Award-Winning Portrait Of A Modern-Day Explorer

When an extreme adventurer came into our studio for some commercial clothing shots, my favourite picture happened when we ventured outside of the brief… Alex Bellini is an adventurer, speaker and ‘mental coach’. He’s rowed 35,000km solo across two oceans, walked 2,000km through polar routes and ran for 20,000km on different terrains. He’s an absolute legend, and an all-round nice guy, too. Alex booked in for some images earlier this year, but little did I know that they would turn …

Video: How to photograph two men with different heights, skin tones & face shapes!

Create a film-poster style portrait of two guys with contrasting physical characteristics. My team challenged me to take a portrait of Rob and Matt (our video editor) together, using just one studio light. The point to prove was how to flatter both of my subjects when they each have very different heights, skin tones and face shapes. As I explain in this video, the strategies I apply here can be used in any situation where you are photographing two people …

Using Your Subject’s Natural Stance

People need direction in front of the camera – otherwise they often become self-conscious and suddenly forget how they would sit or stand in a relaxed manner normally. So how do I pose them without making them look all… posed? Glen got in contact with us because he wanted some portraits to give to his nan. He has quite a dark skin tone, and arrived in this dark suit, which made me very happy because I love portraits that combine …

Teenager Headshots

  Of all the age groups I photograph, teenagers are by far my favourite. They are at their physical peak, and often walk in full of attitude, which translates into compelling portraits, like this one. Laura needed a headshot for her performing arts course, which could also be used for future auditions. I wanted to open up my aperture to get a really shallow depth of field, with just Laura’s nearest eye sharp and everything else in front and behind …

Sculpting Faces With Shadow

Shadows give your portraits a sense of depth and shape. Here’s how to achieve the ‘Rembrandt’ lighting pattern, and turn a grey background to almost black. This portrait is all about controlling the tones across an image to create just the right mix of interest and sophistication. Here’s how you can do it. I’ve positioned a large, hexagonal softbox to Mark’s right. It’s just far enough forward that a patch of light has formed a triangle on his left cheek, …

How To Feather Studio Light

Sometimes a gentle, subtle portrait is the best representation of your subject. Here I used feathered, low key lighting and a narrow tonal range to capture a studio portrait of a young woman, Julia, wearing a hat. Low key lighting refers to the predominance of dark tones and shadow areas in an image. This lighting style can be more atmospheric and give a greater sense of depth and shape than high key lighting; a good shoot/portfolio will include a mix …

Low Key Hair Salon Portraits

Sometimes you’re aiming for a specific look, but your subject arrives wearing something that doesn’t align with your vision. Here, I had been planning an image with dark tones, but my model was wearing white. I’m a fan of portraits with a narrow tonal range, as they look more subtle and sophisticated (to my eye, anyway). They also enable me to bring the viewer’s attention to the face more easily, as I light faces to be the brightest part of …