Recap of Non-Model Shoot


Capturing Authentic Portraits


Lesson Info

Recap of Non-Model Shoot

Okay, so, why am I doing... why did I pull up these crates, you know, why did we do that? It was not planned, sorry, for those people who like to have things planned, who are watching on... My producer Jamie, my apologies. But part of that was, you know, I'm trying to get into how I'd actually shoot. Obviously I wouldn't actually shoot with an audience, with you guys here. But I would try to do something like that. And if ever, with the film camera in particular, I'll always let other people take pictures with it, because once they get it, and if you were to try it, maybe you should at the next break, hold it up and just see what that's like. You're like "oh! I totally get this." And then when I'm photograph... Or I'll have them photograph me. Often they'll be there with a spouse, or a friend, or someone will have helped them out. I'm like "hey dude, just try this. Take a photograph of your partner or something here." And then, when they do it, it feels a little more collaborative, rig...

ht? Like a little bit more...It's not just, I'm scrutinizing them or something. And then by the time it's my turn to do the picture, there's a bit more buy-in. Does that make sense? And it also shows that if I have someone like... They won't always take a picture of me, I'll just be like "dude, look at what this scene looks like through that camera." And they'll do that, and they'll hold it. Quick story, photographing this famous surfer, one of my favorite surfers of all time, Tom Curran. And I was with a camera where you had a dark cloth. And I said "Hey Tom, you should check out what this looks like." The same thing I'm trying to do here. So the guy crouches down, puts the cloth over his head, and he just stays there. He stays there for minutes and minutes. And we're like "What is he doing?" And it made me realize that it's kind of his personality. He just liked kind of being in there observing. And so that also helped me shape how I then was to create a picture of him. It doesn't matter the camera. You know, if you don't have a film camera it doesn't matter. Sometimes it's just like, "oh, dude, look at what this looks like," or something like that, helps you get there. From Taylor Clement, "What do you say when the subject asks you to show them the photo on the back of the screen?" Yeah, what do I say? So, Kenna, you hop in the hot seat here. Oh, I see. I see where this is going. You see where this is going. You guys will help tell me if I'm gonna pull this table over, okay? If I move around a little that my cord is getting close, just tell me. So we have Kenna here, our hero host, which is so wonderful. So I'm gonna photograph you, this picture doesn't count, Kenna. Okay. And that's a great statement to say to someone. And then you say... Can I see that, Chris? I would love to see that. I'm like "no, let's keep shooting, but you gotta keep at me. Okay. And then you have to come up with another way to say it. Okay. Can I just see if my hair is, like proper? Cuz my curls tend to go rogue. Those curls, for the record, do you guys agree, are amazing? Oh my gosh. (applause) obviously I'm deflecting, but it's totally true. And on Creative Live no-one can ever see your eyes, but have you guys seen her eyes up close? Like, amazing! So that's part of what I need to photograph. So I would deflect it, or people will say... They may not wanna see this, but iPhone selfie, to check their hair. And I'm like "no, dude, don't do that. That's like, we don't need you self conscious. It'll just create this weird loop in your head. Can I just say that I took an iPhone selfie before coming out here? (laughs) Because I was nervous! Yes, and that might be fine before, because you're getting set, but in the middle what I want is connect. You know we often get set in the mirror. You know, kinda make sure the buttons are done, or whatever. But then, while we're doing it... So that's something I would say, I'm trying to think of other ways. You guys have any ideas what you'd say to dodge the back? Or I'll just say something like, "Oh, I'll show you later. Like this is gonna be so crazy. Wait, the light's going." I come up with a rational excuse. If I really feel like it's gonna help, you know, I'll show it. But I don't think this would help me, or I don't think it would help Kenna. Other thing obviously, you know they say with iPhone use, I'm a dad, and I have kids, if you use your phone a lot your kids are gonna... If they see you doing this all the time, they're gonna do that all the time. So don't do that all the time, because of my kids. Same thing's true here. If every shot I shoot Kenna, and she really wants to see the back. You know, I'm making faces, and like... You know, I'm doing that, you know, oh my gosh. Kenna is gonna be like, "what is he seeing?" But you could always do...I mean you could do the opposite. I think I've done that. Kenna I can have fun with, because we're friends. So I can be a little more playful here. I can be like, "Yes!" You know, or something like "this is so good, Kanna." And then that hopefully is gonna wind that necessity down to see it.

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!