Course Introduction


Capturing Authentic Portraits


Lesson Info

Course Introduction

You know, in preparing for this, I was talking with my daughters about where I was going, and one of my daughters is 10, and so I was telling my 10 year old that all of these people have signed up for this course, and she looked at me like, why would they wanna listen to you Dad? And then her next bit of advice for me was to make sure my fly wasn't down. (laughs) But you gotta love how kids kind of keep you honest, and that's really what we're talking about today is how do we get more honest with the portraits we create and capture images that are authentic and real? And I am super excited about what we have ahead because what I'm gonna share with you guys is the keys that I believe are the secrets to creating better portraits. And you'll find these keys woven throughout some of the stories that I'll share, photographs that we'll review, we'll do some live shooting, there's a PDF guide, and then also, you'll see it just in bullet point form in slides on the screen. Yet before we get to...

all of that, I have three questions for you here, and then also you watching online. And the first question I want you to begin to think about is, what is a portrait? And then second, what makes a portrait good? Think about that in a broad sense, just generically, generally, but then specific to you, and we all vary different answers. Finding the you answer is gonna be really important today. And then the third question is why does portraiture matter at all? Now you also may be wondering, is this class for me, especially those watching. Maybe you're a little bit nervous about photographing people, or you don't have a lot of experience in it. Will you get anything out of this by all means? Or maybe you're experienced and you do this a lot, you do people photography, and wedding portraiture, or fashion work, or whatever it is, will this give you another skillset that you can add to what you already do? Without a doubt. This is one of those courses that will broaden and deepen how we approach working with people and capturing those type of frames. So with that in mind, I wanna talk a little bit about what the class is and isn't. So this class isn't gonna give you a, I don't know, a PDF guide which shows you 10 poses you can use on every shoot, it's not that. It's not gonna show you a formula or recipe that you can follow to get pretty pictures every time, it's not gonna show you how to use an octabank to create Rembrandt light, or how to use expensive studio gear, or how to do post production, that's for another day. So if you're looking for that, we're not in the right spot, but if you're interested in exploring how you can find people to photograph, how you can connect and direct, and create more honest and authentic frames, then we're on track. If you're interested in discovering your own vision and voice, like what makes my photographs unique, and how do I do that with technique, we'll talk about some technical stuff, but also how do I change my approach and who I am and what I bring to the table when we create those photographs? And if you really want to set yourself apart, well this is the right place, that's what we're gonna do today. But before we get to all that, let's look at some pictures, that sound good? 'Cause that's really what this is all about, that's the fun part right?

Class Description

It takes a true connection between photographer and subject to create powerful portrait photography. A portrait doesn’t have to be dramatic or glamorous to be compelling. In fact, the best portraits often showcase people expressing their vulnerability or discomfort. It’s the photographer’s job to evoke and capture authentic emotion by establishing a genuine rapport with the subject.

Join veteran portrait photographer Chris Orwig to learn how to take meaningful portraits and use them to make your transition from amateur to professional. In this class, you’ll learn:

  • How to confidently approach a stranger and convince them to participate in a shoot.
  • How to connect with and pose your subjects naturally
  • Which lenses, camera settings, and light considerations to keep in mind during a shoot

Chris Orwig has created images for companies like Google, Adobe, and Patagonia, and his work has been published in Rolling Stone, Esquire, and Surfer Magazine. His experience has taught him how to keep a subject comfortable, authentic and engaged throughout a shoot. He has learned to deal with the technical demands of a portrait shoot - lighting, setting, constraints of time and budget - while also staying focused on the story he is trying to tell. 



Wow. This course was about so much more than "just" portraiture. Chris Orwig is a fantastic speaker and teacher - very engaging, down to earth, wonderful photo examples and live demonstrations on how to interact with the subjects you are photographing. I love that he brought in quotes and artwork and poetry, as well as some really great personal stories and experiences, to make his points. Fabulous! This man is an expert in capturing that spark in others - and you can totally see why. Really great.

Martin Backhauss

Amazing class and what a great AND inspiring trainer. Thank you Creativelive for giving Chris Orwig the stage. Perfect choice! Learned a lot but more importantly, I got so inspired by his presentation and that is what matters the most .....for me. Super grateful. THX CL!