Discover the secrets to shooting breathtaking portraits that truly resonate with your audience. In this comprehensive course, we'll delve into the essential skills needed to direct your subjects and bring out their inner beauty.

Sep 2, 2024 - Sep 6, 2024

Levels: Intermediate, Advanced,
Workshop Fee: $1595
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday-Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 12

This portraiture course will cover all of the skills that are required to shoot beautiful images by directing your subject so that you bring the most out of them.

This includes:

  • Technical lighting, composition, and execution.
  • Developing stronger creative concepts.
  • Creating relationships, and helping your subjects feel comfortable to reveal their most authentic selves.

Throughout this course, you will learn to take your images to a higher level by refining your personal style and adding more depth and emotion to your images. Students will receive a range of tools that can deepen their narrative when photographing people.

Portrait 6 - By Steven Laxton
All images by Steven Laxton.

We will cover studio and environmental portraiture, and learn about different lighting techniques and how to think of light as a creative tool. This is more than just how to use the equipment and modifiers, it’s also about learning how to contemplate light, how to manipulate it to create more beautiful images, and how to use it as a narrative tool. 

We also will discuss how to approach and talk to our subjects. How do we create a space for them to feel comfortable enough to be the most authentic version of themselves?

Portrait 4 - By Steven Laxton

Portrait 3 - By Steven Laxton

I will spend time getting to know each student and what their point of view is and help them to have a wider visual vocabulary in which to express themselves. The creative process is at its best when it’s personal, so there is no wrong or right way and no one-size-fits-all. This is why I will work to know the students and their work individually, what they are passionate about and want to express. These tools will add layers to their existing creative palette and will add depth to their work to make their images more captivating and unique.

Portrait 2 - By Steven Laxton

Portrait 1 - By Steven Laxton

All images copyright Steven Laxton.

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Instructor: Steven Laxton

Now living in Brooklyn, Steven Laxton was born in rural Australia and, after moving to Adelaide, he began shooting for local magazines and clients while he was still a teenager. Recognition came early when, in 2008, he was named one of the 15 Rising Stars of International Photography by American Photo Magazine. When Communication Arts named him a "Fresh" artist in 2009, it coincided with the inclusion of his series on Holocaust survivors in the book and project "Afterwards: Contemporary Photography Confronting the Past" curated by Nathalie Herschdorfer of the Musée de l’Elysée. In 2012, Steven was awarded the Arnold Newman Prize for his evocative photo essays and portraits. That same year, he also earned the Picture of the Year International Feature award and a PDN award for his project Circo El Salvador, which features images of nomadic circus families in El Salvador. He was named the 2013 International Friend of El Salvador as a result of the series, a distinction considered one of the country’s highest honors. Steven’s images were included in the American Photography 29 collection for 2013. Also that year, a film he directed for Rewrite Your Story won several Art Directors awards including best direction and casting. The film also collected a Deadly Award. In 2014, he was named one of PDNs 20 emerging filmmakers to watch. In 2015, he was selected again for the PDN Annual for his series on a transgender cabaret in Thailand. The honors continued in 2016, too. He was selected for American Photography 32 and was included in the Communication Arts annual for his recent advertising campaign for Horizant. In 2019 he was included in American Photography 35, and American Photography 37 in 2021.