Event: – Health Bloggers Community: Photography for Bloggers Workshop
Venue: – SHOT, Bride Lane, London
Date: – 15th September 2017
The event was billed as a,
‘…mix of theory and practical tasks, you will learn to take drool-worthy pictures and still-life shots with personality to truly master the art of taking photos for your blog and Instagram feed.’
So impressed with this statement, I signed up, and looked forward to a 3 hour long food photography class.
“Our partner SHOT.London will be providing you with their real, organic whole food treats to style, prop and experiment with… and of course, eat! We’ll have lots of food, props, and backgrounds for you to play with, so you’ll leave a pro photographer.”
Wow, we get to play with the food too? and then eat it? Plus there are props, backgrounds and I’m going to leave a pro photographer!!!
***Alert!*** – there is no way anyone, no matter how gifted you are, can start a class at 3pm and leave at 6pm a professional. And this class proved it, as I will explain later. The remainder of the ad continued …
“EVER WONDERED HOW YOU GET THAT INSTAGRAM PHOTO? HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT PHOTO POST OF YOUR TRIP TO BRIGHTON?
OR A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT FOR YOUR ABOUT PAGE? YOU KNOW, THE ONE WITH THE PERFECT ANGLE, THE BEST LIGHTING AND JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF FILTER?
Wonder no more, as we have all the answers to your photography related questions. A few of the things you’ll learn in this workshop:
- the basics of creating outstanding photos
- how to find the right props
- how to make the most of the lighting, and tools to help you
- filters, editing and basic tricks to find your style
This is one workshop NOT to miss. So grab your ticket, dig out your camera and we’ll see you there!
About our Teacher:
Anna is a photographer with a passion for the health and fitness industry, this can include food, products or any sports that increase the heart rate generally making people healthier and happier.”
Disclaimer: the session was due to start at 3pm but due to various public transport issues (it was the day of the Parsons Green station bomb), I was unable to get to the class until 3.30pm.
I arrived at the venue, SHOT. London, which is a small cafe style restaurant near Fleet Street, in East Central London. There were around 25 people at the class, in a space that ideally could comfortably seat no more than about 15 at best. The teacher, Anna, presented behind the counter, with the aid of a small laptop, which was difficult of those at the back of the class to see.
At around 3.50pm the attendees were invited to cross over the road to St. Bride’s Church, to take pictures of the food in the outdoor natural light.
The food was pre-packed in logoed plastic containers. It wasn’t made clear whilst I was there, if we could open the packaging or eat the contents later. The packages were not labelled, so I wasn’t certain if any of the food there was vegan or vegetarian.
There wasn’t enough interaction or guidance between the teacher and some of the attendees. I didn’t feel particularly welcome and observed that Anna approached some of the attendees more readily than others. Whether this was due to shyness on her part, I don’t know, however I didn’t feel as if we were all given the same amount of individual help.
This part of the class took about 45 mins to an hour. Followed by short review of a couple of the students work. Then came a flurry of tips on a broad rage of subjects, from selfies, portrait photography to Instagram and editing programs.
The class was meant to be a 3 hour long session, and had it not been for the intervention of the host, the teacher would have ended the class 30 minutes early.
There were no props provided as stated in the advert (see above text in blue), other than about 6 pre-packed plastic food boxes to share with 25 or so people in a confined space. There were no “backgrounds to play with” either, unless they counted the church.
Value for Money?
For just under £25, the price seemed like a bargain for a 3 hour session on food photography by an “experienced photographer”. In reality, it offered nothing more little from that advertised. Trying to see examples on a tiny laptop from a distance was impractiable, and 1 practical session where only a few were granted guidance from the teacher, frankly, unacceptable. I certainly did not feel like a professional photographer at the end.
As for being a workshop “not to miss”, I wish my train wasn’t delayed, but cancelled, as my afternoon would have been more productive. It’s with a heavy heart when I say, if this is an example of the type of classes run by H.B.C., I would strongly suggest you save your time, energy and money and avoid. This is the first of a new series of events hosted by H.B.C., so here’s hoping that this is a blip, rather than a pattern.
The session over promised in a number of areas and under delivered in so many ways. The venue was nice, but there were too many people in a confined area. Instead of a laptop, A4 sized pictures should have been handed round, so attendees could have a good look, and wouldn’t have to strain to see such a small screen from a distance.
It would have been a great move if handouts were provided, with ideas of how to progress afterwards. The interaction between the teacher and the attendees seemed uneven, which for me, added to the general negativity of the session.
For the rating, I thought long and hard about giving the class a zero out of 5. But in fairness, I did learn a couple of new things, such a a new photo location and not to use the zoom feature on camera phones – just move closer to the subject. But these ‘tips’ simply didn’t warrant the ticket price or matched what turned out to be the over hyped and misleading advert.
I thought I would leave the class inspired. I left the class annoyed, disappointed, and a little hangry,
Rating 1 out of 5