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The Creative Portrait with Rania Matar (Online Learning – Five Sessions)

  • Tuesday
    January 16, 2024
    9:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Tuesday
    January 23, 2024
    9:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Tuesday
    January 30, 2024
    9:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Tuesday
    February 6, 2024
    9:00 am - 11:30 am
  • Tuesday
    February 13, 2024
    9:00 am - 11:30 am

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© Photo by Rania Matar


Online Learning

“The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

In this workshop, we discuss all the elements of what makes a good portrait and delve into the process of working with people. We learn through attention to detail, postures and expressions, approaching potential subjects, establishing trust and developing a relationship, working through the process and all of the details of creating a great portrait. We also discuss well-known artists, framing, environment, light, location, background, body language, expressions, the significance of the gaze, as well as the relationship of the photographer to the model throughout the entire process.

We will explore different aspects of portraiture: close-up portrait, environmental portrait, documentary portrait, collaborative portrait, self-portrait, group portrait, conceptual portrait, and more.

Through assignments, students will be encouraged to explore different aspects of portraiture, to truly and intimately see their subject, and find their own voice in making a beautiful, powerful, and intimate portrait.


Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. As a Lebanese-born American artist and mother, her cross-cultural experience and personal narrative inform her photography.

Matar’s work has been widely exhibited in museums worldwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Carnegie Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, and more. It is part of the permanent collections of several museums, institutions, and private collections. A mid-career retrospective of her work was recently on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and at the American University of Beirut Museum.

Matar received a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2017 Mellon Foundation artist-in-residency grant, 2011 Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography, 2011 and 2007 Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowships. In 2008 she was a finalist for the Foster Award at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, with an accompanying solo exhibition.

She has published three books: L’Enfant-Femme, 2016; A Girl and Her Room, 2012; Ordinary Lives, 2009. She is currently working on her fourth book, SHE (2021), published by Radius Books.


  • Five Sessions
  • Date: Tuesdays, January 16 – February 13, 9:00 am – 11:30 am PST
  • Enrollment limit: 10 students
  • Skill/Experience Level: Open to all levels. Students must be able to operate their camera
  • Tuition: $715  (Become a Member today and received up to 20% off!)
  • Location: Online

A details email complete with the Zoom link will be sent to the attendees prior to the start date. If you have additional questions please email

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