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October saw us put on a fantastic fashion flash course at a wonderful location in Liverpool. Due to the amazing success of our France courses over the last few years we thought we would mark the anniversary of the last France course with a very special day of training at a very cool yet creepy location. I had been looking as we always are for a location for quite a while and stumbled on this place by chance through a ghost tour web site ! After finding out who now owns this venue I made a short call to the owner and a day was set for me to go and take a look, lets just say I wasn’t disappointed! This now closed down former hospital | orphanage | asylum is now privately owned and offers some great shooting if you look in the right places.

The date was set and the course went out to our facebook group and then onto the site for general release. As the places filled we started to plan the day – these courses take  a lot of planning and meticulous styling. We knew that our resident makeup artist | Stylist & hair dressers Zan Atkinson was to be onboard on this one and we set to work looking for period outfits and pieces that would compliment the shoot. It is a fine line when shooting in a place like this that you want  to do it justice and not just dress people in theatre or bikinis! So when we stumbled across an amazing shop in Coventry in the newly opened Fargo village called Heaven Vintage we knew the owner Angela would understand exactly what we needed and she wasn’t to disappoint. We had some great pieces , a 1920′s wedding dress, original Edwardian hats and clothing from Victorian era aswell as some more modern pieces that we could ad to the mix including a very vogue like underskirt that Zan had made from a wedding underskirt! Models were Jen Brook who I hadn’t worked with for  a few years but we knew that her look would be perfect for a job like this and she didn’t disappoint. Model Milly from Nemesis model agency in Manchester was also onboard with a unique look that would also work great with the environment. So the day crept up on us as fast as the days are getting shorter and we were ready to go…

The kit was sorted a few days before making sure we had ample batteries and lights – with help from The Flash Centre lending us the equipment that we didn’t have we were set to go. After filling up my car & James’s car – my assistant with coffee machine | sandwiches | cookies oh and yes the lighting equipment we headed off to Liverpool to start our epic day. After arriving we had a little time for myself and James to take a look around and make a plan , although plans are there to be broken! Whilst Zan started work on our first look with Jen the photographers started to arrive  and over coffee and cookies & doughnuts ( thanks to neil!! ) we went through the equipment and then went for a walk around so that they could get a feel for the place and we could start to plan our shots out a little.

The first look was ready with Jen looking the part we took our time with the first look showing the photographers how to plan a shoot and to look at layering the lights, to give the lighting purchase and meaning not just on the subject but around the subject too.

 

 

 

Lit with a large 6ft Elinchrom Octa bank and two small beauty dishes, with the help of a little orange gel and a haze machine we had this one licked!

After setting up shot number two in the corridoor we came back into the main hall where our kit was and thanks to haze machine the sunlight was streaming through the window in such a way that you only ever see on huge movie sets! So needless to say we took Milly from her set to this to not waste this opportunity! Using the sunlight as our main light we made sure the shadows of Milly were nicely filled in with the 6ft Octa which is my main weapon of choice for fashion work!

 

Make sure you get down to the end of the post for some great behind the scenes shot by my assistant James and also numerous photogs on the course. With the room buzzing with excitement from this shot and the great start we had made to the day everyone grabbed a coffee and a sandwich , a few of the photographers going for a walk around to other floors to see what they could find!

After a quick lunch our model Jen was ready with her second look and we headed off down to the lower floor of the asylum where the laundry rooms were. Using very feathered lighting we shot Jen against an old ironing station with an old stretch dummy body used to steam shirts over. This made a great background and went with the edwardian – steam punk look we were going after. Using a strip box with Elinchrom Ranger RS Speed AS pack  & one small beauty dish with a shower cap on to diffuse the light.

 

 

After a super quick change we went off track and went into the tiny room next door where they used to dry the clothes with the old hangers still roped to the roof. Jen quickly on set changed into an amazing 1910 | 1920′s wedding dress  - very fragile dress too from Angela’s own collection at Heaven Vintage. Using one Elinchrom Ranger RX pack and one light with a 70cm softbox we put one light next door through the window and one light in the room itself with a beauty dish – gridded to give a little bounce back and edge light to the model. Jen worked this to perfection and in the near pitch black everyone took their turn to shoot how they wished.

 

 

 

We then left the room and headed off for a coridoor where some natural light spilled in and took model Milly with her second look. This was a simple shot with no flash , finding an old mirror work perfectly – shooting wide open on a Canon 50mm 1.2L lens made for a super soft look to a very eerie image!

