More Portraiture Workshop Fun | Northern Virginia Portrait Photographer

October 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


"Excellent class.  Learned a lot in one day."  -- Cybil L.

"The workshop was wonderful!  Both Roger and Michael were prepared but also provided opportunities to experiment.  Just so many learning opportunities were given.  The hands-on piece was super helpful to me.  Great model too."  -- Grace K. 


Northern Virginia wedding and portrait photographer Roger Hammons shares a creative silhouette portrait created for fiddler Chelle Fulk during a PPA Super 1 Day workshop "Hands-On Studio Portraiture" co-taught with Michael Dunphy.


Late Tuesday night, my wife and I returned home from a busy, two-week vacation, seeking vistas of Fall color from Montreal, Canada, around Nova Scotia to Bar Harbor, Maine, down to Boston, Massachusetts.  Then, starting bright and early the next morning, I hosted and co-taught another all-day studio portraiture class in my Ashburn, Virginia studio. 

Co-taught with my friend Michael Dunphy, the "Hands-On Studio Portraiture" workshop was sponsored by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) under its Super 1 Day program, in which local professionals share their expertise with other pros or aspiring professionals. 

In the morning, Michael and I explained the technical aspects of studio portraiture through a series of demonstrations.  We explored the use of studio strobes in "bare bulb" configuration as well as with diverse light modifiers including umbrellas, soft boxes, strip boxes, beauty dishes, and snoots.  Starting simply with just one strobe, we built up a series of increasingly complex lighting set-ups, using as many as four strobes plus a reflector.  Using a flash meter to establish power settings, we demonstrated how to create lighting patterns that add depth to the portrait.  It was quite a busy, information-packed morning!

After lunch, we began our study of the non-technical aspects of studio portraiture:  posing and interacting with a non-professional model.  Joining us as the model was my favorite fiddler, Chelle Fulk, who brought two different fiddles and a change of clothing for us to use in the portraits.  She worked hard that afternoon, giving everyone a chance to practice different lighting set-ups and directing her into different poses.  

At the end, once the traditional portraits were finished, Michael and I took turns setting up some playful, creative mini-sessions -- and then inviting the students to join in on the fun. 

I love this silhouette of Chelle and her fiddle I took during the workshop.  With the right lighting set-up, the silhouette is technically easy to achieve.  The secret lies in arranging a pose that creates an interesting interplay of the two-dimensional shapes.  I think this one succeeds quite nicely!

Can you imagine this portrait as an album cover?  I sure can!


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My Northern Virginia wedding photography and portrait photography studio is conveniently located in Ashburn, Virginia, between Dulles International Airport and Leesburg, just north of the Brambleton shopping center.  

Give me a call at 703-729-3780 or contact me by email.  Whether you're a client or an aspiring photographer, I'd love to work with you, too!  



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