Virginia Photography Workshop
On May 1, Jeff and I traveled to Richmond, VA to speak at the Capital District of Virginia’s Professional Photographers Association (VPPA). We had been invited by Mary Fisk-Taylor and Deborah Fisk to coach about 30 photographers on using off-camera flash for location portraiture.
We began our class in the studio of Skibo Adams to demonstrate portrait lighting patterns. We presented broad and short light, facial analysis, and the four main patterns of split, Rembrandt, loop, and butterfly. While these lighting patterns are often thought of as applicable only in the studio, our goal was to show how great lighting can be achieved in outdoor settings, which are often more popular with today’s portrait client.
On-Location Portrait Lighting
Once the class had a firm grasp of what to look for and what to avoid with lighting, we then moved outdoors to shoot. Mary’s son and his girlfriend volunteered to model for the class. Jeff and I split into two teams and each took a model to different locations. In the remaining class time, we demonstrated our process for location portraiture:
First, we find an interesting location or backdrop, taking into consideration background distractions and lighting quality.
Next, we place our model into the backdrop while envisioning composition.
Third, we place and meter the flash and balance it to the ambient lighting.
Finally, we pose the model and shoot!
This was my first time visiting Richmond (other than passing through on adventures farther north). The Capital District were fantastic hosts! We went to a great brewery and restaurant overlooking the river with a gorgeous view of the downtown skyline at sunset. We got to chat with several photographers and try fantastic foods — just ask Jamie Hayes how much he loved those hot wings! 😉 We finished the evening at an aptly-named hotel called Quirk in the heart of downtown. Jeff and I would love to go back for a visit and just wander around and shoot!