 

 

Working our way down the coridoor we used another simple background for effect , then giving the modle a breather as I think the haze machine used previously had got to her a little! This time shooting through an old smashed glass doorway , using simple doorway light to one side I used the doorframe to frame the subject.

 

 

We then took Jen outside who was now ready with her 3rd look. Zan was working as fast as she could to get the girls ready for us so we could keep on going. It is a challenge when you are teaching in such a place as you want to teach people what you are doing but you also want people to be able to shoot for themselves. At the end of the day it is a day of teaching, a day to watch, shoot, listen and take inspiration to go away and practice these techniques to do this for yourself in your own way and style.

We headed off outside for Jens look using an old doorway with elaborate ( cobweb) style glass above,keeping this one simple as we could with just one light , a 70cm softbox to override the ambiance.

 

 

 

With the day quickly getting away from us we headed off to probably one of the most eerie places of the whole site. A room where the main oven for the hospital was situated and I’m not talking food either! The main cremation ovens sit in a unit by themselves and were heavily used in there 35 years of service. We used the room next door to them. A place where old gurneys were stacked up and a chapel sat untouched for years. Our model Milly stood motionless and stared straight ahead going for  avery strong look Zan our stylist draped a long piece of black lace over her to give a unique feel to the image with bright red lips completing the look. With time running out we took turns with the light again using just one head with a gridded softbox on it.

 

 

I knew the deadline was coming thick and fast for us to leave so we headed off to the old swimming pool house for our last look. Jen was ready and stood in the middle of the room. With  the floor slightly wet and muddy from an open roof the light offered a little reflection on the ground in front of her which was great. Using the large 6ft Octabank and again a small beauty dish for separation, a little haze from the haze machine which James had managed to wire up with a few extension sockets from the main hospital! I could have stayed in this room forever as the scene was perfect. Zan had crafted a hand made boned underskirt with original vintage corsets from Heaven Vintage completed the look.

 

 

 

A simply amazing day that I would say will go down as one of our best training events ever. On par with France for sure! Everyone chipped in to get all the kit outside of the venue with our 6pm deadline ( strict deadline) approaching. A huge thank you to all that made it down to this event and as well as getting some great images I hope you all learned some different techniques to take away and use for your own work. Although this was a one off course we are currently looking at another venue for a possible Fashion II course that will again push the boundaries of what is achievable on a day of photographic training.

A huge thank you to Angela from Heaven vintage, to Zan Atkinson for the hours she put in before and during the day. To James Davies for assisting on the day and being  a human donkey!  To The Flash Centre for suppling us with some equipment for the days events. A great team up there in Leeds and if you ever need anything talk to Russ or Graham and they will sort out! Thanks to models Jen Brook and Milly from Nemesis model agency in Manchester. Watch out on the training page | courses for our next set of training days that you won’t want to miss.

Join us on our fantastic closed Facebook Training group – a great place to be and be inspired! Join me on Twitter @brettharkness and also on Instagram as Brett Harkness to see what we get up to here at BHP headquarters and on our daily shoots. If you were on this course then leave a comment at the bottom to tell others of your day!

Here are some behind the scenes images from the day and also a little video shot by one of the photographers on the course. Thanks to the photographer on the day that have let us use some BTS images below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Neil Proctor for snapping some video throughout the day whilst shooting!

5 comments
  • Glenn (10.07.2014 | 10:48)

    A thrilling, entertaining and most educational experience. One from which I will draw much inspiration. Thank you to all involved!

  • Jen Brook (10.07.2014 | 11:04)

    A brilliant day made all the better by exceptional styling in an incredible location with people that would go above and beyond to create a great photograph. Of all the training days I have been a part of, this certainly sits amongst my most favourite ever.

  • Cathy Higgins (10.08.2014 | 12:01)

    What an amazing venue. You can do sooo much with it. Love the styling and the compositions of the images. Very fitting for the location. Great work Brett. Would love to attend the next one. Will bring Brian too.

  • Neil Proctor (10.08.2014 | 06:05)

    Awesome describes everything about this day, from the location to the models, MUA and stylists

    Awesome experience, a day packed with information and techniques from one of the best photographers in the business, set in a location to die for.

    Of the training courses that I have been in, this is right up there at the top. I would love to do the whole day again.

    Nice one Brett and James, you guys are exceptional

  • Matt Selby (12.10.2015 | 03:27)

    Looks amazing! Think I need to get on the next asylum course! :)

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Not too often these days I get the chance to set up a test shoot. Using my new background that took me two days to make I set to it. The look was nice & clean and we were looking for a classy, soft look with the lighting.

