Sometimes it’s good to step out of the box and do something different. Which I did recently when I attended a powerful portraits workshop with Fine Art photographer Kelly Schneider This was so outside my comfort zone - there wasn’t a single dog, cat, puppy or kitten there! But it was a great day and I learned so much that I can’t wait to put into practice.
As my knowledge of lighting grows, I’m finding myself drawn to a certain style more and more. I’ve been studying images by photographers who are utilizing strobes to create incredible drama and almost a 3D feel to their work. I had some idea of how they did this, but so far in my attempts to replicate it, I had failed. Little did I know that when I signed up for Kelly’s workshop, that I was about to finally get the answers to all my questions.
The amazing thing to me was that I believed the way to create the look I wanted was through post processing. Or maybe a special light modifier. Instead, it was much more simple than I expected. Just a couple of tweaks in the way I set up my studio, and I would be able to create the style I have been pondering for months now.
One of the things I read about from previous attendees to Kelly’s workshops is not only does he teach, but he gives everyone the opportunity to practice with our own cameras. No more going home with pages of notes, but no experience on how to create what we just learned. While it was hard to have a lot of control over our setups with the number of photographers there, it was just enough for me to come home with images that I can study and refer back to as I begin to practice on my own. Kelly had 2 models for us to work with, which was awesome! Often, at workshops, the attendees act as models - many of us who are uncomfortable in front of the camera. But the 2 young women clearly knew how to pose and take direction as we moved our lighting allowing us, to concentrate on mastering our techniques.
We used a variety of lighting setups, some of which I had never photographed with before, like constant light. It was nice to experiment with different equipment and see the results without having to borrow, rent or invest in before deciding if it was right for me. There were pros and cons to the options, but for now, I’m going to stick with the strobe that I currently own. I did, however, order some new accessories that will allow me to better create the lighting style that I learned. I’m pretty excited about that!
So while there were no furry creatures at this workshop to photograph, one thing I want to do more of is photograph people with their pets. Everything I learned will help me create even better portraits for my clients. Are you ready for your fine art portrait featuring the furry members of your family? Drop me a message and let’s start planning your session today!