A little while ago I came across a small merry band of photographers in the Stratford area on Facebook that go by the name of Stratford Clicks. They've established quite a group on Facebook for talking and meeting to discuss all things Photography. I should point out at this juncture that it's a closed group, although I am of the opinion that if you're local to Worcestershire/Warwickshire and are interested in photography there appears little for you not to have any request granted.
One of their aims is to meet regularly, and their attitude is it's not really about the equipment you have, it's about getting out, taking photos and having a good time which I think is a great narrative. I was lucky enough to join them, (obviously they're not too fussy who they let in to their ranks) for an evening just last week.
The theme of the evening was Portrait photography and was held at a local Community Hall. A couple of members who have portable backdrops and lighting set ups very kindly 'donated' their equipment for the evening, in order that we were able to try a mixture of different set ups. Along with this, a couple of guys had volunteered, or had roped friends in to model, so there was plenty to see and do - and great to see plenty of experience and advice on hands from some fab professional photographers too.
Whilst I didn't get to shoot too many images, (to be honest, I was too busy trying to remember names and gawping at the lighting set ups!), I did shoot a couple or so of this chap - one of the organisers of the group, and a thoroughly nice chap. He's also a rather great model for such an occassion and certainly not scared of being behind or in front of the camera. I believe I got the serious side of him looking at some of the other photos that have appeared from the evening!
I chose to shoot with my Canon 100mm f/2, simply because it's an awesome lens for portraiture. I have to say looking at the results, even if my composition isn't the best, the quality of the image is fantastic. Considering this is no L series lens, for the money it's a real beaut!
As for Charlie and his gang, well I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening - met some very nice people, and will certainly be going back for more.
If you want to know more about Stratford Clicks, then search for them on Facebook or drop me a line and I'll find out more about their joining policy.