Shooting Chloe Bell from Nemesis models. When testing it is very important to try and remember what you are doing. I mean by that,in my real shooting life at weddings and kids shoots I have to shoot very fast. I don’t get too much time to relax into a shot and work my way through it. So for this very reason that is what testing should be about , for me anyway!

Using a mixture of Elinchrom lights, modifiers – 70cm softbox, stripbox, Deep Octa & 6ft Octabank, smoke machine. With some lovely styling by Zan Atkinson & for the firs time I also got the images retouched by a pro, Catherine Day.  Here are a couple of shots from the day shoot.

To see how I made my background CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This course took place in France in October 2013. There is video and images taken over the two days. We are looking to put on another course this year , maybe in France, maybe somewhere else

If you are interested please let us know! CLICK HERE to register your interest in an overnight course this year! or get intouch through the Fb training group..

DAY 1

Every year for the last three years we have taken BHP training to the beautiful Chateau Rigaud nr Bordeaux/ France. This year we decided to take the plane where as in previous years I have driven all the kit needed to take on a course like this ! needless to say we had quite a few bags! Everyone was picked up from the airport and taken to the Chateau where Champagne was waiting! Not too many courses do you get looked after like this. The rest of the day people spend relaxing by the pool or reading a book with a glass or two of the local vino. After a fabulous meal from the Chateau’s own chef everyone retired to their beautiful rooms to prepare them selves for the first days shooting.
Day one , after a fantastic breakfast with hand made croissants & coffee we started off looking at kit and walking around the location to scout out for the day ahead. We started off the shoot quite easy in the main lounge looking at daylight and then slowly introducing different lights to ad depth to the shots. Working with both male & female models we worked until lunch time. After lunch on the lawn we worked our way around different parts of the Chateau before heading off in the van to the next door vineyard and estate. Using different modifiers looking at balancing the light with the ambiance; everyone got ample time to shoot for themselves as well working with the models. Some amazing styling as always by Zan Atkinson & assisting by Ross Holkham.
After shooting until around 7pm we all headed off back to the chateau for a great meal and wine. Everyone sat around the long wooden table and were served by the chateau staff. We know how to look after our photographers!!
For more info on this years courses & loads of stuff to watch go to

http://brettharknessphotography.com/training

 

Here are some images from Day 1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRETT HARKNESS PHOTOGRAPHY TRAINING – France Oct 2013 – Day 1 from Brett Harkness on Vimeo.

Day 2

Day two started early as we wanted to get as much in as we could. After a gorgeous breakfast we headed off for the first time in the little town of Castillion. A bustling riverside french town. Zan had created an amazing look for the first shoot which we did in the streets near a local church. As the light was so beautiful we started off using the sunlight , working with black material and sun isn’t easy but the look we were going fro suited this perfectly. After shooting around the church we changed location to the nearby riverside and took the look a little more funky with a shot inside a phone box! The scratched glass made for a great screen to shoot through. With some CTO gels from behind gave the shot some nice warmth.
Ross & I headed off to a nearby sandwich shop to grab some goodies for lunch as we left the guys to carry on shooting. After lunch we headed off back in the van to the chateau for a change.
Taking the model into the nearby vineyard for a stunning shot against the sky. Moving into the chateau for a couple shot using both girls. This packed day continued as we stopped off at a dead sunflower field to do a quick shot with one of the girls using just using one light. Finishing off as the sun set near a hill top church was a stunning way to finish off our 2013 France trip. With Zan making the dress on the hilltop as we got the lights ready, each taking it in turns to shoot the model as the sun set, we even had church bells to strike us out!
An amazing course and a huge thank you to all involved to make it a success! Even a little cameo by our amazing little girl Makenzie.

Here are a few images from Day 2:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRETT HARKNESS PHOTOGRAPHY TRAINING – France Oct 2013 – Day 2 from Brett Harkness on Vimeo.

 

 

A huge thank you to everyone involved in this course including amongst other, Zan Atkinson for her amazing styling and hair/make-up , Ross Holkham for assisting, our wonderful models and providers of clothes and props for the two days.

