I am finally writing about my experience in the South of France 2022 attending The French Lightning Workshop with Chris Ord organised by Wilf James founder of World Photo Adventure.
Wilf has been a friend for many years now, and I decided I would attend this workshop, as I have an interest in photography, plus the fact that it was in the South of France near Carcassonne.
Our wonderful lighting expert and tutor for the week was Chris Ord who travelled from the U.K.
Where do I start ::
Firstly, I am a total novice, and did not even own a camera.
Wilf kindly let me borrow one of his.
So, on arrival in Carcassonne, Wilf picked me up at the airport, and onwards we drove to the beautiful Domaine De Jasse where our workshop was to commence the next day.
The other participants arrived, thanks to Wilf picking them up from the airport at different times.
We had 3 models, 2 English and 1 French.
I was quite excited, and as we all settled down, and chatted over a lovely meal cooked by Ghislaine (wilf’s wife), then we settled down for the night in our lovely cozy beds.
The next morning after breakfast, we started our workshop.
All of the people who were participating in the workshop were photographers, or very experienced (in my mind) at photography.
We shot the models at different locations around the house, outside at the beautiful settings and at the pool.
Being a novice, I got great support and help from Wilf, Chris, and the others as to what settings were needed for the camera.
Everyone was so helpful, and lots of laughter along the way.
So, I was in my element.
I could not believe the amount of planning and thinking that goes into taking a shot.
I watched and observed the participants adjusting their cameras to the right settings, and looking a few times through their lens to make sure they had the right angle, and, if needed, Chris had – as I thought – a few umbrellas to make sure the lighting was correct for them. I am not sure if these are called umbrellas!!!! Chris explained everything as we went along, about the importance of light to achieve the best result.
I decided to have a theme for my photos.
As we had some props, which Anneke (photographer) kindly took with her, I used some of these. Also, the models brought along some of their own which was so helpful.
My theme is universal, but, if I could produce the story in pictures, I thought this would be a great achievement.
My story was:
- A young peasant girl from the local village working in a big house.
- She falls in love with the son of the owner who was a titled gentleman.
- She falls pregnant, and is dismissed from service.
- The son is sent abroad to further his career.
- She has a miscarriage, and is left grieving – alone and jobless, with no financial support to her family. When she was pregnant she knitted a shawl for the baby which she cherished after her miscarriage.
So, I proceeded to make this possible, with the help of Wilf, Chris, and the others in setting up the camera for me, and taking the shot.
I was so pleased with the final result.
My model Amy was just so lovely, and this made it easier for me to be comfortable, and not to rush things along.
We went for a day to a lovely majestic Château – Château de Belflou.
Another lovely day, and our French model Sophie, and our own models, Alice and Amy, did a great job, despite the soaring heat.
My thoughts and comments on the whole experience
I am now going to invest in a camera with advice from Wilf.
As this was my first ever photo workshop, it gave me an appetite to now join a photography club, and to learn more about the technique, and the working of a camera.
The group were so nice and helpful, and we all jelled perfectly together, despite me being a novice. Being a novice did not phase me at all. I just loved the experience.
The location – Domaine des Jasse and our rooms were perfect.
The food was just second to none, thanks to our wonderful cook Ghislaine.
Drinks were free, – either soft drinks or alcohol.
Chats and laughter around the kitchen table were great and interesting, and are stored in my memory fondly.
Many thanks to Wilf, I managed to achieve my story in pictures.
Wilf, and I mulled over which pictures to use for my story. Wilf kindly got them printed for me in Carcassonne, and sent them to me in Ireland, where I had them framed.
They are now hanging in my sitting room, and I am so proud and delighted that I achieved such a vision.
Finished Photo Story – proudly hanging on my wall
I don’t want to be the best photographer, but, I want to be the best for me.
I am so proud of my achievement, with the help from Wilf, Chris, models, and all the team who partook in making my week in the South of France so memorable.
So, for now, Cheerio, and hope to meet you all in my travels. Tina and her camera !!!! .