Chris Conway is a photographer who’s work I’ve followed for about a year, I like his use of light, it seems intuitive to the image rather than formulated and regimented and it’s a different way of working to what I’ve done in the past. He’s based in Plymouth but I have always kept a close eye on the workshops he runs in the hope that he may venture up north a bit. When I saw him running a workshop at The Windmill Art Studio in Cambridge, I signed up straight away.
Chris was working with model Amie-Jayne Boulton and thanks to them both this was a thoroughly enjoyable group shoot. Chris set up 4 different shots around the grounds of the Windmill Art Studio, largely centered around the old swimming pool. To be fair it was raining outdoors, so it was pretty much the only option as it was covered.
It was interesting to see how Chris goes about setting up his lighting for the shots, whilst there are patterns in how he does it, you can also see that he is adapting the lighting to the situation rather than forcing certain lighting setups. I learn’t a lot just watching and generally chatting throughout the afternoon whilst people were shooting.
He runs these workshops with a time limit to shoot per setup, which I believe was 3 minutes. I like this because with 6 photographers attending it does keep the afternoon moving swiftly rather than one photographer holding up proceedings by taking too long to shoot with the model.
The downside to the format is that it’s only 3 minutes and I found myself rushing at times when I’d normally have thought about the composition and worked with the model to get the shot I wanted more. It’s a format that strips away creativity (you really are just shooting what is in Chris’s head), but at the same time, for £60.00 I came away with some cracking images and some different ideas on how to light models and that is a win in my eyes.
As a footnote, Amie is a great model, really friendly and poses with ease, I’d certainly recommend working with her too.