London Photography Workshop (Leica Workshop)(Client from the US!)
Write up for one of my London Photography Workshops (Leica Workshop) to give more detail as to what is included + plans for a download
Leica photography workshops
If you have searched around on my MrLeica blog pages you may have seen that I teach Leica photography workshops. My photography tuition is not limited just to Leica cameras but that is what is requested the most. I don’t post a write-up after each photography workshop as the day(s) often follow a similar plan for each client/ student. In the UK I run London photography workshops but overseas I teach where ever I’m invited.
Overseas photographers that book me for photography tuition
I’ve decided to document a Leica photography workshop that I ran earlier this year as it was a bit different to the norm. Clients (photographers) visit me for my photography tuition from all parts of the world and as far as Alaska. Often these people are travelling on business and arrange to meet me for a day while passing through the UK. This eventually became the assumed norm for any overseas photographers requesting one of my 1-2-1 photography workshop.
Client flew in from Boulder, Colorado (America)
Following a chain of emails back and forth, in April this year Shaun flew into London from Boulder, Colorado (USA). After approximately a 10 hour flight Shaun landed into the city and I arrived to London to meet him. He had booked me for my usual 6 hour 1-2-1 photography workshop so it was time for us get started!
*MrLeica Photography Workshop Cost?
Here is a map of Shaun’s travel to the UK!
Meet and greet – time to grab a coffee!
Once Shaun and I met we sat down with a coffee and got chatting. It soon came to light that Shaun had flown in to the UK just for 2 days and wasn’t here on business. I was a little surprised! There must be other guys with a Leica camera in the US that offer a similar photography workshop experience I thought? Shaun said he liked my work and followed my blog and that was the reason for his trip.
Shaun had requested in advance (via email) that he was interested in a model photography workshop specifically and using mostly natural light. I rallied around before the day arrived and organised 2 models for us, one for the morning, one for the afternoon.
Photography workshop model #1 – Valerie
For the morning session we met up with fellow American Valerie who I had first worked with in Florida. (I had flown to Florida for a few days to photograph a Leica wedding (a fellow Leica photographer’s wedding no less who found me on DPreview if I remember correctly!) Val was now living in the UK and was keen for some new photos so met us in London. I can’t remember exactly but I think we photographed 2-3 clothes changes with Val shot in a few different locations. This allowed us to use different backdrops and different types/ qualities of available light.
In addition to my usual digital Leica camera I also took a few other film cameras. I had my Intrepid 4×5 large format camera (made of wood)(I still need to finish this camera write-up, sorry!) with me so I shot a few frames on that and even some Fuji Instax photos (making the most of the blue skies we had.
Lunch – Time to compare notes / images!
During a workshop we normally stop for something to eat roughly half way though the day and I try to answer any questions a client may have. Shaun also had a digital Leica M camera so we were able to compare photos on the camera LCD displays. I was using my Leica M240 at that time so explained how I see photos and why I chose my compositions etc.
Photography workshop model #2 – Miriam
For the afternoon shoot we met with Ukrainian model Miriam that I found on Instagram. We had not worked together until now but had spoken online before the day. As with the morning session we photographed a few different clothes changes and worked with a range of lighting conditions.
Workshops are always fun!
Shaun and I were lucky to have both Val and Miriam join us for the workshop. Everyone seemed to get along really well and it was an enjoyable day for all involved (I think!?). Shaun felt like a good friend that I’d known for ages after a mere 6 hours of working together! It was a bit sad when it was time for everyone to go their separate ways at the end of the day. Great people with the common goal of having fun and creating the best possible images!
Thanks to Shaun for being crazy enough to fly all the way to London just to have a photography workshop with me. I hope it was worth it Shaun if you are reading this! Great to meet you! Thanks to Val and Miriam too for modelling!
London photography workshop – An insight into my Leica photography tuition
General plan for the day
My London photography workshop days usually follow general similar plan yet each day is 100% tailored to the photographer I am teaching. The beauty of 1-2-1 photography tuition and the reason why I stopped teaching group sessions is I can give one person my 100% attention. I found it more difficult when teaching a mixed group when everyone had varying degrees of experience and knowledge. For my 1-2-1 photography tuition I recommend that clients prepare a list of questions to ask me (mentally or written!) in advance. The day itself then works like a Q&A session where I try to share all I’ve learnt with regards to their topic(s) of interest.
