brettharkness-photography-training

What a fantastic day we had yesterday in Oxfordshire at the wonderful Eynsham Hall. The sun was shining as we started the day with coffee & pastries talking about weddings, going through the process that I adopt on most weddings looking at images and the technique of flash.

We then got on to looking at daylight and some simple set ups in the training room to begin with. Using just the available light coming into the room. After a quick lunch we headed back to the room to use some simple gridded speedlights for a cool shot in the corner of the room with our models Jack & Danielle. We then headed off into a dark corridor for another set up using one light. After which the sunshine and the outdoors beckoned ! After playing outside with OCF , daylight & strong sunshine we headed off back in for a break and then straight into our first dance set up – using OCF & speedlights.

It was a fantastic day with a lot of information passed on to the photographers in the group.

Topics covered included – Using daylight – sun & shade | Cropping & composition | Off camera flash theory | Techniques for using different flashes & softboxes | creating flow in your images | First dance – lighting it | Business & selling yourself | Albums | & so much more….

Huge thank you Juliet Cunningham for excellent make up & to Sophie at Styled by Sophie for beautiful hair. Also thanks to models Danielle & Jack for being such great fun to work wth..

***We have just released another fabulous Oxford course at the beautiful Manor on the Green – this is the first time we have held a course here and are super excited to release this one! Join us on  July 24th at this amazing location to learn all about how to take the best wedding images you have ever taken! CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE** 

Also take a look at our Light Ship Lighting course if you want to take your portrait & fashion lighting to another level of awesomeness ! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Here is some of the kit we used yesterday on the course:

Speed lights - YongNuo YN-568EX II Flashgun with Lastolite grids ( Strobo kit - https://www.manfrotto.co.uk/strobo-kit-direct-to-flashgun )

Stands – I mainly use Manfrotto and the stands we had the flashes on in the training room were interlocking Manfrotto stands – ( 1004BAC stands )

Pole – Ross was holding the flash on a lastolite extending pole

We didn’t use the Elinchrom ELB  - but this is the pack I use the most now for weddings and if you are looking to upgrade look no further – find info here - http://www.elinchrom.com/battery/elb400.html -if you’re interested then call RUSS at the The Flash Centre in Leeds – tell him you have been on a course and he will help you out! Maybe a better price too!

We also used the large pack which is the Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS pack – these are awesome units but quite heavy – they are being replaced by these - http://www.elinchrom.com/battery/elb1200.html

Reflector – we used a Lastolite Tri Grip reflector – Sunfire / Softsilver

Belt system is the Think Tank Belt system – look at Snapper Stuff!

Dont just take my word for it….

Alison Busby ” Brilliant day. Best wedding photography course ever. Thanks so much –  so much learning.”

Sharon Brockman “Thanks for an awesome day yesterday Brett and Ross, loads of fun and I learnt loads.”

Andy Dawson –  “I would just like to take this moment to thank you very much for the training course yesterday.

I am truly enlightened! I strongly believe that I have now found the shooting style that I have been searching for in my short career to date and I have definitely fallen in love with flash.

I edited about 50 or so pics when I got home and thought I would mix the styles up a bit. I have shown them to people at work and they have been amazed.”

 

Here are some images & a little snippet of some BTS footage from the Eynsham Hall course…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch a little behind the scenes video:

 

If you aren’t following me on Social Media then it would be great to have you onboard :

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/brettharkness/?hl=en

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/peoplephotographer2016/

Facebook Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/256881034348745/

YOU TUBE - https://www.youtube.com/user/maximussalive

Twitter - https://twitter.com/brettharkness

 

We also have a fabulous collection of training DVD’s available from the store -: http://brettharknessphotography.com/store/

 

 

1 comment
  • Oliver Kershaw (05.01.2017 | 07:43)

    Love her bouquet! Great pictures!

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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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Yesterdays training day saw us back at the wonderful Arley Hall outside of Nantwich in Cheshire. We started off the day after coffee looking at the business side of things, pricing and branding. Then onto some images to get the juices flowing.

After a break we photographed the B&G upstairs in one of the bedrooms keeping things simple looking at the use of daylight & exposure. After a great lunch we took to outside , using some of the architectural features of the surroundings. Using a mixture of daylight and flash in different situations. Having fun with a tree that very kindly gave us it’s blossom after a little persuasion!

A huge thank you as always to Zan Atkinson for her amazing styling & hair/make up skills. To Nemesis model agency in Manchester for our wonderful models , Liam & Naz and to the staff at Arley for making our day a success.

Here are a couple of images from the course….

 

 

 

 

 

When my assistant can do this then it means that we can do this! No tree was harmed in the making of these images!

A clip from our Arley Hall course yesterday from Brett Harkness on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 comment
  • Matt Selby (12.10.2015 | 03:28)

    Epic groom shots! Too good!

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The last day of March brought us to our Wedding/Speedlight course 30 mins outside of Manchester. Starting off in Bury in the morning discussing some imagery & the business side of our wedding process. We then headed off to a new venue for us, The Dunkenhalgh near Blackburn.

