The Viewfinder

Workshop Review by Maria Arellano

27 Mar 2023 3:07 PM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)

Workshop Review of GO PRO:  Lighting First, Posing Second

Today’s lighting workshop with Sonia Ahmad from ETM Portraits was incredibly informative. 

Sonia’s organizational skills shined through from the moment we entered her home studio. 

She’s created a functional space in a room approximately 450 sqft with every lighting tool a photographer may need. She skillfully maximizes every space to house every item while keeping everything visibly appealing and within easy access. 

Sonia organized the course by first explaining and walking us through one light, two light, and three light set ups. She demonstrated which light modifiers to use, how and why. We were also able to see how she reached her light power and chose her camera settings. I’ve always been intimidated by the technical aspects of strobe and flash photography; it took me three years to venture into studio lighting because of this reason. In fact 8 years in I still didn’t understand the need for light meters. However, Sonia has an accessible way of teaching technical processes in a way that’s easily digestible for someone with my brain. In the past I could just feel my eyes glossing over from being overwhelmed and checking out; yet here I was fully engrossed in learning tech stuff! 

After fully walking us through the light set ups and demonstrating on different skin tones, it was time to watch her photograph and pose with a model. 

9 year old Bella first model in a pretty dress for a fine art portrait in which Sonia played with different color gels. She explained color choices and placement, and produced some of the most beautiful child portraits. 

We enjoyed a working lunch followed by some fun tween fashion posing. To end our day Sonia went over the light set ups again using graphic visuals and invited us to ask more questions. 

We finally went outdoors to play with speed lights and see how flat, bright, or dark natural light can be better utilized by incorporating off-camera flash. 

Overall I can surmarize by saying that this class is amazing for all photographers at all levels. If you’re thinking of starting your studio at home or are looking to organize a smaller space, you’ll gain so many tools from taking this class. If you’re intimidated by technical aspects , this is absolutely the class to take, and finally all of us need a refresher from time to time and observing a great photographer la process your is invaluable for our continuous education. 

I am excited to attend more PPGH events and growing with our community. 

Review by Maria Arellano

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