It seems like forever since my last blog post, the workload at Mark Pearson Photography has been mental and I am now trying to play catch up. Our wedding season started early January and we haven’t stopped since, not that this Yorkshire wedding photographer is complaining of course!
Ongoing, continual training for a photographer is hugely important. Why?
Well, the reasons are many but for me the most important one is for my clients. I want them to know that I never rest on my laurels, I never sit back and think “I know it all”. Technology changes, styles change and to make sure I am as up to date as I can possibly be, training is the answer. I want to go that extra step for my Bride and Grooms and really rock their wedding day in the best possible way. I want to improve the quality of the photography that Bride and Grooms rave about and venues recommend.
I want to be able to produce imagery this year that is better than what I produced last year. As each year goes by, I want to improve as a photographer thus providing the best possible service as a Yorkshire wedding photographer to my clients. Each year I want to go that one step further than I did the year before.
Unfortunately, quality, effective training is both very scarce and very expensive so imagine my delight when I found out that long term friend and Mentor Paul Haley had a space on his annual Buxton Training in March of this year.
Paul Haley FMPA is one of the UK’s leading photography trainers and he runs a 4 day residential course in Buxton every year. Normally held in March, places are snapped up the minute they are advertised and I was hugely surprised to find that I managed to get one of them this year after missing out last year.
So what is Buxton?
Take four of the top photography trainers in the UK, Paul Haley from Phototraining by PRGH ( http://www.prgh.co.uk/ ), Richie Crossley from Chic Productions ( http://www.chicproduction.com/ ), Sean McCormack from Sean McCormack Photography ( http://www.seanmcfoto.com/ ) and Julie Oswin from Julie Oswin Photography ( http://www.contemporaryimaging.co.uk/ ), three gorgeous models, 30 photographers and stick them in a mansion house in the middle of the Peak District for a week!
It is full on, nonstop photographic excellence and brain drain!!!
I spend a lot of time training other photographers, both on a 1-2-1 basis and at events, shows and Master Photographer Association meetings around the UK (in fact I have been invited to the Buxton October 2011 event as a trainer on business – see below) and one of the questions I get asked is “Where do you go for your training”. All the photographers know that I do it but very few know where the trainer goes to get trained. Buxton is just one of the places I go to for inspiration and I have to admit, is one of the best.
4 days and nights in secluded photography heaven, quality trainers and models who all know their stuff, a fantastic group of like minded photographers all wanting to improve – it simply doesn’t get any better if you are looking to improve the quality of your photography and business skills. We shot all day then we talked photography, we discussed Lightroom, we nattered about albums, we looked at suppliers long, long into the night (or early morning as it really was!)
The best bit for me was the structure of the whole week. Nothing was fixed which meant that we could go off on a tangent if we needed to as everyone’s level of skill was different. This wasn’t a week of very boring, sit in a classroom, losing the will to live type of training – this was camera in hand, exciting, inspirational, never knowing what was round the next corner type of training – exactly as it should be!
To say I came back even more motivated and thoroughly inspired is an understatement. I can only put this down to the trainers, Paul, Richie, Julie and Sean, our gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous models, Lilly, Maria and Faye and of course the other guys and gals who attended and made the week what it was. To each and every one of you, THANK YOU – If I don’t see you at Buxton October 2011, I’ll see you at Buxton March 2012!
For anyone looking at some of the most cost effective, quality and affordable photography training in the UK, take a look at Paul Haley’s web site for the Buxton October 2011 details. Amazing price, a great line up of trainers for the week, and I’ll be there lecturing to help photographers on the business side of things.
Paul’s website can be seen at: http://www.prgh.co.uk/2011.html
IMPORTANT: At the time of writing this post, the October dates have been in the public domain for a while. Places are EXTREMELY limited and if you contact Paul and find there is a slot still free – grab it with both hands – it will get fully booked VERY quickly!!!
Below are a few of my favourite images taken during the week. Please note these images are NOT from a real wedding, they are from a training event.
And just to prove it wasn’t all work, work, work, the last few images of the slideshow below are something different!
Before you see them I best explain!!!!
Both myself and the team members at Mark Pearson Photography always like to give something back. Things like Help For Heroes and Cancer Research UK are just two of the charities that are very close to our hearts. So when the opportunity arose for myself, Paul and Mac to do something a little wacky and raise some much needed funds for Cancer Research UK, we jumped at the chance. Paul came up with this idea to give the models some time off and for us to be the models for a couple of hours, so all three of us got in the wedding dresses the models had used all through the week for a perfect photo opportunity for the rest of the photographers on the course. To each and every one of you, thanks for your donations to the Race for Life which Mary (my wife) and Jan (Paul’s girlfriend) are both running next month and I hope you have all now fully recovered from seeing, and photographing, three hairy photographers in wedding dresses!!!!
A big THANK YOU to Paul and Mac for being such good sports – I still laugh at the images now and remember how much we laughed doing this!
I’ll let the images speak for themselves!!!!!