 

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Our year has got off to an amazing start here at Brett Harkness Photography. With our new house & studio move in October last year we are looking forward to the future with excitement! In November last year we were asked by my Facebook Training Group page to put on a Speedlight course which we duly obliged. So in November last year we put it out there and in less than 24 hours it sold out! We ended up doing three courses before Christmas and have done two courses post Christmas looking at using speedlights in the wedding environment

Starting off at our new abode in Bury looking at some imagery and talking about the technique behind the usage of off camera flash. We then moved onto a local church for some practice and getting used to the technique before moving into Manchester & The Lowry Theatre for lunch. After coffee and lunch we used various backgrounds in and around the Lowry looking at the use of different powers of lights. Using speedlights and Calumet’s Genesis Speedlights on ( speedlight outputs) we had ample time to work with the models in different situations. Looking at posing, backgrounds, using flash with ambiance and over riding the ambiance to get more drama out of the situation. Moving inside we looked at using flashes inside , working with white balance and ‘cleaning up’ images. Lighting the cake cutting and first dance were also on the agenda,working with simple one light set ups to get the most out of the situation.

There was ample time for each photographer to shoot for themselves also. I also look to test the photographers as much as i can throughout the day to make sure that the information being told is getting through and then any questions they have can be answered straight away.

We start off the day with normal speedlights and then due to the fact that there are 10 photographers on this course so that everyone can shoot we are also using Calumets – Genesis GF400 speedlight which has its own battery pack and allows us to shoot faster. What we do so that every shot can be achieved with a speedlight is to make sure that we are shooting on speedlight powers so that the effect can be matched easily with normal speedlights.

Thank you to Zan Atkinson for her wonderful styling, Nemesis models for providing great girls & guys for us, Novak Bridal for some amazing dresses.

 

Don’t just take my word for it! If you want to see what some of the photographers that have been on the flash courses say about the day then click on the links below. Also to see the images that they are shooting on the course….

Rob Grimes:Its the best investment that anyone interested in learning OCF techniques can make to themselves.. Don’t think, just Book!!

http://www.robgrimesphotography.co.uk/brett-harkness-speed-light-course-manchester/

http://www.gloucesterweddingphotographer.com/category/dans-blog/

http://www.tonyfanningphotography.co.uk/blog/2013/12/10/winter-flash-training-with-brett-harkness-in-manchester/

 

Jonathan Addie: “Although I’ve not been on any recent ones, I took one of Brett’s flash courses a few years ago and it was a revelation. I learned more in one day than I ever thought possible! Better to spend the money learning the kit you have than to spend it on new kit. All question were answered with nothing held back. It takes time to absorb and practise all that he teaches but the rewards are worth it. It helped me grow my business and learn my craft. ultimately it gave my work a unique look that stood out from the crown and enabled me to go full time doing what I love.”

 

 

Here are some of my shots from various recent flash courses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a new date for this wonderful course – PLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE TRAINING COURSE PAGE TO CHECK IT OUT & BOOK….

 

1 comment
  • Matt Selby (12.15.2014 | 07:23)

    This was my 1st time on a BHP course.. loved every minute of it. Hopefully get on another in 2015.

    If you're looking to expand your flash knowledge this is to course to enrol on!

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Our fantastic year of training continues with a visit to Newcastle. This course was organized from my Facebook Training Group with a bunch of photographers asking if we could come up to Newcastle for day of training.

You ask & we shall come! This is the second time this yer we have visited Newcastle for training and great fun was had by all. A huge thank you to Novak Bridal Lounge & Grooms room for the beautiful dress. To join our FB Training group click here.

 

 

Shot with just daylight, exposing for the sun and getting the bride to look into the sun but close eyes is a great way of using the sun with a super bright background.

 

Shot using an Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS pack and a 70cm softbox with grid.

 

 

Again using the power of the Ranger kit and a 70cm softbox with the bride stood high on a statue base!

 

Shot using canon 50mm 1.2 and just holding the veil infront of her face in the wind

 

Again using Elinchrom Ranger pack with a very squashed grid so as to not spill light anywhere but the bride..

 

 

If you are interested in learning how to achieve images like this then checkout our training page & go to courses for more info on what courses we have coming up still in 2013!

 

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June saw us host an amazing one day course in Oswestry, in north Wales. Due to the amazing success of our last course we held there last year we decided to secure the venue for another day course. Using mainly off camera lighting techniques and Elinchrom equipment using some of the amazing rooms at this great venue to compliment the models clothes & look.

Photographers had a chance to spend some time with each girl to practice some of the techniques that were passed on during the session.  It was all about keeping the lighting classic and looking at backgrounds that complimented the clothes and simple , elegant look of the models. The techniques that we used on this course were fashion based yes, but techniques none the less that can be used in all aspects of social photography. Taking these techniques into weddings, family & commercial shooting is the next step for the photographers that were present on the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little video showing us shooting on the day:

Brett Harkness Training – Off camera Fashion flash training from Brett Harkness on Vimeo.

