Assignment #3 – Six Second Portrait

Sometimes we want to go very fast. Sometimes it is better to slow down.

Your next assignment is to create a portrait of someone in a real setting in dim light. They will sit for you. You will mold the light so that it is perfect for their face and for the mood of the portrait. You will direct them to pose in a way which is classic and simple, and you will direct them to hold that pose so that you can photograph them.

You will put your camera on a tripod and compose the shot. You will set your shutter speed for 6 seconds, and then you will set your aperture and ISO to achieve the proper exposure. Make exactly 12 frames for this assignment. Review each photo after exposure, and make adjustments if needed for success.

 Due: Wednesday 10/10

You will turn in your flash drive containing:

All of the raw photos from your shoot (12 frames)
Your final processed, high-resolution jpeg or print

This assignment is worth 100pts and will be graded based on the following criteria:

25pts. Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept

25pts. Control of focus and blur

25pts. Ability to create a pleasing composition

25pts. Use of light to create clarity and mood

Student work will be discussed in a critique on 10/10, and all students are expected to be there.

Studio Visit Assignment

Studio Visit Assignment
Due Wednesday, October 24th
100pts (10%)

The greatest tool a portrait photographer can have is experience – experience with their tools and techniques, experience with lighting, experience working with people, and experience being alive and being human. The more time a portrait photographer can spend making photographs of people, getting feedback from their clients, analyzing their work and finding inspiration in the work of others, the faster they can master the art of portraiture.

There is no better way to gain a sense of how a portrait photographer does their job than to observe them at work in their studio and learn as much as you can from their years of experience. You will gain an understanding of their preferred tools and techniques, and you will gain an understanding of what they do to draw out the kind of emotion or expression needed from their subject. You may also gain an understanding of what it takes to run a business or succeed financially as a portrait photographer.

Your assignment is to arrange to visit a portrait photographer at work, observe at least some part of their process and learn the answers to a few questions. I’ll supply three and will rely on you to come up with at least two more. Start with these:

What is the most difficult part of your work?

Photographer to photographer, what is the most rewarding moment in your job?

What advice would you give to a young photographer learning your art?

Note the answers and bring what you learned back to the classroom for discussion. We will pool the knowledge we gained, and share our experiences.

You will turn in a one-page paper which tells briefly of your experience while informally revealing the answers to the questions you asked.

You will be graded on your fulfillment of the assignment in both form and function.

Have fun!

Photo 200 Assignment #2 – Available Light

Scott Groller
Fall 2018
Photography 200

Assignment #2 – Available Light Portrait

Due Wednesday, September 19th

It’s time for a portrait shoot.

Choose or find a subject (preferably someone close or familiar) and invite them to have a photo shoot for your portraiture class. Let them know that this will not be in a studio and you are not going to be setting up any special lights, because this portrait will utilize only the lighting available in the space you select as your setting.

Yes, please turn lights on or off if it helps, or wait until the sun is in the right place to create the effect you are after. Or bring a lamp a little closer to their face to create the proper balance with the window light. Close the shade a little or open it up, but don’t create a lighting setup. Use a reflector maybe, but don’t plug in another light.

Do make use of the light you have around you, and be wise about how you position yourself and your subject so that the effect feels right for the shot you have in mind.

For this assignment, make around 72 photos of your subject, and try to create three different setups (change the composition/pose, or lighting).

You will turn in:

All raw images on a USB flash drive
1 well-adjusted jpeg of your chosen photo

You will be graded on the following:

Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept
Use of the camera technique to show the subject clearly
Use of lighting to express mood
Create emotional connection with subject
Proper adjustment of image to emphasize, style and reveal detail

Please be sure to have your name on all parts of your assignment. Work will be critiqued on the day the assignment is due, and all students must attend the critique.

Photo 200 Assignment #1

Photography 200
Scott Groller
Fall 2018

Assignment #1 – Sneaky Portrait
Due: Wednesday, September 5th

Your first portrait assignment is a simple one because it is something you have done already. Make a few portraits of someone.

You will not set up a shoot for this, because you will be working undercover as a photography student who is just making some photos for their class. Make photos of whatever is around you that you like to photograph. Take pictures of your feet, snap a shot of a sunset, whatever. It’s just to make it less obvious that you are really working hard to SEE LIGHT as it shines on the people around you while you go about your day.

And when you see someone around you that is drawing your eye, ask (or maybe don’t ask?) to make a few photos. Pretend you’re shooting film and only make one or two exposures, or pretend that you don’t care too much about it and you’re just making a few frames. Any more than six frames of one person and it’s too much. That’s a photo shoot.

DO pay attention to everything that you know to be important in making your portrait. Do your best with what you see around you. Set your exposure and composition and focus, but then pay attention to the human, emotional side of your portrait and take action to either choose the right time to grab it, or engage the subject to evoke a response or expression.

You will turn in:

Your flash drive with 36-72 photos on it, straight out of camera
One selected jpeg, adjusted as well as you are able at the moment

You will be graded on the following:

Did you fulfill the assignment in form and concept? 20 points
Did you achieve the correct exposure for your subject? 20 points
Did you make use of light in an appropriate way? 20 points
Did you use proper technique to achieve clarity? 20 points
Does your portrait evoke interest or emotion in your viewer? 20 points

Good Luck! Have fun!

