Tag Archives: photography farm

My Only Speaking Event of the Year: FarmShop 2017

farmshop-janneke-storm-1-instagram

From 2012 to 2015 I did a LOT of public speaking. And for someone who would actively avoid it at all costs while at school (even so much as faking illnesses – sorry mum!) this was no mean feat. I wouldn’t say I’m a natural public speaker, but when I stand up on stage, I do end up really loving it!

Although I still get incredibly nervous, I enjoy teaching. I love sharing what I’ve learnt over the years with other people. I like to be able to use my position (even though that phrase makes me cringe) to help other people make waves in their own lives and businesses.

Which is why I am thrilled to let you know what I will be speaking at the Photography Farm’s FarmShop in Brighton and Glasgow in March. I haven’t spoken at a wedding photography event since October 2015 and this is most likely going to be my only one for 2017 too!

So what is FarmShop?

For the past four years, the Photography Farm have hosted an annual ‘Farm Week’, offering individual classes for wedding photographers hosted on a real life farm in Sussex.

For 2017, they’ve decided to shake things up a bit with a much larger, conference style event (don’t let that word put you off, it’s going to be really fun, I promise!) where rather than booking into individual classes, attendees will be able to listen to every single speaker all for the one price.

It’s a super international event too, and if you come along you’ll be able to learn from Sara K Byrne (USA), Mark Pacura (UK) Todd Hunter McGaw (Australia), Jim Pollard (New Zealand), Janneke Storm (Australia), Lisa Jane (UK), Phil Chester (USA), James Frost (UK) and, of course, yours truly!

10608782_758632224199693_2433115764334234828_o

How is this event different from all the other photography workshops and conferences?

Let’s be real here – there are a lot of workshops for wedding photographers to spend their hard-earned cash on. Even as a non-photographer I’ve attended a lot of them (as a speaker and an attendee) and, as these things usually go, some are much better than others.

I have been to too many workshops where the speaker simply tells their story, with a few easily Googleable (is that a word?) lessons thrown into the mix. That’s all fine if you particularly love that speaker or you just want a few actionable pieces of advice to go home with, but what if you want to learn the real nuts and bolts of it all?

FarmShop will be different because the format is completely new. Instead of each speaker standing at the front on their own, lamenting about how they got started in wedding photography and telling the audience to ‘be authentic’ (or whatever buzz-phrase is popular right now!) the format has been set up so each speaker’s section seamlessly leads onto the next.

Each lesson will build on the next meaning we’ll be taking you through step-by-step with everything you need to know as a wedding photographer – from launching your business to branding to working with clients to marketing and beyond. Speakers will stay on stage to chip in on each other’s sections so not only will you get access to an enormous amount of experience, but you will be encouraged to take part, workshop style, not just sit and passively listen to the talks.

janneke-storm-workshop-image

Continue reading

Love is Blindness: A Dracula Bridal Shoot

Dracula's Bride // Love is Blindness

Like any good teenage goth, I grew up with a slight fascination with vampires. From Blade to The Lost, BoysFrom Dusk till Dawn to Interview with the Vampire… I even not-so-secretly loved the universally panned Queen of the Damned (well, the soundtrack was good!) So when photographer Lisa Devlin showed me the Dracula inspired bridal shoot that she created at the last Photography Farm workshop, I was super excited to share it!

Dracula's Bride // Love is Blindness

“The inspiration, just like all of the shoots at Photography Farm, was our models”, she told me. “When I met our couple, Shannon and Jack, we started thinking about creating a shoot that was a fresh take on the bride of Dracula. I have a copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula from the 1920s but as I’m not really into doing ‘themes shoots’, we really just wanted this to be the starting point. We also looked at the Twilight series of movies and the track Love is Blindness by Jack White.”

Dracula's Bride // Love is Blindness

Continue reading

“Rusalka” Styled Wedding Shoot

Rusalka-Styled-Shoot-Photography-Farm-Devlin-Photos-294

For the photo shoot at the latest Photography Farm workshop, photographer Lisa Devlin knew she needed to do something big. After all, at the last Farm Gareth and I got married again! After seeing Megan and Grant’s gorgeous wedding on Rock n Roll Bride, and reading how much Megan loves Disney (and just so happens to resemble a certain crimson haired mermaid) the ideas started bubbling away. She wanted to put a different twist on the mermaid idea though and eventually came across the story of Rusalka, from which The Little Mermaid movie was based. Luckily Megan and Grant also loved the idea and we’re thrilled to model for her!

