Video: Looking For Light And Locations In The City

Oxford. One of the greatest cities on earth. Full of history, of course, but also a vibrant modern city with a huge range of locations in which to create portraits. So how do you go about looking for that perfect patch of light and that sumptuous scene to create an iconic portrait? In this video, we go for a long walk through Oxford with our models, Dory and Anisia, looking for interesting patches of light in which to create images. …

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 …

Telling Stories with Composition

Shooting families with young children? Accompanying everyone on a walk allows you to capture relaxed shots like this one, with everyone being themselves and interacting naturally. It also means you are likely to end up getting muddy… Twiggy, mud-splattered clothing is now an expected part of my appearance after an outdoor shoot. I spend a high proportion of my working day lying on my stomach, trying to get the lowest angle possible. In a portrait like this one, a low …

Group Graffiti Portrait In London

What’s the best way to include a variety of locations in your images from a single shoot? Go for a walk with your subject(s), just as I did with these five friends. This graffiti wall was just one of the perfect locations we came across. These five friends are all from Norway (although the woman who contacted me to arrange the shoot, Cathrine, now lives in the UK). They wanted some portraits together in London, so I arrived there bright …

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 …

A Crouch To Suit The Composition

I invited Steve into the studio so I could create some portraits for our book, Mastering Portrait Photography. I was specifically looking to capture portraits that illustrated different angles for photographing guys. Steve turned up wearing jeans and a jacket, so I wanted a pose that worked well with that combination. This crouch is quite striking and masculine while still being relaxed and informal, … To get access, you need to first be a registered member and then head over …

Newborn Portraits With No Kit And No Time

With all the time and kit in the world, it would be easy creating spectacular newborn portraits all the time. Back in the real world, there’s often a balance to be sought: what kit do you really need, versus what would be nice to have, and what can you realistically achieve in the time that you have? This was taken before I owned dedicated kit for photographing newborns. When it comes to equipment, it’s easy to feel like you can’t …

Aiming For The Lens

My high risk strategy for getting young James to look directly down my camera lens (and why safer alternatives are a good bet for engaging portraits, too) To get this shot, I challenged James to throw one of his marbles and land it inside my lens hood. He thought this was very funny and set about the task with enthusiasm. This gave me plenty of opportunities to capture the right moment just as a marble went airborne. I happily acknowledge …

Searching For Giants

Making your shoots fun for your subjects is key to getting memorable portraits. This image was the final shot of the day and the result of a playful interaction. The shoot with George and his parents was over, and we were walking back to the studio. I had plenty of shots already, but then we passed a church with a huge door. An image formed in my mind. Note: to create the sense of height in the doors, I lay …

Kai With His Skateboard

Simple is often best. A patch of daylight on a simple brick wall is all I needed to create this portrait. Oh, and the coolest kid on the block as my subject. Kai is very cool, very photogenic and completely at ease in front of the camera. I’ve photographed him a few times, and knew how relaxed he would be during this shoot. I asked him to bring his skateboard, and loved how it was nearly as big as him! …