Portraiture for Working Photographers


The HANDS-ON Education You Never Received

Three Full Days in Los Angeles - January 15-17 (Tues-Thurs)

One Optional Half Day in Los Angeles - January 14 (Monday AFTERNOON)

THREE Online Meetings (Tuesdays at 9pm EST, 6pm PST)

LImited to Just 12 Participants

Only $3995

This workshop is designed to give working portrait photographers the comprehensive skill set to improve their photography by gaining mastery over the essentials of portrait photography, including lighting, posing, and camera.

This workshop will be an intensive experience focused on the intent, control and attention to detail necessary to bring your photography to the next level, making sales easier and more lucrative, and creating a sense of well earned confidence.

This is true hands-on learning where you light and design your own images, and learn by truly doing.  This is not a class where the instructor sets up your shot, and you pick up your camera and everybody pretends the image is yours and that you can actually go home and re-create the image.  This is also not a class where I will teach you to shoot like me, in fact by taking the workshop you are agreeing not to copy my style.  

These are long days, and they aren’t for every photographer.  This workshop is being taught in the style of the 1980’s, when pushing you to do great work and sharpening your skills took priority over making you feel good and stroking your ego.  When I used to teach, nearly a decade ago, more than one comparison was made to Gordon Ramsey, and while I’ve mellowed out just a little bit, the comparison still holds a fair amount of truth.  Prepare to leave your phone in the off position and don’t expect a “safe space”.  You will be challenged and may not always feel good about your photography, but you will, more importantly, leave a much stronger, more confident, and more profitable photographer.

Lunch is included for all three full days, as well as models and miscellaneous costs. We can suggest a nearby hotel with reasonable rates.

Disclaimer:  Participants may see such a dramatic improvement in their work over the weeks following the course that they will be inclined to create new samples, update their website, and print new collateral.  We can not be responsible for these costs.

Planned Schedule
(subject to change):

The Basics - Join us the afternoon prior to the workshop
An optional four hour lesson on Monday at 4pm, prior to the class, focusing on camera fundamentals, including aperture, shutter, lens, ISO, and color settings.
If you can't answer these questions, you need this introduction:
In continuous light, f/2.8 at 1/60 lets in the same amount of light as f/4 at 1/__.
If you change your ISO from 100 to 400, how many fewer stops of light do you need?
If you raise your camera color temperature setting from 5000 to 5500, will your image become cooler or warmer, and by a lot or a little?

Day One Highlights 
• Photographing with Intent - The Cornerstone of Your Photographic Vision
• The Basic Elements of Lightning - Size, Direction, and Distance
• Classical Lighting Patterns for the Human Face
• How to Decide What Side of the Face to Light From
• Where are You Now? - The Classic Photography School Critique of Your Current Work

Day Two Highlights
• Review of Yesterday’s Assignment
• Lighting Groups
• Working With and Taking Control of Your Subjects
• Posing Individuals and Groups
• Working with Children

Day Three Highlights
• Review of Yesterday’s Assignment
• Defining a Personal Style for a Upscale Studio
• What Makes for a Great Background
• Choosing the Right Props and Furniture for Your Studio
• Review of Today's Assignment

Three Tuesday Evening Online Meetings
February 12, March 12 and April 9, at 9pm EST / 6pm PST
• Each meeting I will review your current work and provide critique

MONEY BACK GUARANTEE:  If after fully participating in all seven meetings, and completing the assignments, you don’t believe that you have been given the tools to substantially improve your photography, you can request a full tuition refund during the month of June, 2019.

About the instructor

A professional photographer for over two and a half decades, Mark's diverse clientele includes national magazines, advertising agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. Halper Fine Art, his highly successful fine art family portrait photography studio, is now celebrating it’s tenth anniversary.

He is also well known for his fine art coffee table books and exhibitions and he has personally been profiled in multiple articles.

Over the course of his career, Mark Robert Halper has been privileged to photography many of the most recognized and respected professionals in the world, including Sherry Lansing (former CEO of Paramont Pictures), Frank Gehry (architect), Bill Gates (businessman and humanitarian), Sumner Redstone (owner of Viacom and CBS), Gene Simmons (rock star), Laurence O’Donnell (political analyst), Randy Jackson (record producer), Tom Whalley (former CEO of Warner Brothers Records), William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist and The French Connection), Doug O’Neill (winning horse trainer Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes), Ben Stein (actor and commentator), Maurice Greene(the fastest man in the world), Erin Brockovitch (environmental activist), John Daly (PGA winner), Ron Fair (former Chairman Geffen Records), Lauren Hutton(supermodel), Paul Fleming(restauranteur behind Fleming’s Steakhouse and P.F. Chang’s), Don Cheadle (Golden Globe and Emmy award winner), and Mr. T.

This is the first time Mark is teaching a workshop in nearly ten years. Here is what the participants had to say about his previous workshops…

"If you like being pushed beyond your box, Mark's workshop is for you! Come with an open mind. Leave you ego at home and you'll get an experience beyond belief. It's like being thrown through a meat grinder, however, you'll come out the other side all better for it. Can't say enough about Mark's passion for his craft!"
Michael Hintringer

"Mark taught me to be responsible for whatever is in my frame, to compose properly, to light sincerely and honestly, to work my shot, to eliminate luck, and to see." 
David Hartcorn"

"There were certainly many moments I questioned Mark's methods, however this type of exposure to the process of photography was invaluable. This is most definitely a "BOOTCAMP" for photographers." 
Marla Asheim

"Being pushed from a very technically sound, great artistic eye photographer was a very valuable experience that I can use immediately in my work."
Sheri Geoffreys

"The workshop was challenging and intense to say the least. I was impressed that Mark was able to effectively transmit the important elements of his work process to us in such a short amount of time. His speaking style is dynamic and entertaining, and he made sure every student had a successful workshop experience. Immediately upon completing the workshop, I noticed I was bringing more mastery and confidence to my headshot sessions. And almost a year later, the lessons and techniques I learned are still sinking in, which I really love."
Myra Klarman

"I find myself using the techniques I learned for every shoot that I do."
Amber Procaccini

"Mark has the rare combination of passion, outstanding talent, and the desire and ability to teach others. He is a giver who cares about the growth of his students and is not afraid to push them out of their comfort zones in order to achieve this all important goal. Everything I know and enjoy about photography is thanks to his mentoring."
Douglas Janiskee

"Working with you was inspiring, enlightening, and downright demanding. I walked away with so much more than I expected to after those rather grueling three days, and will carry those lessons -- both personal and professional -- I learned from your workshop for the rest of my career. You asked us, at one point, what our biggest fear of the weekend was. My biggest concern was "not living up to my expectations." By the end of Day Three I had exceeded them, and saw that I can actually do this thing I've chosen for the rest of my life, and do it well. I'd gladly pay the money and go through the Halper Photo Boot Camp again."
Thom Nezbeda

"Mark made me think about the approach to photograph people with intent. Getting to know your subjects, composing, lighting and shooting. Creating with your personal vision."
Yvonne Belanger

"[The workshop] was an invaluable learning experience. I am ready to go back to work armed with lots of new ideas and with the fire that I lost before the workshop. I learned so much and can't wait to start to expanding my portfolio based upon the knowledge you have provided. Before the workshop I had lost my drive, but I'm ready to get back to the studio and start creating and having fun. You are such a master, you have an incredible vision. You have inspired me to start to look at things differently, I only hope that someday I will have the creative vision and the technical skills to create great images. In some bizarre way I'll miss getting my ass kicked , but I think I will always hear your voice behind me pushing me shoot with intent and look for the strongest composition."
Lesley Short

"I realized by watching Mark that the art of great photographs is a combination of intuition, creativity and a planned process. I grew in three days more than I could have ever expected, and it changed my view and respect for the integrity of being a'real' photographer."
William Turner

"This workshop exceeded my expectations and allowed me to internalize an effecient and effective way to see, plan, set up and execute a shoot for publication."
Steve Bushong

"Three days in LA and everything changed. My outlook on shooting, the way I approach a shot, my personal commitment to the image, and the intensity of how I work is reflected in the quality of my images and the acceptance of them by my clients. Mark's workshop is professional in every aspect; his dedication is intense, and his teaching style is impeccable. The course was so incredible I would take it again as an annual refresher to recharge my creative spirit. The results at the end of day three speak for themselves, and the lessons on photography and life were as invaluable as any three day event I have ever attended. Mark opens up his life and his career and shares them with you in a very personal and demanding session. This class is not for the faint or uncommitted. This was like a three day psychological examination that breaks down the barriers that prevent many shooters from capturing their best images." 
Glenn Usdin

"I found Mark's workshop clear, concise and to the point. It gave me the ability to find a stating point in each shot from which creativity can grow."
Clay Coker

"Mark is tough, no doubt about it, but it's a toughness that comes from experiences that most photographers would die for. In a nutshell, Mark will break down your shooting like a high end potential client would and build you back up so you deserve every dollar they're paying you. Check your ego at the door because Mark will tell you the truth, unlike your friends, family and current clients. And in my opinion, it's made a WORLD of difference in my approach to every shot I've taken since. I don't even touch my shutter release without knowing EXACTLY what my intent is. Thank you Mark, you've helped me distance myself from my competition because I am now as tough on myself as you were on me."
Bob Marcotte

"I want to thank you for your wonderful class. It's going to change the way I shoot forever!"
Alex Tostado

"It wasn't easy - I didn't want easy. It really was the best workshop I have ever attended. I hated it the first day - but that was because I was scared and unsure...Now I wish it wasn't ending. I can't say enough about it other than Thanks!"
Susan Uston

"Mark has the unique ability to communicate complicated lighting, composing and framing concepts, while leaving the students own vision intact. I learned so much in the course of one brief weekend."
Michelle Geoga

"Mark's workshop was a remarkably unique experience. While Mark can be a little brash, his attention to detail and advice are always spot on. I've learned a lot from listening and observing him."
Harish Narayanan

