Skip to main content

Fine Art Women's Portraits

Lesson 5 of 17

Shoot: Outdoor Figure Studies - Canopy Part 2

Jennifer Thoreson

Fine Art Women's Portraits

Jennifer Thoreson

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

5. Shoot: Outdoor Figure Studies - Canopy Part 2

Lesson Info

Shoot: Outdoor Figure Studies - Canopy Part 2

jen quick question yes this is from my chute puppies and they wanted to know why do you shoot with both your eyes open oh um so I could make eye contact good question yeah is that hard to do I no I I figured out a while back that when I had one I close I couldn't see I couldn't make a connection with her and see her and so I just force myself to do it for a while now I don't even notice that I do it like when you said that I was like oh yeah I also learned that when I was photographing weddings too see the flash was firing so it started off and I knew that I could do that and now I do it to make eye contact well the internet is absolutely riveted I know earlier by digging a notch up right now carla granda says I'm so glad I'm listening and watching this lots of things making me rethinking the way that I'm photographing especially for one of my personal projects so you people are so cool and the models as well don't everybody loves you guys yes course if it doesn't say we'll pin it so I...

mentioned before that I don't like to come up here when I'm photographing and I really don't like anybody to so I'll do workshops or something like that and I had an assistant who knows me really well and she knows like if there needs to be an adjustment with a garment or a dress she would never do it while I'm photographing it it feels to me like they're seriously an actual barrier that she's working in and somebody comes in and even touches her she's like it kind of just breaks our communication I'm trying to look her in the eye and get this thing to happen and if somebody touches there is like you know what I mean so I'll just go ahead and take the shot you know I think you might have noticed maybe a minute ago I took the same exact picture twice and I did one with the garment a little messy and it fixed itself when she started her head and I just did the same pose again so I'm not doesn't feel like oh it'll never happen again in a million years it will just that way I'm not up in her face and walking back and forth a lot because I think a lot of you lose the pace of the session when you keep doing that if you have a new assistant over here I'll do it between shots but try not to mess with their too much okay only put you right smack in the middle there I think you need that need of this thing don't put them both on work with your face for a minute and then we'll start getting crazy you are so beautiful oh my goodness I'm the luckiest girl in the world okay wow that's lovely okay can I bring you this way about six inches not even that far I'm looking to block a scene back there we go perfect okay and feet together for me good all right um let's just start with some beautiful stuff right up with your face so yeah I think hands what if we do just kind of across the body and let that top hand be nice and open and gentle this one's who actually could actually come open or this way yeah so the hands or think of it is like you're just barely touching it you're holding something you're about it's about to fall out of your hands that gentle that's perfect okay the core let's keep it really straight for the person so needs together good chance gonna come out and then now just the chin so not at the torso perfect so pretty peaceful come in with you a little bit I think that's really interesting flare that I kind of like I can't see it matter chin up a little bit for me almost like you're kind of looking for the wide up there with your face beautiful and eyes closed good when almost like you're sighing like this release of energy yeah and try pressing the shoulders down as far as they'll go beautiful beautiful chin up even a little bit more for me right there eyes closed on more time so pretty good let's try hands um yeah I was getting up in the face so cradling the face could be really good if the wreath will stay on and see if that arm can flatten against your body a little bit yeah what if this one comes up and just touches the tricep the three job or even a little more not quite so yeah gentle hand could be maybe the wrist it's perfect the arm on the top flattery to get your body a little bit more if you can do it it will be your left just president oh your other arm I'm sorry press it into the body there we go the hand on the face either yeah I think the carling is good let the fingers curl toward your face there we go so pretty general quite a bit for me we could bring this arm across your body even there we go there we go nothing him go behind your face just a little bit so we can see your face kind of almost like your your hand is coming back into the neck area yeah good and still curved letting those fingers curl good chin up quite a bit so pretty and eyes closed so there's a bit of space between the arms see if we can close that in let's flatten this thiss tries have hand out good maybe this hand comes this way yeah that's lovely eyes closed moving your face up basking in that light again there we go try maybe dress during so your hand is up here see what that looks like I'm just playing with you know all kinds of beautiful things take that arm accu what across a little bit more there we go so what happens is if the elbow this is not for her um let's just bring it naturally where it feels natural so what happens is the elbow will come out toward the camera and for short in the line I learned this from laden and waterhouse so especially if if the person's more busty or around in this area the arm tends to come up here this kind of pose doesn't work with busty people but it works great with her and she's not long enough arms to do it but even when she's not super busty if the arm comes right here I'm getting a lot of this it's fine and she's got tiny arms but the line itself could be longer if I bring it across and were interesting because it's kind of a little more odd right this is a pose that's almost like you see in fashion the arm here you see girls do it all the time but this is a little like we talked about what debra terribile it's removing from reality just a little bit it's a little past comfortable it's a little edgy and strange okay let's wrap one more time if you would turn your shoulder's totally square to me and just close the gap between the arms over here with the hand yeah gorgeous chin way out for me beautiful so pretty eyes close for me I want to see a little bit of that hand on your face so maybe we need to brush the hair back a touch right there so we see the length of the yeah okay good chin up a little bit more eyes right passed me good good ok that's lovely um let's try both hands up by your face let's bring him down a little bit maybe something what the backs of the hands full together that's really pretty let's take this