Portrait Photography at a Distance

Originally developed by
Gayle Nicholls-Ali (View Original)

Portrait Photography at a Distance

Photography teachers are trying to meet the challenge of distance learning. Adapting to a changing environment means finding new ways for student photographers to continue the work of portraiture at a distance.

This is a new spin on the standard lesson that can be executed at a distance or in-class instruction. Students will use the cameras in their hands to create portraits using available light, shooting Zoom screens when being close is not an option, and directing clients in flattering poses.

Lesson one explores using the 'selfie' to begin the practice of portrait photography at a distance. Is this a new phenomenon? Have humans always been interested in seeing their own faces? Why do we seem to enjoy looking at other people's 'selfies'? How can we explore more about ourselves and the 'selfie' in our image-making culture? 

In lesson two,  students will discover they do not need to occupy the same space as their model to take amazing portraits. In fact, with the camera in their hand, video conferencing app (like Facetime, Zoom, or Google Meets), a computer, a willing model, and lots of communication, amazing portraits can be created.

Students will practice shooting models at a distance in lesson three. Communication is key and photographers will explore recruiting models from possible groups on their campus or their friends. Students will practice their directing skills models and prepare for the shoot. 

In the culminating lesson,  students will become aware of the business side of the portrait industry.  Students will create a virtual calling card for social media,  consider working with a creative collaborator and create an industry-standard, the call sheet.

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