Jan-Patrick Schmitz Photography Master Class at Newcomers High School

On Wednesday, May 9th, Montblanc North America President and CEO Jan-Patrick Schmitz led a Photography Master Class at Newcomers High School in Queens, his second session with Urban Arts students.

Jan-Patrick is not only a champion of Urban Arts Partnership, but also an avid photographer who has amassed a portfolio of millions of images. After lesson-planning and preparation with Teaching Artist Seren Divine, Jan-Patrick stepped into the after school photography class to share his experience and passion for portraiture with 22 students.

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Jan-Patrick kicked off the session by explaining concepts essential to portrait photography: story, shape, structure, color, depth, lines, and, most importantly: light and shadow. The class then looked at examples of each of these aspects of composition.

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The class broke into small groups, collected their cameras, and shot their own portraits at stations that offered natural light, artificial light, and hot lights. Jan-Patrick worked individually with groups, providing pointers and encouraging their creative ideas. He also offered a few students the opportunity to work with his SLR camera and 180 degree lens.

After the shoot, the class viewed a few samples of the work generated during the Master Class and reflected on how much they learned in just a one-hour session. (Examples below). Jan-Patrick encouraged the young photographers to keep shooting and learning, ending on an observation about the universal nature of the art:

“Body language can say so much. Even if you don’t speak the same language, body language tells a story. That is one reason that photography is so powerful.”

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“[With photography] You can express yourself – it can tell others how you’re feeling. I learned how to use a corkboard to give light from the other side and focus on the face. I’m so excited!” – Sarah, 11th Grade