EventsPortraits of the South: Smartphone Photography Class

Portraits of the South: Smartphone Photography Class

November 8 – December 13, 2023 | 1–3:30 p.m.
Location: High Museum of Art

When you think of life in the South, what people, places, and experiences come to mind?

Do you consider yourself a Southerner or a transplant? What signifies the South for you? In this five-part studio class, offered in conjunction with A Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1845, we will explore these questions and more as we create our own portraits depicting life in the South.

Led by High Museum teaching artist Michelle Alba, this class will invite us to consider our relationship to the southern environment we live in and create complex portrait photographs that reflect our lived experiences in the South. Focusing on portraiture and self-portraiture, we will explore the elements of photography and experiment with the many functions of our smartphone cameras. The class will also include outside props, staging, green screens, and more to aid us in rendering complexly crafted images that incorporate a variety of southern signifiers. The class will conclude with a group critique and discussion of our bodies of work, which we will print and mat. Connect with one another and our shared environment as we experiment and refine our photography skills together.

This class is for participants with some familiarity with taking photographs on their smartphones or other digital cameras. Participants must bring their own smartphones, but all other supplies will be provided.

This class will take place at the High Museum of Art on Wednesdays, November 8, 15, and 29, and December 6 and 13. We will not hold class on Wednesday, November 22, to avoid interfering with the Thanksgiving holiday.

About your Instructor

Michelle Alba is a teaching artist at the High Museum of Art, where she works with schoolchildren, families, adults, and older adults. She has taught arts-integrated curriculum involving photography, video, visual arts, music, and theater since 2001, both in Chicago and Atlanta. Through her work she has partnered with diverse organizations, such as Project AIM, CAPE, and Arts at the Center, to create supportive learning environments that facilitate students’ artistic exploration. She holds a BA in art education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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