A day with Niall McDiarmid

The kids have gone back to school, freshers week is about start and so it is that time of year I look to expand my own knowledge and attend a workshop at the Photographer's Gallery. This year I was lucky enough to be a part of a street portrait workshop delivered by Niall McDiarmid. , Niall has gone from, in his words 'just a commercial photographer',to a highly acclaimed street portrait photographer. As well as a beautiful colour palette, his images are full of warmth and compassion for his subjects regardless of their demographic belonging.

Workshops tend to run to a very similar structure ; a talk on the artists work, who inspired them in their genre, a chance to get your hands dirty and then have your efforts critiqued. And this was no different.

So, what did I learn? The biggest lesson for me was to resist my natural inclinations of going for a closer, head and shoulders type portrait, instead aiming for the longer, full length shot. I also adjusted my shooting position to a lower one so that their was a slight downward look from the subject, which subtly questions the power balance between the viewer and the subject. Again, like my Coney Island trip I had just less than an hour to create these images. I hope you like them - Niall seemed to. ;)

Till next time...

Matt Peers