Canon CPS Experience Day at Woburn Abbey

It’s been a hectic few months chock full of weddings but I’ve finally got a bit of time to write a blog post about a day out I had at Woburn Abbey earlier on in the year.

Back in February, thanks to Canon Professional Services, I had the opportunity to photograph some catwalk shows at London Fashion Week. I had an amazing day, you can see the blog post about it here. So when Canon CPS invited me to Woburn Abbey in August to take part in a wedding experience day I jumped at the chance. Hosting the day were Flavio Bandiera and Simeon Quarrie, two insanely talented wedding photographers and members of Canon’s Explorers programme.

First up was Simeon Quarrie the owner of Vivida Productions. Simeon specialises in the Asian wedding market and is involved in wedding photography and also video too. He talked about his background and how and why he came to specialise in Asian weddings. It was fascinating to hear Simeon’s story which was peppered with advice, anecdotes and useful tips and tricks. After Simeon’s talk we then headed off for a photo-shoot with a couple of models dressed in some stunning traditional Indian wedding outfits.

First we headed outside to take some shots of our very patient models in the grounds.
001 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

002 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

003 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

004 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey
Simeon was a great instructor and spent some time talking through various different camera settings and some tips on how to pose people, often dragging “volunteers” from the attendees up to get involved too.
005 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

006 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

009 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey
Simeon also bought some smoke bombs along too which certainly livened things up a bit!
007 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

008 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey
Once the smoke cleared we the headed into The Sculpture Gallery, one of the three wedding venues on the estate, where we got to do some interior shooting. The Sculpture Galley is a stunning space dating back to 1789 which was constructed by the famous Georgian period architect Henry Holland. Inside Simeon showed us how he has started to use constant lighting in some of his portraiture work. Over the last couple of years LED technology has considerably evolved and some photographers are using constant lighting as an alternative to flash and strobes, it was a great opportunity to have a play.
010 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

011 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

012 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey
After a very tasty buffet lunch we were then handed over to Flavio Bandiera, a wedding and fashion photographer based in Torino, Italy. Flavio specialises in dramatic, classical, fine art style photography which he showcased in a stunning presentation. This was followed by another shoot this time with a couple of models dressed in some traditional English style wedding attire. In the first part of the shoot we were again back in the Sculpture Gallery, this time using natural window light.
013 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

014 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

015 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

016 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

017 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey
After a quick brush-up from the make-up team we then headed back outside for the final part of the shoot.
018 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

019 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

020 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

021 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

022 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey

023 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey
The whole day was an amazing learning experience and it was interesting to see how two different photographers used the same space. One of the other great things about the day was being able to try out some of Canon’s new gear. Canon bought a couple of flight cases of equipment with them so that everyone could borrow different bits of kit for the two photo-shoots. I got to put the amazing Canon 1Dx body through its paces with its insane machinegun like 12 frames per second shutter rate. I also got to play with the brand new ultra wide Canon 11-24mm f4 lens which had only just been released. Using a lens at 11mm lens was quite challenging as it’s so wide angle that you have to be mindful of not getting your feet in the shot!

My favourite thing about the day is summed up by this next image . . .
024 - Canon CPS Wedding Experience at Woburn Abbey
That’s my wife in the foreground brandishing a Canon 1Dx and an EF 70-200mm f2.8 lens, a little setup that costs about £6000. At the start of the day we all had to give a little introduction about ourselves, to which my wife said “I’m not a photographer, I’ve only really come for a look around Woburn Abbey!”. And yet half an hour later she was tooled up with Canon’s most expensive DSLR, jostling for position with the other photographers and getting the creative angle through the flowers . . . She had a real blast and I might just have found myself a new second shooter!

I have to say a massive thank you to Canon and the other sponsors, Manfrotto and G-Technology, for putting on such a brilliant day. I also need to say a huge thank you to Simeon and Flavio and also to Flawless Model Agency.

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