Portrait Workshop – “The Language of Light”

While much of my personal photography focuses on landscape/seascape photography, I have a very deep love affair with portrait photography. The human face fascinates me, and I think that I could spend endless hours and days recording it with my camera.

Photograph created by Mike Dooley at the "Language of Light" portrait workshop hosted by The Photographers Connection

Model from the “Language of Light” portrait workshop

Portrait Workshop – “The Language of Light”

As a teacher at The Photographers Connection, a collaborative photography educational group, I had the great pleasure of conducting another portrait workshop yesterday with my friend and colleague Bob Kidd. The workshop was titled “The Language of Light”, and as you can imagine the class was all about portrait photography and how to use natural and created light to create beautiful portraits.

The portrait workshop was conducted at LookBook Media Studios, Bob and I spent the day working with 6 students and 2 models. We started with portraits created with natural window light, explored both on and off camera flash, and finished the day with a three light setup using studio strobes. Reflectors, grids, umbrellas and softboxes were all used as we explored the magical language of light.

As the day progressed there were many “Aha!” moments, as our students worked with the equipment and created images of their own. During the workshop, I rarely take any photos for myself. Much of my time is spent assisting students, helping them create portraits. By keeping our hands on classes small, Bob and I are able to spend a great deal of time working one on one with our students. It is these personal interactions, I feel, that make our workshops such a great experience for our students.

During the course of the day I did manage to create 4 photographs of one of our models. The first two shots allowed me to dial in the exact exposure, the third the composition, and the final shot we worked on the pose and the expression.

The objective of my photo was to create something a little dark and moody. The lighting setup involved three studio lights. The main light was setup first, at camera left, with a large softbox. We then added a fill light camera right with a large umbrella. To help bring out that beautiful dark hair, we added a hair light above and behind with a grid, which kept the light from spilling all over the place.

I hope that you enjoy the photograph as much as I enjoyed creating it.

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One Comment

  1. Bob October 25, 2015 at 5:56 PM #

    A great post, Mike and I had a fabulous time working with you in this program!

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