Learn to translate first impressions and hone your intuition to create expressive portraits.

Experienced photographers continue to develop ways of working with their subjects to create a sense of personal style in their work. This class investigates historical and contemporary fine art as well as editorial portraiture with an emphasis on interpretation and creating a sense of personal vision. During the week participants discuss the use of narrative, aesthetics and psychological approaches as well as the emotional aspects of the portrait.

Andrea leads students from "first impressions" to translating their initial feelings into a creative expression. She covers topics such as approaching subjects, establishing a rapport, and forming a collaboration between subject and photographer that is both intuitive and spontaneous. Andrea encourages students to capture the essence of their subjects while exploring their imaginations and senses to create more intuitive portraits.

There are field trips and lectures, with daily reviews of the work made during the week. Subjects include classmates, strangers on the street, faculty and staff members. Andrea also reviews student portfolios on an individual basis. She also discusses topics relating to the use of portraits in publications and exhibits and addresses legal and ethical issues.

Students are encouraged to bring a laptop for image processing and editing since this is not based in a digital lab classroom.

A portfolio review is required for admission to this course. You can submit a portfolio via a link to your website, online portfolio, or print submission. For more detailed information on these requirements, click here.


"Intuitive Portraits was the most amazing learning experience that I have had - in my history of holding a camera. I will never take a picture without thinking of the workshop with Andrea Modica. She has helped me learn how I might be the photographer I have always dreamed of becoming."
- Amy Skinner, New York, NY

"There's nothing like the energy of the Workshops. To be surrounded by creative individuals on top of influential instructors is inspiring."
- Kelly Mena, Bronx, NY

"I learned so much I don't know where to start. Watching Andrea set up a shot and correct ours one evening was the highlight. The critiques were extremely helpful."
- Susan Tennenbaum, Glencoe, IL


Andrea Modica

Andrea Modica earned her BFA in Visual Arts and Art History from State University of New York College (SUNY) at Purchase, Purchase, NY in 1982, and earned her MFA in Photography from Yale University in 1985. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is in many collections, such as The Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art,[1] the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.[2] Modica has received numerous grants including a Guggenheim Arts Fellowship in 1994 and a Fulbright-Hays Research Grant in 1990.[3] Modica has been published in Newsweek, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, and other magazines as well as two monographs, Minor Leagues (1993) and Treadwell (1995). Modica taught photography at the State University of New York – Oneonta for thirteen years, as well as holding positions at Princeton University, Parsons School of Design, the State University of New York College at Purchase, and currently is a professor of photography at Drexel University.

Course Dates

Jun 12 to Jun 18



Class Size