Studio Playtime

After a week where I seemed glued to a keyboard and screen it was a real treat to pack my photography bags and head over to Wokingham and 10-Studio to meet some of my fellow OCA travellers. I haven’t spent very much time in a professional studio so it was a great opportunity just to be in the environment and see what happened. There is a lot to be said for serious play and plenty of evidence that adults need to do it as much as children.

The studio is in a small industrial park in a good size unit with plenty of space to work. When we were there it had two portrait studio type areas and two product areas. I met up with Holly, Richard, Sarah-Jane and Catherine and we had already had some conversations beforehand about what we might work on – I wanted to have another go at my veil portrait series, Richard wanted help throwing things into shot and Sarah-Jane decided to try something with movement.

It is surprising how much you can cram into two hours! We experimented with the lights, with the skylight blinds closed and open, with shutter speeds, apertures and angles. Sarah-Jane kindly agreed to be my veil wearer and I am pleased to now feel like I have completed that Gestalt. It was something I started as a possible self-portrait project for C&N Assignment three but never quite materialised and I got more interested in the composite work I eventually submitted. It has however niggled me ever since that I didn’t really finish the series so this was a prime opportunity.

Everyone graciously helped me set up and we all took some shots. We then moved on to the other projects, which allowed us all to take photographs we might not otherwise have taken and to hear more about what each of us was doing in terms of developing our photography as well as working on our course work. I tend not to do much work with movement so it was really helpful to see Richard and Sarah-Jane develop their shots and hear about what they were trying to achieve.

Apart from having the opportunity to pick up the camera again after what feels like a few fallow weeks given I am now working on C&N assignment four, the trip reminded me of the value of social learning. While we share a lot through the OCA Facebook groups there is nothing quite like being with other people and hearing different perspectives on photography. An important part of finding our photographic voice seems to me to be about putting our ideas and work out there to see how others respond – however scary that sometimes feels.

Thanks to 10-Studio for allowing us to use the space and to Sarah-Jane for organising the session. I really appreciated the opportunity to work with everyone and look forward to the next one!

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