On January 11, 2020, Iris McKenney, an experienced artist’s model, posed for the first time for photographers. This was my first time working with a live model and students. Iris made it a delightful experience, putting the students (and me) at ease, striking one pose after another, not rapid-fire but measured, like she was in a slow-motion slide show dance. Students were encouraged to bring hats, scarves, jackets, and other garments. There were frequent wardrobe changes!
This was a five-hour workshop at the Delaware Art Museum in conjunction with its exhibit, “Posing Beauty in African-American Culture”, curated by Deborah Willis. The exhibit explored the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and contemporary contexts through a diverse range of media, especially photography.
The students in my regular Introduction to Photography course at the museum also shoot portraits, and some of those can be found here. I emphasize arrangement of hands, use of shadows, and lively expressions, usually by me.
Click any thumbnail below to enter the slide show. To return here, hit the ESC key on your keyboard or the “x” in the upper right of the slide show.
Learn more about photography lessons from Danny Schweers.