarious. This is photojournalism at its finest, haha.
Remember how I said Argentinians could drink like fish? Here is proof. We had a cerveza break during the workshop, haha!
Our students from Rosario!
The day after the workshop my friend Fabio took me out shooting guns. This guy might be my favorite character from Argentina. He spoke some English and I spoke some Spanish and the language barrier made it interesting. We actually taught each other a lot, though. A little about Fabio – he is happily divorced, he has a pretty sweet bachelor pad (he even has 2 arcade games in his living room), he’s a pilot, a gun instructor, an amazing cook, and an all around fun guy to hang out with. I’d best describe him as “a wild stallion.” He mentioned that he was a gun instructor and I told him that I actually shoot quite a bit. He told me he had silencers, grenades, and all this other crazy stuff so I told him that he was going to have to take me shooting (much to the chagrin of my wife, haha.) At that point he took me to the back of his house, pulled out a gun, put a supressor (silencer for those of you who don’t know what that is) and then put it in his pocket. He lead me outside and he just fired it into the ground. I have never even seen a supressor in person and I don’t know anyone who has ever fired one so you can bet I was all over that thing! It is pretty remarkable how quiet they are. Fabio also took me to the firing range where we used cell phones as targets. I don’t know why, but he just had bags of display cell phones in his car.
Later that day we spent some time in Rosario seeing the sites and hanging out. Here are a handful of random pictures.
“Stairway to Atlantis.”
Hiram and Nancy’s adorable baby! She is so sweet!
Hiram, Nancy, and the baby
Here’s a shot of Arturo. AKA ”I dooooooon’t knooooooooow” (inside joke!)
The next day we headed to Cordoba for workshop number 2! It was another incredible workshop hosted by a great group of photographers. I could basically just copy and paste all the great things I said about the people we met in Rosario and then paste it here because everyone we met in Argentina was just awesome. Thank you all so much for everything. Most of all I have to thank Mariano Leiva who was our host and he played a huge role in bringing us to Argentina. We owe you so much and we are so grateful to have met you! Thank you for your hospitality and your friendship!