Day Three – an afternoon of photography secrets By Alice Underhill

Alice - Underhill —  July 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

Wednesday afternoon proved to be packed full of valuable tips as we tapped into the knowledge and experience of those already working in the Creative Industry!   As the writers spent time with a freelance journalist, the creative team received a productive crash course in professional photography.

Our shot expert was Steve Gerrard (no not the footballer!)  Steve’s passion for all things photography was clear and this translated into his very unique and experimental photo collection, of which we had the chance to browse as Steve explained the idea and workings behind each image.

Steve’s photography career began in music where he conjured up ways of shooting moody members of metal hammer bands.  This alternative approach to capturing a moment or person soon made Steve the man you need to photograph creative weddings.  For which he produces a huge variety of inspired shots that wouldn’t perhaps please the mother of the bride, but certainly reflects every individual couple in a true, unique and exciting way.

Firstly and most importantly Steve told us not to follow the rules and get caught up in the swamp of posed and samey photographs.  You need to find your own vision!  Much of Steve’s work is chiefly people based and for this the most integral element is finding good light.  Natural is always best, but there are lots of clever ways of creating your own, like light painting with things that flash and quick exposure.  We learnt about everything from light boxes to flash guns.  Steve’s work proved that the right light can give skin a vigorous glow, create curious shapes with reflection or highlight the most integral part of an image.

Steve explained about his love for symmetry, unusual textures and detail.  This got us thinking about the endless backdrops and props we have around us every day and certainly made me look at my daily surroundings in a different light.

With people it’s all about capturing the eyes, they’ve got to be sharp and looking straight through the lens.  Steve told us that he often sneaks a shot when people aren’t looking and that he likes to distract his targets with conversation in order to get that natural smile.  Steve has a gold fish in his camera when working with small kids and endless photographs of little engaged and puzzled faces prove this technique works!

Armed with useful tips we headed out into the rather cloudy afternoon and had a go at taking some photographs ourselves.  Here are a few of the less embarrassing ones, not bad for an impromptu shoot!

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Alice - Underhill

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Originally from a small town in Mid-Wales, I am studying Visual Communication at Birmingham Institute of Art and design.

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