Whenever you have an idea or business concept to test, it would seem reasonable to start locally and expand from there. I did this the other way around: I started the Digital Artist Workshops from France, branching out to UK, Denmark and Sweden but only now I got around trying out the same concept in Finland!
My experiences with international Digital Artist workshops were overwhelmingly positive, being able to meet talented photographers and help them take a step out of their comfort zone to find something new. For the Finnish edition, I decided to step it up a notch and create a two and a half day all-inclusive Disney-themed Fantasy Art Workshop, focusing on the whole process from planning to retouching with a very hands-on approach.
The goal of the workshop was to help each of the photographers individually to realise their vision by extending their skillset and lending my support on the techniques and creative process. I am blessed with talented friends from the cosplay scene, so finding models for the Disney theme was simple, in fact, we could plan photoshoots with altogether three different characters as we had both Mad Hatter (Henri) and Alice (Iina) from Wonderland as well as Merida (Iina again…) posing for us.
Importantly, I wanted also to create the atmosphere of inclusivity, relaxed holiday and inspirational teamwork which is not necessarily easy with mostly strangers meeting for the first time for a hectic two days. I am happy to say that the workshop succeeded in this, obviously with the help of pristine finnish nature, tons of good food and smoke sauna. People are the key of these workshops, and yet again I was pleasantly surprised by the team spirit and support that the group shared with me and each other.
The workflow of the workshop was simple. The goal was to show and explain my approach on creating images by splitting the process into smaller pieces: Idea, moodboard, sketch, photoshoot, retouching. All the participants started with their own idea of an image and compiled moodboards to present the overall look and feel they were going to try to achieve. The photoshoot was planned ahead with rough sketches of the frame and realised with me assisting with the lights, coloured filters and poses.
Moodboards and sketches also helped me in guiding the individual photographers in the retouching stage. I figured that this workshop would be an easy one for me (not having the pressure of creating my own image as others are watching), but boy was I wrong. I was running around all day from person to person since every single image being created was different, also requiring different techniques to get to that particular look.
After a long day of retouching, most of the images were ready to be presented and I could finally sigh from relief: Every single photographer in the workshop had clearly pushed themselves onto a new level and managed to realise what they visioned when we started.
I´m sure the video below explains what happened during our workshop better than words . All the images in the video were created during the workshop. how amazing is that!
So many people to thank for making this workshop happen:
Workshop host Eevantalot in Syvänniemi Finland.
Our models Henri & Iina
Lasse for making the BTS Video
Petra for producing and assisting during the workshop