Create compelling and emotionally rich collaborative portraits.

Date:  Jul 22 -28, 2018
Levels:  Intermediate, Advanced, Master
Workshop Fee:  $1245
Class Size: 14

Being able to interact with and photograph people poses many challenges, but is important for any humanistic photographic project. Also for those hoping to make a living in the realm of editorial or commercial photography, being able to create effective portraits for commissions is a crucial skill-set. Within the context of contemporary storytelling, almost any project that involves humans will draw on your understanding of portraiture. The class explores different visual and conceptual approaches that can be applied to portrait photography within an editorial and fine art documentary context. It will focus on utilizing natural light, identifying, approaching, and creating strong images of strangers.


  • The Approach: how to meet a stranger, build trust and engage them creatively. 
  • Projecting Representations: who controls the image, the photographer or the person depicted? What are advantages/disadvantages to either approach?
  • Technical Decisions: what sort of equipment is best suited for your aesthetic, intent and approach? How does the way you use light affect the reading of the photograph?
  • The Two-Way Street: the course is structured around giving prints back to the people you photograph, so we are not involved in “taking” as much as we are “making” in collaboration with those we photograph.
  • Engagement: how to engage with the people you are photographing, and afterwards, engage your intended audience.

All image credit © Matt Eich

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Instructor: Matt Eich

Matt Eich (b. 1986) is a portrait photographer and photographic essayist working on long-form projects about the American condition. He is currently a Professional Lecturer of Photography at The George Washington University and continues to accept commissions. Matt resides in Virginia with his family. Commercial & Non-Profit clients include Apple, BASF, BVK, Canadian Opera Company, Republic Records, Sentara Healthcare, Southern Environmental Law Center, Tiffany & Company, United Way Worldwide, We Feed the World.