Posted August 19, 2015 by Gavin Hoey in Articles

Wild Woodland Workshop Wrap-Up

Scroll down to see the gallery from the September woodland workshop

It may have taken months of planning but last Sunday everything came together perfectly for the Wild Woodland Workshop. A group of 12 photographers descended on Driver Wood Paintball for a day of photography among the trees, paths and paint balls.

I was joined by Robert Pugh, who is a brilliant photographer, educator and Olympus ambassador, not to mention all round good guy. Having a second photo trainer on-board gave the day extra value in so many ways, not least that we could split into two groups so everyone got plenty of time to work with both models.

Rob’s morning was spent with model Fern Meaeve in a grassy clearing and some wonderful overcast light. It was the perfect light for a workshop with everyone being able to shoot with ambient light or with a splash of fill flash.IMG_2794

For me it was a little more rough and tough as I worked with model Kerry Allingham at the paintball parks wooden fort. Luckily for us, Kerry is an experienced paintball marshal and knew how to handle the guns. None the less, everyone wore protective eye wear during the live fire session.P8160112

The afternoon saw a change of look. Kerry was transformed into an archer and disappeared deeper into the forest. Only the plumes of smoke from the colourful smoke grenades gave them away.IMG_2819

My afternoon was spent with Fern who had a lovely fairy-tale look. We stayed close to the paintball offices and thanks to a lovely long power cable, I was able to run an electric smoke machine to add a layer of mist to the scene.P8160173

There’s nothing more frustrating to me than seeing a workshop organiser shooting photos for themselves at the expense of the attendees. As a result I hardly have a single “good” photo from the day. Fortunately, the photographers who joined us took thousands of shots and below are a few that I’ve been sent so far.

Finally I’d like to thank the unsung heroes of the day. They include the staff at Driver Wood who allowed us use their facilities as a photo location. Anna Matos and here amazing box of make-up. My friends Steve and Stevie, who assisted brilliantly all day. Finally my biggest thanks goes to Sam, who pulled my crazy ideas together and created a workshop unlike any other!

Such was the demand, we ran the workshop for a second time in late September. Once again I was joined by Rob Pugh and Fern who worked just as hard as ever to make the day as brilliant as before. Joining us was model Charlotte Baker and make-up artist Alex Vleck.


Below are a selection of photos from the 12 photographers who came along and made the whole day another massive success.

Gavin Hoey