Jenny Lewis was born in Essex in 1974 and has worked as a portrait photographer prolifically in the UK and internationally for over 20 years. Moving with ease between celebrity photography on the covers of magazines such as The Telegraph with the likes of John Goodman and Peter Blake to projects for Wateraid in Malawi. Jenny continues to work for her editorial clients as well as on personal projects such as ‘One Day Young‘ and ‘Hackney Studios‘, an exploration of the creative spaces and personalities in her community. Both these series have been published by Hoxton Mini Press.

‘One Day Young’, published in 2015, is an empowering series which pictures women during the first 24 hours after the birth of their child, back in their own homes. This series captured over 150 women in this moment of triumph and celebration , challenging the visual language of vulnerability often used to describe this moment rather than the power often felt.

Her second book ‘Hackney Studios’, published in 2017, captures the extraordinary network of creatives who live alongside her in the borough. These sculptors, milliners, hula hoop performers, artists, potters and designers are pictured at a critical moment in Hackney’s history, as rising prices and redevelopment forces many of them to seek studio-space elsewhere. Each subject nominated the next leading her blindly on an unchartered journey through the unknown studios of Hackney.

‘One Day Young’ was shown at kinship,  a group show in Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery this year and she has been selected for the upcoming Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize opening at The National Portrait Gallery in November this year.

Day 1.   10am – 5pm at Vyner Street, Hackney

Morning: This Masterclass will begin with Jenny’s journey of her working practice from assistant to editorial photographer, to making her own projects including publishing her two books with Hoxton Mini Press and selected for awards like the Taylor Wessing Prize. She will also offer practical advice on running a business/ equipment/ marketing/ tax / advice on how to assist photographers, approach galleries and photo-festivals.
Afternoon: Each student will experience a photoshoot taken by Jenny having the unique experience of understanding what it is to be the sitter. You will receive a final edited portrait to keep. In this supportive and  informal way of learning the skills learnt will be the art of  location scouting and posing, including the language used and the all important does and don’ts on a portrait shoot.  With Jenny’s wealth of experience,  she will bring each of the students on a portrait journey from how to meet, photograph, select and edit a final image for each of the students to keep and use. Each of the selected images will be printed and given on the last day of the Masterclass to the students.

Day 2.   10am – 5pm at LIoP Brick Lane

Morning: Under Jenny’s supervision, students will take portraits of each other to build confidence and will receive feedback from Jenny and their peers. Students edit their work in Adobe Lightroom / Photoshop and present their strongest edited images to the group.
Afternoon: Research for the students’ personal shoot on the last day. Jenny will give a theme and support the group with suggestions & advise to plan a shoot. Models / Actors / Actresses will be provided, if required.Day 3.  10am – 5pm Day out

Morning: Starting the day seeing Jenny’s home studio in East London and discussing her new work with a cup of tea and conversation. Continuing to Jenny’s printers / retouchers / publisher to show the network you need to support your career.

Afternoon: A visit to the Taylor Wessing Prize – Jenny’s image has been selected in this years exhibition. Jenny will give a guided tour and discuss how to approach photography competitions including having an in depth discussion about the final portraits that made the cut out of 4000 prints.

Day 4.  10am – 5pm Vyner Street, Hackney

Morning: Personal Shoot under the supervision of Jenny
Afternoon: Editing and group critique with Jenny

Level: Advanced

Duration: 4 Days

Places: 6

Requirements: A digital camera with manual exposure mode.

Skills Acquired:

The topics we will be concentrating over the four days are:

  • Creative
  • Development
  • Improvising
  • Finding your own style
  • Working on a budget
  • Community