On-Location – Nantucket, MA – May 13th to 15th, 2022

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Join Leica Akademie USA and fine art photographer and director Mark de Paola in Nantucket, MA.
Nantucket. MA
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Join Mark de Paola and Leica Akademie USA for a an “On Location” Masterclass on the epic sandy beaches of Nantucket and in a classic beachside home to experience the process of capturing timeless portraiture the weekend of May 13th-15th, 2022.

Mark de Paola is inviting a small group of photographers for an epic weekend in Nantucket, Massachusetts to capture a personal portraiture story. The styling will be inspired by brands like Ralph Lauren, Armani, Theory, and Bottega Veneta for an air of effortless class and style. Walking the line between fashion and portraiture genres, the class will explore each students’ personal story and narrative over perfected high fashion. Think bare feet in the sand, suits, jeans, long flowing skirts, and just you and your camera.

This shooting intensive workshop is designed for creative portrait photographers interested in exploring new ways to capture portraits and fashion within an art directed narrative. All shooting sessions are individual, and not in groups. There will be 2-3 professional models present depending on final attendance. Each model will be shooting in a predetermined styling sequence in various looks throughout the weekend.

Participants will be asked to consider their own goals and motivations as photographers. The class will be encouraged to explore how each final photograph contributes to their overall “story” from the weekend. The weekend will run as if each student is on real professional assignment from a publication or client. Students will be expected to complete both homework to bring to the first day of class as well as complete final image “deliverables” by the end of the day on Sunday.

De Paola’s career and real-life experience over the past two decades creating projects from Vogue covers to Gucci campaigns and his transition into Fine Art photography with exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Dali, China, and Tokyo will be a valuable part of our formal and informal conversations. Mark’s vast and comprehensive experience with Leica cameras and optics, especially the 50mm Noctilux, will serve as a point of inspiration throughout the weekend.

Topics covered:

  • Classical vs. Unconventional Composition
  • Shooting portraits in mid-day hard light
  • Using Lighting, Shape, and Form to Create a Narrative and Moo
  • Covering a look
  • Sequencing a portraiture story
  • Previsualization
  • Posing and Collaboration Process
  • What is a timeless image?
  • Commercial versus personal photographs
  • echniques shooting fashion and portraiture “wide open”

What is included?

  • All materials, model fees, personalized instruction, and lectures
  • Group and private portfolio review with Mark de Paola
  • Opportunity to create fresh images for your portfolio with professional models
  • Access to a complete lineup of the latest Leica products.
  • Lunch each day.
  • Production team with call sheets provided each day.

Who should attend?

Whether you are currently a working pro or an advanced hobbyist with an interest in portraiture or fashion photography, you will gain much from this experience. Students with a strong foundation in photography fundamentals and previous on-set experience who are looking to expand a portraiture or fashion portfolio are strongly encouraged to attend. Owning a Leica is not required for this program. A selection of Leica M & SL cameras will be available for your use.


10:00am – 12:00pm (Lecture)
12:00pm – 1:00pm (Lunch)
1:00pm – 1:30pm (Model Introductions)
1:30pm – 5:00pm (Shoot)

9:00AM – 12:00pm (Shoot)
12:00pm – 1:00pm (Lunch)
1:00pm – 4:00pm (Shoot)

10:00am – 12:00pm (Shoot)
12:00pm – 1:00pm (Lunch)
1:00pm – 5:00pm (Shoot, Individual Portfolio Review, and Wrap Up Discussion)

A list of hotels in the immediate area will be provided upon registration. Students are responsible for their own transportation.

All participants attending this workshop will be required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination prior to arrival. This requirement applies to students, staff, and instructors.

INSTRUCTOR –  Learn more about Mark de Paola


  • Dates

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Mark de Paola is a director and photographer based in New York City and Los Angeles, best known for his wide-open shooting style. De Paola has had multiple covers for Vogue Spain and Mexico, as well as campaigns and commercials for Donna Karen, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Brioni, Neutrogena, La Perla, Sephora, and MAC Cosmetics to name a few.

Mark has directed nearly 700 television commercials in the fashion/beauty sector, including Anheuser-Busch (Superbowl), Sony, Kawasaki, Ford Motorsports, Ducati Motorcycles, Toyota, Giorgio RED Perfume (exhibited at MOMA, NY), and English Ideas Cosmetics amongst others. Mark’s fine art series “60 Seconds” (a series of nudes shot with handheld 60-second exposures) and “The Art of Backstage” (shot during NY Fashion Week) have been exhibited at the Leica Gallery LA, Boston, Tokyo, San Francisco, and Dali, China.

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