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!