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The Art and Business of Conceptual Portraiture

Lesson 16 of 36

Conceptual Beauty Shoot Questions

Jennifer Thoreson

The Art and Business of Conceptual Portraiture

Jennifer Thoreson

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Lesson Info

16. Conceptual Beauty Shoot Questions

Lesson Info

Conceptual Beauty Shoot Questions

So question let's do this one are you ever aware of what the poses may imply and how it contradicts sometimes your main concept? Well yeah, I mean, I think a lot of times what I see first of all it's gonna be really different than what someone else sees and yes, I mean absolutely there are contradictions all over the place and people are going to see that in a different way than I will so like when someone comes in and makes me that list in my studio and says this is what I see sometimes it's really shocking to me because you know, I don't always I mean, I only have one way to see you know, I can only see through my own eyes so uh yeah, I don't necessarily see contradictions as much as someone else will and they change continuously so pro image wants to know working with the wood in the clay are you looking for a connection between the legs and the bark? Is that something that came across your mind like, physically I'm not sure they mean physically or was the lines I think yeah, well, ...

the lines absolutely so physically yeah makes her look longer and taller, but it also puts her on a pedestal and so when I'm kind of playing with that ideal woman, I didn't idea that we talked about earlier literally putting somebody on a pedestal is a very literal translation of that idealism that I'm kind of playing with a little bit photographing beautiful. Shane wants to know, do you ever handhold your cameras are always on a tripod? I almost always like to have this two reasons one, I don't move around as you can see very much at all. I'm not a shooter, that kind of I wouldn't go over there and she from another angle or anything, um and two I can communicate with her with both hands and not have to look and a hold and deal with this thing in my hand, so I'm completely free to just connect back and forth with her, and it helps me a lot and you'll notice when I shoot tio I have both eyes open so she can still see my eyes and make eye contact with me. So the cameras as tone down and as unintrusive cause I don't possibly get it. Yeah, and there's actual intention behind that, which is absolutely it's, not just because you like having a small camera, but no. And even if I've got plenty of light, what I like to use this because I have the flexibility to communicate better when you're shooting outside, what time of day do you usually shoot? If I've got my tent out there um I've got the big white canopy over top and the light ideally comes directly down on top of that canopy and gives me this kind of butterfly light effect so ten minutes on the time that year but high noon yeah so if I'm not out there high noon oh turn the background to the sun set or rise and so the sun will come through the background in the back and give me a backlit effect which is also really beautiful um photo maker wants to know uh does the model sign releases or do the model releases jennifer uses covered her usage of the images for art editorial photography, commercial stock or does you dirt do you need different releases they they cover all of those things especially those things because I'm a little I'm selling the images two strangers and for book covers and things like that so yeah that's that is the release that they would sign for me awesome yeah question here tell us about the flexibility of the moral because then for some of the positions she needs to be athletic in a particular way. So do you ask this questions outright as you're interviewing the moral or how you get about it because there's something that you'd asked the model to do and she's physically not capable of doing it so how do you go about that that's a great question and I could take half an hour to answer that because a lot of it comes from confidence and observation and me knowing the human body really, really well, because I have studied it and studied it and studied it so I can for the most part look at somebody and know what they're capable of. I have a very pretty darn good idea of what they're capable of, but that beginning segment where I'm just got her standing and anybody can do that, I could do that, right? So I'm watching her and I'm watching her expressions, seeing if she's having trouble balancing and when I do something that's slightly more difficult, adding difficulty to it issued, struggling with that or not, and so very keen varies sensitive observation of the model before and that's like that last pose is one of the most difficult, right? I would save that till the end to make sure that I think she could do it. The last thing I want is a model feeling frustrated and feeling like they can't do what I'm asking them to do, so really try to avoid that happening and at all costs do you always direct, shoot, supposing the model and moving them around, or is there some times and make believe you're acting element for the modern model tow fall into the character that they're portraying what's more effective there is a napping element, too, so it's cool that we're doing so the shoot in the last segment of this class is so different than this were basically making the thirteenth image of testament in that chute and it's a lot more me responding to the model and seeing what they're doing and pulling cues from them, and they know the concept. They know where we're going for so it's a lot more interactive. Then this scenario, which I'm looking for something very, very specific, and so I will to the fingernail guide this process. So it depends on the setting in a beauty shoot. I'm going to guide the whole thing, and I'm completely in charge. For the most part, I am watching her, but it's something like testament were collaborating even more, and so getting hughes back and forth and ideas from their own natural body language and things like that that's a good question, so it's kind of a two part thing.

Class Description

Conceptual portraiture is where art and photography meet. In this class, Jennifer Thoreson will explore the intersection of fine art and photography and discuss the practice, process, and business of bringing conceptual portraits to life.

Jennifer is a visual artist, speaker, and lecturer whose photographic work has been widely published internationally in print and online journals. In this class she’ll reveal the process for developing commissioned and exhibition work. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create unique, imaginative props 
  • Secure the right type of model
  • Price your work
  • Approach galleries, museums, and publications

Jennifer will help you define your personal style and show you how to put together a conceptual series. You’ll get the inside scoop on what it takes to make a living through fine art photography and also get Jennifer’s tips on managing the business side.

If you want to expand into the expressive and exciting genre of conceptual photography, The Art and Business of Conceptual Portraiture with Jennifer Thoreson is the perfect place to begin your journey. 

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP


Bonus Materials with Purchase

Book Proposal Sample.pdf

Critical Mass - Digital Book.pdf

Curriculum Vitae Example.pdf

Keynote PDF Segment 1.pdf

Keynote PDF Segment 2.pdf

Keynote PDF Segment 3.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

"Thinking about art is not making art." In this inspiring and informative workshop, Jennifer helps you put thought into action - through meaningful self-reflection, exploration and by taking her through her own processes. Through exercises and examples, she explains how to pull out a thread of an idea and develop it into a conceptual project that is informed and invigorated by personal experience, preference, interests, and so much more. Her workshop not only feeds the creative soul, but offers earnest information on taking first steps toward publishing and showing fine-art. Jen so beautifully shares her talent and her love of teaching - I first "met" her on Creative Live and have had the joy of being mentored by her in-person as well. This workshop is a very close second to spending time with her one-on-one. Thank you, CL, for bringing her back!

kalei harmon

I love Jennifer, she's one of my cL favorites! She is such a soulful photographer and her art just resonates with me in so many ways. While she was creating her conceptual piece with the mother and child, my eyes welled up because it was such a profound experience to witness. I appreciate that she has a graduate degree in art and is able to refer to others in the field who are leading the way. She is so genuine and I'm grateful for her willingness to bare her soul to us through her art and process. I've learned so much by watching how she interacts with models and communicates efficiently and gently to get AMAZING poses. Definitely worth the buy if you're looking for inspiration from an artist who creates images which evoke emotion and communicate a message, not just trying to make "great photos." I can't wait to learn about the business side of it all!


I am so grateful for this class; it is just what I have been looking for to help me go beyond my "photographic potty training". By leading us through her own creative process, Jennifer Thoreson invites us to think about why we do what we do and to make our work more meaningful and authentic, creating our unique visual vocabulary. Moreover, she provides detailed info on submitting work to galleries and publications, contests, printing editions, preparing an exhibition and pricing. In her calm, unpretentious manner, Jennifer demystified art without trivializing it and I finally saw light at the end of a rather long tunnel.