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The Surprising Portrait
with Chris Buck
July 1 - July 6, 2012

This workshop has already begun or is a past workshop.

"I came to Chris's workshop to become a better photographer, was challenged, and I left a better photographer!" Sarah Beal, former workshop participant

Nothing charms like surprise, yet in portraiture there seems to be so little of it. Although the human face is endlessly beguiling, most photographers settle into a routine of presenting glamorous or smiling pictures that flatter and soothe their sitters.

This workshop explores a different approach to portraiture. We examine the strategies and pitfalls involved in executing truly fascinating portraits of celebrities and regular folks alike, as we learn to deal gracefully with time constraints, shy or difficult subjects, and our own fears. While the week includes some discussion of equipment and technology, most of our time and energy are devoted to developing techniques for creating relationships with our subjects and remaining in control of any situation.

Assignments concentrate on taking ordinary portrait situations, both in the studio and on location, and making intriguing images out of them. Classroom discussions cover the business side of professional portrait photography, including building and maintaining a successful career, marketing, challenges and opportunities of new technologies, and how to stay vital and creative in a competitive commercial environment.

Come prepared to push the envelope and take risks during this exciting and challenging week. As Irving Penn aptly states, “Very often what lies behind the façade is rare and more wonderful than the subject knows or dares to believe.”


Chris Buck: Chris Buck was the first recipient of the annual Arnold Newman Portrait Prize, in 2007. His photography appears regularly in ...

© Chris Buck
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