My name is Jonathan Mannion, and I’m honored to be the first to welcome you to my Skillshare class on portrait photography. I’ve been shooting photos professionally in New York and worldwide for about twenty years with a focus on music, celebrity, athletes, and advertising. My career in photography began when I moved to NYC in 1993 to accept a position with the legendary Richard Avedon. I’m truly excited to bring my experience and knowledge to the masses through this groundbreaking class.
The thread that connects all of my work is that I'm a portrait photographer. I'm interested in the person first. What he/she does and the application of the photos (magazines, ads, covers, etc.) is a secondary thought to capturing the core essence of that person. The focus throughout my career has always been creating the defining portrait of my subject in that moment. While capturing a powerful portrait can be challenging because of all of the elements involved, I can certainly give some insight to my process to help guide the journey. Being a strong portrait photographer has given me the opportunity to shoot album packages and magazine covers for some of the worlds most talented and popular individuals in music and sports, including Jay Z, Eminem, Lil’ Wayne, LeBron James, and countless others. In addition to individuals, ad campaigns for Bushmills, Mountain Dew, and Reebok have allowed me to explore new ways of executing concepts, and this has expanded my knowledge even further.
Though you may not be familiar with my name, I’m quite sure that you’re aware of the images that I’ve created over the years. I prefer to be behind the lens shooting, but I’m fully prepared to step to the head of the class as a “professor” in order to reach the masses and relay my passion
for my craft.
The world of photography has developed so rapidly over the last decade and I have experienced all of these changes. I learned my skills from a true master and many other gifted photographers early in my career when film was still the norm. Digital has quickly taken over and everyone has adapted their approach to stay relevant. The accessibility of camera devices is unprecedented. If you have a cell phone, 99.9% of the time, you have a camera handy to capture moments. Even high end cameras like the Canon 7D and 5D Mark II & III have become more available and have in some regards leveled the playing field for photographers. Now it’s about vision and knowledge.
For this reason alone I’m going to teach this course and hope that everyone takes away something of value from it. I’m often asked questions for advice and so I’m using this Skillshare class as a platform to answer these commonly asked questions and to open the floor for new requests about the field of photography and specifically portraiture. I hope to pass on some techniques and lessons from my years in the industry that can improve the outcome of your photos.
IN THIS CLASS WE WILL COVER...
You might be asking yourself... am I right for this class?
Honestly, this class is for anyone that wants to improve their photography skills. My goal is that anyone, from a beginner to professional, will be able to apply the lessons taught in this course to their own photography.
So yes, you are perfect for this class. Sign up!
Portrait photography can yield some of the most compelling, descriptive, and authentic images of an individual. I have been fortunate enough to earn a living for several years taking such photos, and I am excited to work with all of you as part of this Skillshare class.
Once you run through this class, you will leave with a tangible collection of high quality photographs as well as the techniques, skills, and strategy to make yourself a better photographer. AND… plentiful positive vibes, encouragement, and creative support is on the house.
Photographer Jonathan Mannion, a native of Cleveland, OH, began capturing images of up-and-coming urban music superstars after working for a year with world-renowned photographer Richard Avedon. In 1996, Mannion began his professional career by shooting the photographs for the classic hip-hop album "Reasonable Doubt" by Jay-Z. In the years since then, Jonathan's photography has grown alongside the culture he so loves, helping to visually define an era of urban music. As DJ Quik once pointed out to him, the world sees hip-hop through his eyes. Mannion views the opportunity to contribute to the genre as a blessing.
"I'm just a messenger, and I¹ve been given a talent to document an extremely important era of music history. I have a love for hip-hop that goes back to when I was a teenager, and I feel blessed to have had the chance to shoot the artists I've worked with. I've had the opportunity to grow with them and the photos I've shot over the years have become visual bullet points of their creative evolution and mine."
Mannion's images attempt to push the boundaries of his art, by constantly re-examining and re-defining the celebrity portrait. The influence of his work extends beyond the world of urban music. The broad range of subjects revealed by his lens include NBA superstars Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O'Neal, and Magic Johnson.
"My work is very intimate. I want people to feel like they're being let in to these superstars' lives through my pictures."
Soulful, pensive, often confrontational, and always beautiful, Jonathan's portraits attempt to blend the heroic with the intensely personal. Jonathan Mannion has already made a lasting mark on the collective American psyche, with no sign of slowing down. His celebrity portraits are often the first images that come to mind when thinking of the top talent in the music industry and the stars of the sports world. Jonathan Mannion's vision has indeed become our vision, and his creations have become an essential medium for the message of an entire generation.
In addition to headlining gallery shows during Art Basel, The Grammys, and at MILK Gallery NYC, Jonathan has spread his experience and craft through lectures at the Apple Store, Soho House Berlin, SVA, and Syracuse University.
Classes revolve around completing a project and collaborating with fellow students to give and get feedback on your work. Use Video Lessons and the Project Guide designed by your teacher to complete your class project.
Teachers design and present all class content, but Skillshare is community based around student-to-student interaction. You'll be surprised at what you learn from your classmates!
Never! Once enrolled, you have lifetime access to class materials. That means you can learn when and where you want. Learn at your own pace.