Dutch Masters Inspired:

Flowers + Portrait Styling & Photography Workshop

Sunday, March 31st, 2019, 1PM-6PM // San Francisco, CA

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Surrounded with a stunning array of flowers, botanical curiosities, and lustrous fabrics we will celebrate the raw beauty of the Pacific Coastline's naturalia and the everyday. Step behind the curtain and into our atelier to learn all the secrets to exquisite, Dutch Masters-inspired stylings.

At this workshop, we’ll each create gorgeous, seasonal floral centerpieces, and style them around two diverse portrait models in a Dutch master inspired still life scene, complete with opulent decorative objects and fauna of the times. As afternoon light bathes the room in painterly shadow, we’ll study how to position and style our arrangements and models for portraits that are classically striking and embrace the art of chiaroscuro.

Then, we'll gather around each station to capture photographs for social media, business and personal inspiration. With an emphasis on the local and seasonal, and an art historical approach to styling, we’ll learn to create alluring images that evoke the past, yet work in the present.

Who is this for

  • Portrait Photographers and Aspiring Portrait Photographers who want to learn a historical approach to design and add to their portfolio.

  • Wedding Photographers and Aspiring Wedding Photographers who are looking to challenge their current creative methods and ways of approaching natural light in their photographs. 

  • Florists, Aspiring Florists, and Flower Lovers who want to revel in the best the season has to offer

  • Bloggers, Photographers and Creatives looking to grow their imagination, skill, and network in a botanical direction

  • Instagrammers, for business or pleasure, who want to create striking images for a beautiful feed

  • Some combination of the above, or anyone who wants to add more amazing flowers to their work!

What will you learn

  • In short, technique and design for flowers, still life and portrait photography inspired by the Dutch Masters... 

  • How to photograph flowers and people to create stunning, painterly images for your business and personal use

  • What flowers to use, where to find them and how to arrange them in a painterly style to create movement and depth (all without foam!)

  • How to use still life design and props to enhance your floral and portrait creations, create visually striking images and tell a story

  • The historical meanings and symbolism of flowers so you can tap into a secret language within your floral and photography work

  • How to work with light in order to create beautiful and flattering compositions of your portrait subject

  • Post processing secrets that make all the difference between blah images and really striking ones

Much like the bountiful paintings that inspired it, this workshop goes above and beyond! Brynna will share all her secrets to flower and still life styling, and Jacquelyn will guide in how to capture portraits with striking gravitas, pushing the boundaries of how you see.  In addition to focused instruction, there will be plenty of time for group Q&A and one-on-one attention. Light seasonal refreshment, homemade sweets, and festive beverages will be served.

Workshop Overview

Live demo:  See our process in action. Brynna will build up a lush, floral centerpiece while we talk through everything on the artistic side (color, composition, form, texture, depth) so you can create more movement, mystery and poetry in your designs. We’ll discuss style, especially the messy yet elegant and opulent designs of the Dutch Golden Age and beyond, and the symbolic messages of the flowers woven throughout the arrangements of the Dutch Masters! We'll also let you in on the practical secrets, such as: how to choose the best flowers and where to find them, choosing the right vessels for your designs, tips for "ripening" flowers and maximizing vase life…

Flower styling: Dig into a sumptuous “flower buffet”!!! This is the main event and it will be delicious.  Everyone will have the workspace and materials needed to create your own beautiful arrangement. Brynna and Jacquelyn will be available for Q&A, tips, and one-on-one assistance.  After everyone has had their fill, we’ll briefly discuss and appreciate each work, receive additional feedback and tips, so we can all learn from each other.

Still life and Portrait styling:  Tell a floral story full of mystery and poetry. With our flower arrangements set as the anchor of a still life scene, we will now add props and botanicals.  A demo table will be prepared in Brynna's signature “poetic messy” style, inspired by the messy table scenes of the Dutch Masters, artist’s ateliers of the past, and the poetry of everyday life. Pick from the array of natural curiosities and thematic props to add character and tell a story in flowers and objects.

