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I love teaching Aperture Academy workshops, the community that we have built is that of family and the Natural Light Portraits & Processing class is hands down, my favorite class to teach. No, not because I am a portrait photographer or because I created it, but because in one workshop, you get the full experience of being a photographer from shoot to print. I love teaching and sharing my experience to help other photographers create images they did know could come out of their cameras.
We call this class the PPP (Perfect Portrait & Processing) giving students a chance to evolved their camera skills, interact one on one with models and instructors, practice their own perspective and maybe even learn a new one, build their portrait portfolios and leave with print ready hiRes images a long with the knowledge base of what that all means. : )
On this picture perfect Saturday, Ellie and I met with eight students in the Pruneyard to define and refine some truly beautiful portraits. We wondered around the pruneyard, scoping out the best places to pose our model, current ApCad student DeAnna (who ROCKED being on the other side of the lens; see attached images) We looked for repetition, reflections, sunshine, shadows and leading lines! Upon first look, you wouldn’t think there would be such variety at the PY shopping center, but throughout the morning, I saw so many fantastic shots popping up on the backs of everyone’s cameras.
Posing is an important aspect to cover- and just like other elements in photography, their are guidelines, but no RULE to follow and is mostly dependent on the model or subject and what is going on with their body! I have cut people off at the knees, and composed their face or body in the middle of my shot. It all goes along with making it personal. Little tricks such as saying Hi! instead of: cheeeeese is a good tip along with getting on the same level as the subject- squatting down if you are taking pictures of kids is a GREAT example. : )
After a couple hours of shooting, and a quick lunch break, we headed back to the gallery where each photographer had their own work station utilizing Adobe’s LightRoom to catalog, develop (or edit) and export to print the favorite images of the day. During the production side of the class, both Ellie and I shared our workflows reminding everyone that they can take what they want out of our lessons and tips to create their own style. Dwindling the number of files down from hundreds to just 10 favorites, everyone was ready to take their new skills and workflow home to their own clients and families. Another reason I love this workshop: my fellow photographers can’t wait to go home and keep shooting!
Until next time,
Alicia, Ellie and the rest of the Aperture Academy team!
If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.