The Environmental Portrait Workshop at PNCA

Manuel Izquierdo, Sculptor
Portland, Oregon, 2004

This Spring, I will be teaching a new workshop at Pacific Northwest College of Art, called The Environmental Portrait. It’s a natural class for me to teach, since I love and have been making location portraits for a couple of decades now. Here’s the class description:

When a photographer takes a portrait of someone in their natural surroundings, we call it Environmental or Location Portraiture. Environmental portraits are a way of saying more about a person than is possible in the artificial confines of the photographic studio or a simple headshot. Photographers have used environmental portraiture to document figures in popular culture (Annie Liebowitz, Arnold Newman), social commentary and documentary (Dorothea Lange, Milton Rogovin), and the expression of personal vision (Keith Carter).

In this class we will look at the work of master location portrait photographers, current and past; review and critique each other’s work; and discuss how location portraits say much about the subject, but also about the social and political context in which they live. We will be working with models, model and property releases, available and artificial lighting techniques, the portrait as a series, composition, camera and media choices, output and presentation, and more. We will also go on location with models for demonstrations, and for time to photograph in class with instructor oversight. Both film and digital shooters in any medium are welcome. The class will culminate with a portrait series as a final project.

Prerequisites: A firm grasp of basic photographic technique, and a passion for portraits.

The class is on Saturday mornings from 10:00am-12:30pm, and runs Apr 07-May 12. You can find out more and register at the PNCA Continuing Education Program site.

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  • January 10, 2007 - 3:20 pm

    Marico - This class sounds fabulous! I am sorry I won’t be in PDX for it. I hope you post some of the students’ work on this blog.

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