This 2½-day intensive workshop is about mastering advanced studio lighting concepts combined with the approach of creating a work of art (as opposed to simply capturing an image.) The workshop spends as much time on the philosophy of creating the story in an image as it does on the technology and techniques, and is a wonderful opportunity for anyone looking for both inspiration and knowledge.

Light – At the heart of this workshop is the art of lighting. Steve is a master of studio lighting and his method to creating perfectly balanced scenes is unique. His very focused approach to lighting results in having a final image instantly, in camera, without a need for any post-production. During the workshop Steve will construct various lighting setups. He will discuss his philosophy and demonstrate in detail his method to create a perfect visual story.

Language – “It is easy to take a photograph of a beautiful thing, what is difficult is creating a beautiful photograph”. This is a mantra that Steve has developed and uses as a foundation for all his work. Steve relies heavily on anonymity and body language to tell stories with his incredibly powerful world-class images. In this workshop, he will share his crafted approach of working with models to create powerful images within a very simple framework. Most photographers spend a lot of time learning how to take pictures of beautiful things; in this workshop, you will move beyond documenting beauty. You will create beauty.

Line – The final element of an elegant image (after lighting and body language) is body line. Steve’s work is strongly influenced by ballet and dance in general, hence he believes that a perfect line is crucial to creating a strong story. Learning how to see body line is extremely challenging; directing models to produce it, is even harder. Throughout the weekend Steve will show you how to recognize elements of perfect line and share tips on how to achieve it with any subject.

One of Steve’s core beliefs when it comes to creating an image is “it is far better to say so much with so little than to say so little with so much.”  This workshop centers on the use of the nude body as a subject in order to emphasize the techniques of creating powerful images with minimal information.  Once you have been introduced to these foundations it is easy to transfer what you have learned to create unique and powerful images in any other genre of photography.

Details about the workshop

Day 1:

The workshop starts on Friday evening at 6:00 pm. During the first part of the evening Steve will introduce his work and present the core philosophies, techniques and concepts that will be used during the weekend. Afterwards Steve will be available to answer any questions and will review the studio lighting equipment being used during the rest of the weekend.  

Day 2:

On Saturday the workshop will start at 9:00 am. During the morning Steve will construct one of his classic lighting setup and will introduce the model for the day. Steve will work with the model to demonstrate his sculptured approach to directing a shoot. The use of body language and line while developing an image will be explored and discussed in detail. After the demonstration each person will have individual shooting time with the model and one-on-one coaching from Steve on the set.  In the afternoon Steve will introduce a second lighting process and will repeat the process. At the end of the day there will be a group review with a question and answer session. 

Day 3:

On Sunday the workshop will start again at 9:00 am and there will be a discussion on developing concepts and processes. During the day the group will create two more advanced lighting sets where Steve will introduce more advanced techniques for creating beautiful illusions in camera as well as mixing different light sources. As with the previous day each person will have individual shooting time with each setup and Steve will focus on how to develop your ideas during the shooting process.  There will also be time for everyone to offer variations to the setups. The shooting sessions typically end around 5:00 pm allowing for a one to two hour final review and question answer session.  

The workshop is limited to a total of six participants. This is a good model-to-photographer ratio and it allows Steve to be able to spend time with each person while they are shooting. This workshop is intended to provide as much time as possible for questions, critiques and individual support from Steve throughout the day.

Prerequisites and what to bring:

The only real prerequisite for this workshop is you must have a passion for photography.  This course is for photographers with who are looking to extend their vision and creativity in a studio environment. Some studio experience is an asset but definitely not a requirement. For participants with limited or no studio lighting background, and for anyone who could use a refresher, there will be an introduction to basic lighting concepts and equipment.

All studio lighting and grip equipment will be provided. Participants are only required to bring their personal camera equipment, batteries, memory cards and a lot of energy. Tripods are recommended but not mandatory.

It is important to note that this is a fine art workshop. It is definitely not a glamour, boudoir or erotic photography workshop and there will only be one person shooting at a time.

The following topics will be explored in detail:

· Working with studio strobes

· Understanding light modifiers

· Working with diffusion and reflection

· Managing the quality of the light

· Learning how to create depth using light

· Reading histograms and light-metres

· Balancing light intensity between sources to promote the story

· Mixing tungsten and strobe light sources

· Using slow shutter speed

· Controlling texture and mood with light

· Understanding colour compensation techniques

· Using negative space

· Learning how to remove light (with flags, gobos, and grids)

· Working within minimalist environments

· Using body language to tell a story

· Learning to see and control line

· Directing models