Family Storytelling with Patrizia Montanari

Every family has a story and each of them is unique. In this workshop you'll learn to tell your story visually and build a beautiful photographic legacy.
Upcoming Workshop

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Our families are changing every day. When you record the details of your daily life you preserve those moments in time. Whether it is Tuesday night taco dinner or your morning routineyour everyday will look different through each season of life. In these classes, we will go beyond the pretty pictures to capture your family in a way that no one else can. 

This series is a combination of lecture, assignments and image review. After each class you will be given a photographic prompt and asked to submit images before the next class. These images will be reviewed during the session in a supportive and constructive way. By the end you will have created visual journal of this unique time in history.


Thursday, June 4: Finding the Light in Your Home
The instructor will start this series with teaching you how to find the light in your home. From sources like windows and lamps to the way the light plays off of floors, walls and objects,  there are many ways to make light a powerful element in your images. You’ll receive creative prompts to help you shoot your assignment for next week’s session.

Thursday, June 11: Portraits
In the second class we’ll review some of your submitted images, looking for clues for what worked and how you might improve. Then we’ll discuss how to create timeless portraits with a focus on lighting techniques, subject placement and styling tips. The instructor will discuss photojournalism techniques and how they apply to family storytelling and give you your next assignment.

Thursday, June 18: Documenting the Details
We’ll talk about how to capture the beauty of everyday life and how to document those small details that you would normally consider routine. Learning to see your own environment with fresh eyes is a challenging but rewarding exercise and photographing the reality of your home, whether organized or messy, peaceful or chaotic, will yield images that will grow in value over time. You’ll get prompts for your last assignment.

Thursday, June 25: Image Review
In this final class, we will review the images you have created throughout the past 4 weeks and offer encouragement and feedback. The focus will be on how photos as a sequence can often tell a much richer story about the time and events they portray. The instructor will talk about what to do now with your great photos. We’ll talk about ways to share your family story, such as books, gallery wall prints, online galleries and contest submissions.


  • There are no specific camera requirements for this workshop. You can use any camera you have on hand, including smartphones. Film would be acceptable if you have a way to process and scan your photos each week so they can be viewed electronically.
  • A basic understanding of how to use your camera and its settings.
  • Any lenses you want to use for your assignments.
  • A handheld reflector if you have one.


This workshop is for photographers at all levels who want to hone their visual storytelling skills. You should be comfortable with your camera’s operation and familiar enough with your editing software to allow import, selection and export of your images. There will be no instruction on the use of your camera or its features.

  • Cost per person is $250 early registration and $275 late registration.
  • Classes will be from 6:00pm-8:30pm Central Standard Time.
  • This workshop consists of four classes. When you register, you are registering for the complete four-class series. You cannot purchase the classes individually.
  • These classes will be held ONLINE using Zoom. Log in to Zoom meeting at least 15 minutes before the class starts to become familiar with the program and work out any technical issues that may occur.
  • Advance registration and payment is required.
  • Maximum number of students is 15.

This workshop is a part of our Picturing Home series. Join us in a free roundtable on Thursday, May 28 with notable documentary photographers, including Ed Kashi, Nancy Borowick, Christopher Lee, Patrizia Montanari and Terra Fondriest, as they talk about their experiences of documenting people and places.

We also invite you to enter the Picturing Home call for entry. You can find submission details and guidelines here.

Q: How will the online sessions be different from being in the classroom?
A: Like in the classroom, the instructor will present content and welcome discussion from the class. Using Zoom, she will share her screen so that participants will see her presentation and able to ask questions and interact with the instructor and their peers.

Participants will need a microphone to be able to be heard in the Zoom session. Most computers have a built-in microphone already.

We encourage you to use a webcam to join the Zoom class! It will help us feel connected and engaged, even though we aren’t all in one place. It’s so much better to see your fellow photographers than just a list of names. Also, getting ready to show up for an online class like you’d get ready to drive to a classroom helps to break out of the isolation of social distancing.


Q: Do I have to live in North Texas to take the online classes?
A: No! Have you always wanted to take a photography class with your friend or family member but you aren’t in the same location? This is the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill with a buddy near or far.

Q: Are there previous requirements for this workshop?
A: You should have a working knowledge of your camera settings including exposure modes, shutter speed, f-stop, white balance and ISO control. It’s recommended that you’ve already taken the DCP Beginner DSLR Workshop, DSLR 1 & 2 classes or equivalent training.

Q: How will I know if the class makes or not?
A: If the class doesn’t make and has to be canceled, you will receive an email no later than the day before the scheduled class date.

Q: What if I have to cancel an online class?
A: If you cancel 3-7 days ahead of the scheduled date of the class, you will receive 100% transfer credit toward another similar class within 3 months of the cancellation date. There is no refund or transfer credit for cancellations within 48 hours of start time of the class or workshop. Full details on cancellations are on our Policies page.

Patrizia Montanari

Patrizia Montanari was born and raised in Milan, Italy. Growing up she was surrounded by the love of a large extended family – uncles, aunties and cousins whose lives all entwined daily. She has many blissful memories of long, hot summers altogether in the south of Italy surrounded by art and beautiful food.

In 2002 she began traveling and experiencing a world outside of Italy, living and working in a number of cities including New York, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas until early 2017 when she made Portland, Oregon her home along with her husband Mark and two young children, Lucy and Johnny.

Patrizia has experienced and created art all of her life. In the last 10 years her love for portrait and figure painting naturally evolved into a love for photography. Taking photographs quickly became an obsession and a new way to express her creative side. Portraits are her passion and people are her biggest inspiration. Patrizia’s Photography business quickly grew a strong client base through word of mouth, working on a wide range of projects, from portrait to fashion lifestyle, product and food photography to name a few.

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