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PPA:Lifestyle Photography-Find Existing Light & Achieve Studio-Perfect Portraits


Lifestyle Photography!

Find Existing Light to Achieve Studio-Perfect Portraits

Full Day of Hands-On Training!
(on Sunday)
Once all spots are filled, an automatic-waiting list will activate.

Course#: VA02 
Register for this class

Instructor & Lifestyle Photographer: Philip Brasch
SAVE $20 if you register by Oct 2 (not May 1:)!

Fall begins another season to promote your outdoor environmental portraiture or lifestyle photography. With the right lens and technique, you can render gorgeously lit subjects and backgrounds that resemble fine art paintings. Whether you are a photographer for passion or profit, this Super Monday course will teach you innovative and portable techniques for capturing stunning natural light and breath-taking composition in any situation.

Philip will share a career of photography secrets with you... pulling highlights from his highly-rated lectures as on this one from 4/28/2011, with over 21, 5-of-5-star reviews!  

In addition, Mr. Brasch just recently earned the honor of Bronze Medalist, one of the most prestigious awards presented through the industry's most prominent photographic competition, the International Photographic Competition (IPC) of PPA.  All 4 allotted image entries were chosen for the 2013 General Collection - an incredible accomplishment.

"The 'Lifestyle Workshop' presented by Philip was inspiring, it moved along in a smooth rhythm that seemed to hold the interest of the audience; it certainly held mine.  Philip was so knowledgeable of his subject matter that he presented it with such ease. The hand out "TipsLifestyle" was most informative, and his explanation of each item on the list was given in a way that it was easily understood. There were some things on this list that I knew, but did not know how to put it to use in a practical and hands-on way.  After this workshop the dots were connected, now all I have to do is go out and practice!" --Rose Virgil, Photographer

Join Philip to learn elements of lighting, the creation of emotion, and composition:

• Understand, control, and plan the use of existing light in an outdoor environment.

• Analyze your environment to position your subject and/or yourself to create a naturally lit candid image.

• Pose clients naturally using simple cues calculated to maximize the use of existing light.

• Use multiple techniques in the field to ensure accurate color, skin-tone, and exposure in-the-camera.

• Use "short-light" consistently in outdoor, existing light settings to create drama, depth, and dimension.

• Create beautiful, modern, lifestyle portraits without a studio, expensive strobes, or soft boxes.

• You will be able to determine if flash is truly necessary and use it gently indoors or out (bare bulb, off-camera flash, manual, or TTL).

• What is "fill light", determine if you have enough, and options to add it.

• Execute the perfect Lifestyle Portrait using: directional existing light, warmth, separation from background, catch lights, hair light, dark ear towards camera "short light", background clean and soft, open shadows, and rim light.

• End with dusk, night & low-light portrait photography with video lights, and on/off-camera flash.

Why learn better lighting? Our potential clients can easily purchase the same pro cameras that we use - and they do! Set yourself and your people photography apart with one thing that they can't buy - lighting technique! In Philip Brasch's Super Monday "Lifestyle Photography: Find Existing Light to Achieve Studio-Perfect Portraits" you will do just that and maximize your use of available / existing light and your environment for Engagement Sessions, Weddings, Seniors, Children, and more. You can begin to create sellable images that emanate light and emotion! Your client will have a hard time not purchasing more than one.

What is Lifestyle Photography? After adopting this phrase over 5 years ago to describe his unique environmental work, Philip defines it as the action of photojournalism combined with the beauty and consistency of portrait lighting.  

We will start the course with a classroom lecture (PowerPoint presentation, slide shows, and an invaluable tip-sheet handout). Then you will be ready to take it outside for hands-on practice experimenting with "finding the light", using multiple lighting options, posing a model, and getting instructor feedback in the field! In this Super Monday, learn to achieve studio lighting without the studio!

Class will start at 1:00 and run through the "sweet hour" of sunset. This is going to be a unique opportunity to LEARN HOW to achieve those FABULOUS outdoor portraits and dramatic sunset images that clients LOVE to BUY!

Course Date: Oct 6, 2013

Course Hours: 12:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Items to Bring

Equipment: Digital SLR, a flash if you have one, at least one lens.

