Video: Beautiful dog portraits with natural and studio light

In response to multiple requests from MasteringPortraitPhotography.com subscribers, we’ve created a video showing you how Paul captures his famous dog portraits. Paul’s expertise in canine photography stems from his ten years’ experience as lead photographer for the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. In this role, Paul has taken hundreds of thousands of images of puppies and older dogs, as each of the charity’s hearing animals passes through the charity’s training process. To add to this, in 2018 Paul was awarded the …

Video: Beautiful Outdoor Winter Portraits

No sign of the sun? Flat, overhead lighting? In this video, we’ll show you a quick trick to instantly improve the light on your subject. Then, things take a festive turn as we deck the halls with… well, fairy lights. Learn how to turn them into beautifully defocused orbs of glowing gold behind your subject. Next Paul shows how you can use an outdoor structure like an arch to protect your subject from the elements, and create beautiful light on their …

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 …

Video: Indoor portrait of Megan using window light

Capturing a subject and her reflection for a gentle, indoors, window-lit portrait. What can you shoot when stuck indoors on a grey day? We had been planning for sunlight but when it didn’t show up, we took the opportunity to capture this window-lit portrait as part of our reflections series instead. In the video I talk about working with changing circumstances (and less than ideal lighting) and also how you can adjust your position to get a more visually impressive …

Video: A simple spring-themed portrait of Nikki in the studio garden

Bring context to your outdoor portraits by including foreground and background details. Sometimes you want your portraits to convey a sense of time and place. I was photographing our model, Nikki, in our beautiful studio gardens just as the spring colours (and daffodils – bleurgh) were starting to emerge among the flora. I’ve included some of those colours as out-of-focus details in the foreground, while others surround Nikki in the background. As a result, the portrait conveys the garden surroundings …

Video: Easy natural light garden portrait of Nikki

Being flexible when things don’t go quite to plan often results in the best images of all. Ah, British weather. Here’s what happened when all our best-laid plans went out of the window. You can either complain about it or get on with it – we opted for the latter and ended up with a beautiful portrait of our model Nikki, framed by out-of-focus lavender. Sneak behind-the-scenes with us as I talk you though the thinking behind the portrait.

Video: Tutu Tutorial With A Beautiful Ballerina

It’s not every day we have a ballerina in the studio or, in this case, just outside the studio, so when we do we make the most of it. This tutorial shows how we created some interesting portraits focussing on dance posing and beautiful light – both available and artificial. It was a particularly cold evening when we created these images – especially for Emily who was wearing a tutu and pointe shoes! However, with a little perseverance and some …

Video: Fine-tuning your subject’s position in a tunnel of topshade

Topshade occurs when your subject is shielded from the sun overhead, by trees, building overhangs and archways or tunnels. Tunnels of topshade provide a special lighting opportunity, and are worth looking out for. As Paul shows in this video, changing the position of your subject within that tunnel enables you to fine-tune the balance of light on your subject’s face compared to the light in the background. Then, in the second half of this video, Paul touches on taking opportunities …