So the other day, I headed off to the Lake District to meet a bunch of photographers, who are part of the LOOKSLIKEFILM community for a bit of a meetup and a chance to take some photos with some like minded people. I’ve followed Looks like film for about eighteen months and the standard of work submitted there is amazing, so before going I was pretty intimidated. I mean, little old me would in no way be as good as some of the photographers there, but lately, I’ve been trying to get out of my comfort zone and do more to develop my skills and also boost my confidence a little.
It was a long trek up to Blea Tarn. Sophie and I met up with Amy and Darryl from Let Love Flourish Photography (Amy also happened to be one of the organisers too) and headed up in the car together. The drive was a lot of fun. As soon as we’d arrived at the lake district, seeing the hills and narrow, winding roads, the nerves and excitement started to set in. When we got there, the location was absolutely breathtaking, we had a little while to take it all in and other people slowly started to arrive. We all introduced ourselves to each other and waited to get started.
Once everyone had arrived, it was time to start taking some photos. There were about 50 of us, so we split up into groups and headed off around the tarn. We went off with Lukas and some others to take photos of Sarah-jane and Matt (both amazing photographers themselves). Since our model couple couldn’t make it, they kindly stepped in to pose for us and they were amazing models.
Lukas taught us a few techniques he uses whilst shooting, such as; having the camera set to monochrome so you can concentrate on the light. I love this and it’s something I’ll always do from now on because it lets me focus on the subject more and not worry so much about the colour which can overwhelm the image a bit. Plus, everything always looks better in black and white. He also showed us how to shoot by “freelensing”. I’d tried it before but never quite got to grips with it, but now I’m definitely in love with the effect that you get by holding the lens away from the camera whilst shooting. It gives a gorgeous, dreamy effect which is so beautiful when shooting subjects up close.
Once we’d taken a few shots of Sarah-jane and Matt, we headed off up a hill to get a few more shots of them. Getting to the top was pretty scary. I hadn’t been feeling very well recently, plus I’m not a fan of heights so I had a bit of an anxiety attack at the top. Scary as hell but everyone was so supportive and lovely. Once I’d managed to calm down and compose myself, I’m pretty pleased with the photos I’d got.
Lukas shared some of the things he says to couples to get them to relax and connect with one another. Little word games he uses and questions he asks that they wouldn’t normally think of. It’s a great way to make the shoot more of an experience for the couple resulting in photographs that show more emotion and tell a story.
Next up, it was time to go see what Amy Faith was up to. I’m a big fan of her work and have followed her for a while, so getting the chance to shoot along side her was brilliant. She had set up a bridal styled shoot with model and photographer, Agnes Black who is absolutely stunning. She was modelling some gorgeous gowns by Emma Beaumont.
The gowns were so beautiful and Agnes modelled them so well. After a few shots in the woods, she headed off to the water for a some photos and Amy set off a few smoke bombs to create a really ethereal effect. I’d never worked with smoke bombs before but had always wanted to try them out. I love the result.
After a little break and a chance to sit down to have a rest and something to eat, we all gathered together for more smoke bomb action with Liam Rimmington. This was so much fun. Agnes had changed and was modelling again, this time we were going for a more edgy, casual look. Liam got other people to run around her with the smoke bombs to create streams and shapes in the coloured smoke.
It had been a long day, and after all the photos and fun, it was time to head off to the pub for some food. By that time it had gotten pretty chilly so it was lovely to curl up with a drink while Sarah-Jane and Matt Ethan gave a talk on how to market and promote your photography business. You can check out their nuggets of wisdom here if you want to learn more. Once they’d finished speaking, it was time to say our goodbyes to everyone and head home. There were lots of hugs and after only knowing these people for a few hours, I was so happy knowing I’d made some new photography friends.
It really was an amazing day. Considering I was so nervous about going, after meeting everyone and seeing how like minded we all were really put me at ease. I learned so much, and considering that this was a free event, I learned so much more and made more connections than I ever had at any workshop I’ve ever paid to attend. Money seriously can’t buy the memories and experience I got from the day. I left on a real high.
One of the things that I love the most about the Looks Like Film community is how open and friendly everyone is. They all realise that we all start out somewhere and no one will ridicule your work. Everyone is willing to share their knowledge regardless of who they are or where they’re based. It’s all about community over competition. I love them all and looking at everyone’s images from the day has made me so happy. The fact that Lukas came all the way from Germany to meet us, spend time with each one of us and share his knowledge was fantastic. I learned so much from him, and he really is a lovely guy. Amy and Chris who organised the event did a brilliant job too. I can’t wait for the next one.
You can join the Looks Like Film community HERE