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Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 50 of 61

Gear Overview


Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 50 of 61

Gear Overview


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.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. 5 Shots That WOW
  3. Four Fundamentals of Photography
  4. Create a Visual Impact with Composition
  5. Importance of Foreground and Background
  6. Create Depth in Landscape Images
  7. Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules
  8. Composition Practice Exercise
  9. Composition Critique of Student Images
  10. Keys to Posing
  11. Shoot: Classic Elegance Female Pose
  12. Shoot: Modern Female Pose
  13. Shoot: Rollover Female Pose
  14. Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview
  15. Shoot: Hands and Arms Poses for Female
  16. Seven Posing Guidelines
  17. Headshots Poses with Male Model
  18. Shoot: Headshot for Male Model
  19. Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model
  20. Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model
  21. Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model
  22. Keys to Couples Posing
  23. Shoot: Couples Posing
  24. Couples Transitional Posing Overview
  25. Shoot: Transitional Posing
  26. Keys to Group Posing
  27. Accordion Technique with Groups
  28. Shoot: Accordion Technique
  29. Shoot: Best Buds Pose
  30. Shoot: Talk with Your Hands Pose
  31. Shoot: Lock Arms and Hold Hands Pose
  32. Run at the Camera and Dance in Your Seat Poses
  33. Shoot: Pod Method Pose
  34. Posing Critique of Student Images
  35. Introduction to Lighting
  36. Soft vs Hard Light
  37. Difficult Lighting Situations
  38. Bright Light Techniques
  39. Overcast Light Techniques
  40. Low Light Techniques
  41. Lighting Techniques Q&A
  42. Drama Queen Lighting
  43. Laundry Basket Lighting
  44. Make it Rain Lighting
  45. Smart Phone Painting with Light
  46. Mini LED Bokeh Lighting
  47. Choose the Right Lighting System
  48. Hybrid Flash System
  49. Innovative Accessories
  50. Gear Overview
  51. Theatrical Post-Processing
  52. Ten Keys to Post-Processing
  53. Essential Skills to Post-Processing
  54. Headshot Post-Processing
  55. Bright Light Post-Processing
  56. Flat Light Post-Processing
  57. Low Light Post-Processing
  58. Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing
  59. Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing
  60. Dark & Moody Fine Art Post-Processing
  61. Post-Processing Critique of Student Images


Vitor Rademaker

This course is amazing! Scott is extremely straightforward. He goes directly to practical problems, tips and etc. He explains every thing very clearly, and he is also very funny and charismatic, making you laugh as you learn. He shows that you don't need a lot of expensive gear to make very nice pictures. So I have saved some money as well, cause I was about to buy some gear that I wouldn't need right now. It is for sure one of the best photography courses I have ever attended to! I highly recommend! Thanks a lot Scott! You are the best!


I have purchased a number of classes, this being one of them. The quality of the information was good and the level at which Scott spoke was appropriate for me. Having a course sylibus would add greatly to the value, which usually is not part of the programs I've purchased including this one, unless I've missed it. I believe the speaker should be required to provide one. After watching the videos, much of material can be recaptured by seeing it in writing. I would like to hear back from Creativelive their thoughts. In sum, good topic, good speaker, good technical audio and video quality by Creativelive


Another fantastic class with Scott Robert Lim! The combination of his knowledge, willingness to share, passion & entertaining personality makes him a top choice for photography education. Learning not only the "what", but the "why" & "how" can transform one's entire approach towards MAKING pictures. A constant inspiration to get better & better through practice.