Photography Workshop: One-day Portrait Lighting Workshop at Bishopstrow House, Wiltshire

Simon Stafford Presents
a unique full one-day Portrait Lighting Workshop
Bishopstrow House, near Warminster, Wiltshire, England


The course is available on two separate dates:

Saturday, 21st July 2012
Saturday, 11th August 2012

Following his highly popular and acclaimed series of lighting and flash photography seminars in 2010 & 2011, Simon has prepared this full one-day (9:30 am – 5:00 pm) workshop to help photographers hone their portrait lighting skills through the practical application of tools and techniques.

Sharing his in-depth knowledge and 30 years of photographic experience, Simon will lead you through a variety of live demonstrations, both indoors and outside (weather permitting!), so you will be able to observe first-hand how to achieve professional looking lighting effects for portrait photography when working with natural light, battery powered camera flash units (Nikon Speedlights), and continuous (video) light sources.

Following each demonstration you will have the opportunity to shoot with the same lighting equipment and practice applying the techniques to enhance your learning experience, while benefitting from individual feedback on your results. In this way you will gain both confidence and competence in lighting techniques, enabling you to achieve a dramatic improvement in the quality of your portrait pictures by producing creative results.

The workshop is a mixture of seminar sessions and practical shooting sessions:

Seminar Sessions:

During the seminar sessions Simon will discuss and demonstrate a number of topics, and will answer any questions you have. The topics will include the following:

  • Selection and use of different lenses
  • Exposure metering techniques for ambient light
  • White balance settings
  • Controlling natural light with light modifiers
  • Adding fill-flash to available light
  • Implications of flash sync speed
  • TTL flash versus manual flash
  • Using flash indoors
  • Mixing artificial light sources (tungsten & flash)
  • Shooting with bounced flash
  • Controlling flash with light modifiers
  • Slow-sync flash (dragging the shutter)
  • Shooting with wireless TTL flash lighting

Practical Sessions:

Whether you are shooting indoors, or outdoors, light is the key ingredient to any portrait picture; understanding light and how to control it is, therefore, essential. During these sessions, when there will be two models and a variety of lighting equipment (reflectors, diffusers, shoot-through umbrellas, and softboxes) available, you will learn how to:

  • Assess light for its colour, direction and quality
  • Modify the nature of the light quality to improve results
  • Use the TTL metering system of your camera to best advantage
  • Use daylight effectively and efficiently
  • Work with TTL flash and manual flash
  • Shoot with off-camera flash, using a variety of light modifiers
  • Use a continuous light source (video light)

The Venue:

The event will be held at Bishopstrow House, near Warminster, Wiltshire, England, BA12 9HH.

Bishopstrow House is a quintessential English Georgian country house set in 18th century landscaped gardens. We will have exclusive use of a large room, and access to the extensive grounds, which will provide a variety of shooting opportunities. For further details of the venue please visit:



The cost of the event will be £300, with a special price of £240 if you are a subscriber to Nikon Owner magazine or £225.00 if you are a Gold subscriber; if you do not currently subscribe to Nikon Owner, you are welcome to join when booking this workshop event in order to receive these discounts. The price includes mid-morning refreshments, a hot and cold buffet lunch in a private dining room, and mid-afternoon refreshments. There are a maximum of just 10 places. This limit is imposed strictly to ensure each delegate receives individual attention during the practical photography sessions, to provide ample time to try different lighting techniques, and benefit from individual feedback on their work.

To book, please email me only with your full name, Nikon Owner user name/membership number, daytime mobile and landline

  • As there are very limited places available, please reply as soon as you are able to in order to avoid disappointment. If you are not currently a subscriber, you are welcome to join whilst booking the workshop with me in order to receive the discount on the session. (Please note attendance of one of Simon’s previous seminars is not a prerequisite of this event.)


