Roberto Valenzuela – a great photographer and teacher (09.02.2016)


On April 7th, a photographer from Beverly Hills, Roberto Valenzuela, is holding a workshop on posing in Tallinn at the I AM PHOTOGRAPHER FESTIVAL 2016. Also, it is possible to listen to his platform class on April 9th, at Hotel Olympia. We were lucky to ask him some questions about his plans at the workshop.

It is your second time teaching in Tallinn. Are you going to teach something new this time?
A lot has changed since the last time I was in Tallinn.  I have released two books, Picture Perfect Posing and Picture Perfect Lighting and I became a Canon Explorer of Light.  This new visit to Tallinn will incorporate material from both books.  The main goal for this workshop will be to teach photographers how to build poses instead of memorizing them.  In other words, I want photographers to not feel like they are running out of posing ideas in the middle of a photo shoot.  Instead, after this course, you will feel in control of the posing process.  I will also incorporate some of the concepts in Lighting from my lighting book.  These concepts will help photographers always achieve soft but powerful light that makes people glow. 

When you were in Tallinn the last time, did the city and the people inspire you as a photographer?
Of course! My trip to Tallinn has been a highlight for me amongst all my travels.  I feel in love with the city and the people of Estonia.  Not to mention, Baltic State photographers have a beautiful elegant style that I admire. 

Last time, your workshop was very practical. The students had an opportunity to practice themselves while you were tutoring. Is it going to be the same this time?
Yes, I believe in having students learn techniques and try them right away in front of me so I can coach them through it together.  I want to push their creativity and remove many of their posing and lighting fears. The class will be fun and very practical.

What kind of equipment should the students bring?
An SLR camera, a zoom lens for instance a 70-200mm f/2.8, a standard zoom lens such as a 24-70mm f/2.8, a reflector, a diffuser, and the ability to fire an off camera flash.  If anyone doesn’t have any of these items, it’s ok.  They don’t’ need them, but it’s nice to have them. 

Does it happen that the model is too stiff or reserved for getting a good photo? How to work together with the model?
Many of these shyness issues with our clients can be traced back to the photographer.  Photographers must be leaders during a shoot.  The model or client must feel respect for the photographer.  If the photographer wants a photo with energy and movement, then the photographer must communicate with the model with a high level of energy as well.  Learning how to speak to the person in front of the camera in such a way that creates a beautiful expression is one of the main concepts I will teach in this course. 

See you at the festival!



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