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The day after filming for our Creative Flash for Weddings DVD last year the weather was so nice we decide to stop by the beach on the way home and film some extra footage!

Showing set ups including Off Camera High Speed flash, big Elinchrom Ranger flash being used to it’s max against the sun, running with flash and so much more… Watch this footage and share it with your friends. If you have any questions about it please join us on our FB page, twitter @brettharkness or contact us through the site. TAKE A LOOK AT THE VIDEO ON OUR VIDEO PAGE BY CLICKING HERE
Take a look at our Creative Flash for weddings & Real Wedding DVD’s. We also have a NEW DOWNLOAD option so you can watch whilst on the run or easily from a different country.

Take a look at brettharknessphotography.com/store/ for more information.

5 comments
  • Joanne Gower (01.31.2013 | 10:36)

    Thanks Brett the dvd is great and highly recommended! I am about to shoot a seaside wedding so this couldnt be more timely!

  • Neil Proctor (01.31.2013 | 10:37)

    £79.99 for a DVD of this quality, IMO, is a bargain.....the tips, tricks and techniques you can learn from it, are truly amazing. After watching it, there is no way, that you will not want to pick your camera up and want to start shooting flash. Thanks Brett Harkness and co for creating a fantastic product. If you want quality, to help assist you in flash, I strongly urge you to purchase it! Remember, if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got.....

  • Angela Adams (01.31.2013 | 10:38)

    I must complain... I didn't get any sleep last night after watching this at 11pm before I went to bed. My mind was far too busy I even dreamt of Brett Harkness , must be my age and hormones going awry! Here's hoping for a more peaceful night tonight!

  • Mark Revill (01.31.2013 | 10:40)

    Outstanding Film and photoshoot.

  • Jon Mold (01.31.2013 | 10:41)

    Think you can run faster backwards than I can forwards.

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brettharkness

It has been a couple of years since Bjorn has visited us at the studio so it was great to see him again. This time he brought his daughter & friend from Norway for their works experience! Not bad ! Over two days we looked at his imagery, ways to make what he does already even better! The use of different light modifiers, using the ambiance and other light sources.

Lighting is a very personal thing and I think everyone should have their own way of doing things. I certainly do and it has taken a while to bring that in and make it my style. Whilst there is a lot of information taught over a 1-1 session it is very important that you take the information back and mold it into your own style, make your imagery synonymous with you. A big thank you to Bjorn for coming over from Norway, it was a pleasure to see you again. Maybe see you in Norway for a wedding course soon!!

If you are interested in our 1-1 sessions then contact the studio for more information or take a look at the 1-1 page on the training site.

 

 

Image taken using Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS kit & Deep Octa Box

 

Image shot with Elinchrom Ranger RX speed & Large Indirect Octabank 190cm

 

Shot using Octabank, with Emma stood against it in the street

 

Image shot with Ranger Pack & Maxi Spot Reflector 29˚ 40 cm. The same shape as the Maxi Lite Reflector, but produced with brilliant, glossy reflection material for very high efficiency, throws light even over longest distances. A narrow powerful beam creates deep, sharp shadows.

 

Shot using Ranger RX speed pack, 70cm softbox with grid, 1 – 70 cm softbox bounced & Quadra head with Snood for background.

 

Taken just using 2 Fluorescent lights above Emma, with K scale input for WB.

 

Image showing Octabank in use

 

5 comments
  • Kwame Asiaw (05.24.2012 | 02:35)

    loving the seperation on the street shots. the model properly 'pops' off the screen. that the back streets of Manc city centre Brett?

  • rob (05.24.2012 | 04:08)

    Awesome work guys

  • Bjorn H Stuedal (05.25.2012 | 07:35)

    Finally back in Norway. Thanks for the two days of training - and once again thanks for being so generous sharing your knowledge.

  • David (06.01.2012 | 01:55)

    These images really do pop in quite a spectacular fashion. Great stuff!

  • Natallia (07.31.2013 | 12:59)

    Beautiful selection Brett!

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I have been looking forward to this course outside of the lovely village of Oswestry for quite a while. It took a lot of planning and organization by my team to make sure that all the elements came together! The course was full with 10 photographers spending a great day with us at this amazing location with the whole house at our disposal!