Portraiture – Homework due 8/29

Hello Class and Welcome!!!

Your first little homework assignment is to spend some time looking at magazines to get inspiration and to build and understanding of current trends in portraiture and photography in general. Prove you did this by making a photo of yourself in the magazine aisle of a bookstore, library or newsstand. Email the photo to Scott using the address listed on the syllabus.

If you would like to be notified or contacted by text in the future, also include a phone number where you can be reached.

Whether in the magazines or not, please also send me the name of a photographer whose work you respect and would like to emulate in some way. Tell me why you enjoy their work.

Lastly, please include your whole name somewhere in the email. Many email addresses are difficult to match to a name on my roster.

This is going to be a terrific class, and I can’t wait to see what everyone makes this semester.




It’s so new and fresh and clean.


Welcome. There is a syllabus to the left, and links to explore. Go

Assignment #5 – Major Event

Photography 210
Scott Groller
Spring 2018

Assignment #5 – Major Event
(pushed back 2 weeks to be) Due Wednesday, May 23rd
That should be a fun night of presentations!

This is it. This is why we are here.

Identify an event which is exciting and joyful which you have permission to shoot, and make photographs which celebrate the energy, the players and the details of the experience. If this event is a wedding, you will make photographs which document the moments and textures of the day while making portraits of the major and minor players involved. If your event is not a wedding, shoot it as though it is by finding an important main subject or two and their support crew. Make photos of their experience and the moments which occur in their presence and wake. You MUST make at least one intentional formal portrait as part of this shoot.

Create a set of 12-20 images which are different enough that you can build a presentation of your work which both creates an emotional connection and also gives the viewer a sense of the visuals of the event. Process this set of images to achieve a clear and consistent visual style throughout the collection, and adjust individual images as necessary to bring them to a finished state. Make these photos great individually, make them work together, and make sure they hold up to comparison against work by other photographers within your market.

You will turn in:

A copy of your correspondence with your client. This can be theoretical.
A representation of your full shoot. Selects are good. Web galleries are great.
A finished set of 20 polished images, adjusted and retouched.
An invoice for the job. Again, this may be theoretical. pdf or similar is fine.

Your grade will be based on the following:

Capturing moments of importance and energy – 20 pts
Appropriate use of sharpness and focus – 20 pts
Ability to create pleasing, commercially useful compositions – 20 pts
Use of light to create clarity and mood – 20 pts
Proper image processing to enhance color, clarity and style – 20 pts

Client correspondence due 4/18 by email
Selects from shoot due in class by 5/4 for discussion

Please be sure to have your name on all parts of your assignment. Work will be reviewed in groups and feedback will come in the form of open discussion.

Case Study Assignment

Photography 210
Scott Groller
Spring 2018

Case Study
Due: Wednesday, April 25th

The purpose of this assignment is to force you to seek answers to questions from somebody you respect, and to establish a connection with a potential colleague. Identify a person working in the wedding industry who you feel can offer valuable insight into and perspective of wedding photography. Interview this person and collect their answers and your thoughts into a 2-page paper which will be shared with the class.

In order to provide a basic platform from which to build your questions, I would recommend that you consider the following:
Simple basic questions are useful in establishing who and what and where type answers.

People love to talk about themselves, people love to tell stories, people love to feel smart, and people love to talk smack. Ask questions which allow for all of this.

The business is always changing. Ask about change and how they see this affecting their business. What is coming?

Some people are willing to talk about their success.

People enjoy feeling like they are able to help. Asking for tips or advice may allow for this kind of answer.

Come up with some ideas of your own. Ask your own questions.

Your grade will be based on the following:

Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept – 33.3 pts.

Gaining a solid sense of the subject’s perspective on
the business of wedding photography – 33.3 pts.

Proper formatting and presentation – 33.3 pts.

Assignment #4 – Still Life

Photography 210
Scott Groller
Spring 2018

Still Life
Due: Wednesday, April 25th

This assignment may at first seem a little outside the realm of wedding photography, but there are many slow moments in-between the hustle and bustle. That is the perfect time to consider the value of finding or setting up a little still life. You’ll find yourself surrounded by scenes and objects which have been chosen with great care by someone who would be thrilled to see them represented in the photographs.

These photos may not draw the biggest print orders, but they are quite useful in other ways including use as backgrounds for album designs and slide show titles. They are also very useful in making a positive impression on the florist, bakery or wedding coordinator, who may ask for some pics. Sometimes forming strong relationships with partners is good for business.

Your assignment is to create a still life. This can be wedding related, but may also be something entirely different. Compose and light carefully, and use a tripod for maximum control and repeatability.

You will turn in:

One single perfect jpeg
Your Raw images
Your grade will be based on the following:

Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept – 20 pts.
A moving and balanced composition – 20 pts.
Strong clarity with little noise and deliberate focus – 20 pts.
Use of light to create emphasis and mood – 20 pts.
Sophistication of style and processing – 20 pts.