Posted on April 18, 2013
Anyone who knows me well will tell you how strongly I believe in Fate. And over the past 16yrs that belief has been put to the ultimate test and yet Fate has never let me down.
Just before starting Detheo Photography, and throughout it’s first year I attended many courses, hungry to refine my skills. However, I always came away feeling unsatisfied.
Looking back I know now why.
As in all professions, people have very different reasons for doing what they do. Throughout my life I have always been driven to jobs that mean something personal to me, and photography is something very personal. My passion to capture those snippets of time, that so powerfully transport you instantly back, has always been my driving force. I needed to learn the basics, which I did, but the courses always seemed to skim the surface, falling short. They never catered for the individual, never understood my strengths or try to identify my weaknesses.
Then last year, just by chance, I came across a thread on the SWPP forum, which unbeknown to me, was set to totally change my life. My first 121 training course with John & Liz Denton sent my head spinning. It was the most amazing experience and I shared my feelings in a post that you are welcome to read back on if you like.
So, when I heard that I was going to be given the opportunity to return to Cold Harbour Studios and embark on my second 121 training course with John, I could not believe it.
And as before, we were joined by two brilliant models. On day one I had the pleasure of working again with Jennifer Dickinson. Jennifer and I met on my first visit. We then caught up at the SWPP Annual Convention 2013 where Jennifer was working with some other photographers. So, it was lovely to see her again on this trip.
On day two, John and I were joined by Katie Louise. It was the first training session Katie had modelled for and I felt very honoured. Her beauty and natural talent are undeniable and she is a great addition to the Denton team.
Straight talking, down to earth, and a true photographic genius, John Denton does what those others in the past forgot to do. Before he teaches anything, he sets out to learn about his pupil. He gets to know who they are, he identifies their strengths and weaknesses and tailors his teachings to help them achieve their fullest potential. As for Liz, she is without a doubt, one amazing woman and the wealth of knowledge she holds is remarkable. Her ability to motivate and guide you through the marketing, branding, advertising etc side of the business leaves people, including myself, feeling so energised.
Photography is so much about who we are as individuals and as such it can be difficult to accept critique. However, I came to trust John & Liz very quickly and a similar sense of humour ensured we connected from the start.
Just like my first visit, this second 121 stripped away all distractions, guided me deeper through my journey of development and taught me to accept responsibility for the barriers I created, that were holding me back. It was without a shadow of a doubt, a soul searching and eye opening experience.
I have come to hold both John and Liz very dear and feel very fortunate to have met such inspiring people. People I know I will forever call my friends. But how do I thank them for the tremendous influence they have had on my life? I had plenty of time during my three hour drive home to contemplate this and I realised, there really was only one way. To take everything they had taught me, draw on all the belief they had shown in me and really make Detheo Photography everything I have always wanted it to be. And in turn, I hope one day, they can look back and feel proud that their influence helped form the solid foundations on which Detheo was grown.
(Below are some of the images captured on the second 121 training course at Cold Harbour Studios).