A Window-Lit Portrait in a Client’s Home

What to look for when shooting a windowlit portrait at a client’s home and why negative space provides a welcome visual pause in your portrait sets. Creating a portrait at someone’s home is a challenge but also an opportunity, for two reasons. Firstly, you are capturing your subject in the environment where they feel most relaxed and comfortable, which means the whole experience is less intimidating for your subject than attending a studio. Secondly, a shot like this counts as …

Intrigue In The Abbey

Want your subject to shine, and your background to fade into the shadows? Make it happen by positioning your subject in a brighter patch of light and exposing for his or her skin. This portrait was taken while I was waiting to photograph a prom in an abbey. The room we were in was pleasant enough. However, as a portrait photographer I want your eyes to be drawn straight to my subject’s face, not what’s behind them. Lighting their face …

Who ‘Nose’ The Rules?

The ‘nose room’ rule & ‘cheekline’ rule are are rules about noses in portraits that you need to know, even if you decide to break them to create visual tension. I had just finished a shoot with Ryan and his sisters in a wood on his farm. We were walking back when I saw this caravan and thought it would look make an interesting background for a portrait. So I asked Ryan to sit on the wooden pallet – a …

Foundations: Leaving Space Around Your Subject

While filling the frame with your subject can lead to a high impact portrait – particularly if the final image will be used at a small scale – using this technique all the time leads to a selection of images that are repetitive. As with many of the rules of composition, when your images are viewed as a set, variety becomes key. Allowing space around your subject also enables you to include background or environmental details. … To get access, …

Composition for book design

When book author Sarah Virág commissioned a set of headshots for her new book, I had no idea how her book designer would use them. In addition, her web designers would also use the images online, and they would be looking for something different. All I knew was that designer-friendly composition was key. Sarah is a confidence coach and writer. Her book and coaching business focus on helping people to have more confidence and live their lives to the full. …

Video: Seven daylight portraits in ten minutes

Your location doesn’t have to be a limiting factor: with a little creativity, you can achieve a lot in a space most people would pass by without a second glance. In fact, you don’t even need to change or move much to achieve a varied set of portraits in one small area. In this short video, Paul shows how he created seven very different portraits of our young model, Kai, in ten minutes, using only daylight and a little creativity.