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  • Grace Williamson

Broughton Castle & Portfolio Day

In June, I traveled down to Aylesbury to take part in a portfolio course by


On my way down, I stopped at Broughton Castle near Banbury. You know I like castles! That day, for ten minutes it was glorious sunshine, then the next ten minutes it was pouring rain. Instead of taking my camera and risking it being damages, I just used my phone. I have a Huawei something-or-other and the camera on it is great!

After, I headed to the Travelodge in Aylesbury, and didn't really do much for the evening.

On Monday 17th, I was up and raring to go! I arrived at

at around 10:00-10:15, and was quite nervous. I've never liked walking into places alone. A few other photographers arrived around the same time and were milling around, and I spoke to one of the people running the course. I went inside and there were around 30 people of all ages. It was great! Most people had Canons, Nikons, Fujifilms, and a few Sonys. My little Olympus cameras looked tiny in comparison!

Anyway, we were split into 3 groups of 7, and my group went with the bride and bridesmaid models into a bedroom. This venue is clearly designed for weddings. The window was huge, there was a gigantic mirror on one wall, and the room was spacious. The trainer posed the bride by the window to show the sort of soft directional light you can achieve, and we took it in turns to have a go. I'm really pleased with how mine came out.

Next, the bride and bridesmaids were posed together as though getting ready, and putting makeup on. At one point I was going to have my go, but one of the other photographers has just swapped his lens so I let him go first, and in the meantime I got a really good shot!

In my turn, I used the window light and had the bride with her bridesmaids. Then, we moved to posing in the hallway, and got some dress and shoes photos.

After these, we went outside and took a few group photos, and a few details of the mock up of a reception room.

I love the lighting of the indoor ones with the big window, and the outside posed ones are simple and classic, but while they all came out well I don't quite think they are my style. I go for more documentary style, with a bit of posed group photos, so these very posed looking ones are too much. I know I can do posed, and I may well get clients happy to pose, so it's good for me to do this.

The second session for my group was with one of the bride and groom couples at the back of the house. This trainer gave us more criticism and tips for our photographs.

Again, nice simple posed moments. But they are not natural. My favourite ones are of them walking as I can easily get a bride and groom to do that. The silhouette one took a bit of time to set up, and I can't imagine asking a bride and groom to stand there waiting for me to do it. But that's just because of my style - now I have these, I can practise more and get used to it.

The final session was a different bride and groom at the front of the house. They walked up and down the drive, and posed by the car.

I really enjoyed these ones as them walking was again natural, and the posing was just simple. In the drive, they stood in a patch of sunlight so the background was darker, and it really made them pop. It was a great day lighting-wise as it was bright and warm but overcast so not harsh.

This is one of my favourites of the day with the light: (shame he looks like he blinked!)

Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day. By the end of it, I was tired out but so elated. I have not felt so inspired for quite a while, and I really hope to get some new bookings and try out what I have learned. I feel much more confident with myself now.

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