I’ve been a massive fan of Sam Hurd ever since I first saw his work on the photography nerd website Shotkit, a website that lets you peek inside the bags of leading photographers. Sam is a wedding photographer based out of Washington DC in the US and the thing that really drew me to his his images was that they seemed to have something magical about them, something which I couldn’t quite put my finger on and really made them stand out from the crowd.
Sam also has a brilliant use of light and is a master at doing in-camera special effects and trickery. I’m comfortable with a lot of the standard in-camera techniques like long exposure light painting and HDR but Sam seems to be pushing it to another level using free-lensing, prisming, the Brenizer method and colour spreading. Although Sam is first to admit that he didn’t invent these methods I think he has really pushed the artistic technique of them to beyond what other people were doing.
When I saw Sam was bringing his Epic Workshop to London I booked my ticket straight away to ensure that I bagged a place. So yesterday morning I got up early, hopped on the London Midland train to Euston and headed to Up Studios, the location for the workshop.
Right away I have to say that Sam was a brilliant teacher, incredibly passionate and a lovely bloke too. He was incredibly open about all aspects of his business, nothing was left hidden and no questions were ever dodged or unanswered.
The day started with Sam discussing a little bit of his own story of how he got to where he is now, it was a fascinating tale involving magicians, NASA and George Clooney. He then moved on to talk about the business side of things before delving to the different methods he uses to find inspiration.
We then moved on to the more technical aspects of the day. We talked gear and gadgets, posing and post processing, light and Adobe Lightroom. Sam laid bare all of his methods and clearly explained the whys, wherefores and pitfalls of each technique. After lunch we hit the streets for a live photoshoot. Here we got to see Sam in action and to try some of the methods for ourselves. Here’s a few images from the session . . .
So was the workshop deserving of its “Epic” title? Definitely! Would I recommend it to other photographers? Unreservedly! The whole day was an amazing and inspiring experience which was taught with real passion and enthusiasm. You can find details of up coming locations for Sam’s Epic Workshops at the following link -> Sam Hurd Epic Workshops.