If you’re a photographer, it’s time again to book your seat at Texas School. What is Texas School? It’s a big once-a-year event where you spend a week with an instructor of your choice. It’s where you have the ability to do a deep-dive into lighting, social dynamics and expression, and your business. The event is in April, but registration opens tonight. It’s good to book your seat early.
This awesome video was created by my wrangler, Robert Ray. I think it really shows the feel of the event. I posted some images from the event already of the red-headed model. It’s worth checking those images out here.
We practice on individual models because we’re working on specific skills and drills. But throughout the week we build out into posing and working with groups. It means understanding how to first nail the individual portrait, then incorporate that into couples, then families, and then very large extended family groups.
I set up multiple studios for photographers to try various things. Each studio is set up differently, and there are various challenges so that photographers are individually pushed into new areas. We do a mix of indoor studio, outdoor, and even mixed lighting indoors like what we might encounter at a wedding reception or corporate portrait shoot. The challenge is to quickly nail the lighting on multiple levels (color balance, exposure, and perfect angles for the models skin, eyes, face, waist, etc.). The image should look retouched before we do any retouching.
With different models with different personalities, one challenge is to continually create new images with new poses that work with and tell a story about the subject’s personality. A viewer should feel who the model is, by just looking at a portrait. And of course lighting must continually be nailed, without excuse – inside, outside, mixed lighting, matching with difficult backgrounds.
The photographers in my class do most of the shooting, trying out certain drills or challenges. But I need to demo certain techniques here and there, so here’s some of the images I created. Keep in mind, these were all shot in short 2-5 minute segments per model. The rest of the time is for the photographers in the class to shoot. This model I photographed with only natural light and then with a pop-up flash. It was a lesson on how to create under pressure, with a lack of equipment.
Next, this cute young girl was a dancer. I wanted to show first how to get her to relax and get real expressions, and secondly how to light her so well that she doesn’t need any retouching. The glow of her skin and light in her eyes is all done with lighting.
With lots of different models, looks, and personalities, it’s a lot of fun creating new portraits.
If you’re a photographer and would like to attend, find all the details here.
And until next time, America.