The Intimate Portrait

The Intimate Portrait

Jess T. Dugan
Week 6: July 16 to July 21
Time: 9am-12pm
Tuition: $650
Model Fee: $40
Materials Fee: $25
Discipline: Photography
Open to All
Registration Open
Registration Open: 1 places available
On-site Housing Full
Workshop Description 

Making a photographic portrait is an intimate, collaborative endeavor, requiring both photographer and subject to work together to create a compelling image. The best portraits are often as much a reflection of the maker as they are of the subject. In this five-day workshop, photographer Jess T. Dugan creates an open, supportive, and engaging environment in which participants will investigate their motivations for making portraits, strengthen their skills working with people, and engage deeply with issues in contemporary photography.

Through critiques, presentations of classic and contemporary portrait photographers, demonstrations, and the daily creation of new photographs, we will investigate the elements that make a compelling portrait, including composition, lighting, subject, pose, gesture, and environment. We will focus in depth on strategies for working with subjects, including strangers, family, friends, and the self, gaining insight into methods for making emotionally resonant, visually dynamic photographs. We will use digital photography, digital workflow and digital printmaking with Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.

While these elements require foundational technical knowledge, the workshop will focus primarily on the emotional and conceptual elements of portrait photography. At the conclusion of our week together, participants will have gained skills for making compelling portraits as well as meaningful insight into their own photographic practice.


JESS T. DUGAN is an artist whose work explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community. Her work is regularly exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of several major museums. Her monograph Every Breath We Drew was published in 2015 by Daylight Books. She is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and was selected by the White House as a 2015 Champion of Change. She is represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL.