The Red Shoe photographers Workshop | Behind the scenes

Just over a week ago I held my 1st workshop....and it was such an amazing experience.

I will be honest, I was really nervous...and pretty sure at one point I was talking at a million miles an hour.  I just had so much to say, so much I wanted to know that voice, that says you cant do this...well that was on fire that morning.

But, what made this whole new experience so easy for me, was the beautiful, inspiring group of women I had in front of me....each so individual, each woman had her own reason to be at this workshop....the nerves dispersed and was replaced by the pure excitement of what this group of girls wanted to learn and experience..

And then something else happened....something I did not expect. While talking about how important it was to take a portrait of a woman, how that photograph will have a massive impact upon her...what I didn't realise was the impact it would have on the photographers before me.

To have a group of photographers growing and growing in size, who all say the same thing...

"You are beautiful as you are...I have a voice, I have an eye, I want to photograph all your unique quirky bed head messy beauty...because I know how it feels to have your portrait taken...I know how it feels to see a bad photograph of yourself...I know how it feels to look in the mirror and pick a million things you hate about yourself...and because I know this, I am going to take the most beautiful portrait of you"

Thank you to Natalie & Rachel for your behind the scenes images ♥

So I have been having a pretty shitty time recently and this morning was no different. I was up all night due to my braces giving me blisters all over my mouth and a baby coughing, spluttering, wanting a drink every five minutes. Resigned to the fact sleep is not happening for me today I lay wide awake in bed and when the eager sound of my alarm goes of I get up and get dressed. But I only spill my drink all over my pants because I trying to dress a fidgeting one year old whilst rehydrate my skin! Five minute’s later, I need a change of baby sitter! Just as were out the door, the baby poops! We get to school and I have a very heavy five year old anchored to my leg because she just loves her mummy so much she can’t bare to be without her today (until a promise of a kinder egg and milk shake comes into play and its astalavista mama!) Finally its time to set of, and I’m greated by an endless sea of traffic!

OMG why me! And of all days, today! When I have my first workshop EVER.

When I first started to take an interest in photography(aka, stalking other photographers) I came across a shoot by Andrea Ellison, of a totally hot REAL woman with red hair, sat on a bed, cig hanging out her mouth, a little pouty, her eyes saying “yeah I’m looking at you what you going to do about it?”, she was totally bad ass!!! I loved the images and so I read her story! I just couldn’t get my head around how she looked and came across so fucking awesome, confident and sexy when she felt the way she had been feeling after such a terrible experience in her life, i’d look like shit! Its then I learnt that this was Sarah Sadler and what she did was Red Shoe Make Overs! I followed her ever since, reading the harrowing stories of broken women and watching her give them each a piece of themselves back through the red shoe experience. Every woman looked fabulous, no matter there shape, size and insecurities! Their sass, sex appeal and confidence was mesmerising and intoxicating! God how I wished I could get a shoot done like that and shoot that well myself one day, maybe!

Sarah was definitely one of my inspirations on my journey to photography! Lucky for me not so long after I picked up my camera, I spotted a post that said Sarah was doing her first ever Red Shoe Work Shop…….I had to go!!! I got in touch and here I was on my way and fucking late, flooring it and blasting the heating so it no longer looked like id pissed myself!

When I finally arrived I had to take a minute to collect myself, I was so nervous and had no clue if I was going to suck today or sound like a complete amateur and idiot! After a few deep breaths I plucked up the courage and walked on in to a gorgeous studio which was tucked away on a lovely site in Chester, to be greated very warmly by Sarah and the rest of the girls. We sat, had a natter(who we are and where we from) and then we got to the good stuff! I don’t want to go into to much detail and spoil it for others, plus i could never explain things the way Sarah did! She was very down to earth and straight talking. She taught me to cut the bull shit and get real and her knowledge on creating shape within a space and posing was immense. We also discussed how to make a woman feel loved and comfortable as well as the affect that could have on the shoot bot to mention how important showing them the beauty that we all see within each of them is. We had lunch and another natter before we got to the shooting in which she talked each of us though our time with the model, a beautiful real red shoe woman, looking like total hotness after a make over with Mandy Rigby. Sarah let us go first posing Lucy then she made slight changes that had the biggest impact on the outcome of the image. I never felt rushed. I felt i could ask anything and do anything and I wouldn’t look silly or feel it…….which is a huge deal to me and my nerves! I can honestly say I took away so much knowledge from the workshop in which i will harness and apply it to everything I create. One other thing is that I made some new life long friends. You girls were great and what a network to be part off. I wish you all the best for your future endeavours. Ill be back soon for my own chance to become a Red Shoe girl. Thank you and love to you all xxx

