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. …

Walkthrough: Retouching A Black And White Portrait Of An Elderly Man

There is nothing quite like a beautiful black and white portrait. In this video, we walk through how to use Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to add that magic to a portrait of Bob, a senior citizen, who came into the studio. The walkthrough mentions the following: Using ‘Content Aware’ fill as a more effective way of retouching skin and removing hairs Using the Camera Raw filter to remove dust spots Using a lasso and an Exposure adjustment …

Walkthrough: Removing Reflections From Your Client’s Glasses

This walkthrough is in response to a question on our forum. Rob Dunse (who kindly provided the photograph that I use in this walkthrough) asked if there’s a way of removing those nasty, purple reflections you sometimes get when photographing someone who is wearing glasses. It occurs when you can’t find the relationship between your subject and the lighting where you completely eliminate the problem at the moment you hit that button. While of course it’s much better to avoid …

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 …

When the puppy has other ideas…

So there I was, lying on the floor one (really) cold December day, capturing portraits of this family walking along with their new puppy. All of a sudden, the puppy hurtled towards me. What to do? React – quickly – and seize the opportunity for a totally different image: this one.   Families who rarely meet up during the year often make the effort to do so over the Christmas period. So, even though it’s too late to make sales …

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 …

Striking a deal to get the shot

Alex wasn’t interested in having his photo taken, so I needed a strategy to encourage him to cooperate. Happily, one of the tricks up my sleeve worked a treat, enabling me to get him involved and even capture this joyful portrait. I still don’t know what the official term for this leaping heal-kick is. I’ve always called it a ‘Dick Van Dyke’ as, along with his decidedly dubious Cockney accent, this is what I most remember him for. When I …

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 …