Summer Workshop 2019 • July 28 – August 3

In Summer 2018 we launched a new workshop, with Ira Rokka.

It was not the traditional body/portrait/nude workshop: this one was more concentrated on how to work with models, how to interact with them, and create together the right atmosphere for a perfect photo shoot – be it for portraiture, personal research, fashion or advertising.

From breathing techniques to voice intonation, working at a high level of concentration, the workshop had a very strong physical impact, on students and models.

Everybody came back with a new approach to photographing people, and also with a the capability to work with others as a creative team.

It has been such a out-of-the-ordinary (box?) workshop, that not only we want to offer it again, but with an addition: following Ira Rokka advice, we invited also Nicolas Guérin as a workshop teacher. Ira and Nicolas have taught workshops together before, and students will benefit from two different teachers, coming from different cultural backgrounds (Ira is fro Moscow, Nicolas from Paris), styles and visions.

Participants will choose one of the two workshops, but during the week there will be a creative exchange between the two classes, Ira and Nicolas will be lecturing together, some of the critiques will be in common, models will be shared between classes.

For students interesting in portraiture, body, personal research and art-photography, it will be a unique moment of confrontation and growth.

“In my view, the individual style of any photographer can be determined by his approach to his subject, to visual language and to working with a model.

This workshop covers the entire spectrum of methods for directing a model on the shooting stage: from good quality natural posing to complicated project format, including the creation of specific characters for your story and the discipline of working to a strict brief.

Models are an essential part of every photographer’s work. Through interaction with the model, a photographer can express a personal vision of the human body.

In this workshop, you will learn to turn a photographic shoot into a live performance, a creative collaboration between photographer and model. You will explore ways to elicit real emotions from a model and how to convey character by working precisely on all the necessary aspects of psychology and body language.”

During the week, through regular critiques, demos, group and individual shoots, you will have the chance to learn the best way to create unique portraits and body photographs.

We will thoroughly examine many subjects, including:

Emotional and bodily freedom– Basic principles of posing
– Actor relaxation & breathing techniques
– Working with hands- classical techniques
– The most popular modelling poses– Models with no experience- how to teach model posing during the shooting
– Basic director skills – working with the voice , synchronizing with a model
– Classical and modern approach
– “What’s wrong with my face?” – three psychological blocks that models experience, and how they play out on the shooting stage
– Brief relaxation techniques, ‘if you’ve only got five minutes’



– How to read body language
– Manipulation of body language
– Distinctive qualities of a pose
– Gender peculiarities of posing styles
– Female/Male/Androginous
– natural vs unnatural posing?
– STATIC shooting and Semi –DYNAMIC shooting


– Setting a character and working with a brief – shooting preparation.

– Setting an acting goal for the model. Model briefing

– Expression and real emotions – actor and director tricks

– Meditative way of shooting-“deep dive” technique

– Author tricks

– Nuances of the nude genre

Method of working:

Almost all models who participate in projects have no modelling experience.

Story and characters are set in advance , but  we will also use improvisation  during the shooting stage.


Our venue will be Villa Lina, a Landmark Relais, with 3 mansions each, all immersed in 80 acres of organic estate in the heart of Etruscan Tuscia with its extraordinary Archaeological and Nature sites, Roman therms & hot sulfur springs close by .

A place of magical energy it is also one of the “Great Italian Gardens,” its eighteenth century botanical garden has many ancient rare species, in the midst of beautiful fountains.

There is an Olympic pool from 1929 .

Managed by writer and film maker Paola Igliori (see Wikipedia), it has inspired generations of artists from Jean Michel Basquiat in the 80′.. to this decade Nick Cave & Bella Freud.

Food is cooked by  the in-house cook, specialized in local dishes.

All together, the perfect venue for our retreat, and if you feel the need of some true town life, Ronciglione is only 5 minutes walk away, … shops, cafes, groceries, banks, pharmacy…Gelato!!!!
Rooms at Villa Lina are one different from the other, finishing is very original, goes from some antique pieces, to Asian furniture, to designer pieces…
Daily cleaning will be provided.
Meals include breakfast, buffet lunch and dinner (including wine)  and tea, coffe, mineral water available all day.


Due to the fact that the rooms are not all the same size, there will be different costs, including 3 meals  and coffe breaks
–       large room with private bathroom            €  120  (single accommodation)
–       two rooms have a shared  bathroom       €   90 (single accommodation)
–      smaller room                                                 €  110 (single accommodation)

Rooms will be assigned according to your preferences: the sooner you register, the easiest to choose your favorite accommodation.


Ira Rokka – a fine art photographer, video director, teacher – was born in Moscow, graduated from the Music and Theatre College of Galina Vishnevskaya and the Moscow Government Institute of Culture and Art.
Ira’s education and professional experience became the foundation for an original system called “Director’s methods of working with a model» , based on basic director and actor skills.

Ira currently lives and works in Moscow, and Paris.

Works have been published and exhibited in Japan, USA, Italy , Switzerland, Germany, France , Russia.
Collaboration : Vogue Brasil, GQ Spain, Bvlgari, Dyson, Tod’s, Vogue Arabia, FRANCE 2 tv Chanel  and others .

She is represented by Gallery z22 , Germany and Marco Antonio Patrizio, Italy.


2017- Tokyo International Photography Award ( Tokyo, Japan) – 3 place ( people category), Сolor Awards ( Los- Angeles, USA ) honorable mention

2016 – International Photography Awards ( Los-Angeles, USA) – Honorable mention 3 categories

2015 – Monochrome photography awards –honorable mention (professional, nude category)

2014- International Photography Awards ( Los-Angeles, USA) – 1 st place (professional , special category)
2013- International Photography Awards ( Los-Angeles, USA) – 1 st place (professional , special category)


WHERE  Villa Lina, Viterbo, Italy SUMMER WORKSHOPS