O L I V I A   S T R E T T L E

Workshop: Rachel Brown
Friday 4th February 2022

Rachel Louise Brown is a highly experienced photographer, lecturer, editor and photographic director who has created work for several worldwide companies and played significant roles in places such as Harper's Bizarre and British Vogue.

At the beginning of February 2022, it was a great pleasure to have the opportunity of a face-to-face, hands on workshop with Rachel Brown at my university. The four hour session was extremely motivating and inspiring to be able to witness the skills and passion Rachel Brown has for the subject being passed on to myself as an undergraduate.

The session began with a detailed introduction of the history of photography. Rachel explained how she recently found her passion for analogue photography as the traditional methods that made photographic history had never been taught to her when starting off - it was a new technique she was learning about, just as much as us. After the briefing of the task, we were able to create our own paper negatives using traditional cameras and light sensitive paper. The session was fun and uplifting as we were able to incorporate props whilst experimenting with a new medium to create a portrait or still life image.

Our set ups included four studio lights on maximum brightness (level 10), a white backdrop and white poly boards either side of the subject to bounce in as much light as possible, in order to lower the exposure time - which we managed to get to only  2 seconds. After exposing our slides we were then guided on darkroom developing to create our final image. We entered the darkroom in small groups and was educated on the chemicals, process and timings when developing. It was a great experience to be able to have with someone so passionate about the subject. 

Overall, I highly appreciate the time Rachel Brown took to visit my course and inspire us to experiment and step out of our comfort zone. Although I am not currently shooting with film, I personally found the session beneficial to my education post-course. Being able to have those skills of in-house developing is very useful to have. Not only just being taught the steps of exposing and developing, but then to engage in a physical workshop and try it out myself was a great experience!


Rachel’s website - https://www.rachel-brown.com
Follow her Instagram - @rachellouisebrown1