The Inaugural 2 Fellows at Castle Ceconi


On photography training workshops, it’s absolutely fantastic to learn how other photographers like to work; how they pose their subjects, how they like to use all forms of light, how they work with the environment they are in. As delegates, we assimilate little tips and tricks from such sessions, and add them to our own skill set, which goes on to make up up our unique photography style. The key on such courses is to take just inspiration and technical knowledge, and not try to replicate the exact images. Although we are encouraged to capture those identical shots on the day for reference, as they are created by the trainer photographer who has chosen the location and placed and posed the models, it is not our own style and creativity. The true skill is to take on board everything learnt, and apply it to and use it to refine our own style of photography. That’s the way we develop and grow, which in turn gives our clients better images and experiences with us.

A couple of weeks ago, I was very fortunate to be able to attend The 2 Fellows at GraphiStudio’s Castle Ceconi in the beautiful hills not far from Venice. GraphiStudio are the company that create and supply the beautiful albums and reveal boxes that I provide for my clients, and are truly a forward thinking, inspirational and supportive supplier. And as part of their support for us professional photographers, they have restored the 19th century built Castle Ceconi, and it is now a stunning state-of-the-art training centre, merging it’s original architecture with breathtakingly beautiful modern design. 

On our first afternoon, we were taken on a tour of GraphiStudio's factory by Dario Righetto, GraphiStudio's Global Marketing Director, showing us behind the scenes as to how they make all of their beautiful products to be shipped all over the world. We saw how digital orders come to life, with some of the best print technology in the world creating the highest quality printed products available, including the new Wall Art range, which looks absolutely stunning. The factory itself is vast, but every order given high levels of craftsmanship and care. It was a lovely reminder why I choose GraphiStudio for my storybook albums and reveal boxes, and hopefully some of their Wall Art too in the coming months!

As both a Portrait Photographer and a Wedding Photographer, the combination of two brilliant award winning photographers and all round amazing people Paul Wilkinson and David Stanbury promised to be 5 days of full on learning and laughter, and my goodness it most certainly delivered. After a day of practical Social Portraiture with Paul, we experienced a live shoot Wedding day led by David; every moment from Bridal Prep to First Dance, and everything a real wedding day would entail, from details to ceremony, confetti to speeches. The energy of the training was absolutely fantastic. 

So on our last full day at the castle, after a morning of business training, I decided to put what I’d learnt over the previous two days into practice. I took the the lovely Meg and Dan on a Portrait session, much the same as I would with my couples for an Engagement shoot. Just the three of us and my camera, making use of the beautiful grounds of Castle Ceconi in much the same way as I would with my own clients in our beautiful Surrey countryside. Although this time with more mountains!

Meg and Dan are such a wonderful couple, and great fun to spend time with. They were married last year with David and Jane as their photographers, and so were invited out to be our models for the workshop. This was the first chance I’d had to ask them both about where they are from, how they met, where Dan proposed, and their Wedding day. I love hearing people’s stories, and the emotions that are evoked create a beautiful vibe that comes across in the images we capture. 

I originally started writing this blog on the plane, and at this point had just touched down at Gatwick. That morning, on the last day, we managed to squeeze in a couple of hours sightseeing and shooting in a very sunny and warm Venice (including accidentally photographing a proposal, much to the couple's delight!) rounding off what has been the absolute best training course I’ve ever been on. 

Thank you to Paul, David, Sarah, Jane and Martin for creating an experience that is unique, invigorating, exciting and rewarding. And thank you to Tullio and Dario and the wonderful team at GraphiStudio for hosting us.  

And it was such a success that The 2 Fellows have announced they are doing it all again next year! If you are a wedding or portrait photographer, looking to enhance your skill set and up your game, this is most certainly a must for you.

Below are a few of my favourite images from the week, with links to my Wedding and Engagement shoot galleries below.

Let me know what you think!

With love, Rachel xx

For more details about The 2 Fellows training workshop, head over to www.the2fellows.co.uk

To view my gallery from 'The Wedding of Meg & Dan' at Castle Ceconi, click here.

And to view my gallery from Meg & Dan's 'Engagement Portrait Shoot' at Castle Ceconi, click here.

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Rachel Thornhill ABIPP ASWPP LMPA  - Beautiful story-telling photography and stunning wall art for fun loving people, Rachel is an award-winning professional portrait Photographer based in Lower Kingswood / Tadworth, Surrey, UK.    Tel: +44 (0)1737 244745     

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