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Studio Photography Workshop with Hubbard M. Jones

We are excited to offer a four-part workshop series on studio photography beginning with a basic overview of lighting and studio fundamentals. Part two and three will address the specifics of portrait and product photography, and we will round out the series with a focus on post-production. Because there is so much to cover, we are offering these courses individually over a span of two days. Depending on your interests and skill level, we welcome you to join us for one, a few or all four! The price is $225 per course. Below you will find a description for each course:

Part I: Basics Overview - Photography, Light and Studio Fundamentals / Saturday, June 22nd @ 9am-1pm

In the first part of this four-part workshop series, we'll be getting our photographic footing so that we're prepared for parts II and III. Students with cameras are expected to have a basic understanding of how to operate their camera, and must have a camera with manual controls for aperture, shutter speed, and ISO (even if they don't really understand what those all do). A camera is not required however.

We'll be focusing on the fundamentals of how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO relate to each other, and how along with perspective and focal length, they form the foundation of photographic thinking. In group exercises and demonstrations we'll see how much these simple elements can dramatically affect an image.

From there we'll get introduced to some studio equipment: lights, modifiers, transmitters, and other accessories that form a basic toolkit for studio photography. Students will all get to handle equipment, adjust light settings and positions, and shoot with their own cameras using studio lighting to see how even with a mediocre camera, good control of studio lights can make incredible images.

Throughout the workshop series we'll be returning to light itself, as it's the most important thing to understand as a photographer, but in this first part we'll learn about different qualities of light, and how different modifiers can 'shape' light to different needs depending on style or what's being photographed.

Part II: Portrait Photography - Showing People in the Right Light / Saturday, June 22nd @ 2pm-6pm

Portraits are a wonderful place to practice lighting, which is what we'll be spending all of our time on in this lesson. After a quick overview of our studio equipment, we'll explore how different lighting setups change the personality of a model, and ultimately tell a different story about them.

We'll be exploring all kinds of light, from soft and natural light that flatters all skin types, to hard light with deep shadows for when you want to bring extra drama to a scene. Setups will range in complexity from 1 to 3 light setups, and we'll also touch on the blending of natural and studio lights, which presents unique challenges.

Further focus will be given throughout the class on using the right modifiers (softboxes, grids, reflectors, etc) to shape light according to creative and technical needs.

Part III: Product Photography - Managing Reflections, Materials and Shapes / June 29th @ 9am-1pm

Photographing 'hard goods' presents a whole range of technical challenges that take years of experience to master, but we'll try and cover some basic principles in our 4-hour class.

We will learn about the importance of perspective and focal length to help clearly communicate a sense of scale, cover a few different strategies for dealing with highly reflective, transparent, or otherwise difficult materials to photograph, and discuss ways of creating 'space' on set.

We'll consider the different needs of e-commerce imagery versus lifestyles and 'hero' images, and end on a more philosophical note by learning to 'listen' to the products you're photographing, and before discussing strategies for managing creativity in the studio, and finding balance between practical needs and the pursuit of perfection.

Part IV: Post Production - Realizing your Image-Vision & Attention to Detail / Saturday, June 29th @ 2pm-6pm

In the final part of our workshop, we will return to images from our earlier classes (or bring in images from outside class) and learn to take them from a RAW file to a web-optimized JPEG, while bringing out the best qualities you saw in your mind's eye during your photoshoot. 

We'll discuss color space, file formats, compression, and resizing, as well as learning to tastefully tweak images with basic adjustments. We'll approach the digital editing suite similarly to a darkroom, but considering exposure level, black and white points, and color balance - all from a 'correct' as well as 'creative' perspective.

Hubbard M. Jones IV is a San Francisco Bay Area commercial photographer specializing in product photography. Working with clients across the United States, he shoots for major online retailers, independent designers, artisans, and small brands alike.

As a product photographer, his extensive experience shooting a wide range of products and materials – including glassware, knives, fine watches, and much more – allows him to craft elegant product and lifestyle imagery for all manner of subjects and contexts both in-studio and on-location.

Outside the studio, Hubbard is passionate about nature and food, spending most of his time hiking, shooting landscapes, cooking, eating well, or collecting materials for the next meal.