Being a London local, Oliver Wheeldon was extremely excited when the Lumiere Light Festival, a show of over fifty artistic light installations, came to town. Not only was Oliver able to capture some stunning shots of the lights transforming the city at night, he was also able to push the X-T20’s high ISO capabilities to the limit to capture the city streets after dark.
We’ve been working with Alex for sometime now and he’s been creating some eye-wateringly good fashion shoots and editorial work in the UK and abroad for a while now.
We wanted to offer a select few the opportunity to come along to London for the day, shoot a top international model (the tallest and most beautiful person I’d ever met and am likely to), try out the Fujifilm X-T1, X-Pro1, X100S and range of lenses. The real pull however was to be working in close
proximity with Alex and get almost one-to-one training with. Alex would generously offer top advice and techniques on how to shoot street fashion, with an edgy feel. We ran a quick competition and notified the lucky people that would be invited to come along.
So, at The Sanderson (FYI if you’re thinking of visiting London try and stay here. The lift alone will blow your mind-honestly) I, along with Nathan and Hannah from Fujifilm, were there to meet the lucky winners.
The attendees were a real mix of shooting styles and photographic weapons of choice, but all very proficient photographers. Up in the lift (I will bang on about that given half the chance) to the fabulous suite which we were using. Jasmin had her hair and make-up fixed, tips were given from Alex how to direct hair and makeup and how to go about choosing a team of people to work with.
While the styling was taking place Alex talked through how he came to use the Fujifilm system, why its worked for him and why it offers him creative freedom. How he can get shots which wouldn’t be possible with a traditional DSLR (more on this to come). Our competition winners then chose which camera / lens combo they wanted to use, Jasmin was revealed -ta-dar- and we were ready to hit the streets of Soho.
6 photographers, 3 Fujifilm staff, one International model, one videographer (special thanks to Sinbad) and one Alex Lambrechts out on the streets of Soho. For those unfamiliar with London, its quite common to see lots of creative and exciting things going on, but we were stopping traffic! The public were quite rightly curious as to what was going on, but we all got into the hang of it straight away.
Alex was teaching us on the fly what to look for, angles, backlighting, top lighting, inspiring everyone and giving them confidence to try something new. On the spot, on the go.
We tried different techniques, going down side alleys, using the urban architecture to frame different shots and learning more and more about how to create ‘wow’ shots using the cameras. Pretty soon anyone who may have been lacking confidence were sharpening their elbows to get in and get the shot.
Streets, alleyways, walkways, building entrances-anything and everything was being shot. SD cards were filling up at a rate of knots.
After a good few hours of shooting, stopping and dodging traffic we were spent, so decamped to a pizzeria in Soho to take stock.
Cameras were passed around, experiences shared, top tips from all participants were exchanged.
Throughout the whole experience Alex was there, on hand, giving advice, giving encouragement but also letting you get on with it.
The whole experience was filmed in order to share with others what its like to shoot in those kind of conditions, with this kit. These are cameras which Alex shoots with professionally, not for a past time. They have to help him make a living. But this experience was showing others either new to the system, those thinking of trading up etc what opportunities there are and what they can enjoy from the Fujifilm X-Series.
Home, exhausted, happy and with some amazing images and memories which make me want to shoot more, challenge myself more and become a better photographer.
You’ve read the blog, seen the images, now you can watch the video too!
The reason I wanted to attend was to learn from Alex and to try out Fujifilm X series cameras and street photography
I liked the buzz of the street photography experience and the camera was excellent and very manageable due to its size. I was really concerned as I am not technical that I wouldn’t be able to get nice images but I was very pleasantly surprised.
Having just purchased my X-Pro 1 and Alex being one of the reasons that helped me make that jump, I wanted to get an insight into how Alex used the system, settings and tips on the X system and get some hands on time with my new camera and try something different.
I’ve had almost no previous experience in shooting street photography.
