I’m on the final wind-down of FOTO-CLUB training courses and workshops. The last one-off workshop was a Fashion-themed workshop with the stunning Bethany Reynolds at my very own Strangetown Studio.
All that’s left now are these two 5-week courses which start at the very end of February and 1st of March. I’m happy to report that, like the final workshop, these look very likely to fill up (with only a couple of spaces remaining on each). And so after 14 years or so of these events, I’m looking forward to them… and dreading them in equal measure. The last class will be a sad day (well, evening) indeed.
But if you or someone you know fancies the first (and last) ever 5 week DSLR For Beginners or Advanced Photography course, I’d suggest that they sign up soon.
Please forgive a bit of self-indulgent nostalgia. One of the highlights of the year, in so many ways, was the second FOTO-CLUB Spain trip. Same villa, a couple of the same models and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t posted any of these here before. Funny how being snowed-in for two days makes you pine for Spanish sunshine. Here’s the stunning Lauren, who despite insisting she was not a model, turned out to be one of the best models I’ve ever worked with…
The recent “Strangetown Booster” shoot that I ran through FOTO-CLUB gave a small group of photographers the opportunity to photograph four models in my Strangetown Studio and around the Telsen building in which it’s based.
I was more than happy to have an excuse to bring back the gloriously beautiful Charlotte “Lottie” Locke for the event and as it was mid-summer, the light evening meant that we were able to use both natural window-light, studio flash, and ambient light (augmented with our own LED lighting) elsewhere in the building.
Always an utter delight to work with, Lottie managed to cover everything from classic high-key beauty to grungey urban rock-chick in a single evening. Note to self: Book her again soon!
The shoots we’ve done so far at Strangetown Studio have proved what a versatile and inspiring space the studio (and the Telsen building as a whole) can be. On Wednesday 28th June, we’ll once again be putting it to the test when the gorgeous Helen Gibson is the model for our first female “studio evening”.
I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. Helen is one of those models that I’ve been dying to work with and this is a great excuse. There are still spaces if you’d like to join us…
Images below courtesy of Joby Rawlins (left), plus two other photographers (name not supplied by Helen).
There are some shoot ideas that just hang around in your head for years and then one day, the opportunity arises to make them a reality. Such was the case with the forthcoming FOTO-CLUB “Gypsy Caravan Shoot With Ivory Flame“. Ever since I first worked with the wonderful Ivory Flame a few years ago, I’ve thought “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do a gypsy-themed shoot with Ivory Flame and a traditional horse-drawn gypsy caravan…”.
And then, as if by magic, when looking around the beautiful house and gardens that were to be used for the “Luxury House Fashion Shoot” a few months back, there, at the end of the huge garden… was an original, authentic gypsy caravan. Suddenly it fell into place and I quickly asked the owner if it would be possible to use it for a shoot.
There was only ever one model I wanted for this. Ivory Flame. The epitome of ethereal and natural “English Rose” beauty with a bucket of Pre-Raphaelite influence and a hint of Celt thrown in.
I look forward to posting the images here soon, but there are still spaces if you’d like to join us. The venue’s address will be revealed once you’ve booked but it is near Lapworth, Solihull.
I’m very proud to announce that I will be opening a second studio later in March which will be called Strangetown Studio and will provide an alternative shooting space for my bigger shoots (especially where more headroom is required) and workshops but will also be my first foray into studio hire since I left the Regent Parade Fotofilia premises a couple of years ago.
The studio is on the third floor of the wondrously industrial 1930’s Telsen building in Aston, Birmingham which is already home to several photography studios including River Studio, owned by my good friend, the top photographer Richard Battye.
Strangetown will be nowhere as big as some of the others but will provide hourly hires (minimum of 3 hours) for just £15/hour. It will feature everything you would expect of a professional photography studio but in addition, the building has a host of nicely grungy corridors, stairwells and old gated lifts that I’ve used for shoots in the past and can be used by Strangetown hirers too.
I was introduced to the building by Richard a couple of years ago when he moved in and I’ve been visiting regularly since as the band I play in – also called Telsen – have a rehearsal room there. Here are a couple of shots I took in the Telsen building about 18 months ago…
Savannah in the Telsen lift.
Ryan in one of the stairwells.
Ryan in one of the many corridors
I’ll post the website/booking details as soon as I have a moving-in date from the landlord (they’re sorting the electrics as I write).
I always look forward to my seasonal shoots for brilliant local designer “She by Sophie“. And there’s no better way to forget that it’s a cold February day in Birmingham than spending much of it photographing the beautiful Alex Shanks in Sophie’s swimwear collection.