Dates: 19- 20 May 2024 (Two-day workshop with Sean)
Topic: How to photograph strangers (and have them call you back to take more pictures)
Number of participants: Limited to 6
Do you ever run into trouble taking pictures of your family?
Seems like a silly question to ask, doesn't it? On most days, you can whip out your phone or your camera and taken endless pictures of your friends and family. Yet, the moment you turn your camera onto strangers, you get the look.
“Are you taking pictures of me?” they ask you.
This slight pushback on the part of strangers is why most photographers will give you specific advice. They'll advise you how to stand way out in the distance to get a photo; take the picture in secret; or worse, to snap and run.
This method of hit and run is clearly ridiculous.
Strangers are more than happy to get their pictures taken, but they need to feel like family. They need to understand why you're taking the pictures, and how those pictures honour them in some way.
“Honour” seems like a fancy word
But we live in a world where a photo has been cheapened by phones and social media.
Somehow, your photo needs to be different. It needs to make the person look and feel special. In many cases, it needs to honour the work they do, and the life they live. When you go about taking photos in such a manner, you are given not just one-time, but repeated access, so that the stranger becomes a friend.
All of this relationship takes time and we may not have the luxury of time
Sometimes, you need to capture a moment quickly. This situation requires a strategy as well. How do you get over the issue of a stranger turning away? What do you do to make sure they're somewhat okay with you hanging around and taking pictures? Doing just about anything in life requires some sort of strategy. In a nutshell, that's what this workshop is all about.
The technical bits of the workshop (not very technical, by the way)
Get to explore parts of Lisbon with Sean. We will meet in the mornings, grab a coffee, and set off to take photos of Lisbon. Sean will explain the focus for the day, and we will have a quick recap at the end of the day. This workshop will be limited to 6 people. The goal of the workshop is pretty specific. It's not to give you more information but to give you a specific skill. By the time you leave the workshop, you will be able to put your knowledge to use because you've practised it repeatedly at the workshop itself.
Most photography is built on the principles of art.
It's why you're likely to find that some of the best photographers have had a fair bit of training in drawing, sketching or painting. This is why we'll look at where art intersects with photos and how we can use the power of art to create pictures that people look at and say, “Wow, you take amazing photos!”
What you will learn:
The concept of “Nothing Touches.”
When you're out taking pictures, there's almost always an overlap. One person will overlap with another. The concept of “nothing touches” is where you learn to see—and then photograph in a manner so that almost everything is standalone and yet a composite part of the picture. In art, this is done on purpose because you can control what goes on the canvas or page. How do you achieve the same when everything moves or you have extremely limited time and even less space?
Foreground, Middle and Background
What makes one photo stand out from another? There are many reasons, but one of the primary reasons some images stand out is that the eye goes through the photo to see intricate details. A photo with a foreground, middle and background has enormous depth, which causes the viewer to travel through the photo. However, what do you include in the foreground? What if the foreground isn't as appealing? Should the focus always be in the background, or should you use the middle ground? We examine images and see how the foreground, middle, and background become second nature to you.
If you give someone a camera, they will first focus on the person or the object. Yet, that's the wrong place to start. It's crucial to understand what's behind the person/object. When you understand this concept and review enough examples, you can see the difference between a photo that's “almost there” and one that stands out quite a bit. Yet, we can't always avoid distraction. How do you use your camera to reduce the clutter?
Movement and anticipation
If you look at most photos, they're static. That's because most people have taken posed photos, which are boring. An image can be frozen in time and yet have lots of movement. In many cases, movements are predictable, even repetitive. Once you're conscious about movement, you get addicted to it. Your photos come alive instead of being static and tedious. But how do you anticipate things in a world that's so unpredictable? And how do you capture the movement reliably? Also, when do you drop movement altogether?
These lines aren't always visible, yet they're always around. They tend to point towards the main character. Learning to pick up the camera and instantly see the directional lines makes for a better picture.
Point of Focus
The point of focus isn't something we tend to consider when taking a picture. Yet artists have to do this all the time. They can make an object bigger or smaller, brighter or darker, warmer or cooler. However, even as a photographer, you can achieve something similar—even working without colour. Where you stand and what you do next immediately gets the viewer to know the point of focus. The rest of the picture is essential, but it starts with the main character and moves on to the rest.
Cropping —And chopping legs
Photographers will tell you that you should get it right in the camera. That's nonsense. Sometimes, you cannot get in the correct position to take a good photo, or something may be in the way. Cropping becomes vital to remove distractions and get to the point of focus. Cropping an object or even the head sometimes makes the image more dramatic. How often do you crop? And where do you start? Also, why must you be very careful about chopping off legs, fingers, or other parts of the body?
These are core elements that help you take better pictures. You look at the frame like an artist does and control the elements to the best of your ability. In time, you'll see how a picture is like an artwork: something you can control and bring to life.
Ready to join Sean at this workshop?
Early Bird Price: € 1200 (There is a 3-part installment plan too)
Final Price: € 3000
(Note: The price is for the 2-day workshop. It does not include accommodation, travel or meals. However, you are in for a special treat—a chocolate from New Zealand)
More details: FAQ details here
Click here to sign up € 1200 (Full Payment)Click here to sign up (3-Part Installment Plan of € 425 each)
Important Note: There will be no refund if you can't attend. The exact location details will be sent to you once you sign up.