Studio Visit Assignment

Studio Visit Assignment
Due 11/23
100pts (10%)

The greatest tool a portrait photographer can have is experience – experience with their tools and techniques, experience with lighting, experience working with people, and experience being alive and being human. The more time a portrait photographer can spend making photographs of people, getting feedback from their clients, analyzing their work and finding inspiration in the work of others, the faster they can master the art of portraiture.

There is no better way to gain a sense of how a portrait photographer does their job than to observe them at work in their studio and learn as much as you can from their years of experience. You will gain an understanding of their preferred tools and techniques, and you will gain an understanding of what they do to draw out the kind of emotion or expression needed from their subject. You may also gain an understanding of what it takes to run a business or succeed financially as a portrait photographer.

Your assignment is to arrange to visit a portrait studio, observe at least some part of their process and learn the answers to a few questions. I’ll supply three and will rely on you to come up with at least two more. Start with these:

What is the most difficult part of your work?

Photographer to photographer, what is the most rewarding moment in your job?

What advice would you give to a young photographer learning your art?

Note the answers, take a selfie and bring what you learned back to the classroom for discussion. We will pool the knowledge we gained, and share our experiences. And we’ll critique those selfies too.

You will turn in a one-page paper which tells briefly of your experience while informally revealing the answers to the questions you asked. And you’ll email me that selfie 😉

You will be graded on your fulfillment of the assignment in both form and function.

Have fun!

Assignment #2 – Six Second Portrait

Sometimes we want to go very fast. Sometimes it is better to slow down.

Your next assignment is to create a portrait of someone in a real setting in dim light. They will sit for you. You will mold the light so that it is perfect for their face and for the mood of the portrait. You will direct them to pose in a way which is classic and simple, and you will direct them to hold that pose so that you can photograph them.

You will put your camera on a tripod and compose the shot. You will set your shutter speed for 6 seconds, and then you will set your aperture and ISO to achieve the proper exposure. Make exactly 12 frames for this assignment. Review each photo after exposure, and make adjustments if needed for success.

 Due: Wednesday 10/12

You will turn in your flash drive containing:

All of the raw photos from your shoot (12 frames)
Your final processed, high-resolution jpeg or print

This assignment is worth 100pts and will be graded based on the following criteria:

25pts. Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept

25pts. Control of focus and blur

25pts. Ability to create a pleasing composition

25pts. Use of light to create clarity and mood

Student work will be discussed in a critique on 10/12, and all students are expected to be there.

Portraiture Standards

Assignment Due 11/16

When entering a discipline, it is important to establish a basic understanding of the standard practices and approaches which lead to general success. If you can master these basic skills, you’ll be able to replicate the setups easily and focus on your subject instead of your gear and technique. If you are really doing your job well, you will be forming a professional and social relationship with your client, putting them at ease while also observing their face, their posture and their mannarisms so that you can create a portrait which embodies their spirit and personality.


6 Basic Lighting Setups

10 Things to Consider

Assignment: Make a Portrait

This is the most simple and obvious assignment you can expect in a portraiture class. You will make a portrait of someone, choose the best, process the image and present it in a critique.

 Due: Wednesday 9/21

You will turn in your flash drive containing:

All of the raw photos from your shoot (at least 36 frames)
Your final processed, high-resolution jpeg or print

Use any style you desire, but do good work. What I mean is, don’t hold back just because this is a simple assignment. Take the opportunity to make this portrait the best you have ever made. Use the excuse of the assignment to take chances and experiment. Ask that person you have always wanted to ask to pose for a portrait, and blame it all on me.

This assignment is worth 100pts and will be graded based on the following criteria:

25pts. Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept

25pts. Control of focus and motion blur

25pts. Ability to create a pleasing composition

25pts. Use of light to create clarity and mood

Student work will be discussed in a critique on 9/21, and all students are expected to be there.

8-31-16 Homework and Interesting Links

Your homework assignment due at 7pm next week (9/7) is to make two photographs and bring them into class, ready to turn in via the shared server StuData. You will find a portrait subject and bring them into a darkened room where you will photograph the effect of the light from a single dim light source (which you will show in the composition) on their face. Think candlelight. If you do use candlelight, use caution and safety measures. If not candlelight, any small dim light source should suffice.

Your exposure should be such that the light source retains enough of its natural color that the source is not super bright and blown out, but still has some color saturation to it. The face of the subject should pick up this light, but may still be dark. Make this photograph using whatever camera and means you have available to you.

Maintain this exposure level, but now use a secondary source of light to create a pleasing balance of fill, side lighting or backlighting. This balance should allow the original source to retain it’s quality while helping to create clarity or visibility in a part of the subject which was previously obscured through darkness. Make a photograph that matches the feeling of light in the first, but holds this delicate balance.

examples (all pretty girls, lame, sorry):

Please also consider scouring through these great links to find inspiration:

See you next week!

Welcome to Photo 200

Hello class,

Welcome to photography 200 at College of the Canyons! During this semester you will learn a lot about portraiture, and more importantly you will apply what you learn to make some (hopefully) fantastic portraits. We will work the entire class to build a portfolio of photographs depicting your friends, family, strangers and maybe even a professional model or two.

I’m interested to hear about what inspires you, and also what topics interest you the most. Use the “leave a comment” link below this post to tell us all just a little about yourself, and more importantly please share a couple of links. Send us somewhere we can see your work, share a link to an inspirational gallery, or to a single photo you want to learn to replicate the style of during the course.

Let’s have a great time making portraits. Thanks for signing up.


Photo 210 Homework for 3/9

Read chapters 3 & 4 of our text. Prepare for a pop quiz. Shhhh!

“Friend +1 Portrait” – Basically, I want you to make a portrait of someone close to you, but I want you to have another person there who can help you make it happen. After you photograph your main subject, you will make a portrait of the second. Shoot as much as you need, but make sure you arrive at a good portrait of each. Turn in raws and one jpeg of each.

Behind the Scenes, More Inspiration

Homework for Next Week (3/2)

Read Chapters 1 and 2 from “Photography Business Secrets…” by Lara White

Identify a photographic style which you would aspire to incorporate into your own work, and come with an image (from another artist) which demonstrates that style.

Come with the text/copy you would put on your business card, and also bring in a selection of images/textures/colors/type usages which you would consider as you begin branding yourself as a wedding photographer.