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Portraits and Places: Photographing People in Their Spaces

Benjamin Heath, Photographer

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7 Videos (23m)
    • Introduction

      1:28
    • Your Assignment: Create a 5-Photo Essay

      1:21
    • Setting

      2:41
    • Subject and Storytelling

      1:29
    • Shooting

      8:35
    • Lighting

      3:39
    • Bringing It All Together

      4:05

About This Class

Photographer Benjamin Heath (benjaminheath) is passionate about portraiture and storytelling. As a result, he often combines the two in his work, creating compelling narratives and visuals of people he comes across in his life. In this class, Benjamin will provide instruction for creating a photographic narrative of someone. Each photo will require different considerations when it comes to composition and lighting, and the variety of class challenges will build your photography skillset from any level—novice, intermediate, and pro alike.

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What You'll Learn

  • Portrait photography. Ben will teach you how to use cameras, lighting, composition, and your subject’s personality to create a series of photographs that tell a story about your subject’s life. . No matter what your skill level, Ben’s online photography class will help you hone your creative process and inspire you to shoot more authentic narrative portraiture.  
  • Creating your own. When you learn photography online, it’s still important to get hands-on experience! In this assignment, you’ll dive right in by shooting a photo essay on someone from your own life that you find interesting. Once completed, you’ll upload your favorite photographs, and optionally, your least favorite, for constructive criticism and positive advice.
  • Engaging your subject. Your subject’s comfort is a critical part of a productive shoot. Ben will walk you through the ways that he approaches his subjects to puts them at ease and encourages them to be a part of his artistic process.
  • Working with setting. Choosing a setting that is inspired by your subject makes your photography more impactful. You’ll learn how to select the right setting, and how to manipulate it in order to frame your subject and reduce unnecessary visual distractions.
  • Framing and composition. Shooting at different angles will keep your photo essay dynamic and fresh. In his photography class, Ben will explain the variety of techniques that he relies on to create energetic compositions in any situation. You’ll learn about wide-angle and overhead shots, the lenses Ben uses, and other industry tricks to help you avoid common framing challenges.
  • Shooting outdoors. Ben will discuss the importance of lighting, and how to work with diffused outdoor light, like natural cloud cover, to pop your colors, avoid unflattering shadows, and create sharper photographs.
  • Shooting indoors. You’ll learn about the challenges that often come with shooting indoors, and the technique Ben uses to successfully troubleshoot pitfalls. He will teach you how to bracket and use shutter speeds to make sure you get your exposures right – whether you’re using a digital camera or film.
  • Editing and sequencing. Ben describes, step-by-step, how he works with his photographs after they are shot. You’ll learn about how he processes film, edits digital shots, and selects his favorites before sequencing them in an order that best showcases his subject’s story. Ben will also discuss what you should consider when you establish a narrative arc with your photographs, and shares a special tip to help ensure your creative decisions are made with “fresh eyes.”

446 of 475 students recommendSee All

I like him bringing up the idea of putting down the camera for a lil bit and talk to the subject about their stories and ideas of the shots. thanks
Helpful class, but I'd appreciate it if we'd be able to see the actual pictures you're talking about.

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Benjamin Heath

Photographer

Hi. My name is Ben and I'm a photographer based in Portland, Oregon. In another life I was a lawyer, in my best life I'm photographing every day. I shoot a wide range of subjects and topics, but focus my style on natural light, clean composition, and unique perspective. I've had a winding path, if you're interested in knowing more have a read here. Or say hello here.

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Clients include Coach, Burberry, National Geographic, Uber, Ducati, Ni...

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