Online

Self-Portraiture for Beginners

with Manuela Thames

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Course Description

Photographers often feel ambivalent about self-portraiture—curious and fascinated but also wary. Posing in front of a camera and looking at yourself in an image afterward is often intimidating, if not frightening. After all, we can be our own worst critics.

Yet a range of famous photographers are renowned for their self-portraiture: Francesca Woodman, Cindy Sherman, Man Ray, and Trish Morrissey, to name a few. So, what is it that motivates photographers to pick up a camera and turn it towards themselves?

While drawing on her years-long experience in self-portraiture, Manuela Thames addresses that question and many others. What is the appeal of the genre and what distinguishes it from the popular selfie? What is the purpose of using yourself as your own model and what can be learned from it? Most importantly, how do you get started?

We begin with exercises that illuminate the technical aspects: equipment set-up, camera settings, focus, lighting, posing, props, location, and post-processing. In addition to guiding you through the steps for a successful self-portrait photo session, Manuela also shares inspirational strategies for generating concepts and ideas. Through assignments, discussions, personal feedback, and studying work by well-known photographers, you become more comfortable with experimentation.

Embrace the joy, fun, and fulfillment that accompany the creative endeavor of taking self-portraits!

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.

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.

Categories
Portraiture
about
Manuela Thames

Manuela Thames is a photographic artist based in Saint Paul, Minnesota where she lives with her husband and two children. Born and raised in Germany, she moved to the US in 2004 after marrying her American husband. Shortly thereafter she began her photography journey after two life changing events happened within one year, the birth of her first son and the death of her brother.

Largely self-taught, Manuela uses various photographic techniques to explore themes around loss and grief, her personal experience with generational trauma, as well as the notions of belonging, connection and what it means to be human. Within that she continues to explore human ways of coping, the strength that evolves out of suffering and our common desire for healing and journey towards wholeness. Much of her work consists of black and white, conceptual self-portraits.

Manuela’s photography has been described as contemplative, evocative, dark, and cinematic and has been widely exhibited nationally as well as internationally. Her “Trauma” series won 1st place conceptual series of the year in the Monovisions Award in 2019, and in the same year she won the 13th Julia Margaret Cameron Award in the Self-Portrait Category. In addition, her work has been published online and in print in such places as Black and White Magazine, Sun Magazine, Dohdo Magazine and Shots Magazine. 

Instagram: @manuelathames

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