Skip to main content

The Annual and Fabulous Societies Convention 2016 Wrap Up Post

(Awards Night by Aled Davies)

Each year this event highlights for me just how fast time is passing. Its a milestone marker a bit like a child's birthday. It seems like it will be forever for the next convention to come around as we say goodbye but before we know it we're hugging everyone hello once again in the halls of the now very familiar Hilton Hotel on Edgeware Road in London. We've spent so much time there that place now feels like home for one week every January.

(My masterclass on Photoshop - I was quite pleased with the turnout)

This year I presented 2 talks, one on Photoshop Tips and Tricks as well as one on Lighting. Both of which were well attended and well received. I'm often amazed how many people turn up to hear what I have to say.

For those in the Lighting Superclass I wanted to share a few of the images created during that session. In hindsight I wished I had asked someone to make notes of the noteworthy images so that I could show everyone the differences in the resulting images as we made changes to our setup.  If I am invited back I intend to do just that next year. But I have what I have for now and hopefully that is enough.

(This was shot using a large Octobox with a reflector for a fill light from below)

(This was shot with the Bowens 21" Beauty disk with grid and sock attached. We also used a reflector from beneath to fill in the shadows under the chin.)

(Here we used black flags to block some of the spill light from our background lights so our subject had more defined edges creating separation between our subject and background)

(For this one we used 2 strip softboxes and a single small softbox)

This year I decided to get more out of this event for myself than I usually do. As a speaker my energy is usually divided between my commitments and socialising at the bar, not taking the time to participate as a delegate myself. Attending for 10 years now sometimes we can feel like there isn't much more we can see or learn from our peers. But in reality there is always lots to learn and I'm crazy not to take advantage of the opportunities this event offers. So this year I did more than I've done in years. I attended several hours of print judging and 3 masterclasses, time very well spent. I was also privileged enough to receive a critique and a brief mentoring session with this year's amazing 20x16 overall winner David Edmonson (author of the stunning family portrait that scored the elusive 100 points). Some of his work you can find here.

This convention provided a fantastic and much needed kickstart to my year. I've come back armed with fresh enthusiasm and plenty of ideas I now need to implement.  I've even come away with my ideas for next years talks. My proposals are being written as we speak even though they won't be required for several weeks still.

If you attended one of my classes and felt it was really worth your while, please pass on your thoughts to the Societies so that they know I'm worth having back.  I'd really appreciate it. 

I hope to see you all next year.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Never Work With Children or Animals

Or so the saying goes. But I have to say that working with dogs has been so lovely. They have been almost entirely a dream to work with. I say almost entirely because we have had a few moments where a dog has needed to settle. And one moment where the dog had settled but one of my cats decided to have a look through the glass door which, as you can imagine, rather quickly unsettled the dog. Still, that didn't stop us from creating incredible work.

In fact it was during that shoot with the cat instance when I created two of my favourite pieces, shown below.


(It was while sitting on the couch here when he noticed the cat peering through the curtain)
I don't know if I've just been lucky or all dogs are just easy to work with. I photographed a french bull dog puppy and I thought that would be tough as he hadn't had time to be properly trained yet. But he did everything we wanted in no time at all. And this included the props we used here (below), which to me seemed somewha…

I am Still Me: A Story about a Transgender Boy

Meet Leo. Leo is 15 and currently going through an epic transformation that has momentarily turned the lives of himself and those around him upside down. A mum who once had the daughter she always longed for is now coping with the realisation that she will be living the rest of her life with a son instead. When your child is born you have certain expectations of the typical life they will lead but most of us know and accept that it won't necessarily end up the way we imagine. Not every person wants to marry, have kids or be involved with the opposite sex. Most of us have come to accept this and can adjust to whatever comes our way relatively easily. But few of us have expected to have to deal with a change in sex. Its not that we've hoped it won't happen, but just that it never occurred to us that it might. This is a new adjustment that we as a society are being presented with today, just like so many others that have come before.


When I first heard that Phoebe was transi…

Experiencing Photography in the Real World by Sophie Clarke

My name is Sophie Clarke and I am from Redmoor Academy. I spent the week doing work experience with my friend Isabelle at Christina Lauder Portraits. I chose to do my work experience with Christina as I have a very keen interest in photography and I wanted to know more about being a photographer as a career. From spending the week with Christina, I have now learnt that being a photographer isn’t just about taking photos; there is so much more behind it.
Isabelle and I testing the lighting and set up for prom

On the first day, we mainly watched Christina develop some of her images on the computer using software such as Photoshop, Lightroom and Colour Efex. This has now taught me new skills because before I didn't really have any knowledge about these, so I will now be able to use what I have learnt in my own work. The next day, in preparation for a trial prom shoot, Isabelle and I helped set up and put the props in place. Whilst Christina was photographing the client, she taught us a…

A Most Wonderful Portrait Session with 3 Lovely Ladies

This was a dream session for me. Not only did I have 3 beautiful young ladies, but they also brought with them a fantastic wardrobe and their very own hair stylist too (mum owns her own salon). So all the elements for beautiful portraits were there. And I was thrilled to get this opportunity.


Its easy to think of having portraits when you have a new baby or when you get married or have a special family occasion where you get the entire family portrait done. But its less often that people think of having their growing children photographed. After all I suppose, they are photographed at school. I even do some of those school photographs. However, those portraits are made in less than a minute per child and they are assembly line style portraits while they are wearing their school uniform. They are never going to be as special as what can be created with unlimited time and outfit changes in the comfort of a private studio.


Its in this environment that I can take the time to talk to the …

Family Portraits with Fine Art Flair

I have a love and hate relationship with family portraits. I love the finished piece and creating something that is truly special to the family. I love that in years to come something I made is going to be a cherished and valueable memento for this family. What I struggle with, is getting all members of the group to look their best at exactly the same moment in time. You would be surprised at how difficult this actually is, particularly when it comes to 6 children. But I always get there in the end, whether it is the luck of a moment or with the aid of Photoshop. I ensure that everyone in the portrait is looking their best, even the dog.


Seeing as this family is actually made up now of two families we also did portraits in their respective groups which I chose to do in different style to their main group. I love adding a bit of style for the overall main group and what you see above is something that is proving popular with my clients. I love adding props and giving a sort of Vanity F…