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It has been almost 6 years since we last ran a kids course from Brett Harkness Training so we thought this May we would go for it! Limited to only 5 photographers the aim of the course was to teach how to produce portraits with a difference. Not so much lifestyle mages but a mixture of lit and unlit portraits using different lighting techniques.

Different kit was used to create these images, mainly – Lastolite trip Grip reflectors, Elinchrom Ranger & Quadra packs – 70cm softbox & smaller portalite softbox. We also used the 6ft light bank in the studio at the beginning to give us a strong but softer light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why not join us this year for some super training! From our bespoke 1-1 to 4-1 sessions around the country we also have numerous fantastic training 1 day courses. We have also just released a fabulous 3 day training exrtravaganza in France in oct this year.

We have had a wonderful start to the year here at Brett Harkness studios. Not only has our own shooting been going well but we are gearing up for a great year of weddings and training. Our training courses have started with a bang and already we have had three courses from the studio and 4  - 1-1 private sessions with different photography businesses teaching them everything from business structure to shooting, flash, daylight, album design, photoshop and so much more. Our courses are very relaxed and the way that I teach makes it easy for everyone to understand. You will have ample time to shoot, our maximum number of delegates on any course is 10. If you are looking for something a little more bespoke to your own business needs then why not bring me to you! You can of course come to the studio outside of Manchester or for a little extra I can come to you! We can cater the day to look at your own business needs as well as factor in shooting. A perfect bespoke day molded to your needs. To see prices PLEASE CLICK HERE.

To see more info of our great courses out now on the training course page please click HERE, including FRANCE!

Here are a few images from recent courses & 1-1 sessions here at BHP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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Last week saw us at the wonderful venue of The Mansion in Leeds in the amazing setting of Roundhay Park. A huge thank you to all that made it there and for James Davies for writing up this brilliant blog post. So good I thought I would just link to it!!

http://www.jdaviesphotography.co.uk/latest-news/brett-harkness-photography-training-day-mansion-house/

Thanks to Lee for assisting on the day. Huge thank you to Zan Atkinson for her amazing styling and to Novakks Bridal Lounge for our gorgeous dresses. Of course to Emma & Nic for their modelling and for putting up with the cold so well! Also thank you to all the people at The Mansion for making us feel so welcome..

 

Here are some of the images that I shot on the training day but if you want to see what other people shot then take a look at James’s link above to read more about our great day of BHP training.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 comment
  • Adrian Harvey (11.27.2013 | 12:26)

    She's a very beautiful subject and it looked like a good day light-wise to capture these images. Great looking shots!

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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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Last month saw us visit the zoo for a days documentary photography. This tough day was a test for everyone with only 50mm lenses being allowed as our weapon of choice! Normally you would visit a zoo with a big zoom to get great shots of the animals but not today!

The point of today’s courses was to teach the photographers how to shoot documentary of the animals with only a short focal length lens.Looking at how to see, how to frame, how to use leading lines to take the viewer into the shot. About using extreme framing to draw the eye in and using techniques that allow you to document every day events with a style and look that can become your own. Using amongst other things exposure as a weapon when photographing scenes of very different & extreme exposures. I use all of these techniques in my every day shooting allowing me to use primes in all kind of situations.

Here are a few images from the days course. Our new Autumn courses are coming out on the website this week!

 

 

 

 

 

Looking how to fill a frame with important elements in order to take the viewers eye to the subject.

Using color and timing as an important element to the composition.

 

 

 

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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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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!!

 

 

 

1 comment
  • 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.

    Jabidul

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