• Subscribe + Follow
    Sign up to receive breaking news as well as receive other site updates.
    Follow us on



Lisbon, May 13-19 2017
Oh salted sea, how much of your salt are Portuguese tears?
Ó mar salgado quanto do teu sal são lágrimas de Portugal
Fernando Pessoa
Lisbon is a multi-faceted place.
You can enjoy the historical part of town, go for long walks and stop at the miradoures for breath-taking views of the city and the river that soon will meet the ocean, take a ride on the yellow trams that are the symbolic icon of the city, and stop for lunch in one of the many small restaurants and eat fresh fish.
This was the scenario offered to tourists visiting Lisbon up to a few years ago.
Recently there has been a soft style revolution, and many areas that were abandoned are having a second life! The rhythm of the city is still very relaxed, but there is a new vibe, you can feel it beneath the surface.
You will still find the old-fashioned restaurants with waiters in white shirt and black tie, and close nearby the new music bars – not copies of places you could find around Europe – but with a true Portuguese elegance and stigma.
Fado mixes with jazz and hip music from Angola and Cabo Verde: it is a continuous trip back and forth between past/present/future
This workshop is about creating and expanding your personal style, while discovering the hidden corners of one of Europe most fascinating cities.
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 field. More experienced photographers will find a creative way to revamp their portfolio, and give more strength to their work in order to get more creative assignments.
Erica will take you around Lisbon with different eyes, not those of a tourist but those of an experienced photographer looking for new locations for daily shooting.
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. Born in Canada and working all over the world, she is now living in Portugal.
Johanna came to NYC at the age of 14 to model professionally and has been photographed by 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.
In addition to Johanna, we will also have local models to join us during the week.
Erica will be showing you the work of 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.
Gathering technical skills that are simple and don’t get in the way of making the work you want to make.
Shooting stills and motion. How to do both on the same shoot.
We will shoot at locations around Lisbon. Know what details to look for and think about when setting up a shoot because everything adds up to create the atmosphere of your story.
The importance of thinking about story, 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.
And after shooting, selecting strong images and editing for impact.
Animated GIFS and Motion editing choices / questions. If this is what you are interested in, please have a working knowledge of your editing program.
“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@ericashires.com


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.