Greg had contacted me after having spoken with Peter Lee, who had done a worskhop with me last year. Greg was disatisfied with the pictures he was taking and was finding it hard to see a way forward. He was obviously an experienced photographer and his images were great in my opinion, but he wanted to move ahead so we put together a 3 hour workshop that would help him move forward. I'm sure Greg won't mind me saying, as it's relevant to the design of the workshop, is that his previous work was very static and lacking life.
I decided on a "walkabout" workshop where we would walk the streets of the Sydney CBD, via some spots I had previously shot some fashion editorial stuff - with model Scarlette Beth (Shan). I'd worked with Shan before and she's an excellent model, especially for this kind of shooting.
The various kinds of lighting you can find in Sydney encompass just about everything you could think of - so being able to see and recognise a particular type of light, then quickly set up a shot, including positioning the model etc. would provide a good variety of shots and knowledge for Greg. Also it's challenging to work on your feet that way and it keeps things form getting static - there WILL be life in the pictures when you work this way so hopefully this would help Greg shift from static posed studio shots in static light into a more dynamic way of working and seeing pictures.
I met Greg at a Cafe off Martin Place and we talked for about an hour. This allows me to further learn what Greg wanted out of the workshop (I do a simple questionnaire before hand of course) and also to answer any and all questions he might have.
Greg soaked up the experience and the information like a sponge. We met Shan in Martin Place, and she looked absolutely stunning, wearing all black. I'd asked her for a black sleek look which would go with the streets and alleyways of the CBD perfectly. After we met Shan, we started shooting right away - beside the columns that run around the Sydney Post Office. Moving around the columns allowed a few challenging lighting conditions from back light to reflected light.
I normally set up the shot, position the model in the right place with the light etc. take a few shots and then let the workshop participant go. Greg was off, with his beautiful digital Leica and I could see he was getting awesome shots right away.
Next we strolled down toward Angel Arcade and some other alley-ways near where the old tank stream used to run. The light in those alleyways in really nice reflected light, mainly from the windows of large buildings. There's also some good bands of direct light and the street scape provides great compositional opportunities.
We even ran into a shop/cafe and fired off a few shots through the window with Shan inside.
Since the workshop there's been no stopping Greg. He's booked and shot a handful of models with excellent results. Check out his work:
While your browsing, check out Shan's beautiful portfolio too:
Here are some of Greg's excellent captures from the day: