Staged Photography

Workshop proposal by Tammo Rist


Photography is a medium not only to document reality but also to stage a reality that does not exist as seen on the picture. The picture may lie without revealing it but may also flirt with its obviousness. This staged "reality" may be exaturated, torn or twisted, more quiet or loud, artificial or supernatural. The idea behind a staged picture is, by inventing a certain scene, to find a less determined interpretation of the picture. By being extracted from reality, it speaks a more open language that any other form of photography. The place and/or person becomes an applicable role-model for the observer.

practice (5 days, 15 students max.)

day 1

  1. The very first part of the workshop will be a general theoretical introduction to the subject. Representative examples will be shown to make the students familiar with this field of art. (2h)
  2. Next, the students will gather in small groups of 3-4 people. In the group, they will work till the end of the workshop. The students will agree on a project and write a small thesis about it. Furthermore, each student within the group will take the responsible for a certain part of the project. One will find the location, one will find the props, one will take responsibility for the costumes, the models and so on... (2h)
  3. The last two hours of the first day are dedicaded to group tutorials. Each group will present their project and how they are planning to realize it to the other groups. I will focus and challange on technical as well as conceptual questions. (2h)

day 2-4

4. Now the practical part begins. According to the ideas of the students, the main part focuses on solving individual subject related problems like how to build a setting, the use of light to create a certain atmosphere, the techniques of the camera like shutter-speed and depth of field, props and the direction of the models, costumes and make-up, facial-and body expression. In the course of this part we will find solutions how to connect all these elements to create a coherent image. Due to the limited time, we will work with digital technique. (18-21h)

day 5

5. The last day is dedicated for the presentation of the achieved results. The pictures will be printed and installed to show it in public. (6-7h)

the goal

The goal of this workshop is to introduce the students to the possibilities of staged photography by facing and solving immediate problems arising through this constellation. Furthermore, I want to emphasis on the experience of a professional team work with shared responsibilities within a joint production.