I really enjoyed the day, Alex took the time to go over how he came to use the X system, how he uses it and the benefits as well as a few pointers on particular settings. Aside from getting a better understanding of the cameras and some of the settings I learned a couple of new focussing techniques and how to shoot ‘on the fly’, totally different to most of my studio work and a refreshing change!
I wanted to meet Alex Lambrechts, Fuji staff, and experience an assortment of Fuji cameras and equipment and to have a go at some street photography. I enjoyed being with like minded people, picking up tips, and having a good time.
The day was a massive success despite being late getting outside. I really enjoyed it and met some lovely people who are now Facebook friends, plus got some great shots and learned some things.
I didn’t have a great deal of street photography experience, mainly shooting architecture. I did photograph people but, in my mind, the picture needs to pick up something interesting, an expression or act, to warrant the picture being worth publishing. I see too many nondescript street pics, so my experience is that it’s a difficult area to get expressive images but very rewarding when it happens.
I really enjoyed the day and the company. Alex and his wife, Jasmin, are a great couple and make the day. Jasmin was so good as a model that getting a great shot was fairly easy!
I learned that it is best to utilise the Fuji option of setting a minimum shutter speed to avoid motion blur and let the camera chose whatever ISO as even at very high ISO the file quality is superb. Setting the aperture small (like F11) for getting background sharp and more open for closer work.
Tuesday Dé Máirt
I carry my dslr (with some heavy lenses) everywhere I go but it’s surely wearing me out so I asked Facebook friends to recommend me a handy camera that produces good quality pictures. Someone told me about the upcoming Fujifilm camera (back in January) so I waited and purchased XT1 when it became available. So coming to the workshop was the best idea – to learn more about the handsome camera’s capabilities.
This is my first time to try street photography.
The experience was remarkable! It was more of a relax kind of just chatting and taking photographs. Alex is very talented when it comes to teaching (aside from capturing great photographs!), he definitely made everyone get excited for the day and encourage everyone to just take pictures, waste no time! I love the tips I got from him, he surely know what he’s doing. And Nathan is there to help with technical stuff which I was expecting to learn that day too. Definitely a memory worth to keep…
My reasons for attending was to keep myself fresh on trending styles of photography with a hands-on experience.
I have extensive experience of shooting ‘street’ but this was a first for me within the style. My normal work is a more social documentary style.
The day was a great opportunity to interchange ideas with Alex and the others, and to network with fellow Fuji users of various abilities. It took me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to think more progressively about what I am doing.
Being relatively new to the world of photography the Fujifilm X Street Fashion workshop was fantastic and just what I needed. It gave me not only the technical pointers that I’d hoped for, but being introduced to the Fujifilm X systems changed my whole view of photography. It opened me up to new ideas and techniques that simply aren’t possible with the DSLR camera. I’m now saving up to buy the XT1. Alex and the Fujifilm team were very helpful and put on an awesome day in the streets on London.
Finally, a special thanks to Nathan Wake for shooting the lovely images that make up the first part of this blog post!
Date: Sat 3rd May
Time: Arrival at 10.00 and continue shooting for six hours.
Venue: Sanderson Hotel , 50 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NG
Limited to 6 attendees only.
Format of the day
This hands-on Fashion X Street workshop will focus on the various techniques and ideas Alex frequently uses when shooting an ‘On-Street’ Fashion, Press or Portrait, shooting with both daylight and flash for varied environmental and lighting effects. During this free 6 hour course, you’ll be learning/testing loads of tips, tricks and secrets. Suitable for all levels of photographers, you’ll be receiving personal hands-on tuition, tailored to your experience level, especially exciting for those still on the fence about switching to the X-Series from traditional DSLR, rangefinders and/or other formats.
You will receive hands-on coaching to achieve the results which have helped Alex become a very sought after UK fashion photographer.
