Over the past few months, I've had the opportunity to work at a local studio and help out with their classes a few times. One of the best classes they offer for beginner photographers is the "Intro to Studio Lighting", which I've modeled for twice this year.
Typically, I'll come in about halfway through the class, after the "students" have had a chance to go over basics, techniques, and set up examples with the instructor. An image (usually a tear out from a magazine) is chosen for them to analyze, and figure out the lighting technique, including set up, and how many lights are being used. It is their job from that point to recreate the image using the lights within the studio and the techniques they've learned. My job is to stand in as the model in the image, and help them recreate the look, along with teaching a bit on adjusting and interacting with your model to get the shot you want. While I may not have the same wardrobe, hair, or makeup as the model (I don't know what image is being chosen as the students have to choose from three or so tear outs), so far I've managed to find outfits pretty close to the original look.
The hardest part (for myself at least) is actually recreating the same pose as provided in the image. I've always found it much easier to create my own poses as I go, so copying the pose has become a fun challenge (I'll admit it can get tiring to try and hold one position long enough for a handful of people to shoot without moving and disrupting their recreation - the "relaxed-over-the-shoulder-glance"...not so relaxed after a few minutes).
I will say that one of my favorite parts of working with a class is seeing everyone's images after. Even though they are shooting the same look (with the occasional variations after we get what we are looking for), you can tell that each person has their own style of both shooting and editing.
It's amazing to see the individual take on a shot and find something completely different from the next person. Not only that, but I find a different connection is made with every photographer I shoot with, even if only for a brief time in a class setting, and you can see that through the finished work.
I've learned a lot from this class just listening as Bud Thorpe instructs or gives a different perspective for students to think about. From the photography side, this class is incredibly beneficial, especially if you don't do studio lighting often and want to learn the basics of lighting techniques. It's on my own list of classes to take when my schedule frees up this year, so I highly recommend it.
A huge thank you to all the photographers that I had a chance to work with during this class, especially those whose photos I shared in this post (Mary Molleur Photography, Fleur Foto Photography, GraphiCole, and Rick Bouthiette Photography), and an even bigger thank you to Bud Thorpe, Kim Sancranti, and all the staff at SOPHA for making yourselves available to answer any and all questions, and give necessary feedback and direction, no matter the subject.
If you haven't already, make sure to check out their website at http://www.thesopha.com/ to learn more about the studio, classes, and events!