I know I said in January, I had no resolutions. It’s pure coincidence that I started
project 365 failed week 1, a 52 lists project quit and that was that. Don’t even talk to me about losing 28 stone in a year either because I just had a bacon sandwich. But, i’ve noticed a change in me this year, resolution or not there is a change. I hope it’s for the better. Since 2014 I have been working at my photography, plugging away, literally in my own little world, oblivious to anything and only really looking at my own images and trying to be better than the last one and the last one before that. I messaged a couple of local/ish photographers in my naive, everyone’s going to be positive, overly honest, awestruck way (i’m still like that btw) and managed to forge a referral friendship with one great photographer also. It was fine like that.. Then in March JD happened and my eyes were opened to the inspiring and crazy world of other photographers.
I met people, some now friends and they inspired me, they gave me butterflies with new ideas, they helped me learn about other photographers..seriously- leading names in this industry that mostly until last month I never knew existed- not because I am ignorant, (promise) but because I just never looked. Never joined groups, never posted in a public forum, if I was in one, the notifications would have been off, I never did anything to network, I just did my job. I am marginally glad because to be quite frank I don’t think I would have stuck at it had I seen the skill around me and it’s in my nature to compare myself to seasoned professionals, just because I like torture. There was lots of swearing over the coming months but I will spare you the details. “OH MY DAYS she is awesome, why are they so cool, they sound cool, I bet they are cool, What the hell is this trickery, how does he do THAT, whats that blur thing? Who is DOF? Is the sky really just like Nebraska in Liverpool? Let’s just say the last 8 weeks have been a spiral of excitement, hard work, big changes and also a dash of healthy panic.
I noticed that from March I began investing in myself. I have never had any issues with spending money on my boys or the bills. Yet I have always shied away from spending on myself (with the exception of lush bath bombs and tattoos), this isn’t “spending on myself” this is investment. I am investing in myself and my passion that provides for my family, giving myself the tools and experiences to do my job better. To grow and learn, to experiment, to push my ever present social limits.
I did all the boring to read stuff like joining groups, ‘liking’ photographers’ pages, messaging in the exact same naive, positive, overly honest, awestruck way, again. I cannot count how many groups, forums, pages I have joined. And I am learning, I am applying what I read (I lurk and read more than I say, if i’ve pressed enter on a comment that is not my family or friends’ personal Facebook you can bet your last pound I was shitting myself every time-not literally) The more I do it the harder it gets actually. But I am doing it and I am trying. I met up, in person with a photographer that probably didn’t like me much 2 years ago and now we speak often and have begun making plans! I also booked myself onto some amazing learning experiences for the course of 2016 and my first started with The Red Shoe Workshop.
If you are local to me, chances are you have heard of Red Shoe, or know a lady that has experienced it. It’s a luxury makeover session with Make up artist Mandy Rigby, who will not only relax you and give you coffee/tea but is so good at what she does (make up and hair) followed by a personal photography session with Sarah Sadler at her Red Shoe studio. It’s white, airy and has the best windows for natural light. Sarah tells your unique story through images, while you tell it through experience and words.
We all know descriptions aren’t my forte so read more about Red Shoe here.
I saw not long ago that Sarah (someone I had actually known existed, admired and probably messaged a year or so ago knowing me) was holding Red Shoe workshops. I didn’t have the guts to sign up for the first couple, so I signed up to the mailing list and found myself booking the third. While I haven’t yet shot ladies in this way with Love Luella, it’s always been something I have wanted to do and to have the information, knowledge and practice at doing so means I can now do it with more confidence. So lady friends of mine, come to my house so I can shoot you in natural light, sounds sinister haha!
I can also apply many aspects of the workshop to couples and weddings. The workshop itself is for photographers, knowledge of your camera is essential. The realisation that in order to create beautiful imagery you don’t need a lot of space was a big one for me. The workshop was really fun, insightful and honest which are also words I would use to sum up Sarah. I won’t spoil it for everyone but it’s bloody good and worth the investment.
I met a good group of people aka photographers at the workshop, some I hadn’t met but now follow and admire, some were pretty local so I had seen their names crop up on social media- to put faces and personalities to the names was lovely and they far surpassed my expectations. After attending you get to be a member of this lovely community on Facebook- which if I am honest is the place I am posting the most at the moment. (If I can do it, you can too!)
On the day I took far too many images, I used my 5 minute shoot time with Vickie our beautiful model for the day but couldn’t resist clicking away in between..
I hid away at the back of the group until about second from last and then it was my turn to have a go. The first image above I edited the same day, yet when finishing my images last night (there is over 20 but I’ve added 3) I felt like my editing wasn’t representing my vision, as I detailed in my storytelling blog post I can feel my natural style is just finding it’s way so last night I created my own colour palette from scratch, which I love. (Today anyway!)
If you are a photographer reading this, debating whether or not to invest in yourself- do it, you can only grow and learn more about the strangely named person called DOF.
- All images taken by Love Luella Photography||Tash Evans-Jones on the Red Shoe Workshop.