Capital Photography Center | Photography Classes in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia

Photographic Storytelling – Featuring a 1920s Lawn Party

Photographic Storytelling – Featuring a 1920s Lawn Party

Capturing that perfect moment can give great satisfaction to any photographer.  But, to tell a complete story with a series of images requires you to think more broadly, to assemble the pieces and paint the scene. 

To tell a story, you need to see the story.  How do you find the drama, the excitement, the humor?  Who are the main characters?  Join us at Dardanella’s "The Great Gatsby Lawn Party" and we’ll explore how to find your point of view, how to chose which elements to cover, and how to photograph them. 

Our subject will be Dardanella’s “The Great Gatsby Lawn Party,” held on the grounds of the National Cathedral.  This annual event, billed as a true 1920s experience, brings together people throughout the DC Metro area, dressed in period attire.  Dardanella is giving us special permission and access this year, allowing each of our participants to have an "Official Event Photographer" badge that will allow us to roam around the event and take pictures of people dancing to the sounds of vintage gramophones and a vintage orchestra, taking part in traditional tournaments and lawn games, engaging with vintage vendors, carnival acts and more.

Our class begins with an orientation on photographic story-telling, outdoor event photography tips and camera use.  We’ll discuss different techniques – shooting from a low or high angle, using a wide lens up close, using motion blur, etc.

Instructors Aaron Clamage and Marie Joabar will then guide participants through the events of the lawn party, working with each person to get the best shots.  Our goal will be to cover the event like photojournalists, capturing establishing overviews, medium shots, as well as the details, all while focusing on interesting light and visuals. 

Finally, we’ll reconvene as a group, and discuss ideas on editing.  How do you put it all together and where do you place your most powerful images?

Any camera will do, but for best results we suggest a DSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses and a multi-purpose zoom lens such as 18-200 or 16-300 for quick lens work.  Super wides like a 10-20 or an 11-16 are also very useful in this type of work. Also recommended (but not required) is an auxiliary flash unit mounted on the camera's hot shoe. We'll show you how to use it to get the best effect. 

Note - The $55 admission fee to the event will be waived for class participants. All will wear officail event photographers badges making approaching and photographing people easier but as part of being the oficial photographer, all will be asked to share some of their images with the organizers. 

Limit: 8-10

Instructor: Aaron Clamage

Aaron Clamage

Based in Washington, DC, Aaron Clamage specializes in editorial, portrait, corporate and event photography. 

Growing up as the son of a successful filmmaker has informed the way Aaron approaches photography.  Whether capturing an intimate portrait or documenting an event, he always has the same approach.  Assemble and craft the pieces, but let the subject do the talking.

Aaron’s work has been published nationally and internationally.  Some of his clients include The Washington Post, NBC, The Kennedy Center Honors, Scholastic Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, PBS, Linkedin, GM, The Sierra Club, American Girl Magazine, L’Oreal and The National Academy of Sciences.

Aaron's work can be viewed on his website:

Date: September 29 2018

Time: 2:30 AM - 5:30 PM




Washington National Cathedral

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Cancellation Policy:

  • A refund or a credit towards another class (less a $20 processing fee) can be given if cancellation notice is given more than 5 business days from the scheduled class.
  • If there is no cancellation notice, or it is given 5 business days or less, no refund or credit will be given.
  • Requests to reschedule a class will incur a $20 processing fee provided notice is given more than 5 business days prior to the class. If request to reschedule is given less than business 5 days prior to the class, no refund or credit will be given.
  • If Capital Photography Center cancels or postpones a class due to weather or low enrollment, you can choose a full refund or a credit towards a future class.