The act of creating compelling portraits—including those of ourselves—requires more than simply having the “right” equipment, lighting, and location. It’s about discovering and defining your vision and knowing how to express it visually.
Robert Stivers has said that fine-art photography “is my voice … my medium, and … how I’m going to explore my relationship to the world, to the spirit, and to my life.” Under his guidance, workshop participants are invited to explore and solidify their own vision in order to approach portraiture as an artist.
We begin by viewing examples of great portraits and identifying the key elements that characterize successful and engaging work. After that, we delve into the process of portraiture itself, from approaching a subject, establishing trust, and developing relationships to scouting for locations and working collaboratively. Finally, we turn our attention to the role of post-production in the creation of a final image.
Through daily assignments in the Santa Fe area with models and the people we meet, participants are encouraged to express and explore their vision. Image reviews, lectures, demonstrations, and group discussions round out these five full days. You come away from our time together with distinctive and powerful portraits that represent the beginning—or perhaps a continuation—of a coherent body of work.
Working knowledge of digital workflow and manual mode on your digital SLR or mirrorless camera. Participants must be able to download and select images using image editing software for class sessions.
Robert Stivers is a fine-art photographer with a BA from University of California, Irvine, and an MA from New York University. He has exhibited his work internationally for three decades and published six monographs: Robert Stivers: Photographs, Listening to Cement, Sestina, Sanctum, The Art of Ruin, and Staging Pictures: Early Polaroids by Robert Stivers. His photographs can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Getty Museum, Harvard’s Fogg Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, among others. Collectors of Robert’s work include Ellen Degeneres, Charlize Theron, and Mark Wahlberg.