The workshop shoot of dreams

Last month I had the pleasure of hosting a workshop with PODAS (Phase One Digital Artists Series), on their first portrait/fashion workshop and first in the UK. The workshop was held at the beautiful Weston Park near Birmingham, a 17th century-built stately home, splitting the attendees between myself and photographer Drew Gardner. What made this a golden opportunity for everyone involved was the fact that we all stayed at Weston for the whole event: the team, the attendees, models and stylists. Everyone had their own unique bedroom! The event was all-inclusive, and everyone shot with a Phase One IQ back.

It was pretty much a dream workshop. We had 6 models, styled by Jay Jessop and 2 MUAs, decked out in period costume from the National Theatre. Jay designed hair pieces for the models which provided a very interesting look. Attendees came from around US, Canada, and Europe. Over two of the days, we shot in at least 15 set-ups: the exquisite dining room, library, the front foyer and main staircase, the loggia, the unique ‘Tent’ bedroom, the corridors, even the Conservatory (a big quirky greenhouse), by the apple trees, a stairwell outside the Orangery, the nearby Church on the grounds, and the front gardens. Part of what I was ‘teaching’ was the aspects of portraiture that I deem important to think about: depth and shape and how they contribute to composition; using motion and props, shooting for a ‘multiplicity’ scene (Another whirl, further below). I shot with natural light where appropriate, as well as studio lighting with beauty dishes and a huge parabolic reflector (seen in the video). I gave an evening presentation on my work and also an editing session on the last day which continued on from the Capture One workflow tutorials, to show creative compositing in Photoshop. The image I edited was Forward & back seen further below, which I had the semi-sepia idea for whilst doing my demonstration.

Big thanks to Matt for sourcing location and costumes, picking out bits of lighting gear and keeping the event planning moving with PODAS – I could not have done it without him.

The shoot location was quite inspiring for me to try some ‘part painting, part photo’ concepts that I am doing a current series on – and after the workshop I played around with images in a way I did not anticipate. You’ll see them in the video, and here are some below also with their links to Flickr to read more about them.

Above: Another whirl (view on flickr)

Above: Storm Door (view on flickr)

Above: The hunt (view on flickr)

Above: Forward & back (view on flickr)

Above: Grooming For An Elegant Lady (view on flickr)

And below is an image from one of our participants Brent McCombs – love it!

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Posted in Events - workshops etc, Movies/audio on October 5th, 2011 | 7 Comments |

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Comments for “The workshop shoot of dreams”

    1. Check Out The Video From The UK PODAS Workshop « The PODAS Blog
      9:48 pm on October 5th, 2011

      [...] Recently Phase One held a Fashion and Portrait PODAS workshop in the UK.  It was our first time at doing an event focusing on fashion and portrait.  The event was held at the beautiful Weston House.  The instructors Drew Gardner and Miss Aniela did a fabulous job.  This was a 3 day all inclusive workshop.  All PODAS workshops are inclusive.  All you need to do is get to the airport after that everything is included.  Miss Aniela (Natalie) has posted a blog entry as well as a video of the event.  Check it out by CLICKING HERE. [...]

    2. Mo
      5:00 pm on October 6th, 2011

      Hi Natalie,
      Great work first of all and I really don’t know which image I like more. Awesome colors and themes. Just have a question for you. What is the best advantage in your opinion of working with a Phaseone camera vs. a high end full frame Canon or Nikon for example? With increasing Mega pixels in consumer DSLR cameras. Do you see such advantage (if any) disappear in the future? Thanks Natalie

    3. Lash LaRue
      9:11 pm on October 13th, 2011

      A truly elegant locale, I would say. You and Matthew did a great job on this one.

    4. Ram K
      5:51 am on October 21st, 2011

      Was looking forward to this workshop! i feel like i’ve missed out on a great experience… Natalie seems to be a very spontaneous photographer.. combining equipment, technique and her photoshop skills to bring out some truely surreal work! kudos to you Miss Aniela..!!!! looking to meet you in the PODAS workshops ahead! Cheers

    5. Graeme W
      2:37 pm on October 22nd, 2011

      Having been a participant myself, just to echo Natalies comments above the experience was unbelievable and I’m sure everyone one would have happily stayed shooting for another week or two! The amazing thing was the variations of images and ways they have been finished off. Natalie the storm door image is just incredible not that we should expect anything less from you.

    6. simon stewart
      10:53 am on January 27th, 2012

      Stunning work in a style I truly aspire to. Just mailed Kevin and hope to make this years PODAS event – may have to sell a camera to get there from South Africa though!!
      Simon Stewart

    7. Storm Door | Hallett Design
      8:07 pm on March 26th, 2014

      [...] Check out the blog & video [...]

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