SMC Community Ed is excited to announce that it is offering a new photography class this winter, Lifestyle Portraits, and the very talented Steve Anderson will be teaching it. The course begins this Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018.

A lifestyle portrait by Steve Anderson

In the early years at his studio, Steve’s photography included a blend of food, high tech, medical and people with clients like Taco Bell, Gateway Computers, and Beckman. However, Steve’s love of photographing people eventually evolved into his specialty and the focus of his work. Currently Steve shoots editorial and lifestyle portraits of people, public figures and personalities.

Steve, who graduated with honors from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, says photographing people is his life’s passion.

“I am fascinated by the human expression, changing with every fleeting thought,” he says.

What exactly is Lifestyle Portraiture?

Photographing people in their everyday life surroundings. It’s a single photograph that tells a big story through small details that the viewer “discovers.”

A lifestyle portrait by Steve Anderson

You say in your description of the class that art directors and magazine editors are on the lookout for lifestyle images with a clear story and compelling visual uniqueness. Can you elaborate? What kinds of magazines?

Every magazine today is looking for compelling stories. For example, food magazines want to see images that, say, capture the lifestyle of that small cottage-style life in Portugal overlooking the citrus trees that flavor the hanging prosciutto while old men play checkers and paella is cooked over an open flame.

Steve Anderson 

Who are some famous photographers known for their Lifestyle Portraits? Henri Cartier-Bresson, Annie Leibovitz, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus?

Leibovitz being the exception, I wouldn’t say these other photographers are lifestyle photographers in today’s context. Theirs are great images of life from a long time ago.

The lifestyle image today has a huge commercial application – like seeing a group of young men and women in a cornfield enjoying the sunset and a beer. It represents a life (style) that a commercial brand can connect itself with to sell its product. This is why it is the most sought-after type of image today. Those who are famous to the general audience are the preferred image-makers for advertising agencies. For example, I like the work of Andy Anderson, who has big name clients.

A lifestyle portrait by Steve Anderson

Looking at your website, it appears photography has taken you all over the world. Can you briefly expand on that?

I’ve been fortunate to travel the states and few countries for several clients. 2014 was especially notable as I went to Kenya for a month shooting for Lewa House safaris, Lamu board of tourism (small Kenyan island), a Kenyan cheese farm tucked away into the foothills north of Nairobi, a bakery and an all-natural health store in a city mall.

The travel gigs aren’t always so glamorous, budgets are getting smaller and clients expect more. For example, the last time I flew to Maui for an Aqualung job, we landed at noon (9 a.m. California time), got on a boat and started shooting on the boat, in the water and at several beaches. We didn’t stop until the light was gone at about 8 p.m. In the dark we headed back to check into the hotel, have a meal and sleep six hours. At first light we got back on the boat and repeated until early afternoon, then dashed to the car rental return and flew home. Total time on the island was less than 30 hours, but I got amazing photos and that’s why I do it.

Lifestyle Portraits will start January 6, 2018. Register now to reserve your spot in this very unique first-time offering.

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