The Full Frame: Life On Scene

with lauren mitchell

100% online
register starting
september 11, 2017
current run
october 9, 2017
next run

register now >

Full Participation sold out.
Study Along seats available!

“You may or may not be able to change the world, but the world can certainly change you.” – Joel Meyerowitz
It’s time to let the background take center stage. Capture images of clients, family and even strangers in a way that gives meaningful, deeper insight and context into who they are. Photographing people in their everyday surroundings creates an atmosphere of comfort and familiarity, providing visual clues and allowing for more authentic representations of who they truly are. During this four week course, you will learn how to incorporate environment (no matter where you are) and even capture compelling images of places without people. The world around us is filled with images waiting for you to take them.


4 weeks


daily shooting encouraged


4 hours of work per week


this course has prerequisites


Students must own or have access to wide angle lens (between 24 and 50mm). Working with and knowledge of manual settings is preferred, as well as basic understanding of composition and light.



Lauren Mitchell is a street and documentary-style photographer living on the Space Coast of Florida with her husband and 4 year old daughter. She is a restless spirit who can’t sit still for more than a few hours at a time but seeks comfort in people and places she feels deeply rooted. Her daughter is often her travel companion and will most likely look back on her life as a series of gas station bathroom breaks and drive-thru windows. Lauren loves to photograph the world around her, especially the neighborhoods closest to home. She loves dark humor, junk food, podcasts and Stevie Nicks.
Her portfolio is available here.

The following photographers also participate in discussions and provide assignment critiques as teaching assistants:

A number of course alumni are invited to engage in discussion, share insight with students, and provide feedback and encouragement throughout the course.



Course Syllabus

Welcome & Preassignment

Week One | Seeing the World Around You

Reading: Discovering the power of observation, Creating context and developing insight in your surroundings, Making the public space personal, Examining different photographic representations of environment: chaotic vs. minimal, literal vs. conceptual, etc.
Assignment: Research/get inspired by your surroundings and share your findings; Photograph your surroundings using the different approaches learned in Week 1.

Week Two | The Full Frame: Composing for the World Around You

Reading: Discovering ways to use lines, shapes and color, Learning how to “see” and use techniques like framing, layering and depth, Finding or using available light that best suits the tone of the story, Telling a clear story in a busy or cluttered environment

Assignment: Begin researching topic ideas for Week 4 project, plus share one photo for each compositional technique discussed in Week 2.

Week Three | Capturing Your Subject in Their Environment

Reading: Exploring different kinds of environmental photography: personal, street and client, Depicting subjects in different ways: candid, detail and directed, When, how and why to establish trust with your subject; when, how and why to photograph subjects without consent, Evoking and conveying mood of subject and place, Expressing your vision while showcasing your subject’s personality

Assignment: Share researched project idea/begin shooting for Week 4, plus:
Option 1 — The Street Photography Essay: 8-10 photos of your experience on the streets of your neighborhood, city or place of interest (1 photo must be taken of a stranger with consent, 1 without consent, and 1 of no people at all).

Option 2 — Telling the story of a subject using their environment. 8-10 photos of the subject of your choice using candid, detail and directed techniques. Make sure to work to the edges of the frame, incorporating elements of environment and background that have particular meaning to the subject.

Week Four | The Whole Story

Reading: Combining all three weeks in one single project to tell the complete story of your subject, Culling and editing

Assignment: Begin/Continue shooting for final project of the place, person, theme or topic of your choice, using ideas and techniques from previous 3 weeks. Share a minimum of 25 photos.

Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students receive instructor and TA critiques of the posted assignment each week and have lifetime access to a Workshop Alumni forum for continued peer discussion after the course concludes.

Study Along students will have access to all materials and will be able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum and receive access to their own private subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments.


  • If you are on the fence about this class, DO IT! You won’t regret it. I have taken many CM classes as SA, this is the second (first was The Documentary Approach) I have taken FP and I highly recommend it! The feedback from both Lauren Mitchell and TA Jessica Thomason was thought-provoking and challenged me every week. I have been stretched and pushed so much in the last four weeks, and here I came out with a solid foundation to a personal project I hope to continue for a long time. I feel like I have grown leaps and bounds in my style and voice, and can articulate my vision more clearly. I am curious about the world around me and am now constantly asking myself how I can photograph this with intent and meaning. If you want to go beyond photographing your kids (or clients), but still include them, and you need a creative push, take this workshop!

  • Janet says:

    I just want to say that I loved this class. It was absolutely worth taking as an FP student. The assignments were thought-provoking, and stretching, and the feedback was extensive and super helpful. I think about the concepts and ideas from this class a lot. I think it has really helped me to start to understand and identify my style and desired approach to photography.

  • I’ve been shooting since 2008. I’ve taken plenty of workshops, like most of us. I have a pretty good handle on most aspects when it comes to shooting people, (lighting, composition, posing, non posing, etc.). But the topics that came up in this class….I felt like a complete newbie. Lauren has such a unique view of the world. It’s fascinating to see how her brain works, especially when analyzing a photo and how/why she shoots the way she does. A very different outlook from most people that I know and it’s pretty mind blowing. Since taking this class, my approach to photography has taken a turn. My images certainly have a different look and feel than from previous years and I’m loving the process! I’m really excited and just want to keep going!

    I highly recommend this workshop – Be prepared, some of the material can make you feel uncomfortable. However, being uncomfortable is a good thing and the best way to learn!

  • Sabi says:

    WANT THIS!!!!!!!!! Hope it starts soon!

Have a Question? Contact us Here!

Write a Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *