Posted by Claire Wade
At the club we do have our own set of studio lights which we use during club nights, sometimes with models. Some club members own sets of lights and also bring them in so that we can have more than one set up. But with so many members at the club, it’s hard for us all to get good shots in one night. Also with us all trying to shoot at the same time, we do get in each other’s way and it’s hard to get the results you want.
So Richard Amor Allan has kindly organised smaller group studio sessions, so that we could each learn more and experiment with lighting. The plan being that he was allowed to use a studio at Staffs University and keep the group to just six plus him.
The first session was held on Saturday 8th February at 10 am. Richard started by giving us a powerpoint demonstration with diagrams of lighting set ups and the resulting images. He also had brought in a shed load of jaffa cakes, water and capri sun – we were ready!
Some of the six had come prepared with ideas on lighting with photos and set ups downloaded from the web, others (including me!) just came.
We started off by setting up the lights, most of us feel more comfortable doing this after previous lessons with Richard, but he’s still there to give help and advice if we were struggling. Initially, we started a basic few shots of each other and looking at the results.
The plan was that we each would be the photographer, directing the others to move the lights around or to be models. At first, none of us really knew what to suggest, but as we started to see what each other had done and look at the results on the back of the cameras, we all became more confident at suggesting ideas.
We used a red sofa as a prop, surrounding it with black cloth so that the floor could not be seen. We were not just looking at the subject, but what else could be seen in the background, making sure it wasn’t cluttered with spare lights, furniture etc. At the university, there are massive curtains, so we didn’t have to worry about the back drop.
We also had the use of a ladder/scaffolding contraption on wheels that meant we could climb up it and shoot from above.
Other ideas included shooting through cloth and using coloured filters.
Richard had thought that we would get bored after a couple of hours but in fact we were there until almost 3pm (when Richard had a model coming in for a shoot and we needed to stop so he could work!).
All in all, a great day was had. I know I speak for all of us when I say we had an excellent time, it was educational but we also had a good laugh! I think I’ve come out of it with some interesting shots, I also feel inspired to do more studio photography and get more creative with my lighting.
Richard plans to do more sessions like this if there is the interest. I can say for sure that there will be interest as everyone who partook this time wants to do it again! I totally recomend to all club members to take Richard up on this offer, because even if you think you are not that interested in studio photography, I reckon you will be after this and you will have fun and jaffa cakes too.
Richard will be emailing all club members regarding his next planned shoot and it’s down to first come first served, but don’t worry if you are not in the next session, there will be more! If you don’t use emails much, Richard will also make announcments at the club.
I know I speak for everyone on Saturday when I say a big massive thank you to Richard for organising this and giving up the best part of his Saturday to teach us.
So check out below some of the photos we took!