I was very excited when Don Giannatti decided to do another round of the Lighting Essentials 8 week portrait workshop. The first one was so exciting and fun, now we had another 8 masters of portraiture to draw inspiration from.
The format was the same as the previous workshop. Don picks 8 portrait photographers with different styles for us to review. We draw inspiration from the work and make our own images. Whether you like their work or not, you can't help but to be inspired.
So here they are:
1. David Bailey
Long time Vogue photographer David Bailey has a personality that is as big as his talent. His fashion work back in the '60s is just phenomenal and helped shape the future of fashion photography. I was inspired by his high contrast and high key images.
2. Greg Heisler
Greg is one of my favorite photographers. He is a true genius who has found the optimum mix of creativity and technical prowess. He has an incredibly creative vision and a very methodical way to go about making that vision come to life. I was fortunate enough to have met him and participated in one of his workshops at Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai back in 2014. I was inspired by his work with colored gels for this image.
3. Mary Ellen Mark
Mary Ellen Mark was an exceptional story teller. She was a portrait photographer but with a very photojournalistic feel to her work. I had a hard time wrapping my head around this concept since it's very different from what I normally shoot. I decided to give myself an assignment; a story to tell. I called this little project "Screen Time" and it documents how much time my kids spend in front of a computer / phone / tablet screen.
4. Francesco Scavullo
Scavullo is the king of glamour. A similar style to Bailey but more sensual and glamorous. As luck would have it, just as this assignment came up I received a call from my friend Lauren Baranowski, who had just won the title of Miss Florida Nationwide, asking if I could do her official portrait for the Miss Nationwide pageant. It was the perfect opportunity to shoot some Scavullo glam!
5. Albert Watson
Watson is another genius among us. Not only is he a brilliant portraitist but he masters pretty much all the other genres of photography as well. I was particularly fond of a portrait in black and white where the model (Christy Turlington I think) had smoke coming out of her mouth. I went for a slightly different concept.
6. Mark Seliger
Seliger is an absolutely outstanding photographer. He photographs mostly celebrities so you have probably seen his work. He made quite a splash with the photos he took after the 2015 Oscars at the Vanity Fair party. I actually used those shots as inspiration for these.
7. Frank Ockenfels
Ockenfels is also an amazing celebrity portrait photographer. He shoots mostly movie, TV and sports celebrities. What I took away from his work is the intensity of the expression on his subject's faces; particularly a portrait of Lance Armstrong. Luck was again on my side when a friend, who is a yoga and Zumba instructor, came into town and agreed to pose for my Ockenfels inspired shot.
8. Greg Gorman
Gorman is my kind of photographer. He is an absolute master of the mysterious high contrast black & White. He shoots actors, musicians and other celebrities. His work includes a lot of nudes so be careful of your surroundings when checking out his portfolio. My image was inspired by his mysterious and high contrast work.
This was another fun workshop which helps you to open your mind and eyes to new possibilities in your photography. Stay tuned for round three which is going on as I write this.