Oh god, where do I begin.. I’ve long been a massive fan of Emma’s work for so many reasons, even sending her a fan email around a year ago (yes, a ‘fan’ email..) and when she revealed she would be doing a workshop I knew I’d do everything I could to get there.
The day got off to a terrific start… not. I set off just before 6am after being up through the night with a toddler who wanted her dummy back, and after a few hours of driving managed to get caught in the Brummie Bermuda Triangle that is Spaghetti Junction.. jeez. Sat nav or no sat nav I was going to be late. I needn’t have worried, Emma’s lovely other half Pete came bounding down to get me from reception in the Custard Factory (the most amazing space you could EVER visit, never mind work in) to rescue me when I arrived, and quickly sorted me a brew as I sat down with everyone else and thought “oh god, I’m actually here!!”
Emma began by giving us her background, before chatting about topics such as finding couples that are the best fit for you, remembering your why and to completely be yourself religiously. She opened up about everything, and didn’t hold anything back. We asked, she told. Someone on the day said it was like she gave us a bit of her heart and that sums it up. It was such a relaxed space to be in all day, it really felt like home..
On the afternoon the most gorgeous couple, Lauren and Steve, came along for a shoot so we could watch Emma at work whilst getting a few shots ourselves. The idea of taking pictures in front of other photographers would usually fill me with dread, but everyone was totally relaxed and bouncing off each other well. Em was amazing with Lauren and Steve, and her personality massively shone through throughout and she immediately put them both at ease.. shouting ‘Crotches together!’ seemed to help too! She talked us through some of her favourite shots, and when someone asked “What aperture are you on?” she said “I’m not sure.. Oh.. 2.2”, later explaining that what is perfect for her may be a technically wrong photograph to someone else; which perhaps proves why it is so important to really let go of stigma and go with your gut instinct. It really felt like what I’d been waiting to hear, that there are no hard and fast rules for being creative or photography itself, but to just be as true to yourself as possible.
A gorgeous table full of goodness had been set up next door full of table settings mixed in with knick-knacks galore. We all jumped on it taking detail shots and a few more couple shots before a tea break and a chat about how Emma and Pete run their business, right down to the nitty gritty. They were so open about every aspect, letting us all look through everything from booking forms to brochures to albums; answering any questions about anything. Everything seemed simple and straightforward, obviously a lot of work, but so simple. When I have a few spare days I’m definitely going to be breaking down my own business and making sure I’m happy with every aspect, and seeing which areas I’d like to change and improve.
Anyway.. rambling, rambling on as usual.. A huge thanks to Emma, Pete and Lee (of Shutterbox films who was filming all day) for yesterday; it really felt like a pivotal point for me and Sally T Photography. I realised that a lot of things I was doing but unsure of are fine, that I can unashamedly be myself in business and that it doesn’t have to be stoic and old-hat. I feel a surge of confidence and inspiration.. and for the first time in a long time I feel that everything is going to be ok.. if not great. I would whole-heartedly recommend the workshop to everyone, whether it’s to develop your business, feel refreshed about what you’re doing or just to meet Emma and Pete who may be the nicest and most welcoming people in the world. Welcome Home.. and KAPOW.