Portrait Photography Fundamentals


Portrait Photography Fundamentals


Lesson Info

5 Shots That WOW

All right, Chapter One: Five Wow Shots. So basically for these next few minutes, you're gonna watch me perform. It's kind of like I'm gonna be up here like a magician and show you my tricks. And it's just kind of performing and showing you these five shots. And if you like these five shots, please stay tuned throughout the entire class, because I'm gonna be unveiling how I arrived at these shots, what my thinking was, what my techniques were, and especially on day two, I'm gonna break down every single one of these shots and show you how I created them. These are the five shots that we're gonna go for, and we're gonna just get going now and get the shooting going. So let's do it. So let's get our beautiful model Elaina, is that correct? Yes. Look how beautiful she is. Okay, are we gonna pull the lights down just a little bit? Yes, all right. So I'm gonna have you turn profile this way, perfect. Gonna do a test sot, there we go. Awesome, now this is entitled the Drama Queen, so I wa...

nt to kind of create some drama. So if you can kind of get your hands up like that, yeah, let's just pull this over here, like this, bend this wrist a little bit, can you bend it down just a little bit like that, good, beautiful. And just shift your weight onto one leg. There you go. Pull that arm out just a tad bit and then turn. Yes, that looks great. All right, bring this arm in just a little bit more. There you go. Looking great, and a little bit higher, how's that, on that left, yeah, perfect, right there. One, two, ready, beautiful. This hand just a tad higher, there you go. One, two, three, hold on. One, two, perfect. All right, let's get onto our next shot. The Laundry Basket. Like my titles, folks? Okay, yeah, so I entitled this Laundry Basket because we're gonna use that in an interesting way to create an interesting shadow on the background, then we're gonna fire some flashes to light up the subject. Gonna use a background? Yeah, I think we still need to use A. And so we're gonna do a three-light set-up here. And oh, by the way, folks, these shots, I'm using very, very, very basic equipment. So all of this can be done for like a few hundred dollars. You don't have to buy expensive lighting equipment. And so I want to demonstrate what you can do with some very low-cost inexpensive equipment. So you're gonna probably hand-held that one. And then just... Okay, so I'm gonna have you turn this way right there, and your head is gonna look back that way, right. And we're gonna fire that right about there. Let me do a test shot and see. I think this flash, is that in the right position for B, for the second one? I think it was a little bit closer, right? ]Assistant] Right here. Yeah, I think we had it at the red. Is that correct? We had that a little bit lower, just a tad higher. Right there. Okay. Perfect, try that. All right, great. So you're gonna turn this way and with your beautiful eyes, can you look back at me? Beautiful, all right. One, two, three, beautiful. If you can step in just a bit closer, a little bit too much. Okay, right there is good. And look back at me with your eyes. One, two, three, good. And one more shot this way, chin up just a little bit. Right there. That looks absolutely gorgeous. One, two, three, beautiful. All right, so let's get onto the next shot, which was Make it Rain. (laughs) Just bear with us a little bit. We're setting up some interesting lighting. I tried to pick things that were using interesting objects, so try to do some shots that were just a little bit different and out of the ordinary, but they are just normal things, like a laundry basket. Everybody has a laundry basket. This one we're gonna make it rain with a spray bottle, how's that? (laughs) You're just gonna do the same pose, how's that? You can just pull it out of the... yeah, that's fine. All right, if you can just stand a little bit closer, Casey, and then you're gonna spray it kind of up, so it falls down. You can get in a little bit closer, how's that? Okay, let's see. All right, go ahead, start making it rain. Oh, you gotta adjust that. Okay, is it a mist? I need it like a mist. Does it have water in there? Okay, yeah. All right, here we go. Chin down just a bit. One, go ahead, make it rain, spray it a lot, there you go. Ooh. (laughs) Hold on. Is that back-flash turned on? Okay, hold on a second. Okay, let's try it again. Sorry about that. I want to get it all going. Ready, one, go ahead make it rain, good. There you go, let's do one more. That looked great. Do it again. Go for the rain, go hard, yeah, there you go. All right, perfect. All right, let's get to our next shot. And so we are gonna get a little fancy here and do a long exposure. At one point, don't be scared, because we're gonna make it completely dark in here. So I hope you're not scared of the dark. So I'm setting up my long exposure, making sure everything is right here. So we're gonna have this one is B, right? (Assistant) Yes, that's B, this is C. Let me set B up for the right, and then that one is C, right? And A is off, right? Let's make sure that one goes off. This one is not on for some reason. Turn it on, it's okay. I always like to take a test shot before I start posing the model, because you should be ready with your things before you start shooting. So all right, good. So we are gonna do a side-light shot. So if you can turn your head this way. And maybe if you can put your hand kind of like this, off to this side. You can turn your body sideways a little bit more. And so I'm gonna shoot a profile, so I just need that kind of off like this. And then on my count can we have the lights ready? So we're gonna do a completely, make it completely dark in here, but I'm gonna focus my camera a bit first, to make sure. Okay, if we could turn the lights off. Okay, let's... hold on a second. Let me just focus, line this up. Again, oops, I got one camera setting off, sorry. Okay, there we go. All right, so one, two, hold on. Ready, go. All right, let's do it one more time. That looks great. If you could get your hand just a little bit higher to your chin. Oh, actually, let's try this. Put that hand down and then put the other hand up, yeah, look that way, perfect. Just a little bit off more. Right, and bend that wrist down, right there, perfect. And so let's do this again. Ready. All right, great. Okay, so let's end with our final shot, okay. Which we're gonna use the LED bouquet, right. So let me change my ISO just a bit. I don't like shooting at 2.5 seconds all the time. (audience laughs) Only when I have to. And I didn't use a tripod for that shot, by the way. My hands are that still. So that one is C, is that correct? Yes. All right. Yeah, C. C on, I think I set that to 164 here. Oh, goes to the back. Do you ever feel like the pressure's on? (laughs) But you kind of love it, you kind of love it in that moment. Okay, so if we could turn those lights down just a little bit more, if that's possible. If you can stand over on maybe to my right. [Female Assistant] To your right. Because I'm gonna use this for example. So, yeah, great. If you can just look over that way, and let's put those lights right in front of my camera there. All right, let me just check out what this setting should be here. It's gonna be beautiful right there. Okay, turn it back on. One, two, three, and if you can your look your eyes this way a bit. I think we had two flashes going off, right? We have... [Female Assistant] C. It's the one with the... Because I heard two beeps, right? This one was off. That's off. That's the third flash. All right. I just want to make sure everything is off. All right. [Female Assistant] All right. You know what? I think I'll just hold it. [Female Assistant] You want to hold it? Because I'm just so used to doing this. Ooh, don't show that shot. (audience laughs) All right, one, two, three, beautiful. Just close this down just a little bit more. You gotta kind of get this in the right position here, here we go. One, two, three, beautiful. Man, you're gorgeous. Can you turn your chin up just a bit? Right there, love that right there. One, two, three, good. And one more. Takes a lot of skill to hold this and shoot at the same time, but it can be done here. Hold on, and one more, I think we're good. Should have something to work with later. One, two, ready. All right, beautiful. Okay, so those are the five shots. And I did them... Elaina, thank you very much. Give her a hand. (audience applause)

