Portraits from the Sheffield Shootout with Shelley Richmond
Since meeting Shelley at Rosie & Alex’s Wonderland Workshop last year, I’ve been following her work online (whilst drooling over pictures of her dreamy white studio space) and have loved seeing all the things she’s been creating. When I saw that she was running a free photography event just after I arrived back in the UK, I thought it would be silly not to go! So I jumped in my car, tootled on up to Sheffield and arrived at Light Space Collective, where I was greeted with a cup of tea and a room filled with creative people all preparing for an afternoon of shooting in various locations around the city centre. Here are some of my favourite photos from the day.
Event & Styling: Shelley Richmond
Models: Sofia Vago, Alice Sweeney, Tia Lydon & Jenny Durant
MUA: Jenn Edwards & Izzy Grace-Rose Lindley
Hair: Gypsy Rose Salon
Flowers: Campbell’s Flowers
Locations: Light Space Collective & The Winter Garden (Sheffield, UK)
We began taking photographs the road and alleyways just below the studio – there was some beautiful autumn sunlight spilling through the gaps between the city buildings and into the street. The 85mm lens allows you to create a soft, dreamy vibe, even in the most ordinary of locations. When you have the bonus of beautiful models, fresh flowers and a new city, it’s lots of fun to play with!
Once we had finished shooting in the street, we walked over to The Winter Garden in the city centre – basically a huge conservatory filled with lots of plants, with pathways between the trees. We were very lucky with the weather – the golden sunlight poured through the windows and into the garden, providing some interesting lighting and loads of opportunities to try out different ideas.
Having four models was great because there was always something going on, and often there would only be five or six of us photographing a particular setup. It was also nice to have the beautiful seasonal flowers because a) I absolutely love flowers, they make me so happy, and b) they really complimented the wardrobe and the location – especially Alice’s matching autumnal headpiece and bouquet with both of her dresses. You can tell that these flowers were my favourites because I have about 400 photos of them. SO PRETTY.
Whilst the event was not in the format of a workshop, Shelley was with us throughout the day taking lots of photos. I felt like this worked really well – it was nice to have the models and flowers to play with but there was no pressure and we were just free to photograph, direct and create as we pleased. I took lots of inspiration from the other photographers at the event, watching and listening to how they directed the models, and then seeing how their images came out afterwards on the online event page.
I love smooth, crisp backlighting, which I managed to get in my favourite photo from the day (above, left). You can achieve this by pointing your camera towards the sunlight at a slight angle, and blocking the light from directly hitting your lens by positioning the leaves or another object between you and the light source. This can result in a sharp, glassy image with a glowy, backlit look. In my other favourite image from the day (above, right), I love the little bits of blue in the background and the fuzzy texture of the leaves hanging down from the tree.
Huge thank you to Shelley for organising the event and coordinating everything so it all ran smoothly. I think events like these are extremely valuable for photographers, especially as they can keep your artistic juices flowing if you feel overwhelmed with admin work or are suffering from a creative block. The fact that it was open to all and was provided for free was a very rare find – how often do you get the opportunity to shoot models in cute dresses and floral headpieces whilst surrounded by lots of other creative people? NOT OFTEN, MY FRIENDS. I am so happy with the images I got from this afternoon and I will definitely be looking out for any similar events next year. Shelley also runs themed workshops – if you’re interested in attending those, you can follow her Facebook page for announcements of upcoming dates. Hope you enjoyed reading & looking through the photos – I shall be back soon with more pretty things to share.
Love Marie x