Come to learn about you – not me

We got the following email from Rachel, a nice lady who came to our shoot at Master Shipwright’s House in London in July. Aaand, it just sums up why I love doing what we do. With her permission I adapted it for a blog post, decorated with her images from that shoot, with model Sorcha.


Hi Nat and Matt,

I just wanted to drop you a line to say a huge “thank you” for a totally amazing day.  I’ve been on a few workshops before (not for fashion though!) and was taken aback by the “here’s your model, here are some lights now off you pop…” approach!  In truth, I felt completely overwhelmed and intimated and for a while I wondered why on earth I’d signed up.

However, this day turned out to be an amazing, awesome, fulfilling and emotional experience – probably the best day I’ve ever had with my camera!

Whether it was just damn good luck on the day or whether models are always like this, the girls were absolutely sensational. They were all so supportive and encouraging.  They never once made me feel like a complete twit (even though I felt like one!) and they just went with it and let me do my best.  I started working with Sorcha [pictured] first and she was brilliant. She did everything she could to help me get started and when I finally plucked up the courage to ask her to do things, she absolutely did. After that, my confidence started building up and it got easier as the day went on.

I also learned that I know more than I thought I did which is really exciting!  I had a few focusing issues which lost me a couple of beauties (in my opinion obviously!) but I am so excited by all of the images and only wish I could do it all again so I could be a bit more adventurous – so many ideas floating about in my head.  The shoot made me realise I much prefer outdoors/natural light.

So all of that to say that you clearly knew best!  Letting us just get on with it, for me anyway, turned out to the best possible approach.  I think I learned far more by having to work it through in my own head rather than “copying” what someone else was doing and because of that, I think I can also, and honestly, say that the images are genuinely my ideas and vision which I can’t say of other workshops I’ve attended.

Take care and all the very best to you both,

Rachel T




Many thanks Rachel.

It reminds me that when we started our Fashion Shoot Experience in 2011, stemming from our workshops, I felt almost an apologetic tinge that the event was less of a teaching workshop than a shooting experience… was I giving the attendees enough, I wondered? Now, I’m wholeheartedly proud of what the event is, with it being different from conventional workshops. Why would one want to do what everyone else is doing, anyway? Go against the grain. Offer something different. Look for the gap in the market. We’re proud to say we’re not a ‘workshop’. The only time that word is used is purely utilitarian. The Fashion Shoot Experience is learning on the job, and its essence is in line with everything I deem useless about spending too long ‘studying’ photography, or indeed anything in life that needs seizing by the gonads.

Unlike other workshops, you don’t come to learn about me. You come to learn about you. I may be the name to the event but I am only a side feature when it comes to writing your recipe for your own success.

And Rachel, if I’m honest? Your shots are as good as, if not better, than some of the fashion editorial pros I’ve seen shoot at this location.


Credits for Rachel’s images – Model: Sorcha Piotrowski. Dress: Malgorzata Dudek. Tulle and Organza skirts: National Theatre. Bracelets: Crystal Evolution. Ring: Culietta. Headdress: House of Halos. Necklace: Mirabelle. Shoes: Stylist’s own. Stylist: Minna Attala. Hair: Oscar Alexander Lundberg. Make-up: Rhiannon Chalmers. Stylist’s assistant: Claudia Walder.


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