“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”
Anthony J. D’Angelo
I love this quote, it has always inspired me to make more of myself and I am a firm believer there will always be room to improve upon what you do and to learn something new.
For me I am my own worse critic, I am always striving to learn more, do more, improve more. Most of the things in my adult life, have been self taught or through some form of self study. However, there are some things you cannot teach yourself and there is no substitute for the benefit of someone else’s experience and knowledge. I have a ‘love-hate’ relationship with flash photography, technically I know how to use my speedlights and I have proven that but creatively… well, this is why I critique myself to the nth degree. Knowing I could improve but not really knowing how to go about it. So naturally as you do, I steered away from it and basked in the glory of natural light photography. I’m very comfortable with low light and no flash but I have that nagging feeling, there’s so much more I can do.
It is for this very reason that I booked myself onto a Winter Wedding Speedlight Course with Brett Harkness. I’m much more careful about the courses I book myself on these days, I have been ‘diddled’ in the past with ‘fauxtographers’ who teach and I have spent a lot of money, travelling and attending courses, where I have got very little out of them, if anything at all (hence the self teaching). I have been part of Brett Harkness Photography Training Facebook Group for a little while now, this is such a wonderful community, it’s fantastic to be able to be part of it and very beneficial for any photographer, regardless of your skill level. The reason I felt so comfortable booking on a course in Manchester, that eventually took me 4 hours to get to, was not just because Brett is a complete master of light and one of the top wedding photographers (what other reasons do you need!) but also because I invested in Brett’s Creative Flash DVD. I’ve learnt so much from this alone, it was this DVD that pushed me to start using my speedlights (which seems like forever ago now). I just knew when Brett advertised this course that it was one for me and I was not disappointed in any shape or form.
I was late…. traffic and accidents. On the day I didn’t want to be late and I didn’t want to miss a thing but thankfully I arrived as everyone else was finishing up their coffee. Being late just made me so nervous, I absolutely hate being late (this is why I left an hour and a half earlier than I needed to) but from the moment Kristie (Brett’s wife and partner in photography) opened the door, she made me feel completely at ease and the day just got better.
We started the day with a briefing session and a talk from Brett, covering specific points of flash photography and putting paid to some ‘flash/light myths’. I was already starting to buzz from the conversation and as much as I could have sat there looking at the images appearing on the screen (they are amazing… go check out Brett’s work if you don’t believe me…. Brett Harkness Photography) for the rest of the day, I was excited to be able to try out the things that Brett was talking us through.
If you want to know the finer details then you’ll have to book yourself on the course…. we spent the rest of the morning at St Lukes Church and then for the rest of the afternoon we were at Salford Quays.
This course was by far the best course I’ve attended to date. It was worth the travel and exceptional value for money. Brett as an instructor/teacher/mentor shines, he has a way of explaining things that make it very easy to grasp and then do for yourself. I also really like the way that he questions you, to get you to validate your understanding. It was a packed day but it was a really enjoyable day, one that I completely recommend and will continue to do so in the future (if you hadn’t of realised that already). I think you can tell I’m still on a high from the course even nearly 2 weeks after but I really did get a lot out of it, plus I met some really lovely people who also attended.
So for me this means I will never stop challenging myself, I will continue to develop and grow and mostly I will never stop learning.
I will leave you with the fruits of my learning, my images from the day, credits at the end.
Until next time.
A big thank you to Brett and Kristie for your hospitality on the day, for Brett and his assistant James for making it such a wonderful learning experience.
Workshop – Winter Wedding Speedlight Course
Models, Abbey and Scott from Nemesis Model Management,
Make Up and Styling – Zan Atkinson
Dresses – Novak Exclusive Bridal Lounge