Optional Equipment: tripod, monopod, grey card or white balance target, Quantum FreeXWire transceiver,  wide-angle zoom f/2.8, mid-range zoom f/2.8, a fast 50mm or 85mm at f/1.4,[masked]mm f/2.8 zoom telephoto, laptop w/Adobe Lightroom 3.6 or 4

Prerequisite: This is an intermediate to advanced class for photographers that love to work with people. We move quickly through concepts so as to learn and experience the reality of being in a session with a client. Please contact Philip if you are unsure if this course is for you.

All students should be familiar with basic camera functions including the ability to: find their white balance set option, set ASA, set shutter, set aperture, set exposure modes for manual exposure and aperture priority, and display the histogram (Okay to not know what it means) of each image and/or check for clipping. If any of this is new for you, please study in advance, bring your camera manual, and we'll assign you a buddy to stay on track!

More Testimonials:

“Philip did such a great job [on the lecture,] I knew that I had to take one of his weekend workshops. The information at the meeting was great, but working with Philip to put the theory to practice was incredible. Seeing the effects of his techniques in my pictures is awe inspiring. Philip is the master when it comes to available light portraiture. His passion shows in the pictures of those who took his Engagement seminar. I can't wait to continue practicing his techniques. Thanks, Philip for working with Kelvin, Sally and me.”-- Tien Dao, Photographer

Click image to enlarge...
Infrared film effect created with LR and Photoshop on spring bride in giant tulip garden.

“This meeting was more like a 10-star! Philip, you are so very generous with your time and expertise and I thank you. There is nothing like hands-on instruction. Learning to capture portraits with existing light especially at dusk and later was an amazing lesson. Philip, thank you for shedding light (no pun intended) on this subject through your eyes.  Again, another wonderful meeting. If any photographers out there are wondering how to feed their passion for photography, this is the place to be.” --Wendy C. Fike

These beautiful photographs were taken by Julie Socher during Philip's "The Art of the Natural Portrait" workshop.

“The course was one of the most beneficial I have ever taken. In a few hours I improved from taking average photos to taking professional-level photos. Phil took his time to make sure I understood some basic camera functions. He also demonstrated some essential equipment a wedding and event photographer needs to have. Course would be beneficial to both the amateur and professional photographer.”  --Charles Outlaw, Charles Photography

On Sunday I participated as a helper for Philip Brasch’s “Children, from Smile to Finish™ with Adobe Lightroom®” workshop. Philip is a good friend and an awesome photographer who specializes in portraiture and weddings. The workshop, which took place both in-class and outdoors at “Dolphin Beach” in Montclair, VA was a great opportunity for beginning as well as advanced photographers to learn some Lightroom tweaks, workflow tips and most importantly, capturing beautiful images with all natural light – which is Philip’s specialty. Watching Philip work and interacting with the people he photographs is very inspiring. Four years ago I actually assisted Philip in a few weddings and what really intrigued me was his ability to work in any given lighting situation and maximizing the usage of available light.-- from Moshe Zusman's blog (a WPPI speaker and Profoto endorsee)

Taken during Philip's "Environmental Light Control" hands-on lecture / workshop.

"I have attended other photography seminars; however, this seminar is the only one in which I was fully engaged and learned the subject matter. Philip not only demonstrated his style and his techniques of shooting, he and Gil worked with us to make sure that we understood what he was talking about. They had us taking plenty of pictures and time to review them to make sure that we were shooting right. I am looking forward to working with Philip again."  --Johnnie Boyette, Photographer

Click film strips to enlarge...

Workshop and Lecture Curriculum History:

lecture on 4/28/2011 elicited 21 testimonials and all were the highest 5-star ratings!

lectures also on: 7/25/2012, 4/25/2012, 4/28/2011, 12/29/2010,12/12/2010, 10/22/2009.

latest lecture on 3/20/2013 "Lifestyle Photography & Natural Light to Achieve Studio-Perfect Portraits"

Mr. Brasch has conducted over a dozen workshops over 3 years. Here is an archive history at

see Philip's online album for NVPPA speakers



REGISTRATION is only $99 through October 2, 2013.  After October 2nd, registration is taken on a space-available basis with your RSVP here for $120.

