A Picture of Health | Portrait In Harsh Sunlight

A wide range of characters pass through our studio and often there’s a local flavour, as was the case when I was asked to shoot a portrait of gym owner Steve Gregory We have a lot of connections in our home village of Haddenham, and one of them is Steve Gregory, who happens to be the founder of an incredible local boutique gym. When I say gym, that doesn’t begin to describe the ethos of the ‘Fitlife’ brand: it’s so ...

Lighting

Lighting Striking photographs – the kind that makes you stop you in your tracks – usually owe their impact to the use of lighting. It could be the mood conveyed by atmospheric sun flares or the way the subject’s eyes seem to sparkle from the studio flash; either way, it’s your ability to notice and manipulate the light that is the key.   Framed By FloraOne of the (many) challenges of portrait photography is trying to come up with new ...

Photographing both light and dark skin tones with a single studio light

Sometimes photographing multiple clients at once is pretty straightforward. If the people in front of your camera have similar face shapes, similar heights and similar skin tones, then there’s fewer challenges to consider when creating flattering portraits of them together. But sometimes there’s a height difference that you want to minimise or exaggerate. Your clients might have different face shapes that require different lighting patterns to flatter their features. Or they could have different skin tones that you need to …

Shooting portraits in direct sunlight: 3 tips

Many portrait photographers shy away from direct sunlight. The common wisdom is that you can’t capture beautiful portraits in harsh light but that’s simply not true. Any lighting source can be used to create either beautiful or unflattering portraits. It’s not the light; it’s what you do with it. Sometimes, I don’t get a choice about when or where a shoot takes place. If a midday shoot is the only time my client can do, then I risk losing the …

Action gymnast portrait in the studio

There’s specific studio lighting know-how you’ll need if you want to try your hand at catching an athlete mid-air with an arc of powder around them. Read on to find out what you need to do. Oh, and this shot comes with a warning, too… Isibel’s family came in for a regular shoot together, but with one additional request. Isibel asked if she could be photographed doing her favourite pastime: gymnastics. We’d agreed to this in advance, so she brought …

Flattering Faces: Broad and Narrow Lighting

Different face shapes benefit from different lighting patterns. Read on to find out how to slim down a wide face or fill out a narrow one by changing just small thing – the angle of your subject’s nose relative to your main light. According to the people who measure these things, there are seven basic face shapes: oval, round, square, diamond, heart, pear and oblong. For our purposes, however, we’ll use a shape sorter with just two categories. The first …

One-light low key studio portrait

You’ve got one light. One subject dressed in dark clothing. And one dark paper background. All the ingredients for a perfect low key portrait. This is Alan. He wanted some portraits he could use for his business profile which is a fairly straightforward brief. However, if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it as best I can! I loved Alan’s dark suit and thought it would suit a dark background, so I had this shot in mind …

Award-Winning Portrait Of A Modern-Day Explorer

When an extreme adventurer came into our studio for some commercial clothing shots, my favourite picture happened when we ventured outside of the brief… Alex Bellini is an adventurer, speaker and ‘mental coach’. He’s rowed 35,000km solo across two oceans, walked 2,000km through polar routes and ran for 20,000km on different terrains. He’s an absolute legend, and an all-round nice guy, too. Alex booked in for some images earlier this year, but little did I know that they would turn …

Lights, Fans and a Seriously Fit Spin Class Instructor

The creative part of a portrait photographer’s job is to look beyond the obvious shot and create something that makes people look twice because it is so striking. In this shot, some creative lighting makes all the difference. Oh, and a whole load of fanning. This was a commercial shoot for Fitlife, our local (boutique) gym. My wife Sarah and I attend a spin class at the gym, and we’d noticed that our instructor, Iona, looked calm and serene. This …

Studio-Style Rim Light With Two Windows

You don’t need flash to create a studio-style portrait like this one; you only need a little lighting know-how… One of the highlights of our year is spending a few weeks on a luxury cruise ship… working, of course. We’re taken onboard as the lead photographers, with a remit of capturing beautiful images of their clientele in the stunning surroundings of the ship (with no cheesy printed backgrounds in sight). On one particular cruise, we were looked after by a …