New Orleans Natural Light Portrait Photography Workshop

Saturday, July 21st 2018 - 10am-6pm - LIMITED NUMBER OF SPOTS


Portrait from Zack Smith Workshops 2016 image by Portraits by Amber. Model: Ava Santana

 Portrait from Zack Smith Workshops 2016 image by Portraits by Amber. Model: David Dunn Jr.

Portrait from Zack Smith Workshops 2016 image by Portraits by Amber. Model: David Dunn Jr.


New Orleans is known for its unforgettable environments and contrasty moody summer light. Take advantage of this visual season of light and learn how to improve your Natural Light Portraiture with Zack Smith Photography Workshops and Crescent Park!

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 using only Natural Light and Reflectors. Enjoy the freedom of shooting without artificial lighting, power cables and stands as we walk through the historic Bywater neighborhood and walk through the Mississippi River views of the breathtaking Crescent Park!

Zack Smith Photography’s Natural Light Portrait Photography Workshop will expose you to a myriad of methods to create dynamic lighting schemes using ONLY natural light and reflectors in the lush environment of 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. In addition, we will discuss the integration of the natural environment into your portrait photography which while combine into one striking environmental portrait.

Before we move 'in the field', RAW Philosophy & Workflow including Adobe's Creative Cloud Software such as Photoshop, Adobe Raw, Lightroom and Bridge will be covered as an added bonus lesson to this workshop.  We will discuss Practical Portrait Lighting via a creative and colorful powerpoint presentation and in conclusion, a live critique of your favorite images from the day. 

 Backlit with setting sun. ©Stephen Barnes


This course will be taught at Crescent Park in New Orleans. Crescent Park is a 1.4 mile curated walking park near the French Quarter and stretches from Elysian Fields to Bartholomew Street in the Bywater.



Saturday, July 21st 2018

Coffee, water, snacks and lunch provided for all participants.

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


This workshop is designed for the ALL LEVELS of Photographers! 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. 


• 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

Lens Rentals (super wides, fish eyes!)  

• Extra batteries

At least 1  

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


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

"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"


"I was so impressed with Zack's innate ability to teach in a style that worked for me. He explained camera functions in analogies that made perfect sense to me. I had several One on One courses with Zack and it has taken my photography to a whole new level! "Carol Bailey, Digital 101 workshop participant
"I was fortunate to have a one on one session with Zack in the early stages of a portrait project I was working on.  His insight and critique was great and much needed to help realize the vision I had in my head.  The points he made were right on track and helped me correct a few key points I needed to work on before it was too late.  It was great to partner with Zack and his professional expertise, I would highly recommend a session." - Eric Nunez
"Zack is both a highly skilled and talented photographer and an excellent teacher. His teaching approach is thoughtful and organized, and his delivery is clear and enthusiastic. I appreciate that he is quick to understand and address my needs as a photography student. Zack is also helpful and encouraging in his comments" Diane Danthony, photographer and recent One on One Photography Training Participant.
"Zack is a great teacher with alot of knowledge and patience to answer anything you might throw at him. I gained knowledge about what it really entails to become a professional photographer. I learned everything from working with clients, setting up a website, even the importance of consistent edits and building your own brand and style" - Brent Asay

Techniques and Tips on how to shoot natural light portraits...from Zack Smith

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the options and lighting granted to me when using strobes for my portrait photography. Being able to fill in shadows and create dynamic highlights make my photography stand out. Living in New Orleans for the last 20 years though has allowed me to really study the natural light down here and it has resulted in creating this Natural Light Portrait Photography class. The light in South Louisiana is FLAWLESS. Something about where we are, our natural environments, and the atmosphereic conditions allow for some of the best natural light photography. When I don't want to carry around 100lbs of strobes, cables, and batteries I can use some simple techniques to help me shoot the best natural light portraits. Go ahead, take this course and photograph like our participants did in the gallery below! Or...just watch this free video!


2016 Natural Light Photography Participant Image Gallery

Click on any image to enlarge. Models: Ava Santana and David Dunn Jr. shot at Crescent Park, New Orleans, LA