Spring Photography Class Workshop {New York City}featured

I had the pleasure of teaching an intro to photography course this spring.  It was a wonderful class because each of the 11 ladies are friends of mine, and they were all so invested in learning.  It was an amazing learning environment because everyone was sincerely dedicated in their efforts (I’ve had some pretty casual classes over the years, this was not one of them!), and I was so sad to see it end.   

The lighting workshop is hands-on opportunity for my students to have a try at portrait photography in a professional setting.  That way, they’ll know what they are in for when a friend approaches them about taking family pictures, or if they decide to start a photography business.

We had some pretty amazing models to work with (Click on the images below to see the full posts of my images from the workshop), as you can see, and although it was quite overcast, we were thrilled that it didn’t rain…

 
 
 

At the start, I just set up a few shots with each model so that the students could learn how to easily and efficiently work with subjects.  Initially I would pose the subjects and let the students step in for the same shot or shoot over my shoulder until they got more confidence to pose on their own.  Eventually, since we had so many fabulous models (staggered throughout the evening with several models at all times), the students were forced to step out of their comfort zones and set up shots on their own, and they performed brilliantly. I was so proud!

To me, photography is both a performance art and a visual art, and that is what makes it difficult.  It is unlike other art forms because the way you engage and interact with your subject is just as important as the way you stage, light, and frame your subject. It requires a lot of confidence (real or otherwise. It’s fake confidence in my case) and thinking on your feet, and it’s definitely not for everyone.

Here are a few observations from my students when we wrapped up our lighting workshop:

  • Getting a great portrait is harder than it looks 
  • Models like it when you tell them exactly what to do
  • A photo shoot gets easier as the time goes by and you get more comfortable with your subject/s
  • Posing the same subject over and over is difficult (you run out of ideas!)
  • Getting genuine smiles and candid portraits takes work
  • It’s hard to think about lighting, posing, making your subjects look good, expressions, etc. all while making sure your settings and exposures are correct.  It’s a lot to think about and manage with a smile on your face!
And here is our lovely class (minus one. We missed you, Breanne!) I’m the one on the far left who sticks out like a sore thumb in the stripes.  Nice.
Look how much fun we have together.  This isn’t staged at all. Sense the sarcasm?

And we couldn’t help but create some silhouettes using the work lights near Bethesda Fountain after our workshop ended (there were some rather fantastic white and pink azaleas in the background, can you see them?). And then we went to Shake Shack.  A perfect end to the evening, I think!

And a few of my students posted images from this workshop as well. They got some great shots, and you can see them here:


Emily
Hailey
Heidi
Sharon

I’ll be teaching another class in NYC the fall.  I think the class is nearly full already (more friends, and friends of friends via word of mouth), but if you are in the NYC area and are interested in joining us, drop me a line. We may just have a spot for you: lesley {at} kensingtonblue {dot} com

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