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Is this is a workshop?

The Fashion Shoot Experience is a bridge between a conventional 'workshop' and a real fashion shoot. It is important to note that it is not a 'workshop' where we hold your hand and tell you what to do. Rather, we push you forward whilst standing behind you. There is no teaching structure to the event. We lay on everything you need to make great images: the location, models, styling, lighting, props, and a meticulously-timed schedule that allows you to shoot each and every model, and every available part of the venue.

You need to be confident shooting with your own initiative, but you are not on your own. It's a friendly, creative atmosphere with guidance and assistance on using the lighting, tips and hints where you need them, and support from the hands-on team. 

Because every event is truly a new adventure with new locations, models and costumes, we have a high number of 'repeat customers' that come back to shoot again and again. Join the FSE family!

Who runs it?

The Fashion Shoot Experience is run by Miss Aniela Ltd. We are, in essence, a passionate photographer couple! This is myself (Natalie Dybisz/Miss Aniela) and partner Matthew Lennard. The events are run regularly in London, with international events taking place increasingly. 

In London we have a familiar network that includes stylists, MUAs, hairstylists which we hire regularly from, and we aim to use new models every time. We've also been running US events since 2011 where we have developed a base of contacts in NY and LA.

What kind of lighting do you provide? And can I bring my own?

On our London events we have a range of lighting courtesy of our sponsors Broncolor and Lupolux. Our Broncolor arsenal comprises of Move 1200L kits, Para 88, Superboom with stand, beauty dish, softboxes, diffusers and reflectors. Lupolux provide our constant lighting (the kind used for movies) and in total we have 9 Lupolux lights at our disposal including LEDs and HMIs.

Additionally we have backup kits, radio triggers and sync leads, and a full range of modifiers which includes softboxes, shoot-through umbrellas, silver & white beauty dishes, small reflectors, and grids. Filters, large reflectors/diffusers, and handheld gold/silver/white circular reflectors.

On our international events we bring what is necessary and logistically possible, and will communicate this in the relevant info PDF you receive.

We divide up the equipment so that each pair of photographers work with a particular lighting set-up. You are also free to shoot with natural/ambient wherever you prefer. You're free to bring along any extra bits and pieces: for example your own flash equipment or speedlights. We do not teach you 'how to use lighting' per say, but we are on hand to help with anything you need to know. All the equipment is set up before you arrive. Tips and hints are always on hand and assistants ready to help you move lighting or to point a reflector.

Is it just about fashion?

The models are styled in beautiful/avant-garde costumes, so the event certainly lends itself well to fashion. I myself (Miss Aniela) am not strictly a 'fashion photographer' but a photographer who enjoys creating artistic images as well as fashion. Shooting on these events myself, I have done both: shooting straight 'fashion' shots and stories, as well as more conceptual or artistic images. With so much potential in the locations we use, there is scope for different interpretations. We've also had some fantastic beauty-based images from photographers on the events.

I've been to zillions of workshops. This one doesn't sound cheap. Why should I attend?

We want to provide something to those photographers who have been to enough workshops, and are looking for the next level!

One of the main differences is that the work you create is real work: images to which you are assigned commercial rights to use your images for publication, exhibition and portfolio, seldom offered by group events of this nature. What's more, the professional structure on the day is second to none. We're strict on timekeeping to ensure you get your full, equal shooting time with each model.

We increasingly aim to pour the highest production quality into our shoots. The price for a place is highly reasonable for the value you get in return; you can walk away with a portfolio of shots for half the cost of hiring just the venue for that day itself. For this price you also get quality time with each of the professionally-styled models, the use of the equipment, the assistance on hand, and a proper taste of a real fashion shoot but with us taking care of all the hard organisation. We always want you to feel you get your real money's worth.

Numerous people who attend our event have been to many other workshops, and have enjoyed our event in a way they have not previously experienced. You may find it to be the most fun and rewarding event you’ll attend – by the end of the day, you’ll be artistically spent! On our venue-based events we try to steer away from 'paparazzi' style shooting and facilitate an environment for independent thinking. 

I've never even attended a workshop. Should I go to this?

Because the Fashion Shoot Experience is not a workshop, you need a certain level of confidence to look after yourself on the day. However, working in pairs, you are not alone, left wondering how to fill every moment with the sound of a shutter going. You get chance to help the other person, think and compose your next shot. You might just find however, that in the style of ‘on the job training’, you ‘learn’ more than at a workshop! 

Also, it’s normal to feel a little nervous! We’ve had attendees who start off jittery and soon get into the swing of it, and by the end of the day, have stopped from sheer exhaustion! We never want you to leave 'wanting', but instead so full from the feast that you've had enough!

"I felt completely overwhelmed and intimated and for a while I wondered why on earth I’d signed up. However, this day turned out to be an amazing, awesome, fulfilling and emotional experience – probably the best day I’ve ever had with my camera!" - read more of what Rachel Twigger had to say.

How is the day organised?

A typical shoot runs as follows: arrive 9am for breakfast and tea, mingling and location browse, followed by a brief introductory talk from the hosts Natalie & Matthew. We split you into your designated pairs, divide into the first location points and start shooting at roughly midday with the first model. There are three sessions between morning and lunch, an hour with each of 3 models. Then we have a lunch break (lunch spread provided) and the models get touch-ups.

After lunch we shoot 2-3 further set-ups, each an hour, followed by a group shot at the end. We then pack away to leave the venue. On most events you can also purchase a signed Miss Aniela book. We provide a more in-depth itinerary in your info PDF. Before the event we also send you a preview of everyone involved including pictures of the models and costumes. Afterwards, you get a full credits list with contact details of everyone on the shoot. We always stress the importance of professionally crediting the team.

How do I book and pay? What is the cancellation policy?

As a general rule, places are secured by full payment of the event price. Once you email to state your interest, and we confirm there is a place available, we send you an invoice along with a PDF of payment terms. You can pay by bank transfer or by Paypal. There is a small charge for Paypal to cover the fee, or for international bank transfer.

You will receive the info PDF at least 2 weeks beforehand. A preview of the team list follows, usually a week before the event.

The PDF of payment terms, that we send along with the invoice, details the cancellation policy. On our London events, we give you chance to cancel no later than 7 days before the event, which allows you to move your place to another event for free. Cancellations less than 7 days, or no-shows, are in principle non-refundable. For our US events, our terms differ, which will be detailed in your PDF of terms sent with your invoice (e.g. we need 30 days' notice for cancellations). Please be sure to read fully.

If you have any doubts about payment procedure or the policy, please enquire.

What do I need to bring?

Your camera, tripod, plenty of memory cards, laptop if you want to offload your cards through the day.

Do you have a mailing list?

Yes, sign up here. The newsletter is sent out every month maximum, and we will never spam you or pass on your details onto third parties. However, don't (currently) rely on the newsletter to hear of events first. Best to join the Fashion Shoot Experience Facebook group.

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