Ahhh, that post Thrive feeling! Utter exhaustion mixed with inspiration and a little sadness that it’s all over for another year.
It’s a lot of work behind the scenes to produce our annual conference and it’s an intense week, especially the two cities part. However, I always feel that it’s worth all the effort. I love to see the attendees make strong bonds with each other and leave us excited to start editing the images they created on the shoots.
One of my favourite elements is when pictures from our lovely attendees start showing up. I never want these shoots to feel like the Hunger Games for photographers, they are guided by our mentors so that the people taking part are given equal chances to shoot. They are also encouraged to push themselves outside of their usual comfort zones.
There are no clients to please so I see these as not just portfolio builders but as creative playtime. It is incredible to see what individual photographers produce in the same spaces as others, with the same couple and the same light. This part always amazes me.
I’ve chosen this image from Lottie Photography as the first winner (there will be more) for its joyous energy. Lilly Red very kindly travelled from her home in Lake Como to speak at Thrive and she certainly brought her Italian passion. Her groups had a lot of fun on her shoots and I love how she embraced one of Brighton’s most iconic landmarks – the pier.
Lottie has perfectly demonstrated that often your best shot is the last one you take, so always push just that little bit more.
Thanks to Aga at Pic-Time, we had a new section this year where attendees got to participate and take to the stage. Lottie really wowed all of us by talking about how my mentoring helped her to achieve some pretty big dreams including going full-time as a wedding photographer and finding herself a husband! I’m super proud of her and yes, I will be opening up the programme again soon.
What Lottie said…
“This shot comes from the latest THRIVE conference in Brighton; I was on Lilly’s final shoot of the afternoon. I wouldn’t say this is my usual style of shoot, but when I saw the mood board it looked too good to refuse, a fairground-themed bride & groom portrait session on Brighton Pier? Yes please!! Maybe this is something I want more of?! I was also interested to see how Lilly worked as I consider her style to be quite contrasting to mine and, as I have realised from these workshops, we can learn something from everyone and I was keen to see what I could absorb from Lilly’s knowledge & experience in the wedding industry.
I’ve been working a lot on myself as a photographer and the business (massive thanks to Lisa’s mentoring course, which I’m always plugging at any opportunity!) and over the last couple of years the biggest improvement I’ve seen is confidence. Confidence in myself, as a brand and as a business. I noticed this especially at Thrive this year, not being afraid to seize the moment and take more chances. I’ve noticed on my shoots I’m directing the couples more and in turn, achieving better results. When I think of how I was at previous workshops, I would be more worried about getting in someone’s shot and potentially holding back, but this time, I was constantly looking for the best position and background, grabbing any available spot I could. For this shot, I saw a gap at the front, I dived in and ducked down so I didn’t block the photographer’s view behind me and started snapping away as the couple walked towards us. The last shot was ‘the one’. It was the last set-up we were doing in this location before moving onto the next. Betty & Af were walking towards us, cheering, bouquet in the air, and just as they came to the end of this shot and started to relax, the movement of the ribbons became more visible and Af breaking into laughter was the icing on the cake.
Moral of the story: Seize every opportunity!
The Tech Talk
I love shooting on a low aperture. It’s rare for me to go above f2.8 now with couple shots, depending on what look I’m after. I just love how it really brings them to the forefront of the image.
I was shooting on burst mode, and this was the final shot, we were hyping the couple up and I got this one just as they were finishing their walk towards us. I’ll always continue taking pictures after asking a couple to do something, as it’s always when they think you’ve stopped taking photos that you really “see” them. So applied this to this shoot too.
I was also reminded of shooting burst mode on the morning shoot with Sam Docker in order to not miss little gems like this! So as I mentioned earlier, we learn something from everyone.”