Live Portrait Workshop Fun

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One of the joys of teaching photography, video and creativity is the cool experiences that surround the workshops! Last month (May, 2017), I had the fun of leading a Live Portrait workshop in Santa Cruz, California at my lab, Bay Photo!

Live Portraits are images that are connected to a video so the videos play when an app on a smartphone or tablet is used to scan the print. It is simply amazing technology that Bay Photo offers and I love to share and teach. [I truly believe that it will change our industry and how the world views photographs!]

BP LP video 

It was going to be a full day of hands-on learning using computers, editing and creating short videos, so we decided to do a sunset or evening shoot the night beforehand at the beach in Capitola to learn how to capture short clips along with our stills in order to create these! It turned out to be the perfect way to learn: shoot the night before, then edit and create the next day– the whole process.

What a fabulous evening it was- a little hazy at first, and then the sun popped out, just in time to go behind the bluffs and give us perfect light to shoot in. Our models were sisters, Jazz and Amanda; Jazzi with her fiancé, Dillon, and Amanda, with her sweet husband Jeff and two kids Heartley and Harper, and of course “Har3” in the oven! [pregnant]. We had all of us photographers on the beach shooting and taking turns directing and filming and enjoying the kids! We had them all modeling at the same time so half of the group could shoot each model family. I think it worked out pretty well and there was never a dull moment.

Some of the beautiful moments we captured:


The most fun [I think] was the videos we captured that showed the fun they had together. I captured all the stills and videos with a Lumix GH5. It is my top choice for video AND stills, and since it is a mirrorless camera, it switches seamlessly between the two. I also often film in 4k so I can take still frames out of the video at high enough resolution to print wall portraits.This has become a real game-changer for me and a good workflow for action and kiddos and emotional sessions!

Jeff & Harper toss

It was definitely a fun (and chilly) evening and we ended in a nice warm dinner at the Brittania Arms afterward!


The next day we assembled at Bay Photo’s beautiful location in the Santa Cruz mountains in Scotts Valley.  PIC of Lab The huge lab nestled in the redwoods has a great classroom/meeting room that was perfect for a small, hands-on class.






We all got to learn how to download videos in to Lightroom, trim and modify them, and export to shorter clips. Then we took them into ProShowWeb along with some stills and created short hybrid shows that were easy to instantly share online! Here’s is an example of one we made: Jazzi and Dillon’s lovestory!


[Next, we combined images and videos in Photoshop to create almost a split image—I need to come up with a cool name for this, don’t I? This one was made by Dena Lindsey.

Double Vision by Dena… coming soon….]


So after we finished the class, I started doing a few more fun things with the images, like making cinemagraphs! I think next time we do this, we will definitely plan to shoot for a few of these because they are not only really easy, but super effective and getting you to look! A great way to market yourself or just see the world differently! I make most of my cinema graphs with Flixel Cinemagraph Pro, but it can be done with Photoshop as well.

Learning to shoot video and create short hybrid Live Portraits or Cinemagraphs is fun but there is a journey ahead to mastery. I encourage every photographer to begin that journey as soon as possible! My advice is to keep stretching your skillset and embracing technology- in that is your future as a photographer and visual artist!



We are now in the stages of planning another one of these workshops for this fall!

It will be held August 13-14, in the same location! Scotts Valley/Capitola Beach, CA.

Consider signing up and do so early because there is limited space in the class! There is only room for 20 students! Class cost is $175 and it includes lunch, and a free Live Portrait and 5×7 print. Stay tuned for more info and official announcements!


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