After lunch on arrival we started to shoot working our way around the venue inside and moving outside to shoot in some of the grounds. Using mainly 580 EX II speedlights and on occasion the Calumet Genesis GF400 flash unit. Looking at creating eye catching images of the B&G inside and out. Using different focal lengths for effect and looking at using very low power speedlights at close quarters to the subject.Looking at how to light a first dance, shooting against the daylight, using surfaces for reflection & so much more..

We have some great courses coming up soon so why not join us this yer for some amazing training & a day you wont forget!

A huge thank you to Zan Atkinson for her styling & make-up, Models Zac & Janine from Nemesis Agency in Manchester. Dresses from Novak Exclusive Bridal Lounge.

Here are a few images from the day:

 

 

 

A tiny alcove made a great background for the couple. Just a speedlight on 8th power with an Ezy box

 

Shot with the couple standing behind a fire escape door.

 

Shooting the Groom against a tree! Using a 24-70mm on the left, Genesis on 1/4 power.

Right shot- 50mm lens with 580 EX II speedlight on 128th power.

 

Dancing on 1/4 sec at f11

 

Main light is Genesis on 1/4 power & two star  ( 580 flashes) lights both on 8th power.

 

 

Single naked speedlight on full power to make the day go to night!

 

 

 

 

2 comments
  • Konrad (04.01.2014 | 09:08)

    Awesome images!!!!

  • Tom Needham (04.06.2014 | 11:54)

    What a fantastic day of learning and explanation from Brett and his team. My entire attitude to flash and flash techniques has been overturned by this workshop. Unreservedly recommended, no matter how experienced you are.

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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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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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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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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 the story continues… Kristie and I woke early at around 6am knowing that we had to go the the nearby town of Libourne to pick up the first model of the day. At 6.15 we received a text from the model, telling us that there was an unexpected train strike and she was in Bordeaux still!! Mmmm, ok… So she got herself in a taxi for the hour long trip so we could pick her up.

This is one thing you are up against when organizing a course in another country, unless you have someone on the ground you are in the hands of the models, make up etc… to turn up! Luckily we chose well. All of the models were fantastic and made it all to the chateau on time. So our first model Anna Shteyn had only been in France a few days, all the way from Russia. She was fantastic and worked all day and into the night to give all of our photographers as much as she could. So after breakfast the photographers got themselves ready for what was going to be a very long and action packed day in and around Chateau Rigaud!

Meanwhile model  Anna, went through to make-up to get ready for her day. A big thank you to make up, Laura Cawte who did  a great job throughout the 2 days shooting.

AM session- We spent the morning session keeping it simple, using just daylight and looking at getting the best exposure for the subject. Wearing casual clothes. We then moved onto just introducing a small rear flash as the ambiance was quite dull we looked at bringing the sunshine to us. It was good that the weather was like this as every day of shooting started off dull and the sun burnt through in the afternoon giving us the best of both ambient worlds to play with!

We managed to grab  a bit of video here and there when we could. As we didn’t have anyone there to specifically shoot video we had to make do with whoever was closest to the camera at the time! Using a Lexar 32GB card we managed to cover most of what we shot over the two days.

 

 

 

 

We travel light! Guy & myself walking back to the Chateau! Carrying an Elinchrom Deep Octa & Ranger kit.

Ross leads the march back to the Chateau with all the kit!

 

 

At lunch we headed off in the minibus to a nearby town overlooking the vineyards. We all had wine, chicken & chips ( french stylie! ) After a few glasses of vino we headed off back to the Chateau to start our afternoon session. Anna had changed into a beautiful vintage wedding dress by Kate Edmondson and was met by her husband to be for the afternoon, Adam Pollard, only 18 but has it all going for him, you’ll see what I mean when the pictures come out!!

PM session: Again we started off in a doorway just to give the couple time to get used to each other and using the lovely soft French afternoon light. We now brought in one big flash off right to the doorway we were shooting at .

 

 

We then headed inside for 20 mins to use the main stairway at the Chateau. Using just one light, way off to the right we positioned the model at the top of the stairs. Using a very long boom arm we positioned the Elinchrom head into position. There was very little light coming into the stairwell but with our settings we made the scene darker to ad drama and mood.

 

( Thanks to Ross Holkham & Guy Levine for their behind the scenes shots )

 

 

May I also take this opportunity to make a big thank you Kate Edmondson for the loan of her beautiful wedding dresses,  & to Victoria Mary Vintage for her wonderful hair accessories. Also to Denis Hope for the loan of a great suit that fitted our male model perfectly!!

After a moment or two of touching up make up and grabbing a freshly made muffin we headed off to our next location.I grabbed a quick bit of video and a couple of stills of Anna because the light was stunning..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A nearby Winery was our next location for some fashion/wedding imagery using the architecture, light , posing etc.. starting off using just the sun as our main light source!! By exposing from the highlights and a careful bit of exposure tweaking the sun if used properly is a great light source to use head on!

