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Instructor: Bobbi Lane Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129

Natural light portraits can be the most evocative and meaningful images that a photographer can create. However, understanding and mastering the basic qualities of light can be challenging. The beauty of available light is that it’s everywhere. Any time of day and any situation can be turned into a great opportunity for environmental portraits. This class will help develop your ability to ‘see’ the quality of light and apply it to ‘real’ people. We don’t scout locations, we scout light and make the location work. We put our people in the light, critically aware of the direction as well as the quality, to create our interpretive portraits. The most important part of our picture is not the subject, but how we choose to define our subject. The emphasis is on utilizing all our tools: light, tonality, composition and color, to get our ideas stated visually.

Many photographers get ‘lucky’ when working with light and realize that early morning and late afternoon are flattering times to do portraits. The truth is that learning to control the light gives you the freedom to photograph any time of day with outstanding results. The class will cover all kinds of existing light: hard, soft, bounced, reflected, diffused, etc. The only tools we use are reflectors and diffusers. No flash! We will work in both black and white and color depending upon the mood you want to create. There are many facets that go into creating an effective portrait and we cover those various aspects and work with posing and expression for a variety of personalities.

This is not a technical course, but a working knowledge of photography is necessary.

This class covers following topics:

  • Types of portraits
  • Lens choice, depth of field, framing, posing, expressions and background
  • The Big Three: Direction, Quality and Depth of Light
  • Direction of light: Lighting Patterns, describing the form and setting the mood with Split, Rembrandt, Loop and Butterfly
  • Depth of Light: Lighting Ratios determine the drama
  • Quality of light: How the quality directly sets the overall feeling and texture of the portrait. Working with direct sun, backlighting, shade, overcast, window light, bounced and diffused
  • Diffusers: Altering the direct sunlight with round diffuser, panels or sheets
  • Reflectors: Using white cards, pop up reflectors with white, gold, silver, soft gold and black. Reflectors for fill or for main light
  • Finding the light, looking for the scene that will give you the best light for your subject
  • Approach, are you lighting for flattering or effective portraits?
  • The relationship between the photographer and subject
  • Multiple reflectors
  • Color-making correct skin tones or warming them for effect


Instructor: Bobbi Lane

Bobbi LaneBobbi Lane is an award-winning commercial photographer specializing in creative portraits on location and in the studio. Lane’s multi-faceted approach to photography incorporates over 30 years of technical experience with innovative artistic interpretation. Lane shoots primarily people on location for editorial, corporate, and advertising accounts as well as photographing “real people” and travel for stock. Her stock photography has sold worldwide for ads, posters, and billboards.Bobbi’s clients include: Warner Bros., PricewaterhouseCoopers, Samsung, Bose Corp., Neutrogena, Ricon, Mattel, Maui Music Festival, Charles Schwab, McDonnell/Douglas, Sears’ Tower Skydeck, and the Morro Bay Natural History Museum.As a dedicated photo educator, she brings insight and enthusiasm to her hundreds of students every year. Bobbi’s excellent rapport and communication with her students inspires and motivates, while her straight-forward teaching style reaches students of many different skill levels. Bobbi teaches her own weekend workshops in CT, the Bobbi Lane Workshops and at the Santa Fe Workshops, the Maine Workshops, the Julia Dean Workshops, and the International Center for Photography in New York City. She is the Chair of the Education Committee for Advertising Photographers of America, and the creator of their Successful Emerging Photographers program. In October 2007, at APA Nationals 25th Anniversary, they honored Bobbi with a Special Recognition Award for Education.

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