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35mm film and a Forest Wedding

The wilderness in Sweden isn’t hard to find and having a Forest Wedding in the Swedish countryside is no farther away than a 2 hour drive from the nation’s Capitol city.

I travelled to a beautiful but isolated part of the Swedish forest early because rain had been forecast for the day. it concerned The Winters that their forest wedding portraits might be hampered by the bad weather so we started off a little earlier than planned.

Not so long ago The Winters decided that buying a tiny house in the forest was something they desired. They purchased a lovely Swedish country house and spent a couple of years renovating it to perfection. In the typical Swedish red, the house stands on it’s own gorgeous block of land in a tiny town and seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It’s the kind of town that has barely more than a few residents and whom all know each other.

Before the rain

Heading deeper into the forest, the three of us found a secluded spot where The Winters could have their Portrait photos taken in privacy. If you were silent enough, you could hear all the birds and forest animals going about their day and the wind making the trees whisper. It’s the perfect place for a couple in love to bare their souls in front of the camera lens.

With the impending weather closing in, we headed back to the tiny town with just a few sprinkles of rain following us. It looked liked it might hold out and the guests were slowly arriving at the house in preparation for the walk to the Church.

The Ceremony

Their forest wedding took place in the town’s own Church, which is only just down the little dirt road from their house. The guests walked together to the church while The Winters signed their wedding certificate inside and talked with the Priest who was to marry them. Just after they arrived, the sky opened up and unleashed a fantastic rain storm! Rain pelted the church windows like it was trying to break in and the sound of it on the roof was like a song! It was gorgeous. Luckily for The Winters, the rain didn’t last long and the sun came out, filling the church with light, like it had just cleansed the whole place.

A do it yourself style

Everything that was put together for this forest wedding was done so by The Winters themselves. They celebrated at their own country house and decorated with bunting flags and flowers in mason jars that had been picked from the surrounding garden. A relatively private affair, only family and very close friends attended the day. The Winters chose to throw a bigger party for their larger circle of friends the following month. This made their wedding day quite intimate and unique and it was a success despite the rain. But what’s a forest without some rain, right?

I photographed The Winters’ forest wedding using both 35mm film and digital for this amazing day and what you see below is 98% film images.

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Film developed and scanned by Carmencita Film Lab

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Teaching a Photography Workshop in Hong Kong

Together with the French International School in Hong Kong, CJ EKLUND FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY travelled to the fragrant city to teach and supervise a photography workshop in Hong Kong as part of their CAS week activities.

Not long after the launch of my new website and the beginning of me offering workshop services, I was contacted by a Co-ordinator at the French International School in Hong Kong. They had decided to do a Photography Workshop as part of their Creativity, Activity and Services program. Along with volunteering and farming activities, they had put together a program that grew to be so popular that they decided to bring in a Professional Photographer to help them handle the ins and outs.

It was wonderful to be a part of such a fantastically successful arts orientated program because the school hadn’t previously focused too much on the arts and hadn’t expected it to be so popular. The sign up sheet went from being about 12 students to just over 90! I’m told that they are now looking to keep an arts option for their CAS week events in the future, which is wonderful.

In the Classroom

The photography workshop started with a basic lecture on how to use the camera and its settings more effectively. Key knowledge base components included composition, shutter speed, ISO and aperture and the students got to have hands on experience with the professional gear I had taken with me, including two film cameras. A Mamiya 645 Pro TL and a Canon EOS 1v. It’s great to see such engaged and mature students really take a strong interest in the photographic medium and embrace everything there was to learn.

In the Field

Outside of the classroom, we focused on a select few locations within Hong Kong that the students were charged with photographing. They were provided with a theme and worked with a partner to interpret the locations they visited in order to illustrate their given theme. Among the locations were the Shau Kei Wan Typhoon Shelter, Pok Fu Lam Village, which is world heritage listed and The Botanical Gardens and Hong Kong Park. The five themes were Community, Transformation, Environment, Conflict and Humanity. It was great to be on site with the students and watch them really work with what they had been taught during our photography workshop and actually put it into practice.

On the Cutting Room Floor

When it came time for the students to edit and cull their photos, I was impressed at their ability to be objective about their work. Especially when it came time to choosing the better photo, even if it meant that they had to accept that it wasn’t necessarily created by them. The skills of the students with photo editing programs was quite impressive and I would say that if offered, students would take more creative classes if the school allowed it.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience and a very successful event and the French International School should be very proud of everything they achieved. They could not have done it without their CAS Co-ordinator Helen Bell, though. She was unfortunately unable to attend CAS week, but thanks to her organisation of the whole event, the Photography Workshop for CAS week was a huge success.

Below are some of the photos from some of the locations we visited throughout the workshop. I also visited some extra sites outside of the workshop in my down time. Hong Kong is a wonderfully vibrant, kinda and sociable city and probably has one of the best city views I’ve even seen. All images are made using either a Canon EOS 1v or a Mamiya 646 Pro TL using Ilford HP5 Plus, Fuji 400H pro and Kodak Portra 400.

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If you are a school or education provider looking to offer Photography Workshops, please contact me on hello@cjeklund.com for more information on how you can make it possible.

Film developed and scanned by Carmencita Film Lab

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