Aperture, 547 West 27th Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10001

Tuition: $500 ($450 for currently enrolled photography students and Aperture Patrons) plus $80.00 equipment/supply fee

“Seeing, connecting, and nurturing love while recalling and sharing the more difficult times requires a balanced perspective. It can be tender, or tough and thorny, but all parts are necessary to integrate visually and intellectually.” —Shelby Lee Adams, Salt and Truth (2011)

Join Shelby Lee Adams for a two-day intensive workshop that will explore the psychological, emotional, and technical aspects of portraiture, with special emphasis on photographing people in their environments. Learn to approach people with confidence as well as how to light environments skillfully and with a personal approach. For two days—with assistants, lighting equipment, models, and the instructor—the workshop will engage students in many lessons that they can apply to their own photographic pursuits.

Shelby Lee Adams was born in Hazard, Kentucky, in 1950, and educated at the Cleveland Institute of Art and Massachusetts College of Art. He received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 2010 and is the author of four photography books:  Appalachian Portraits (1993), Appalachian Legacy (1998), Appalachian Lives (2003), and Salt and Truth (2011). His work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Polaroid Corporation, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, and Peter S. Reed Foundation. His photographs are in over sixty national and international collections, including the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. His work has appeared in such publications as Aperture, Smithsonian Magazine, New York Times, Mother Jones, and Black and White magazine. He divides his time between the Berkshire Mountains and eastern Kentucky


Saturday, July 13

 10:00 am–1:15 pm—Introductions and sharing of students’ skill levels. Students are asked to bring up to six prints for review, followed by a slide presentation of Adams’s work with discussion. Lunch will be served.

1:45 – 5:00 pm—Begin the afternoon session by studying and analyzing slides of professional photographers that work in mixing light with people in environments. Technique, lighting equipment, the histogram, and lighting ratios will all be studied. Adams’s Polaroids and prints will be examined and his psychological approach to subjects discussed. To conclude the day, students will work with Adams to make portraits.

Sunday, July 14

10:00 am–5:00 pm—Group will meet in Tompkins Square Park with cameras for a day of location fieldwork, and will divide into three smaller groups, each with a teaching assistant and a professional light kit. Several models will be invited; students will be encouraged to invite people within the park to participate. Lunches will be purchased (at student expense) within the local area, so that students will have maximum time to share and photograph with the equipment.

4:15 pm—Group will assemble and return to Aperture to leave files at Aperture for future critique. Each student will receive an online evaluation within two weeks of the workshop.

Refund/Cancellation Policy for Aperture Workshops
All fees are nonrefundable if you withdraw from a workshop less than one month prior to its start date, unless we are able to fill your seat. In the event of a medical emergency, please provide a physician’s note stating the nature of the emergency, and Aperture will issue you a credit that can be applied to future workshops. Aperture reserves the right to cancel any workshop up to one week prior to the start date if the workshop is under-enrolled, in which case a full refund will be issued. A minimum of eight students is required to run a workshop.