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Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 7 of 61

Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules


Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 7 of 61

Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules


Lesson Info

Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules

So here's some photos that work but don't really follow the rules, okay. And so here, again, you see the shape that they're in, but really this comes out, pops off, is my use of lighting. And so because here's, because actually, here's the situation that I was in. This is in the Sony store, and it was raining so I had to do something. And so because of my lighting skill, I can create a shape, a clean shape for them. Okay, and we're going to show you how to do that later in the course, so stick around if you're interested. Okay, and so. And there here's another one where I'm using kind of highlight and shadow columns, or in this case it's the bamboo trees. But you can see behind her, there's some elements that are kind of above her head, but the reason why she pops off is because of the lighting there, and you kind of see that repetition of highlight, shadow, highlight, shadow. And then on her, you also see highlight, shadow, highlight, shadow. So that repetition of idea helps you focus...

on her, and plus she's just wearing that red, boom, she's going to pop off. And you don't really notice those elements behind her head. Here again, I have lights, which can be distracting. But, if you use a shallow depth of field lens, then you can kind of blur those out, and it actually becomes a nice background, instead of a distraction. But you have to use a shallow depth of field lens. Here, there's a lot of things going on behind her. But, this happened because of post processing, which I'll show you a little bit later, where I made everything dark behind her, but had a little texture where you can see her. But because she's wearing that red dress, boom, she just pops off, you're going to notice her immediately. But, there's actually a lot of distracting elements behind her, but because of the way I post processed it, it made it all work.

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.