The street shoot portion will be followed by an hour of post processing, Q&A and optional portfolio review
What you’ll learn
We’ll be shooting a professional international Fashion Model you’ll will be taken right the way through the process, from set up to directing your model for maximum results, learning the following along the way:
- In-depth manual control and familiarisation of the various features unique to the X-Series, as well as basic manual photography.
- Accurately & confidently selecting and using the new Fujifilm Fujinon lenses, in both Auto & Manual focus modes, with a variety of focusing techniques for different lighting and environmental situations.
- Knowing how and when to switch between the various view options of the Hybrid viewfinder and LCD to get the most out of these great tools in every situation.
- Looking for, identifying and creating dynamic compositions on the go, for that ‘reportage look’ whilst avoiding the typically boring/posed images.
- How to shoot in the ‘real world’ and ‘on the fly’ with varying lighting conditions and moving subjects on the Streets of Soho.
- How to use your flash in various ways, for either fill or creative lighting, as well as incorporating existing or external light sources, to enhance your creations.
The final part of this day will then be spent post processing and editing your new images using Lightroom, to prepare them for your portfolio as well as going over any aspects you might want to revisit or discuss again.
Simply bring your camera, desired lenses and flashes.
Fujifilm will be providing a selection of X cameras on the day for you to use – including the brand new X-T1 and X100S.
Those wanting to post process your own images on the day will need to bring your own laptop (with the latest version of Lightroom already installed)
T + C’s
No additional, further or other costs or expenses are included in any prize unless stated. For example, the costs of transport to and from the event are not included.
There is no cash alternative
Where do I sign up?
The competition is now closed and congratulations to the winners. Details of the day will be shown on here and on Facebook after the weekend!
About Alex Lambrechts
Professional photographer Alex Lambrechts has already exhibited in London and New York and currently shoots commercially for magazines, brands, companies, music and fashion labels, travelling internationally.
Whilst he is well recognised for his ‘Quirky, often Edgy’ Children’s campaigns, and incorporating a ‘raw/street documentary’ style to his fashion editorials, Alex is forever closely studying the Masters of past & present, and is MOST passionate about the genres of ‘Social Documentary and Street Photography’ of which he is tirelessly working on personal projects. Alex’s most recent published works can be found in GQ Japan, Vogue Italia, 3 regional Elle and 2 L’Officiel mags and Nylon to name only a few, all these shoots were executed using Fujifilm X-Series cameras.
For more information on Alex, visit his website here
Internationally-renowned photographer Alex Lambrechts insists on excellence – so naturally he uses X-series cameras
Photographer Alex Lambrechts will turn 40 later this year, but seems to have lived more lives than most people have had hot dinners. When reading his biography for the first time you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s been a horrible error at the proofing stage, resulting in a mash-up of the life stories of seven, maybe eight individuals – but this is all Alex. He’s achieved excellence in martial arts, running his own training school at the age of 19 at the same time as setting up and managing several bars and restaurants in Sydney, before slipping into the mysterious world of personal protection and joining the private security details of several Hollywood A-listers and international businessmen. In the nineties Alex switched paths again and rose to the top as Creative Marketing Director for British American Tobacco – a modern-day Don Draper of sorts – before returning to his restaurant roots and a career behind the scenes of several high-profile eateries. He attends the Cannes Film Festival every year and runs private parties for discerning individuals – past clients have included Quentin Tarantino, Naomi Campbell and Paris Hilton – and amongst all of this, he’s also found time to become an internationally-renowned photographer. He’s making the rest of us look very bad indeed.
A man of the world
Born in Uruguay and raised in Australia, Alex lived in London for the past ten years but is currently to be found in New York, where he’s quite sure that he’s found the ideal space for him at this time in his life. “This is definitely where I want to be at this stage in my career – I think I will be here for some time,” he says. “I do travel all over the world for work though and photography is great like that – you can just pick up your gear, jump on a plane and go!”
