In portraiture, the difference between a beautiful yet aseptic photo and one that draws us in and reveals both the spirit of the sitter and the photographer's interpretation is often defined to a degree by the relationship we manage to build with our subjects. If we take it for granted that the lights, set, clothing, make-up and framing are all correct, then the many other variables that influence that relationship are psychological. So, are we able to recognise and control those variables?
Let's take a common situation – a studio photography workshop: a set, a professional model, the teacher and the (often) amateur photographers following the workshop. The teacher directs the model, the participants instinctively tend to only be able to observe the scene, often dazzled by the model, who will herself usually work hard to show only her more photogenic features as she poses.
There's nothing wrong with any of that: instinct and reason are harmoniously mixed, but what's probably missing is an awareness of what's going on that would allow us to reconstruct what happens instinctively in order to make it learnable, manageable and modifiable… in short, dictated by rationality.
In our workshop, we'll try to go beyond that situation. First we'll allow everyone to follow their instincts, but then we'll reconstruct the steps that led to specific results, trying to codify what we did and why. Analysing photos, we'll look not only at the “why”s but also the “why not”s – why some images have impact and others don't – and we'll try to learn from our mistakes.
We've chosen to work with a non-professional model called Lara, who has some experience of studio shoots. We've asked her to make three wishes about how she'd like to be portrayed, how she wants to be dressed and made up, so that she herself will be put in different psychological states as she's photographed. The workshop will take place both in the studio and in a private garden, using mixed light.
Date: Sunday, June 17, 2012. 10am – 5.30pmSocial Networking On Squidoo.