Week 2 of Poached Creative and The Big Issue journalists and photography class in Poole started with Jessie (Poached Creative) giving us a run down on what we were going to be doing for the following 5 weeks. I felt a tingle of excitement as I’d not done any work or training for a while now and the thought of getting involed in something worthwhile was just what I needed.
Week 1 had been a great start wih us all getting to know each other and jumping straight in with a talk on journalism by our guest speaker Ann Luce from Bournemouth Uni. We then paired up to do a NIB story together which was a lot of fun so this week I felt all set to learn more and get creative.
Straight after Jessie’s chat our guest speaker Sophie Bowdler arrived to give us a lecture on wedding photography, Sophie being a great example of someone that had made a huge success from learning photography. When Sophie was just 15 she knew she wanted to be a photographer and after leaving school started working for a local photographers agency learning wedding photography. Ten years later Sophie has her own wedding photography business and is now well known throughout the area for her outstanding coverage of weddings. When she started her business she was charging £300 to £600 per shoot and in just 3 years has grown to the point where she can charge anything from a £1000 to £1700 per shoot, I thought that was pretty impressive so wanted to pick up on everything she could teach us.
Sophie stared by outlining her business strategies and how she’d got to where she was today, after that it was all about getting “the shot” and using her camera (Nikon D600) to do the work. I found it very interesting that a lot of people getting married did not want Sophie to use a flash in the church, churches being quite dark and dingy inside made this a challenge which Sophie overcame by using her camera’s light/shutter speed and ISO settings. We learned that using natural light gave a much better colour balance to the photo’s and created a more natural looking picture and when shooting outside often shot her pictures facing into the sun and using her flash to highlight her subjects instead of having the sun behind her. This made a lot of sense as people facing the sun tend to squint and scrunch up their faces trying to keep the sun out of their eyes. Sophie also told us how she trained up an assistant to take pictures of the groom and guests so that she could concentrate on the bride and getting the main shots of the day. Typiclly Sophie would shoot in the region of 1500 photographs at a wedding which she would then filter down to around 100 to 120 for the main album. The main thing was getting the important shots just right because with a wedding there are no second chances. We stopped for a break and chatted amongst ourselves about Sophies pictures and success for 10 minutes and then Rob our photography tutor gave us a run down on the importance of light/colour balance, cropping and exposure.
Friday started out with us all getting excited about our field trip into Poole to do our photo essay, we broke up into groups of 3 or 4 and discussed what our photo essays would be about. I was with Helen and Jamie, Helen decided she was going to take pictures of the birds that are a common sight in Poole and titled her essay “They’ll do anything for chips” while Jamie was going to concentrate on people using their cell phones and he appropriatly titled his essay “Cellular division in Poole”. I decided my subject would be about dementia as I’d seen an elderly gentleman who suffers from dementia in the library that morning and just the day before i’d noticed an empty shop now being used to highlight dementia in our society. Unfortunately my subject in the library had left and then chatting with the people in the dementia society’s shop I discovered I would not be allowed to take pictures of people suffering from dementia that were visiting the shop. I then decided my subject for the day would be the other students doing their photo essays. We all rambled off into Poole high street to find and shoot our chosen subjects, the streets were quite busy and offered up a huge selection of photographic opportunities. We took our photo’s and headed back to Poole Library’s seminar room to enjoy a huge lunch made by Jessie (Poached Creative) and her mother, great sandwiches and plenty of sides and drinks filled us all and gave us the energy for the afternoon.
Back to work, we downloaded our photo’s to pc and learnt how to use Picaso 3 to edit our pics, once done Rob helped us upload to bigissueonlinejournalists.wordpress.com We then wound down with Rob doing a small presentation of our combined works.
I can’t wait for next weeks class now!