Gorman on Gorman: Five Decades

with Greg Gorman

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Course Description

For fifty years, Greg Gorman has continued to master the art of photography. From celebrity portraits and advertising campaigns to magazine layouts and fine-art figure work, Greg has developed and showcased a discriminating and singular style. His contributions to the worlds of portrait and figure photography are ground-breaking.

Best known for his timeless black-and-white portraits, Greg documents that peculiar obsession of the 20th-century celebrity. His stark, honest portraits of the most famous and infamous faces from the worlds of entertainment, art, sport, and music reveal a picture of human nature in its infinite range. Each portrait is also a testament to the individual character of his subject. Greg redefined the era of modern portraiture.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Bette Davis, David Hockney, Iman, Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Alfred Hitchcock, Jodi Foster, Sir Elton John, and Michael Jordan are just a few of the celebrities who have spent time with Greg and his perceptive lens. His iconic portraits have intrigued and captivated the world from the onset of his storied career. In addition, Greg’s fine-art female and male figure work and his obsession to the craft of photography are legendary. The exquisite tonal range of his photographs invite viewers to look closer, to share a moment of intimacy and deeply felt humanity.

Day OnePortraits
Greg takes you inside his head to understand his thought process in creating a connected portrait. He shares with you the evolution of his iconic style by sharing specific examples of how he developed his personal vision and how many of his best-known portraits came to be. For the first time, he dissects these notable images in terms of shape, form, and balance — not only from an intellectual point of view, but also from a technical one to include camera and lens choices, styling, and lighting; as well as the communicative skills it took to create them.

Day TwoFigure Studies
Greg explores the art of creating figure work today, focusing on exactly what he looks for in choosing the correct model as well as building and designing the formal landscape of the human form. He shares an incisive look at the progression of his fine-art style photographing nudes and what has changed through the years. He importantly shares how he has managed to keep everything fresh and moving forward over a long career. As you will see in Greg’s portraiture, you will likewise witness in his creative process the ability to maintain a signature look while continuing to push new boundaries with the figure. Greg reveals how to successfully work with locations, lighting, and ultimately how to get the very most from the subject in front of the lens.

Day ThreeEditing Your Work
The all-important steps of editing a body of images and then deciding the best way to present them are the focus of this day’s presentation. Greg opens his Adobe Lightroom catalog for you and unveils what it takes to get the most out of a comprehensive photo session. He focuses on a recent, and therefore more modern shoot, with young actor James Paxton. Sharing how he initially reviews his imagery and then deciding which are the key ones to work on in post-production, Greg focuses on one of the least understood but most critical elements of the creative photographic process — editing your photographs. When done well, this process uncovers the images which best represent not only the subject of the portrait but also the personal vision of the photographer.

Covering five decades in three days is a near impossibility, but his high-octane energy and extraordinary storytelling skills offers you the special opportunity to come along on a journey of photographic mastery with the legendary Greg Gorman. Don’t miss it!

Additional Information


Open to anyone interested in this special program.


View Withdrawal and Transfer Policies for online programs.

For the convenience of participants, recordings of each class session are posted privately for one month after the end of each session. Santa Fe Workshops takes the recordings down after one month to protect the intellectual property of our instructors.

Creative Vision
© Greg Gorman
Greg Gorman

Known for stark, honest portraits of the most famous and infamous faces from the worlds of entertainment, art, sport and music, Greg Gorman’s images have intrigued the viewer from the onset of his career.

Born in 1949 in Kansas City, Missouri, Greg attended the University of Kansas with a major in Photojournalism and continued his studies by earning an MFA in Cinematography from the University of Southern California.

Over the years Greg has been acknowledged for contributing to the world of photography, most recently being recognized by The Professional Photographers of America (Lifetime Achievement Award in Portraiture) and The Lucie Awards as well as the charitable works by such organizations as The Elton John Aids Foundation, The Oscar de La Hoya Foundation and Paws LA to name but a few.

Today, Greg continues to work on specialized photographic projects around the world as well as compilations of imagery. A 50-year retrospective monograph, It’s Not About Me, will be released by teNeues this fall. He is one of the most sought-after speakers in the photographic community and shares his expertise in hands-on photographic workshops worldwide. Greg’s latest career venture has been in the world of winemaking. In collaboration with Orin Swift Cellars of the Napa Valley, Greg began making wine under the label, GKG Cellars, in 2006.

Instagram: @greggormanphoto

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