WHO KNEW A BARE STUDIO COULD BE SO MUCH FUN?
"The workshop was really helpful for me as I have always had difficulties shooting in low light." -- Paneer P.
"The class was fantastic. Had a great time." -- Leslie K.
"Loved it! All of it!" -- Danille W.
Michael and I had great fun teaching our July studio portraiture workshop, "The Bare Studio: Improvising Inside the Box," at my photography studio in Ashburn, Virginia.
For the workshop, I moved all of my strobes, stands, backdrops, posing aids, and other equipment out of the studio's camera room into the projection room and garage, thus revealing the “Bare Studio” that would be our inspiration and challenge.
With its toys hidden away, the studio felt strange and a bit intimidating!
To create a successful portrait in a bare studio, you first have to find areas with good lighting and non-distracting background. Then you have to pose the model effectively within those pockets of perfection. Not easy at all!
We wanted the workshop to be semi-private and extremely hands-on to allow the participants to practice these skills over and over again. So we split the group into two student-led teams to work simultaneously in different parts of the studio, each team having its own model and instructor. We were fortunate to have two teenage models, Katie and Autumn, who stayed with us the entire session.
With two friendly instructors, two lovely teenage models, and three talented students all sharing the available light and space in my camera room, it was glorious chaos, bursting with energy and creativity.
In the first half of the workshop, we worked on mastering the fundamentals, creating beautiful natural-light portraits. In the second half, we improvised to bring an additional element of flair to the portrait. Everyone was asked to bring a small surprise element we could add to the portraits. It was a lot of fun seeing what everyone brought and figuring out how to incorporate them into the portraits.
Here is one of my favorite portraits of Autumn from the workshop. It is a gorgeous profile portrait, featuring Autumn in her summer dress and hat. I love the color harmony. And, the light on her face and the catchlight in her eye are exquisite. For a bit of unexpected drama, we created the larger-than-life shadow of her profile on the bare wall behind her.
All in a bare studio!
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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.