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!

  • 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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This March saw us shooting at the wonderful Arley Hall in Nantwich in Cheshire for our two – 1 day wedding courses. Starting off with coffee & pastries I spent the morning session going through our business in detail. Looking at workflow, brochures, wedding fairs, client contact, sales and so much more. Giving us enough time to work with the Bride & Groom in the main bridal bedroom looking at natural light and getting the most out of the quick session after the bride has got ready.

Keeping things simple early on in the wedding is best!

After a fantastic lunch we headed off outside to numerous different location over the two days. Working in the grounds of Arley and also the little church that sits on the grounds. Looking at using simple flash, balancing it with the ambiance , over riding the ambiance mastering the technique of using Off Camera Flash. Using flash at Fashion or advertising shoots is a lot different when you have more time. With our weddings time with the B&G is premium and we have to work fast so we concentrate on techniques that you can execute very quickly when under pressure.

The  2 days were great fun and everyone had time with the B&G to shoot but most of all to ask questions all day on different aspects of their own business and method of shooting. The point of our courses for me is to teach people a method, to inspire people to push there own businesses & photography into different places. To create a style that is themselves and unique to them. This is what we all crave for and our desire to push our own photography into different places should be the driving force behind any successful photographic business. If you want to see what other photographers got up to on the day then check out the two links below!



We also due to demand ,have another wonderful day planned at the stunning Arley Hall. So why not join us for  a day that just may change the way you look at the wedding world forever! CLICK HERE for more information..

A huge thank you to :

Location: Arley Hall

Styling & Hair/Make up – Zan Atkinson

Dresses: Novakks Exclusive Bridal Wear

Models: Nemesis





















A few images from behind the scenes.. Thanks to James Davies for these.











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  • Martin Makowski Photography (11.30.2015 | 05:22)

    Great photos Brett. I love the shot of the groom on top of the ladder. Awesome work.

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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..


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



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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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.

  • 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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October this year saw us back at the wonderful Chateau Rigaud, outside of Bordeaux, France. A huge thank you to Rob Summer for filming and producing for us this wonderful short film from our training course.

Every year we make our pilgrimage to this wonderful retreat in southern France. This year we had back to back courses such was the demand for this trip. Working with 4 models over two days with wonderful styling from Zan Atkinson with a collection of clothing to even make VOGUE magazine jealous! As I said Rob Summers from Promo Films came with us on the firs course to produce this great fun film for us.
We spent two days working with different lighting from Elinchrom, shooting in the vineyards, in a local town in the streets and down by the river. We also shot in a production vineyard using the house of the owner as a wonderful castle like background, a beautiful chateau of fairytale proportions! To see IMAGES from this course please CLICK HERE.

I have also put in some BTS images for you to see a little of what went on during this great , fun course. Including  few images of our little baby, Makenzie! She very much enjoyed the course & learnt a lot!

Thank you to Lizzie from Panama who was on the course for these BTS images.

The clap of approval from baby Makenzie!

Mmmm, cake!! A huge thank you to Steve, the amazing Chef at Chateau Rigaud.

Kristie & our little baba!…

Paul. setting up for a group shot on the last night!

Look whats in my hand daddy!

One of the amazing looks from our stylist , Zan, shooting with Elinchrom strip box & Ranger RX speed AS.

Getting down with the Phase & Canon kit, inside the chateau.

One of our set ups inside.


Finding the light in a small town near the chateau.



Mmm, more cake!!

Zan, doing her thing!!




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  • Jabidul Islam (11.30.2012 | 10:41)

    Please can you let me know when you are planning for the next france trip, i will be really interested in joining.


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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..


  • 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


  • 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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This Monday saw us host a great flash course from the studio and then onto a very funky location in Manchester. A huge thank you to Zan Atkinson for her wonderful make-up & hair skills and for Emma & J’nae for giving us great hair & faces to work with! Also for jumping in very high healed shoes!

We had a great session looking at off camera flash. We started off using speedlights at the studio and then moved onto Elinchrom lights later on out on location. This may have been more of  a “fashion” type of course but the principal of the way we use flash is exactly the same at weddings, commercial & lifestyle. It just has many applications. I hope all the delegates enjoyed themselves and by the feedback we had they certainly did. We try and keep things as simple as we can when shooting with our flash. Usually the clients haven’t go too much time on their hands to wait around so we have to be quick, know what we want and deliver. Fashion is slightly different. We can afford to spend a little more time setting the lights and getting it just right. Which ever way you work it is vital you know your equipment inside/out and most importantly learn what you want to get out of it!

