Studio photography class (and review)

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I haven’t been able to take many photos lately because of a hectic schedule and an extreme lack of sunshine (short winter days and cloudy afternoons), so I decided to sign up for a studio photography class instead. I had taken one before in Lyon, which was nice, but had a lot of technical information that was hard to grasp. Luckily, this class was not too heavy on the technical aspects (because let’s face it, I won’t be able to afford a studio or lights any time soon). Instead, the photographer focused on how to compose a shoot and get the mood of an image.

Je veux être photographe review

I thought it would be nice to do a little review of the class that I took to help out other people looking for a photography class in Paris. If you’re only here to see photos, just skip this part :-)

After a bit of Googling and comparing, I decided to go with Je Veux Etre Photographe (in French this means, “I want to be a photographer”…so that pretty much sums up my state of mind these days). I took the studio photography class that took place early on a Saturday morning. There was a last minute change of venue and teacher, so I was a bit worried about what I would get. Luckily, I arrived to a lovely little studio that was coincidentally only a few blocks away from my job (being that close to work on a Saturday felt a bit weird).

I wondered how anyone could afford a studio in the center of Paris (2nd arrondissement) until he showed us his work. He was very down to earth and didn’t brag about the brands that he works with, but I did notice a Prada bag and a BMW logo here and there. So that explains the studio, I suppose.

The first part of class involved coffee, juice, croissants (of course!) and an overview of composition. He had a lot of photography books from big names like Richard Avedon and Henri Cartier Bresson and ….ummm…. well, ok, those are the only two that I actually know. Anyway, he helped us to analyze their photos by trying to look at both the technical aspects and the emotion that it was creating. This was actually a highlight of the class because I never thought about trying to tell a “story” in a photo. To be honest, I forgot about the storytelling part once I started taking the photos because I was a bit nervous, but at least I remember it now.

We were a small group of 5 with varying levels of skills and equipment (one guy even had an old Jupiter lens…made in the USSR baby!) The model was a teeny tiny little lady named Canelle who came in a fabulous outfit from one of her burlesque shows (heck yeah, she’s also a burlesque dancer). We all took turns taking photos and adjusting the lighting, with helpful guidance from our teacher. At the end of the class, everyone had a chance to analyze their photos to see what was good and what could be improved.

The Photos!

Ok, bear with me. This was only my second time doing a studio photo shoot and getting the lighting right and asking the model to pose is pretty tricky!

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Je Veux Etre Photographe: Grade

For once I get to grade the teacher. woot woot! Well, overall I thought it was a great class. I really enjoyed the class atmosphere – easy going, no high expectations (we’re taking this class for fun after all) and I learned a lot that I can actually use in the future (how to make a homemade reflector, etc). I’d have to say that the only downside was that the class was a bit too early on a Saturday morning.

Overall grade: A

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