Saturday's in August are usually pretty warm by mid morning. But not this summer morning the cloud cover was thick and the breeze blew through the courtyard so heavy it felt as if fall slowly crept in without saying good-bye to summer. I opened the door to the gallery. And the students for the Perfect Portraits-and- Processing Photography Workshop began pour in.
Aperture Academy Gallery, located in the Pruneyard shopping center, in Campbell, CA is where class began. I walk the students through some of the basics that we will be using later in the day, such as the exposure triangle, which consists of the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. That leads us into the rule of thirds, and lastly my very own, top secrete tips and tricks, of Portrait Photography. (You must attend the workshops to learn them) ;)
Once I finish getting everyone familiar with their camera's I introduce them to Rachelle, who will be our model for the day. We head outside to start shooting. The other instructors and I have done some scouting and continue to find fun and interested places to shoot in all within walking distance of the Aperture Academy Gallery. We chose a new spot just outside of the Sports Basement. It's a large blank wall with open shade and a beautiful warm peach color to it. I love this location because there are so many options for the students to direct and move the model. This is where they usually start to get comfortable directing and experimenting with various poses and exposures. As we finished up here we went on to one last location. The Prunyard is full of amazing little spots that have quality natural light. Places such as, the spotted forest, it's a little grassy area surrounded by trees with a very interesting spotted light source that filters in through the trees. I talk to the students about the tricks to getting this real life natural light portrait setting to work for them, and not against them. This concluded our shooting portion and we took a luch break so I could get their images uploaded to the workstations.
The second half of the Perfect Portraits-and-Processing Photography Workshop is always my favorite. Coming from a retouching background I find it very exciting to see the images from the shoot and start the Processing, portion of the workshop. I walk the students through my entire process of postproduction: from importing them to Adobe Light Room, to prepping them for post, all the way to exporting them for the web and print. I also like to spend this time giving them feed back on their images and if they have any questions about anything I went over earlier in the day.
I answered questions talked a bit about the industry and gave them my two cents on the future of photography and why I do the things I do with my portraits, and this concluded our day. Please come join us for future workshops!
Until next time,
Ajay, 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.