Last week I travelled down to Stirling to Alan Hutchison Photography‘s Studio for a days training in “The Fine Art of Wedding Photography” with Barrie Downie, one of the UK’s top wedding photographers. Barrie’s wedding photography has brought him many awards from industry organisations such as SWPP & MPA as well as International success with the WPPI which is the USA’s biggest photography organisation. Barrie is also an International Judge, Speaker and Trainer. You can see Barrie’s work on his website barriedownie.com.
The morning started with Barrie sharing the secrets of his business, how he has marketed himself and set himself apart from the competition with both his branding and his style of photography which gave us some very useful tips to bring to our own businesses. After a break for lunch we delegates (of which there were around 20 of us at all stages in our photography careers) headed outside so Barrie could show us how best to work with both the natural light around us and how to not only balance that natural ambient light with artificial lighting and modifiers, but also how to create moody skies yet still have the model well lit.
As a predominately studio based photographer I work with flash all the time when there, however I don’t have to contend with the ever changing light that is produced by the sun and clouds so I sometimes struggle myself in using Off Camera Flash (OCF) outdoors. Once explained and we all had our turn at using the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra (which I already own) I felt pretty confident in my abilities that I was doing the right thing before and just need confidence and practice to build on the knowledge that I have. Being able to create stunning images with only natural light is great but sometimes the light is against us and thats where OCF comes into its own and overpowers the sun giving photographers back the control to create the vision they had. Barrie went on further to explain to us about posing Brides as well as telling us things to watch out for that can make or break an image.
Once back in the Studio we had a quick session in editing the images he had taken, again picking up on useful pointers that will help me in my own editing workflow, then Barrie held a Q&A session so we were able to ask questions on what we had been doing or anything else that related to wedding photography.
In all it was a great day and also a good chance to catch up with photography friends from all around Scotland, making some new ones too. Also thanks to our model for the day Nicole Abbott who did a great job in posing and listening to 20 different photographers hurling instructions at her.
Alan will be hosting another training day in October with the excellent Pete Bristo who will be covering lighting for twilight/evening times when there is no sun to contend with. I’m certainly putting my name down for that when its released given the long winter months we have here in the far north of Scotland!