Archive for February, 2011


Barrett and Coe Seminar 2

Yesterday was the second of my seven training days with Barrett & Coe, and, although it was a long day, it was worthwhile.  It was an early start to get to Ware by nine o’clock, but I didn’t have as early as a start as some.  The first part of the day was a visit to the studio of award winning photographer David MacDonald.  I thought his studio was on the High Street, but actually it was an old workshop down a side alley off the High Street.  The High Street site is just a shop window to promote his art (good idea, no. 1 filed away for reference).  In his workshop of approximately 2,000 square feet he has a reception area, decorated with all his diplomas and awards, then 2 studios and two viewing rooms, some storage and a workshop for editing, mounting and framing.  The studios aren’t that big, but are functional working areas, with one wall set up for highlight photography, the opposite wall is patterned, and he has a small black background area.  There are some rolls of coloured paper for those  customers that request it.  The floor is plain hardwood, no cyc background here.  The viewing rooms were much more tidy and homely than the studios.  I picked up some good ideas from that, and Dave was a really nice friendly guy, who didn’t mind sharing his knowledge at all.

Then it was back to the hotel for more photography practice.  First we repeated some the previous seminars work; a single sitter, and a pair of sitters.  It was good to go over the same stuff again, just to drill it into my brain!

Then we got onto the harder stuff – first, a three some.  This was reasonably straight forward – start with a pair then insert your third sitter to make a pleasing triangle shape.

Then it got harder, a group of four sitters, then eight or more sitters.  In the afternoon we did a large group that must have been about 18 people.

Again, we got sent away with some home work, to re-inforce the points we have learned; so I have to take portraits of groups of 3,4, 6 & 8 people.  I will have to think up another plan of taking these large a groups, as I have never seen 8 people walking up my High Street together before.  Sounds like a good excuse to go to the pub!  To find some sitters of course!


Last week was not a good week for me

I learned two lots of bad news last week; firstly, my step grand mother had passed away.  We weren’t close, but family members passings always seem to be a reminder of our own mortality.  I supposed what hit me most was that she was younger than my mother, yes, my grandfather was a character.

The second piece of news related to another close family member wo had been diagnosed with cancer, fortunately it was caught at an early stage, so the prognosis is hopeful.

This week finds me in Duisburg in Germany.  Duisburg is famous for, well nothing really – its just another German industrial city, but the week has started well, so I am feeling rather good about work anyway.



Spencer - my first sitter

So, I had just finished setting up my impromptu studio in the car park, when I spotted Spencer heading back from buying his Sunday newspaper.  I tried out my sales talk on him, and lead him to the chair where I wanted him to sit.  I think he was slightly bemused by the whole experience; but, well done Spencer, you were my first sitter!