Humanist Photography: Capturing the Essence of a Subject

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Explore how to empower stories and cultures with your camera and shift your perspective of others as well as yourself

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If, as a great Brazilian writer once said, “there are no facts, there are only stories,” then those dedicated to telling them are faced with a noble and extremely important task. Get ready to take your first steps in this discipline alongside Hugo Santarém, a photographer specializing in socially relevant narratives who has received renowned awards such as an International Photography Award, a MonoVisions Award, and The Independent Photographer award, among others.

In this online course, learn to create narratives and showcase different perspectives through the lens of humanist photography. Hugo, who strongly believes that “an essay is an intersection between the photographer’s vision and the world as captured by them,” teaches you to choose a theme, plan your photoshoots, and edit your images, while maintaining the utmost respect for the people you choose to portray.

Start the course by meeting your teacher, Hugo Santarém. He talks about his journey through the photography world, and how it was influenced by another passion—cinema—in addition to sharing his main influences.

After a brief introduction to humanist photography, discover more about portraiture and documentary language. Hugo then shows you the equipment he usually uses and explains the main differences between natural and artificial lighting.

Now define your project’s theme, purpose, and needs, before planning your essay, taking into account the subject and their context. Your teacher reveals the importance of knowing the person you are portraying, and gives some tips for interviewing them, carrying out the shoot, and dealing with unforeseen circumstances.

Next, learn how to organize and edit your photographs ethically, to appropriately convey the story you want to tell. Hugo shares some parting wisdom on the use of images, presentation methods, and participation in competitions and awards ceremonies, so you have all the key tools and more to tell real stories through your lens.

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    Humanist Photography: Capturing the Essence of a Subject
    Humanist Photography: Capturing the Essence of a Subject
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