The summer of 2022 was not only hot in Belgium and the Netherlands, everyone in Scandinavia was sweating too. On a hot Monday night in August, I landed at the airport in Kastrup, Copenhagen, around 11 p.m. Still at least 25 degrees celsius, it must have been. I hurried to my hotel with a cab because it would be a short night.
I got little sleep, a little from excitement – because it would be my first Roadie workshop. Until then, I had only heard about it from foreign colleagues, but judging by the pictures of the organizers, I was going to learn from the very best.
At 4 AM, my alarm went off; I think I had slept for about 3 hours – and certainly not solidly. The receptionist called a cab for me at 4:30. I was uncomfortable. I had no idea where my hotel was in the city, much less where we had agreed to meet for the workshop. I had been given the location’s name and a Google Streetview photo.
Fifteen minutes later, I arrived in the middle of nowhere. ‘Are you sure you should be here? There’s no one around.’ – Fortunately, I had a sympathetic and concerned cab driver. I sent a message in a group app we used to be in touch and take care of all practical matters, and luckily one photographer was already there.
There were eight of us photographers for the workshop, and we started shooting just before sunrise. Roberto and Irene, two photographers from Modena, Italy, traveled around Europe with their motorhome. Camper Mirry had emotional value for the couple: Roberto’s mother bought her in 1986, just before she was due to give birth to her son.
Wedding photos with Mirry the Camper were a must for the couple.
I’m not going to deny that this first Roadie workshop was somewhere out of my comfort zone. I got a little lost and mostly looked up to the more experienced photographers who were there. Skimming and learning, in other words. After only a few hours of sleep, that was the hardest part.
I photographed the blue hour for the first time, followed by the pink glow and sunrise near the water. Since there were only a few minutes between these little moments, I was really nervous. These photos had to be good from the first time. So little time for trial and error. But… I was satisfied with the result, especially since this was the first time.
Everything was loose, and everyone had plenty of time to do their thing with the couple. The dress matched the bride perfectly, and Roberto’s tailored suit matched utterly! When we started the photo session at Mirry the Camper, it turned out that Irene had another great passion besides her photography and traveling: playing the ukulele! I just completed these wedding photos. The picture was correct.
After the morning session with this Italian couple, I had another afternoon and evening session in Copenhagen. I can say that I was dead tired that evening: after barely getting any sleep, walking 26 km at 30 degrees and carrying a 12kg camera bag on my back. I had it.
Early to bed, I thought…only as if the universe was involved, the fire alarm went off in my brand-new hotel. There I was, at 1 a.m., without my shoes and in my pajamas, on the sidewalk with a hundred other guests. The fire was, fortunately, a false alarm, but it took an hour and a half to confirm it. The next day I flew back to Belgium, more than exhausted.
My first Roadie workshop was one I won’t soon forget.