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Friday 28th June 2019 The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Beaulieu Dr, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1JY

Photographing People: Location portraits using studio lighting and flash at the Royal Gunpowder Mills

Join us for an fully imersive training day where we will be teaching you studio lighting and the best techniques to take stunning environmantal and studio portraits.


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Only 3 tickets left

About this event

This summer we return to the Royal Gunpowder Museum for a lighting and studio flash training day led by Ray Lowe and a representative from the Flash Centre! Do you struggle with using flash? Do you want to improve your confidence shooting in a studio environment or do you just want to try something new? Then this is the event for you! Learn how to take control of your lighting to create eye catching portraits that will stand out from the rest! In this very unique and fascinating setting of the former munitions manufacturing site we will have 4 studio set ups for you to photograph with 4 different models to capture. Joining us for the day is Ray Lowe who will be guiding you through the best techniques for stunning imagery, and Simon from the Flash Centre who will be bringing a wide range of professional lighting and studio equipment for us to use. The aim of this day is to get you confident shooting with studio lighting and going home with a varied set of outstanding images. 


The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey, were in operation for over 300 years; however, from the mid-1850s onwards the site was involved in developing new nitro-based explosives and propellants. The site grew in size, and gunpowder became less important. Shortly after WWII it became solely a Defence Research Establishment - firstly the Explosives Research and Development Establishment, then the Propellants, Explosives and Rocket Motor Establishment Waltham Abbey; and finally the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment Waltham Abbey. Its superior production methods and high quality results earned it a reputation on an international. 


We will have exclusive use of the site and we have hired a large brick hall where we will have 3 studio set ups available for you to use and one set up outside to take advantage of the unique backdrops that this site has to offer. We will have 4 models for you to capture- 1 professional fashion model, 1 dancer and 2 re-enactors so there will be plenty of variety on the day! You will be working in groups of around 7 photographers to make sure there is plenty of individual shooting time. Your trainer Ray Lowe has over 50 years experience in the industry and runs his own successful photography business- Ray Lowe Studios so this is an excellent chance to get advice from a professional in the field.  Simon from the Flash Centre will be providing us with some state of the art studio lighting and gear that we can use and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about the equipment. 

What to expect:

  • 4 beautiful models
  • Stunning surroundings & professional studio lighting and set ups
  • An abundance of props
  • A photo opportunity everywhere you turn 
  • Masses of atmosphere
  • Wonderful period backdrops
  • A fully immersing training day

We will explore, discuss and put into practice the following, during the event:

  • Creative approaches and compositional ideas
  • Shooting for magazines & competitions
  • Using models inconjuction with your lens apertures to create impact
  • Getting the best out of your lens and using depth of field 
  • Shutter speed, aperture and ISO’s for ‘people’ photography
  • Using studio lighting and flash 
  • Using a live model and directing your subject

During the event there will be sufficient opportunity not only to record the inspirational scenery but also to speak with Ray on a one to one basis. We will have review sessions throughout the day to ensure that everyone has made the best of their time with us with short Q&A sessions and image reviews.  

Things to bring along:

  • Your camera
  • Spare battery
  • Your favourite lens/lenses
  • Flash Gun (not essential)
  • Spare memory cards (lots)
  • Something to make notes with
  • Appropriate clothing for indoor & outdoor photography

This event will start at a very reasonable 10.30 with coffees and introductions. Shooting will start soon after and we will work on location until lunchtime which includes a selection of sandwitches and snacks. With lunch being an informal affair when we can use the time for Q&A. Our afternoon session will see us work through to 17:00 with a quick re-cap and questions at the end.

This event has limited spaces and we expect tickets to sell fast for this unique experience so urge early booking to avoid disappointment

Event requirements


  • Spare batteries
  • Camera
  • Lense cloths
  • Flash
  • Lenses
  • Notepad and pen
  • Camera protection - rain covers etc


  • All levels welcome


  • Medium

Other essentials

  • Sturdy outdoor shoes
  • Warm clothing
  • Wet weather gear

Event location

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