We had worked on the look & styling with Zan Atkinson , our favorite stylist for quite a while. She brought her magic on this day! The course was all about using Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed packs and a host of different modifiers. We mainly used the 70cm Rotalux softbox & Rotalux Deep Octabox 100, we also gave the High Performance Reflector a whirl with great results. Working with Pocket Wizard Plus II’s, everyone shared the flash love, with a little organizing! We looked at using natural light with flash, overpowering ambiance, working with dark interior ambiance in the form of a loan light & also sunshine, using shapes, lines, textures and working with simple modifiers to get great results.We also used a little of the lovely natural light in one of the corridors to give everyone ample time to shoot some beautiful shots of Amber. We try and keep it as simple as we can when training, using a method that can be used in whatever kind of flash usage you are looking to do. Also this technique of manual flash can be used with Speedlights, Ezy boxes, studio lights etc.. It is a foolproof way of learning flash, making sure that no matter what the situation is , how dark or how light you will always have the METHOD to call on.

A few thank you’s…. A big thank you to Kristie also for helping out with the looks. Models Natasha & Amber worked all day in a total of 5 different looks to satisfy the photographers thirst for shots. We sourced the building from one of our location  companies we work with, a big thank you to Bella at Locationworks. Also a thank you to Will, one of the groundsmen at the location for helping us out on the day, much appreciated. Paul for setting up all the equipment and lugging it around everywhere!  Some of the clothes & headpieces sourced from Ages of Elegance a big thank you to them also. Also a thank you to Beth Hirst in Leeds for some great hats!

We have some great courses coming up this year, please check out our training page / courses for more information. We also have a couple of places left on our France course in October this year, a great way to finish your year! CLICK HERE for more info..

Also if you get chance please share this post on your FB page or Twitter feed!!!

 

Shot with 24-70, 25th sec @f8. 640 ISO

 

An amazing way to finish the course.. on the roof!! Don’t worry, it was very strong and had been tested before.

 

A shot from behind the scenes..

 

5 comments
  • Stephen (04.25.2012 | 04:14)

    Hi Brett / Kristie

    I would just like to say a big thank you for yesterday. I loved it and had great fun again with you guys. The day ran seamlessly and am sure behind the scenes you have had to work really hard to ensure the day was a success. The venue was stunning ad you could shoot in their for weeks.

    I loved it and got so much out of the day. Brett thanks for sharing your magic and will hopefully see you both soon.

    Kind regards

    Stephen

  • Paul Keppel (04.25.2012 | 06:06)

    great set of images, looking forward to the swpp workshop in bristol :-)

  • will Pateman (04.25.2012 | 07:25)

    Hi Brett, just a brief line to say thanks for a great shoot, a great day, great models and great food...oh and great directions..
    Many thanks ,Cheers Will

  • Emma Meston (04.25.2012 | 10:34)

    An incredible set of images! So wish I could have been there.. well done all!

  • Ray (04.28.2012 | 12:15)

    Stunning images Brett as always! Many thanks for generously sharing tips and insights with us! I surely have a great time during the session.

    Your photography rocks! Thanks Kristie, Zan, Amber and Tash! More power and hope to see you guys soon!

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Wow, what a day we had yesterday at the beautiful location of Danesfield House outside of Marlow. The sunshine greeted the photographers as we spent the morning session drinking coffee, eating shortbread and talking about our imagery, business method and wedding tactics!

 

We then got on with with some great shooting, using the venue inside & out. A lot of information was passed on during the days session. As it is on all of our courses. I like to teach in as simple a fashion as possible. Straight talking!! We looked at flash, off camera, first dance, posing, communication! Using daylight! Don’t forget that!! Working with a couple and getting the best out of them in as quick a time as possible. All packed into a great day of learning with yummy sandwiches & shortbread thrown in!!

A big thank you to models, Dan Dewhirst , Gemma & Rosie MacPherson for being great to work with and were appreciated by all concerned. As every a huge thank you to make up , Hair & styling guru Zan Atkinson who makes my images smile!! Also to Danesfield House for making us feel very welcome the entire day!

Dresses by Novakks & headpieces by Victoria Mary Vintage. We will be putting on another course at Danesfield House later on in the year, August time. If you are interested please get in touch now. We also have some amazing courses coming up around the UK & Europe with some places still left on our Fabulous French course in October. For more info on all of our courses PLEASE CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

Here is a little footage from behind the scenes at our wedding training day.

5 comments
  • Alison Grainger (03.21.2012 | 05:11)


    Morning, Brett!

    Many, many, many thanks to you and the team for an astoundingly good day at Danesfield yesterday.