Having first picked up a camera in earnest at the end of 2009, Alex is a relative latecomer to professional photography – but as he grew up amongst his parents’ photographic printing labs he found he had years of experience to draw upon. “I was using 35mm SLR cameras from a very young age,” he explains. “I left photography for many years, until four years ago when I started shooting friends at parties I was hosting in London.” At this stage, Alex was shooting with rangefinders and larger, bulky DSLRs – but by his own admission he prefers the smaller rangefinder-styled cameras such as the Fujifilm X100S. Nowadays he shoots with various cameras, depending on the assignment’s unique requirements – but his favourite and most-often used camera is still the X-Pro1. “I love this camera,” Alex enthuses about the Fujifilm CSC.
“I try to use it first at every opportunity. I’d say I use it on every job. But it’s not only about cameras for me: the lenses are really important. If I have a big job on, I have the usual spare lenses – always prime lenses, I’m not a fan of zooms. How [the lenses] behave, what kind of unique qualities they have – this is usually what I think about before [I think about] which camera. And the X100S has the perfect lens built in,” he smiles.
A lifetime of inspiration
Lambrecht’s varied career has influenced his image-making by providing him with a wealth of references to draw upon when approaching a new commission. “Everything I have done in my life comes into play when I pick up a camera: my ability to be vigilant and observant, looking for nuances in everyday life, looking for subtext, knowing how to work with brands – it’s all of invaluable benefit,” he says. “I think it definitely gives me an edge when working in teams and especially when working with clients, as I understand their requirements on many levels.”
As you’d expect from someone with a background
in top-end corporate marketing, Alex is a keen follower of the creative fields – particularly art and fashion – and is currently experimenting with more physical forms of artistic expression. “I’m currently experimenting with painting, combined with my street and documentary photography,” he hints. “I have a couple of galleries which are eager to show and sell my work here in New York, however I haven’t released this to the public yet, so that’s as much as I can tell you about that until the launch…”
Shooting the Big Apple
New York is a city that’s hard to resist, and every corner seems to present a new photographic opportunity – so it’s no wonder that Alex is choosing to spend his time indulging his love of street photography. He’s just one of many Fujifilm-using photographers enjoying the fast-paced hunt for the “decisive moment”, but tends to keep his pure street photography for himself as a break from his day job pictures. Alex’s moody black & white street work is filled with emotion and impact, and the X100’s diminutive size yet powerful performance makes it ideally suited to this demanding type of picture-taking where travelling light is the name of the game. “I shoot street photography every single day,” he says, “especially here in New York. My street photography is a very personal project for me and I am extremely critical of my own work, and set strict standards for myself. I shoot a lot of commercial work so it’s nice to have [street photography] that I can do completely on my own terms. I follow my own rules and I don’t expect others to understand – I am definitely my own harshest critic!”
Alex’s interest in street shooting spills across into to his approach to all his image making, with his biography describing his characteristic style as both ‘raw’ and ‘street’. “I tend to add a little more subtext [to my images] than your typical fashion photographer might – I like to have a fly-on-the-wall feel to my photography whilst not being voyeuristic… trying to stay true to the subject matter,” he says. “I guess my images convey my style better than I can describe it – it’s natural for me, and I tend not to think too much about it. I want the viewer to be drawn in and gradually work out the various messages encoded both intentionally and intuitively.”
Secret of his success
Alex now works with many commercial clients who love the engaging, emotive imagery that he can create, such as the vividly striking shoot for children’s fashion line That’s Not Fair, all of which were shot on the X-Pro1. Yet when pushed for advice, it transpires that the secret to his unique photography doesn’t actually rely on Alex’s many lives-worth of experience: for those looking to try their own hand at creating portraiture like Lambrecht’s, the photographer has these simple pointers. “Spend time getting to know your subject and shoot them as they are, without imposing too much of your own experiences and preconceived notions into the image. That’s the challenge,” he says.
Images from Alex’s shoot for “That’s not fair”: