Video: Headshots with whatever you’ve got (studio flash / speedlights / windowlight)

Want to create corporate headshots but not sure how? Scared of studio or location lighting? Wondering how to work with windowlight? This video shows how you can create striking, flattering and professional-looking headshots no matter what your lighting set-up is. First, Paul talks about the importance of eye contact in corporate headshots. He explains what to consider when planning what orientation to use (upright or landscape format), and talks about how the confidence of both photographer and subject develops over …

Newborn Portraits With No Kit And No Time

With all the time and kit in the world, it would be easy creating spectacular newborn portraits all the time. Back in the real world, there’s often a balance to be sought: what kit do you really need, versus what would be nice to have, and what can you realistically achieve in the time that you have? This was taken before I owned dedicated kit for photographing newborns. When it comes to equipment, it’s easy to feel like you can’t …

Aiming For The Lens

My high risk strategy for getting young James to look directly down my camera lens (and why safer alternatives are a good bet for engaging portraits, too) To get this shot, I challenged James to throw one of his marbles and land it inside my lens hood. He thought this was very funny and set about the task with enthusiasm. This gave me plenty of opportunities to capture the right moment just as a marble went airborne. I happily acknowledge …

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 …

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 …

Windowlit Groom’s Portrait at Le Manoir

We had just a couple of minutes to capture this portrait. To achieve it, I needed to consider the various light sources in the room, and pose this groom so he looked as relaxed as possible. To me, Eddie looks a little like George Clooney, and once I had that in mind it was hard to forget! This was taken on the morning of Eddie’s wedding, in the bar of Le Manoir. The light in there is really interesting as …

Studio-Style Rim Light With Two Windows

You don’t need flash to create a studio-style portrait like this one; you only need a little lighting know-how… One of the highlights of our year is spending a few weeks on a luxury cruise ship… working, of course. We’re taken onboard as the lead photographers, with a remit of capturing beautiful images of their clientele in the stunning surroundings of the ship (with no cheesy printed backgrounds in sight). On one particular cruise, we were looked after by a …

Farmhouse Rule-Of-Thirds Portrait

Sometimes the best portraits start unplanned – in this case, during a shoot break. I saw a patch of light, adjusted the scene to improve the composition and used the Rule of Thirds for a visually pleasing result. My client for this shoot commissioned me to create some portraits of their two grownup children, at their beautiful farmhouse home on the top of a hill in the Chilterns. As you’d expect, we spent loads of time outside, making the most …

Foundations: Working With Natural Light

Working With Natural Light Natural light is freely available, requires little or no kit, and comes in enough different forms to keep your portraits looking varied for many years to come. In fact, many professional photographers use natural light exclusively. Of course, this comes with as many challenges as benefits, with the weather, intensity of the light and time of day being just a few of the variables you’ll need to consider. You’ll need sufficient light on your subject’s face …

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 …