Back in Manchester today to run a workshop for 8 photographers in a bar to show them how I work on location with models and a handful of small Nikon speedlights. I covered the essentials of speedlights vs studio lights, manual flash exposure, how to get the flashes off camera and get creative with the lighting and above all, how to work with people in a one-t0-one portrait shoot. For me, the Key elements of good portraiture are lens choice, aperture choice, lighting, location and most importantly, communication. Building a good rapport is the biggest single factor in getting a good portrait in my view. Absolutely no good not chatting to your subject, telling them clearly what you want from them and making them feel at ease. I didn’t take many shots today, that’s not my place, I’m just there to teach, advise and facilitate but I had to take a few for demo purposes and of those, here are a few I’ve edited up to give a taste of what we got up to. Maddy and Dannii were great models as they are both very natural and easy going and straight away they put the novices at ease.
If you are interested in a place on the next speedlight workshop, just call me on 01924 229800 or drop me a line to get on the mailing list.
Phil PortusHi John,
Thanks for a great day, I think everyone enjoyed themselves and gained a lot from it.
There was a mixed ability range from zero studio / model sessions to more experienced.
I’ve been on other studio day courses and have a small attic home studio, doing paid jobs for musicians (Halle to soul bands) and some family portraits. I wanted to get experience using off camera flash and see how another photographer works to improve my wedding pictures. I gained a lot from this hands on approach and your experience.
You said this was your first time you had run a workshop session and I think it went very well. I’m an ex geography/geology teacher at a 6th form college for 32 years so I know about the logistics of such things. You are good at explaining methods and procedures and relating it to your wide experience.
• I thought the the location was perfect in decor and size for our group.
• Good numbers…7 participants ….. one assistant (Ian) and your self, and 2 excellent models. Any more than 8 would have caused problems.
• You paced things well and everyone got a turn at the various poses.
• I really gained a lot from watching you demonstrate how to photo shoot the 2 models at the very end.
It was also a good club event and it not only improved the skills of its members but has a social component.
Thank you once again John for running this excellent day course / workshop and I hope you enjoyed yourself and look back upon it with satisfaction and your contribution to all of us in producing better photographs.
Nick JacksonJust a quick one for now John as I’ve got a really busy week, thanks very much to you for arranging the day, sourcing such a fab location and two great models, not just pretty but great personalities and really easy too, it really makes a difference based on my experience to the photographers confidence and results.