Posing

As soon as people are in front of the camera, they become self-conscious and awkward. How can you pose them in an authentic, natural way, without it looking all… posed? In this section, we’ll show you how to use the way people naturally hold themselves to get portraits that – with a little fine-tuning – flatter them but also look true to who they really are. Sometimes, you may want to achieve a fashion-style image with a subject in a …

Dealing With Reluctant Subjects

Pauline walked into my studio and declared, “I don’t know why I’m here”. This is how I responded, and how it led to me creating one of my best-known images. I create images for our local espresso bar, Little Italy, who use them in their advertising. In lieu of payment, they display my portraits in their customer seating area. This is mutually beneficial, as they get free photography, and their customers get regular exposure to my work. Relationships like these …

Award-Winning Studio Dog Portrait

This portrait of Rufus, our studio dog, won ‘Dog Portrait of the Year’ at the 2018 Master Photographers Association Awards. Here’s how we created it. It’s always lovely to win an award. It’s extra nice to win one for a personal portrait. This shot was taken for Sarah, my wife, as a birthday present. Sarah loves Rufus (a slightly errant working cocker spaniel) possibly more than she loves the rest of us, so I knew she’d be delighted with a …

Creating triangles with a family of four

When you’re faced with a group of people, the easy option is to get them to sit or stand close together. Instead spend a little more time to position them so that the pattern of their heads in the frame creates a more interesting shape, like a triangle. Amy, Blaize, Kai and Callie spent the day with us while we were filming our promotional video for Paul Wilkinson Photography. Part of the video shows what our portrait shoots are like, …

When the puppy has other ideas…

So there I was, lying on the floor one (really) cold December day, capturing portraits of this family walking along with their new puppy. All of a sudden, the puppy hurtled towards me. What to do? React – quickly – and seize the opportunity for a totally different image: this one.   Families who rarely meet up during the year often make the effort to do so over the Christmas period. So, even though it’s too late to make sales …

Fun portrait of a close friendship

It was the last summer before four very good friends said their goodbyes and parted ways. My commission was to capture the joy of their time together for them to look back on. This was taken as part of a 16th birthday shoot for Sophie (on the far right of this shot). She was one of a group of four who had been friends forever and were about to be apart for the first time as they were heading off …

Working with people of different heights

How do you balance out height differences in a couple or group? This is my approach to photographing short and tall people together – and why sometimes it’s best not to manipulate height differences at all. I was recently commissioned to create a panoramic image for a company’s website, featuring everyone in the team. For this kind of job, I typically shoot everyone individually, then combine the images in post-production. This allows for a little manipulation to even out big …

Movie-star posing for teen groups

Three sisters wanted a great shot of their collective pre-teen, teenage and young adult children. The kids were less than enthusiastic – how could I get them on board? This portrait was one of 20 images in my submission for the top professional qualification, a Fellowship with the Master Photographers Association. I took it during a session booked by three sisters. They were looking for a portrait of their combined offspring: ten cousins, aged between 10 and 21 years old. …

Close-Up Male Portraits

Two simple, naturally lit portraits of two lovely guys. Read on for three tips for emphasising masculinity in portraits like these, and how to pose guys without making them look posed. Sam (left) is a builder and this image was taken during his engagement shoot. He has really engaging eyes that I wanted to make the focus of this portrait. It’s lit really simply: there’s a window to the right (as we’re looking at it). I asked Sam to sit …

Using Your Subject’s Natural Stance

People need direction in front of the camera – otherwise they often become self-conscious and suddenly forget how they would sit or stand in a relaxed manner normally. So how do I pose them without making them look all… posed? Glen got in contact with us because he wanted some portraits to give to his nan. He has quite a dark skin tone, and arrived in this dark suit, which made me very happy because I love portraits that combine …