A real portrait is not a headshot. It’s an encounter, a wordless experience of a person by another that invokes the subject in full, with all complexity and contradictions intact. How do you make such a full picture? Simple. Set aside what you should see and look at who is there in front of you. Look with the eyes, the mind, the heart. This workshop will be an intensive investigation into the art of making a penetrating and exciting portrait. The point is not to learn “how to do” a portrait, but to investigate and practice creative photography of people. It is a wide-ranging exercise encompassing the use of light, the energy of composition, psychology, and above all else to accomplish it with authenticity. The class will explore all of these aspects through a number of techniques and exercises that get us to a real state of presence with the person we’re working with and let us represent what it is we see. We’ll work with word pictures, in movement, in abstraction…and in photos.
We will acquaint ourselves with the work of great portraitists in different media and learn what we can from them. Assignments will include:
- Writing the story of a stranger.
- A portrait of ourselves.
- A portrait of the same person by everyone in the class.
- Encounter with a stranger.
- The question of light.
We will be less concerned with techniques and "the steps" of portraiture, but will focus on extending ourselves, exploring possibilities, making authentic work that represent humans, work that neither flatters nor denigrates, but is as authentic and as true as we can make it.