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SO, YOU THINK YOU KNOW LIGHTING AND POSING
PPGH has some wonderful photographers. They come from all walks of life and experience. Twice a year Professional Photographers of America offer a one-day merit class and some of them are taught by those very same people. Mrs. Sonia Farhana Ahmed, CPP, is one of those fine instructors. Her class was entitled – MASTERING THE ART OF LIGHT AND POSE, ELEVATING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY SKILL. I took her class, and all that title is misleading, it should be – SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW LIGHTING AND POSE. We started off with getting to know Mrs. Ahmed, how she started her business and her studio. She then began to explain how she has a formula she sticks to – her go to shutter speed, f-stop and ISO and lighting sets for all of her work. She then told how she looks at her client and how she will light them during their first meeting but also will ask her client if they have a certain style or mood of lighting they want to be photographed in, all this and in her mindset, she is looking at a persons’ features and how to best pose them. We moved into her studio where she started with why one light, then two, three, well you get the idea all offer different looks and moods. She showed how to set a white balance and why it is important and when using a meter how it helps to get everything right on camera. We then went on to how to set the lights and distance. She then used a model to demonstrate how and why it all works so well. While doing this she began to show how to pose, how to talk with your client to get them to move, how to ask permission for touching when it is proper and not, she then the difference for a woman and a man and how a simple change of a wrist, hand or move of the head or adding a prop can make a big difference in a portrait. We had a beautiful model attend and Mrs. Ahmed showed that with just a few changes of hands, legs, and facial expressions what can be done to make some beautiful images. She explained all this and more in a very short period of time. The last part of her class was how she finishes her idea in PhotoShop and her thoughts on what to look for to make an image the client will be thrilled to have. I came away with a better understanding of how just important it is to know your equipment, how to stay with what works but to also understand when to change. I know putting in a class and talking in front of people is not for everyone, but she did it with ease, experience and confidence and I would like to recommend that if you are having problems with any of these areas that Mrs. Ahmed would be a go to person to learn. What a great day!