Lighting is one of the most critical considerations when you are photographing people - especially for wedding photographers. On this one-day hands-on course, you will learn a number of lighting techniques with a bride and groom, at a delightful wedding venue in the New Forest. The aim is to take some of the strain off your shoulders when you are working under pressure to deliver consistently great results.
You will learn how to take lovely, natural photos using on-camera flash - when you need to work fast and smart. You will also practise shooting using off-camera flash, for when the situation lends itself to this choice. We cover how to balance flash and ambient light effectively. We dispel the myths and misconceptions surrounding High Speed Sync. And, if you are not sure when to use TTL and when to shoot manual, by the end of the day, the mist will have cleared! Finally, you will learn how a combination of white balance and gels can give highly creative results. This course is designed to give you the skills and the confidence to take control.
How does the day run? The morning is a classroom-based session to equip you for an afternoon of practical shooting. It includes a look at using camera manufacturers’ own units as well as third party brands; how to trigger the units; different modifiers and the effects they can give. You will cover the theory behind the various speedlight techniques, during which time your ‘bride’ will be in make-up and the couple will be dressing for an afternoon of practical shooting.
Then it’s a break for lunch and, if past experience is anything to go by, it should be good! After that, we have the use of the hotel’s attractive interior and grounds as a backdrop for our shots. So it’s time to put into practice what you have learnt. Because we limit numbers to 8 students, you have plenty of time to shoot, plus the personal attention you need to answer your questions and to iron out any issues you may have. You will shoot both bride and groom as a couple and individually, making use of the various locations at the venue. This includes a posed bridal shot on the staircase; bride and groom in the arched doorway; a location using window light and fill flash; and a choice of shots around the landscaped gardens. During the course of the afternoon, we aim to set up the ‘hero’ shot, something really special to wow your clients. The idea is to give you a range of different lighting solutions for different situations.
Do you photograph people? If you shoot weddings, portraits, fashion, experienced models, inexperienced sitters - the way you pose your subjects will make or break a shot. Understanding what will work in any given situation is as important as understanding your camera. That is exactly what this course gives you.
During the day, you can expect to learn how to communicate with and how to position a range of subject types, from head to toe. We begin with the individual and the importance of studying a face to find the most flattering pose, angle and lighting setup for that killer headshot. Attention to body shape and working with garments and props is covered in detail whether the subject is sitting or standing; lighting people in hats and veils; the critical placement of hands and feet; you will learn all the subtleties of successful posing and how to light them to achieve results your clients will love. The course then extends to the art of posing couples, compensating for different heights, shapes and sizes, and how to manage groups large and small to capture the moment. From intimate family portraiture to corporate event commissions, we have it covered.
Whether you are shooting a single subject or a group, the rules of composition apply; in fact, they are fundamental to a winning image. You will learn about body shape and how to use S-curves and triangles in a way which is both appropriate to the situation and aesthetically pleasing. Elements such as negative space, balancing objects, using frames and diagonals are also covered. Good posing takes into account not only the subject, but the background. We teach you to make it work for you.
This course focuses on the mechanics of effective posing, but it also gives you helpful information on how to engage and interact with your subjects. Effective directing relies on creating a rapport, especially if your subject is self-conscious or simply does not like to be photographed. Perhaps your sitter is a child and this will throw up a different set of challenges. Whoever you are shooting, the aim here is to provide you with ways to ease the process, helping your subjects feel comfortable in front of the camera.
You will require a DSLR or CSC camera plus a selection of lenses that ideally cover the following focal lengths:
Full Frame: 24mm - 200mm
APS-C Crop: 35mm - 150mm
Micro 4/3: 12mm - 100mm
Don't worry if you don't have these lenses, bring what you have including primes and zooms.
You should have at least one speedlight, it is an advantage if it supports TTL. There will be Nikon and Canon speedlights available to use plus a range of third party equipment.
We will be using a mix of modifiers and triggers, if you have your own you are welcome to bring them.
These are intermediate level courses aimed at photographers who are thinking of shooting weddings or wish to hone there existing lighting and posing skills.
You should be familiar with your camera controls and be able to shoot in manual exposure mode. Manual focussing is not required. Previous experience of working with studio flash is not essential.
“I took my time to choose a tutor that I felt could give me what I needed, working as a coach myself I understood how important it was to pick someone that wouldn’t pick one size fits all in their teaching style. So I took my time to look around, there are many many tutors / teachers / coaches out there that have the ability to work between huge gaps in ability of their students but yet find and understand exactly what is needed to ensure that each one improves.
The Complete Photographer Course, is exceptional in it’s itinerary in how it covers off and challenges even the most competent of photographer, it covers off different genres, but it’s beauty is it’s structure of absolutely nailing the basics but mixing theory with exceptional practical work. The icing on the cake however is Andrew Appleton, putting the wonderful, engaging nature aside, his technical, creative, relaxed yet focused mind and personality really make this course exceptional. Shooting street photography in the morning, then a model shoot in the mid day sun on a beach, then onto a child shoot in ever changing afternoon light and finally a late afternoon dramatic 1940’s railway model shoot, will test everyones ability, but Andrew is there as a guiding hand, to push you to levels you didn’t think possible.
I come away from 5 days, a much better technical photographer than I was before, but I also come away with an energy, focus and plan on what I want to do next, but that’s only 75% of what you get, the final 25% are the connections you make, the friendships that you build, the life experience you achieve, bonding with the 3 other photographers and the most amazing models that Andrew works with.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I’ve had so much value for money in a photography course, i simply cannot praise Andrew and Helen on this course enough, thank you”Owen Clements
A huge turning point for me this year was Andrew's Complete Photographer course. Eat, sleep, drink photography - it was fantastic Imelda Bell