Summer Workshop 2018 • July 29 – August 4

This workshop is about creating and expanding your own personal style.
Young photographers with a strong personal vision will learn how to define their own style, and how to keep and apply that vision while working in the commercial field.
Commercial photographers will find here a creative way to revamp their portfolio, and give more strength to their work in order to get more focused assignments.
Erica will start from her personal experience of working with models. For this purpose, Johanna Stickland will be an essential part of the workshop. She is a model that will be assisting Erica during the week.
Johanna came to NYC at the age of 14 to model professionally and has worked with some of the biggest fashion photographers in the industry. She will have valuable insight from a working model’s perspective. Also, each person will have the opportunity to photograph her.
Johanna and Erica have collaborated together on many projects and you will be able to see the way that they work together. They will show you images and videos from fashion campaigns as well as their personal work.
Erica will also be showing you artists, filmmakers and photographers who have influenced her, the visuals she looks at to get inspired for shoots and some of her commercial and personal projects from start to finish.
We will explore in class:

Establishing a relationship with the model / person you are photographing.
Shooting nudity but being thoughtful about it. Does it make sense? Go beyond the literal.
Discovering what you need to create your vision.
Gathering technical skills that are simple and don’t get in the way of making the work you want to make.
The importance of thinking about the story you want to tell, no matter how abstract. Ways to create visuals with non-linear narrative structures. Think Twin Peaks, the mysterious atmosphere and David Lynch’s visual choices.
We will be going over details to look for and think about when setting up a shoot. All these elements create an atmosphere that communicates your style.
-Locations. We will be shooting both inside and out.
-Fashion / styling choices
-Storyboarding / mood sheets
-Ways to find a model
-Shooting stills and motion. How to do both on the same shoot.
And after shooting:
-Selecting the strong image for the story, editing for impact.
-Animated gifs
-Motion editing choices / questions. If this is what you are interested in, you must have a working knowledge of your editing program and have that with you.
“This will be an intimate setting where any questions will be answered, with plenty of one on one time with the instructor. You will also have some private time to work with a model on your own.
Please bring to class the digital camera that you use, a laptop with the appropriate card reader, an external hard drive, and any editing program that you intend to use for class. Be comfortable with your equipment and workflow. If your camera doesn’t have video capabilities, bring some kind of camera with motion capture, even if it is just your phone. I use a Canon 5D Mark III for stills and motion and I edit with Premiere Pro.”

Feel free to contact me with any questions.


Erica Shires is a New York based photographer and filmmaker. She was selected as one of PDN’s Top 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2006. She has exhibited in New York, London, France and Belgium, as well as in many festivals worldwide. Commercially, she has photographed for major advertising agencies and clients such as Kodak, Nike, Nivea and New York Magazine and has filmed motion content for fashion designers, modeling agencies and musicians. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.