A year goes by so quickly – it hardly seems like 12 months since I was in Brighton helping to run the 2011 MyVision photo workshop – an annual event that gives professional wedding and portrait photographers a chance to flex their photographic muscles and try something different by documenting a local business or person.
This year the workshop was held in Guernsey – a blessing as we avoided the snow and freezing weather that’s gripped the rest of the country – and this time I was participating as a photographer rather than as a “backroom boy”.
Documenting ordinary life
The idea of the workshop is that each photographer goes out on day one to document their subject – but they can’t delete any mistakes, and each evening their shots from the day get critiqued by their fellow team members and team leaders. Then on day two we all go out and shoot again, and hopefully improve on the work of the day before. Having a group of your very talented peers see every frame you have shot is quite intimidating – but it’s also a great way to get new ideas, learn how other people shoot, and then go out on the second day and put that knowledge into practice.
I certainly felt I was shooting better images on day two – not that they were bad before, but I was spending more time trying different angles and looking for the definitive image, rather than just taking the first shot that came to mind.
My photo assignment – breakfast!
My assignment was to photograph John Carroll, the owner of the White Rock Café down by the ferry terminal in St Peter Port. John is a lovely bloke and he and his team made me very welcome – as did all the Guernsey islanders. A small café is quite a restrictive area to photograph in (and of course I was trying not to disrupt things too much and hold up the all-important delivery of fryups and bacon sandwiches to hungry customers!) but I enjoyed the challenge of finding interesting pictures within that small space.
On the third day, we all sat down and chose our best thirty images from the two days to make into a slideshow. I’ll post some these once I’ve had time to download them. In the meantime, you can see me at work at the Café on the MV Photographers blog.