Class Description

Want to be able to go into any situation with your camera and have the confidence to know you’ll get the shot? Award-Winning photographer Scott Robert Lim goes in-depth on the four foundational elements you must conquer if you want to develop your creativity and style.

Scott will give you the guidelines you need to master:

  • Lighting
  • Posing
  • Composition
  • Post-Processing

Once you master these fundamentals of portraits, you free up your mind to get creative and ultimately get the shot.


1Class Introduction
25 Shots That WOW
3Four Fundamentals of Photography
4Create a Visual Impact with Composition
5Importance of Foreground and Background
6Create Depth in Landscape Images
7Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules
8Composition Practice Exercise
9Composition Critique of Student Images
10Keys to Posing
11Shoot: Classic Elegance Female Pose
12Shoot: Modern Female Pose
13Shoot: Rollover Female Pose
14Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview
15Shoot: Hands and Arms Poses for Female
16Seven Posing Guidelines
17Headshots Poses with Male Model
18Shoot: Headshot for Male Model
19Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model
20Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model
21Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model
22Keys to Couples Posing
23Shoot: Couples Posing
24Couples Transitional Posing Overview
25Shoot: Transitional Posing
26Keys to Group Posing
27Accordion Technique with Groups
28Shoot: Accordion Technique
29Shoot: Best Buds Pose
30Shoot: Talk with Your Hands Pose
31Shoot: Lock Arms and Hold Hands Pose
32Run at the Camera and Dance in Your Seat Poses
33Shoot: Pod Method Pose
34Posing Critique of Student Images
35Introduction to Lighting
36Soft vs Hard Light
37Difficult Lighting Situations
38Bright Light Techniques
39Overcast Light Techniques
40Low Light Techniques
41Lighting Techniques Q&A
42Drama Queen Lighting
43Laundry Basket Lighting
44Make it Rain Lighting
45Smart Phone Painting with Light
46Mini LED Bokeh Lighting
47Choose the Right Lighting System
48Hybrid Flash System
49Innovative Accessories
50Gear Overview
51Theatrical Post-Processing
52Ten Keys to Post-Processing
53Essential Skills to Post-Processing
54Headshot Post-Processing
55Bright Light Post-Processing
56Flat Light Post-Processing
57Low Light Post-Processing
58Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing
59Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing
60Dark & Moody Fine Art Post-Processing
61Post-Processing Critique of Student Images