The Dan Kennedy Pro Lighting Workshop

Dan Kennedy (top right), his crew and us. What a happy bunch we are. Picture, courtesy of Dan Kennedy.

I recently attended an intensive one-day pro lighting workshop, taught by the fantastic Dan Kennedy, a London-based celebrity and fashion photographer.

The course was held at Shoreditch Studios, London and run from a purpose built photography studio located underneath a railway arch.

I was one of the 12 lucky, keen and eager students ready to learn from Dan and hopefully gain first hand tips and tricks from this successful professional photographer.

A behind the scenes shot of Dan overseaing one of the students as he takes some shots of the talented model Shane.

Along with the other 11 attendees there were Dan’s two PA’s in assistance. Keeping the momentum going as smoothly as possible throughout the day. These girls were brilliant at keeping us all on-time and on-track ensuring a smooth transition and flow from one setup to the next. It allowed all of us a fair chance at directing the models and taking the shots we all wanted to get.

There was a super friendly, knowledgeable and helpful photographers assistant (helping us to dial-in camera and lighting settings), a stylist, hair and makeup artist and three beautiful and talented models; Shane, Julian and Yani. A cameraman was also onsite recording the behind the scenes for future reference.

Dan was super friendly, knowledgeable and approachable. He shared a few of his stories about some of the celebrities he’s photographed over the years. He explained his shooting style, techniques and business philosophy and we all lapped it up.

Another behind the scenes shot of the beautiful model Julian posing for one of the students.

Dan demonstrated and explained how he would set up a shot. From initially creating a mood board/contact sheet of ideas, to the lighting and modifiers he would use and in what circumstances he would use them. Camera, settings, lens choice and finally how he imports, edits and then sends his images off to the clients.

He also spoke to us about the importance of communicating and directing the models/clients and keeping them engaged. Finally he offered some super insights from his photography career to date, where he started, his big breaks, words of wisdom and caution and especially to be prepared to improvise at a moments notice!

Below are a selection of shots taken on the day and I’m super pleased with the end results. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of Dan’s workshops then I would highly recommend it.

My curated edited pictures of Shane @shanenolan_alive

My shortlisted images of Julian @Julian_Nayiga

My final selection of pictures of Yani @yani.matsunaga

We covered a lot of ground on this very much hands on training day. We used polyboards, backdrops, gobos, lighting, flags and diffusers.

I’ve not properly worked with models before and these three made it so easy. I had a few pre planned poses I wanted to try out but these guys went with the flow so easily it was almost impossible not to get a great shot. They were so easy to get on with and were up for trying all sorts of crazy and wacky poses.

Below are some images taken from behind the scenes.