Visit the links above for more information about each class and to register!!
You do not need to be a PPA member to attend.

This workshop is sponsored by PPA and requires registration via the link in this event post.  Please RSVP here too so we know you are planning on attending.  

If you are an NVPPA Gold Member as of January 2013 and are conducting a Super Monday workshop, please inquire as to how you can post your own Super Monday. PPA instructors / photographers are volunteer and not reimbursed for expenses.

PPA Super Monday Photo Workshops


Be sure to check out the upcoming image competition in June.



Click on the map below to zoom; note where the RED "O" is placed.  Print the map.  No joke -- Folks have had a hard time finding the building.  The NVPPA PPA Super Monday Workshop is in the Harbor Room. MapQuest and Google do not find the correct building!!

NVPPA VA/DC Woodbridge, VA - Regular Monthly Photography Meeting
For more information on NVPPA and joining, please see our  About Page .


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Not Ready to Join?

You do not have to join NVPPA to attend this PPA Super Monday.

NVPPA is a non-profit business & educational association. We pay honorarium to our speakers, instructors, and judges and host them for dinner -- joining helps us maintain the high quality programming we are known for, respects our profession, and its mentors.


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Join or login to comment.

  • Philip B.

    Terry, James, Mark, thanks for attending and all the wonderful comments! It was a very inspiring workshop for me to teach and fun to have you participate.

    October 7, 2013

  • Philip B.

    Did you produce a STUDIO-PERFECT PORTRAIT with existing light?

    October 7, 2013

    • Terry W.

      I loved learning photographing the profile tutorial. I was happy with how my portrait portrait I did of Emily turned out.

      October 7, 2013

  • Philip B.

    Thank you for attending and helping. You guys took some AWESOME images! I can't wait to see more...

    October 7, 2013

  • Philip B.

    Dear Friends: Please select and edit your photos *wisely* based upon the LIFESTYLE TIPS handout. Compare your images to the Tip Sheet list. Stay tuned and I will announce the REUNION class which will feature an hour of refresher training taking some existing light portraits, and then EDITING your own workshop images quickly and professionally in Adobe Lightroom 5. We'll have the LR class when 5 students agree to attend the course. Let me know what Sunday 20th or 27th will be convenient for you!??

    See and EVALUATE your fellow class-mates images. I'll offer CONSTRUCTIVE ways to improve your work. I'm curious as to how all of you did AND it's a win-win to place emphasis on selecting and editing your images professionally and decisively prior to using them as your portfolio pieces or post online. Cheers! Philip

    October 7, 2013

  • james p.

    4.5 stars if allowed...good models....good shooting experience...great instruction and explanations...execution of workshop could be improved, especially with the rhythm gymnast where a better indoor shooting space was needed.

    October 7, 2013

  • Terry W.

    Thank you Nadia and Emily for being our awesome and beautiful models!

    October 6, 2013

  • Terry W.

    Philip showed us how to really see the light! What I learned today has giving me new found confidence to use the light in the environment that is already there and how to place our subject and ourselves in relation to that light. Thanks Philip!

    October 6, 2013

  • Mark G.

    Philip doe an outstanding job of explaining these valuable lighting concepts. Any photographer who wants to take their work to the next level and maybe a few higher, will value this training. I hope he does this class again in the future.

    October 6, 2013

  • Philip B.

    To all the photographers I spoke with that plan to do drop-in registration, please contact me via email. You need some materials and the itinerary / locations ASAP!

    October 5, 2013

  • Philip B.

    In this course, we will explore existing light in several different locations -- indoor and out. In May we used and indoor window-lit grunge studio that was amazing. I'm working on setting up a similar situation for this Sunday!!

    October 3, 2013

  • Philip B.

    Tomorrow is the last night to sign up at a discount! I'm planning on at least 2 teen models. The last PPA workshop I had 4! Register for this Super Monday (on Sunday) online by October 2, 2013 at $99. After October 2, registration must be done on-site (space permitting) for $120.

    October 1, 2013

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