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Why my workshops? – My camera is simply a tool that I use to express myself, it helps me to unlock my imagination, creating art that stimulates thoughts and emotions. But it doesn’t create the emotional content – I do that myself. Creating good images involves composition, lighting, posing and timing, whereas creating amazing images needs something more, it’s this ‘extra’ that sets my workshops apart – the key ingredient is emotional content. I’m happy to share my passion for this subject, and 40 years experience as a pro photographer, with all who attend my workshops. Crafting an emotional story with your model is something most people can learn if they want to, it’s something I can demonstrate and guide you through – as much or as little as you want!

Our aim – is to provide the means for you to get your best images ever! 4 photographers and a model (of our usual high standard of course!) 10am-4pm with 1 hour lunch, this allows more shooting time and individual assistance. All studio days incorporate timed one2one’s with our model to ensure equal opportunity per photographer. Enjoy the social learning advantage too, chat to others about camera’s, lighting, get tips from how others work etc. etc! With top models, studio facilities, lighting equipment, locations & assistance, we arrange studio days, workshops and private, assisted one2one and two2one events! These events are aimed at the serious photographer looking to progress and work with top models, assistance available when required. We use Pixapro Storm II lighting, allowing shot’s such as freezing water in motion, multiple burst rate, stroboscopic shots etc., the best studio flash available. The best events for photographers! You provide lunch yourself, we’ll provide tea & coffee!

Enjoying your photography is key! – our aim is to provide you with an enjoyable and rewarding event! Whether it’s providing you with the tools to do your own thing – or a full-on tutorial workshop, it’s up to you to decide how much input you want, and how much you input yourself on the day, we welcome ideas and suggestions!

Developing your style This is something really personal to you, it defines you and how you view the world the standards you set and your photographic identity. One of the most common challenges for photographers is finding their style. They can of course try and copy others, and for many that’s enough, and there is nothing wrong with that, but for others that want their images to stand out in some way then they will always be open to new ideas, push their boundaries and comfort levels, after all that’s how we all learn anything new. In purest photography, and camera club circuits you will recognise things like the rule of thirds, negative space etc and in the right time and place these guidelines will have their place, but in many other times they become constraints to our creativity, and it is having the awareness and confidence to know when to go beyond these guidelines that will start to set you apart from the average photographer. Ultimately though the only person you ever need to satisfy is yourself and again that’s because your style is personal to you. What our workshops offer is support and insight into all aspects of a professional shoot with a model, providing access to the experience you just can’t buy, and affording you the opportunity to put more photographic tools in your toolbox and build your own photographic identity.

Constructing an Image – A photographic image is like a jigsaw and requires many parts to come together to make it work (lighting, posing, model etc). We can help with every one of these pieces offering as much or as little support as you feel you need. It is not a test or a competition, there are no wrong questions, we want our workshops to be as enjoyable and informative as possible.

Studio and location Our events are centered around the model and atmosphere being the whole product, make sure our purist style suits you before you book an event! We don’t use a massive studio with sets, that’s not our direction, our studio caters for fashion based imagery, we don’t have bedroom sets, dressing tables etc.

To support these aims, I do my best to supply models that are capable of expressing your ideas and can deliver an image with atmosphere NB. they also have plenty of experience themselves and their input can often take the shoot to the next level. I also try to hire models that take very little post-processing as I see part of the art being in the photography setup and execution, less in the post processing. That’s because this is my style, its neither right or wrong so please don’t feel any pressure around this. If asked, I won’t tell you how to do your shots – I’ll tell you how I do it, be it right or wrong.

Welcome to my workshops & portfolio builders! – I am a retired photographer with over 38 years of professional experience, now running low profit workshops twice a month, as a hobby, for fun! This enables me to pass on some knowledge, still be involved in photography and keep costs down! I believe that photography means different things to different people, for some it’s a hobby, a means to escape, some have more competitive goals and for others it provides an income. There is no ‘right’ way to view photography, it’s a personal thing, its whatever it means to each of us in our own language and style. For me photography is my passion, it has defined who I am as a person, the standards I set and life I lead.


“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.” Henri Cartier-Bresson


more about our event formats


There’s a different approach to shooting art and shooting for awards/competitions – one has rules, the other doesn’t, art is in the mind of the creator only, no-one else can judge the result except to like it or dislike it. We lean towards the art side, however, I know a bit about the other side too and we have had many global competition awards earned by our attendees!

For : photographers of all levels of skill and experience, beginners – we’ll help! Pro’s – we’ll assist you!


