Makelight photography workshop for bloggers

It's been a bit of a hectic and trying September, so  yesterday I was so delighted to attend Emily Quinton's Make Light 'Photography for Bloggers' workshop {#makelight}. Getting out, focusing on something I love, and not thinking about other stuff was a true breath of fresh air. I've always loved taking photographs, but now that I'm spending time on my blogging I'm keen to kick it up a gear. Often I have ideas of what I'd like to capture, or I see something beautiful and want to remember it, but my lack of photography skills mean that this doesn't quite translate - very frustrating indeed.

Cue Emily. Now, Emily is a super talented lady. Photographer, crafter, mum-of-four and all-round lovely person, Emily blogs about her life as a startup wife here, and her instagram feed is also full of beautiful images which always make me smile. Going along to the Makelight workshop was a complete no-brainer, I'd have been silly to pass up such an opportunity!

The workshop took place in Shoreditch, a place that never fails to disorientate me, {have you ever successfully navigated the Old Street underpass system, I'm not sure I have}. That said, it is full of creative types, and pretty places - it's where I went a while back for Zeena Shah's lino cutting workshop, and is also home to Pitfield {ie the most tempting place on earth}. Anyway, I digress...

We all gathered at Makeshift HQ {home to Emily's husband, Stef's start-up business}. It's an ace workspace which had plenty of room for a gang of bloggers eager to learn some tricks of the trade. {Below is my attempt at capturing the office sign, while learning about depth of field}.

After settling in, pinning on our name badges, {the prettiest I've ever worn} we all showed enormous restraint by not ripping open our goodie bags right there and then.

After introducing ourselves, Emily got straight to work teaching us all about basic techniques, composition and lighting. Emily was a wealth of information, while being real - which was brilliant. If anyone understands about the time constraints of real-life, which mean that photography often needs to be a bit 'on-the-go', it's a mum of four! I'm so glad that Emily is emailing us the workshop notes because I was concentrating so much that I didn't take any notes!

We then got the chance to have a go, and I started out using my iPhone {often Emily's camera of choice}, so that I could concentrate on composition, without being bamboozled by my slr's buttons. Emily had brought along a whole host of props we could use, from milk bottles and wooden crates, to beautiful flowers and washi tape - quite an enviable stash!

I'm a bit sad this photo of the hamper of photo props didn't quite come out - I really like the composition, but on my slr I didn't quite nail it, and it ended up rather blurry! Still, you get the idea - all the props were gorgeous!

Here are a couple of my photos from my iPhone:

Tasty Belvoir punch, a spotty paper cup and a floral straw - perfect goodies for any party!

Billy balls, pretty floral fabric and a wooden board - this photo makes me think of autumn! I just LOVE yellow...

We then took a stroll out for lunch, and returned for part two. This time it was for a lesson in aperture priority. I won't lie, all the numbers on my camera still confuse me a little, but after Emily's lesson I feel a bit more confident in achieving the photos I want.

Here are some of my photos from my SLR, when I was playing around with composition, depth-of-field and lighting:

Such  pretty, old piano. Perfect for photography practice... 

Fun props, on top of the #makelight boxes 

Who doesn't love gin and dahlias?  

I love these colours so much. That blue is just so stunning.

I tried to play around with various props, areas within the space and settings on my camera, to varying degrees of success. It was great fun, and we all chatted as we went, helping each other and sharing ideas. Emily also came around checking how we were getting on, giving us the chance to ask any specific questions, or tackle things we were less sure of. Emily has so much innate knowledge and such an 'eye' for creating beautiful photographs that learning from her during the practical sessions was a joy.

I got slightly carried away and took a fair few photos of this stunning dahlia. Is there a prettier flower? 

Combining my favourite flower with my favourite blue was fun.  

Dahlia1

And again... because you can never have too many photos of flowers.

So, as you can see, it was a jam-packed day, full of tips, hints and excellent advice from Emily. All the other bloggers were also super friendly and encouraging, and there was a real 'no pressure' atmosphere. We were all there to learn, have fun and eat cake! I can't tell you one thing that stood out above all that I learnt, because it was all so valuable - but hearing how Emily takes her own photos {from how she plans them, shoots them and then the apps and editing software she prefers} was a real insight. I'll be sure to put her tips into practice as I seek to find my own style that fits with my blogging style. I've still got a lot to learn, but I left feeling super inspired, and ready to take lots of photographs as I continue on this exciting blogging journey.

I do hope you'll join me.

-x-