We have some great courses coming up this year with a new set of June-October 2012 courses being released soon.

Here are a few shots from the day:


  • Jamie Vickerstaff (02.23.2012 | 04:52)

    Beautiful shots Brett, great soft light. I'll keep an eye out for training sessions this year.

  • Tony Bayliss (02.23.2012 | 08:42)

    Great shots, Brett, Loved the course and the location and girls were fantastic!

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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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Well we ended 2011 with two fantastic courses at the studio and then onto two locations in Manchester. A huge thank you to everyone involved in the two separate courses. Monday saw us start off at the studio and then onto The Lowry Theatre as our location. After a morning session talking about the technique involved in flash at weddings we shot a little inside the studio before lunch & then into Manchester. This course was more geared to the use of speed lights as our light source. Looking at the technique that I use for all of my flash usage.

No matter what flash situation I am in I still use the same techniques, it means I have full control of my situation and not being controlled by the lights or TTL!  ETTL is great and to be used when the time is short but I love the process of manual flash, I don’t know;  it makes me feel totally in control and on top of what I am doing. It is this process that you will learn if you come on one of our flash courses. After a brief session outside we headed into the Lowry Theatre  and after coffee continued to shoot around the building looking at light, form, posing and getting the most from the simple things! A huge thank you to Zan Atkinson our Stylist who rocks it every time. To Steph & Aaron & also to Alana for being great and for standing in the cold whilst everyone figured out their settings!

Here are some of the images shot on the course:




Wednesday this week saw us put on our last flash course, in fact our last course of 2011! What a year it has been! The course content was the same as Monday so we started off at the studio ironing out the technique that has pushed our own wedding flash to another place. After heading out to Manchester for lunch we started shooting in a very cool location. The shoot started off in the back alleys of Manchester, because of the cold we didn’t last too long and then headed off into the very dark & spooky cellars under Manchester streets. We wanted dark and we go it!

After a while down there we headed off upstairs to the club and continued the shoot. Even using the ladies toilets for one of our backgrounds! It can be done! A huge thank you to the photographers for being such great sports even if we had to squeeze into the worlds oldest & smallest elevator! It was worth it! Also to model Emma for being amazing as ever, to Jnane & Stefan for also being great to work with. To our stylist extra-ordinare! Zan Atkinson.

Here are some images from the day:








  • Guy Levine (12.16.2011 | 01:12)

    The course was fantastic Brett. I got some really great photos and learnt loads about the flow of the wedding, how to mix it up to get a nice variety of shots, and how to get the 'wow' pics. Looking forward to more next year!

  • Helen Rushton (12.16.2011 | 01:14)

    Images are great, I can't wait until I join you in march 2012!! Have a great Christmas and New Year Brett and THANK YOU for your inspiration this year! Helen

  • Kim Shaw (12.16.2011 | 01:46)

    Great images (as usual) Brett. I joined you on two courses this year (Wedding Flash and Winter Weddings) I loved every minute and learnt loads. Thanks for your patience and encouragement. I hope to see you and Kristie again next year!

  • red chilli photography (12.16.2011 | 08:09)

    fantastic stuff again Brett :)

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We have had a very busy few weeks of training from the studio, as well as our great French course that hopefully you have been following on the blog. Part three to come next week!

Our last two courses have been a speed light only course ran from the studio and on location in Manchester and a Winter Wedding day at Knowsley Hall using a mixture of flashes, Elinchrom & Speed lights. Our speed light course at the end of October was using only speed lights, also all the goodies that Lastolite could throw at us! We used the new Ezy box system, the new quad flash bracket amongst other things. The aim of these courses is to show photographers how to use their flashes when A: it gets too dark or B: for creative effect. The two uses are for quite different outputs and effects. I am a great believer in planning when using flash , this might mean knowing where you are going to use them of having them set up ready to go. We usually have around 20 mins with our clients, usually less in the winter so I have learned how to grab the shots when I can. This means making the most of every moment we have with them.

We have 1 last flash course coming up on Dec 12th so join us at the studio and then onto a location to learn how to use your flash in all aspects of your social shooting.

Here are some images from our 1 day speedlight course held in Manchester on Oct 25th using only Canon & Nikon speed lights and Lastolite Ezy boxes:



Shot above using the new Lastolite Quad bracket & 4 flashguns.



In bewteen the two courses I also did 3 1-1 sessions at the studio, here is a shot taken on Mike’s 1-1 session using just 1 flashgun in a 21″ Ezy box of Liz doing a great jump.




