With our first wedding coming up later in the year I felt that, although the clients know I’ve never shot a wedding as first shooter, I want to be able to give them the very best. So I planned that over the months leading up I am going to be developing my skills as much as possible. I had in mind that I wanted to do at least one workshop in that time but one which I would get some real knowledge and inspiration from for my direction in Wedding photography.
I follow quite a number of photographers on both twitter and facebook and one day Steve Gerrard announced he was going to be holding a second Wedding photography workshop after a quickly booked up first one. I love Steve’s style of photography it has a real mix going on, its vibrant, contrasty and quirky with some definite roots to his music photography. I just had to book the course so with permission from Kelly I put my name down.
On the day Kel and I travelled down to Digbeth in Birmingham, Kel went off shopping for the day while I was at the workshop, Steve’s studio is in The Custard Factory which is the old Bird’s custard factory (fact for you there!!) Its an amazing place with just loads of cool places to shoot. I walked through the front door and was immediately welcomed by Steve’s wife Evelyne and then Steve himself. I wasn’t first to arrive but then again I never am but I wasn’t last either, Bonus!!
Once everyone had arrived we all got a brew and then sat down to crack on with the workshop, Steve showed us his portfolio first which he would show to any perspective clients so we could see how he does things, he then went on to tell us what his style is, who he finds inspiration from and his complete background in photography. He also asked everyone in the group to speak about themselves and where they were at photography wise and where they were hoping to get to, so if your reading this and attending a later workshop as the scouts say “Be Prepared”. We continued on talking about all kinds of areas from finding the right clients, websites to pricing and even work/life balance, this took us right up to lunch time, the sandwiches and caramel shortcake were out of this world. (food always comes into our blog posts at some point or another…)
After the lunch break we were introduced to Becki and Leighton, who were going to be our ‘pretend’ Bride and Groom for the afternoon. They are actually engaged and have booked Steve to photograph their real wedding next year, both of them looked amazing Leighton looked really smart in his sharp suit and blue tie and Becki looked stunning in her vintage dress from The Couture Company and her make up was beautifully done by The Vintage Salon.
We were soon on the mean streets of Digbeth, Steve initially did his thing whilst explaining to us some really crucial pointers and then he let everyone else take a turn at shooting. We shot against some really cool backgrounds including graffitied corrugated metal, graffitied walls and shutter doors. Steve jumped back in to then show us some speed lighting techniques, I found this part really cool as I haven’t done much speed lighting before but its something that I want to do a lot more of in the future.
We then headed down by the canal to take some more shots, as we were going to take a path some Local policemen appeared from the path looking at us rather strangely, they asked why we would want to be shooting in such a strange location and told us to watch out for some strange guy that had been hanging around. Steve said “You know its a good location when the police ask you why your there.” Too true!! We took some shots of Becki and Leighton kissing in the bushes and also did some more speed lighting using the sky and under-exposing it.
By now poor Becki was frozen and it was time to head back to the studio. Massive thanks go to Becki and Leighton for braving the cold and persevering with a dozen cameras pointed at them at any one point. Back at the studio Steve went through his post processing techniques showing us the software he uses and tips to speed up our workflow, again this was immensely useful and is something I used on my images from the day.
Steve had invited us all out for a meal after the workshop so once we were finished Kelly then joined up with us and we headed down to The Red Peppers in The Mailbox, we had a few beers, some good grub and the company was excellent, we chatted about all kinds of things like celebrities who we share our birthdays with!! Random!
Steve generously gave us a lift back to our hotel, we said our thanks and goodbye but only until the day after where we met again at the Rock n Roll Bride Party in London but thats another story…
I’d like to thank Steve and Evelyne for putting on such a fab Workshop, it was that good we have booked Kelly to go on the May one too so she can learn a thing or two and come away with some great images for her portfolio too.
Here are my images from the day.