Photography training at Chicheley Hall

Last Monday, I attended a photography training course with Brett Harkness at Chicheley Hall near Milton Keynes. I’ve admired Brett’s work for years, not just his wedding photography but also his travel work, and have wanted to do one of his courses for a while. In every way his work inspires me to do better…and travel further too!

Training is important for me as a photographer in order to keep learning and to push the boundaries to help me tell my clients’ stories. This course focused on natural lighting and off camera flash, equipment choices and posing. Brett typically only gets to spend 15-20 minutes with his wedding couples and showed us how he maximises the time he has to create the award wedding photography he is known for.

The first part of the day, Brett took us through a couple of weddings and some of his more popular images to give us some insight as to what he was looking for when he took the shot.

The rest of the day was spent shooting our model couple for the day, Tanya and Steve, in and outside Chicheley Hall, to put into practise our learning from the morning.

One side effect of the course I wasn’t expecting, was to fall back in love with my 50mm prime lens. It is a classic portrait lens and I have up until recently, mainly used it for street photography or first dance shots. Being a prime lens, it doesn’t move, so no zooming in and out from a distance, you have to physically move yourself and be in the moment which ultimately leads to a better connection with the subject you are shooting.

Brett has recently moved to shooting mainly with the 50mm and 35mm and challenged us all on the day to use mainly our 50mm lens. It allowed me to think about how I was composing my shots and to be aware more of what was on the periphery on the picture I was taking.

Here are a few images I took on the day.

Chicheley Hall

Bride with bouquet in black and white

Bride looking outside of the room window

Groom on the stairs

Bride holding veil

Bride and groom looking back into Chicheley Hall

Bride shot through wisteria

Bride and groom stood outside Chicheley Hall

Bride standing in alcove

Couple in front of green door

Bride with veil

Couple walking outside Chicheley Hall

Bride and groom stood in a field

Bride on chaise lounge

Many thanks to Brett and Richard for their patience and warm welcome, to Tanya and Steve, our fabulous models, my fellow students, as well as the team at Chicheley Hall for their hospitality throughout the day.

I’m off to practise some more and can’t wait to work some new techniques into my wedding photography this year.