Two Workshops – Portraits: Natural & Flash, in Plymouth/Carver

with Bobbi Lane & Lee Varis

July 13 & 14, 2024 10am – 5pm

Backyard Studio & Portraits with Flash

– enroll in one or both

Cost for single workshop = $300  includes a post-workshop Zoom critique & processing session –––          Special discount for both workshops = $500

Join Bobbi Lane and Lee Varis for a fun and intensive photo workshop experience teaching you essential techniques for natural and flash lighting. Good lighting techniques, along with posing, tonalities, mood, expression, camera angles and backgrounds must harmonize to create a successful photographic portrait. We work with two different setups on both days. First up…

Backyard Studio

Saturday, July 13

Natural Lighting

The Backyard Studio is a creative, easy, and affordable way to make natural light portraits without expensive lights or gear! This workshop shows you how to set up a canopy tent to create “garage door light” and then enhance with the addition of reflectors. This gives you the control and look of studio lighting but it’s all natural. By using reflectors for a main light and a hair or edge light, you can create beautiful professional looking portraits. And it’s all organic!

The workshop covers the “rules” of Portraits Unplugged, how to effectively and creatively use reflectors and diffusers, color and texture of light, accurate skin tones, scouting the light, times of day to shoot, high and low key, and story telling portraits.

This is not a tech course.  It is for photographers who want to strengthen their people skills as well as their appreciation of light.  A working knowledge of photography is required for this course.

Bobbi and Lee take you step by step with instruction and demos. We meet in the morning for instruction and shoot with models in the afternoon. The location is Bobbi and Lee’s house in Carver, MA. We are surrounded by trees so you can have a natural background, or we can hang background material to make it just like a studio. Of course, we cover posing and directing, too.

Portraits with Flash

Sunday, July 14

On Location with Flash Lighting 

Portraits on location is all about finding backgrounds, and working with natural light and portable flash to tell a compelling story about your subject. Bobbi teaches you how to make flattering and dynamic portraits of any subject in any scene.  Learn how to use lighting, both natural and flash, to describe your subject from powerful and strong to soft and sweet.

Environmental portraits tell a story, by allowing a glimpse into the world of another individual, with a depth that surpasses the expressive capacity of a studio formal portrait. The subject is revealed by the photographer’s use of design, and composition of the background setting, with special attention to light, posture, expression, composition, and rapport. Each element divulges another aspect of the subject’s personality, requiring careful attention to detail. Direction, quality, and depth of light all combine to match the concept of the portrait, so lighting skills are important. The technical concerns about light, camera angle and lenses, backgrounds, selective focus, and composition can sometimes overshadow the importance of making a connection with another human being.

Honoring, respecting, and communicating with your subject are the first steps to making a meaningful, and storytelling photograph. However, it’s imperative to use excellent light to create the mood and capture the essence of the subject.

Portable flash is a wonderful and sometimes intimidating tool and it will be explained step by step on how to choose the correct settings and modifiers. Bobbi demos using TTL and Manual settings and why, and gives easy instructions for making beautiful Fill Flash. A variety of lighting techniques will be covered with the emphasis on understanding the three main aspects of light: direction, quality and depth.

This is a great opportunity to improve your portraits to make more effective, flattering and interesting images!

Participants will be shooting with models around Carver and Plymouth, MA. They should be comfortable with shooting on manual mode and have a solid understanding of the foundations of photography. Please bring a flash if you have one and reflectors. We will supply additional reflectors and radio remotes for getting your flash off camera. We will also have a variety of flash modifiers for you to use.

We meet at our house in Carver. We use that as our base and have instruction in the morning and shooting in the afternoon.

Class size limited to six 

Cost for a single day workshop is $300 —includes lunch and model fees! Discount applies if you enroll in both Sat. & Sun. workshops.

Limit of 6 participants each day! 

Cost also includes a Zoom meeting/critique one week after the workshop (date & time TBD)


Special Discount for both workshops = $500

view a gallery of portraits unplugged photos from past workshops

The dynamic duo of photo-education, Bobbi Lane & Lee Varis, bring two lifetimes of experience, along with enthusiasm and creative techniques to to their fun-filled workshops. Lee is a Photo illustrator and Photoshop Master. He’s shot movie posters in Hollywood, and is the author of  the best selling book Skin. Bobbi, the “Mistress of Light” is renowned for teaching natural and artificial lighting techniques for portraits. Photo Distrct News named Bobbi one of the top workshop instructors. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn from the masters

The cost for both workshops is $500 and includes location, lunch and model fees. Limit of 6 participants each day