I know which direction I want to move my photography and with that in mind I started looking for workshops that would broaden my experience in the disciplines that interest me.
Bert Stephani is a Commercial and portrait photographer based in Belgium and has become well known through his videos on Youtube and workshops where he openly shares his knowledge and experience. He also co-founded the LIME project with Pieter Van Impe, a Belgian Wedding Photographer, and the ethos of LIME is Learn, Inspire, Motivate, Experience.
Bert occasionally gives 2 and 5 day workshops in Belgium around his busy schedule, but I was unable to attend some earlier in the year due to some bookings, so I dropped him a mail about doing one in the UK later in the year. He said, “Sure, you arrange it and I’ll come over”
Fast forward 5 months and I’m standing in Heathrow Terminal 5 with my girlfriend on a cool Sunday evening holding a sheet of A4 scrawled with “The Varnisher” in black marker. Meanwhile a 6’6″ Belgian wanders out of Arrivals with a big grin and a 50mm f/1.4 mounted 5DMkII slung over his shoulder and shakes my hand with one of his big paws.
Bert is in the UK.
For 2 sunny hot days in early September, Bert guided us through one of his Location Lighting workshops “Seeing the Light”.
Day 1 was indoors where he covered the management of light within composition and talked us through the process of making images from editorial and advertising assignments which the group thought up for him.
We used the Richmond RACC Drama room as it was spacious enough for the group and had lots of props and clothing which we used in the assignments and for goofing about in the breaks.
On day 2 we were running about Richmond by the towpaths, bridges and in the parks in groups of 3 with a couple of models and a make-up artist while Bert gave us assignments. Although the workshop ended at 18:00, Bert and a few of us headed into Canary Wharf for some food and then we did some night shots around the unique architecture that Canary Wharf provided.
Apart from being approached by Canary Wharf Security, where a copy of our permit sated his questions, the workshop seemed to go pretty much like clockwork. The people that signed up for the workshop were a relaxed and creative crowd and that helped to make the workshop a great success.
Wednesday came and a relaxed Bert headed back to Terminal 5 with some presents for his family
He landed, he LIME’d, he left.
Or as my girlfriend says, “Veni, vidi, visa ….. I came, I saw, I shopped”
Images from the group are here: http...@N23/