On Saturday, in front of nine other amateur photographers, Tim Coulson reminded me about that day last year that I cried down the phone to him. I sobbed happiness because he had made me realise what I had. "But you already had it," he said. "Yes, but you captured it - every little moment of it."
I cried again on Saturday. Because Tim put this photo up on the projector screen as an example of a family portrait. All he had asked Daniel and I to do was sit on the stairs. But within one shot he photographed a proud man, a deep-in-love new mother and two little ones embraced. My family. Everything.
Tim Coulson has, within one year, travelled the path from obscurity to success - thousands of photos over hundreds of days. It's been such a privilege to witness his journey and hence it was an absolute honour to attend "The Nursery - a people photography workshop".
I spoke a little bit about what it's like to be photographed by him. Tim wholeheartedly loves people. He admires family. When he steps into your home he treats it as a sacred space and within minutes (three, maximum) he has his camera out. But rarely do you notice it. He remains present and engaged the entire time - the essence of his emotional shooting. Within his photos are everyday moments that rarely get documented; a mother consoling a child, a father leading the way, a newly married couple holding on tight.
At "The Nursery" Tim taught his art. He discussed the best way to approach and connect with the subject, encouraged us to 'see' the moments that usually go unnoticed and provided a clear and concise explanation of manual photography (there's really only three things you need to know!)
After an inspiring morning, with cameras ready, he took us to the river where, rather fittingly, dappled afternoon light made for perfect photography conditions. He photographed me, explaining as he shot, and then the nine other attendees took turns photographing me, Che and each other. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you there were yelps of excitement - within hours nine photographers had learnt to shoot manual and were taking stunning photographs - light flares, bokeh, glorious composition...
When the light started to fade we headed back to the Black Shack so we could learn a little bit about organising, culling, editing and filing. From listening to Tim I now know that I definitely take too long to decide whether or not I like a photo. His advice? If you don't like it within five seconds you're never going to like it. Sorted. As for filing - create a system and stick to it. Which is number one on my to-do list.
There was so much more to The Nursery....I could tell you everything but I'd rather you discover it for yourself. If you attend I promise you an inspiring, informative and heart-warming day.
If you have any questions I'm more than happy to answer them in the comments section. Tim will be reading your comments too so no doubt he'll join the conversation. He will be travelling to Melbourne in September (there's still a couple of places left) and every state in Australia in the next year to run "The Nursery"....email Kesh at hello @ timcoulson.com to register your interest.
Familiar faces in my photos? Luisa and Annettte were documenting the day behind-the-scenes style...and the lovely Peta, Belinda, Greer, Kelly and Roberta were there too! I shot on two cameras - my GF1 and Tim's Canon 5D Markii (I'll be upgrading soon!)
Of course, those last three photos up there were taken by Mr Coulson.