A Charitable Success

You may remember sometime ago I blogged, and probably blogged again, about an exciting project that I had started.  I wanted to create a unique charity event for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a charity close to my heart since my son had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes out of the blue.  For those not in the know, Type 1 diabetes is not lifestyle related or age related like type 2, it is manifested mainly by the immune system attacking the crucial cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.  Insulin is needed to maintain life just as much as you and i breathe oxygen, without it you will die – blunt i know but that’s the truth.  It requires multiple daily injections of insulin or insulin delivered via cannula.  Its a condition that’s is hard to cope with as an adult so think what it is like for a 4 year old child.  JDRF exists to find a cure and to improve the care of those affected.  Here is another hard fact – Type 1 Diabetes research gets NO direct government funding unlike that of its counterpart Type 2.

So, with the aim of raising awareness of Type 1 and raising funds, I conceived the idea of bringing a bunch of models together at a stunning scenic location and invite photographers along to hone their portrait skills in a fun and friendly atmosphere.  I wanted everyone involved to get something back from the day and I think I created an event where everyone was a winner.

MUA Charlii working with Model Emily
Image by Daniel Torridon

MUA Lydia with First Time Model Ashleigh
Image by Daniel Torridon

The day took place at Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire last weekend where we assembled on mass by the old Abbey ruins.  I had 9 models with a mix of experience from beginner to professional, 2 fantastic makeup artists, 30 photographers, again, with a mix of experience and a whole bunch of support staff.

Group Image on the Steps Of Rufford Abbey
Image by Jason Hicking

The day started early for myself and a few others setting up the reception area and sorting the room kindly donated by Rufford Abbey for the MUAs and models to prepare.  My friends Bryn & Mike were a great help at this point as i had to be in about ten places at the same time, lol.  The staff at Rufford were fantastic and a great support throughout the day and i cant thank them enough for allowing me to use this stunning Nottinghamshire venue. Lydia and Charlii, the two MUAs, created some truly stunning looks that complimented the models outfits perfectly, they kindly donated their time and deserve a special mention, thank you both.  A special thanks also need to go to Kerri Miller from Starstruck Designs who provided some beautiful wedding dresses and wedding accessories for the models to use.  Her hand made pieces are absoloutley stunning and the perfect accompanyment to a brides special day.

Jessica & Luke
Image by Rob Ferrol

It soon became a hive of activity when the photographers and models started to arrive and i  felt like i had to be in ten places at once.  With the models ready and the photographers looking like a hungry pack of paparazzi the photography was soon under way and the last minute nerves were soon forgotten about. 

Photographers and Models in Action
Image by Marisa Cashill

The models were absolute stars and all deserved a medal, they had to brave the very cold winds and occasional rain shower while facing the barrage of lens’s pointing in their direction.  As mentioned earlier, a couple of them were on their very first photoshoot and the way they coped is a credit to them all.  Many photographers took time out to pass on some kind word of praise to me about how well they were doing.  Each and every one of them should be proud of how well the did.

Model Emily
Image by Sara Hazeldine

Model Dixie
Image by J Benton

Model Lucie
Image by Beata Ryske

Model Richie
Image by Rob Ferrol

The photographers seemed to be having a great time too!  There was lots of joviality and banter as everyone was helping each other with techniques and advice while forming new friendships and doing a little business networking.  My good friend Daniel was also instrumental at offering guidance on using natural light creatively.  It was great to see people making use of both flash and natural light and the possibilities at Rufford were endless.  The quality of the work produced was outstanding and it was nice to see how others view and edit a similar shot.

Model Ashleigh
Image by Rob Ferrol

Overall the day was a resounding success, it totally exceeded any of my expectations.  Everyone went home in high spirits and with memory cards full of great images.  The portfolios of the models, photographers and MUAs will be bursting at the seams and the charity, thanks to all the donations, is now ¬£1267 better off, an absolutely fantastic figure and far more than i ever expected to raise.  It’s not too late to donate though, you can still make donation throuigh my justgiving page here.

Model Shannon
Image by Serene Miller

I was asked by many on the day if i would arrange another such event and some asked for tutorial sessions too and who am i to disappoint?  I hope to have another such event later in the year so keep dropping by my facebook page for updates or subscribe to my newsletter and this blog.

Model Leigh-Ann

Image by Bryn Graves

Finally I’d just like to thank everyone who helped in any way at all from the re-tweets on Twitter for the fantastic prize donations, they all had a big impact on making this day the success that it was.  A special thanks must also go to Pete Bridgewood for arranging my appearance on BBC Radio Nottingham last month, you can read the blog  about that little escapade here.

Image by Jason Hicking

The images in this blog only highlight a very small selection from all the wonderful photographers who attended the event, it would be an extremely long blog if i included everyone.   Thank you all for allowing me to use them.  Lets see if we can make the next event bigger and better…….

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About robferrol

I love photography. To capture a moment in time and make it last forever is a wonderful gesture and a fantastic gift to share with others. I'm a 'young at heart' 40 something year old who loves life & laughter. My family are my life and they make me laugh!! My photography covers many genres from weddings, Commercial, street & Landscapes. I hope you love what i share and share what i love!!

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