When most people hear the term portrait photography, they visualize a family dressed in their Sunday best, posed rigidly in front of a camera at a department store. This is a misconceived impression of portraiture. Portraits may be made in any circumstances – indoors, outdoors, in basements, in cars, or over a cup of coffee after dinner.
A portrait is, first and foremost, an interpretation of who the subject is – not just what the subject looks like. There’s a unique life to a portrait. The camera can only capture one moment, but that moment should hint at circumstances far broader than the moment in the frame.
Portraiture and Lighting is a seven-week class intended for students with some previous experience in photography. Concepts of aperture, shutter speed, film ISO, etc. should be mastered prior to enrolling.
The class is called “Portraiture and Lighting,” but lighting is only a part of the intricate puzzle. Each week, students are given an assignment that deals with a particular technical variable. The class examines the details in all aspects of portraiture, and we ask questions about much more than technical issues.
Classes consist of three parts:
1. A lecture, including a lighting demonstration with a volunteer model.
2. A shooting assignment.
3. A class discussion of the previous week’s shooting assignment.
Students are expected to commit about 5 hours per week: 2 hours in class and up to 3 hours shooting pictures. If using film, students should also allow time to have film processed at a commercial lab before coming to class.
- Digital SLR camera
- 50mm lens and a lens of a different focal length