Portrait Photography Fundamentals


Lesson Info

Shoot: Best Buds Pose

This one I kinda like doing, and what I call it is, it's kinda the group hug. Okay? And when you're doing this with the groomsmen, don't all it a group hug. I call it the best buds. Right? And so, anyways, so after I'm doing the choreo, and they're smiling, and their laughing, I'll say, "Hey, huddle in together, "and give the bride a big group hug." Right? And so they'll come in, close together. They'll hug each other, and I'll get some reaction out of them. But the key to this, is when they're hugging, they're leaning forward. And so, when you all lean forward, it gets in closer. Okay, so the key to that is they've gotta lean forward there. Okay? So, they're huggin', leaning forward, you're getting this reaction. You see these smiles? Whenever I see something like that, I just see myself, right? I'm acting positive. They're just mimicking me. They don't know what to do. They just see me laughing at 'em, so they just copy what I'm doing, right? You can see me doing that? And so they co...

py you. Whatever you're doing, so gotta get that emotion, and that feeling, and that happiness there. Okay, now. For guys, right? This is whatcha do for guys. Now, the key is here is, put your arms around each other like you're best buds. Don't say group hug, Okay? Best buds. "Hey, get together like you're best buds. "Put your arms around each other." And this is the key thing: The more drinks, the better. So if you get them by a bar, they're always having a beer in their hand, and they got-- These guys love to drink, oh my gosh. So, that's what makes it look cool. That's the best buds, like they're hanging out at a bar. Right? And then, what do I do? I take the shot. Best buds shot. And then, what do you think I said to get them to do this? "Laugh hysterically." Yeah. I make that-- I don't have time to wait for that moment. I've got two seconds. I make 'em-- They love it. Do you think-- They think they naturally did that when they see the pictures. They don't remember me saying anything. They say, "Oh yeah. "Oh, that looks great. "Oh, Scott, that's an awesome photo, right?" But you need to make this happen. It just doesn't happen on its own. And so this is a quick way to show a dynamic range of a group, whether you're doing families, or you're doing whatever. Just don't get the static lookin' to the camera. Blah. Get some interaction, whether they're families or groomsmen, or whatever. Get that interaction, okay? So, let's do that. How about-- Do we have enough guys here? So, let's try to do a best buds shot. Do we have any beers? We need some beers. No? (laughs) How 'bout if you bring your water bottles? How's that? Well, that looks stupid, huh? I tried. I tried to get you some alcohol for free. Okay. So, let's say you're the best man. Right? And yeah, you guys are best buds, so you're gonna kinda face each other, right? And yeah, like that, right? So, kinda come together. Right? You're best buds. You're at a bar, hanging. Kickin' it. There it is, right. You got a nice smile on your face. There it is. Okay. Now, I just wanna have you look in front of each other and smile, and laugh, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Laugh hysterically, man! Yeah, there you go! (Scott laughs) Okay. Now, what I'll do, just to make it a little bit different-- Now, I don't typically like somebody posing with their arms totally spread out, so let's bring one arm in front. Right? And then, you put your hand on top. Yeah, okay, yeah, good. All right. Best buds, there you go. Smile and talk to each other! There you go. Laugh really hard, come on! Yeah, there you go! All right! Perfect, right? So, I took complete strangers, and made them look like were friends. Okay? So, right? There it is. It looks great. Okay, thank you very much. So, I hope you're seeing that really what makes that work is the photographer's positive energy. Okay? So, you just can't get up there, "Okay, can you pretend you're best buddies," and blah-blah-blah. It's the energy that the photographer puts into it. And that's a lot of the keys here.

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.


Class Introduction
5 Shots That WOW
Four Fundamentals of Photography
Create a Visual Impact with Composition
Importance of Foreground and Background
Create Depth in Landscape Images
Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules
Composition Practice Exercise
Composition Critique of Student Images
Keys to Posing
Shoot: Classic Elegance Female Pose
Shoot: Modern Female Pose
Shoot: Rollover Female Pose
Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview
Shoot: Hands and Arms Poses for Female
Seven Posing Guidelines
Headshots Poses with Male Model
Shoot: Headshot for Male Model
Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model
Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model
Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model
Keys to Couples Posing
Shoot: Couples Posing
Couples Transitional Posing Overview
Shoot: Transitional Posing
Keys to Group Posing
Accordion Technique with Groups
Shoot: Accordion Technique
Shoot: Best Buds Pose
Shoot: Talk with Your Hands Pose
Shoot: Lock Arms and Hold Hands Pose
Run at the Camera and Dance in Your Seat Poses
Shoot: Pod Method Pose
Posing Critique of Student Images
Introduction to Lighting
Soft vs Hard Light
Difficult Lighting Situations
Bright Light Techniques
Overcast Light Techniques
Low Light Techniques
Lighting Techniques Q&A
Drama Queen Lighting
Laundry Basket Lighting
Make it Rain Lighting
Smart Phone Painting with Light
Mini LED Bokeh Lighting
Choose the Right Lighting System
Hybrid Flash System
Innovative Accessories
Gear Overview
Theatrical Post-Processing
Ten Keys to Post-Processing
Essential Skills to Post-Processing
Headshot Post-Processing
Bright Light Post-Processing
Flat Light Post-Processing
Low Light Post-Processing
Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing
Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing
Dark & Moody Fine Art Post-Processing
Post-Processing Critique of Student Images


  • 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.