Portrait Photography Fundamentals


Lesson Info

Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model

So standing sidelight right, that's kind of like what I'm, well, I think I did, I demonstrated that before, right? And so, you can stand and do some sidelight, and, and what you wanna try to do is get that leg lean on one leg. Put all that weight on one leg, and it looks great. Here's a different way of doing it. Where I'm using sidelight here. And what this was, this was the actual sun here. And so the nose towards the light, right? And so he's leaning on one leg here, okay. He's looking down, I have him, oh, yeah. Looking down is also another great way to express strength in a portrait is to look down. So that should always be part of your repertoire, when you're shooting somebody, look up at the light, look over and then look down. And so that look down feeling has a masculine feel to it. And what I did was I just added another flash on this side to give me a highlight here. 'Cause this sun was so strong, that it was making this all black and shadow and no detail was coming out so I...

just popped some flash on the other end to give you that sidelight, okay? Here's another example of sidelight. And so this was actually an overcast day, and I changed the sky, which I'm gonna be talking about but I can't have a highlighted sky in the background. That sky was completely white it's like blown out and white. There's nothing, there's nope, just white clouds, okay? But I wanted it interesting, so I popped a flash in to give me some highlight and shadow. And now that I have highlight and shadow, I can add in a sky with highlight and shadow and it looks matching, right? But I couldn't do that if I didn't do that. So, I liked adding the sidelight there, then I got highlight and shadow. And now I can make it a much more dramatic picture. And I will show you tomorrow what it actually looked like and you'll be amazed. But we'll just gonna have to hold off for right now. Okay, let's do a sidelight, with a looking down. And show you how strong that looks. How's that? Okay Ryan, get in here. And so can you go ahead and turn that light on? Right. And so what I want you to do is put all your weight on that leg, relax. You're gonna look this way but you're gonna look down and maybe put this hand in the pocket and put your thumbs right there. Okay, good. So go ahead, give him some sidelight. And I'm looking for the shadow on the side of his cheek. That's what I'm looking for, okay? And I'm hopefully I have enough room here. Okay, so let me see what we got here. And look down, right. Good. And then just look straight out. Good. And then if you can maybe take one of your hands and maybe hold your vest, yes like maybe across. Yeah, something like that. Perfect. Just to change it up. He's looking down. Right, perfect. (camera shutter) Then put your head down, and just look, yeah. Yeah, chin up just a bit. Uh, actually i like it with your chin down actually. Right there, bam. (camera shutter) Alright, great. So those are some different poses with using sidelight and standing.

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.