Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Tedworth House yesterday hosted a phenomenal opportunity for a group of Band of Brothers – many of whom were new faces – to experience a photography workshop like no other!
In the beautiful grounds of Tedworth House, dancers from Sol Dans Company provided moving subjects for the budding photographers to practice capturing motion through the lens, under the tutorage of Dance Photographer, Jim Markland.
During three sets of twenty minute sessions for each participant, Jim provided a very practical approach offering guidance as needed, rather than theoretical lessons. As such, the Band of Brothers had the opportunity to take photos against a number of backgrounds and lighting scenarios, and the wonderful weather meant that those attending could head off into different parts of the grounds for further practice following each of their tutored sessions.
Unbelievably, the reason the workshop took place was due simply to Jim driving past Tedworth House on a number of occasions and feeling compelled to offer his support in some way. He contacted American choreographer, performing artist and Founder of Sol Dans Company, Melody Squire, whom he had worked with previously, and she brought six of her dancers along, some of whom have appeared in successful West End productions such as ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Wicked’, free of charge. Melody whose boyfriend is in the Marines said; “Help for Heroes is a cause close to my heart and it is wonderful to be able to come down from London for the day and support the Band of Brothers in this way”.
Although there was a requirement for some photographic experience to attend the workshop, the Band of Brothers who took part had a range of styles and ideas around how they wanted the dancers to move for their images which has resulted in some stunning photography. For some the workshop was an opportunity to further explore an interest, and for others it developed skills for gaining employment in photography.
The day wasn’t beneficial only to photographers however, as resident art teacher Jenny Arthy brought some of her class along to sketch the dancers in movement. Veteran Eddie Beadows, presented many of his sketches to the dancers as they left. One dancer commented, “I can’t believe I have this to take home, it is stunning. These guys are so talented and so many of them don’t realise it. It was amazing to see the confidence visibly grow amongst those who were taking photos today – it’s been amazing”.
Huge thanks to Jim, Melody and the dancers for giving their time so freely and for such a fantastic day!