Portrait Photography: Creating and Styling your Environment


Portrait Photography: Creating and Styling your Environment


Class Description

Connect to your photos
Don’t capture another picture that says nothing of your own style. Grow your confidence in creating or styling a portrait that pops and, more importantly, resonates. Recognize that you’re tired of feeling disconnected to your photography.

Tap into your artistic vision
Establishing your creative voice and finding the inspiration and support to stay with it are essential skills for a career in photography. Commit to mastering the technical elements so you can save time in production, focus on creating images with emotion, and start making the pictures that express your creative vision and ultimately resemble what you want to get paid to take.

Learn from the authority: John Keatley
John’s photos have filled the pages of Rolling Stone, Wired, and the New York Times Magazine. He’s covered celebrities from Anthony Hopkins to Macklemore, and even had the rare opportunity to photograph Annie Leibovitz. He’s also passionate about education and supporting artists to find their personal style.

In this one-of-a-kind class, John breaks down how to conceptualize, produce, style, light and fine tune your ideas. He leads you through the creation of an environmental portrait series, showing you how to make a vision come to life with any budget.

What you get out of this exclusive shoot:

  • Find inspiration and execute your vision
  • Research and create desired environments for set design or location scouting
  • Cast for portrait and direct subjects on set
  • Build a team of support around your project
  • Lighting and styles to make the background and subject work together
  • Creative ways to build your vision, regardless of budgetary limitations

What our students are saying:
“The amount of information John gives is mind blowing. To see the process from beginning to end, the road map to creativity...you cannot help but to be on the right road to success. He gives you steps to take and shows you how it's done.”
- Lorenzo Hill

Commit to your creativity
Are you ready to push the boundaries and find your unique voice? Get the hands-on tools to flex your creativity, collaborate for results, and carry out your vision.


1Class Introduction 2Creative Photography Path 3Importance of Personal Work 4Concepts and Inspiration 5Choosing Your Environment 6Research and Mood Boards 7Finding Your Style 8Establishing a Team 9Jobs on Set 10Production Hurdles 11Working with an Art Director 12Pooling Resources 13Casting 14Wardrobe 15Set Design and Props: Interview with John Lavin 16Gear 17Lighting 18Technical vs. Flexible Lighting 19Creating Environment 20Gear Essentials vs. DIY Solutions 21Lighting for Your Subject 22Lighting for Your Environment 23Q&A 24Directing Your Subject 25Tips for Directing Talent 26Pre-Lighting and Test Shoots 27Shoot: Stylized Portrait - Close Up Part 1 28Shoot: Stylized Portrait - Close Up Part 2 29Shoot: Stylized Portrait - Close Up Part 3 30Set Tour and Lighting Set Up 31Shoot: Building Environment & Lighting Adjustments 32Shoot: Building Environment Part 1 33Shoot: Building Environment Part 2 34Photo Critique 35Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Set Tour 36Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 1 37Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 2 38Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 3 39Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 4 40Shoot: Scuba in the Hull Part 1 41Shoot: Scuba in the Hull Part 2 42Shoot: Scuba in the Hull Part 3 43Image Selection: Stylized Portrait 44Image Selection: Building Environment 45Image Selection: Row Boat in Fog 46Image Selection: Scuba in the Hull 47Next Steps: Create New Work 48Next Steps: Share Your Work 49Next Steps: Marketing and Branding Consistency 50Final Image Reveal - Concept and Casting 51Final Image Reveal - Retouching: Communication and Direction 52Final Image Reveal - Final Q&A


a Creativelive Student

What an amazing show. I'm so happy that I could be a part of it. It was so great to see John at work and in his element. I learned so much from watching his process from beginning to ending. So many questions have been answered. I feel more confident, to get myself out there and create and make work that comes out from my imagination. I will definitely be keeping a journal/notebook with me at all times. I would also like to suggest that we have another course for John Cornicello, home studio. I'm curious to see what John is working on in his studio.

Doppio Studio

It's amazing to watch and understand how this great creative professional work. There's a lot to learn about with his production process. For me, that lives in Brazil, is a major opportunity to enjoy this class.

Vitamin Dee

Wow! There's just so much great information in this class. If you've ever wondered what it takes to produce an environmental portrait, this is the class for you! John did a superb job of taking us step-by-step through his process. From model casting to set building, lighting setups to culling; it's all here. He even wraps up the class with next steps and how to put it all together. He gives the knowledge so you can take it to a place you can create your own magic!