It has to be said that continuing professional development is a must for anyone whatever your profession and one way to gain a little of that CPD is to attend training days or workshops. It’s an opportunity to develop or hone your skills a little further, and maybe a platform to develop different way of thinking allowing time to experiment and try techniques or ideas you are unfamiliar with the benefit of being away from the pressures of a paid shoot or assignment.
My good friend and fellow photographer James Davies has embarked on what are becoming increasingly popular portrait & flash photography workshops. With tuition also being provided by the renowned photographic tutor and writer Doug Chinnery and myself as their assistant there is a wealth of knowledge & expertise on hand for all the attendees to hone their portraiture and wedding photography skills.
For the last few courses James has chosen the beautiful setting of Hodsock priory, which, with it’s 15th Century Tudor gatehouse and it’s beautifully maintained grounds, in an 800 acre estate there is a bounty of photographic opportunities to fuel your photographic creativity.
The day starts with coffee & pastries and after brief group introductions James gives a short introduction to the way he works with natural light and then a little on how he introduces flash into his creative workflow, all backed up with examples of his work and how each of them were created. An important part of the day with plenty of engaging questions and group discussion.
With the theory out of the way it was time to put things into practice and use the various locations around Hodsock priory, both inside and out. Working with professional models Alison & Luke from Y2K promotions, along with beautiful wedding attire from Olivia Jane Jones, Make-up artist Melanie Lyndsay and a bridal bouquet from Flowers by Kay James creates an abundance of photographic opportunities. Working first with natural light, showing how subtle changes in your position or that of your subject can dramatically change the quality of the light and increase the potential imaging opportunities.
After lunch the day moved on to creative off-camera flash photography demonstrating how to balance flash with ambient light and also how to create dramatic portraits even in the strongest of daylight situations. James used the trusty Elinchrom Quadra & Rangers but also highlighted how the same images can be achieved from many other brands of lighting equipment available.
As the day drew to a close we ended with coffee & biscuits and another opportunity for a Q&A session before all heading home with memory cards full of images and heads full of knowledge and creative ideas.
If you are interested in attending one of James’ courses head on over to his training page for further details.
For further details of my photography please do get in touch or head on over to my website or follow me on my social media links below. I’ll leave you with a selection of my images from the day all taken on my Fuji XT1.