by Andrea Barrett Published 01/11/2011
Andrea Barrett is building up to a busy week at the Convention, when she'll be delivering no less than four workshops while also taking part in judging the work of Society members
You can usually spot those who are happy in their career and confident in their ability by the fact that they are willing to share some of the knowledge that got them to where they are now with those who are coming up behind. It's a case of offering something back, and it's the kind of giving attitude that has so characterised the Convention over the years.
One of those who is always at the forefront of training and workshop opportunities is social photographer Andrea Barrett, who appreciates herself the helping hand that she received from experienced professionals over the years as she has built her business. "I always had an interest in photography," she says, "and I got my first camera when I was just eight years old. Between the ages of 17-26 I played in a band and met lots of other musicians who I used to photograph. It was at this time that I met my husband Mike Barrett, whose dad happened to be a fully qualified photographer. When I started up a photography business myself his dad used to come out on weddings with me, and the experience he had acquired shooting weddings himself down in Torquay was a big help to me."
Andrea signed up to become a member of the SWPP right from the start, encouraged by the fact that it was being run by Phil Jones, someone for whom she had huge respect. "Whatever endeavour he was doing I would have been happy to have supported," she says. "I used to lecture for Phil when he was a regional chairman, so I had known him for many years and always had a lot of time for him."
This association with the SWPP has seen Andrea attend five Conventions to date and she's been a regular speaker over the years. The 2012 event will see Andrea busier than ever, with her and her partner Mark Jordan, ASWPP delivering seminars on four days and also taking part in judging on the Wednesday and Thursday.
"My first workshop will be on the Tuesday," she says, "when I will be setting up a mock wedding complete with a bride and groom and the delegates will be taking the part of wedding guests! We'll start at the Novotel in Hammersmith and will then travel to the exclusive '41' hotel where we will show you the 'art' of posing, not only with the beautiful models provided but with 'ordinary people' too."
Following her and Mark's stints as judges, the pair's next Masterclass is on the Friday, and it will be another practical session, this time focusing on boudoir photography. "We'll have models available," says Andrea, "and I'll be talking about posing and lighting and showing how to flatter our subjects to get results that ladies will love AND buy! We've photographed over 100 ladies recently and it's been really successful for us. At the moment I use a bedroom environment with natural light only but I'll be telling delegates about the dedicated boudoir studio we're currently building that features continuous lights. I've never liked working with studio flash, and I'll show what you can achieve by looking at alternative sources."
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