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FAST CLASS: Portraits Under Pressure

Lesson 10 of 19

Culling the Commercial Shoot

Victoria Will

FAST CLASS: Portraits Under Pressure

Victoria Will

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Lesson Info

10. Culling the Commercial Shoot

Lesson Info

Culling the Commercial Shoot

So here's where we started and I'm just going for photos here that feel that have feeling to them that draw me in. I think that's really nice. There's something about what she's doing, her hands or great. I like that. Her feet are spread. It's really where, as photographers are honestly were the worst editors, have you ever noticed that? I'm sure that there's some photos in my edit that you were like, If I took that, I would never flick on that. But ah, that's the beauty of it. It's very objective. But I'm going for the photos that aren't obvious or the ones that make me stop and look just a little bit longer. Obviously, if you are shooting a client, um, maybe a bride or senior, they need a portrait of them smiling. You have to you know you're looking through those, but the ones that you end up keeping for you and that you go in your book should be the ones that feel right to you, not necessarily the obvious one. And I don't think you should put that photo of the senior necessarily smi...

ling in your book because you think that that's what people want to see because that's not true. And we'll talk a lot about that in marketing, which is this is nice, the highlight on her hands a little bit bright, but I would bring that down and if I, um, but it still seems very real to me that her face is in shadow. That doesn't bother me at all. There was a photographer when Why did those workshops? Who said, When you think you have your picture, that's when the photo shoot begins. I think that's very good advice. And I think about that all the time. Um, so when you're doing with your seniors or what not your, you know, working for a client and you get the photo that they want, that's when the shoot really begins, and that's when you get to really sort of push it and it's It's something you have to remind yourself because you were like I got it. We go home. No, it's great. So fun. I love the energy in that. So I might just find a square in here. I'm sorry. Uh, not a square by the rectangle or a different shape. Now that's interesting. Hair is a great. Just like rain is great elements that you think that tend to be really annoying, like, uh, having long hair contend to be that way. It's also really interesting. And photos rain makes landscapes and asphalt and roofs and everything really beautiful. And here in Seattle, you got a lot of it. So I think you should, you know, instead of it ah, getting upset that it's raining on your shoot day. Embrace it and see what you can come up with. Interesting. Very good. All right, So this is that first set. This is what I tagged. Well, just make them smaller. So I tagged a lot and I go through again. But I also shot two card when I got frustrated and ripped out the tether cable, and I put that right here. You can look at those images. No, it's got the whole card on it. It doesn't it. So these are the ones at the end. I'm going in reverse. Do you guys ever edit that way? I added that way a lot, actually, because a lot of times the best stuff is at the end. So it's easier for me to make that edit because I know there's There was stuff in there when we put together these photos here that I just tagged and we put together the ones that we just tagged here. We've got full length where you see her. We've got tight pictures. We've got horizontal Zagat verticals. We've got a lot of energy. We excuse me, we have quiet energy. That's a portrait of who she is. It doesn't always have to be the person's face looking to camera or looking away. You know, this is I think this is a really successful image and and who she is. And obviously I was we were creating this, But if you were documenting a family at home, that's very likely something that some kids would be doing Our, um And I think it's working with what's presented in front of you. And there again, these people are going to be doing things for you. So really look at their body language and see what they want to dio. So I hope that you ah, you see sort of the portrait of who she is here because I I think so. I think that there are details that you can always grab there really interesting. Uh, and it. And then when you put it all together, it just It feels like a narrative sort of of who that person is.

Class Description


Try a Fast Class – now available to all Creator Pass subscribers! Fast Classes are shortened “highlight” versions of our most popular classes that let you consume 10+ hours in about 60 minutes. We’ve edited straight to the most popular moments, actionable techniques, and profound insights into bite-sized chunks– so you can easily find and focus on what matters most to you. (And of course, you can always go back to the full class for a deep dive into your favorite parts.)

Full-length class: Portraits Under Pressure with Victoria Will

SUBSCRIBE TO CREATOR PASS and cue up this class and other FAST CLASS classes anytime.


  • Leverage new techniques for choosing the light and locations for a successful portrait
  • Know how to build a rapport and utilize clear communication with your subjects
  • Set up a developed concept as well as how to light on the fly
  • Use successful strategies for marketing yourself as a photographer and how to get your work in front of editors


Portraits require more than just great lighting and equipment. Sometimes a shoot doesn’t go as planned. The location is drab, the client isn’t in the best mood, or you forget to charge your camera batteries. Great portrait photography artists are able to think on their feet, connect with their subjects -- and capture great images under pressure. The best portraits often come from portrait sessions that didn't go exactly as planned, when challenges turn into assets.

Celebrity portrait photographer Victoria Will shows you how to use your environment to capture a unique, sharp image that reflects the person in the portrait. She’ll also highlight how to quickly evaluate a less than perfect situation and make it work for you and your subject. Take your portraits from amateur to near Mona Lisa gallery worthy by learning how to shoot portraits under pressure.

You’ll watch Victoria photograph real people in limited settings, discovering multiple opportunities in a limited space. Learn her three portrait musts for preparation, point-of-view, and connection. Gain insight into how to make every frame count and how to get the shots the editor requested, as well as those that speak to your vision. Learn how to make your subject feel comfortable in only a few moments while capturing exquisite photo collections in Portraits Under Pressure.


The photographer looking to improve their portraiture through thoughtful lighting, creative techniques and leveraging the environment around you to get a consistent appearance.

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