hand up toward your face a little bit more unfolded in a little bit more so the risk is going to turn almost like it feels too far yeah now just gently fold a hand all the way together really pretty let's take that hand and turn it toward the army think just flatten the hand up against yeah good shit's gonna come out and down so yeah imagine like there is a reflection of water in front of your right there right there beautiful beautiful beautiful if you tip your head that tiny we're not even that much not come right eyes closed all the way take a little breath in through your mouth for me eyes close and when you're ready just glance you have perfect beautiful okay fall apart so lovely um see let's try something if you turn your body that way let's try the other way I'm looking at your garment right now okay let's stick with that direction okay so let's see what happens if there's some kind of back band happening and so your legs kind of go that way and your back goes this way and try to keep the leg straight as you can yeah is that reef penned into your hair ok it's really gonna fall off um let's just get rid of it for a minute all right let's try that just using your core to support yourself see if you can let your head fall back all the way yeah see the hands if they can come up elbows up so there's a lot of weight up there maybe hands just on the forehead like this something like that beautiful hang in there try to keep those elbows as long as they'll be yeah and the hand so the way it's gonna go on the wrist and hand could be open and gentle we've almost got it if you bring the hands more center so I don't lose your face try pressing the shoulder sounds so I can see your neck and we'll have it tell you what if you could bring your hair yeah there we go lovely clothes to really try to press her shoulders down in their sockets we don't lose your neck other west the shoulder's gonna press that way um before you do move into the post tried to repressing them way down so you're like most your soul shoulder falls out of the socket and then fresh yourself back yeah and just uh what I'm trying to say uh elbows closer together for me good even closer together that the elbows beautiful beautiful okay relax a moment so pretty all right so this is one of those things where I was telling you earlier I wouldn't of course never tell the model while I'm working through I'm just testing to see what we're out that's not a photograph I would show her um I'm looking at the shoulders the length of the neck strength through the back strength of the core see what's possible in there I know she she's got more athletic type she told me earlier she was a runner and that she does yoga so I'm just pushing the limit a little bit to see where we're at um let's get somebody over here um maybe what this this one one of the taller one yeah pretty study we turn it toward her I think it'll help yeah would probably need to move that way a little bit I'm thinking about stretching her right now I'm buying myself time to be completely honest but this is I'll move the stump a few times and you know kind of work before I start working with her but if I start losing my process when she's in the post then it becomes a problem let's move it this way just a little bit more now I have an idea okay so if you put your shoulders on that and your feet you say you do yoga right um like a bridge pose kind of except um so like when you're back on your shoulders and you bring your legs into the air sort of thing yeah so your shoulders will go on the log your head ideally would drop off the back we'll see what happens yeah you're getting in the right spot that's beautiful okay where is your weight falling right now is it on your shoulders or on your neck way might need the shorter one see ideally that would go right in the middle of your back upper back and so your head can fall off the other side easily before you get too comfortable or uncomfortable let the head of the hair go all the way over the top of that log so we don't lose your neck yeah yeah it's gonna be gorgeous okay can you allow yourself to fall your weight onto the law yeah there we go oh my goodness that's pretty okay the arms can you let your bum touch your touch your yeah so there's an arch in the back and if we bring the arms up in over somehow let's look at the elbows in the air so you're like yeah hands on the face maybe right on the neck is pretty they could go something can you see me for a moment like that yeah but bring the all blows up in the air for me we've almost got it if we turn the hand where I don't see the back of it we'll have it just um turn it one way or the other the hand that's in the front so I don't see the back of the hand try turning your palm open this way for me especially on this hand this in the front so right now I see the back of your hand if you turn there that can work that works that works it's beautiful eyes closed for me really arch the back there's a lot of movement in there but you're still trying to touch down there good we thought the arms now just fall behind you can they go this way or no yeah I love the upper arm where it is if we just take the hand and make it go back towards your feet so the arms are bent I guess is what I'm saying and the palms khun go up so you're touching your toes with your fingertips let's draw the elbows back a little bit more bring the elbows back towards your face a bit if you could does that make any sense and you're still gonna let your your fingertips touch your toes let the arms fall now where they are beautiful okay we turned the fingertips this way we'll have it I just want to get your risk yeah yeah and the arms back a touch more so really looking to see your fingertips right at your toes so you're we're getting there can they go under your feet almost yeah okay if we just turn the hands now that we're there turned that way we'll have it yeah yeah yeah good good so pretty trying to press the shoulders down as faras we go good eyes closed magnificent okay take a little breather doing okay are there any questions before we keep going absolutely because we haven't done much of that home we have another great question from leanne whatever who says does she ever experience do you ever experience a model that when you look at them they look fantastic physically but just not translating somehow to photograph yeah and no matter what you do you can't get a good image from that model where do you go from there I've had way I kind of misjudged somebody a lot of times it's people who are younger um but where you know the potentials in the body um the length is there the height is there you've got a tall wavy thin person sometimes it's a communication barrier um I had a model one time but I couldn't get to trust me she had every quality is she needed she was perfect she was you know whatever I could do anything with her but she wouldn't trust me so I couldn't I couldn't get past a certain point where they're just wasn't ever gonna happen sometimes trust sometimes it's communication but I just