There are many, many aspects of this job that I love: the laughter, the creativity, the passion, the energy, the people I meet, the sense of achievement to name but a few. And one thing should be near the top of that (long) list is running a photography workshop.
A photography workshop is a welcome opportunity to play around, create beautiful images and try to explain, as you're working, what you're doing and why. The rewarding bit though is when the delegates on the workshop clearly start to see what you're seeing and begin creating images of their own using your techniques and ideas.
This workshop was held at the Mid-Hants Railway Station near Winchester in Southern England on what of the hottest days (if not THE hottest day) I've ever run a session with almost no wind and the harshest July sunshine I can remember. Phew!
Conventional wisdom with harsh sunlight is, generally, put your camera down, go have a beer and wait until evening. However, when you're running photography training you simply can't do that (well we could do that I suppose, but I am not sure the delegates would be very happy about it!) So we set about creating soft, beautiful imagery during the harshest light of the day.
The models - Amy and Hayley - were fantastic! We agreed at the beginning of the session that we would start with 1950's style and then gradually shift it backwards to the 40's then 30's. I'll be honest here, that vintage styling is not really my area of expertise but the guys were brilliant and promised to work their magic with the hair, makeup and outfits.
And so they did!
Every scene in the station had it's own feel to it, as well as it's own light: from harsh direct sunlight, to soft light at the edges of shadows, to deep tunnels of darkness alongside the dark green of the carriages. It's always fun figuring out where there are pools of light that will yield great images. We worked out way through various techniques ending with some interesting uses of reflectors and off-camera flash.
I had such a wonderful time working through different ideas and different ways of approaching each image. We also dealt with client interaction - you need to be able to make people genuinely happy and relaxed - and how to pose and execute the picture. Each scene and method yielding beautiful images (and quite a lot of laughter!)
Then to finish things up nicely, we sat in a ridiculously hot room to show some of the post-production techniques in Photoshop. Though it was so unbelievably hot by then, even I was struggling to concentrate! Just goes to show it's worth getting everything right in-camera so you don't have to sit at a computer too much!
Thank you to everyone who made this workshop such a huge success - from the organisers to the models and, of course, the delegates.
If you're interested in coming on one of our photography workshops or perhaps would like to come for photography training please do get in touch.
In the meantime, here are just a few of the images we created during the day. Enjoy!