2023 Summer Workshops
Making a photographic portrait is an intimate, collaborative 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 five-day workshop, photographer Jess T. Dugan creates an open, supportive, and engaging environment in which 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. We will use digital photography, digital workflow and digital printmaking with Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.
While these elements require foundational technical knowledge, the workshop will focus primarily on the emotional and conceptual elements of portrait photography. 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.