workshop ~

the art of photographing women

Prerequisites: “The Art of Photographing Women” is an intermediate level workshop. Helpful camera skills include an understanding of using the camera in manual mode and shooting RAW. Required computer skills including use of a mouse, and working with the operating system for creating folders and moving files. A solid knowledge of working with layers, layer masks and using Adobe Camera Raw will also enhance the experience.

Equipment Requirements:

  • DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera full frame or cropped sensor
  • Medium zoom lens 24mm to 70mm full frame or 17mm to 50mm for cropped sensor
  • Tripod
  • Laptop MacBook Pro or Windows Equivalent
  • USB 2.0 to USB mini 15′ cable
  • External Hard Drive
  • Card Reader
  • Memory Cards CF or SD
  • Sekonic 758DR, Sekonic L478DR, Sekonic L-358  or Sekonic L-308DC hand held incident & reflected flash meter
  • Pocket Wizard III or Pocket Wizard Plus X wireless flash triggers (2)


  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS6 or CC
  • Manufacturer’s Tethering Software • EOS Utility ~ Canon • Camera Control Pro 2.0 ~ Nikon ($134.00)

This workshop immerses attendees in creating successful, beautiful photographs of women. Each project begins with a thorough explanation of a lighting technique, how to meter the light, set the exposure and follows up by demonstrating the effects with a live model in the studio and on location. Students then experience using the setup; including measuring and setting exposure, tweaking the exposure and color perfectly in Camera Raw all the way through non-destructively finishing the photograph in Photoshop. It’s also about creativity, play, making mistakes and learning from them by asking lots of questions then revisiting the technique. Here are some of the topics covered in the workshop:

  • Quality of light
  • Contrast
  • Exposure
  • Camera Raw
  • Posing
  • Interacting & coaching models
  • Butterfly lighting
  • Rembrandt lighting
  • Beauty lighting
  • High key lighting
  • Controlling backgrounds
  • Model releases
  • Editing a take in Lightroom
  • Eye enhancements
  • Teeth whitening
  • Body shaping
  • Skin smoothing
  • Combining two or more photos into a “perfect” one.
  • Using Smart Objects

Who should attend?
This workshop is a shooting and digital post-production experience for people who love photographing women and want to do it even more beautifully. If you’d like to know more about light and how to control it, to learn posing techniques and improve your retouching skills this is a must do hands-on seminar. Register today!

Day one morning session: Introduction to Lighting
This session is the back-story for the workshop. You’ll learn how humans see light verses how the camera records it, understanding light metering—incident and reflected and when to use them as well as the qualities of light; how to recognize, create and control them.

Day one afternoon session: Lighting a Model
We move into the studio with a model for hands on work with the qualities of light, metering technique, contrast control and managing exposure and color using Adobe Camera Raw.

Day two morning session: Butterfly and Rembrandt Lighting Techniques (Shooting)
These two classic styles of lighting build the skills of metering and contrast control. Each student works with the model modifying her pose and expression while exploring these  two classic styles of light.

Day two afternoon session: Choosing “Heroes”
Hands on editing for selects using Lightroom (or Bridge.) This session covers choosing the “hero” from the take, what to look for as well as how to mark photos containing pieces of a pose that might want to be combined into a finished photograph later in Photoshop.

Day three morning session: Beauty Lighting (Shooting)
This lighting style is a riff of the classic butterfly light. It creates sparkling eyes, and magically smooth skin. During this session, controlling the light on the background to create mood will be introduced. This session is another “everybody shoots” hands on affair.

Day three afternoon session: Lighting the Model on Location (Shooting)
Locations are great for goodness sake let’s shoot outdoors! This class takes the model into the world where beautiful, dappled uncontrolled light abounds. It looks great to our eye and to the camera; well not so much. Controlling contrast, background brightness and using fill lighting are the topics for the day.

Day four morning session: Color, Exposure & Enhancements 
We get to be our own photo labs (the price we pay for the instant feedback and gratification of digital.) This session will review using Camera Raw in Lightroom or Bridge (your choice) to tweak exposure, color and add a bit of clarity, vibrance and sharpening before selecting the “heroines” (we are photographing women) for more work this afternoon in Photoshop.

Day four afternoon session: Retouching in Photoshop
Now it’s time to learn how to set up the layers for successful retouching. This session introduces Smart Objects and why they are so useful when you want to change your mind about something you have retouched. Eye enhancements and skin smoothing techniques will also be in play.

Day five morning session: Body Shaping
Hands on techniques to counter the camera’s insistence on adding weight to the model are this morning’s fare. It provides the digital answer to the question of death (“Does this dress make me look fat?)

Day five afternoon session: Special Questions
This wrap up session is designed to tap into the creativity of the week by sharing satisfactions and frustrations. Neither photography nor Photoshop is easy; so this is where we get the answers to those nagging questions that have raised their hands during the week. And believe me there will be questions! I don’t know about you, I learn by making mistakes then asking questions. I’m a really good mistake maker. I hope you are too!