Posted by: digibirder | October 23, 2011

I think I’m getting it!

A little while ago, I joined a photographic organisation called the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) and I have been on one of their workshops a few months ago. That one wasn’t too good, but I decided to give them another chance and I went on another ‘Lighting and Posing’ workshop last Thursday. I had to get up quite early, as it was held in Leicestershire – a one hour forty minute drive away – and started at 9 am.

When I arrived I was told by the organiser that there was to be only two of us on the workshop! They couldn’t cancel it as they had already cancelled another one recently and they can’t be seen to cancel too many. So myself and a chap named Dave had the tutor to ourselves for the day – and it was a fantastic day. I’m sure I wouldn’t have gained as much had there been the usual numbers there. The speaker and his wife had stayed overnight, SWPP had paid for the room hire, and they hired two models for the morning session, all for two people paying a bargain £80 for the day. So it was fairly informal and we had the chance to ask lots of questions and benefit from a personalised tutorial geared to our level of experience.

The morning was spent in the room learning studio lighting with the two models, then after lunch a real family arrived (related to the organiser) and we had the chance to take child and family portraits. We finished the day off with a discussion covering marketing, networking, pricing, etc, and finished much later than we should have, but the speaker was quite willing to help with anything we were asking.

The only downside was the room we were in. The hotel (Rothley Court Hotel) had their other conference rooms booked, so we had to go into the chapel, which had no heating whatsoever. When it came to the afternoon family shoot in the hotel grounds, it was actually warmer outside!

I was a little intrigued by the window being behind the roof trusses

Matt was quite serious and moody looking, so I thought this suited B&W

They knew each other, but are not a couple

E was not on her best behaviour

M was a little better, being older

Thought I’d try a B&W effect on this one

M was a more willing model

E just kept acting up

So, the afternoon was very helpful in learning how to deal with real children, rather than models. Which will stand me in good stead for tomorrow, when I have a session booked with a couple and their three-year-old daughter (if they confirm it’s still on). This will be my first ‘official’ portrait session, which I booked with a woman from a new networking group I joined. I offered a free shoot for network members and she took advantage of the offer. It’s all a bit up in the air at the moment, as I haven’t been able to contact her today to finalise the arrangements.

Keith has also been progressing with his framing. When he went on his framing course in Wales a few weeks ago, he was hoping to learn about framing various items of memorabilia, but the tutor was not experienced enough himself to teach that very well, and so it was really a bit of a waste of time and money. Since then, Keith has been researching and practising and has now worked out the best way to do this, and he has now managed to frame the football shirt and medals that his sister gave him to take to Wales. The shirt has been delivered back to them, as it belongs to their son, but Keith now has the medals, which were his father’s war medals. Both items needed a deep frame and so are very fiddly and time-consuming to do, but I think he has mastered this very well.


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