Image + Imagination: Creating Characters with the Camera

Image + Imagination: Creating Characters with the Camera

Featuring: Mimi Haddon and Aline Smithson

Saturday, May 4th | 12PM – 4PM

Meet at Photoville Workshop Tent.


Register here, walk-ins welcome depending on availability.


Join Mimi Haddon and Aline Smithson for a workshop that celebrates play and imagination. Both instructors have a photographic legacy of considering the performative nature of photography by using costumes and props to create new realities. This workshop will feature dancers from the Heidi Duckler dance company.

This is a BYOC (bring-your-own-camera) workshop that will start with an introduction to the instructors and slide show of the artists’ work and inspirations. Participants will then head outside for a live, guided shooting session in and around Photoville and the Annenberg Space for Photography where photographers can create their own altered realities using dancers or other workshop participants as subjects.

Props, fabrics, costumes and masks will be provided, but photographers are encouraged to add their own. The workshop will further the collaborative process of creating characters and archetypes in architectural spaces. Simply put, we are going to experience the joy of play and imagination.

The workshop includes an optional wrap-up session and casual group critique where students may share their work and get ideas and feedback from the instructors and their workshop peers.

Make sure to also check out Mimi Haddon’s The Palace Wild Exhibition, and Walking Tour with Aline Smithson at Photoville LA.


Mimi Haddon uses costume as a tool to explore the themes of archetypes and excess. Through her use of color, light and awkward body references, she infuses a sense of surrealism into her creature-like sculptures. She attributes her fascination with combining humor and post-apocalyptic themes to the many thousands of hours watching I Love Lucy and Twilight Zone reruns as a child. Haddon’s clients include The New Yorker, Rodarte and Getty Images. In 2018 she graduated with an MFA in Fiber art from CSULB where she expanded her knowledge of sculpture, textiles and costume. She is a frequent collaborator with Heidi Duckler Dance and is a professor of photography and design at FIDM.

Aline Smithson is a Los Angeles based artist best known for her conceptual portraiture. She has exhibited widely including over 40 solo shows at a variety of institutions and galleries around the globe. Her work is held in a number of public collections and her photographs have been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, and PDN. Aline is the Founder and Editor- in-Chief of Lenscratch, a daily journal on photography and she has been teaching at the Los Angeles Center of Photography since 2001. Her work is currently on view at the National Portrait Gallery, London and in April 2019, Kris Graves Projects will publish her book, LOST II: Los Angeles.