All of the shots below were taken at Knowsley Hall on Monday just gone. Our Winter Weddings course was great. Using our Elinchrom system mostly with the odd Speed light thrown in for good measure. A huge thank you to Zan Atkinson for her wonderful make up and hair styling, you did an amazing job. Also to Knowsley Hall for their continued support. To Felicity, Josh & laura for there great modelling skills. An also a thank you to Novak Exclusive Bridal wear for the gorgeous dresses.


Image shot in total darkness at the front of the Hall.



I few behind the scenes shots from our Knowsley Hall course, thanks to Jonathan Yearsley who was on the course:

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  • Joyce Howard (11.12.2011 | 06:46)

    Hey Brett - just got home & wanted to say a huge thanks to you & Kristie for an awesome day at Knowsley Hall - really cool venue, gorgeous models & dresses - best day yet (in the UK lol). Stunning photos & so straight forward to set up - these are exactly what I've wanted to learn to shoot & looking forward to putting it all into practice! I always learn so much new technique on every course - very inspired & thanks so much!

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Last week saw us return to my home town of Newcastle for a great funky, street flash course. Despite the weather we had great fun. This course was our first north of York and may I thank both models,Frankie & Jodi and also to Josephine Birkett for offering us her make-up skills. Thanks for carting that very large suitcase all over the place!

We started off the day talking about flash guns and how to use them, manually & ETTL; then after coffee we took to the streets using first 580EX II flash guns in Lastolite Ezy boxes, we then moved onto Elinchrom’s Quadra kit and then finished off with the bug guns, Elinchrom’s Ranger RX Speed kit. So much info was shared on the day not just about flash but about our business, working with models, clients and so much more. A big thank you to Henry Aarvold for his assisting skills and for the little bit of video he managed to take whilst multi tasking! Much appreciated! Here are some images from the course.

Our new SEP-DEC 2011 courses will be released next week. Watch this space as places are limited.




Henry holding an Elinchrom Quadra A head with a 70cm softbox.

A little bit of grabbed video:

  • Samantah Jones (08.11.2011 | 03:42)

    Wow, the weather couldn't have been different from the course at Fanhams Hall! Great images achieved despite the elements.

  • Craig Marshall (08.11.2011 | 03:43)

    Craig Marshall yay done, good shots brett and some recognisable places too, especially the blue door with the model against the nude colour plaster, many years ago i helped build those apartment! Did you see much change in the city since you were last in the toon brett?

  • Brett Harkness (08.11.2011 | 03:45)

    yeh big time Craig, its a great place.. Ive been back a couple of times but a lot of money has gone into the place, would love to shoot their again! cheers

  • Richard Woodside (08.11.2011 | 09:09)

    Just a quick line or two to say what a great day I had on the course, Brett! I came away with some great images and an invaluable insight into the way you work. I'm looking forward to the next one already! Thanks again.

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What a wonderful day we had yesterday on our third ” London Flash ” course of the year. Thank you all that came down on the course. A few thank you’s to Hell Bunny for the lovely clothes, to Make up by Katy for a great job at the last minute !

To our models Kara & Mina for being such great sports and for holding some great poses for quite a long time! Made me tired just looking at them! We used different equipment for different effects. Firstly starting off with the basics of using a simple flash gun so that everyone understood that basic equipment can be used. We then moved on to using my Elinchrom gear so that we could shoot all day and that everyone could get great shots. It is very important for me when teaching to stress how I do things and not just put it on a plate for you to shoot, so if you don’t want to learn ” how to do it” also then our courses might not be for you!

If you are interested in learning similar techniques then check out our training section for information on all our of courses left for this year by CLICKING HERE


Here is a little video from behind the scenes from our latest London Workshop, thanks to Ross for his filming/ assisting on the day.

Please do not download any material from this post without the permission from Brett Harkness Photography

Here are some images from behind the scenes at the training day, big thanks to Ross Holkham Photography for providing these.


  • Jackie (07.16.2011 | 11:02)

    Thank you Brett and Kristie for a wonderful day...I wish it had been longer ! Great models, location and MUA Katy. I got some great shots that I am so pleased with. Lovely to get to know the other course attendees ..hope to stay in contact with everyone.

  • Brett Harkness (07.17.2011 | 08:07)

    Hi Jackie,thanks for your comments. It was a great day for sure, great to hear you got some wonderful images also! Cheers Brett

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A true photographic phenonemon.Brett Harkness is a man in demand— Dan Lezano. Digital SLR Photography