Lights, camera action! Olympus photography workshop at Reading

13 November, 2019

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When Olympus asked if we could host a vintage style photography workshop for photo enthusiasts at the fair, we thought it was a great idea. So, on a slightly grey September day just before we opened in Prospect Park (Reading) we were thrilled to welcome a group of 20 photographers along to our vintage fairground.

With exclusive access to the fair for the evening, the photographers were able to learn how to select a location, light their subjects and pose professional models. In this blog we’ll show you some behind-the-scenes photos and share what happened during the workshop.

Vintage photo shoot at Carters Steam Fair

A retro styled photoshoot

Olympus Cameras have been encouraging photographers to get creative this autumn through a series of workshops, masterclasses, tutorials, photo walks and more – and they’re not just for Olympus owners.
This workshop was hosted by Olympus Ambassador Marcus Clackson who gave the photographers the opportunity to learn more about shooting commercial portraits and to try out different bits of kit from the Olympus team. Marcus has over 20 year’s experience in location, lifestyle and portrait photography and was on hand to help the photographers uncover some of the secrets of producing great commercial photographs. Marcus brought along two professional models and dancers Liana and Keith, a husband and wife team.

Vintage fashion shoot at Carter's Steam Fair

Photo shoot at Carters Steam Fair

Olympus Imaging Expert Jez Sugars was also on hand throughout the afternoon offering advice and loaning out some of the latest kit for the photographers to try. Marcus challenged them to try different lenses to get them to shoot photographs ‘out of their comfort zone’.

Vintage photo shoot at Carters Steam Fair

The team from Olympus said:

“We’re always looking for unusual locations for our photography workshops and having seen the fair in full swing in Woking, we knew it would make an ideal location for a vintage portrait shoot. Amazing hand-painted signage, incredible steam-powered rides, and the fact we had exclusive out-of-hours access to the fair was a winning combination and this really reflected in the stunning shots that were captured on the day.”

The fair as an iconic backdrop

The first photo location was on the Gallopers and the models tried a mix of poses- sitting on the horses, standing and a variety of expressions to give a range of styles for the photos. After listening to tips and advice from Marcus, each photographer had the opportunity to take a photo from the set-up or to ask the models to try something different.

Vintage photoshoot at Carters Steam Fair

Striking a pose

After a quick tea break (which Joby served from the Royal Windsor living wagon), the photographers moved over to the ice cream van and the Royal Windsor to take some photos of the models in front of the unique vintage vehicles.

Marcus liked the way the lines of the Royal Windsor living wagon lead the eye into the photos and they offered plenty of chances for the photographers to experiment with different focal lengths and camera lenses. The models must have felt like movie stars with a bank of paparazzi in front of them!

Vintage photoshoot at Carters Steam Fair

The need for speed

By this time, the lights of the fair were shining brightly against the rather dismal and damp sky and the group moved over to the Skid which Joby powered for them so the photographers could experiment with motion blur. He invited the photographers inside but warned them to mind their heads as they stepped onto the platform- there are hundreds of lightbulbs on the ride! Joby even made a cameo in some of the pictures as the models pretended to give him some ride tokens so they could go on the ride.

Dancing on the dodgems

As the rain started to fall everyone moved over to the dodgems which offered respite from the weather and a chance to try out some more poses in the Dodgem cars. Liana and Keith also showed a few of their dance moves off as the photographers snapped away.

A new creative perspective on the fair

We enjoyed having the photographers and Olympus experts around. It’s great to see other creative people become inspired by the things they see at the fair and we are always fascinated to see how different photographers capture the fair in different ways. We usually see the fair filled with lots of happy families so it was very different to have two stylish models here doing a vintage fashion shoot! We’re delighted with the images that everyone created on the day and are already thinking that we might do another photography event in 2020.

Thank you to all of the photographers that travelled so far to come and see us and thank you to the Marcus and the team at Olympus for organising such a great event. You can see more photos from the afternoon over on the Olympus blog. 

If you’re a photographer that has visited the fair and has taken photos, we’d love to hear from you and interview you as part of our ‘fair in focus’ series.

If you would like to organise a photoshoot or photography event at the fair, you can find out more on our hire page. We love working with brands and professional photographers and can help co-ordinate a private photoshoot for you at one of our 2020 locations when the fair is closed to the public.

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