2023 Summer Workshops
Making a photographic portrait is an intimate endeavor, requiring both photographer and subject to work together to create a compelling image. The best portraits are often as much a reflection of the maker as they are of the subject. In this workshop, participants will investigate their motivations for making portraits, strengthen their skills working with people, and engage deeply with issues in contemporary photography.
Through critiques, presentations of classic and contemporary portrait photographers, demonstrations, and the daily creation of new photographs, we will investigate the elements that make a compelling portrait, including composition, lighting, subject, pose, gesture, and environment. We will focus in depth on strategies for working with subjects, including strangers, family, friends, and the self, gaining insight into methods for making emotionally resonant, visually dynamic photographs.
Participants should have a digital camera, a computer with processing software such as Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop, and a working technical knowledge of photography. Participants will create photographs independently throughout the week and will be expected to work outside of our designated workshop time. While we will address some technical aspects of photography, this workshop will focus primarily on the emotional and conceptual elements of portraiture. At the conclusion of our week together, participants will have gained skills for making compelling portraits as well as meaningful insight into their own photographic practice.
Jess T. Dugan is an artist whose work explores issues of identity through photographic portraiture. Dugan’s work has been widely exhibited and is in the permanent collections of over 35 museums throughout the United States. Dugan’s monographs include To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults (Kehrer Verlag, 2018) and Every Breath We Drew (Daylight Books, 2015). They are the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, an ICP Infinity Award, and were selected by the Obama White House as an LGBT Artist Champion of Change. They are represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL.