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Four Fundamentals of Photography


Portrait Photography Fundamentals


Lesson Info

Four Fundamentals of Photography

So, lets get to our second chapter, The Four Fundamentals, Say No To Mediocrity. I've been teaching for about ten years and I think for me, even my journey, was that I didn't really like my photos or I couldn't feel good about them until about seven years into my career where I could look at a photo and say, I actually like it. And I think the reason was is because I really needed all four of these skills in order for me to put it together. And if you're lacking one of these areas, and these areas are what? Composition, posing, post processing, and lighting skills. They all have to come together, and until you really have a handle on each of them, I don't think until that point you're not gonna really develop into your own signature style. And I know that it is for a lot of students where let's say they do three out of the four right and one is missing. You just feel like you can't get to that world class level. So, it's very, very important to kind of have a great understanding of all...

four of these and then proceed forward. And once you feel like you are, have four of these under control, awe man, you're unstoppable at that point, and you really start breaking into your creative zone. If you don't master these things, this is kind of what happens. One you're gonna be very inconsistent. So, for example, if you're not great at lighting, then when you go and shoot at a situation where there's no light and you have to create it, you're gonna get mixed results. So, inconsistent. Limited growth, which I talked about. If you feel like your stagnant, it's probably because you don't have all four of those nailed down. Creative block. How many of us feel like, oh my gosh, I just feel like I'm doing the same shots over and over and over again? That was me, certainly, for a lot of my years. Boredom. Do you ever get bored of your images? And you can't just feel like you're inventing something new? That's because you gotta have all four of these fundamentals. Can't reinvent your style. Do you feel like you're stuck? You know? Just in a certain kind of rut and you feel like, man, I just can't evolve my work. And here's a big one. Lack of opportunities. When you master these four fundamentals and you're moving forward and creating a signature style, you're just not gonna get hired, you're not gonna get to those exciting opportunities and shoots that we all love that keep our life just fresh and invigorating. So, what happens when we do successfully master these four things? Creative explosion. You just feel like, man, anywhere you shoot is so exciting because you can put a new twist to it. Self inspiring. You can inspire yourself. And the reason why you can be self inspiring is that you're kind of mastering all these four things but you're growing each one of them as you go along in your photography career. We feel stuck, is let's say, we get stuck and we don't know much about posing. Then instead of doing the hard work and trying to learn how to pose, sometimes we just try to grab tidbits of information or maybe we take a workshop and oh, maybe I can learn about how to use my flash and we think that that's gonna get us to the next level. Maybe it's a new camera or a new lens, but that's actually covering up the deeper area issue, and that's knowing the fundamentals. So, I feel like once you get those four down, you can inspire yourself. Right? You don't need to go any workshops, except for mine, you should still go to, but you can just feel like you're just moving forward and doing new and exciting things every single year, and that's how you should be feeling. You're gonna have consistency, no matter where you're going, no matter what subject you have, no matter what situation, if it's bright light, flat light, or whatever, you can go out and produce great results. And that, when you have consistency, is that's when you can really start charging more and more for your work, because no matter what type of client you get or no matter what type of situation, you're gonna still produce that high quality work. Branded imagery, right? A signature style. You're gonna learn how to develop that because you're gonna get the fundamentals down like the back of your hand and now when you go into a shoot, you don't have to worry about, oh what lighting should I use, what power should I put my flash at, ah I'm so confused, and you get so bogged down with the technical that you can't release your creative power, but if you know all the basics, you know how to pose and light and everything, you don't have to spend any of your energy on that but now you can spend your energy on the creative and when you are executing your creative, that's when your signature style's gonna poke through. But we have to get to that level. Staying current. Now, I felt like with photography, and I guess it's just like education too, or anything for that matter, every couple years you have to change and edit your style and your philosophy because nobody likes to buy the same old stuff. Okay? So, let's say you shop at Banana Republic, if you go in there two years later would you like to see the same clothes? No, right? We expect change. But we expect yes they'd have pants, they'd have blazers or whatever, but those things changed, the color changed, and that's the same thing with our photography. Every few years it should be a evolution. Just like us in life, we need to grow, our photography needs to grow, and our clients love to see that also. World class imagery. If you wanna get to the point where you're recognized and get hired around the world and getting bigger and bigger opportunities, then you gotta master these four and once you do you can get to that level with your signature style and it ends up having opportunities that you won't believe. And I can attest to that. Hear me, this, I am, like I say, I am the only Asian college drop-out that you'll ever know in your entire life. Most Asians have seven or eight degrees, me, no, I don't. And I'm tellin' you that I get tons, I get asked to speak all over the place, and it's so exciting when you reach that point and I wish every photographer could get to that level where you feel like your life is just exploding. But that starts with knowing these fundamentals.

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