storyteller workshop

Photo by Carl Osbourn

Photo by Carl Osbourn

On the 14th and 15th of March, Pratik Naik, from Solstice Retouch, and I organised a two day workshop in London! We decided to split the days and allow room to focus on our individual strengths. I would have a day to create and share my knowledge and Pratik would have his to lead people through an intensive one day retouching seminar.

I'd like to share with you all my day, Saturday the 14th, where weeks of preparation unfolded into a fully packed day for which I had a pretty tight schedule laid out. 

My model, Lulu Lockhart, and makeup/hair artist, Lydia Pankhurst, arrived early. I'll admit, just the sight of them set my nerves at ease. Prior to the day, I'd heard horror stories about  models not turning up or people getting lost on the way and with every minute counting, I knew that the beginning of the day would set the tone for the rest of it. Even when planning my own personal shoots, I like to keep my team small. For this workshop I put together people that I'm comfortable with and more importantly, confident in.

It must be noted that all photos on this post are courtesy of our brilliant behind the scenes photographer - Carl Osbourn 

CDO - BK Workshop (1 of 36).jpg

We began the day with introductions and discussing the concepts and outline of the day. Experiences ranged from beginner to advanced. Everyone already had Facebook pages / websites for their work which you can check out here -

While we talked, Lydia got Lulu ready in the first look of the day. This look consisted of the flower/leaf cloak I'd created specially for the workshop and a crown loaned to us by a lovely Etsy shop, Misty Albion. After that it was all go with a quick change into look two, in which we used a dress by designer, Kathryn Love, and a wig I'd specially purchased for the workshop. And so, the morning slipped by in a state of creating and creativeness. 

After a delicious lunch, it was time for the retouching portion of the day! I handed out my selects and textures and we worked simultaneously on the creation of one image through the afternoon hours. It was during that time where I shared my workflow, composition techniques and colour toning execution. 

All in all it was a completely brilliant day where I had the pleasure of connecting with other creatives, sharing knowledge and in turn, learning so much too! I didn't expect to love teaching as much as I did but now that I've put one workshop together my imagination is overflowing with new things I'd like to incorporate into the next one! 

The workshop wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for my incredibly supportive and talented partner, Pratik. Thank you Pratik for being your wonderful self and for helping me make this happen!

And finally thank you to Gidi Meir for your review! -

Next post will be all the images we created on that day from myself and my wonderful attendees!

Bella Kotak

Bella Kotak is a fine art and fashion photographer currently based in Oxford & London, England. An art lover from a young age she always knew that she would work within the creative industry. Photography changed her life when she picked up a camera and began a 365 project. From that moment she was hooked by this medium that translates thoughts and imagination into tangible form and has since been featured in several magazines around the world.