On Tuesday I had just emerged from a muddy field in Eridge after a weekend camping when I had a call out of the blue from an old photo buddy of mine, Ben Roberts. Ben was due to run a photography workshop for the Photographers' Gallery this week but due to unforeseen circumstances could no longer make it. He wondered if I could step in at short notice and help out and luckily the Photographers' Gallery felt I was suitable and we agreed.
Running workshops for galleries and organisations is high on my list of priorities for the future so you can imagine I was very excited about the prospect of this, although a little nervous.
The workshop was on Street Portraiture, which luckily I have done a fair amount of so it seemed to be right up my street! It was a youth workshop for 16-18 year olds and most of whom had not done much if any street portraiture before.
Ben kindly provided some notes which I then expanded on and produced a slide show to present to the group. Showing some inspiring images from the beginnings of street portraiture by the likes of John Thomson (the photographer, not the Fast Show one!), August Sander, then John Deakin and then later went in to more contemporary photographers such as Alec Soth and Niall McDiarmid.
We concentrated on how to approach a stranger to make a street portrait and even had a little role play practice before heading out on to the streets of Soho. They were a little timid at first but when they started to get 1 or 2 images their confidence really grew. We did two shooting sessions which worked well as we could go back and review some before heading out to have another go and we definitely saw an improvement in the second session.
I'll be honest, I was blown away by the images that some of these guys produced. With their permission I'll see if I can upload a few of their images here for you to see.
Many thanks to Jai and the rest of the staff at The Photogrphers' Gallery for making me feel very welcome and making it an absolute pleasure to run the workshop. Also thanks to the students who were a really good bunch and have promising futures for sure.
Below are a few of the portraits I shot on the day.