Art of the Photographic Portrait - Dynamic Lighting for Portrait Photography

New Orleans Airlift's Music box Village performance Space

Saturday, August 19th, 2017


In the fast paced world of editorial and fashion photography, the working photographer needs to be skilled and ready at any instant to capture the "decisive moment" both in the studio and in the field.

Zack Smith's 15 years shooting portraits in the Fine Art and Commercial realm will give participants an inside view on how he creates stunning portraits for clients such as NIKE, Galactic, Harry Connick Jr., Lil' Wayne, and countless local and international musicians.  

Zack Smith Photography’s "Art of the Photographic Portrait" will expose you to a myriad of methods to create dynamic lighting schemes using natural light, reflectors, speed lights, and studio strobes both in the studio and out in the lush artistic environment of The New Orleans Airlift's Music Box Village performance space in New Orleans, Louisiana.

You will learn hands-on how to apply these lighting schemes with professional models and lighting assistants as you work directly with the gear used to make your best portraits yet. Reflectors, Strobes, Softboxes, Octoboxes, Grids, Gels, C-stands, Color Checkers, and more! In addition, we will discuss the integration of the natural environment into your portrait photography which combines both artificial and available light into one striking environmental portrait.



The Music Box Village will be your home for the day and evening and is located in the creative heart of the Bywater. Inside this newly constructed musical art gallery, we will create our most vivid and exciting compositions. Each installation was built by renowned local and international artists and is a living, breathing, expression of true artistry. There is plenty of on site parking and access to rest rooms and wi-fi.





Saturday, August 19th


Coffee, Snacks and Lunch is provided for all participants.

Breaks will be taken in the main lecture room.

An extensive photo book library will be on hand for all participants!


This workshop is designed for the emerging professional as well as serious photographer wanting to improve their knowledge of mixed light portraits and the gear used. We will work on “How to Scout Locations”,“Popular Poses”, and “Setting Your Settings Up for Success”. Attendees are to know how to use their camera, as well as understand basic camera operation including setting f/stops and shutter speeds, and how to download images to your computer. The workshop will provide all models, lighting gear, reflectors, and light modifiers for each grouping. We will also have a knowledgeable support staff that will help you with any photography related questions you have.

Model: Jodi Ferniz - one 4'x4' diffuser used, one silver reflector..power of the sun!


• Digital SLR Camera 

If you have two bodies, bring both & instruction manual.

• Lenses***

Wide (14-24mm) and normal focal lengths 24mm, 35mm to Portrait Lenses: 85mm-200mm & a large aperture of 2.8 or 1.4 are always great! 

• Tripod
A solid tripod for portrait photography with a sturdy “quickplate” is recommended
• Shutter release cable 

With Intervalometer (Highly Recommended! – Google it!)

• Extra batteries

At least 1  

• Extra memory cards
•Speedlight/Strobe Questions
All questions answered as they arise

***See below for Great Lense Rentals (super wides, fish eyes!)  


ALL cancellations must be done within 5 days to receive a full refund. After this time you will receive 50% until 2 days before, and then 25%. Please contact Zack Smith directly for all cancellations. 



Snacks, Coffee, Water, Lunch, Power Point Presentation Materials and Use of all Photographic Gear (lenses, lighting, grip) as well as Model Fees and Assistant Fees


We are working with partnerships with local hotels and B&B's for discount rates, email me directly for information!

2016 Participants Photo gallery



  • "Zack is clear, thorough, encouraging, and a well planned presenter"


  • " The workshop was actually not what I expected!  For only 5 hours, I expected just a quick run down of the gear you use and then a walk around the FQ with maybe 1-2 spots for a model.  You really jam packed that class with TONS of great info.  It could have been a full day or 2.  You went into great depth on the gear and flow of a shoot rather than photo basics, which is great for many photogs who know how to shoot but need to get pushed out the norm that they shoot" - Eric J Nunez, Photographer, New Orleans.



  • "Zack was informative, organized, energetic, and the information was useful and pertinent"

  • "I learned alot and i look forward to getting out to the French Quarter Fest this week"

  • "Zack creates such a casual atmosphere which promotes an easy learning environment. I want to take this class again as with each of his classes..."

  • "You have a great wealth of knowledge and a desire to teach it." - workshop participant at Zack's "Studio on the Geaux"