Tuesday, July 21

2008 Jerry Ghionis Workshop

Last week we went up to London to meet up with Jerry and Georgina Ghionis and their students on the 2009 workshop. This reminded me that I still haven't blogged about being on the 2008 workshop.

As I mentioned in my previous post I went on a course in Chicago with the Bebbs last year. Just before going on this course I received news that a place had come free on Jerry's course. The only problem was that I only got back from Chicago on the Saturday and Jerry's course started on the Monday. It only took me about two seconds to decide I couldn't pass up the chance as I had heard so much about Jerry's workshop. Then the day before the course was due to start we found out someone was unable to attend which meant my husband could also go on the workshop - result!

Attending a workshop like this is really quite a daunting prospect because you have to take along some images that will be critiqued in front of all these other photographers. I was so not looking forward to that part of the workshop. Anyway, we survived the critique and it was on to the rest of the course. There were two days when we had to go out shooting in London and we knew beforehand that out of these sessions we were going to have to choose one image from each day that would be critiqued straight out of camera. The two that I chose are below. During these critique sessions each person is asked to do their own critique based on what they have picked up so far on the workshop. When it came to my second image, of the bride and groom, Jerry asked whose image it was and I tentatively put my hand up from the back of the class. He said "don't say anything... I love it, love it, love it!". I have to say that after that I didn't hear anything else - all I could hear in my head was "Jerry loved my image - yay!"

One of the best bits of advice I read before attending this course was from Zoe Richards who is a photographer based in the North West of England. She said when Jerry is setting up shots, really pay attention to what he is doing rather than shooting away madly trying to great shots of the model. Each person has a chance to shoot on their own for 15 minutes with each of the two models anyway. It is much better to take shots showing what Jerry is setting up because you will be able to refer to them later on after the workshop.

One of the other great benefits of attending this course is that you meet such great people. Jerry, and his wife Georgie, are really lovely genuine people. And then there are the other attendees... and not forgetting Gill Taylor who is Jerry agent in the UK. She does such a fantastis job during the workshops and we were also lucky enough to have her as one of our models.

If you get a chance to do one of Jerry's course - do it!

Sunday, July 12

2008 Bebbinar in Chicago

It is very important to me, as a photographer, to recognise that training is an ongoing investment in our business. During 2008 I attended several training courses and I am finally getting round to blogging about some of them. One of the courses I attended was a Bebbinar run by Jen and Steve Bebb in Chicago. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect and was definitely out of my comfort zone. Although it did give me a chance to explore Chicago which is a city I hadn't been to before. I had the weekend there before the course started. I met some of the other people who would be on the course the night before at a DWF get together which was really nice.

To say the course changed the way I approach my photography would be a huge understatement. Jen and Steve are such giving people and they shared their many years of experience with us. It was a really well rounded course as they dealt with the photography and all the business aspects of running a photography studio. We got a chance go out and do some shooting around Chicago and I really love their gritty approach to finding the perfect location. The emphasis is so much on the moment, rather than a pretty background. We each had to "direct" for 5 minutes and I was dreading this as it is not something I relish doing with an audience of other photographers. I did it anyway and the others people on the course were great. It was also useful to see how others approached this. I have since been following the work of two photographers via Facebook and their Blogs and just love what they are doing. They are Dustin Izatt Photography and Misha Media Photography.

We had a review session of the images that we took and this was a really constructive experience. Before we left we all had a chance to have a one-to-one session with either Jen or Steve and that was very helpful as I dealt with some of the points that Steve had made when I returned to the UK. I constantly draw on the knowledge learned on the course when I am doing photo shoots and would highly recommend this course to anyone who is think about it.

A UK Bebbinar was planned for earlier this year, but has now been postponed until later in the year. If you live in UK this would be a great chance to do this course without having to travel to North America. To get in touch with Jen or Steve for more details about the UK Bebbinar, visit their website. Below are some of my images from the course.

Thursday, July 9

A Day out in London

This week my sister has been down from Scotland. She has been staying with her Brother-in-Law in South London and I arranged to meet up with her in London on Monday. I am not very good at carrying around my professional camera with me because it is too heavy, but I decided I want to take it. I used a Canon 5D, no battery grip and a 50m 1.8 lens. This means the camera was much lighter than normal. Some of the photos below were taken in Starbucks at Victoria and the others were taken in my Uncle's flat in central London. I was quite pleased with the results and would certainly consider using this combination again. And in case you are wondering why I took a photo of sweets, we were brought up in South Africa and my sister has a passion for some of the sweets we used to get there. She always visits the Bok shop in Covent Garden and she was showing me her purchases - not for sharing I might add!!

I'd love to receive your feedback.

Sunday, July 5

Evening Sun Photo Shoot

For a while now I have been wanting to do a photo shoot in the evening sun. This was something that could only be done at very short notice because, being England, that weather can change very quickly. We have used a model cally Becky before and she said she would like to take part in the photo shoot - that was all the encouragement we needed. Fortunately Becky's house has some great fields nearby so we even had a location. We were lucky that the South East had more than two days of sun predicted and we arranged a date. What Becky hadn't told me was that to get to the field with the sun I had to climb over a fence with barbed wire. It took a while and props were required but I finally made it. The photo shoot was great fun and we had about 45 minutes before the sun started to disappear. Must remember to schedule more time for climbing over fences next time! These are some of my favourite images from the photo shoot. I'd love to receive any feedback or comments.

Friday, July 3

SWPP Award Winning Images

June has been a really busy month for us and literally at the very last minute I decided to enter some images in the monthly SWPP Competition. I was pleased to win 5 Bronze Awards and these are the images that won. I would love to receive any feedback.

Portraiture Traditional

Portraiture Contemporary