art workshop

The Art Photographic Storytelling with Award Winning Photographer Deb Kalas. 

Have you ever returned from a epic vacation, excited to share your photographs with family and friends, you dive in flipping through your photo’s and the ooh’s and ahh’s just don’t seem so genuine.  Ok .. yes we have all  been there before.  We can help you change that.

We’re excited to be working with award winning portrait and former Life Magazine Documentary photographer, Deborah Kalas, who will be leading photographic journeys through Cuba and Ireland with us in 2018 !  Deb will be sharing instruction, tips and techniques that will help you become a better visual storyteller, capturing those epic moments that will help you connect with your audience. Make sure to check out her workshops on our site.

Q: Please tell us a little about yourself and your art.

A: A mother of two wonderful sons, a dog and two horse owner, I share my time between The Hamptons, Palm Beach and Santa Barbara. I have many passions. I enjoy creating amazing family portrait sessions. I have also been an equestrian all my life and photograph horses all over the world- I love being in Theodore Roosevelt National Park with the herds of wild horses. I have photographed horses at liberty in Sweden and soon Italy. I photograph competition horses and love “I adore my horse” portrait sessions with equestrians. In my free time I am a ballroom and argentine tango dancer, an organic gardener and a chef.

Q: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?

A: I started reading a lot of philosophy books in my teens and wrote lots of poetry. I asked a photographer friend to help me with some photographs and create a book of my poetry. After reading my poetry, he suggested I pick up a camera and photograph for three weeks, then talk with him. After 3 weeks I was hooked. Fifteen years later I won a national award. I went back to him, showed my work and asked him why he told me to pick up a camera. He said, “I read your poetry and I knew you had something to say!”

Q: Tell us about a day in the life – or a day in the studio, to be precise! What does it look like (and feel like)? What can you share about your process or routines?

A: What I love most is that every day is different. I could have an equestrian portrait shoot at dawn, a headshot during the day, a beach family session in the late afternoon. I could be home designing Storybook Albums, creating new designs for holiday cards, editing my equestrian work, meeting with clients, catching up on book keeping, teaching a private student or giving a lecture to a group of professional photographers.

Q: Where does the magic happen? 

A: Ever aware, I am always looking everywhere I go, composing photos in my mind, being inspired by color, light, shape, expression.

Q: What piece of equipment, tool or color could you not live without?

A: magenta & turquoise, my camera, my magnifier

Q: Where do you derive inspiration?

A: I like Instagram a lot.

Q: Do you have any routines or rituals that get you into the creative zone?

A:I like to take a short nap before a photo session. I can wake with my mind fresh and ready to go. 

Q: Does your creativity ever stall? What do you do when that happens?

A: There are so many different aspects of my job that if I am not feeling it in one area, there are a host of other facets I can work on. If I have been editing a lot of photographs, taking a brake to do some custom framing is refreshing. It’s very hands on and makes you feel good when the photograph is framed.

Q: How does travel inspire your work?

A: It’s problem solving on the spot…new situations, new light, figuring out how I can best express what I am feeling….I love the challenge

Q: What do you love most about teaching?

A: Inspiring people to find their own voice with photography

Q: What are you most looking forward to during this workshop?

A: Meeting and guiding my students to have an inspiring time …learning how to see what’s around them with fresh ideas.

Q: Do you journal or sketch?

A: I used to journal a lot…sometimes I sketch, I do a lot in my mind when I am quiet and peaceful. I jot down notes when I am inspired.

Q: If you could take only five items to create with while on vacation (not necessarily a workshop – any vacation), what would they be? 

A: my camera, my magnifier, pen and paper, my camera belt so I can walk hands free.

Q: So many of us believe our art can only ever be a hobby. How did you make the leap from passion to profession?

A: At the time, I was managing stables, training horses and competing. My top show horse needed to be retired. I remember selling my equestrian gear to buy darkroom equipment. I was always very self-motivated. When the community college could not accept me midsession, I sought out a photographer in the community and took private lessons. After him, I worked privately with another very famous photographer ‘ Larry Fink. He taught me all about photographing people. I devoured information. AT Princeton University Graduate School I spent hours in the library studying original prints by Dorothea Lange, Edward Weston, Eugene Smith, Ansel Adams. When I moved to New York, I attend lectures and workshops at ICP and went to all the photo and art galleries weekly. It was never a question of when. It just evolved.

Q: What mediums would you like to pursue but haven’t yet?

A: I am currently working to create a fine art equestrian website. That is taking any extra time I have.

Q: Any tips for balancing creative time and administrative duties?

A: I set out each day with a list of what I want to accomplish. From the over 35 years plus years of doing this, I know what is realistic and what is not. And at any moment, a call could come in for a session and I must drop everything. I am extremely organized and know how to manage my time well.

Q: If you could an afternoon with any artist, dead or alive, who would that be?

A: Dorothea Lange, Margret Brourke- White, Henri-Cartier Bresson

Q: Favorite books that help keep the creative juices flowing?

A: I like reading true stories, history books, novels, mysteries.

Q: Where can we find you and your work?



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