Video: Indoor portrait of Megan using window light

Capturing a subject and her reflection for a gentle, indoors, window-lit portrait. What can you shoot when stuck indoors on a grey day? We had been planning for sunlight but when it didn’t show up, we took the opportunity to capture this window-lit portrait as part of our reflections series instead. In the video I talk about working with changing circumstances (and less than ideal lighting) and also how you can adjust your position to get a more visually impressive …

Video: A simple spring-themed portrait of Nikki in the studio garden

Bring context to your outdoor portraits by including foreground and background details. Sometimes you want your portraits to convey a sense of time and place. I was photographing our model, Nikki, in our beautiful studio gardens just as the spring colours (and daffodils – bleurgh) were starting to emerge among the flora. I’ve included some of those colours as out-of-focus details in the foreground, while others surround Nikki in the background. As a result, the portrait conveys the garden surroundings …

Video: Fine-tuning your subject’s position in a tunnel of topshade

Topshade occurs when your subject is shielded from the sun overhead, by trees, building overhangs and archways or tunnels. Tunnels of topshade provide a special lighting opportunity, and are worth looking out for. As Paul shows in this video, changing the position of your subject within that tunnel enables you to fine-tune the balance of light on your subject’s face compared to the light in the background. Then, in the second half of this video, Paul touches on taking opportunities …

Video: Photographing A Couple Outdoors

How do you get a couple to relax when you’re pointing a camera at them? How can you evoke genuine smiles in your engagement and wedding portraits? How does light, location and posing come together in a successful couple’s portrait session? Join Paul behind-the-scenes as he creates beautiful portraits of an engaged couple in everyday locations, including on a garden lawn, under a pergola and in front of a street doorway. Paul shares tips for working with light and shade …

Video: Replicating a windowlight portrait using studio lighting

Achieve the soft, gentle and natural look of a window-lit portrait using carefully positioned studio flash. If you want to replicate the look and feel of natural lighting after the sun has set or when the window-light is just too weak, here’s how you can do it with flash. I’ve used two studio lights: one to light my subject, and another to throw enough light around the room to subtly separate her dark outfit from the black paper behind her. …

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 …

Learning To See The Light

Above all other elements – composition, camera settings and camera equipment included – lighting will determine whether a shot goes from being pretty standard to perfectly stunning. For example, you can photograph someone with model looks, but if the noon sun is causing them to squint and casts dark shadows in their eye sockets and under their nose, they will look mediocre at best. Moving them to a shaded area or using a diffuser would quickly remedy the problem. Equally, …