a 'Crash' course in photography
Some days it's good to be me! Having recently won the Fotothon challenge I took part in last month, images from my Brighton Rock'ed photoshoot were featured in this months Practical Photography magazine and I was also acknowledged by Stephen Cotterell on his 121 podcasts.
Last Sunday I had the honour and privilege of attending a training course with the amazing Crash Taylor who is without a doubt one of the UK's top photographers and contributor to several photography magazines. It's long way from Brighton to Nottingham but Emma kindly agreed to drive me there and it was SO worth it. Crash is all set up with stacks of Apple products, a huge library of reading material, a studio space, a viewing room and an inspiration wall, all neatly tucked inside an open-plan studio space where he also used to live This surprised me a little but showed what is possible if you use space well.
Warm greetings were exchanged as more and more people arrived from the Shutter Rock group. While the models (Natasha Andrioti, Andrea Hajdinova & Leonie Manners) were being prepped, Holly (on work experience) did a fab job of meeting and greeting as Crash mingled ensuring everyone was comfortable. After a while everyone had settled down and Crash put his game face on - the same one as before, just smilier! He really is a genuinely nice guy. We left his studio and hit the streets of Nottingham - a large group of photographers walking the streets with Union Jack merchandise and models - to the public it must have looked like an Olympic bid promotional event!
The rain threatened to stop play - but Crash wouldn't allow anything to spoil our fun, so we found a dry, grungy area and set up shop there, shooting the models against a variety of natural backdrops - walls, fences etc using only available light. As Crash rightly said its hard to get a bad image when the models look that good, if I had then I might as well of given up, luckily, I think the images are crackers. We changed location several times and, considering how cold it was, the models did a great job, taking direction well and ensuring everyone got the shots they wanted. One tog even brought along some smoke pellets which created an awesome effect, something I would like to use again :)
Crash was very generous with his time, skills and knowledge as he shared how he got started, what to look out for, his work flow, marketing and much more. Sadly, before I got entranced by it all and refused to leave, I had to make my excuses as we had another long drive ahead of us.
I tried where possible to mix model shots with ones of the group capturing them in action. It was a nice, warm, friendly group of people and was an experience way above and beyond my expectations. I must offer a huge thanks to Lel Hurst, Crash Taylor and Jaz Ampaw-Farr, for an amazing day.