 

We moved onto the steps of the Winery using the beautiful french architecture in our shoot. Using a mixture of natural light and Elinchrom lights we shot here for 40 mins or so. Here are just a couple of the images taken at this time. We were aware that the light was fading fast and we didn’t want to miss the last location for our shoot. So we quickly returned to the Chateau for a quick dress change and then off to the hill top church.

 

Image showing an Elinchrom RX speed head in a Deep Octa box on a 10ft boom stand.

 

 

EVENING SESSION: To finish the days shooting we headed off down the road to a church that I had shot my sister at a few years previous but little did we know what we were in for! This evening session was for us to make some beautiful images of the B&G and we didn’t disappoint. Working quickly we used the low sunlight first shooting into the light and then moved on to mix it with the flash. Sometimes when you are out shooting something amazing happens with the light, this was one of those times. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better we turned around and saw the moon rise over the church. We quickly moved the light over and made the most of the moment.

 

 

 

Kristie giving the very hard working Anna some make up touch ups..

One of the lighting set ups showing the fantastic boom arm we borrowed from The Flash Centre

Adam doing his thing!

 

 

 

 

What a day everyone had. We certainly covered a lot of information, set ups and shooting over the day. W could have stayed upon that hilltop all night I am sure, but I think we had worn out the models! That night we all had a beautiful meal made by our our chef, Tom. It was a very special meal with lots of wine being drunk, laughter and talking about the day etc..It was great to be able to spend some informal time together also on the course, most courses people leave and wish they could have asked this or talk about that, we were able to carry it on over a drink and some great company.

 

 

So what would day 3 bring? Well, if you weren’t there you’ll have to watch this space!

2 comments
  • Jon Mold (11.04.2011 | 09:41)

    Wow - what an amazing workshop in France. Trademark Brett Harkness, attention to detail, relaxed teaching, awesome models and stunning location.
    Wish I could have been there, next time, India ?? ;-)

  • Paul Mannion (11.04.2011 | 10:29)

    Fantastic BHP training course, hand on heart the best holiday/workshop I have ever been on, very professional, fun and most of all the best learning experience, if you haven't been on a training course yet, I can thoroughly recommend the Harknesses!
    Thanks again Brett and Kris.

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brettharknessphotographytrainingcourses

This Monday we welcomed a full house to the studio for our Wedding Flash course. Our courses are for 8 photographers only , this is a great number to allow everyone to shoot equally and to give me enough time to get around everyone for a bit of 1-1 time. We started off at the studio looking at basics set ups using speed-lights.


We then moved into Manchester where we enjoyed some time around the Salford keys & Lowry Theatre area. Thank you for the shoot time. Our courses are very relaxed and we try and give out as much information as we can , we also try and make sure that everyone has equal shooting time also. We want you to leave with the knowledge of how to do this and also some great shots, then turn it around, practice and learn how to make the shots your own. Creating your own style is the most important thing in your own photography. It is important to know that flash is only part of our weddings, a big part yes but we mix it up at weddings, bringing in the flash for drama. I love shooting this way but we balance the flash usage to suit the time of year, clients and venue. Remember there is no substitute for practice!

Also if you haven’t seen our ” Real Wedding ” DVD, following Kristie & myself at a real wedding with over and 80 mins of footage + director’s cut with voice over and top 20 images. CLICK HERE to buy.

A big Thank you to everyone that made it down to the course. Thank you also to our MUA, Zan Atkinson and to our models, Josh, Jennie & Tori. Last but not least , big thanks to Novaks for gorgeous dresses as usual!

We also have some great courses just released, CLICK HERE to see more, including ” Speed light for Weddings”, ” Winter Weddings ” at Knowsley & Fanham’s Hall. ” Street Fashion ” and ” Two documentary days! ( dates coming soon)

I don’t do a great deal of B&W images on my blog posts, most of the time I take images and just know that they look best in B&W and a lot of these do! - Here are a few images from the course:

6 comments
  • Becky Butterworth (08.24.2011 | 04:54)

    Great set of images from yesterday, think this course will be going on my Christmas list!

  • Neil Redfern (08.24.2011 | 05:32)

    Absolutely stunning images - I love them all. Looks like a great day!

  • simon (08.24.2011 | 06:06)

    Truly inspirational images!!!

  • Jonathan Yearsley (08.24.2011 | 06:14)

    You're doing the Lowry proud once again Brett. What a great bride and groom to work with, they looked stunning.

    Looking forward to shooting with you once again in November...couldn't leave it any longer.

  • Michael chatterley (08.24.2011 | 09:27)

    Had the chance to attend this course and i could not of asked for more. It started with the theory of how brett does what he does which is invaluable then it moved on to the lowry in Manchester where the day just got better . Feel completely confident in taking what i have learn't and applying my own ideas, thank you brett and kristie fantastic course .

  • Steven Brooks (09.05.2011 | 04:47)

    Had a really fantastic and informative day with Brett and Kristie! Thank you for an awesome time and now trying to look at some images for pp!
    Thanks again and still trying to decide on which course next, Knowsley or Fanhams!

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A class mixture high fashion, romanticism and fresh energy— Brit - Model