Where Do I Go From Here?
The purpose of the winter/spring Master Class/Mentor series is career development with the creative process at the forefront. Brought together are dedicated participants from all walks of life to create a support system with continuous contact. The group meets one full day a month in New York City to present and discuss current work. This six-month (or longer) dialogue concerns vision, creativity, and experimentation. Our main focus will be on your work and how it can be refined to best reflect your vision and sensibilities. We will address such issues as blocks, motivation, marketing and the development of ideas. For information, contact Ernestine Ruben at

"I've had the great privilege of being involved in workshops led by Ernestine Ruben. Her dynamics, boundless energy and enthusiasm create a productive work-shop environment. Ernestine's strong belief in the potential of the individual student and her dedication to photography as an art form have not only inspired me but have given direction to my artistic development. Her love of art and teaching have combined to give me unforgettably rewarding experiences."
Bill Metcalf 2003

A productive workshop is when obvious and hidden pieces are carefully connected producing the most benefit to the individual as well as to the group. These include technical knowledge, aesthetic awareness, intellectual curiosity, and personal honesty. This means reaching into given "baggage", reworking the contents, and creating new pathways. This is done by mutually identifying strengths and weaknesses, establishing problems, planning their resolution through creative approaches to photography.

1-14 days; all at one time or split into two parts allowing time for preparation in between

2-15 people

Call or write for information

1. Changing Environments in Photography: Inner and Outer Environments
As our external environments change our internal environments change and vice versa. How do we keep up? What happens to our ideas? This workshop concentrates on our states of mind and creativity in forever changing environments. How is all of this expressed using photography? It will appeal to the person who has little time, or travels a lot, or is interested in opening up new channels. The subjects will vary as the problems arise. It is our aim to breathe new life into our processes and products.

2. Detours in Photography
Students will work under Ruben's direction to break new ground with their image-making techniques. As rules are broken, new approaches are developed and discovered to appropriately express new vision. Students will print the images using varying techniques on varying surfaces,including handmade papers. By using these alternative methods, they will be able to explore new dimensions of their creative energies.

3. Perceptions of the Nude
This workshop explores the subject of the nude as a means of revealing and clarifying each participant's individual perceptions of the world (and development as an artist). By examining our philosophical and psychological reactions to the human form we become more sensitive to our own "human-ness" and can frequently break down barriers, releasing new creativity. The nude in photography will be related to other art forms such as painting and sculpture, which have incorporated the human figure in a variety of ways throughout history. The workshop includes extensive photography sessions with models, both indoors and outdoors.

4. New Visions in Photography
This workshop is for all artists at all levels who seek (re)discovery through photography. The human imagination can be stretched and strengthened through a continual motion between risking the unknown and incorporating the given, between failure and progress. And photography is the perfect medium for this because it deals with a given reality and yet today it is so open-ended. In the workshop we will address our humanness and passion in creativity, look at the origin of our ideas, and pinpoint barriers in order to release new energies toward a new project. Appropriate techniques will be developed to express new visions. The workshop will emphasize one-to-one contact.

5. The Photographer: The Human Being
Most photography classes discuss either technique or philosophy. Rarely is the human aspect important. I wish to combine all three. Photography is often clothed in technique. Many people involved in photography forget that there is more. This workshop is a complementary approach toour constant learning which must take place. Do we want to inject ourselves into our work? How do we do it? How do we master techniques enough to transcend it?
Week 1: People Project: Who we are. Self-portraits, personal vision, career development.
Week 2:Ideas: How we think. Ways of finding ideas, choosing ideas, visual organization.
Week 3: Ideas: How we work. Processes, manipulation, applications, etc.
Week 4: Extensions: Where we go. Portfolio preparation, shows, books, performance, experimentation.

6. The Female Eye: Women Seeing Women
Peter's Valley Craft Center, Layton, NJ
Photographing the body is a difficult and exciting challenge. The human body, and particularly the female body, has always played an important role in photography. Women have a particular view of their body and often treat it as landscape, as portrait, and as body inhabited by dreams and expectations. Therefore we are offering this workshop to female image-makers of all types and ages who wish to explore the celebrations of the female form.

This workshop will encourage you to create a fresh approach when photographing the figure. In this hands-on class you will discover new ways to take risks in order to represent the female body with innovation. We will explore how the female body has been interpreted throughout the history of photography and learn new methods to take our work beyond those limitations, which we all know too well. This class is all about opening new doors with creativity!

Combining in-depth discussions, portfolio review, demonstrations, lots of shooting, and one-on-one meetings with Ms. Ruben, you will have the time and guidance to re-energize and realize original and informed directions for your image-making. On location at inspiring sites, Ms. Ruben will cover the latest techniques, innovative aesthetics, and share her expertise on how to use lighting to your best advantage. The experience of working with live models will have its effects on everything you photograph! Come with ENERGY!

7. Beyond Seeing II
Peter's Valley Craft Center, Layton, NJ
In the fast changing world of the photographic image, there is more than the camera! The landscape at PV is a great motivational factor for discoveries in Photography! Has everything been done? You will find out. The artist and their art can take new directions! Experimentation will be strongly encouraged as well as risk-taking. Students will pursue their own tracks with the help of one to one attention from Ernestine Ruben. Creating problems and finding their resolutions will be encouraged. You are encouraged to bring your laptops and shooting with a digital camera will be required.

For Schedules and details (cost, location etc.) contact Ernestine Ruben

Lectures about such topics as the human body, spirituality in photography, and collaborations between photographers and other artists, can be organized. For more information,contact Ernestine Ruben