Having been a professional photographer for nearly 2 decades, I’ve picked up a lot of wisdom along the way. A few times a year, I have the opportunity to share this wisdom with students wanting to learn about portrait photography, location lighting, and the ins-and-outs of being a professional photographer. And I absolutely love it. I love the teaching, but I also love the images we get to create in each class. With no particular assignment from a client, I have the freedom to concoct whatever scenario I want, and use it as a teaching opportunity. So I try to come up with some fun location portrait photography ‘assignment’ for the class, and run with it.
In one of my classes at Pacific Northwest College of Art, one of my students was the director of Portland’s Japanese Garden. One day, he generously offered to let us photograph in the Garden, after hours, as a class. Now, this is a big deal, because you can’t just take 15 people into the Japanese Garden and start setting up a bunch of lights and gear and models and props. You can’t even walk in and take portraits. Unless the Director is a student of yours, and is generous. And he was.
So we had a couple hours before dark to photograph in this beautiful space. And I thought: why not pair an elegant bride (with some references to Japanese style in the dress and hair) with a goofy superhero wannabe? And that’s exactly what we did. The lovely Lauren Gilbertson modeled for us, and here are a couple of the resulting images.