you know I have trouble getting into words something that she's going to understand in the way I want her to and then sometimes it's comfort level comfort experience um you know I can communicate something perfectly tour and it's not physically going to happen when that happens it's easy easier to correct because I could just tone it down a little bit you know going to something it's simpler and more graceful and easy but you know all those things to me ninety five percent of the time that happens it's a communication problem thank you we have another question from on johnny who says do you always use the white box structure when you're shooting outdoors yeah later we were going to do some stuff in the in the woods without the studio background but I still see a box and I will still photograph in the same spot for a really wicked long time because I'm trying to focus my energy and get one great one you know but I still see a perfect square when I look at locations I look for things that are balanced and symmetrical and stuff that really functions in the same way that this does speaking of connection there was a comment from vic from texas who said great workshop I love seeing how she communicates with the models and directs them so I think people are getting a lot of that good that's helpful absolutely I think what's really incredible about how you are educating us right now is your ability to be directing the model which allows us here and everybody online is saying that they can therefore see what's going through your head and so it's just absolutely perfect cool a little struggle that we were having with a hand minute ago so that is somebody that was talking about model or whatever that question was um it's not that she wasn't capable so I know that much it was a communication thing I was just trying teo and I would worry that one way and that wasn't clear so we're too different way we're in a different way that's at the point where a lot of photographers hang on let me just come fix it and that's what I'm trying to avoid so I'd rather just say it four five times and you know get hurt where she feels like oh I got it I did it okay rather than oh she had to fix me for fun times on one other comment that is really working well is when you're showing us also what's not working he wouldn't do ok it's really great well we could do some more of that um the reason I was struggling with that hand is because I was trying to see the completion of the line even an inch I'll fight for an end if the hand is turned this well illustrate I guess yeah if the hand is you know this is the longest possible line if it's turned this way even an inch you lose the length of it if it's turned toward the camera too much you lose the weight of it for shortens the hand and this is five or six inches of length so if I've got an alarm what's this call arm and I'm trying to get a cool line out of it if I for sure in the hand and just kicking myself in the foot so all those things matter and that's what I was trying to get in there to go how's my exposure by the banks damn backlit no good right yeah oh I love the background looks great you look amazing let's try the inverse of that and see what happens so this may be I'm an experiment and crazy but let's bring the log this way just to touch for you okay this is what if we put your chest area or even belly on there and make you the opposite shapes your this way and your head is going to go on the ground over there yeah and if we need a shorter long talent well we'll get you one in fact let's go ahead and switch him out because it would be cool if your head can touch all the way down on the other side and if we need to roll it on its side we can't even do that but let's start with this it's a thousand and one ways to use a log yeah that's pretty cool if you all of your hair goes that way it'll be a wicked cool so it becomes like even more of a line let it just kind of uh yes your cheek is kind of on the log it's still yeah you're getting there we go amazing okay so the back can you arch like a cat and then the same effect with the head so somewhere you gotta put weight down it probably is gonna be right here on your bones yeah okay are you using your hands for support okay so let's bring the hands back this way just let him fall into the background if we flip him over actually try bending one more time I'm sorry I'm seeing something else now flip the hands open right where they are yeah just talk him toward your body that would be beautiful in the fingertips are gonna go that way even further that way so your hand is not pointing toward me but the opposite way like that's just what the hand over perfect if you compress it it begins the log will have it good thing you're going straight that direction beautiful now if you can arch the back and let your head fall into the background and you can put some support on your head if you want if you go all the way over I don't know if you can get that far yeah that's really cool okay the legs if we bring this could be tricky but put some weight on this well is it possible to flatten the feed out first of all so there yeah that's already prettier which is arch the back more so the weight's all on your head if you could come over the law argument for their so your belly is going to be on the log that's the bit I was telling you guys that spend ten minutes on one picture but it'll be worth it yeah so that's even more odd and I love it good if you'll turn your face trade with the logs that's a profile shot of you yeah and all the weight on the top of the head so this is getting in my picture up here um we move that stuff because I'm not going to get her face this time you don't okay okay good weight on the top of the head for me turn your face toward yeah this other way full profile if you can tuck your chin toward your body even more there there there it's really cool really strange ok is it possible now to straighten the legs a little bit so you look kind of will away over that thing yeah and feet together and we'll have it oh that's so cool love it eyes closed you can press the shoulders down we're gonna have other way present the other directions yeah yeah yeah are the fetal weight one last thing can the hand go along the line of the leg or you're using it for support yeah so just let it fall into the background but just that direction yeah beautiful beautiful press the shoulders down one more time away from your your chin there are you okay there for one more minute you guys see the difference in the shoulder line if you let it fall naturally for a minute your shoulder yeah so I've lost her neck and so if she presses it the other way look in her neck right it's incredible faggot can you sew the face would go toward the long even more and now really press the shoulder away from you yeah lower angle that's pretty incredible that is absolutely stunning my friend okay relax good you okay okay so I'm just playing now with form and shape to see what's possible I could do this this log thing for a long time and just