Natalie at

Natalie at

Attending Sarah’s Red Shoe workshop has given me the confidence and tools to do something I have wanted to do for a very long time. I want to make women feel beautiful in their own skin, because lets face it, most of us don’t! In this modern world where the media is so heavily focused on body image and what body shape is fashionable today... women are striving for perfection and we feel that we are never going to be good enough and meet the criteria to be able to call ourselves ‘beautiful’!

But hell no, this is not true. We are good enough! We are not perfect, but unique! We have scares that tell stories, lines that shows we have lived, experience that gives us strength, strength that fuels our future and we can do what we want! We don’t have flaws, we have our quirks and unique characteristics and these are the qualities I want to explore with women when they come for a photo shoot with me. I want them to be themselves, relaxed, pampered, able to open up to me and tell me who they really are.

Before I attended the workshop, I did not have these words in my head, I had no idea what I wanted to offer other than ‘make over sessions’ and a way to make women feel beautiful, but Sarah explained this all so well and something in my head & soul clicked and I realised what I needed to do.

One of the main things I was worried about learning and it’s probably the most important part of photographing a woman, was how to pose. If a woman isn’t posed correctly the portrait can look messy/ cheesy and just not good! I didn’t think I would be able to remember all the little detail, but when Sarah demonstrated on how to pose, she made it so simple and I was eager to go away and put this into practise!

I would recommend this workshop to anyone who has an interest in photographing women, whether it’s family portraits, weddings, boudoir etc.. this workshop WILL help you, not only in a technical way, but in a soul searching way as it has for myself.

I’d like to thank you Sarah and your very talented Mandy Rigby for all your hard work and inspiration.”
Rachel Sian Roberts
Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms and people come in to our lives and touch our souls in ways that we can never explain, they change us, challenge us and leave us better people than if we had never crossed paths.

Whole heartedly I can say that meeting Sarah and Mandy changed my life. Meeting them as a Red shoe girl, broken and wounded by life they inspired my soul in ways that I can never repay. They showed me that we all hold a beauty within, if only we allow ourselves to express it in our own unique way.

Having spent time with such inspirational strong women I learnt that my gift to the world was having a connection with people and how I can make others feel good about themselves. They inspired me to want to bring this gift to others who struggle with demons within themselves and show them that they are beautiful inside and out, regardless of how they think the world views them.

This has inspired me on a journey of rediscovery, with a desire to portray the beauty of the soul through photography and art; being a complete novice I attended Sarah’s workshop and felt completely inspired.

Sarah and Mandy work in tandem to bring to the forefront the beauty of an individual.

They lay their vision and experience on the table and show their fellow artists what a gift you are giving by allowing another to show their vulnerability.

Thank you ladies
Mel.....our non photographer just starting her new adventure ♥

Mel.....our non photographer just starting her new adventure ♥

Last week I attended a workshop, run by the talented, sassy, and bloody beautiful Sarah over in her Red Shoe Studio in Cheshire.

The lovely Lucy who was our real woman model for the day had her hair and make up done by the magical Mandy Rigby who is nothing short of amazing at what she does, Mandy is also part of the whole Red Shoe experience (I can highly vouch for this experience, I have had my own session done, and can’t put into words how utterly amazing it was)
Sarah ran through various posing techniques, designed to flatter and bring out the very best in female clients, after some lunch and laughter, we had the chance to pose Lucy and take some shots, with the guidance of Sarah.

I learnt so much from this workshop, I can highly recommend it to fellow photographers. Not only did sarah share her tips and experience, she also opened up her heart. Her friendly personality, quirky wit and endless energy made the workshop fun, interactive and worth every single penny.

Sarah, Mandy & Lucy... thank you for a wonderful day... you have no idea how much my creative juices are flowing.

And with a million things to say, I managed to take a couple of shots of our beautiful real Red Shoe girl Lucy....

I cannot WAIT for the April workshop, which is now fully booked...but if you would like to be the 1st to know of any future dates please join my ever growing mailing list here.