Rob Booker, Phil Barber & Myself created 3B Media, a company to share what we’ve learnt in our professional experience & to take on all kinds of interesting projects outside our usual worlds (like the Cities Between us rock video we filmed & I blogged about last week – post & vid here). It’s been an exciting year for us for many reasons, but the 3B Workshops we’ve run have been a great experience.
On the Urban Portraits course we brought along pro models, on the wedding course we asked back past wedding client couples wanting to take another turn in their gowns. Although the context isn’t quite the same as you being the pro with your model/couple, we tried to avoid the photo scrum type situation & let delegates have one on one time with their subjects, in turn, to give them chance to communicate with their subject.
It’s easy to forget how hard it is to creating a natural photograph, and how much that has to do with the photographer at the wheel.
Personally I believe there are 2 ways for a great natural photograph
- A seriously charismatic subject/couple are required, along with great photographer reactions, toys and technique
- The photographer has to inject their personality to create a moment that doesn’t feel too contrived for the subject (eg, get the couple to whisper in each others ear, tell a joke, remind each other how they first met, or run together etc) and for the photographer to be ready when that moment happens.
In my experience, it’s hard to find the people that are naturally comfortable infront of a lens. They’re generally called models. Most people I photograph are civilians, getting married, who love my work & love each other, but essentially don’t really like the idea of being photographed!
So as we were teaching the course, we tried to show delegates how we do it, then let them have a turn. On both courses, I was amazed with how little communication there was back and forth between the photographers & the subject. It was as though they though they just waited for a ‘moment’ to magically happen. So we kept saying to talk to the subject.
Communication is FUNDAMENTAL in helping a couple relax; especially with on the wedding course, with non-model couples
We showed the delegates how we use a pre-wed experience to show a couple what it feels like to be in front of the camera, to help take some of the fear out of it for them; how to relax & how it can be fun.
Loosening up is done with communication, between all parties…
and by being a bit of a clown!
But the result is natural images, that technically haven’t been set up. They photographer has just taught the subject how to relax & communicates with the subject to get what they’re looking for.
I’ve included this shot too, cos it’s my fave shot from the day. I love the f1.6 blur, and the moment, but it’s a consequence of the coming together of many variables, held together with communication.
The next 3B Media course we’ve got coming up is the Exposing Flash workshop on Tuesday 9th November. We know what a ‘Dark Art’ flash photography is, and how complex & mysterious flash photography can seem. We’ve taught ourselves how to get fantastic, punchy images with simple flash techniques and generally no more than one flashgun, and have set up an exciting course on improving your flash technique.
We’ll be running though a bit of classroom theory on flash, to practical and simple ways to add light and make it look tasty. We’ll be showing you how to take the flashgun off the camera, and using a variety of creative and practical techniques to take and make pictures you never thought possible with just one flashgun.
So if you’re a photographer wanting to take control of flash photography and master your flash to create energetic, fun and funky portraits, then download our brochure here, contact us about it here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the lovely Lou on 0113 238 1011.
We’d also love you long time if you spread the word to peeps you think might be interested.
Also, another way to follow us is to like our 3B Media Facebook page here, then when we post on our wall it might just flash up on yours!
Thanks for reading,