If you have any questions about the event please send Simon an email:


What you will need:

To make the most of the workshop it is important to be prepared, so you should be familiar with the basic operations of your camera, including the ability to adjust shutter speed, lens aperture and ISO, manually. You should also know how to select the different metering patterns and white balance options, and have a grasp of concepts such as depth of field and the effect shutter speed will have on image sharpness.

You will need a digital SLR camera, with either a standard zoom, such as a 24-70mm (FX-format) / 16-85mm (DX-format), or a fixed focal length lens, such as a 50mm, 85mm, or 105mm, and if you have one, a telephoto zoom, such as a 70-200mm. You will also require a flash unit and memory card(s). If you have a flash modifier and/or external battery pack for your flash, bring these as well. Simon will be available to offer advice concerning equipment prior to the event should you have any questions.

Cancellation Policy:

Please note that payment for the workshop must be made in full at the time of reserving a place. Cancellations received in writing prior to 14 days before the event will be subject to an administration fee of 10% of the full workshop price; no refunds will be made for cancellations received 14 days or less from the date of the workshop for any reason.

Previous attendees’ feedback:

“Simon’s patient teaching style, coupled with his deep technical knowledge of the subject, helped me understand the aspects of flash photography that aren’t covered in the manuals, and has given me the confidence I needed to use flash in real situations where control of the light is paramount.” – J K

“A short line to thank you for what was a splendid workshop yesterday. Not only was it thoroughly enjoyable but also very informative. There were a number of items that I found to be specifically beneficial and which created a eureka moment for me in why I had be struggling to get the quality I wanted from portrait pictures. Once again a really valuable day for me spent in convivial and knowledgeable company.” – I M

“I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the workshop, which I thought you ran at just the right level. It was a bit of an eye-opener for me in terms of what can be done without having to have great technical expertise in lighting.” – T S

About Nikon Owner


Standard Annual Subscriptionspecial price: £59 until July 7th only

  • 1-year Subscription to Nikon Owner + 3-yr warranty on all new Nikon products from Grays of Westminster
  • Nikon Owner magazine, a superb, glossy full-colour 60-page quarterly magazine that is 100% Nikon. Each issue delivers benchmark technical reviews of the very latest Nikon equipment, thought-provoking interviews and articles with world-class images
  • Private user-name and password to subscribers-only website
  • Simon Stafford’s Technical Helpline
  • 18-month warranty on second-hand Nikon from Grays of Westminster
  • 10% off Think Tank bags purchased at Grays of Westminster
  • Special trips and events
  • Discounts on events and training sessions
  • 10% off any training courses run by Nikon UK

Gold Subscription – special price £349 (normal price £449)

  • 4-year subscription to Nikon Owner
  • 5-year warranty on all new Nikon products from Grays of Westminster
  • 2-year warranty on second-hand Nikon from Grays of Westminster
  • Gold Priority waiting list for all new Nikon releases (top of the waiting list)
  • A half-hour tutorial on the phone or face to face, by appointment
  • Special offers to Gold subscribers throughout the period of subscription
  • A signed copy of Heather Angel’s Wild Kew while stocks last.
  • A Grays of Westminster umbrella (in store only) or a Simon Stafford Nikon Magic Lantern Guide of your choice
  • Nikon Owner quarterly magazine as above
  • Private user-name and password to subscribers-only website which includes forum, message board, technical equipment reviews, events’ page and use of a photo gallery
  • Gold subscription card
  • Simon Stafford’s Technical Helpline
  • 15% off Think Tank bags purchased at Grays of Westminster (this month only)
  • Special trips and events
  • Substantial discounts on training sessions organised by Grays of Westminster, including Mike Maloney’s Workshops , Heather Angel’s Wildlife & Natural History Workshops, Simon Stafford’s Definitive Flash, Portraiture and Macro
  • Training Sessions, Michael Eleftheriades’ panoramic and colour-calibration seminars and Chris Weston’s Photographic Courses
    10% off any training courses run by Nikon UK



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