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How cool is it to make your own wedding rings?
What a great idea.
Well that’s just what Rebecca & Phill did at the Cross Street Workshop on the Hove / Brighton border, in Sussex and they invited me along to take some photos of them having fun and making their very own unique wedding rings.
It was actually a very interesting process, watching the gold being formed and bashed about by the couple in the professional jewellery workshop. I didn’t stay to the very end, so I didn’t get to see the finished rings, so any shots of them here are halfway though the process. But i’ll make sure that I shoot the final polished versions when I shoot their wedding (which promises to be a very cool affair) in July.
OK OK OK. I’m glad that April is over. It’s been a super duper busy month. What with weddings and workshops.
So this time around the Photography Farm crew rocked up in the glorious city of Glasgow. We came. We saw. We conquered.
Well not conquered, but taught a bevy of super cool wedding photographers all about ‘the way of the flash’, kick ass marketing techniques and awesome couples shoots.
Me being the only bloke in the room, you can see from the photo above that I was having a bit of a hard time and found it very tough.
And just like at the Belfast Photography Farm, I fell in love with the City and people of Glasgow. It may have been the food & drink. I ate Haggis on more than one occasion. I had a burrito for breakfast one day. Porridge with Drambuie another. I found the best Whisky Pubs, and sampled many of the finest drams while putting the worlds to rights with the Farmers. (I even smuggled a bottle of said Whisky home with me). I even sampled a Pizza Crunch on the last day…..although i’m still regretting that one.
So thanks to all the Farmers and Glaswegians for a BRILLIANT few days.
Right, back to the workshop. So on the second day it’s all over to the Devlin for her workshops and a styled shoot. This time we had Ex Farmer and all round top gezza Neil Thomas Douglas and his lovely wife Jen.
They had just got married the weekend before and were up for being shot again in their wedding gear.
One of the great things about working with Lisa Devlin and teaching with her, is that me and her are kind of total opposites ……in a good way though. She’s Canon, i’m Nikon. I use Lightroom, she uses Apature. She finds the light, I get the background and add my own light. Now you may think that this doesn’t work and isn’t a good thing. However, I totally disagree and think that it offers a very well rounded workshop to anyone coming on it. You get to see two very different ways, neither of them right, both of them right. What we are trying to say is do it the way it works for you. So in a practical sense, having both of us teach you, means that If you’re Nikon and use Apature, we’ve got you covered. If you shoot Canon and use Lightroom, no problem.
So I always like watching Lisa shoot her couples, and teach the Fundamental Rules of Awesome Couples shoots. As she talks about finding the emotion and capturing that. And you know what, she’s very good at it and gets some wonderful images of people. It’s not the way that I work and if i’m honest, being a bloke, I find it hard to get other men to show their emotions in my photos. I’ve done it a few times, and I ended up making one groom cry. I felt really awkward and I know my couples don’t come to me for those kind of photos, where as Lisa’s couples want that from her.
It’s great seeing the people on the workshop, use Lisa’s techniques and develop their photography and shooting skills and being able to add them to their ‘photography toolbox’ though.
So the fact that Lisa and I have different ways of shooting and how Lisa finds the emotion and I don’t really do that was something that I was talking with Neil about on the shoot. Everyone had been shooting for a while and i’d seen the one photo I wanted to take of Neil and Jen and asked if I could shoot it at the end.
So here is the image below. It was the only set up that I did on the shoot. I didn’t have any lightstands and had to use a couple of the farmers to hold the flashes. I’d spotted this great motorbike earlier in the day and that amazing blue wall behind it and had taken an Instagram of Neil on it, but I really wanted to shoot both of them with the bike on my ‘proper camera’. So thats just what I did.
For the lighting (like I said, I find the background and make the lighting work for me) I’d tried having the flashes off camera infront of Neil and Jen, but I wasn’t happy with the shadows on the wall, so I asked the Farmers to move back and have the flashes hitting Neil & Jen from behind. It didn’t take long and I love how they both look in the shot. How great does Jen look in her leather jacket and red converse with her foot just kinked out like that.
Afterwards when I was talking to Neil about the emotions and stuff and how it works for Lisa and the other farmers and how I shoot in a different way, Neil summed it up like only Neil can. He said “You don’t get the emotion, you just get people looking cool as fuck!”
I like that.
So if you want to make people look cool as fuck, capture the emotion, learn how to light the first dance properly, use kick ass marketing techniques to boost your business or just become a farmer. We’re coming to a city near you!!!!
We’ll be in:
Cornwall on 5th & 6th of June
Bristol on 17th & 18th July
Manchester on 24th & 25th July
So check out the Photography Farm website for more info and give us a shout to see what we can do for your business.
Well I’ve just got to say a massive THANK YOU to Belfast for being such an amazing place and having the nicest people. Me and Lisa Devlin had such a blast over there. It was ‘Dead On’ (as they would say).
So check out the group shot above that I took and below for some off camera flash action of the couple shoot that we set up on the second day where Lisa gave her Fundamental Rules of Awesome Couples shoots and her Kick Ass Marketing workshops.
