Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A 'Crash' course in photography

Some days it's good to be me! Having recently won two categories in the Fotothon challenge I took part in last month I was content enough, but then I got a name check in Practical Photography for my work with the Brighton Rock'ed photoshoot, and I was acknowledged by Stephen Cotterell on his 121 podcasts. I was feeling very happy! What more could I want? A photoshoot with a top photographer?! Well, thanks to Lel and Jaz, I managed to get just that!
On Sunday I had the honour and privilege of attending a training course with the amazing Crash Taylor who is without a doubt one of the UK's top photographers and a contributor to several photography magazines. It's long way from Brighton to Nottingham but Emma kindly agreed to drive me there and it was SO worth it. I arrived in Nottingham and excitedly entered Crash's studio - what a cool joint it is. Crash is all set up with stacks of Apple products, a huge library of reading material, a studio space, a viewing room and an inspiration wall, all neatly tucked inside an open-plan studio space where he also used to live This surprised me a little but showed what is possible if you use space well.

Warm greetings were exchanged as more and more people arrived from the Shutter Rock group. Models (Natasha Andrioti, Andrea Hajdinova & Leonie Manners) were being prepped and Holly (on work experience) did a fab job of meeting and greeting, as Crash mingled and ensured everyone was comfortable. After a while everyone settled in and Crash put his game face on - the same one as before, just smilier! He really is a genuinely nice guy. We left his studio and hit the streets of Nottingham - a large group of photographers walking the streets with Union Jack merchandise and models - it must have looked like an Olympic bid promotional event!

The rain threatened to stop play - but Crash wouldn't allow anything to spoil our fun, so we found a dry, grungy area and set up shop there, shooting the models against a variety of natural backdrops - walls, fences etc using only available light. We changed location several times and, considering how cold it was, the models did a great job, taking direction well and ensuring everyone got the shots they wanted. One tog even brought along some smoke pellets which created an awesome effect, something I would like to use again :)

Crash was very generous with his time, skills and knowledge as he shared how he got started, what to look out for, his work flow, marketing and much more. Sadly, before I got entranced by it all and refused to leave, I had to make my excuses as we had another long drive ahead of us.

I tried where possible to mix model shots with group ones capturing everyone in action. It was a nice, warm, friendly group of people and was an experience way above and beyond my expectations. Massive thanks again to Lel Hurst, Jaz Ampaw-Farr & Crash Taylor. More can be seen on my WEBSITE

On top of all this I have a great commercial shoot coming up with a Brighton based bespoke jewellery designer. It should be lots of fun, I heard talk of wine!

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