Opaque Smoke & Background Bokeh

How to backlight smoke so it becomes opaque, and using a slow shutter speed to capture background lights as out-of-focus circles (bokeh) in your portraits. Rui was a guest at a wedding I was shooting. I loved his look, and had in mind a specific image I wanted to capture, with backlit smoke around him. Despite not being a smoker*, Rui was happy to pose for me, so we made our way through someone’s else’s packet of cigarettes until I …

Horror-Inspired Fashion Portrait

Stylised portraits can be the most fun to create, especially if you enjoy overcoming technical challenges. For this shot, I needed to make a bright sky look like night-time, and match the model’s pose to the mood of the set-up. This is one of the trickiest images from our book, Mastering Portrait Photography. It was shot for an old friend of the studio who wanted to create some ‘horror-novel-inspired-images’ for a project for her fashion degree. I knew the location …

Lighting The Snow For A Night-Time Kiss In Winter

This is one of my most popular portraits: the drama of the red dress and wintry weather mixed with the anticipation of The Kiss makes for an eye-catching combination. Ah, best laid plans. It was winter. We had everything arranged: Lily and Sam would come over for some beautiful couple’s portraits under the full moon. It would be delicate, romantic and, well, dry. Then the sleet started falling – a sudden downpour of icy rain and slushy snow. I had …

Video: Backlit snow portrait using location flash

One of my best ever images was the result of a best laid plan gone horribly wrong (thanks, weather forecast). Instead of a romantic Valentine’s portrait in the moonlight, we were faced with the coldest, slushiest, iciest rain/snow instead. But I still needed my Valentine’s shot, and I thought perhaps I could get something decent despite the challenges. Find out how we went from a disastrous shoot to a soggy but successful one, JOIN NOW to view this and hundreds …