Creating Stunning Portraits With Rotolight AEOS and NEO2

The good folk at Rotolight lent us two pieces of kit for this demo: the Rotolight AEOS and the NEO 2. These lights were originally designed for video work, but Rotolight have added a strobe feature that means they can be used like studio flash lights or location strobes (off-camera flash). They are extremely lightweight, very portable and their battery goes on as long as you can. We had a lot of fun putting them through their paces! The ideas …

Photoshop Shorts: Create A Reflection That Can Be Adjusted

In this “Photoshop Shorts” episode, I show how to create a reflection in Photoshop. Not just that but one that can be done quickly and can then be tuned so that it looks like a mirror-reflection all the way through to a semi-matt surface. I use a picture of a dog to demonstrate the technique, but it’s equally applicable (and just as quick) to use on product or portrait photography too. The video uses layers, masks, the Blur filter, Smart …

Video: Photographing Children With Their Favourite Props

The Mastering Portrait Photography team asked four-year-old Benji to bring some things to the studio to be photographed with. He chose some toy cars, a camera and… our studio dog. First though, Paul shows us one of the most common lighting set-ups he sees – flat lighting. This happens when the light hitting the subject is equally powerful from both sides, such as when you have two equidistant studio lights at the same power settings. Paul explains why he hates how …

Walkthrough: Creating High Key Images Of White Dogs

In response to a question on the Forum, this walkthrough covers a method for creating high key images of white dogs (i.e. white dogs on white backgrounds.) The video is just me sitting and doing what I normally do: figuring out what each image will finish up looking like as I go. Although I usually have a pretty good idea of the steps I’m going to take and the finish of the ultimate image, there is no way of being …

Image Critique 6

Four more of your images under the loupe, OK, well in Lightroom anyway.  Today we’re going to be talking about cropping, interaction, making images timeless, sensor dust spots and (and why wouldn’t we be?) bathing in milk.  As always, beautiful images to inspire and engage. 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 image will then appear in one of the …

Video: Outfit Selection for Portrait Photography

When a client turns up with a suitcase of clothes – or even just the outfit they’ve got on – how should what they wear affect the type of portrait you create? In this video, model Sophie arrives at my studio with an array of outfits that I’m seeing for the first time. I select a handful of them, talk through the shots I visualise based on the outfits, then go outdoors and into the studio to create those shots. …

Video: Characterful portrait trio of Rob using studio lighting

Create strong, masculine and characterful portraits by controlling your light and shadow areas. I see WAY too many studio portraits with flat lighting. In this video I explain why I hate images where light is thrown from every direction on to the subject and background. Don’t be scared of shadows. They bring shape, depth and character to portraits. In fact, when you bring shadows into play, you can effectively capture subjects in white clothes on white backgrounds, without everything merging. …

Video: Simple studio couple portraits of Lily and Sam

We came into the studio to warm up and dry off after a rather soggy winter portrait taken in the rain/snow outside. I put the kettle on and handed out the cups, and spotted the opportunity for a few simple but lovely studio portraits featuring some splashes of red. Watch the video to see what we created and find out why you shouldn’t complicate your lighting, or be scared of including shadows in your portraits.

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 …