6 AM.

Lots of sleepy people full of anticipation.

Today is D day – when everyone gets handed their assignment for the next 2 days. They will live and they will breathe it.

For those of you who are not sure how it works – each of our photographers is given a person that they need to stick to like glue for the next 2 days. They need to come back and tell us all about them – but not with their mouth but their imagery. We want storytelling, we want emotion, we want content that makes a comprehensive final slideshow. Just to give you a sense of how good the images need to be – only 36 are hand picked for each final slideshow, and it has not been unknown for participants to come back with over 3000 from just one days shooting. So its not an easy task – having had been through it twice in past years I know how difficult it is – and how each and every person will be completely taken out of their comfort zone. The camera backs are no longer taped – but its doesn’t matter as no deleting in camera is allowed – each and every frame will get seen by fellow team members and critiqued by a team leader with everyone present. There is no editing allowed, the images are shown straight out of the camera, and are all shot in JPG format. So its imperative that the participants think on their feet – one of the most important aspects of documentary photography. The best moments tend to happen when we are not looking, or looking but not seeing. This workshop is about learning to anticipate those moments and learn to SEE .

All of our participants are already very accomplished wedding and portrait photographers so the skill level is incredibly high – improving on those already well honed skills is no mean feat. But , in daily life most of us shoot in RAW format, which allows a level of error – so changes can be made in post production. But here at MV, there are no such luxuries. Difficult lighting conditions, changes in light from room to room, fast moving objects, difficult shooting conditions – none of it matters. Because the idea is that you are always prepared, always thinking ahead, always ready to capture that decisive moment.

Without further ado however, here is who is shooting who –


Lorna Egan, supervisor at Tourist information office, Cumbria tourist Board – covered by Dave Greaves
Ralph Dixon, window cleaner – covered by Mark Wallis
Sue Walker, team leader at Derwent Hill – covered by Neil Walker
Tom Hrynow, park ranger at Lake district national Park – covered by Lynne Kennedy
Rod Howe, mechanic at Keswick Motor Company – covered by Jill Thorning-Jensen


Sally at Derwent Frames – covered by Ally Stuart
Mike Law, Cumbria Pest & Hygiene Services  – covered by covered by Aziz Khan
Carole Weir, washer lady at Keswick laundry  – covered by Steve Tarling
Ken, chainsaw carver – covered by Rob Sanderson

Lou Hogan at Carver Trust riding stables – covered by Yasmin Mariess


Kirsten Ogden, parapent repairer at Aerofix – covered by Justine Ferrari
Louise at Evergreens  – covered by covered by Simon Mark Whitten
Paul Weller at Canoe & Bushcraft  – covered by Gavin Woollard
Gill Crosley at Borrowdale primary school – covered by Jon Rouston

There was also a surprise assignment for one of our new MV members, Kate Griffin. Kate who is also assistant to Duncan looked a little shocked this morning when she found out that Duncan himself will be her assignment.  And as no post is complete without some pictures….

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I will be blogging images from individual assignments as they come in over the next 24 hours so please keep popping back!



Nothing to do with Gollum himself but an apt title for the task in hand. All participants were asked to bring along an image of an item ( not a person or a pet) that was precious to them…and explain why. From a memory box, nana’s ring, to diaries written by a family member no longer with us the selection was definitely varied. A few laughs, a few tears, a few hugs – and a few shocked faces when everyone was told the next morning’s start time! 6 am – we will see you there.

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Hello’s and hugs over and done with, it was time for the work to begin! Once the participants are split into their individual teams they are given a little team assignment – just to get those creative juices flowing in preparation for tomorrow. The challenge was for each team to go out and shoot a documentary story based on the word “local”. The word was left open to interpretation so each team had to decide what and how they will shoot. The rules? No deleting in camera, shooting JPG format only and exactly 24 frames each. The back screen of the camera was taped up so there was no peeking allowed, and the final product of this exercise was to be final slideshow of 24 images per team. The purpose? To get the grey matter working, a little team bonding and to take the participants out of their comfort zone as soon as possible.

We reassembled in the evening to watch the team slideshows and it was really interesting to see how each team interpreted the subject in an entirely different way.  Certainly a good warm up for the real thing tomorrow…



















MV 2013 – location KESWICK

And so it kicks off! The My Vision 2013 workshop is now (almost) in full swing. For those of you not familiar with MV, a little bit of history. Now in its 4th year, MyVision is a fantastic documentary photography workshop, run for photographers by photographers. MV itself is a photographers collective that has grown over the last 5 years and now has a total of 82 members. We are individuals from many walks of life, but there is one thing we have in common – our love for photography. Not just any photography – but stuff that makes you feel, makes you look twice, and pictures that speak without words. But just like anyone doing similar things day in day out, we sometimes get a little stale, a little stuck in our ways and need of some inspiration.

And this is EXACTLY what the My Vision documentary photography workshop is about – honing our skills and learning new ones, and working outside of your comfort zone. As a group of some of the top UK wedding and portrait photographers we are dedicated to raising the standard of professional photography in the UK – by being the best versions of ourselves. There are no novices here – a prerequisite of joining our group is that each and every photographer is already accomplished in what they do, has an excellent work ethic and talent – there is no room for mediocrity. I will be telling you a little about each of the participants in their individual blog posts so keep checking back.

This year Keswick is our chosen destination and we are stopping at the excellent Queens Hotel . We are very grateful to the local businesses and individuals who have allowed us to work with them – we thank you as without this wouldn’t happen. Everyone involved will be revealed in due course when the participants are given their assignments.

In the meantime, enjoy some images of the MV family getting together – amidst the hellos, the hugs, the laughter and the cupcakes you could already sense the anticipation….

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And for some extra images, as not all that are taken will make the blog, please make sure that you follow us on Instagram – we are under or #mvphotographers . Enjoy!