    A fantastic, full-on, amazing day. I'm shattered but exhilarated, my head's buzzing and I'm raring to get started on my next wedding. Also mildly depressed because I want to do it over and over again.

    Bless you x

  • Julian Stumm (03.21.2012 | 06:45)

    Great to see you again yesterday. Once again you delivered the goods, in a straightforward way that will enable me to take my wedding photography to the next level in terms of it's creativity.

    I am itching to get out there and practice what we did yesterday. I have roped in my wife as a model and kids as lighting assistants for me to have a play around.

    The images I personally got, and from looking at other delegates work, we all got, certainly had the wow factor. That's just what's needed to create separation in an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace.

    Thank you once again for a very fun day\'s training packed from start to finish with practical information that will really make a difference.

    Julian

  • Michelle Winstanley (03.21.2012 | 07:05)

    Just wanted to say thank you to you and your team for a superb training day at Danesfield, Marlow on Monday. It was an outstanding learning experience from start to finish, hugely challenging for me but very rewarding in the knowledge and images I now have. i loved every minute of it and watching the video wish I was doing it all again!! thanks again and see you and your team soon.

    Michelle :)

  • Exeter Wedding Photography (10.14.2012 | 11:36)

    Good strong images, like the use of strobes and the back light couple on the chairs.

  • Natallia (07.31.2013 | 01:00)

    Just loving the dancing shot!

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brett-Harkness-photography-training10011

It has been a great start to the New Year at BHP Studios. Kristie’s office has seen a revamp, a new addition to the Harkness clan!! We have shot three weddings already and have a very busy year ahead of us. Our training has got off to a great start also with numerous sessions taking place at the studio.

Last week saw us Host Ray Tan Photography on his 1-1 session and the week before with David Foden Photography. Both sessions were initially spent looking at their portfolio and their current methods of shooting. We then looked at weddings and the whole process of what goes into one of their own weddings and also one of mine. We spent the pm session shooting with a model , looking at numerous lighting setups in and out of the studio.Huge thank you to Nicky & Laura for modelling for us .Our bespoke sessions are very relaxed and we make sure that we cover as much as we can what you need to know.

If you are interested in our 1-1 or small group session please CLICK HERE or call the studio on 01706 340792 for more information.

Here are a few images taken on the 1-1 sessions.

 

Shot outside with Elinchrom Ranger, 1 head. 400 ISO 125th sec @f18

 

320 ISO, 250th sec @ f14. Using Quadra. 1/4 power.

 

ISO 400, 25th sec @f22, one head shot with Elinchrom Ranger & 70cm softbox.

 

 

To read more about the Elinchrom lights please read our last post HERE or go to the ELINCHROM SITE HERE.

 

 

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So what seems like a lifetime ago now since our wonderful France course. I have finally got some time to post about the second day of shooting on our amazing time spent at the wonderful Chateau Rigaud.

Back at the beginning of October we spent a fantastic few days at this wonderful chateau outside of Bergerac/Bordeaux in France. We started the 2nd day having breakfast in the dining room of the chateau whilst our first model of the day , local model Laure Cizeron spent her time in make up and styling whilst we went through equipment with the photographers.

A big thank you to make up, Laura Cawte who did  a great job throughout the 2 days shooting with Kristie making sure all the models looked exactly as we wanted them to. A huge thank you also to The Flash Centre for the loaning of some wonderful equipment, very much appreciated and used! If you missed PART 1 & PART 2 please click on the day to view the story so far.

We started off with Laure outside just getting her used to use and more importantly us used to her!! She was great and gelled in with the group straight away. Using only a wall we looked at exposure, framing and interaction when language is a barrier.We then moved onto a few different backgrounds , a tree and also some of the vineyards that surround the chateau before heading back to the chateau. We got a couple of lights out , one as a back light and did a few shots before we ventured back.

 

 

A few shots from behind the scenes at the set ups up to this point. Thanks to Guy Levine & Ross Holkham for sending in some great BTS shots..

 

Paul wearing the models hat! Very fetching!!

 

 

 

We then moved inside for a quick coffee & cake! Before starting the second model for the day, Idoiaa. We had two very different but equally great looks going on this second day but because we had gone through a lot of information on day 1 we could concentrate on ironing out any problems people had with their shooting & flash and letting people shoot more.

Here is a little video from the first AM session:

Brett Harkness Training in France Day 2 am session from brett harkness on Vimeo.

Starting off inside we took Idoiia, into one of the darkest corners of the chateau! Looking at creating a more specific shot to match the surroundings. Teaching people how to match the exposure to the ambient surroundings without “killing it”.