put her this way that way all over different kinds of ways to play with it one little shape that's why I don't I don't use a lot of props and a lot of stuff cause I get it's too much you know I could spend a long time on just one thing I think not last image is my favorite one but it took a while to come to that conclusion and if you give up on that after two pictures you'll never get there conclusion you give up too quick yeah can I try do I have one more minute I'd like to do one of each of you like that I think in some kind of something you could take a breather for a minute can I try something with you actually probably not because you're going to need your head for supports that a minute owen pin you could answer a question while we're pinning we need teo let's do that I have a question from palo photo who says you mentioned earlier that you don't like to go on set wondering what pose you use and there was quite a few questions about asking you to explain your process or do storyboard the poses or you just you just have a library in your head that you go through I don't actually and I try not to storyboard them because then I feel like I'm I'm not being true to what I believe about body type and tryingto to use certain posed on certain people that work that being said there are some poses that work on just about everybody and because these girls have such beautiful faces that was a really good go to for me to just do the arms and hands up by the face I know that's going to be successful so while it's not story boarded it's a safety zone and I can always go back there so another good point is if I'm having a crashing for a moment and we're really struggling we finally get one I'll often go back to one of those poses for her benefit too you know I know I'm going to be successful I know she's going to be successful it's easy on her body so I have a little collection of things that I can always play with and I can use variations of them but I do that a lot and what are some more of those yeah I was gonna say how many you have how many of you see uh there's a good amount like standing poses for instance those are all safety zone poses like the one I did of I think it was who was it that was spending way over I think it was you needed to go bending at the waist really oh no it was you um that's not a safety zone post okay but the one right before it wass so I had her hands up by your face and kind of or like hands above the head whether it's this this this this is gonna work this will always work something with the arms in front or hands and almost all of those air safety zone poses some let's get going okay can I put your what was I thinking I think I lost my train um okay your bum on the thing I mean this is words get crazy if you're back and head can slowly and you can use your arms to support to get down there touch the yeah yeah yeah that's kind of amazing that'll d'oh okay um let's let your arms just fall gracefully this way and so they're going to go and bend naturally using your head okay oh that's beautiful actually can you put your weight on the top of your head that's amazing let's just bring your head and if it's possible use your arms for just a moment yeah so it's closer to the long we get more but bend there we go or or just gorgeous gorgeous spend the arm just a tiny bit more yes and just press your shoulders and way way down there hang in there so beautiful oh come on penelope the hands would be totally open totally flat there we go pressing the shoulders out as far as they'll go got it beautiful okay can you put your right now on your shoulders where you are and let your head just be natural yeah yeah yeah I thought that might be possible it's amazing okay the hands you have such beautiful long I would have to come back this way towards your face can they reach up oh my goodness that's so cool face straight upto pull profile and you sold the other weight on the shoulders is good try yes so their separation between your chest on your chin eyes closed and go and let your shoulders touch the ground so we get that line their their their eyes closed wow okay fall apart for a minute that's pretty to actually let's do one last shot and move the log this way a little bit that way so I'm not running out of background we do that idea again and we're gonna just carry it up so before you get a position I knew I was off the background was shooting that but rather than stop halfway and little the pot's undo her mover and started over I would just take the picture and then move in and we're going to do it again basically but I don't know I just feel like there's a weird interruption of flow when I break a post so I just never do so we're going to the same thing actually and they were gonna change up just touch if the fee khun b flat along the log toes up just like you were doing there we go there we go yeah go ahead let the shoulders yeah just totally relax chin has separated from the face just there we go good good good good hang in there having done a beautiful job a month in l b okay crazier still is it possible to bring one foot up on the log with you one threw the other one actually the front one all right and there's let your body fall that's so beautiful and look right at me I think let the hands just gently intertwined up there yeah I'm right here so pretty yeah the shoulders are way way down that so pretty chin up just a touch eyes closed and one full profile forming we'll have it chained up just a little bit eyes close got it all right beautiful gotcha yeah she does not need help okay I think that's a wrap for this good thank you everybody all right so can we just first by give a round of applause to these models it'll really was amazing tio watch you like you described earlier when we're up in the studio talk about how you're starting off with the state poses but then seeing how far you can push them yeah especially combined with how you assess their body types beforehand and then it was just incredible teo see wanted it's just I'm speechless watching those poses absolutely thing is it's all them and I it's they're doing all the work I'm just what I do my job is to see you know it's not it's not anything more than that to see and then be able to push the button at the right time we'll look at what you saw oh my gosh come look at yourself it's incredible just incredible gives me the chills there you go the model just said I didn't know I could do that well yeah I just wanted to give a shout out from so many of what people are saying so many amazing things but this one struck me from ch photography jennifer you are amazing I'm at the point where I'm just about to fall apart and give up on my craft but you give me hope thank you so much you are like an angel from heaven who came down to inspire me wow because I think jennifer is really enjoying quote so yeah that's these kind of things make everything all of us really we're talking about purpose and photographing but purpose and teaching too and it makes me feel like it's making a difference so thank you awesome

