Really satisfied with the way my Weekend Street Photography workshop turned out, held in the fortified Breton coastal town of Saint Malo, on the first weekend of September.
“Dear Tim, I want to let you know that everything about this weekend was positive, from the impeccable organisation to the friendly and easy-going atmosphere among the group, all served up with your expert advice and well- judged comments. We were definitely in good hands to give free rein to our creativity ! Thanks again. Elsa ”
With ten of us lodged in a superb appartment, located just 100m from the sea, it was an intense and highly enjoyable 48 hours spent not only taking and talking pictures, but also eating, drinking, walking and sharing a great social experience together. Due in no short measure to the culinary magic and general assistance of my wonderful wife, Solange, the group bonding quickly took hold and I was able to concentrate on the nitty-gritty of developing the shooting skills of the participants.
The choice of Saint Malo as fertile terrain for what I choose to categorise as Street Photography in the broadest sense of the term, proved accurate, for we had a wide-ranging choice of areas to explore. From the modern urban market area to the traditional narrow cobbled streets of the fortified town. We could shoot either from the high vantage points of the ramparts, or along the seafront walkway and further down, on the beach itself. A diverse mix of people to photograph too, from local tradespeople, to street artists & musicians, as well as your usual throng of tourists. We even came upon a hen party, a stag do, a wedding, and a couple of lost American cyclists!
The ” pirate city”, as the town is also referred to in French, was also chosen, because of the quality of light and changing skies that are characteristic along the Brittany coastline. Well we could not have had two more contrasting days ! The Saturday was like a summer’s day, with the beaches packed, the ice-cream-parlours doing brisk business and dress code fairly loose and light !
“ A quick word to say thanks to you and Solange for this really enjoyable Saint Malo weekend. Warmth, kindness, sharing, spontaneity, attentiveness, simplicity… all these things and more to describe these wonderful two days. David ”
“A hugely rewarding weekend, not only photographically, but also from a human aspect. You definitely have a gift for bringing people of all ages together, it felt like we’d known each other for a long time already . The organisation and choice of flat were superb and I appreciated your efforts to force me to take a few risks and get in closer to people ! Dominique”
All change on Sunday- the heavens opened, and the umbrellas came out. But far from this having a negative impact on the Workshop, it proved to be an extra challenge that forced us all out of our comfort zone and made, in my opinion, for more interesting and unusual images. Whereas, the first day in the bright sunshine, we had all been spoiled for choice, here we had fewer opportunities, less people wandering about, so it meant looking harder and seizing those rare moments. It also ended in a fun and productive group photo session at the local laundry, where we took pleasure in attempting to dry out our clothes and equipment!
It was really pleasing to observe the evolution of the participants over the course of the weekend. This full-on immersion in Street Photography practice, definitely enabled certain members to feel more comfortable photographing complete strangers, and to paraphrase Robert Capa, get in closer! The dynamic of the group was also instructive in providing ideas to bounce off one another. By Sunday evening, everyone had captured a part of Saint Malo in their own unique, personal style. There are no right or wrong answers in this exercise, just different ways of seeing.
There’s nothing like indulging one’s passion with like-minded people in a fantastic location, developing not only the photographic experience but also building ties of friendship. Thanks to all those who entrusted me with their confidence: Simon, Dominique, Elsa, Philippe L, David, François et Philippe H. Great memories and looking forward to the next stop on the European Street Photography Workshop Tour, next spring in my birth town of London !
“The nights following the workshop were a little agitated as I was still running and shooting in my dreams ! You can be truly proud of what you organized, your professionalism and attentiveness shone through, as did your desire to communicate what each of us is capable of expressing through photography. I got out of this experience what I came for: greater courage, a closer relationship with the subject and more confidence in my abilities. Philippe”
“This workshop was really instructive for me. I learned that you’ve got to really like people to take good photos of them, it’s part philanthropy, part sociology. It definitely applies to you. I really felt that you’re an empathetic person and that you communicate your passion with methodology and understanding. Stéphane ”
“Saint Malo was a perfect choice of location for Street Photography. The town offers such great variety of subject matter all within walking distance. I also enjoyed the mixture of being at some junctures directed and at others more free, and definitely achieved more creative results, even if there was quite a lot of wastage along the way. Two days was great, longer would have been even better! Elsa”
“I really loved this photographic trip around Saint Malo. I appreciated how when you reviewed our pictures, even those that weren’t great, you always found something positive to say. I thought there might be some quiet moments, but discovered to my pleasure, that it was full-on 100% photography throughout the weekend. I’m ready to sign-up for the next one and could bring a friend who I’ve now passed the bug on to ! Simon “
“I really appreciated both the hard-working spirit and convivial atmosphere of the weekend. It was a pleasure sharing my passion for photography with the group over these two days. I definitely learned to be a bit freer in my shooting and more daring in taking pictures of strangers. The meal times spent together were a real bonus and thanks to Solange for her part in putting this all in place. François”
To view the Book of the Workshop, click here