Blue-Eyed Boy

A simple, one-light set-up, a narrow colour palette and a bit of silliness (to catch your subject’s eye) are all that you need for a child’s portrait like this one. While parents usually want to have pictures of their children looking happy, sometimes it’s the more serious expressions that capture the true nature of their sons and daughters. This youngster, Jack, was transfixed by my antics for a few seconds, enabling a shot with a gentle feel that shows off …

High Key Office-Style Portrait

Bryony actually came into the studio for some headshots. I loved her outfit and the way she looked, so after the headshots were in the bag, I invited her to pose for some full-length office-themed images, too. I don’t normally use office furniture for shoots, but I wondered if it might work well with Bryony’s outfit. I opted for a high key, very clean look, the kind of thing you might see in an upmarket office supplies catalogue (hey, inspiration …

Portrait of an Artist at Her House

Here’s how I photographed one of the world’s best portrait painters, using just window-light and white walls for a relaxed, confident portrait in her home. Lucy is a world-renowned portrait artist. I was asked to photograph her in her house for a magazine article, so I wanted create an image where she looks relaxed, confident and very much ‘at home’. Here’s how I approached it. I chose to take this shot in Lucy’s beautiful kitchen. It’s painted nearly all white …

Sensual Portraits

Sensual portraits tease the viewer’s imagination. Learn why it’s best not to reveal too much, and how to feather your studio lights for super soft lighting. I wanted to create a sensual portrait of Gina. Sensuality happens when you tease the viewer and let their imagination get involved with the image. There’s nothing sensual about a portrait with everything on show, given away to the viewer like a present that’s already unwrapped. That’s why I’ve framed the image so that …

High Key Striplight Portrait

Can you shoot a pale subject on a pale background? Yes, you can, if you control your lights. Here’s how I used strip lights for this studio portrait of Lizzie. A fair-skinned subject in a white top on a white background? Common portrait wisdom states that it shouldn’t be done, but I disagree. White-on-white fails when you throw uncontrolled light all over the scene, losing shadow, definition and detail. Instead, control your lights and your exposure carefully for a high …

Video: Lily, Sam, Multiple Studio Strobes And A Little Romance!

I do love a black and white portrait, so after shooting to emphasise Lily’s stunning red dress, I started to plan some black and whites next. First off is a low key couple’s portrait where the focus (and the lighting) is shining on Lily as she reaches up for a kiss from her partner, Sam. 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! …

Video: Studio-Style Portraits of Bob with one Flash Gun

No studio? No problem. It’s cheaper than ever to get flash guns that you can use on- or off-camera. In fact, some enterprising brands are now offering complete sets of flash guns with transmitters and receivers for under £200. With a little bit of thought and one or two light modifiers (including a simple white-painted wall), you can recreate studio-style portraits in any location. In this video, my friend, neighbour and very patient portrait sitter Bob steps into the studio. …

Foundations: Using Studio Flash

Natural light is variable and impossible to control, whereas artificial light provides a consistent and adjustable light source. You don’t have to wait for the right time of day, or for the weather to clear, if you have studio flash or flash guns. Learning to use studio lighting is also great training for on location shooting – visualise where you would place the lights in a studio and find ways to replicate that with whatever light you have available to …