Photography workshop days are broken up with coffee shop stops so there is always plenty of time to ask questions and compare cameras/ lenses etc. I’m quite fortunate in that I have collected quite a number of Leica M mount lenses since starting to use Leica cameras. If a photographer is looking to buy a particular camera lens or focal length I bring the lens with me for them to try for the day (if I have it).
Doesn’t need to be Leica
Although I use Leica cameras for my digital photography and some of my film photography it is not a must that clients bring a Leica camera to a workshop. Often there might be a dotted line to Leica such as a Sony photographer than uses Leica lenses via an adapter or a Nikon digital photographer that also owns an old Leica M3 film camera and so on. I normally bring both Leica and non-Leica cameras to workshops if a client wants to see a Hasselblad in action or some 4×5 photography for example.
Available light or Artificial light?
Some photographers would like to learn how to work with available light and others want to learn how to master a speedlight (or experiment with the basics). Most of my own photography is portraiture or “model photography” as I often write in my blogs. Generally photographers approach me to learn how to use light for portraiture but I have taught street photography and other genre also. I explain how I see light and why I would choose to photograph in a certain location.
If the client would like to learn how to light a portrait I try to get one (or occasionally two) models to join us for part of the day. Some photographers may be a master at nature photography or landscape photography and have all the best gear yet have never experimented with photographing people (other than perhaps fun shots of friends and family). I let the client see how I work with a model then switch over so they get to direct the posing if they would like to.
Start building your portfolio
For anyone looking to get into portraits or photographing models the workshop can work well towards capturing some professional looking images to start building your portfolio. (When you first start out as a photographer and are looking to collaborate with a model having some portfolio images is a must. The model(s) will want to see example photos before committing their free time to test with you).
Photographers often ask how I edit my photos. During the workshop I share my thoughts on editing photos (Lightroom, my MrLeica Lightroom Presets and Photoshop) and how to get the best from different Leica cameras. (I also talk about my film developing for those shooting film).
Not everyone is able to travel to me (or fly me out to teach them)
Not everyone is able to travel for one of my Leica photography workshops or can to fly me out to them. I have been fortunate enough to be flown to New York (twice)(NYC1, NYC2), Zürich (twice)(Zurich1, Zurich2) and Amsterdam in the past to teach. Thank you if you are reading this! Amazing experiences that I never thought I would be doing, especially the NYC and Zürich trips that were all multiple day workshops! Meeting in London for a photography workshop is probably the cheapest way to have photography tuition with me. You also get to see the city while you are in the UK and London is easily accessible from most places .
That said it is not always financially possible.
Mr Leica photography workshop download!
With the above problem in mind, and with some people not able to meet me face to face for a workshop I am considering documenting a Mr Leica photography workshop (in writing and with photos)(behind the scenes and resulting photos from the workshops). It would be a very detailed document that might take me 3-6 months to write (on and off). My aim would be to try to capture everything I can from a workshop day excluding the face to face interaction.
If this is something that might interest you I would love to gauge the potential uptake to understand if it is worth me taking on the mammoth task of writing it up! If you think it could benefit you a short email or comment with your thoughts would be gratefully received. You can also include any content requests you might like and I can do my best to please.
Waste of money?
My idea is if you purchase the downloadable Mr Leica Photography workshop document (price still to be determined) and then you later book a 1-2-1 workshop with me (face to face) I will give you a discount from the workshop cost. That way it will be like buying the download for a much cheaper price.
Faceless download only offers half the experience?
I appreciate most photographers want to attend a photography workshop to work face to face with a model or see me working face to face with a model. This download file is aimed to fill the gap for anyone that can’t attend a workshop yet wants in on some of the Mr Leica “tips and tricks”. For anyone that later does what to travel for a workshop I hoped the discount mentioned above will help avoid the thought of paying out twice for essentially the same “experience”.
Sorry for the recent slow down in new blog posts. I have increased my triathlon training quite a bit in the last few weeks so I’m going to bed earlier (not a bad thing!) and up early. (For anyone interested I’m enjoying my running at the moment so building up the weekly mileage)(32 miles this week + swimming & cycling).
I have a lot of film in the fridge still to develop, colour and B&W, the Epson V800 scanner has developed a hardware fault so I can’t scan colour and am organising another model trip overseas this side of Christmas. At least I’m never bored I guess!
Thanks for reading (and let me know if you ever want to book a workshop!)