So this year I am really excited by the fact that I have already met two of the photographers that I admire most. Back in March, I met Joe McNally at the Photography Show at the NEC when I spent a couple of hours with him on the photo walk he organised. But more recently, I spent a few days with Kate Hopewell-Smith when I attended her wedding photography training course last month. You will be pleased to know I wasn’t too awestruck to speak to these photography heroes of mine on either occasion and unsurprisingly both are warm, genuine, interesting lovely people.
I had heard about Kate’s wedding photography training course when I was doing the Speedlight for Winter Weddings training last year (http://www.flyingcanadianphotography.com/Blog/Speedlights-for-Winter-Wedding). A fellow attendee raved about it. She said that she’d learned so much and that Kate really laid everything out on the table holding nothing back… Although the cost of the course was a bit of an investment, I decided that it would be worth my time, money and would most likely be more valuable to my photography than purchasing a new piece of kit.
I arrived the night before the course at the venue which is Kate and her partner, Brent’s home in Buckinghamshire. I was instantly made to feel welcome with a hug, wine and a chat. The next day we started at 9:30 and worked until after 10:00. That’s 10:00 PM! Most of the morning covered the business side of wedding photography which I found really fascinating… I loved learning about brand development, advertising, SEO and could have listened for hours. There was so much food for thought in terms of where I want to take Flying Canadian Photography that I started to create list of things I need to do as the training went on!
Later in the day we moved on to talk about weddings and the technical aspects of getting the shots you need. We talked about using flash, getting a range of shots from the details to the wide aspects, putting people at ease and posing. We looked at some of the albums Kate had produced and heard stories of things that go wrong, things that go right and looked at lots of beautiful images.
On the second day our models arrived first thing. They were Jenn and Dave who had also travelled down from Merseyside to be our bride and groom. Jenn is quite a keen photographer herself and had been disappointed with her wedding pictures when they got married 8 years ago so she had jumped at the chance to model for the day in exchange for some beautiful images taken my Kate and the rest of us trainees. We did some getting ready shots in the house and then headed to Stowe Landscape Gardens (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stowe) to spend a few hours there at first watching Kate direct the couple and then taking turns directing them ourselves. Back at the house we talked about post processing and work flow before finishing off and saying good-bye to the new friends we made.
I can confidently say that this was the best photography course I’ve taken and it filled my brain with ideas, inspiration and good technical stuff. I would definitely recommend looking at the workshops Training byLumiere runs (http://www.trainingbylumiere.co.uk/) if you want to keep current and improve your photography and I will certainly be looking to join them again on another one of their workshops in the future. Thanks very much to Kate and Brent for an excellent, enjoyable, educational couple of days.
I’ll finish by letting the images I took speak for themselves.