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Why should you book a Pascal Baetens workshop?

"It seems inappropriate to place an introduction between the viewer and the photographs of Pascal Baetens. He, after all, puts nothing between the viewer and the girls. By which I don’t mean just that they are naked, though for the most part they delightfully are. I mean that he doesn’t place himself between them and us. He doesn’t impose on them or on the viewer. His vision doesn’t obtrude.

He has written that his intention is to portray an emotion, not just a pretty body or fantasy or moment in time. And he says that he has succeeded when the viewer recognises the emotion. In fact, he goes further than that. The emotions he portrays are not manufactured or imposed  by or for himself or the viewer. ‘Look lustful. Look available. Look vulnerable. Look shy. Look sexy.’ The emotions come from the girls themselves. Some l ook us straight in the eye. Some don’t. Some do sometimes. They are, in fact, like girls you see in life and as you see them in life except that, as they might be in your mind but are not in the street, they have nothing on.  Of course, it is not quite as simple as that. Look, for example, at the compositions, the framing of the girls in the space, the apparent accidents of light and shade. A girl leans nonchalantly, apparently all unaware of what she is offering or the thoughts she might provoke. It is as though she has been caught there, not put there. At first sight it is artless, apparently unconsidered. Apparently. But of course not."

Richard Cook, 1999.

These words were written to indtroduce my first book, 'The fragile touch', in 1999. First, I tried to understand them. Then I tried to analyse my way of working, in how far I intervene in a session, influence through communication, through composing, reading light. In 2007, I was asked by the photo editors of Dorling-Kindersley to write a how-to book. It sharpened my mind, my view.
I realised my secret was my sensitivity. The rest was technical translation. Knowing that everyone has his own sensitivity, I enjoy sharing my translation skills, helping people developing their own language.


A good image is one that touches, intrigues.

20% of its strength has to do with purely technical choices
such as cameras, lenses, light settings, computer techniques.

80% of its strength has to do with how the photographer (you!) interprets
the atmosphere, the emotion that hides in every image.

You'll empower your image by knowing precisely how to align your decisions about
perspective, light direction and composition (and other), to
the conscious and unconscious expression of the model.
And by realising how your communication infuences his/her expression.

In our workshops, we focus on all aspects of the impact
of an image on the viewer. And this viewer is in the first place YOU.


More concretely:

my photographic philosophy

  • A good image is one that grabs my attention, touches, has impact. This is at least my main criterium to judge an image.
  • Technique serves the image. Techniques to use light and light sources, to master composition, to position my models (and myself as a photographer!), to guide my model's poses, movements and expressions have one goal: to improve the overall atmosphere of my photographs.
  • I work with human beings. Beautiful people with beautiful hearts, as we all are. A model is a human being, a photographer is a human being, communication is the secret for good photography.
  • Communication techniques to create an atmosphere are as important as skills to analyse light situations and composition. 


Whom are the workshops meant for?

  • The workshops are meant for passionate photographers, who want to improve their photographic skills in such way that they can fully live and enjoy their photography.
  • For those who look to refine their vision on photography and improve their skills to translate this vision into concrete photographic images or projects.
  • You can be a professional photographer, an amateur or a student, important is that you are eager to develop your artistic skills.
  • Your tools are your hearts, your eyes, your brains, your hands and feet, your voices and yes, your cameras too.


Who is 'teacher' Pascal Baetens?

  • Pascal is a professional photographer, specialising in 'on location' nude photography. He has also been realising projects on travel, dance (classic ballet) and portrait photography.
  • He is known for his delicate, sensual and emotional work, light and dreamy, and sometimes raw and confronting.
  • 'I like to help people developing their own style', as a style is linked to someone's personality. His teaching is passionate, active, personal, and always relating technique to the message, story, emotion that one wants to express.


Some professional references

  • His work has been published in magazines as Elle, Playboy, Men's Health and many more. He is the author of 6 books about nude photography, including the how-to book 'Nude Photography, the Art and the Craft', which has been published in 9 languages. Several of his books received international book prizes.
  • Pascal has been teaching for professional photographers associations such as the Belgian, French, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese associations of professional photographers; for art and photography festivals, organisations and institutions including Horizonte Zingst (Germany), Nikonians.org.
    He has also taught to amateur photographers organisations and photo clubs, students and school kids.
  • In 2008, Pascal received the the 'Master Qualified European Photographer Award', the highest recognition from the European Federation of Professional Photographers.


What to expect concretely? (*)

  • a pleasant atmosphere, relaxed and focused at the same time

  • a limited number of participants (*)
  • a comfortable models/participants ratio (*)
  • experienced, interested, cheerful professional models (*)
  • plenty of photographic moments (*)

  • a workshop team open to answer your photographic questions expectations

  • guided introspective moments to set your goals in your photography in general and specific sessions
  • techniques to translate an idea or atmosphere into a two dimensional image, through perspective, distance, lens choices, light direction, etc
  • techniques to analyse light and composition
  • techniques to communicate with your models, using verbal and non-verbal tools for setting a safe and creative environment, through active listening, precise guiding, and conscious body language

  • subject specific techniques at subject related workshops

  • practical exercises, mini-sessions (*)
  • longer photographic moments in small groups (*)
  • if practically possible: one-to-one didactic moments with Pascal; one-to-one photographic moments with th e models (*)

(*) The concrete content will depend on the workshops, and the workshop organisers. The elements marked with (*) are the general standard for the workshops, organised by Pascal and his team. You'll find them in "our" workshops, but not necessarily in workshops organised by third parties. In these cases, inform yourself upfront with the organisation.
The guidelines on this page are 'general', they cannot be used for any complaints in any concrete situations.