Following on from Graham Currey’s studio portrait workshop during a club meeting earlier this year, Graham kindly offered us the opportunity to attend a natural light portrait day on 2nd.June. It was limited to ten photographers for a bargain price at various local locations.

Graham is a professional actor and a fine photographer. He has many excellent landscape and travel photographs on his Flickr site. He’s also very friendly and a great character with many different costumes. With his experience he fully understands the needs of the photographer and can naturally change from one pose to the next unprompted.

The day session started on a dull Sunday morning at Mow Cop but our spirits were bright. Graham was quickly transformed into a cowboy outfit and led us, without his horse, to a rocky outcrop near the folly where he readily posed. He carefully explained the best camera settings for portrait photography and suggested camera angles and compositions. Martin had thoughtfully brought a reflector which proved very effective at filling the dark shadows under the cow boys hat. Graham took the time to help members who needed some advice with their equipment and ensured everyone got some good photos.

Graham vanished to his car and reappeared as David Crockett! He found several natural suitable rocky locations overlooking Cheshire. Although there were ten of us photographing him at once, he would look at each of us in turn so we all got the eye contact shot. Things got creative when Graham got us to lay down for a creative low angle view of him leaning over us. The two hours we spent on Mow Cop flew by so we grabbed a sandwich before visiting a local churchyard.

This time Graham appeared as a ragged victorian. Using a novel as a prop he looked the part as he casually read the book whilst sitting by a tree. To make things more authentic Graham even rubbed some mud into his face. When we’d all taken our quota he strolled around for a different photo opportunity before resting on a door step. The lighting was dull so some members experimented using fill-in flash.

Not far from the church is the canal wharf with plenty of moored long boats. This was our final venue and offered us something different. Graham donned his peaky blinders outfit which suited the location. The owners of a barge kindly allowed Graham to pose on their barge for some fine portraits. Graham managed to avoid falling in which certainly would have been a photo opportunity.

Meg had thoughtfully brought some dice and cards with her as props and Graham posed with them on a bench with the barges in the background. He tested our reactions and skills by flicking the cards into the air for some fun shots.

It was then a case of rain stop play as it had been threatening to rain all day. Everyone agreed that Graham had been very professional, friendly and easy going. He kept everyone involved and accommodated us all. We all appreciated his creativity and thoughtfulness. We all got on well and helped each other. Graham suggested that we have another event and recommended some of this friends who he’ll put us in touch with. I’m sure we all learned a lot and got plenty of good photos and although we were all photographing the same person I’m sure the photographs will be different.

Carl has posted an summary of the day on this excellent website which can be seen by following this link. While you’re there check out his fine travel photos. Carl’s Sunday adventure

I’ll start a post on the CPS website where we can all share our images and you can put them on our Flickr site as well.