Portrait Photography 101 Class Recap

A few Saturday’s ago, we held “Portrait Photography 101” for those interested in learning how to take better portraits of people. The class was led by  Sarah Deragon and Jesse Friedin who both specialize in natural light portrait photography.

Makeshift member Antony Courtney attended the workshop and here’s what he had to say:

I took the workshop because I enjoy photography and really wanted to learn more about both the technical and artistic side of taking photos that really capture the essence of people.  The workshop delivered on both fronts, and the instructors, Jesse and Sarah, were fantastic teachers and guides.  We learned a reasonable but not overwhelming amount about what matters most in manual settings, how to look for and set up a shot making the most of natural light, and how reflectors can be used to amplify natural light (particularly useful in cloudy San Francisco…). The workshop also covered developing rapport and interacting with subjects to get the best, most natural photos of them and avoid “the cheese factor”.  We got to solidify all of this with a half hour practical session:  we broke in to groups of 3, wandered through the colorful alleyways of Hayes Valley, and all took turns as “subject”, “photographer” and “assistant”, a process that was both informative and often amusing.  The attendees had a wide variety of experience levels, from rank amateur (me) to a few professional photographers and everything in between. I’ve really enjoyed browsing through everyone’s photos after the workshop.  Since we were all shooting basically the same subjects (each other) against many of the same backgrounds the variety of different results is fascinating, and I’ve found it helpful and informative to reflect on which of the various shots I like most and why.

And some lovely images courtesy of participants Megan, Antony, Sarah, and Cristal.



Antony Courtney                                                                         Sarah Deragon






Cristal Veronica                                                                        Megan Alderson