For the last three days, I have been in a workshop with Mark Robert Halper learning his system called The Exceptional Portrait. Mark is a wonderful Fine Art Photographer who like me is very passionate about the craft of Photography. I had the pleasure of learning from Mark last year in is class called The Order Appointment.
There were 12 photographers in our workshop today, and I have to say it was a process to think differently in the approach to making a wonderful portrait. There are many schools of thought on how to take a photograph. I hear all the time about snapping one off. A portrait is not snapping one off. That would be a snap shot. Part of Mark's approach is to make you stretch to see things to the nth degree. Really see it. Live with it, add to it.
Learning to tell a story of a person is much more. Composing a real portrait consists of all the components being just right: Lighting, Clothing, Sense of Place, Expression of the Subjects, Placement - of each component. Even having the right mindset of everyone in the vicinity of where the portrait will be created.
On the flip side of learning is a sharing of ideas with others in the workshop. I was paired with other photographers each of the three days and it's amazing what just talking out loud with other photographers can spur in the creative juices. What equipment to use from lights to lenses. One of the images I created was with studio strobes which are the big flashes we use. One was magnificent natural light from a window with sunshine and clouds. And one was with the little LED Flashlight I carry in my purse. I was waiting to have the right image to use that as my main light. It needed just the right portrait to use it on for drama.
I feel so good about this week's sessions. There are new tools in the camera case. New ideas to experiment with. And create. Really create.Simply but with flair. An F Word - Flash Frozen Photography is an F Word too. Fun, Faboulas and Fine Art....