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 …

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! If you’re …

Image Critique 5

Four more of your images under the loupe, OK, well in Lightroom anyway.  Today we’re going to be talking about overexposure (and a possible route to getting away with it), heptagonal diaphragms, black backgrounds – and not so black backgrounds – and bits that seem to creep into the edge of the frame. If you 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 …

EP82 Understanding Stops (More Importantly – Why It’s Useful!)

Today’s podcast was recorded as I travelled to photograph a wedding.  Given this is August 2020 (the year of Covid-19) that is not a particularly common occurrence, with most of our weddings being postponed to 2021 / 2022 so I am probably sounding a little giddy! As usual, there is an update on what’s been happening and then the main topic is all about understanding ‘stops’ – or, more precisely, why it’s USEFUL to understand stops, even in this day …

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 …

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 …

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 …