Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thanks & Photography Write Up

First of all thank you for the messages and e mails i have had about my Grandma. It is nice to know there are people who are thinking of you.

Now i wanted to post the write up of my trip to the Lake District for the Annabel Williams photography course "Capturing The Essence of Childhood"

First off, when you look at the RAC route planner and it tells you it is 6 hours driving, it isn't lying. After 3 hours i kicked into "Are we nearly there yet?" mode. The Lake District is a long way from Essex by car!

I stayed over in a nice little B&B pub in Stavely called the Eagle and Child. breakfast was good, beds were comfy.The course ran from 9:15a.m. til 4:30p.m. although we over ran a bit. First we were introduced to Sandi Friend who was leading the course. She has done a lot of childrens fashion work but also does portrait sessions quite a lot now. She was very friendly and relaxed, showed us some of her work and talked through the psychology of the shoot, what to expect from different ages of children and how to deal with parents.

Then we went out on a shoot with a family of three kids, a 6 year old girl and two boys aged 4 and 2. They had a selection of clothes and she talked us through how she selects what they will use, thinking about the location and also why she discards some of the options (too heavily patterned or with distracting logos etc...)

So off we went wandering round Stavely. We walked through a little industrial area and i was talking to a girl in the group saying that I would have liked to have stopped to shoot there and lo and behold, round the corner we stop by a pile of old wood and metal and industrial stuff. I guess they often shoot round here as no one in the area batted an eyelid - Sandi gave the area a check round for sharp metal and nails etc and then we shot some pictures of the children individually in and around the wood pile. One of her tips is that putting smaller children on piles of stuff (obviously not too high!) is a good idea as they don't move so you can get a few of your posed sitting still shots done!

The children on the morning shot were most difficult of the two sets to work with. The 2 year old was clearly too little to take any direction, the 4 year old took some direction but very much had his own agenda and the 6\7 year old girl was VERY self conscious and didn't really do smiling \ looking happy etc... til near the end when we caught her off guard. Obviously it was a bizarre situation as there were 12 photographers not just one so it must be off putting if you are a little kid who is a bit self conscious anyway.We went back to the studio and talked about the shoot, asking Sandi questions and then had lunch (Moussaka and various salads and breads - yes there was a veggie option as well!)

After lunch we looked through a complete set of shots Sandi took at a shoot and she talked about which she had shown the client, which were left out and then, interestingly what the client had bought. Apparently the client spent around £5,000 which I guess highlighted which market Sandi works in!

Then we went out on a shoot with a gorgeous family whose kids were 6 and 9 and it was completely different. There was a lot more direction given but it was still fun, this morning it was more a case of getting them to play games which would lead to good shots, the kids in the afternoon were happy to listen and do what they were asked. it was also good in the afternoon to see how Sandi worked with the parents who were in some of the shots too.

Back to the studio to talk it through and a question and answer session and we were done.I really enjoyed the day and seeing how a professional photographer runs a shoot - I guess one of the big things I learned is that the whole time you are with the group doesn't have to be spent pressing the shutter, it is fine to stop and spend time talking with them, playing and doing what is necessary to get them in a comfortable state so you can get the best fromt hem. I also REALLY learnt how adaptable you have to be - the difference between all the kids was amazing, from the crazy gorgeous 2 year old to the serious 9 year old it was a huge difference of course but also the two girls who were both 6 or 7 were completely different to work with so it isn't just an age thing!

It was an expensive course and while I am glad I did it, I didn't immediately decide to book another one of their days. We will see... I was a bit worried before I went that everyone would be pro photographers as a lot of people who are doing it as a job go on her courses. I would say half the group were working photographers, another quarter were in the process of becoming photographers and the rest were enthusiasts but to their credit we weren't made to feel out of place.

My only niggle was that when someone asked about charging session fees and how people say "What do I get for my £85?" (that was the example a girl was charging as her session fee) the course leaders basically said they weren't the right type of clients and that eventually as her reputation grew people like that would stop calling! They were pretty much saying everyone should aim to take £1000 as an average in sales and session fee from every portrait session they did. All well and good in terms of money making but I don't know anyone who can afford to just spend a grand or two on a photo session. If I was ever to want to get paid for taking pics I am sure i would be rubbish at the vusiness side because I would want to do sessions for people that wanted them not just people who could afford to give me a thousand pounds or more for the pictures!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sad Day

I was going to post an update about my photo course today but that will wait til another day.

My Grandma has been very poorly for a while and she died today.

I wanted to post this photo on my blog today as I love it - it was taken when she was quite a bit better and Izzy and Darren and I went to see her. I have already scrapped it which I am pleased about. She kept saying we had made her day going up there with Izzy to visit.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Been A Busy Girlie

Lots of new stock in the shop so have been trying to upload that - New Basic Grey Infuse is in, Rusty Pickle Mayflower is in (and going on the site tonight \ tomorrow) plus more 7 Gypsies, KI etc...
I am hosting this months photography competition on UKScrappers which is fun. My theme this month is "Extreme" i am really looking forward to seeing the entries :)

Not much to report home wise, Izzy is still throwing herself wholeheartedly into the Terrible Twos phase. You have to give her credit, she doesn't like to do things by halves! Her current favourite phrase is "No, I'm Busy" when asked to do pretty much anything she doesn't want to do.

Next week i am off to the Lake District for my Annabel Williams Photo Day - "Capturing The Essence of Childhood" i am REALLY looking forward to it although the prospect of driving to the Lake District and back over two days is, to be honest, not filling me with excitement. Nevermind, i hope it will be worth it. it may also mean that I hurry up and get some more photos to post on my blog!
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