Portrait Photography Fundamentals


Portrait Photography Fundamentals


Lesson Info

Gear Overview

Let me show you this next picture. This picture here it was at a workshop in London and we're having a great time and so we're going to this restaurant, and it was pure dark in there, this restaurant (mumbles) and guess what? There's like 15, 20 of us there. It was taking forever for that food to come. We were waiting literally an hour. You get photographers in a room, and you give them an hour, they're gonna start doing stuff with their cameras, right. So we're messing around and we're like, oh hey, we got the model there. Right, let's take some pictures. So I decided to take this picture of her. Let me show you how dark it was in there. This is at ISO 3200 at F1.8. So there's hardly any light in there at all. But I got this shot with taking an Iphone flashlight, firing it through a fork to give me this pattern light on her eyes, taking another little flashlight, firing it against the wall but creating, instead of a laundry basket, I used two fingers there to create that pattern on th...

e wall, okay. And so what I want to say is, it's never about the gear, never. It's always about what's in here, and our mastery of light and posing, and composition and then making it happen with whatever you have around you. Never let, oh I don't have enough money for this, or I don't have enough money to get that camera, or whatever. Never feel that that's gonna limit your creativity. It's not. Your creativity comes from you and your knowledge of how to use light and not the equipment. It's never about the equipment. On your adapter that you have that holds the flashes. Yeah. Does it have a thing for one receiver, or do you-- You can use one as a receiver. But I mean-- Oh, hey, that's a good idea. (audience laughing) Like you have a, what the uh... Like the receivers that are-- Yeah, what's the popular one again? I am getting old, I can't even remember that. You know everybody used to have-- Pocket Wizard? Pocket Wizard! Oh my gosh, I can't remember, I forgot Pocket Wizard. Man, I'm gettin' old. Okay, yeah, so you could put your Pocket Wizard down here and then your other flashes right there, and you can... So all four will sync up to one receiver? Well no, but you can just, So you have to have a receiver on-- You could do this, right, You need to modify that so you can... You have to get my triple mount, that I have, that does that. This doesn't do it. Okay, so this, you could put a flash here and you can make it trigger with your Pocket Wizard here, but you could set these on slave, so when it sees that flash go off, these other two will fire. It'll see 'em that close together? Oh yeah, light is amazing. (laughs) I love it, light is amazing, and that's what photography is all about. So we did have a couple of specific questions. You were showing us, sort of the standard flash, a hybrid flash, and then these flash on steroids. Did the hybrid flash have, or maybe each of those, did that have a cold shoe mount, or does somebody need to hold that? No this has to be mounted on a stand or something. Yeah, usually what I do is, you know my video light situation? Okay, here's what I do typically for a wedding, is I have a bar here, and so I put my video light over here, and I attach this onto here, and then I can put an umbrella through it if I want to, and I'm good to go, all situations. But, however, I do have to admit, there is one picture that I showed you, a picture in Paris, and when that light was in that in between stage, where it was not quite low enough for video light, but this was too strong. Because what happens is, when you make this flash very, very strong, you can't finesse it down into lower light, right. So at this lowest setting, which is 1/28th power, is still, like the power of three flashes at 1 28, right. So now you're at 1/32nd power, so that's the one thing is, is that it's great on the high end, right, so if you're shooting in bright light and whatever, this is amazing for, but if you're still shooting through the day, sometimes you need to get that light just a little bit lower and this is too strong sometimes. So there's positives with everything, and negatives with everything, just remember that. There is no perfect solution, and the manufacturers know that, so that's why we buy everything. (laughs) (mumbles) we're just like gear junk-- we love it. What's new? Okay I'm buying it, whatever. (laughs) I know that we talked about, it's not necessarily about the gear and you've given us for your 99% of solutions you could take your video light and the two flashes. The question has come in, "If you only had one light to take "to an outdoor photoshoot of a couple, "what would you bring?" Would you focus on that video light or would you bring a other flash? If I couldn't-- well that's a dumb question because that will never happen. But, if you gave me a hypothetical situation, you probably wanna bring your flash because you can do it all at that point, but it's just harder to do. Whereas you take your video light, it's not bright enough in the day time. So you can do everything with flash, but it just makes it harder if you don't use constant light. So, yeah, I would definitely, there's no question I would bring the flash.

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