Leica Akademie - Portrait to Print with Al Satterwhite

Los Angeles California

Learn the art of available light, black and white, portraiture from celebrated photojournalist Al Satterwhite. Participants will go from capturing a portrait “On-Location” to creating a print over the course of three days.

An environmental portrait should attempt to show something of that person and perhaps a hint of his/her personality, whether it is done at their home or workplace.  It should be fun, and not a laborious affair, for both the subject and photographer.

Al will teach how to move past the easy shot and look for the exceptional moment and evocative image.  He will challenge you to find and capture the ‘essence’ of the subject. Working with available light, you will discover how to ‘read’ the light to use it to your advantage. It’s all about moving fast and sizing up the location you have available. Al will share the techniques that he has used to create timeless portraits of everyday people, news-makers, writers and some of the most recognizable faces for more then three decades.

It’s all about moving fast; learning to evaluate factors that can effect the final image, knowing what you want to get out of the session, and then positioning the subject and putting them at ease.


  • Working with available light
  • The realities of dealing with midday light
  • Composition & Shadows
  • Manipulating light
  • Working with actors & models
  • Image processing black & white images
  • Printing

Lectures, hands-on sessions, reviews and a final day of printing make this a rare opportunity to advance your understanding of portraiture and black and white printing. You will depart your weekend with Al with a greater appreciation for B&W, a stronger awareness of your own personal vision, and an enhanced sensitivity to capturing “decisive moments”.

The workshop begins 3:00 p.m. on Friday with a review of each students’ images, followed by an introductory presentation by Al illustrating concepts, ideas and visual tools utilized in capturing those special moments. Discussion of camera systems, choice of lenses, potential lighting equipment, lighting accessories and how to use them. Students are asked to bring 5-10 of your best photographs for review with Al.  This can be a project or simply a collection of your best photographs.

The class will shoot locally near the store.  Al will provide assignments designed to sensitize you to how to size up the local area where we will be.  Al will follow up with each group throughout the afternoon discussing different types of lighting and composition.

Al will include individual and group critiques of the work from Saturday, after all work has been edited. After editing your work, Master Printer Eric Joseph of Freestyle Photo will guide you in making the best print possible from your edited selections.  Students will be guided through the process of actually making an actual professional quality, ink-jet print.  Holding a print in your hands is the ultimate finale.

Photographers who are ready for honest feedback with an interest in discovering new ways to photograph a person, and complete a final print will get the most from this experience. Students should have a basic understanding of their camera functions and operation.

Limited to 12 Students.  Photography skill level: Intermediate

*A Leica Camera is not required for this class.  Students must have a basic or intermediate operational knowledge of their camera.  An assortment of Leica Cameras will be available on loan to try out.  Basic instruction on Leica Cameras will be provided by Leica Akademie Instructor/Producer, Philip Cuenco.

Al Satterwhite is a veteran photographer who has been published in major magazines such as Life, Time, Sports Illustrated. Published photographic books of his work include The Cozumel Diary (Hunter Thompson in Mexico), Satterwhite on Color & Design, Lights! Camera! Advertising!, Titans (Muhammad Ali & Arnold Schwarzenegger) the Racers, Carroll Shelby. He’s currently working on two more books, Southern Exposure and aRound New York.
His photographic prints are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, LACMA, George Eastman House and numerous private collections. The Smithsonian showcased his work in 2014 in American Cool. Satterwhite lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two Zen-Masters, both of them cats.

For post-processing, basic Photoshop knowledge will help.  If you have not used Photoshop & thinking about it, Al will open that door to show you it’s possibilities.  A working knowledge of Photoshop will enhance your ability to process your vision, as the capture is simply the means to the final product, a print.  This is not a “how to” or technically focused program.

Laptops will be needed on the final day of the workshop. Students should be conversant with their hardware and software to facilitate downloading and review of photos. Students may use other processing software of choice.

A catered lunch will be provided on the Sunday.

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Please Note : Due to the Safer At Home Order, Freestyle will only be accepting online orders until further notice. Our Distribution Center will continue shipping all orders received, Monday through Friday. Orders are not available for pick up as our physical locations are closed to the public. We can be reached at custserv@freestylephoto.biz with any questions. Thank you for your patience, support and understanding and please stay safe.