Studio Lighting

If you’ve got a studio, then poor weather or the onset of night need never stop you shooting. However, even if you don’t have access to a studio, learning studio lighting will improve your available light and location light portraits. Simply visualise where you would place the lights in a studio setting, then find ways to replicate that with whatever light you have available to you.

Pack your speedlites and portable flash: this section is all about bringing artificial lighting on location to achieve results that wouldn’t be possible with available light alone. You’ll learn how to make daylight turn into night-time, freeze BMX-riders mid-air and light up snow and smoke for beautifully atmospheric portraits.

One-light low key studio portrait

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

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 ...
Action gymnast portrait in the studio

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 ...
Flattering Faces: Broad and Narrow Lighting

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 ...
Award-Winning Portrait Of A Modern-Day Explorer

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 ...
Sculpting Faces With Shadow

Sculpting Faces With Shadow

Shadows give your portraits a sense of depth and shape. Here’s how to achieve the ‘Rembrandt’ lighting pattern, and turn ...
Teenager Headshots

Teenager Headshots

Of all the age groups I photograph, teenagers are by far my favourite. They are at their physical peak, and ...
Traditional Lighting Patterns

Traditional Lighting Patterns

These are the traditional lighting set-ups that studio photographers used to be taught as standard. The set-ups create different ‘light ...
How To Feather Studio Light

How To Feather Studio Light

Sometimes a gentle, subtle portrait is the best representation of your subject. Here I used feathered, low key lighting and ...
A Cover Story

A Cover Story

The cover of Mastering Portrait Photography features a portrait of young Ben (who is now a professional rower!). Here’s the ...
Sensual Portraits

Sensual Portraits

Sensual portraits tease the viewer's imagination. Learn why it’s best not to reveal too much, and how to feather your ...
Hollywood Glamour Portrait

Hollywood Glamour Portrait

The pros and cons of working with a beauty dish, and how to use subtractors to reduce the amount of ...
Low Key Hair Salon Portraits

Low Key Hair Salon Portraits

Sometimes you’re aiming for a specific look, but your subject arrives wearing something that doesn’t align with your vision. Here, ...
Channeling James Dean

Channeling James Dean

Bruno walked into my studio wearing his leather jacket. It appealed to me from a photographic point of view and ...
One-Light Studio Portrait

One-Light Studio Portrait

Often, the simplest things are the best. Here’s how you can replicate my go-to studio set-up to get flattering lighting ...
Beautiful, Studio-Lit Stranger

Beautiful, Studio-Lit Stranger

There's only one complete stranger that I've approached, asking her out-of-the-blue if I could photograph her: that's Dory, who you ...
High Key Striplight Portrait

High Key Striplight Portrait

Can you shoot a pale subject on a pale background? Yes, you can, if you control your lights. Here’s how ...