On Location
Santa Fe

The Creative Portrait

with Rania Matar

June 24 – 28, 2024

  • Tuition $2195.00
(includes meal plan, see below)
  • Model and Location Fee $350.00
  • Standard Deposit $400.00

Course Description

In this day of iPhones, Instagram, and selfie culture, images of people are constantly part of our life in more ways than they have ever been. However, capturing a powerful portrait goes well beyond the quick press of a button.

In this workshop with portrait photographer and teacher Rania Matar, we first discuss the key elements that make a good portrait. Then we delve into the process of approaching potential subjects, establishing trust, and developing a relationship. We learn to pay attention to detail, postures, expressions, and the use of the environment, while working through the process and all the details of creating a powerful portrait. We learn to use framing, natural light, location, background, body language, the significance of the gaze or not, and pay close attention to the relationship of the photographer to the subject throughout the entire process. We focus on the collaborative aspect of portraiture and how to engage and involve the person on the other side of the camera. 

Over the course of our time together we explore many different aspects of portraiture—close-up portraits, environmental portraits, documentary portraits, collaborative portraits, self-portraits, group portraits, and conceptual portraits. Through assignments and field work in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico, students are encouraged to truly and intimately see their subject and find their own voice in this creative process of making beautiful, powerful, creative, and collaborative portraits. Rania leads group image reviews of students’ work, and also shares the work of well-known artists for ideas and inspiration.

This week-long workshop with Rania offers community, connection, and reveals important new ways of working with people and making intimate and creative portraits.

Additional Information

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
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 each day.

Portfolio Required:

Please see the Portfolio Section of Registration Information for guidelines on your submission of recent portraits pertinent to this class.

Activity Level:
To get the most from your workshop experience, participants should be in good physical (mobility, stamina) and mental health. Come prepared for the high elevation of Santa Fe, long days, and seasonal weather including high temperatures. You must be able to carry your own photographic and personal gear at all times, both on campus and on location. You are responsible for being open and honest about your physical fitness, and we reserve the right to remove you from the workshop if we find your fitness to be less than that which you have described.
Participants should be able to engage in moderate outdoor exercise for up to an hour or more at a time including off-trail walking on uneven terrain including sand, dirt, and loose rock. Location work is likely to include early morning and/or late evening shoots.
Policies:
Accommodations:

Participants are responsible for making their own housing arrangements in Santa Fe. On-campus accommodations are not currently available.

Meals:
Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner at the Friday evening Image Presentations, and daily beverage service are included.
Categories
Creative Vision, Portraiture
about
Rania Matar

Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. As a Lebanese-born American woman and mother, her cross-cultural experience and personal narrative inform her photography.

Rania’s work has been widely exhibited in museums worldwide including Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Carnegie Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Fotografiska, Institut du Monde Arabe, and more. It is part of the permanent collections of several museums. 

A mid-career retrospective of her work was on view at Cleveland Museum of Art, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and the American University of Beirut.

In 2023 Rania had two solo museum exhibitions: “SHE” at the Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama and “Oceans At My Door” at the Fitchburg Museum of Art in Massachusetts. Her images were also part of the exhibition “Women Defining Women” at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Rania has received several awards including: 2022 Leica Women Foto Award, 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2017 Mellon Foundation artist-in-residency grant, 2021 (2011, 2007) Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grants, 2011 Griffin Museum of Photography Legacy Award. She was a finalist for the Oskar Barnack Award 2023, Arnold Newman Prize 2022, Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition with an exhibition at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery/DC, and Taylor Wessing Prize with an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London. In 2008 she was a finalist for the Foster Award at the ICA/Boston, with an accompanying solo exhibition.

She has published four books: SHE, 2021; L’Enfant-Femme, 2016; A Girl and Her Room, 2012; Ordinary Lives, 2009.

Website: raniamatar.com

Instagram: @raniamatar

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