Online

Person and Place: The Environmental Portrait

with David Hilliard

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Course Description

Simply put, an environmental portrait is an image that depicts a person in an environment. But there’s an additional, exciting element: by making intentional choices about the specific environment, photographers can create tension between location and sitter. The result is an image of a person in a place—home, landscape, workplace, or public space—that has some connection to who they are or what they do.

Conversely, a photographer might choose to capture their subject in a space seemingly at odds with our perception of them. The space might set a mood or create an emotional parallel, and rather than the sitter being the sole subject of the photograph, elements of the surrounding area also become part of the subject.

Whether by reinforcement or contrast, the setting can help the viewer understand more about the sitter. Of course, the image is further defined by specific technical and aesthetic decisions, including focus, depth of field, distance, contrast, and color.

David Hilliard has spent years creating large-scale, multi-panel color photographs, often based on his life or the lives of those around him. In this workshop, he shares a wealth of knowledge and inspiration about how to create environmental portraits that illuminate our subjects, inside and out, while revealing something unexpected.

Additional Information

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Amateurs, Advanced Amateurs
What You Should Know:

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.

Policies:

View Withdrawal and Transfer Policies for online programs.

Categories
Portraiture
© Geoffrey Berliner
about
David Hilliard

David Hilliard received his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and MFA from Yale University School of Art, where he went on to direct the undergraduate photo department. He currently teaches at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Lesley University College of Art and Design, and at workshops nationwide. His work has been exhibited internationally and can be found at the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and in multiple monographs and anthologies. David’s accolades include a Fulbright Grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Instagram: @davidthelens

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