Chris Hanley and I did battle at the beginning of the week teaching on the final Cherish The Dress workshop to be held in Manchester. The stage was the fabulous Hilton building on Deansgate. Here is a selection of 40 of my shots from the day. Chris will have a bit of time to respond and to re-edit his submission accordingly. I will blog his 40 shots when they eventually arrive with me :)
1. Apart from a few signature shots, Chris and I agreed to shoot new images in this familiar landscape. I used a pair of barefaced Speedlights to light this shot of Natasha. The principal exercise for this picture was to select a balance of flash to ambient using just the aperture as the adjustment tool.
2. This classic Cherish The Dress image has been my flagship shot ever since the first workshop. Lit with a pair of bare faced Speedlights on stands triggered by Pocket Wizards. The weather in Manchester was a bit dull while I was in town. My good friend Chris Hanley made up for it with excellent company and two nights of laughter and companionship.
The format of a Cherish The Dress workshop is simple. Chris has 5 delegates for 45 minutes and I have 5 delegates for the same time. We then swap delegates and repeat the session to ensure that all the delegates get to shoot all the set ups. So this set of images is effectively from half a days shoot. Chris’s shots will be posted soon.
I’d like to thank Michelle from Timeless Bride for supplying the dresses and sorting out the girls hair, makeup and styling.
3. Another old chestnut given a new lease of life with a reflection from the glass panel set into the floor of Cloud 23. Shh, don't tell Mr Hanley.
4. Viewpoint and lens angle make all the difference in a shot like this. I used the same two point lighting utilising a pair of bare faced Speedlights for all these initial images.
5. Natural light shows off Lisa Marie and her environment perfectly. Lisa is carefully gripping her dress with her ankles to maintain the shape and design of the shot and her modesty too.
6. Sometimes the simple set up grab shots are the most effective. Monochrome because less is more.
7. I couldn't resist jazzing up this spot with an upstage key light. A Single Speedlight triggered with a Pocket Wizard TTL trigger system was all I used.
8. Pop the lens to f/16 and watch the drama begin.
9. A close up on my 100mm lens.
10. The same location and pose as in the shot above but taken from a different spot using just natural light.
11. Natasha's beauty captured in a close up on my 100mm lens at f/2.8
12. A directed glancing look.
13. This next set up used a silver brolly in a Lovegrove Gemini bracket rigged off to the left. I forced the composition of this shot with a near central placement of Natasha's face.
14. I brought the Gemini to just above the camera for this striking shot of Natasha. A classic monochrome subject like this looks fabulous in shades of grey. The print on fine art paper is sublime. One light, simple to shoot and sensational in print.
15. A natural light grab shot. Fabulous picture making light is all around us if we know where to look for it.
16. After lunch I found myself one lens lighter. One of my delegates purchased my 35mm L lens. I used my mk1 version of my Venetian blind together with my Lupo 1200 to make this shot of Sean taken on my remaining 50mm lens.
17. Potted plants never looked so good. I used my magic water reflector with my Lupo to light this shot of Lisa Marie & Sean.
18. Patterned light and shadows are becoming my signature.
19. The same set up shot from a different angle. It is always worth exploring all the available angles on one of my workshops.
20. It was time for a romantic moment to mix in with the fashion imagery.
21. Chris Hanley's favourite corner came to life when I lit it with a Lupo 1200 on full spot from 20m.
22. When shooting intimacy it is worth trying out different framing and crops.
23. A sequence of shots looks great on a double page spread in an album.
24. I like to vary angles, mood and direction.
26. Lit with a Lupo into a reflector carefully angled by Michelle from Timeless Bride.
27. Identical light shot from a different angle.
28. A Lupo 1200 at 25m was all I used to light Natasha on this staircase.
29. The combination of fabulous model, wonderful architecture and great lighting is a recipe for overshooting.
30. I'm a sucker for reflections and I just love this total internal reflection off the plate glass.
31. Strong horizontal elements allow me to force an extreme crop.
32. Reflected window light was all I used for this shot of Natasha. The vignetting is created naturally using the fall off from the reflector.
33. I then switched to a Lupo 1200 to create a slash of light using the barn doors in combination with a full flood setting.
34. There were audible gasps from the delegates when I showed how to use one light to light foreground and background seperately. It's a fillm and television trick but works equally well with stills when using continuous light. The kick light on the right was from an adjacent window.
35. Once again I used a single Lupo 1200 to light this shot of Natasha at the bar.
36. I couldn't decide which shot to show you so I chose both.
37. Hollywood glamour in the Manchester Hilton provided by a single Lupo 1200 light and a bit of window light as a kick.
39. One delegate asked me to show how I would photograph Natasha's shoes and I said they would look best on. Here is my shoe shot.
40. I finished the final Hilton session with a Chris Hanley classic. Lit with natural window light and brought to life in post production. I created a striking shape and design and was fortunate to have Natasha's wonderful profile to work with.
Over seventy delegates have shared the Cherish The Dress workshops with Chris and I over the past couple of years, and we look forward to sharing these events with many more of you. We now require new venues and a new audience. If you would like to be part of this post wedding shoot phenomenon or if you have some venue ideas please do get in touch. You can email Blaise to register your interest in attending any workshop or to share your location ideas with us.
You can also browse our range of upcoming photography training courses here.
Please do comment on these pictures below.