Last year, having seen Carole Poirot’s lovely images on instagram and read her genuine and engaging posts, I wanted to know more. She doesn’t blow her own trumpet, she doesn’t need to, her images do it for her. All the photos on this blog post are hers, shown here with her permission. She works as both a professional photographer and stylist in England and France.
Carole runs small workshops teaching the basics of using a proper camera, without it just being on an automatic setting. To be honest even automatic had to be better than my iphone images. I duly booked onto one of her courses. It was to be me and another half dozen people. At the time Carole was using different locations to run her workshops and this involved her travelling around laden with props, camera, food and equipment. That is the life of both photographer and stylist, and it can get a little wearisome and fatiguing at times.
To go off at a tangent, my youngest brother became seriously ill, and I was needed to be at his side fairly constantly that year, so I had to wait before I could attend one of Carole’s courses. She offered to give me a one to one day’s tuition at her home, which is incidentally full of fabulous props.
I set off on a wet, rainy, dark winters day feeling both excited and nervous, also I suspected my camera wasn’t working properly. Carole is a brilliant host and on arrival presented me with delicious coffee and croissants. We went through the vital things you need to know when using a camera on a non-automatic setting. She showed me on hers and then I tried using my camera. I was correct my camera wasn’t working. *Note to self : Check your camera before attending a photography and styling course!
For lunch, Carole had made one of those hearty soups, you need on a wet winters day. She had developed and cooked a super delicious gluten free cake that we tried out at tea -time. This not only gave great eating opportunities but also plenty of shooting ones too.
As the workshop progressed Carole explained various rules of styling, light composition etc. she also showed how to manipulate and enhance images on the computer. We discussed styles of images shown on Instagram. At that time her dark moody shots were being much copied, so being ahead of the field she had moved on to lighter images. It was a fascinating and informative day. Carole also provides fulsome and very useful notes.
Just as an after thought, if you can’t get to one of her courses Carole has a brilliant web site mademoisellepoirot.com
It is full of fabulous photos recipes and much much more. The piece she wrote last year on photographing flowers is beautiful and extremely useful.
I know that one of her ex attendees now runs styling workshops at £150 a head, so Carole’s course is a sound investment.
Words: Juliet Bawden – Creative Colour
Pictures: Carole Poirot