At this time, Jacquelyn will demonstrate how to guide our portrait models into pose and within the scene. As a group, we will decide which garment details we want to highlight and accessories to include in our image styling. Garments will be representative of the neat and modest, yet opulent wardrobe and interiors of the 17th Century Dutch middle class. 

Photography: How to best capture flowers in all their ephemeral beauty? First, Brynna will run through all of her techniques for photographing flowers in a painterly style, in particular a full how-to for creating the striking Chiaroscuro effect. Jacquelyn will teach the six patterns of lighting for portrait subjects and how to choose the technique that best supports your visual intentions. This will be a full run through from camera settings to light manipulation on set: a practical step-by-step process that you can recreate in your studio or home. 

Whatever your visual style, this photography section will help you create better images to bring attention to your work and communicate to the world what you're all about. Besides "how to take better pictures" we'll talk "how to get more pictures," the tips and strategies to get the most out of your flowers. This is especially useful when creating content for social media and promoting yourself or your brand. Phone camera, digital and film are all welcome!

Post-processing: With digital photography, how you process the image has a huge effect on the end look! It’s also key for creating a polished Instagram feed. We'll talk about various approaches to post-processing, for iphone and camera, how to edit to get different looks. And of course, we'll spill our secrets on the particulars of our post-processing style.s

In addition to learning and experiencing hands-on, throughout the workshop there will be plenty of opportunities to pick our brains. While you will benefit from a structured curriculum, the workshop is designed so that we can also learn from each other and appreciate each other’s strengths in a nurturing, fun environment.  As you can see, this will be one action-packed floral extravaganza... And we are so looking forward to meeting you!!!

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Workshop includes

  • All flowers and floral supplies

  • Creative Journal and Writing Instrument

  • The opportunity to photograph two diverse models

  • Still life props and settings

  • Light refreshments, sweets and festive beverages

  • Plus all the takeaways listed below!!!


Each participant will leave with pretty much everything you need to recreate the magic at home.  This includes:

  • Your stunning floral arrangement

  • Reusable vessel and frog

  • Photograph(s) of your arrangement and portraits for portfolio, social media and personal use

  • A booklet brimming with all of our secrets and tips for rapid and deep improvement in floral and still life styling as well as photography and post-processing

  • Journal and writing instrument for note-taking

  • Anything else we can think of that would make this amazing!!!

Reserve your spot

$1297 Registration by February 28th

$1497 Registration after March 1st

Please note that space is very limited to ensure the highest quality experience for all who attend. 

Flowers, props and palette are subject to change based on availability and season. We are sorry that due to the nature of the workshop refunds cannot be offered. If unable to attend, you may transfer your spot to a replacement attendee. In the case of a cancellation by Brynna and Jacquelyn, a full refund will be issued.

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Brynna Levine is a San Francisco-based photographer and floral designer.  Her work embraces an ethos of re-enchantment, spanning the genres from still life to portraiture and fine art to commercial. She holds degrees from NYU and University of Chicago and is available for events, workshops, design collaborations, and commissions.

With a reverence for the seasons, and the habits of plants in the wild and untamed gardens, she revels in the magic, the wonderment of nature at work, the seduction of the beautiful. Her work continues to be informed by art history, painting, and the craving for connection with nature, both nostalgic and primal. She sources flowers from a small garden in addition to conscientious foraging, farm sourcing and of course the wonderful San Francisco flower market.

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Jacquelyn Tierney is a creative teacher and photographer whose work serves the woman ready to embody more love and show up more fully in her relationship with herself. Jacquelyn leads intimate circles, workshops, and portraiture sessions designed to guide women back into loving relationships with their bodies, voices, confidence and artistry, so that they can fully step into who they are and who they are meant to be. 

She holds a Master's degree in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with Parsons The New School; Majoring in German 18th Century Palatial Interior Architecture with a Minor concentration in Roman Landscapes, 1485-1650. Her undergraduate degree is from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University with a Printmaking Concentration.

Jacquelyn currently travels to her portrait clients throughout the United States, the UK and Europe.