Plated food, portraits, and landscape photography workshop shot on location at a farm, orchard and winery
about this workshop
Based in our hometown of Hood River, OR, this workshop will be focused on the Columbia River Gorge's abundant local food scene. Field trips will include the farm and home studio of acclaimed cookbook author, Andrea Bemis, a documentary style workshop at a stunning fruit orchard and an assignment shoot at a local winery and tasting room. In between, there'll be opportunities to hike, explore landscape photography, offer portfolio reviews and talk shop about the business of assignment work, blogs, and storytelling.
We emphasize natural lighting and simple techniques to produce beautiful food stills, environmental portraits and landscapes. Each day we'll visit a new location in the Columbia River Gorge for practical, hands-on shooting indoors and outdoors. Our goal is to not only improve your photography, but to simplify the process. We intend for each photographer to gain a solid understanding of the subtle tricks that yield striking images in a range of available-light settings. We anticipate that each photographer will leave with a gallery of diverse images, edited and filed for quick access and long-term organization.
Experts and Real Farmers: We know some of the coolest, friendliest farmers, orchardists and vintners in the Columbia River Gorge and we'll be visiting their farms for photo sessions and hands-on learning. We'll spend an afternoon with cookbook author and farmer Andrea Bemis who has transformed a corner of her small farmhouse into a DIY food photography studio. She'll talk about making food stills simple and how she grew a small recipe blog into a 50k following and a book deal from Harper Collins (Dishing Up the Dirt).
We'll also spend an afternoon at a family-run orchard working on environmental portraits, landscapes and natural lighting for outdoor subjects. The third field session will be at a local winery and tasting room to work on magazine-style assignment photography.
Indoor workshop sessions will teach efficient workflow for managing file naming, storage and color correction (Lightroom/Photoshop). The days will be long but fun. We aim to pack each day with shooting, instruction, and review, plus a little time to chill and enjoy Hood River's world-class scenery, breweries and wineries.
What To Expect
A typical workshop day
Dawn: Optional early light field trip. Pre-dawn wake-up. Drive to a nearby trail or scenic area for short warm-up walk and landscape photography.
Coffee Talk. Grab breakfast at a local cafe then head to the Modoc studio for coffee and a 1-2 hour session on downloading, naming and organizing images on a hard drive. After the first day, this time will be used for Lightroom editing instruction.
Lunch: Discussion. We'll present images and stories illustrating tricks of the trade, from pros and cons of various focal lengths to the etiquette of approaching strangers.
Afternoon + Evening: Shooting On Location. We'll field trip to a farm, orchard or vineyard for shooting and hands-on instruction in DIY home studio food stills, environmental portraiture, magazine-style assignment photography and landscape imagery.
Nighttime: TBD: Editing workshop, optional individual review session and/or relax. We'll leave this up to group energy, but one instructor will always be available after dinner at a local pub for one-on-one image review.
TBD, Spring 2019
Hood River, Oregon
* Price does not include lodging or meals. Participants are encouraged to book in advance at a Hood River hotel or Airbnb/vacation rental. A few discounted rooms are available at workshop leader Michael Hanson's Airbnb.
- Level I: Basic understanding of camera settings when shooting in auto mode.
- Level II: Basic understanding of camera settings when shooting in maual mode.
- Level III: Full understanding of camera settings. Possilbe interest in stepping up to professional level and shooting for hire. 10 portfolio images requested with application.
What You'll Learn
Food stills in a simple at-home studio
Understanding and utilizing natural light
Workflow / File organization
Documentary style color correction (Lightroom)
What We Don't Cover
Tedious debates over best brands (and most other techy talk)
The Ansel Adams Zone System (Bless his heart, but we aren't mathematicians!)
Super-long zoom photography
HDR and other melodramatic forms of post-production
DSLR camera, >32 GB memory cards, 2 batteries, external hard drive, laptop
Basic understanding of camera operation
Enthusiasm and adequate attire to work outdoors in farm settings
"Know your food, know your farmer and know your kitchen."
- Joel salatin
A photographer represented by National Geographic Creative and frequent contributor to The New York Times, Sunset and Outside Magazine. Michael received awards from POYi and Communication Arts in 2017. His fine art work is in the permanent archive at the Sir Elton John Collection. Named PDN30 in 2013, Michael has 10 years experience shooting for some of the world's best magazines and he leads international photography workshops as a National Geographic Expert. Michael and his fiancee Dani live in Hood River, OR.
A photographer, writer, and former features editor for Cottage Living Magazine, he has shot, written and produced assignments for travel and lifestyle magazines such as Sunset, Garden & Gun, Coastal Living, and Mountain. He previously taught photography workshops through National Geographic Student Expeditions. David and his wife Christine and their daughter Ada live in Hood River, OR.
"I've been working with David and Michael for years. I've sent Michael on numerous feature assignments, including to remote Patagonia, Alaska, and British Columbia. Whether it's David's portraits at 14K feet on Denali or Michael's images of a blind vodka distiller, the Hanson brothers always deliver."
- Amy Silverman, Photo Editor, Wired Magazine (formerly of Outside Magazine)
"The Hanson brothers have led programs for us in Costa Rica, Spain, Peru, and California. David and Michael have the rare ability to push participants beyond their comfort zone in a way that's both supportive and fun. It's clear they love exploring, story telling, and sharing that curiosity with others."
-Jeffery Shumlin, Director, Putney Student Travel
ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT MICHAEL HANSON + DAVID HANSON