Class Description

Are you ready to delve into the magical world of fine art photography? Join innovative and award-winning photographer Jennifer Thoreson for an immersion into everything you need to know to conceptualize, style, and shoot photographs that double as works of art.

Jennifer will share her unique method for turning a natural setting into a fine art studio, including her one-of-a-kind-technique for creating water portraits. You’ll master the essential principles of posing, lighting, styling, and costuming. Jennifer will also cover working effectively with models, communicating your personal vision, and using Photoshop to add a fine-art-style polish to images.

By the end of this course, you’ll be inspired and empowered to bring a new level of artistry to your photographs.


a Creativelive Student

I can't review the course as I haven't seen it yet, but I am buying it. I'm buying it based on the one free session on inspiration. I was so moved by who Jennifer is and her courage and commitment. I want to know her; be her friend, because she is so fearless and courageous. She admits that it took a long time for her to find her path. She reminds us again and again that it is hard -- art is hard. She was inspired by amazing paintings -- I completely understand why they inspired her, and in the direction that they did. I can't wait to watch this whole course, because I can't wait to witness more of Jennifer and her courage, her creativity, and her big lioness heart.

Joshua Pheneger

Jennifer is a talented and genuine artist with a gentle soul. Her perspective on how to approach the creative process and how to "quiet the little voices" and practice quiet observation are very helpful. I have been tremendously inspired by this course and I feel as though I am a better artist for having participated. Thank you for bringing this wonderful artist to the amazing creativeLIVE community.

Laura Arrowsmith

I love her work and her teaching. Her perspective is so beautiful and inspiring. I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with her in Colorado this summer and it was a life-changing experience. The location was spectacular. Jennifer is so brilliant, yet so warm and friendly. I really just don't have enough glowing adjectives to describe this event.