A Picture of Health | Portrait In Harsh Sunlight

A wide range of characters pass through our studio and often there’s a local flavour, as was the case when I was asked to shoot a portrait of gym owner Steve Gregory We have a lot of connections in our home village of Haddenham, and one of them is Steve Gregory, who happens to be the founder of an incredible local boutique gym. When I say gym, that doesn’t begin to describe the ethos of the ‘Fitlife’ brand: it’s so ...

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, JOIN NOW to view this and …

Video: Outdoors portrait of Megan lit through glass by a softbox indoors

A softbox brings flattering light and a striking reflection to this outdoors portrait. As part of our series on reflections, I wanted to show how light from indoors can be used to light a subject standing on the other side of the glass. Shooting along the surface of the glass from the right angle then captures the subject’s reflection. Watch the video to find out how to light your subject in a flattering way in this set-up, JOIN NOW to …

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. JOIN NOW to view this and hundreds of articles, …

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. JOIN …

Video: Creating a sense of motion

Most of the time, portrait photographers work with a stationary subject and camera. The best action shot of this young skateboarder, however, involved moving both subject and camera at the same time.  When your subject is moving, you typically increase your shutter speed to freeze their movements. But what if you want to capture that sense of motion, rather than prevent it? Here, Paul shows us how he used controlled panning to capture young Kai on his skateboard. JOIN NOW to …

Video: Photographing A Couple Outdoors

How do you get a couple to relax when you’re pointing a camera at them? How can you evoke genuine smiles in your engagement and wedding portraits? How does light, location and posing come together in a successful couple’s portrait session? Join Paul behind-the-scenes as he creates beautiful portraits of an engaged couple in everyday locations, including on a garden lawn, under a pergola and in front of a street doorway. Paul shares tips for working with light and shade …

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. …

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 …

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 …