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.


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.


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.”




“[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