COVID-19 Update: For all in-person workshops and trips, Santa Fe Workshops requires that all participants attending be fully vaccinated (per definition of the CDC) and provide proof of vaccination. This requirement applies to students, staff, and instructors.
“The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
In this day of iPhones, Instagram, and selfie culture, images of people are constantly part of our life in more ways than they have ever been. However, capturing a powerful portrait goes well beyond the quick press of a button.
In this workshop with portrait photographer and teacher Rania Matar, we first discuss the key elements that make a good portrait. Then we delve into the process of approaching potential subjects, establishing trust, and developing a relationship. We learn to pay attention to detail, postures, expressions, and the use of the environment, while working through the process and all the details of creating a great portrait. We learn to use framing, natural light, location, background, body language, the significance of the gaze or not, as well as paying close attention to the relationship of the photographer to the subject throughout the entire process.
Over the course of our time together we explore many different aspects of portraiture – close-up portraits, environmental portraits, documentary portraits, collaborative portraits, self-portraits, group portraits, and conceptual portraits. Through assignments and field work in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico, students are encouraged to truly and intimately see their subject and find their own voice in this creative process of making beautiful, powerful, creative, and collaborative portraits. Rania leads group image reviews of students' work, and also shares the work of well-known artists for ideas and inspiration.
This weeklong workshop with Rania offers community, connection, and reveals important new ways of working with people and making intimate and creative portraits.
Working knowledge of digital workflow and manual mode on your digital SLR or mirrorless camera. Participants must be able to download, select, and transfer images to their own jump drive for class each day.
Participants are responsible for making their own housing arrangements in Santa Fe. On-campus accommodations are not currently available.
Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the United States in 1984. As a Lebanese-born American woman and mother, her cross-cultural experience and personal narrative inform her photography. She is currently Associate Professor of Photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Rania’s work has been widely published and exhibited in museums worldwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Carnegie Museum of Art and more. It is part of the permanent collections of several museums, institutions and private collections. A mid-career retrospective of her work was recently on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, in a solo exhibition: In Her Image: Photographs by Rania Matar. Her work is in the permanent collections of several museums, institutions and private collections worldwide. She has published three books: L’Enfant-Femme, 2016; A Girl and Her Room, 2012; Ordinary Lives, 2009.
She has received several grants and awards including a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2017 Mellon Foundation artist-in-residency grant at the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, 2011 Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography, 2011 and 2007 Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowships. In 2008 she was a finalist for the Foster Award at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, with an accompanying solo exhibition.
This workshop is currently full. Use this form to sign up for the waitlist, and SFW will reach out if a seat becomes available.