Mark Seliger: Portraiture

Saturday and Sunday, January 16–17, 2016
11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., both days
Mark Seliger Studio
New York, N.Y.


“The worst portrait I ever took was the one I didn’t take . . . I’ve never regretted pushing myself.”
—Mark Seliger

Master photographer Mark Seliger led a two-day, intensive workshop at his beautiful studio space in Greenwich Village, which gave workshop participants a chance to develop their own voices within the genre of portraiture.
On the first day, Seliger led a conversation about the history of photographic portraiture, and discussed process, subtext, and the creation and execution of concepts for environmental portraiture. Workshop participants were given unique insight into the photographers who have influenced Seliger’s work, then shared their own inspirations. Afterward, participants engaged in a group portfolio review, receiving valuable feedback from both Seliger and fellow students.
Seliger gave advice and shared his workflow for preparing for shoots, and the workshop participants broke into three teams to collaborate on planning a portrait concept, as well as hair, makeup, and wardrobe for their selected model. The participants set up three shooting stations with distinct lighting concepts throughout the studio.
The next day, workshop participants—now equipped with state-of-the-art gear, several grips as assistants, and a professional hair and makeup team—were given time to style their models and continue to evolve their lighting setup. As the groups worked to realize their concepts, Seliger addressed technical issues and gave guidance for problem-solving while shooting in the field.
Seliger performed a mini-photoshoot with one of the models, demonstrating his approach and revealing techniques for keeping subjects engaged. Workshop participants left the workshop with increased confidence in editorial portraiture, and new experience with the evolution of a professional photo shoot, from concept to fruition.

Two days with one of the icons of portrait photography and in his amazing studio with his team. It doesn’t get any better!

The atmosphere was congenial and inspiring.

It was incredible. We learned so much in such a short time.
—Workshop participants

Mark Seliger (born in Amarillo, Texas, 1959) was raised in Houston. Seliger moved to New York City in 1984, and three years later, in 1987, he began shooting for Rolling Stone. Seliger was signed as their chief photographer in 1992, and has shot over 150 covers for the magazine since. In 2001, Seliger moved to Condé Nast. He shoots frequently for Vanity Fair, Details, Italian Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, and German Vogue. His photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries, and he has published numerous books, including Listen (2010), In My Stairwell (2005), and Physiognomy (1999). Seliger is the recipient of the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, the Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Portraiture, and a Clio Grand Prix.



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