Reference : I don’t usually put PurplePort references on my website, but I’m so happy with this one from Ace model Pippa Doll : ”I’m sure I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, the special thing about Mick on his workshops which not many teach is the engagement and communication with the model, which is super important in photography. Mick’s direction and communication is so effective and I always learn something each time I go there. I keep hearing his voice ringing in my head on photoshoots still hahaha! Always an absolute pleasure working with Mick, highly recommend to all!” – Thanks so much Pippa!


Covid compliance and testing


do you prefer studio days or slot bookings? Have a look at a summary of the differences here :


studio days vs slot bookings


Please note :

1/ if you want someone to set up the lighting, a model to do all the posing, and then you just press the shutter button without any input to the image, you need slot bookings….  read on ....

2/ we don’t do slot bookings, we are there all the time to assist you – by request – to get your best images. Look at the comparison here : studio days vs slot bookings We do provide 4 hr assisted one2one and two2one’s though!

3/ we don’t rent a massive studio – how much room do you really need for a 9ft backdrop and a model? We use facilities and equipment that you can apply at your own home! So if you want a cold aircraft hanger and 20 lights – go somewhere else.

4/ we don’t use unnecessary props – your model should be the focal point of an image! The girl in underwear playing a musical instrument, wearing a trilby, surrounded by smoke – is really not what we’re about. Accessories are a different matter, a good fashion shot with correct accessories is cool! A fitness shot with minimum accessories – hand wraps, maybe a punch bag – is cool.


“Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.” David Alan Harvey

my message to you :

I do my best to provide a quality experience on my events, I’m not God with a camera but after 38 years of professional photography I have a few tips and tricks to pass on. I have my own way of conducting these events and will fit in with your needs as best I can to assist you to get your best images ever! During my assistance, I will take a few images to further the progress, by way of illustrating lighting setup or for a practical demonstration, such as working with your model, to help you to get your best results – it’s part of how I assist!

Let me just point something out – I can demonstrate a point in approx 3 minutes, where it would take approx 10 minutes to explain, this gives you more shooting time, (do you learn better by reading instructions or by practical, hands-on demonstrations?) With this applying to lighting, exposure, framing, working with your model etc., etc, work this out for youself over a period of 4-5 hours – a lot of time saved and the demonstrations made in a more useful way!! This time saved is for you to use to take more pictures!!

However, the images I may take – if I do post any – will NOT be posted to social media or PurplePort until enough time has passed for you to use your own images. If you would prefer that I don’t take any images – JUST SAY, I have thousands already!  If you don’t like how my working methods sound – then you don’t have to come here, it’s your choice. I can’t be any more open that this.

I will allow your pictures on my social media to give you more coverage – I have over 2,500 friends – but remember that it’s my social media, not yours, so don’t complain.

Note to models : In response to the recent trend of using our workshops to promote your sponsors/ brands, this practice is not allowed in our terms and conditions, you are being paid for your time and you may not use images from these workshops to promote sponsors and brands without my permission – let them pay us for use of images like everyone else does.

please note : we don’t do adult, soft porn, or any distasteful images, we promote a high standard of behavior and respect to everyone.


Private One2one & two2one assisted workshops

The quickest way to learn, the best value for money – a two2one is just £31.25p per hour for 4 hours with a top model!!! With one2one and two2one assisted workshops we proceed at your pace – there’s no better way! Read about how I conduct these events to make sure you like the way I work  read on …….


Newsletter : You can get early access to our events by subscribing to our updates newsletter. We don’t share your information with anyone and you can unsubscribe at any time. We don’t send loads of emails, just when there are relevant updates.

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View our portfolio on PurplePort


Who am I? : I’ve been a pro photographer for some 30+ years and worked for most model agencies in the UK. All my time has been spent working with models, whether doing portfolio shoots or commercial bookings. This has given me an understanding of the needs, wants and problems with trying to make your portfolio the best you can, after all it’s where all my work came from! A lot of new subscribers to Mick Payton Studios are not aware of how long I’ve been a photographer, or anything about me really! So, have a look at my image galleries to enable you to determine what we have to offer you here at the studio. I’m not god with a camera but after 37yrs I may have a few tips and tricks to help you along!

Our aim : We’re building Mick Payton Studios around the idea of providing male and female photographers with the means to enjoy your camera, build your portfolio, try out commercial ideas etc. without the hassle of organising it yourself, whether amateur, semi-pro, hobbyist or pro.

Fine art photography is photography created in accordance with the vision of the artist as photographer. Fine art photography stands in contrast to representational photography, such as photojournalism, which provides a documentary visual account of specific subjects and events, literally re-presenting objective reality rather than the subjective intent of the photographer; and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services. Wikipedia.

Definition of fine art: “a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic and intellectual purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture.”