Doug Menuez demonstrates his portrait techniques for PDN giving us a lesson in human connection

“We’re primates—we look for eyes, expression, and emotion in the human face; the face is how we connect with people.”


-Excerpt from the workshop hosted by Doug Menuez at PDN Expo 2018

Menuez workshop Leica copy

By Missy Hunter

Photo District News asked Doug Menuez to host a workshop at the 2018 PDN Expo. At this request, Doug set about leading his workshop titled Light, Location, and Leica with Doug Menuez, on the roof of the Javits Center. When demonstrating his portrait shooting technique, it was only natural for Doug to explain his empathetic approach to photography throughout the tour. PDN documented the instructional session giving subscribers a taste of his photography style. Doug’s presentation was so inspiring it bears repeating here.

As PDN reported, Doug started with an explanation “What we’re doing today is something primal, something essential to photography. We’re primates—we look for eyes, expression, and emotion in the human face. The face is how we connect with people.”

To know Doug and his work is to recognize he has an enormous curiosity about the human experience. He determined early on in his youth that he wanted to try to change the world for the better. It is this belief that, to survive human beings must somehow find shared connections. This thinking is the fuel for the stories Doug tells about our lives.

While demonstrating his photography with the talent and different backgrounds during the workshop, Doug explained “You have to be willing to give something of yourself to receive something in return. If you’re not willing to have an exchange, you’ll never get the shot.”






Doug exhibited flexibility throughout his presentation by making small changes here and there to produce different looks. We wish we were on that rooftop to see Menuez guiding the photographers through several scenes ranging from using the Hudson as a backdrop to improvising with a chair and a coat for closeup shots.

As Doug explained to PDN, he continues working with the Leica SL because “The information design works for my brain; it fits me like a glove. I could list all the features I love about the SL, but I’m also thrilled with what’s not included. It’s the soul of simplicity, and simple is hard to do.”
Follow along with Doug Menuez on Instagram as he circles the globe to find those everyday moments that fuel empathy, connect cultures & remind us of our shared humanity.

The original article of the PDN Light, Location, and Leica with Doug Menuez workshop can be found at


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