About the mentor and workshop courses
Wedding photography courses and workshops. There are one or two around of course. I know you probably want to simply jump to the juicy stuff; what’s on offer and how much does it cost. But bear with me for just one moment, because I thought I should probably explain where I stand as wedding photographer and why I’m deciding to share what I’ve learned and continue to develop. Two minutes on the clock, one picture and five paragraphs.
Twelve years ago I took my first tentative steps into wedding photography. To say I’d always planned to pursue this path would certainly be disingenuous. I was still learning the ropes and had ‘accidentally’ managed to open a photographic studio funded from my weekday job in radio. I was just about turning pro, which, talking to many peers in the last decade can mean a variety of things. To me, it simply meant it had to pay the family mortgage and weekly Indian restaurant habit. Simple as.
A series of friends, three in total, asked me to photograph either their own or a family wedding. I recoiled initially at the thought; “Why would I possibly want to spend my valuable weekends at somebody else’s wedding event?” I didn’t feel born into the genre, nor did I hear some higher calling. But something most certainly clicked for me, quite literally.
Hold your finger down very hard on that fast-forward button and here I am, nearly 800 weddings later. Eight. Hundred. I sit in what is often referred to in wedding circles as the ‘congested mid market.’ I’ve learned a thing or two about how to start, survive and build a wedding photography business even during one World recession and all this talk about the Brexit effect.
I’ve photographed weddings for a multitude of faiths and cultures. I’ve travelled abroad to shoot, I’ve won awards on a local, national and international stage, for those who place silverware as a barometer of success. I’ve watched people melt, cry, grown men bawl uncontrollably, people laugh until they have literally fallen from their seats. And I’ve come to realise that being a wedding photographer and a wedding photojournalist in particular is a real photographic skillset and genre – one in which I play my part as ‘primary documentarian’. What I photograph is a life event. It’s one that can’t be replayed. It’s live. For the families and couples who commission me, they’re entrusting me to record their history. And that’s a pretty big deal I think. What I see when I photograph a wedding is encapsulated in this picture.
I made this photograph at a venue in Hampshire five years ago. Pertinently it says everything about being a wedding photographer to me. I show this picture in my portfolio and hang it high on easels at wedding shows because it is an image that continues to draw interest from people of all ages who comment that it reminds them of ‘x.’ It’s palpable and personal. It serves as a reminder to me why the most powerful of pictures I make, will nearly always be reactionary, a product of being able to read my subject and instinctively make a record of that moment.
SHOOTING WEDDINGS DOCUMENTARY STYLE
My documentary wedding workshop attracts photographers of varying skill levels including:
Advanced amateurs needing direction to launch a wedding photography business.
New photographers with experience of photographing weddings for friends or second shooting for an established pro.
Established photographers in alternative genres such as portrait work wishing to cross into weddings.
Traditional styled wedding photographers at a crossroads in their career, wanting to change direction to embrace a more candid reportage style and build a new style of customer base.
WHAT IS DOCUMENTARY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY? Choosing a reportage style and altering/starting your business to reflect this branded approach.
THE WEBSITE. The beginning, middle and end to how you pitch your style and personality. Bringing the right couples in from the cold so you may present.
A FULL CLIENT PITCH. A presentation from start to finish and alternative ways to show portfolios.
NEW MONEY AND OLD MONEY MARKETING. Approaching venues, starting afresh and web activity.
EXPOSE. A full run through of a wedding from a documentary approach, with the ‘half hour holiday’ concept of appeasing family desired formal pictures.
ALBUM DESIGN. Taking an old idea and making it new.
THE PHOTOFILM. The unusual and unexpected. A photographer’s introduction to sound, the kit and The Wedding Photofilm; a fusion of sound and stills presented as a short movie to couples.
This is a ‘classroom’ styled workshop with a maximum attendance of five, creating an environment from which to promote discussion and running questions. You are not required to bring camera equipment and attendees should have an understanding of their chosen kit.
This course is based in Berkshire, with good rail links to the capital close by. Address details can be found on the contact form below with a range of dates and availability.
Lunch is included.
The cost is £215+VAT and available dates are below.
ONE TO ONE MENTORING WORK DAYS: YOUR EVENT
Working one to one enables me to focus in bespoke fashion on elements of your business or workflow that requires important unique attention or skill training.
This opportunity is designed to build on all elements of the one day documentary course and if you have attended any of my workshops at the SWPP’s annual conference or London and Manchester wedding workshops, this mentoring day is also ideally positioned for you.
The nature of one to one mentoring facilitates a hands on practical approach to working with specialised equipment and software too.
The most popular request received is for Photofilm and Adobe Premiere training where a day breaks into the following segments.
INTRODUCTION TO THE PHOTOFILM: Dissecting a Wedding Photofilm into it’s constituent parts. How to build a film of still photographs, avoid the slideshow effect and create stills films that appeal.
SOUND KIT: How to capture audio efficiently and easily, transfer and master it ready for editing using sound software. Understanding the basics of professional sound recording and a thorough introduction to suitable kit for the purpose as a practical. The package used for sound editing is Adobe’s Audition which is part of the cloud licensing suite, though many of the principals learned can be easily adapted for other platforms and software alternatives.
UNDERSTANDING PREMIERE: How to create projects using Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017, software that is available to both Windows and Mac OS users. An understanding of how to create projects, where to store them, how to add media, edit media, interact with sound and master out for clients and/or social media channels. Making short films of stills and moving image.
The cost for this one to one training is £295+VAT for a half day or £355+VAT for a full day.
Dates are organised in bespoke fashion.
COURSE APPLICATION FORM, ADDRESS DIRECTIONS, HOTELS AND NEAREST RAIL LINKS
Free parking is available on site, all courses take place at:
Neale James Photography,
Berkshire RG19 4 QD
Closest train stations: Thatcham Station RG19 4PP (0.6 miles), Newbury Station RG14 5DG (4.1 miles)
Taxi companies: Go Green 01635 800990, Cabco 01635 33333, Broadway Cars 01635 847784
Recommended hotels: Best Western, Cox’s Lane, Bath Road, Midgham RG7 5UP (1.9 miles), The Swan, Station Rd, Newbury RG19 4QL (0.5 miles), Travelodge, 49 London Rd, Newbury RG14 1JN (3.9 miles), Premier Inn, Pinchington Lane, Newbury RG14 7HL (5.5 miles)