 

 

A few shots from behind the scenes at this shot showing the equipment used:

We then went back inside using the window in the main dining room, starting off without any flash and again looking at exposure. We then set up one head on the right hand side of the Laure and looked at balancing and over riding the ambiance with it whilst Idoiia got changed for her next session.

Starting off in the Dining room we were looking to shoot against the light using a situation that could easily be replicated anywhere else! As long as you are not on the top floor!

 

A few pictures taken at this session…

 

We then headed into the dining room for a great rustic French lunch, chilling out with a few glasses of wine for good measure. A few us got the equipment ready for our next set up in the long room at the chateau.Using a mixture of daylight and our Elinchrom kit everyone got a mini session with Idoiia, un, deaux, trois!

 

 

A quick shot from BTS:

 

Here is a little video from this part of the session:

Brett Harkness Photography Training PM session from brett harkness on Vimeo.

By this time we had had an amazing three days at the chateau, shooting hundreds of images and passing on a lot of information. We had decided to go out on a bang and finish off shooting in a dead sunflower field using the huge Elinchrom Octabank, measuring 190cm across. This amazing light modifier is not for the faint hearted but we knew that the light quality that it would give out would be something very special and different so we couldn’t resist using it. After we managed to erect it we set up our last shot in the field…

The huge Octabank we used for our final image. Invented in 1982, their unique patented construction and design have won these large lightweight softboxes worldwide popularity. A lightweight die cast rigid central mounting for the flash head inside the unit which places the flash tube at the point of focus. The optical result is a light source, which is so even at the diffuser surface, that many famous photographers use the Octa as a single light source for portrait photography.

Me posing with my new best friend!!

 

Paul with a UFO landing on his head…!

 

The image produced with the single light source…

 

A little video clip showing our last set up..

Untitled from brett harkness on Vimeo.

Our last Group shot…

 

Wow, so what a few days we had this year in the amazing surrounding of Chateau Rigaud outside of Bordeaux. A huge thank you to everyone that made it down to the course. It is one to be remembered that’s for sure. A lot of information was passed on, a lot of questions asked, a lot of wine drunk! A lot of images taken, equipment used and a WHOLE lot of fun had! It was great for people to be able to spend some time together after the training, spending quality time with like minded people is something that not everyone gets the chance to do, it is a big part of our training courses that they are great social events also. We encourage all levels on our courses as we think that everyone can learn, whether full time pro’s or part time amateurs. So make 2012 a special year and book your training with BHP studios.

Here are some video testimonials from the photographers on the course…

The Last supper… Brett Harkness Training from brett harkness on Vimeo.

We are about to release some very exciting new dates for our courses for next year. So if these last few posts have inspired you and you want to take part in some great training next year then watch this space!

 

Read what people said about this course:

 

“un, dos, tres!! Fromage!!  Just got back from a wedding (nice sunset but not like France) to find this great email, can’t wait till the next adventure, the only problem you will have is that in the words of Joyce “nobody else can book unless one of us dies” lol.   Think we could make a book of quotes from the trip and the banter was nearly as good as the photography.”

Ross Holkham

“I just wanted to drop you both a quick note to say a huge thank you for the most fantastic few days in France…
I had the time of my life – so much fun with great friends, the most beautiful cool location, fantastic food, wine & great training as always…
Some very special memories & the image of man’s attempts to fly in a sunflower field with an octobox is one I’ll remember for quite some time!
Thanks again so much & I’ll get some photos over to you asap – see you very soon!”
Joyce

Sharon (11.07.2011 | 11:50)

Hello! I’ve really enjoyed watching all the clips !
I must do something with my hair next time! Ha. Thanks again for the best course EVER ! I learnt SO much and am enjoying putting it all into practise. Put me down for next year and i hope to see the same people again… It was great spending three days with everyone. Sharon x

3 comments
  • Paul mannion (11.25.2011 | 01:43)

    Well i'm going to booking on the next course learn't so much on this wonderful course great location models and inspiration from the Harknesses Thank you so much!!

  • Ross (11.25.2011 | 10:40)

    lol....I had forgot about the "hear no evil, speak no evil,see no evil" shot...classic. Great round up of a fantastic time mate, heres to the next adventure!!

  • Katherine Ashdown (12.01.2011 | 03:16)

    Yay! LOVE the last post such an awesome course brought it all back... cannot wait to do it again! Ross's. My video is SO embarassing!!

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