I was asked many, many months ago if I would be interested in hosting two days of photography training, my role would be to take the People and Portrait section. Les, our organiser was taking the Landscape section and Paul would be taking the Birds and Wildlife section. Everything was organised through one of the UK’s leading photography forums and we soon had a full house !
Sadly my journey did not go quiet to plan as I became stuck in Manchester on the Friday evening having stupidly left the car lights on for a day and half whilst attending some training in the City centre, so as the AA van was stuck in the Friday evening escape from the city centre I was left to ponder the weekend ahead and hope my delegates didn’t drink too much. Luckily all was in control as the first seminar did not start until Saturday morning !
After eventually getting going I arrived at the Venue, deep in the Yorkshire Dales about 22.30 Friday evening, I had only seen the venue on the website and the first thing I saw upon entering the village was a Panovision truck – umm, thats is serious movie territory, all was revealed the next morning when we found out that Daniel Radcliffe ( of Harry Potter fame ) was filming in the valley !
Our base for the weekend was Halton Gill Bunkbarn, it sleeps upto 40 people and is brilliant, I had never been to a bunkbarn before so was really impressed with it, I was also quite impressed at the amount of empty beer cans that were in the recycle bucket and the fact that there was already a Jack Daniels bottle already on one of the tables !
This was to be my first every time at taking a group of photographers, although people that follow my Blog and Facebook page will know that I do love learning so over the years I have seen many fantastic trainers and some, well, not so fantastic trainers. I had spent many hours pondering how I would approach the training, as mentioned earlier I was taking the People and Portrait sessions so rather than teach I was more of a coach, helping people do what they do only better, photography is very subjective but it is all about the light so my sessions were all about the light and some general people skills, anticipation, working from a brief and not making any assumptions. Also working on location with little or no outside lighting assistance – yes, gas meter covers can be very helpful !
I didn’t want my sessions to be anything like any of the training I have had, not because there was anything wrong with it but because I wanted to do something different and from the feedback I have had and from our de-briefs each day I think that it was a success.
It was great on the Saturday evening to have my projector set up and go through the workflow that I use, in realtime. As the night went on we also used the Projector to show Slideshows from Les and Paul of their work – stunning stuff, I was particularly impressed with Paul’s Bird images as a near lifelong member of the RSPB !
Saturday was very sunny, with just six delegates, Mother and Son as subjects. Sunday was, er, wet, wet, wet with Mum, Dad and two young children – so a challenge on both days with the weather really.
Massive, huge, thanks to our models for the weekend, Rebecca and Justin on Saturday and Darren, Jennie and kids on Sunday – you guys were brilliant, such good fun and nothing was too much trouble.
I have been asked a few times if I will be hosting any more workshops…. Right now, no I am sorry I won’t be in the short term, although there are some very loose plans for the future for some VERY different workshops in association with another photographer but these are as described at the moment, VERY loose plans there may be some rough outline planning already done though 😉 .