"I would like to learn how to capture better images of my kids." This is a comment that we often hear during our Natural Light Portrait Workshop orientation. All of the Aperture Academy workshops start with an orientation, or round of introductions. Scott and I always look forward to meeting the students and finding out more about them. The Natural Light workshop is the perfect hands on experience for the beginner, on up. With a low student to teacher ratio everyone gets as much instruction as he or she desires.
Before we head outside with our two beautiful models, there is a quick classroom presentation. It’s a nice refresher on the basics, including Aperture and it’s importance in portrait photography. Now everyone is on the same page and eager to start taking some photos, so we head outside with our models. Scott and I pose the models in different locations, so the group can spread out a little and have plenty of room to work with each model at their leisure. We assist with the proper settings, given our lower light conditions, as well as composition. As we move around the Pruenyard shopping center, Scott and I point out the obvious, as well as the not so obvious sites there are for portraiture. One of the really obscure sites is a utility room. The lighting is extremely difficult, as it’s a combination of warm sodium, and a small amount of natural sidelight. The best thing to do in this particular situation is eliminate the difficulty of color by changing to monochrome. An awkward off color images becomes simply beautiful in black and white. We continue to walk around the center and find interesting places to pose our models.
All the while we are working with the available light and displaying techniques on how to work with light that’s less then ideal. We were all having so much fun the time simply flew by. Scott and I set up a final shot, and this one included everyone. A group shot is a fun way to end the experience, and a nice memento of the day.
If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.