The team at Darkroom is pleased to forward along this great story from our friend Ian Griffiths. Please feel free to learn more about Ian at his website or our article on how he uses Darkroom for his event photography business.

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Ian Griffiths of Event-Photos has arranged a one day Event Photography training day, this time for 10 Ex-Servicemen in conjunction with the organization “Veterans In Action” (VIA).

Veterans In Action are a charity dedicated to ex-servicemen helping ex-servicemen with a whole host of issues that arise after leaving the service back in to society and especially back in to the work-place.

The ethical principles underpinning the work of the VIA centre on the notions of respect, for self and others, preservation of dignity through examples of appropriate behaviour and through communicating confidence and trust in each of its members. Being a part of a community is central to the human experience thus, we seek to enrich the lives of veterans through the familiar themes of affiliation, and service, striving to create a sense of cohesion between the individual, organisation, and broader society.

More information about VIA can be found at their web site

Ian explains:

“I was originally approached by the VIA last year when one of their fundraisers called, after talking with the guys for a while and me then understanding what they were truly about in getting these guys back in to the workplace, it was agreed that whilst a donation would be good, a day that would teach those interested in perhaps pursuing a career in photography would be far more beneficial and long lasting and give the VIA a program they can recreate, so the idea of an action and information packed training day for the guys was born.

A comment made by one of the guys keeps ringing in my head ‘Not all the scars are on the outside’ PTSD can be as debilitating as an amputation and I was moved to do something more positive.

These guys are action orientated and so we decided a day at a motocross race would not only be exciting for the guys to experience but one they can learn photo skills that if they choose to go down the event photography route can be valuable to them.”

The training day will be centered on the workings of outdoor event photography from set up to break-down that they can take away and practice as part of their rehabilitation, so not just one day but an ongoing program they can run themselves. Ian adds “These guys don’t need wet nursing, they are after all highly trained, professional servicemen, all they need is showing there is potential in the photography business and a helping hand to get going.”

A brief conversation followed with Mitsubishi who have donated one of their printers to the VIA to be used for training and fundraising projects.

Mike Weeks of the EPS has donated over £400 worth of Free Memberships to be gifted to the delegates.

Canon cameras jumped in without hesitation to provide a range of camera equipment, lenses and other accessories for the delegates to use on the day.

Darkroom Software have provided a copy of their Darkroom Core V9.1 software, the best all-in-one workflow for event photographers.

System Insight, the UK’s distributor of Darkroom Software have committed to provide a one day Darkroom training session for the 10 VIA delegates as well as a selection of mounts and other consumables.

Other options are being discussed with potential donors that include a laptop, backdrops, stands and perhaps even a studio lighting kit that will provide a full set of working kit for the VIA to use for this and other photography related training projects as well as fundraising events.

Gary Evans of Ballphotographers has kindly offered his time on the day to talk to the guys about different options within photography such as Weddings, Balls, Proms and staging photography such as Regimental and educational groups.

“In addition to the very generous donations of the above companies, the ability to access information from seasoned professionals is invaluable and I’m stunned at the support I’ve had from within the Event-Photos network of event teams, some ex-servicemen, some not, so far 8 are bringing equipment, event vehicles and giving up their time to support me in facilitating this day and acting as “Buddies” for the day to teach photographic skills, techniques etc to the VIA guys. I have to say I’ve been overwhelmed by their generosity.

The event will be held on Sunday 26th February at a motocross track near Banbury, without the amazing support of Bryan, the owner of Banbury Motocross Club this day would not have been possible at all, so a huge thanks to Bryan and his team is well and truly deserved.”