I just had a terrific photography experience at the weekend. After my friend Ruth said to me last year she went to a ‘Meetup’ photo gathering I thought I ought to look into it. Meetup in this cool platform that gathers all sorts of events (some free, some with a contribution) where you can choose to meet people who share a hobby similar to yours. I looked again into it in order to give you more details about MeetUp and I realised that MeetUp operates in 180 countries which really amazed me – read more about it onWikipedia here.
One of the things I have found when you live in a big cities such as London, Paris…is that life can become quite impersonal. I am very much a city girl but I have sometimes found that everybody always seems so busy, planning their weekends months in advance and it can really be challenging to make new friends. I love the idea to join a group of unknown people but who all share an interest. It makes the whole socialising a lot easier and you can always start talking about that hobby you have in common to get the conversation going. On Meetup you will find so many different groups (Tech, Dance, Arts, Music, Sci-Fi & Games, beliefs…), there ought to be one that catches your interest!
During last London Open House day I met Ziona, a talented photographer who mentioned to me the London4all group on Meet up and Instagram. So on her recommendation, I joined the group which organises photowalk, social events and skills workshop. I was lucky enough to snap one of the few places for last weekend’s workshop: a photoshoot in a studio with 2 lovely ballerinas. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and I knew no one but I was looking forward to practising more studio photography as this is what we are concentrating on in my photography course at College. However, I also felt intimidated. Since a bad experience in a photoshoot my confidence had been pretty low and I feared I would be out of my depth. Anyway, it was too late to cancel and I had paid for it so I made sure I looked online (thank you Pinterest!!) for a bit of inspiration and selected a few images to try to reproduce on the day of the shoot.
As a little girl I did several years of ballet classes with a super demanding dance teacher who funnily enough was British and from the Royal Academy of Dance. I still remember her saying to us ‘Levez le jambe, sortez le cou..’ with her her brilliant British accent.
I wasn’t the most talented of ballerinas, a few of the girls in my class were obviously much better at it than me and I felt I wasn’t getting much attention from the teacher. So after 5 years I gave up ballet to move on to tennis. I still have good memories from my time at Ballet class and I love going to Ballet shows. I was lucky enough to go a few times to shows at Covent Garden Royal Opera House and that was amazing. Check out their program here. I love the outfits, I appreciate the grace dancers show, the enormous amount of effort that goes into a career in dancing…so shooting ballerinas seemed like a dream!
So last Saturday I made my way to a studio photography in Stratford in East London to meet with the London4all team. Our gorgeous ballerinas were Pippa and Isabelle, 2 students from the London Central School of Ballet and nothing was too much trouble for them.
We were all allowed to shoot on the side while one photographer at a time was given a 20mn slot to direct our ballerinas and get the studio lights. 20mn…that seemed little and oh my, so long when you are supposed to be the only one directing but the time flew! Here are few good shots I took during that session (a few are quite grainy as I shot from the side without the studio lights using a high ISO to avoid too much blurriness)
Let me tell you I was absolutely shattered after that fantastic session. After a week looking after the little ones, an early and busy morning with the family and that photoshoot, my legs gave me a hard time. It was a case of going back home, having diner and…bedtime. Well, not quite as I could not possibly go to bed without checking my shots but this was a great afternoon.
Go and Check Meetup (or download their app on the Apple store or Google Play – click here to download) to see if there is any group that appeals to you and meet new people!