8 Week Portrait Class - Winters

This is part 7 in an 8 part series about my discoveries, inspiration and creations with Don Giannatti’s 8 Week Portrait Class.

Well known celebrity photographer, Dan Winters, is this weeks portraiture inspiration. Whether he is shooting editorial for The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly or Rolling Stone; or ad campaigns for the likes of Nike and Microsoft, Winters has created a signature style. The muted tones and interesting lighting setups using black flags combined with the expressions that his subjects display, is quite mesmerising.

Technical intuition is vital for Winters. Learning about light and the physical laws of light so he knows what he can do and predict what is going to happen is key. This allows him to concentrate on important elements of the photograph mainly being the relationship between the subject and photographer and his “appropriate response to the assignment”.

In many of Winters’ portraits, the subject is not looking directly at the camera. He says this tends to make the viewer more comfortable, allowing you to look and study the photograph without being voyeuristic. He also likes to create a setting for the subject that is intimate and calm.

Looking though Winters’ body of work, I was inspired by many of his photographs in simple settings and sometimes using props like a scruffy old chair. This was the inspiration for the first image. Simple lighting, a beautiful subject called Cassie, and a scruffy old chair. I was also inspired to recreate a film technique called cross processing in the digital darkroom which I used more in the second image of Daisy, the very talented dancer who modelled for me last week. There is so much depth to Winters portraits, something I am interested in continuing to study and work with. Huge thanks again to Daisy and this week’s model Cassie, who did a fantastic job. More images will be on the way from this shoot in the future.