For those of you interested I wanted to show how quickly and easily I could move between two very different set ups and what can be done with a little thought. So for the first shot as everyone was shooting the brilliant couple in another part of the old mill that we used as a base, I scouted round for some props and found a table and chair and a couple of other bits and bobs. I wanted to do quite a Victorian style traditional formal set up, as they were quite a young cool couple and I thought that would throw a twist into things. I set up one light with a brolly and although it looked cool, it was missing a little something. So I used another flash with an orange / yellow gel on it to light up the lamp on the table, to give the image another push.
The second shot was in another empty room across the corridor. It had a plain white wall (apart from a few scuffs and cool textures) and I thought i’d go for a modern fashion look as that would work well in juxtaposition (did I really just use that word) to the previous image. As we had some balloons for the shoot it would have been rude not to have used those. Also Emma and Yamika were wearing colourful clothing, so I thought that would set off the balloons as well. For the lighting people, I placed my one flash with brolly roughly the same distance from the couple as I had in the previous shot as that exposure worked. This meant that I didn’t have to get the correct lighting from scratch in this shot and was almost instantly set up to start shooting.
I hope you like the images and if you’re interested in coming on a Photography Farm Elements and improving your business, we’re coming to Glasgow next week as well as Oxford (22nd & 23rd May), Bristol (5th & 6th June), London (17th & 18th July) and Dublin (later this year), so please do check out the Photography Farm website for more details or give me a shout here. ’So you can’.
Photography Farm is an intense and amazing experience with a lot of the magic happening because we all stay together in that gorgeous and creative environment. We do however realise that some of you may never make it down to The Farm so this year, we are taking Photography Farm Elements out to various UK cities with a two day workshop offering some of the elements we cover at The Farm. These are non-residential workshops designed to fill in the gaps in your Wedding Photography Business.
We are starting with two dates… 10th & 11th of April in Belfast and 24th & 25th of April in Glasgow.
Day One is all about FLASH with Adam Bronkhorst from Viva Wedding Photography. Adam is our resident expert in all things lighting at Photography Farm and he will take you from zero to hero with your flash skills on this comprehensive day of on and off camera flash. After making sure that you have mastered the basics, he will then step things up a level and show you how to take the flash off camera for some truly creative techniques.
* Understanding your flash and its settings
* Bouncing flash to create soft lighting and how to shape your light
* Balancing daylight and flash for very sunny situations
* Using on-camera flash indoors
* Creating natural looking images taken with flash
* The fundamentals of off-camera flash
* Equipment needed to get you started and take your photography further
* The core principles of getting a correct exposure every time
* The different way in which your light can be shaped / changed for creative techniques
* Changing the colour / hardness / depth of your light
* How to use the different techniques in any environment
We will finish up the day with a lesson in how to do Light Painting before heading outside to have a play with the techniques and equipment.
On Day Two Lisa Devlin is offering a workshop which explores her Fundamental Rules of Awesome Couple Shots plus her Kick Ass Marketing Techniques.
‘One of the areas that the photographers who come to Photography Farm say they struggle with the most is posing people. The couple shoot on a wedding day is my favourite part but I take a very non posing approach, preferring to focus people on their emotions. I want a photograph to convey what they were feeling about each other on the day, not that they were thinking about me or what I wanted them to do. I will take your through some simple centering techniques and encourage you to find methods that suit you and your clients. What about when your couple are same sex or a little bit extraordinary? What works if she is taller than him? I want you to get the best out of everyone and the often limited time we have on a wedding day to produce great couple shots. I will do a shoot with a couple to show you the techniques in practice and you will be encouraged to take a turn. I will show you how I process my files and use Photoshop’
The last part of the day will be dedicated to looking at how to market yourself so you get to work with those couples that you really connect with in the first place. So you have a fancy logo plus some pretty business cards, you have invested in a website and set up your social media, now what? Are you sitting around waiting for the business to land in your lap? Well it probably won’t, so this section is all about how to promote your wedding photography business in this over-saturated market. Lisa will discuss techniques that have worked for her and show you strategies to make sure that the right clients are finding you. She will teach you how to run your own PR campaign and how to stand out from the crowd. There will be time for any questions you may have and you will leave armed with practical tips on how to take your business to the next level.
Can we tempt you along? Each day is £250 or come to both days for £450. Lunch is included and spaces are limited. We start at 10am and finish around 6pm but invite you to join us for a drink afterwards.
Any questions, or to book email Photography Farm
There comes a point in every photographers life when they have to step in front of the camera and be the centre of attention. Well that is exactly what happened to me at The Photography Farm when the enormously talented Richard Wakefield of FX Media filmed an about me video on his Filming with your DSLR workshop.
I’d been meaning to do one of these films for quite some time. They seem like the “in thing” to do at the moment and I totally get the thinking behind them. I’ve seen some really good ones on other photographers sites and i’ve also seen some really awful ones.
Well as you know I like to do things a bit different and while a film of me baking cakes / doing an engagement shoot / having a vintage picnic with my family etc. would have been fascinating i’m sure…..well it’s just not me or Viva!
So I wanted something that was short and sweet (I always get board halfway through videos online. we even re-edited this one to cut it down from 50 seconds as that was still too long) and something where you get to see me on film, hear my voice and see something vaguely amusing. What more do you need from an about me video, I mean really?
So here is the film for you and a few behind the scenes photos taken by the lovely Emma Lucy Photography.
A massive thanks to Richard for being a top bloke and filming, editing, tweaking the film, Emma for snapping all the pics in this post and all the girls who took great pleasure in covering me in silly string and party poppers.