Back in January, I took part in an Urban Flash Portrait Photography workshop run by Andrew Mason of 36exp. Although I nearly froze to death in Leake Street (the graffiti artwork tunnel below London’s Waterloo Station), I had a lot of fun, so when the opportunity to work with the award winning fashion photographer Rossella Vanon on another of Andrew’s workshops presented itself, I quickly signed up.
The workshop took place at Rossella’s recently opened Huddle Studios. It’s a lovely space to work in – plenty of room, white walls and a glass apex roof which helped fill the main area with diffused sunlight, and separate changing/styling area for the models. There were about eight people attending, plus two models, a stylist, hair and makeup and Rosella’s assistants – a really friendly bunch which helped relax anyone who found it all a bit nerve-wracking at first. Rossella herself is really lovely. She’s a great teacher and explains things clearly and with great enthusiasm for a style of photography she clearly loves.
We started out with a brief chat where we all introduced ourselves and said if there was anything we were particularly hoping to achieve during the workshop. Rosella spent a little time explaining how she got started in fashion photography before discussing the concept for the shoot and the choices that were being made about the makeup and lighting we were going to use. To keep things relatively simple for the workshop, we used a single Profoto D1 Air with a large, deep, silver umbrella, which when combined with the ‘slick’ look chosen for the makeup and hair, gave a slightly ‘harder’ edge to the light in our images.
Everyone got a chance to shoot with the models and we were all encouraged to be creative. However, Rosella was always close by to offer support and encouragement, or to supply some ideas when people ran out of inspiration. We shot three changes of outfit (one before our pizza lunch and two afterwards), the final change including an amazing red headpiece by The Season Hats. The day was completed with a really useful discussion about finding models and other resources, the difference between editorials and commercial fashion photography, and a demonstration in Photoshop of the typical workflow Rosella uses to edit one of her images.
All in all, it was a great day, really fun and an experience I’d love to repeat again sometime soon.
Models: Emelie Stenman & Jeannette
Style: Marina De Magalhaes
Makeup: Violet Zeng
Hair: Narad Kutowaroo
Assistance: Anuska Rose
Location: Huddle Studios
Top & Skirt – Shushu/Tong
Jacket – Renli Su
Scarf – Rae Feather
Headpiece – The Season Hats
Jacket: Stylist’s own
Workshop participants with Rossella (seated)…