On Location

The Art of Portraiture

with Norman Mauskopf

Course Description

Documentary photographer, portraitist, and longtime Workshops instructor Norman Mauskopf leads this intensive series of in-person sessions on the myriad types of photographic portraits and the elements that ensure their success.

First and foremost, we consider the portrait to be an image of a person who is aware of being photographed, and our emphasis is placed on working in close proximity to our subjects, as opposed to photographing them from afar. Norman offers guidance on the importance of eye contact with the camera, a subject’s relationship to the environment, and how multiple subjects relate to one another within a frame.

We also delve into how much time to take, whether or not to direct your subject, the ins and outs of seeking permission, and other logistical, technical, and ethical issues. Discussion topics range from critiques of participants’ assignments to visually guided lectures that showcase work by well-known photographers.

Weekly assignments build upon each other, progressing from simple to complex. As participants photograph people of various ages and stations in life, we examine compositional elements and explore the intricate parameters of different environments, learning how to manage natural and artificial light, both indoors and outdoors.

By the workshop’s end, you’ve built a strong portfolio of insightful and intimate portraits.

Additional Information

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, select, and transfer images to their own jump drive for class.

Portfolio Required:
Basic portrait-making skills are required for this workshop. Please see the Portfolios section of General Information for guidelines on your submission of recent portraits.
Norman Mauskopf

Norman Mauskopf is a W. Eugene Smith Fellowship recipient who has had four photography books published: A Time Not Here, Dark Horses, Rodeo, and, most recently, Descendants, about Northern New Mexico Hispanic culture. His photographs have been included in solo and group exhibitions, including two shows at the Visa pour l’Image festival in Perpignan, France. Over the course of his 40-year career, Norman has completed a wide range of assignments for numerous corporate clients and magazines, including Wired, Islands, Travel + Leisure, Outside, and Rolling Stone.

Get to know Norman in our Inspiration Series video »

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