Video: Striking teenager portrait compositions using urban street features

You don’t need to go far to find great locations and beautiful light for your portraits. Join us behind-the-scenes as we take a walk around the streets near the studio to capture stunning portraits of two teenagers using just one camera, one lens and Paul’s favourite light source of all, daylight. You’ll get inspired by how easy it is to find potential in everyday locations: a wall, a doorway, JOIN NOW to view this and hundreds of articles, videos, critiques …

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! …

Golden Spiral Curve In Portraits

The Golden Spiral is a compositional tool that helps you create more high-impact portraits. Here’s how I used foreground foliage to create the spiral’s curves. The Golden Spiral is a compositional guideline that helps you place key elements of your scene within naturally powerful areas of the frame. In portraiture, that key element is typically your subject’s face or eyes. The Golden Spiral is based on an ancient design principle that found a ratio of 1:1.618 is the most visually …

Four Ways To Crop A Portrait

To crop, or not to crop? For all portraits other than full-length ones, you have to decide whereabouts on your subject’s body to place the edge of the frame. There are a few places where cropping is fine, and a few you should always avoid. The nice thing about working on location is that, more often than not, you can create numerous images out of one spot, and make them look very different simply by changing your crop. I photographed …

Farmhouse Rule-Of-Thirds Portrait

Sometimes the best portraits start unplanned – in this case, during a shoot break. I saw a patch of light, adjusted the scene to improve the composition and used the Rule of Thirds for a visually pleasing result. My client for this shoot commissioned me to create some portraits of their two grownup children, at their beautiful farmhouse home on the top of a hill in the Chilterns. As you’d expect, we spent loads of time outside, making the most …

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 a grey background to almost black. This portrait is all about controlling the tones across an image to create just the right mix of interest and sophistication. Here’s how you can do it. I’ve positioned a large, hexagonal softbox to Mark’s right. It’s just far enough forward that a patch of light has formed a triangle on his left cheek, …

Image Critique 3

Welcome to Image Critique #003! More of your work under the magnifier. Three images from three different photographers. In this episode we have a long exposure (a dragged shutter), beautiful lighting and perfect eye contact. Enjoy! If you’re one of our members and would like your images critiqued, please use the ‘image critique’ menu option above to submit a file (or more than one of you wish.) Your image will then appear in one of the future episodes! JOIN NOW …

Image Critique 4

Welcome to Image Critique #004!  More of your work under the magnifier. In this episode, we have three images from three photographers and we’re going to be discussing thumbs, cropping and cloning. JOIN NOW to view this and hundreds of articles, videos, critiques and discussions dedicated to the art, passion and business of portrait photography! JOIN NOW! LOGIN BackgroundsCatchlightsCloningCroppingDepth Of FieldDogsExpressionsVignettes >

Flattering Feminine Portraits

Here’s how to combine one woman, one feminine pose and one close crop for a quick and easy, high-impact portrait – with absolutely no lighting kit at all. Emphasising Femininity Posing Cropping Rule of Thirds Sometimes the best portraits are the simplest. There’s no lighting kit here: just natural light and beautiful shadows that emphasise Liv’s great cheekbones. A tight crop, a gentle smile and a natural-looking pose combine to make this a portrait you can do with anyone, anywhere. …