Dance and Performance Photography Workshop in New Orleans

SPRING 2018 DATE COMING! Be on the Mailing List to know first!

We had such an amazing Dance and Performance Photography FEAST on Sunday. Photographing the Melange Dance Company in an intimate environment allowed the dancers to perform with grace and skill while the photographers could instruct and collaborate.

Photographs © Tomas Orihuela, Darrell Miller, Cliff Roles, and Shelly R. Sessions

Dance and Performance Photography Workshop

We are all moved by the art and grace of a creative dance routine or moving performance but we struggle with photographic it in an equally creative way. Ever been there before?

Zack Smith's 15 years photographing dancers, musicians, and performers will give participants an inside view on how he creates stunning photographs for clients such as for the Contemporary Arts Center, National Endowment for the Arts, Melange Dance Company, Mudhoney Dance Company, and Mondo Bizarro.

Zack will expose you to a myriad of methods to create dynamic lighting schemes using reflectors, speed lights, and studio strobes in the amazing dance studio of NOLA Spaces, housed in a beautifully renovated firehouse in Uptown New Orleans. We have the honor of working with New Orleans' own Melange Dance Company, who will bring their experience and talent to the workshop!

We will also learn bout posing, creating mood, and how to freeze motion. 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.



This workshop is designed for the beginner as well as serious photographer wanting to improve their knowledge of performance photography, low light portraits, and movement photography using creative shutter speeds.

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 for low light. 

• Tripod
A solid tripod for portrait photography with a sturdy “quickplate” is recommended, not required
• Extra batteries
• Extra memory cards



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

2016 Past Portrait Workshop 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"