Are You Afraid of the Dark?: A Belle Epoque Wedding Workshop with Jonny Draper Photography Training
As a wedding photographer, I have a very specific set of fears that are beyond my control: that the vicar/registrar/celebrant has very specific rules for me, that the weather won't cooperate and it will be impossible to even get the cute umbrella shots and that the ceremony room will be SO. DARK. and tricky to subtly light whilst staying unobtrusive (see above vicar fears). And the wedding industry is changing so much (in a good way!) in that weddings are now taking place year-round, not just in the super bright summer months, in unbelievable locations and to stay relevant and current it's my job to continue expanding the tools in my toolbelt. I want to be able to look at every lighting scenario and know that I'll be able to smash it simply because I continue to take the time to educate myself regularly and broaden my photography knowledge as often as I can.
So when my lovely mentor Jonny Draper announced his 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?' winter wedding photography workshop I was GUTTED when I missed my chance at one of the highly coveted spots. The workshop literally sold out in 5 minutes and even additional dates added sold out relatively immediately. My email checking skills clearly not what they used to be (and Jonny being the stand-up guy he his not giving into my entreaties for a bit of nepotism) it looked like I was going to miss out. So I was THRILLED when the night before the workshop, I got a last minute email from the man himself letting me know that a spot suddenly opened up and did I want to come? Obviously I didn't let the chance pass me by again and I instantly booked on.
I arrived at the beautiful Belle Epoque hotel in Knutsford (a venue I'm shooting a wedding at in February! Hey Zoe and Chris!) and as I walked into the Art Nouveau styled bar, I was greeted by a group of fellow photo nerds, all ready and willing to take in as much as we can from the master of dramatic lighting. Jonny appeared and took us upstairs to veritable moody winter wonderland with stunning florals by the amazing Sian at The Flower Lounge in Didsbury and after a brief equipment runthrough, introduced us to our gorgeous models for the evening: fellow photographer Danielle dressed to the nines in a gown and accessories from Love Bridal Boutique and her lovely partner Liam.
What followed was a whirlwind 2 hours of inspiring education, fast paced practical shooting and has resulted in the best low-light work I've ever produced. I am so grateful to all of the opportunities that have come my way over the past year but I'm the first to admit that I'm still constantly learning and evolving as a photographer. With workshops like this one and connections to other incredible wedding vendors, chances to utilise amazing spaces and really perfect my work, I'm so excited to see where I land next. Here is a selection of my final images from the day. Enjoy!