Observation and Design

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London Strobist Meetup – Tom Miles Photography Workshop

February 14th, 2010 @ 00:03 GMT by Richard Stowey

Strobist Workshop - Tom

On Saturday 6th of February I attended a photographic workshop organised through the London Strobist Meetup group on Flickr. This is the second event i’ve been to and from the pattern so far, the events are as broad and wide as you can want in a strobist photographic group. The workshop is an extra event in addition to the tour of universities throughout the country Tom Miles has been doing. Read on to find out more about the day.

The day began at 10am, kicking off with Tom Miles talking the group, of around 20 amatuer / semi-pro strobist photographers, through how he got into professional photography, who he works with, how he works and also how he gets his work. Tom’s photos are mainly editorial, focusing on sports and active subjects. Many of the attendees had some experience with strobist photography.

Shortly after talking through plenty of different work scenarios including problems encountered along the way, and giving the audience a better idea of how a pro works every day, we had our assignment handed to us.

We had to choose from five topics: Portrait of a Business Person, A Sports Shoe, Family Group, A Retail Park/Industrial Estate/Shopping Mall or The Hat. We then had 3 hours to go and shoot between 4 and 10 shots with our chosen subject. I chose Portrait of a Business Person, mainly to work on my skills in approaching strangers to take their photo.

So I wandered from Calumet Photo in Drummond Street, where the event was held, all the way down past the British Museum and onto Holborn, looking out for what I immediately thought of as a business person. As it turns out, this part of London has absolutely no men or women dressed in shirts and suits on a Saturday!!  So, with a little creative thinking, I expanded my search to include people who ran their own business.

Strobist Workshop - Ruaraidh

First stop was a flower shop, but they were a little too busy. Next stop was Ruaraidh Murray (pictured above) at Folk Clothing who although wasn’t a business person, he did work in a business. He was kind enough to pose for a couple of shots, also incorporating ‘The Hat’! He recommended that I go and pay Tom Bodaly a visit down at Oliver Spencer. Tom was running Oliver Spencer, and although pretty busy agreed to stop for a few shots (picture at the top).

As we had to have our photos in by 3pm, i had a bit of lunch, headed back and handed my photos in with an invoice. Overall there wasn’t much criticism, except a few points about watching items in the background intersecting people’s heads! Something to definitely watch out for in the future!

The other photos taken by the London Strobists were also pretty good, with plenty of people approaching random strangers and pushing their own personal boundaries.

All in all, a very interesting day. A big thank you to the two guys who posed for a few photos, as well as Tom Miles, Emma Taylor, David Robbins from Nikon, and the guys at London Strobist Meetup group on Flickr for arranging the whole event. Tom’s report card on the day is available here.