July 25th, 2009
This week has been a tough one for me, It started on Sunday afternoon with… a 4 hour drive up to Manchester from Bristol that should have been 2.57 hours according to my sat nav but traffic got in my way. My week ended with a few days of filming in Manchester for my next DVD on using Speedlights creatively. And now I’m back in Bristol in time to prep for my flight to New York on Sunday.
I spent the first part of last Sunday evening with Chris Hanley scouring the Manchester Hilton hotel for corners and areas to shoot on the following day’s workshop. When any of us (photographers) walk into a venue we immediately see the unmissable locations for shots that include staircases and doorways and often it is hard to look beyond the self evident opportunities. That is exactly what Chris and I were doing on Sunday – looking beyond the obvious. We were deconstructing the light in each space to see the potential for pictures once we’ve added some light of our own. It’s cheating perhaps, but I think that this is the right thing to do.
The opportunity to make a great shot happens when planning, preparation and opportunity meet. The opportunity bit was a given for us as the next morning we were going to be shooting not one, but two gorgeous couples in couture dresses and suits.
That left Chris and I with some planning to do. The Hilton in Manchester is a great venue for any shoot and offers probably limitless picture making opportunities. The trouble we all have from time to time is seeing the opportunities when they are staring us in the face. If you look hard enough and for the right light and backgrounds you will be able to realise any locations potential.
Cherish pictures go way beyond the wedding shots we all take on a Saturday and into a new dimension where attention to detail is paramount, light is carefully controlled, colour temperature becomes critical, and compositional elements in the scene are treated with the utmost respect. A Cherish The Dress workshop encompasses all of these disciplines and adds a fashion element too.
Chris and I certainly have an underlying competitive edge that keeps us hungry for success. For me, it’s like having a sparring partner, for Chris it’s like getting one over on your teacher;-) The upshot of this rivalry on a Cherish shoot is an ever increasing and improving portfolio of work that pushes both of us to exhaustion and beyond.
If you want to be party to this devoted quest for excellence in imagery, get yourself on the next Cherish the Dress workshop (There are still a few places for Tuscany) and why not get yourself a sparring partner in your town too. When you push each other in a competitive way you will both improve immeasurably.
Here are our pictures…
And here are Chris’ pictures…
There you have it. Our choice of 32 frames from a complete set of over 120 finished shots from the workshop. Each of the delegates had the opportunity to shoot these frames too and many more besides. Our thanks go to Michelle at Timeless Bride for supplying and tending to the wonderful dresses. Our thanks also go to Kate Rowson our make up artist. Why not join us in Tuscany or at our next Cherish The Dress workshop at Hampton Manor.
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