Rusalka-Styled-Shoot-Photography-Farm-Devlin-Photos-353

“Our shoot was based on the Slavic Myth of Rusalkas”, Lisa told me, “Water spirits or mermaids with long red hair, who had to come into the woods for one week each year where they whiled away the time longing for the sea and hanging out by streams and rivers trying to lure young men into the water. Our slight twist is that our Rusalka falls in love with a boy in the woods and decides to stay so she has to make do with the bathtub!”

Rusalka-Styled-Shoot-Photography-Farm-Devlin-Photos-570

Continue reading

So, We Got Married… (Again!)

Rock n Roll Bride Wedding | Lisa Devlin

One of the questions I get asked over and over again is what would Gareth and I do differently if we were getting married today. Of course my answer is always “so much!”. Both of us have changed considerably over the last five and a half years and our styles and tastes couldn’t be more different to how they were back in 2008.

As many of you will have read last week, Lisa asked if we would model at the two year anniversary of her Photography Farm. During every workshop she organises a styled shoot for her students to practice what they’ve learnt, but more than just that, she always pushes herself and her team to come up with something creative that reflects the real-life couple who are modelling.

Rock n Roll Bride Wedding | Lisa DevlinRock n Roll Bride Wedding | Lisa Devlin

When we started chatting about the kind of shoot Gareth and I might have, we began by discussing the whole “how would you do your wedding differently?” question. And then Lisa had a brainwave. Photography workshops are supposed to be all about teaching aspiring wedding photographers how to book, shoot and process weddings, but they only ever give the students the chance to practice these things in an unnatural situation – i.e. a styled shoot. Sure, the couple might be real and the styling authentic, but getting the shot when you have two hours to work with the couple is a totally different beast to needing to nail it first time and getting creative within your ten minute allocated time-slot for couple portraits.

Rock n Roll Bride Wedding | Lisa Devlin

Continue reading

Summer of Love: Veronica & Craig at The Photography Farm

Summer of Love Shoot Photography Farm 379

Veronica and Craig are pretty much obsessed with their camper van, so when wedding photographer Lisa Devlin asked them if they’d like to model for her upcoming Photography Farm, a 3-day residential photography workshop in the heart of Sussex, they asked if it could get in on the action too! From there an idea started to form for the shoot and Lisa, alongside florist and stylist extraordinaire Hannah of The Tea Set, came up with the concept of a Summer of Love theme.

Summer of Love Shoot Photography Farm 163

“The weather was amazing for our shoot” explains Lisa. “These two have just had their second wedding anniversary and when we sent over some questions to get to know them a little better, they came back saying the only thing interesting about them was their VW Camper van. Well, we can certainly work with that and so our hippy flower power theme developed. When we do these shoots, I hand over the styling to the utterly brilliant Hannah at The Tea Set who not only creatively directs the shoot but also puts together all the gorgeous flowers. She collaborated with the wonderful Elbie Van Eeden on getting the right look for Ronnie and made the flower headpiece.”

Summer of Love Shoot Photography Farm 376

Continue reading

The Photography Farm & The Catastrophic Rise of the Styled Wedding Shoot

Photography Farm March 13 386

The Photography Farm is a three-day workshop for wedding photographers, hosted by Lisa Devlin on a beautiful 12-acre farm near Gatwick. I’ve been involved with The Farm since it’s inception, helping to style the shoots and speaking to the ‘farmers’ about blogging, working with wedding blogs, advertising & marketing and building a successful online brand.

I love The Farm. It’s quickly become my home away from home, a place I look forward to escaping to and somewhere I get to meet a whole host of new and exciting emerging wedding photography talent. I always leave the safe confines of the 16th century farmhouse with a head full of ideas, a new jolt of inspiration and a renewed invigoration for where the UK wedding industry is heading.

Photography Farm March 13 083

At each workshop, we pull together a styled shoot concept for the farmers to practice the techniques that Lisa teaches them on the first day. However never wanting to keep things simple, we always strive to come up with a creative idea to really get those farmers excited. For this latest shoot we had newlyweds Hannah & Iwan as our models.

There has been a huge shift in how the wedding industry views styled shoots. When I first started doing them (remember these?! – look at that baby face!) there was really no such concept. Styled wedding editorials were the reserve of glossy wedding magazines with their big budgets and large teams. But over the past few years there’s been a huge shift, and now hundreds of small groups of wedding suppliers are gathering together to showcase their skills and play with new themes, trends and ideas. They’re featured on wedding blogs daily and even the wedding magazines, for the most part, have cut down on the number of editorials they shoot, opting to instead publish the offerings of these eager-for-publicity contributors.

Photography Farm March 13 479

Continue reading