Saturday, April 19, 2014 · 3:45 p.m.
The Portrait Mentorship Project will offer two different takes on the same subject. This is Wann's version of "Katie." (Photo: Contributed)

When you think of holiday portraits, you probably imagine the same old thing: tacky sweatshirts, tinsel, the family pet struggling to break free from your Yuletide strangle.

Something like this, perhaps? Shudder.

Fear not, however: Several photographers are offering a completely different approach to your holiday portraits this year.

Diana Edwards, owner of Studio Space Junk on Chattanooga’s North Shore, is a young analog photographer. Recently, she’s been mentoring under the tutelage of Mike Wann, an old-school photojournalist turned digital photographer. Wann spent years working in the news industry before turning his focus to freelance work.

Throughout December, both photographers are offering digital-analog or digital-only packages.

Click here for information on both packages.

The first package includes a two-hour shoot featuring Wann as the primary photographer and Edwards shooting several rolls of black and white film. Those photos will then be developed in a darkroom by hand.

The digital-only package features a two-hour shoot with minimal editing of the photographs. Optimization is available after the shoots, but not required.

Edwards' portrait of "Katie." (Photo: Contributed)

In addition to the session, you’ll also be helping Edwards learn more about the art of portraits.

"The more I get into photography, the more I’m learning the variables are exponential," she said. "So this helps me learn lighting from [Wann], why things are being printed, and why this and that are done in a certain way."

Wann credits Edwards with reigniting his spark for black and white photography.

"Diana has sort of brought me back into that world," he said. "I’m all digital now, essentially. Up until a few weeks ago, I had not made a black and white print in years, and it was so easy to get right back into it. It was like I never left it."

The juxtaposition of styles with the added student-teacher element can make for interesting portraits.

"There’s definitely a sort of dynamic relationship here where she represents something, and I want to help her develop her vision," Wann said. "She has a good talent for ... if you wanted to say ... off-beat."

Edwards said, "This isn’t like Walmart. We don’t have everything set up. You’re going to see us changing as we go."

Although the portrait packages are only available through December, both Wann and Edwards would like to find a more stable space to continue their collaborations.

Studio Space Junk at 436 Frazier Ave. offers an assortment of analog film and equipment. Edwards offers workshops in Polaroid photography and darkroom techniques. More information can be found here.

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