"If you want to learn how a successful artist works, and learn a process for photography that can take your work to the next level, then Mark's workshop is the right place for you. Just be ready to work."
Richard L. Bliss

"This workshop has opened my eyes to many new things, and I know I will become a better photographer because of it."
Kristine P. LaRochelle

"I learned the value of identifying my goal, studying my subject, and planning my shots. Purposing to hit the target though a structured approach eliminates chasing your tail and ending up with mediocre shots. Thoughtfulness avoids a lot of wasted effort."
Bill Minckler

"Before deciding to come to this workshop, I had reservations about whether or not it was for me. I made my choice, and I don't have one regret. This workshop made me a better photographer in all vital areas and I recommend it for photographers at any level. Thanks Mark!"
Jamiya Wilson

"The first day, you're bright eyed and full of butterflies. By the end of the third day, you're bleary eyed and full of caffeine. But in the end, the result is the same: Mark Robert Halper provides the perfect kick in the pants to thrust a competent photographer into the realm of greatness."
Libby Gowen

"If your looking to challenge yourself and able to set aside your 'normal' way of thinking, this workshop will open your mind and your vision. Thanks to Mark and his team!"
Barry Wayne

"Being forced to follow Mark's rules and structure forced me to move outside my comfort zone. This enabled me to solve challenges in a more calculated way. I have grown because of that. Having admired Mark's work for years, I decided to take the workshop to better understand his approach to capturing quality images. Mark challenges his students to work and create without relying on the methods most comfortable to them. This was tremendously difficult, but by the end of day three I had grown as an artist. Thank you Mark!"
Michael Timmons

"I really wasn't sure what to expect. Finding such a centered, creative and down to earth kind of guy was great. No question was treated as stupid. Mark expects nothing less than 'giving your all' and it is very rewarding doing so."
Karen Enenkel

"This is the best money I've spent on my career ever. I will be able to use and interpret the tools I've learned the minute I leave the class."
Amy Barnard

"It pushed me to do my best regardless of circumstances. It helped me learn that I can actually do this and be good at it."
Annie Sherrill

"'Hell's Darkroom' - A well needed kick in the pants. It added a welcome amount of purpose and structure to my shooting process."
Greg Stechishin

"This was my first workshop and I was in over my head and many times thought what the hell am I doing here; this is too hard and intense. As the weekend progressed, and then came to the end I was so happy! I got to experience this workshop and feel I wouldn't have gotten what I did without the hard push, toughness & intensity. I hope to do it again in a year or two."
Camille McAdie

"As a professional photographer, I learned a lot of new techniques; most importantly intent and composition. I was challenged and learned from my mistakes. I now have a new platform from which to improve and grow."
John Inman

I love the ass kicking teaching style. I took away a ton from this workshop."
Tammy Combs

"If you're looking for a creative kick in the pants, this is the workshop for you. Mark is able to succinctly break down his incredible style and lighting techniques in an easy to digest presentation; it's fun, inspirational and will give you a whole new sense of creative direction. His teaching methods are able to break through to new and fresh ideas in an otherwise staid industry. This workshop is for you if your looking for a whole new approach."
Tina Derusha

"I loved this workshop. I can't wait to run home and play with light. That you are so creative and untraditional has given me a new feeling of freedom in the way I think I will approach my work from now on."
Miriam Preissel

"The workshop came at a perfect time as I am just in the process of choosing an approach for work. I found the idea of composing the background first to be particularly important for me. The idea of allowing lots of not knowing in the process was very freeing. The hands on demonstration of how Mark works without having previously seen the location was fascinating. In a way, he made himself as vulnerable for us, his audience, as he had his subject become through his questions. A very important and worthwhile workshop."
Beverly Woodworth

"I was able to observe Mark's process of connecting with an individual on getting to be the heart of understanding his subjects humanity, then he captured that in a beautiful portrait."  
Eric Sullono

"This was an incredible opportunity to hear about the process of creating intent - then seeing it in action as Mark went from conversing with the subject to creating such striking images and all was done in the fashion he had outlined."
D. Chung

"The ability to quickly gain a rapport and comfort level with a subject in a short amount of time is often challenging. This workshop teaches a method of quickly breaking the ice between subject and photographer while also aiding in the conceptualization of the shot. An invaluable skill for any photographer."
Aaron Lucy

"This was a great workshop. Although I was probably the least experienced person there, it was understandable, practical, and truly taught how to get to know someone quickly and turn that vision into a portrait that is unique. Mark taught how to use the available location and resources to create a great picture. [As Mark said] “It's not what you see, it's what the camera sees."
Kerri Jenkins

"Loved the workshop. It solidified the photographic process for me and helped me realize what I was doing wrong, and what I needed to do to pull it all together and make it work for me in my style. Also loved his 'no holds barred' approach."
Marcia Gold

"Whether your an experienced photographer or fairly new to the field, this workshop will give you amazing new insight into how to display and refine your vision and your photography."
Cynthia Englett