28 June 2012

A story shared....{WORKSHOP}


If you had asked me five years ago whether I'd ever consider running a photography workshop I would have said you were crazy!  Not just at the idea, but because up until five years ago I had'nt even picked up a digital SLR nor had I heard of Photoshop for that matter. You see five years ago I was in a very different place in my life. Trying to figure out my future. Let me take you back to the beginning, dare I say it, 20 years ago!  I was at collage learning how to use a camera and spending hours messing around in the darkroom  developing film and processing my own prints. This is where my love of photography began, from collage I went onto university where I continued my studies majoring in Fine Art.  Then I graduated and my art came to an end, pretty sad really but I had had enough after four years of study I wanted to get out into the real world. I packed up my canvases, paints, photography kit, easel and tripod and move back home and got on with life. I got a job, I got married, got a better job, moved into marketing and was fortunate to work with some of the UK's leading creative agencies. But it wasn't enough, I began to feel empty and somewhat burnt out! So I left my job and started a family and by 2006 I had two adorable little people in my life....but I still felt something was missing!  I dabbled at a couple of projects, but inside there was always this hunger, an appetite for something that was just beyond my grasp.  Now I believe that when direction is required in life you'll find it through opportunities, coincidences and what may first appear random happenings. This is exactly what happened to me, just a serious of small events that lead me full circle back to photography.    The rest is history or so they say.....!


I've spent the five years, getting busy...working relentlessly whist the babies slept, working out how to transfer my skills from the darkroom to the desktop and how to master digital processing and texture application. I've clocked up thousands of hours working towards obtaining best practice, technical understanding, inspiration and expertise. I started to book in portrait sessions and weddings, but my creative work was winning me over a little more each and every day.  I joined a local photography group and was able to exhibit my work and at the beginning of 2011 I was commissioned by Focal Press to write a book about my work, techniques and expertise in working with Textures.

At first I was a little concerned I wouldn't have enough to 'say' but as I started to write I found that the methods that govern my approach to photography provide me with more than just a strong foundation, they provide me with intention.


When I look back it's clear to see that what I was missing, for so many years in the middle, was an outlet for my creative expression and voice. I want to be heard through my work, just as I know so many of you do.  I have struggled, been overwhelmed with frustration, I have faced personal dilemmas, I've been sabotaged and lied about and at times I have felt completely alone and isolated yet through all of this I have keep my faith in knowing that what I'm doing is right, it's my path, my story.

I have a lot to share and if I inspire just one person to keep going, to find that 'fix' that works, to offer perspective so that they may improve their skill or work more effectively. I have won.

I don't consider myself a teacher, I'll always be a student first, but I do have a very strong drive to share, assist and ease open the doors of creative growth, awareness and vision in others. I don't want you to spend five years in from of your computer, I want to share what I have discovered so that you can make the most out of life's valuable time and get to your creative destination a lot quicker and go beyond and create work that in return inspires another and so forth.

So ask me again....would ever consider running a photography workshop?  Oh yes most definitely!

On the 1st May myself, and three other photographers, Christina Savage, Suzanne Kentish and Jenny Newman drove down the wet gravel drive to Pipewell Hall.  It was pouring with rain so we shot indoor using mainly daylight from the large full length windows and our reflectors (we also had to use my two large soft boxes to bounce light into some of the rooms.) We held two sessions, one in the morning and the other after lunch. We had three amazing models, six stunning dresses as well as three beautiful bouquets. The experience was amazing and has helped established the foundation on which future workshops will be launched and tailored.

If your interested in joining me on a workshop later this year. (UK Midlands) Please complete the registration form HERE {full details to follow}

Sarah Gardner                  www.sarahgardnerphotography.co.uk

Suzanne Kentish               www.suzannekentishphotography.co.uk
Christina Savage               www.christinasavage.co.uk
Jenny Newman                 www.jennynewmanphotography.com
Jean Rae                          www.modelmayhem.com/1076043
Lauren Stanton  / Julietta Arden-Yaylor / Calum Carlin            
Hair & Make Up:  Rosie Orbell                       
Make Up: Sian Ryan       www.facebook.com/xsianryanmua
Florist & Cakes:   
Jill Webb                          www.weddingflowersnorthampton.co.uk
Wedding Dresses:                            
Daisy Fleming                   www.fairy-tale-weddings.co.uk
Venue ~ Pipewell Hall:                   
Trudie Baker                     www.pipewellhall.com

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