• Andy Przybyla

Portfolio Day

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

As part of my research blog I have to talk about events I go to which are photography related. I thought that I could expand on this and run an event myself.

I may have mentioned a career in commercial photography, fashion etc might be the path I head down once I get finished at University. Of all the things I've been introduced to in the past year and a bit, Studio Photography has grabbed me the most and gives me the most enjoyment.

I've been attending regular studio nights for the past 6 months developing my photography skills, learning the different lighting equipment, networking and getting to know the studio owners. I've been to 4 different studio's during this time and have a couple more on my list to visit.

I decided to try to organise my own event based at one of the studios. The idea was a TFI Portfolio Day, TFI is time for images, a common term used between photographers and models to work free of charge for the mutual benefit of getting images they can use. Collaborations like this are often viewed as portfolio building as when you have a stunning portfolio you really want to be getting paid for your work.

I posted online in a few groups for models and photographers to gauge interested and had a very positive response to my feeler. I felt it was worth a risk and before I even had a chance to press forward I had a phone call from Dave at Harbour Studio offering me a good deal on a half day hire package. So that took care of booking a studio, seems there all actively looking for people to hire them.

So with the studio booked, and conscious that I didn't want to make any money from this, it was just for the experience I priced it to cover the cost of the studio and some refreshments. Compared to the price of studio nights it was very much a good deal so I was hoping to get the required headcount to break even.

The photographer places filled almost immediately recognising a good price and a fair few of the names were very good established photographers whose work I admire and had shot alongside before. it was a good start as any models signing up were practically guaranteed high quality images and lots of them.

Models were a little slower but I got to the minimum of 4 with a good week still to go to the event. I even got a make up artist to join. My choice of date was a big issue for many of the people who had initially shown interest with 4 being away or working. The good news was the event was a runner and the cast was pretty impressive.

The good news did die off for a short while as the Make up Artist got a start date for a job she was waiting for and one of the models had a bad skin break out so didn't want to shoot but I quickly filled these spaces and more getting up to 6 models.

So the day eventually arrived and I got to the studio early to help Dave setup and dodged into ASDA to get some refreshments for people. Due to a no refund policy the people who had dropped out were replaced at the extra funds covered the price of a tea and coffee station, some water and fizzy pop.

Staggeringly everyone turned up, a few of the models drifted in a little late which meant I had to do my induction chat twice. I covered off basic health and safety, fire escapes and training wires. Gave a quick tour of the facilities and then paired people up. Numbers wise we hit 8 photographers and 7 models, more than I'd planned for.

One of the photographers Paul, is profoundly deaf so I paired him up with a photographer he knew, Neil and made sure everyone was aware of this disability and how best to work with him. I was keep to involve Paul, I've met him at creative nights and wanted to help him spread his wings a bit so it was great he came to the portfolio day.

I'd kept it quiet but I was able to drop a bit of buzz as one of the photographers John had managed to get Shelby Toms to come along to the day. Shelby was recently crowned Female Alternative Model of the Year 2019. She works as a tattoo artist but also designs very elaborate headdresses that she like to wear when modelling.

The day went fantastically and I personally got over a 100 great photos to add to my portfolio. I've had great feedback from the models, the photographer and ever the studio owner said the buzz was unreal. All of them have asked me if I'd run another sometime in the future.

Where possible I'd got the new models to chat and get advice from the experienced and the same with the photographers so as well as getting images for the portfolio, people were getting training, advice and general guidance. This was not really planned but seemed a logical and good thing to do.

I'm happy that all of my objectives were met and the event in my eyes was an unmitigated success. General feedback was that they would pay more due to the calibre of attendee, however I do think I was lucky to get the people I did there on the day and it certainly could have gone the other way.

The buzz after the event on social media was amazing, the local modelling groups were full of images and tagging, I was getting new followers, page likes, friends requests and offers of collaboration from all over. Some of my models who were attached to agencies contacted me to get permission for the agencies to use the images, all in all I was a pretty happy lad.

Finally I was really touched by the above post by Aimee Robertson. Helping anyone with confidence issues and making them feel good about themselves is totally what I am about. Over the past couple of months I've become good friends with her having done a park shoot and chatting on messenger, but better still as I mentioned in this blog post, we managed to get ourselves published internationally in Dreamy Magazine.


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