I don't spend a lot of time looking at the work of other photographers, but not so long ago I came across Lakshal Perera and fell a little in love with his pictures.
Then after reading his bio, and his blog, I fell a little in love with him too.
So I did something I don't do, and wrote to him to tell him (not that I was in love with him, and it's not love like love-love anyway, so shoosh), and he replied with grace and loveliness, so I was impressed.
Impressed enough that when he put a quiet word out about having a go at hosting his first workshop that would be about not just taking nice photos, but being good people while we did, I booked a ticket for Melbourne.
Excited, because I had never attended a workshop on anything, and had not really discussed the creation of a photograph with anyone since year 12 art class (and I think we all agree that was forever ago).
First flight of the day - 6am...
Pretty in the rain, and
pretty above the rain
I dumped my luggage at the hotel (Vibe Savoy, which was perfectly located for me, and comfortable, with an internet price that made my eyes water) and jumped a train for the studio.
Lightdrop Studios is a beautifully wooden-floored space in what once was the Younghusband (is that not the best family name you have ever heard?) wool/produce stores.
You can see it's age in these glass window panes
I love the way they warp and undulate
There is a stigma wrongly attached to wedding photography that sets it somewhere on the scale near glamour photography, but it's people like Lucky, and the other photographers (each one who is turning out stunning images) attending the workshop that are changing that view. The Be Nice and Take Nice Photographs workshop covered many aspects of photography, and running a business, but it's key focus was that of values and ethics. It was confronting at times (having to think about yourself can be), but it was just so lovely to be surrounded by honest and supportive people who share common ideals.
I did say confronting, didn't I. We paired up to photograph each other, and I was the odd one out left to photograph Lucky. I was a little freaked out. I admire his talent as a photographer, so I felt under pressure. We had to try to capture the essence of the person, but I just wanted to capture him as quickly as possible!
I do like the shot, I like the serenity in his eyes, but I don't think I have really shown the viewer what a lovely, warm person he is. If I'd stopped to think about it, I would have shot him interacting with others because that is where he shines the most.
Lucky took his turn with me. He said I looked like Galadriel. See, told you he was nice.
I finished my two days feeling invigorated, inspired, and ready to invest in what I do. I have the courage to move forward, and I have made many new friends.
Hugest thanks to Lucky, and his gorgeous, talented, and clever wife, Kristen. To Ben, for his fantastic cooking and general taking care of us, and to everyone else for being so 'nice'.
I'm going to throw in some gratuitous plugs as well, just because I had such a great time. A weekend worth of yummy juice was supplied by Summer Snow Juice, and a most delicious Sri Lankan feast came from Lakmi in Abbotsford.
I didn't do any of the touristy things in Melbourne this time, I ran out of time. But if you want to view pictures from one of my other trips there, be my guest.
On the flight home, the cloud cover was so thick it felt like forever for us to break through,
though it was pretty awesome when we did!
Some passengers felt the forever more than others, as there wasn't enough time to give everyone a meal service.