Friday, 4 April 2014

A few thoughts on Touring

"Ruddy Hell John, you've been lucky."

It's a sentiment that's often expressed to me and one that grates a little to be honest.

Tomorrow I'll be leaving for a ten day trip to Taiwan. I'll have chance to shoot in Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Taipei and share the entire trip with my beautiful friend Jade who will be there as model, videographer, beer fetcher and general all round buddy to lean on.

It's not luck that's got me there though. Since turning professional I've lost count of the number of shoots I've done for nothing to improve my skill set. Of the trips I've done to far flung areas of the country to deliver talks and workshops, sometimes to hundreds, sometimes to 1 or 2. If someone invites me I tend to go and that gets noticed. I will never claim to be the best photographer in the world, to have unique knowledge or be the only person capable of imparting knowledge. I do know a bit of stuff though and love communicating and sharing that knowledge as well as being driven to improve my skills at every opportunity.

It was in Birmingham that I was delivering some talks when I was approached by a tall, curly haired and charismatic man who asked me if I'd like to go to Taiwan. The man was Malcolm Whittle, the late president of Elinchrom and one of the most interesting people it has ever been my privilege to talk with. Originally a teacher in Leeds his drive and eye for opportunity had seen him take over the Elinchrom company and shape a wonderful life for him and his family in Switzerland. Nobody who heard him talk would describe him as lucky. A hard worker, innovator, deep thinker for sure but luck paid no part in his story.

Fast forward and I'm typing this post with my passport at my side and a large open suitcase on the floor. Excitement growing and creative ideas buzzing around my head. It's all those sessions in less exciting venues that opens the door for opportunities like this. When people ask me how to build their careers and get themselves noticed my answer is always the same. Take every opportunity you can and do anything you can for anyone, what goes around, comes around. Along the way you may even meet some wonderful people like Malcolm, that makes me feel fortunate rather than lucky.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Monday, 24 March 2014

Ultimate Nudes Part 5, Red and White, Never Blue

Thanks loads to Jade for her efforts on last weeks session. Alex and I will be hitting the road on Friday for our Bridal Boudoir Workshop, the bars been set high Alex! Still one place left if you want to join us in Great Hallingbury, Hertfordshire next Saturday. Click here for details

In the meantime here are some more from the Nudes workshop

The back wall was lit to provide a white backdrop and net curtains in red and white were the other props.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Ultimate Nudes Part 4 - Hanging out with friends

Welcome to the next section of images from our trip south for the Ultimate Nudes workshop. We really did cover a lot of ground and it shows how much versatility you can obtain from a creative mind and great model. We deliberately kept the props and styling simple, these sessions were all about the lighting and posing, giving ideas and inspirations that the delegates can repeat in their own space.

Here we threw some rope over a beam and allowed Jade to work her magic. There's no wonder the poor lass was stiff on Friday!

Ultimate Nudes Part 3

Welcome to the third set of images from last weeks workshop.

Here we wanted to create a more boudoir feel to the images and used a pile of net curtains and one light to create the mood. Shooting was done from halfway up a stepladder in order to get above Jade. If there is a look of terror in her eyes it's because a large bloke on a wobbly ladder is in danger of falling on her! How we suffer for our art.

We'll revisit this look on next weeks workshop, Bridal Boudoir. One place remains if you'd like to join us.