8 Week Portrait Workshop – Victor Skrebneski Week One

I am so excited to announce and start my journey this year with the 8 Week Portrait Workshop, my fellow photographers of Project 52 and the extremely helpful and talented Donald Gianatti of Lighting Essentials.

This 8 week workshop takes us each week to discover, research and study some great photographers of portraiture. Week one starts with Victor Skrebneski of Chicago, Illinois. His lighting style and denotation of motion is unconventional, yet he is one that has made his name all over the globe in fashion and celebrity photography. It’s amazing that Skrebneski’s style came by chance, entirely accidentally, as he didn’t understand that the camera had to be kept still during a shot. His images came out blurred due to the motion, but he liked the end result, and associated himself with this new ‘style’. This unorthodox idea captured my attention; I never thought of it as an option to keep blurred photos, much less intentionally move the camera and cause this distortion intentionally. So with that in mind, my first image for the week was a self portrait done exactly how I would have never done before.


Since this is a self portrait, I couldn’t move the camera-and instead moved myself. Some descriptives from my peers that I have shared this image with are -creepy-, -disturbing-, and -scary- .. and I love that my face is still somewhat recognizable.  You can see my nose, and barely my eyes and mouth. This was  pretty fun to play with. Now to re-do all the photos in the house of me with a blurred head, that’ll really scare the heck out of my girlfriend.

I love the sense of drama in his lighting with the heavy contrast. I have never used this style of lighting. I placed the light far above the subject with an umbrella and let the shadows fall, shot the image, and fell in love. In the next few shots you’ll see my take on his fashion style with a female and male…male being myself and the female was my semi-reluctant girlfriend.



Below is my lighting diagram for the images. The umbrella was above camera and subject slightly tilted and about 4 feet above.


I enjoyed this week’s study in trying a different approach to my photography with Skrebneski’s style. I do plan on adding this to my bag of tricks again in the future.

Thanks for checking out my post and stay tuned. This is only the start. Next week I’ll share my studies as we move to Yousuf Karsh…big fan of his work!!

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